All stories by Arifa Akbar on BroadwayStars

Friday, May 7, 2021

A brief encounter with Muriel, Alan Bennett’s latest talking head by Arifa Akbar

Frances de la Tour plays another of the playwright’s fascinating women in a three-minute sketch for Nottingham Playhouse’s digital series If Covid-secure theatre accidentally sparked a r…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:36PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Eben Figueiredo: electric actor, soul singer and Star Wars mudtrooper by Arifa Akbar

The rising star’s rich career is built on a determination to widen diversity in theatre – and bring a true voice to his roles Eben Figueiredo remembers a voice lesson at drama school in …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Alfred Fagon: a brilliant playwright whose work must not be forgotten by Arifa Akbar

As The Death of a Black Man returns to Hampstead theatre, it’s time to remember and revive Fagon’s other confounding and ambitious dramas Alfred Fagon was many things before becoming a p…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:24PM
Monday, May 3, 2021

Rocky Road review – a riveting cat-and-mouse thriller by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineTyger Drew-Honey and Kirsten Foster star in Shaun McKenna’s noirish tale of crime and punishment Apartment blocks can make convenient backdrops for noirish thrillers with d…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:12PM
Friday, April 30, 2021

Tennis Elbow review – rambunctious ride through an awful artist’s life by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn a twist on John Byrne’s debut Writer’s Cramp, this is a fast-paced spoof hagiography of pulpy romance author Pamela Crichton Capers In 1977, John Byrne staged his deb…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:06PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Love in the Lockdown review – a virtual romance drawn with emotional subtlety by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis moreish serial drama finds new terrain with excellent performances from Rachael Stirling and Alec Newman “You’re on mute,” says Emilia to Giovanni, minutes into th…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:54PM
Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Winter’s Tale review – RSC and BBC film is a purist version of theatre on screen by Arifa Akbar

BBC iPlayer Covid-postponed production moves the play to the 1950s but lacks the inventiveness of the National’s recent Romeo and Juliet This RSC production opens in a 20th-century Sicilia…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Whispers to thunderstorms: the world of sound designer Max Pappenheim by Arifa Akbar

After embarking accidentally on his career, Pappenheim has created innovative soundscapes for theatre, opera and radio Max Pappenheim’s journey into sound design comprises a series of happ…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:54AM
Monday, April 19, 2021

The Motherhood Project review – difficult choices, disparate voices by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThis set of 15 monologues – from writers including Lemn Sissay, Jodi Gray and Juno Dawson – is heartfelt but feels underpowered In one of the 15 monologues here, Juno Daw…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:48PM
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Graham Greene’s showdown with Soviet spy Kim Philby: A Splinter of Ice review by Arifa Akbar

Available online A meeting between the writer and the double agent, once colleagues at MI6, is strong on friendship and betrayal – but takes us no closer to the heart of either man In Febr…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:18PM
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘The heat is on’: top theatres act to root out ‘system failure’ of racism by Arifa Akbar

The Young Vic and Royal Court are rethinking their work practices to unpick centuries of ingrained attitudes – and achieve ‘the miracle of equality’ The Young Vic and Royal Court theat…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06PM
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Drama about Flint water crisis takes major theatre award by Arifa Akbar

US activist and dramatist Erika Dickerson-Despenza wins Susan Smith Blackburn prize with the play cullud wattah A “bold and urgent” play about the Flint water crisis, seen through the ey…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42PM
Sunday, April 4, 2021

Romeo and Juliet review – National Theatre's first film is an ingenious triumph by Arifa Akbar

Sky ArtsJosh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley captivate as the star-crossed lovers in a pacy, painterly and emotionally raw production The National Theatre’s first foray into film-making is a…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:42PM
Thursday, April 1, 2021

'We had a three-hour window to get intimate!' Romeo and Juliet at the National by Arifa Akbar

After the pandemic nixed a stage run of Shakespeare’s tragedy, the theatre launched an ambitious film version starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor Just over a year ago, Simon Godwin…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:32AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Jessica Hung Han Yun: a designer tripping the light fantastic by Arifa Akbar

The bright mind who lit up Blindness at the Donmar and the National Theatre’s panto approaches each job like a mystery After Jessica Hung Han Yun’s first professional gig as a lighting d…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:24AM
Friday, March 26, 2021

Inside review – trio of anxious lockdown studies by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineDeborah Bruce’s grief-stricken monologue Guidesky and I is the pick of the Orange Tree theatre’s introspective bunch Inside comprises three short studies of what it means…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:48AM

Talawa theatre company: 'It's time to double down on Black Lives Matter pledges' by Arifa Akbar

The minds behind Britain’s oldest black theatre group discuss pulling out of Birmingham Rep when it became a Nightingale court – and their plans to conquer the West End Britain’s oldes…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Angela review – Mark Ravenhill's tale of dance and dementia by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineThe playwright takes us inside the mind of his late mother in a poignant audio play that dramatises her shifting sense of self Anyone who has observed dementia at close quart…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Monday, March 22, 2021

'I got a job on a fishing trawler' – Covid: one year on, stars of music and theatre look back by Dave Simpson , Imogen Tilden, Arifa Akbar, Lyndsey Winship and Brian Logan

In the second of our two-parter, rock stars, roadies, actors, dancers, composers and comics describe how their lives have been transformed without live shows – and imagine what now lies ah…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:12PM
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Adventurous review – Zoom dating drama is warmly witty by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIan Hallard’s entertaining romance is full of conversational crossed wires and social awkwardness A pandemic drama that centres on two people in a Zoom conversation is a ri…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:32PM

'My body was screaming of motherhood': readings shine light on dark period of Irish history by Arifa Akbar

Home, presented by the Abbey theatre, shines a light on decades of abuse of unmarried women and children in Ireland Ireland’s Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:06PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The RSC's hi-tech Dream opens up a world of theatrical possibility by Arifa Akbar

This online experiment uses live motion capture to bring the fairies and sprites of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to vivid life The opening moments of Dream contain all the enticements of an a…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:06PM

Rosalind Eleazar: a star devoted to the exhilarating thrill of theatre by Arifa Akbar

After drama school, the actor feared she’d made a terrible mistake until she had a run of acclaimed roles on stage, TV and in the hit film version of David Copperfield Rosalind Eleazar rem…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54AM
Monday, March 15, 2021

The Picture of Dorian Gray review – the ugly face of social media by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineEternal youth and beauty exist only online in this thoroughly modern adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s fable, which counts Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley among its impressive cast…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12PM

'Solidarity in Europe': Maria Aberg's international theatre company looks ahead by Arifa Akbar

The acclaimed Swedish director’s Projekt Europa will have a UK residency in Kent and collaborate with migrant theatre-makers Maria Aberg was having one of the busiest times of her 20-year …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:06AM
Friday, March 12, 2021

Yellow review – a gripping epic about fascism in Belgium by Arifa Akbar

Available onlinePart two in NTGent’s Sorrows of Belgium trilogy is a visually arresting account of the rise of the Rex party and the horror of the second world war Director Luk Perceval’…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:06PM
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! review – Meghan inspires explosive drama by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineIn Steppenwolf theatre company’s creepy satire on palace life, two women have an intense teatime meeting It is tempting to assume that an American drama about black women c…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:12PM
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Christopher Boy’s Communion review – Mamet's warped drama of motherhood and murder by Arifa Akbar

BBC Radio 4David Mamet’s new play, adapted as an audio drama, follows an indomitable Manhattanite willing to sacrifice everything to save her murderer son It is peculiarly low-key for a p…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:03PM
Monday, March 8, 2021

Tickets and towels, please! This is theatre for your bath by Arifa Akbar

Thirst Trap and Swimming Home are two new audio productions which audiences listen to while submerged – but don’t expect a relaxing soak Two new immersive audio shows involve running a w…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:32PM
Friday, March 5, 2021

The Great Gatsby review – two-woman show is a cocktail of stage wizardry by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineScenery, sounds, light and casting are treated with endless invention in this charmingly low-key take on Fitzgerald’s classic Stage and screen adaptations of The Great Gats…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels review – moreish frenemies drama by Arifa Akbar

Available onlineAs two women compete for the attentions of a middle-aged man, Athena Stevens’ production explores abuse and complicity Everything about Late Night Staring at High Res Pixel…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24PM

All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre