All stories by David Nice on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 18, 2021

Happy Days, Riverside Studios review – memory, madness and melancholy by David Nice

Lisa Dwan’s infinite variety guides us through Beckett’s timeless masterpiece Just when you thought you couldn’t take any more one- or two-handers, online or in the theatre, along come…

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Shrine & Bed Among the Lentils, Bridge Theatre review - loneliness shared, with wit and melancholy by David Nice

Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville are peerless in this Alan Bennett double bill Monologues and duets rule the stage right now. We can only dream of the day when theatre steps up to the classi…

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Re:Creating Europe, MIF Rewind review - last year's burning issue semi-dramatized by David Nice

Ivo van Hove engages British and Dutch actors to debate the urgent question of 2019 Are we really past all this? From Ivo van Hove's 2019 polyphony of opinions and reflections down the centu…

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, review - slick, often sombre, but when funny, hilarious by David Nice

A host of Broadway stars varies the strain in classily done from-home gala Maybe you can't compare incomparables, but it was instructive to watch this Broadway lockdown gala feting nonagenar…

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 2 - 'Epiphany'/'A Little Priest' by David Nice

Is there a better climax to a musical first act than the terror-plus-wit in 'Sweeney Todd'? Two numbers, one hair-raising slice of music-theatre. When Sondheim's paying homage to the older, …

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Revenger's Tragedy, Piccolo Teatro di Milano/Cheek by Jowl, Barbican review - fun, but not enough by David Nice

Middleton's decimation of an Italian court needs more satirical thrust Vendetta, morte: what a lark to find those tools of 19th century Italian opera taken back to their mother tongue in a M…

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

La Cage aux Folles [The Play], Park Theatre review - half-cock farce by David Nice

Embarrassing period piece needs a lift from better comic timing than this Not the musical then, worst luck. How timely it would have been to mark Jerry Herman's passing with a celebration of…

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Persona, Riverside Studios review - Bergman masterpiece transformed into 'The Mumbling' by David Nice

One woman barely speaks, the other can't be heard and two men interfere A work of genius isn't sacred, copyrighted territory. A great film may become a play, a novel a film; the adaptation s…

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Friday, January 3, 2020

Celebrating the musicals of Jerry Herman (1931-2019) by David Nice

An immortal lyricist and composer leaves us plenty to be joyful about How is it that, in the nearly 900 pages of Sondheim's collected lyrics with extensive comments Finishing the Hat and Loo…

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

My Brilliant Friend, National Theatre review - sleek spectacle almost eats its characters by David Nice

Four complex novels squeezed into a big, bold show with strong performances It took no time for Elena Ferrante's two Neapolitan friends to join the ranks of great literary creations: Lenù a…

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Henry VI, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a lively vortex by David Nice

Close-knit company keeps the York and Lancaster clashes as clear and lively as it can No Joan of Arc means no Henry VI Part One. France, where we left the victorious Henry V - the superb Sar…

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Shadows, Coronet Theatre review - talking heads in the void by David Nice

Multimedia haunting from Norwegian company De Utvalgte in Jon Fosse's theatre-poem In a flowering branch of London theatre, Norway comes to Notting Hill with what's becoming revelatory regul…

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Prayer for Wings, King's Head Theatre review - claustrophobic mother-daughter drama soars by David Nice

A young carer and her mother movingly portrayed in Sean Mathias's 1985 drama When Sean Mathias wrote A Prayer for Wings 35 years ago, the subject of young carers devoting their lives to pare…

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Friday, July 12, 2019

theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2019 - in heaven with Dante's Purgatorio and Estonian rites by David Nice

A dramatic tour from the tomb of Italy's greatest poet and music among the mosaics Two years ago Ermanno Montanari and Marco Martinelli, the visionary partners who have powered Ravenna's rev…

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Peter Gynt, National Theatre review - towering protagonist, middle-way production by David Nice

James McArdle's lead, strong ensemble and David Hare's Ibsen adaptation compel Like Hamlet and both parts of Goethe's Faust, with which it shares the highest peak of poetic drama, Ibsen's Pe…

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Friday, June 21, 2019

The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images by David Nice

Ivo van Hove reinvents Visconti's fable about a 1930s German House of Atreus Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV…

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe review - a gallimaufry of acting styles by David Nice

1930s setting for Falstaff's escapades wins out only in song and dance Need Shakespeare's Falstaff charm to be funny? Those warm, indulgent feelings won by Mrisho Mpoto in the amazing Globe…

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Henry IV Parts 1 & 2/Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - helter-skelter ensemble history trilogy by Heather Neill and David Nice

Doubling, humour and an outstanding female Henry V Henry IV Part One (***)

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill, Isango Ensemble, Linbury Theatre - evocative and essential lyric theatre by David Nice

Compelling fantasia about black South Africans drowned in a World War 1 disaster While Bach's and Handel's Passions have been driving thousands to contemplate suffering, mortality and grace,…

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Medea, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Barbican review - lacerating contemporary tragedy by David Nice

Simon Stone's homage to Euripides is faultless, while Marieke Heebink tears at the soul Hallucinatory theatre has struck quite a few times in the Barbican's international seasons. On an epic…

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Gently Down the Stream, Park Theatre review - gay history sifted for compact drama by David Nice

Martin Sherman has the excellent Jonathan Hyde telling true talesRipeness is sometimes all. Martin Sherman's new play, receiving its UK premiere at canny Park Theatre, says more about gay hi…

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Good Person of Szechwan, Pushkin Drama Theatre, Barbican review - slick Russian Brecht by David Nice

Musically strong, if persistent, this production has a star protagonist"In our country the capable man needs luck," belts out Shen Te, the Good Person of Szechwan in the most powerful song o…

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one by David Nice

Poignant take on Captain Marlene in the Second World WarGetting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The lo…

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Inheritance, Noël Coward Theatre review - tangled knot of gay fairy-tale and reality by David Nice

A virtuoso ensemble justifies this youthful baggy monster's West End transferIts roots are in truth: 15-year-old Matthew Lopez saw the film, then read the book, of Howards End and 11 ye…

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kiss Me, Kate, Opera North, London Coliseum review - Cole Porter delivered in true company style by David Nice

Just a tad short on Broadway charisma, but this sophisticated production glides alongFirst palpable hit of the evening: a full orchestra in the pit under hyper-alert Opera North stalwart Jam…

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Julius Caesar, BBC Four review - electrifying TV launch of all-women Shakespeare trilogy by David Nice

Harriet Walter and Jade Anouka are the superlative opposite poles in a perfect ensembleWho would have thought, when Phyllida Lloyd's Donmar Julius Caesar opened to justified fanfare, that tw…

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Life and Fate / Uncle Vanya, Maly Drama Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - the greatest ensemble? by David Nice

Stunning detail from Lev Dodin's company in desperate tragedy and human comedyTowards the end of the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg's Life and Fate, a long scene in director Lev Do…

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Moderate Soprano, Duke of York's Theatre review - love and opera with a flinty edge by David Nice

Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll serve David Hare's iron fist in velvet glove to perfection"What could be more serious than married life?" asked Richard Strauss, whose operas became a surp…

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation by David Nice

★★★ FANNY AND ALEXANDER, OLD VIC Agile but shallow Bergman adaptationThree strong performances weakened by miscasting elsewhere and restless soundtrackCould an epic cinematic masterpie…

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

No's Knife, The Old Vic by David Nice

Nobody said that a 70-minute audience with the undead was going to be easy. You can read Samuel Beckett's Texts for Nothing in your own time, pausing for thought, leaving off, coming back. W…

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Imogen, Shakespeare's Globe by David Nice

What's in a name? Imogen has a softer music to it than Cymbeline, the only one of Shakespeare's plays in which the title character is marginal - even if Hal and Falstaff just outshine Henry …

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All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre