All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 15, 2019

MARY POPPINS. Prince Edward Theatre. w1 by Libby Purves and Friends

BEN DOWELL AND DAUGHTER POP WITH PLEASURE AT ITS PEP.. It has floated in one the chilly autumn breeze like a much-needed blast of summer sunshine. Yes, this Mary Poppins is as supercalifragi…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:08PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

THE SEASON Wolsey, Ipswich & then Northampton by Libby Purves and Friends

A BIG APPLE ROMANCE WITH CRUNCH        How romantic New York is to the British heart!  From Superman to Friends we seem to know it,  from Elf and 34th Street (not to mention the Pogues…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:52PM
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

LIGHT FALLS             Royal Exchange, Manchester by Libby Purves and Friends

NORTHERN GUEST REVIEWER HELEN GASKELL TIRES OF THE RELENTLESS GRIT…   A family of five, scattered across the North of England, are brought together by tragedy.  The play shows a picture …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 12:19PM

WHEN THE CROWS VISIT Kiln NW6 by Libby Purves and Friends

ARROGANCE, ANGER ,   INDIA’S  SHAME     Hema’s is a house of women now.  The old grandmother is in bed below the tall screen doors ,  feeding  crows who move shadow-shapes behind…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:16AM
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

VASSA Almeida, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST CRITIC BEN DOWELL DOES NOT HAVE A GOOD NIGHT OUT   What a strange evening this is. Young director Tinuke Craig has taken Maxim Gorky’s 1911 play (there was a revision in 1935 but s…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:21AM
Thursday, October 24, 2019

BOTTICELLI IN THE FIRE Hampstead, NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

RENAISSANCE  RUTTING,   VENUS AND  VANITIES   Sandro Botticelli, he makes clear to us at the start, plans to tell his version. He’s Dickie Beau: skinny and swaggeringly queeny in blac…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:54PM

​LUNGS.    Old vic, SE1​​​ by Libby Purves and Friends

​​IT TAKES TWO​​…​   Here’s  a sharp eyed little gem about coupledom and the wary, fretful road towards parenthood in an age of easy contraception and illimitable expectation…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:47AM
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A MUSEUM IN BAGHDAD Swan, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

TWO CURATORS,  ACROSS EIGHTY YEARS     The little Swan , a jewel-box of a theatre, often sees the new plays the RSC does best: immaculate technique and careful clarity elucidating complex…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 03:34AM
Sunday, October 20, 2019

AN INSPECTOR CALLS Touring by Libby Purves and Friends

INSPECTOR GOOLE,  BACK  BACK ON THE ROAD    Below,  edited, is my original London review of this remarkable production.  This new tour deserves to be marked, though:   regarding the t…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:46AM
Friday, October 18, 2019

[BLANK] Donmar, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

A COOL EYE ON SHATTERED LIVES          Of all the well known flaws of our criminal justice system,  one of the most glaring is how badly it fits women – though they  are only around…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:44AM
Thursday, October 10, 2019

ASSASSINS           Watermill, Bagnor Newbury by Libby Purves and Friends

THE DARK AND THE CRAZY       This is  – for us anyway – the first  production in the Trump era of this savage musical:  a revue reimagining of all the attempts, successful or not,…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:03AM
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

THE NIGHT WATCH New Wolsey, Ipswich & touring by Libby Purves and Friends

PEOPLE OF THE BLITZ    Sarah Waters’ best novel, evoking lives during and after the London Blitz,  was told backward in time.  It is much the same way, indeed, as we meet real people…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:41PM

FOR SERVICES RENDERED              Jermyn St Theatre WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE LOW DISHONEST DECADE…   It’s always intimate, the Jermyn,.  We’re in an autumn garden, apples on the ground and fading roses on the wall;  birdsong,  and a tea table set defia…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:55AM
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A COLLIDING WORLD       Couldn’t miss this: for two years as a teenager (Dad in the Jo’burg Embassy)   I lived alongside the frightened, arrogant paranoia of  white South Africa un…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:18PM
Monday, September 30, 2019

THE WATSONS. Menier SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

15 CHARACTERS OBJECTING TO  AN AUTHOR..   The Jane Austen industry never flags, in tribute or in parody.  You can barely throw a bonnet without hitting an  Austentatious improv,  popcor…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:45PM
Friday, September 27, 2019

KING JOHN Swan, Stratford upon Avon by Libby Purves and Friends

KING JOHN WAS NOT A GOOD MAN…     Maybe we should stick to AA Milne’s version?  “King John was not a good man He had his little ways   And sometimes no one spoke to him For days an…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 09:18AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

TWO LADIES Bridge, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GLOBAL AND GENDER POLITICS IN  PERFECT MINIATURE      A glass conference-centre in the host nation France;  a visiting US President avid for airstrikes after a terrorist outrage , deman…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 05:34PM
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

BIG THE MUSICAL           Dominion,  W1        by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER BEN DOWELL SAYS HANKS FOR THE MEMORY , AND BRAVELY FACES THE WEIRDNESS   This is a lavish revival of the 1996 musical version of the 1988 Tom Hanks fantasy comedy, complete w…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:02AM
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HEDDA TESMAN Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

THIRTY YEARS LATER AND STILL FURIOUS: HEDDA’S BACK        Last night, while Parliament spiralled into disorderly, resentful confusion and Mr Bercow dramatically put an end to himself a…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:41PM
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

HANSARD Lyttelton, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

OLD TIMES,  OLD  SORROWS: BEFORE THE RAINBOW   With Parliament in uproar upriver ,  the NT hit a luckily apt moment to stage Simon Woods’ first play and promote it as a  “witty and…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 06:32PM
Saturday, August 31, 2019

CABILDO Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI SWOONS OVER SWASHBUCKLING  AT GRIMEBORN Director Emma Jude Harris “couldn’t believe her luck” when she discovered Cabildo, the only opera by pioneering…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:10AM
Friday, August 30, 2019

THE ENTERTAINER             Curve, Leicester & touring  by Libby Purves and Friends

BITTERLY BRITISH      It was  a good mix of ages in the Curve audience,  so perhaps a  public service to remind the rising generation, awash in Brexindignation,  that Utterly-Despairi…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:05PM

TREEMONISHA Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI FINDS JOPLIN TROUBLINGLY FUN Scott Joplin was rightly proud of Treemonisha, an opera for which he wrote both libretto and score; it was never fully staged in …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:14AM
Thursday, August 29, 2019

HOTSPUR /PIERROT LUNAIRE Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI MARVELS AT THE OPERATIC POTENTIAL OF SIGNDANCE The double bill of Gillian Whitehead’s Hotspur with Schoenberg’s great Modernist Pierrot Lunaire is the fir…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 08:23PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

EDITH IN THE BEGINNING Sutton Hoo by Libby Purves and Friends

A STRANGE RESURRECTION, BETWEEN WARS       A red sun was setting beyond the trees as we gathered around a square, isolated house in the golden-hour splendour.    Here the land rises abo…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:42AM
Sunday, August 25, 2019

AURORA Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI FINDS DIMNESS RATHER THAN DAWN AT GRIMEBORN If Aylin Bozok is directing anything at Grimeborn, I always try to go. I’ve been absolutely blown away by her pa…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 08:05AM
Saturday, August 24, 2019

ORIGAMI SOUNDSCAPES /THE CRANE Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI FINDS NOT MUCH UNFOLDING AT GRIMEBORN I have to admit – I’m a sucker for a bit of rarefied Japanese elegance on stage in almost any context: the very ment…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 04:10AM
Thursday, August 22, 2019

THE WEATHERMAN Park Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER  BEN DOWELL SEES A GOOD SUBJECT NOT QUITE GETTING THERE…   The trafficking of human beings – 7,000 identified in the UK in 2018 – is a disgusting blight on our country…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 12:05PM
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

8 HOTELS Minerva, Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

A GRIPPING PIECE OF HISTORY              In 1944  the adventurous British director Peggy Webster cast the first black Othello in the USA,  where for a white woman even to walk with …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 11:34AM
Thursday, August 15, 2019

COUNT ORY Arcola, E8 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI GETS INTO THE BLITZ SPIRIT WITH OPERA ALEGRIA AT GRIMEBORN Rossini’s Le Comte Ory is a flirtatious farce in which a naughty young Count drives everyone de…

Linked From theatrecat.com at 01:37AM
Friday, August 9, 2019

GO BANG YOUR TAMBOURINE Finborough, SE10 by Libby Purves and Friends

A YOUTHFUL HALLELUJAH          ANother fascinating London premiere for Two’s Company and the Finborough,  buried for nearly half a century after one brief 1970 tour .    As Philip …

Linked From theatrecat.com at 07:52AM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue