All stories by Friends on BroadwayStars

Saturday, October 23, 2021

TONY! A rock opera newborn at the Park Theatre N4 by Libby Purves and Friends

NOT  A REVIEW BUT SOME JOLLY NEWS Not a review,  because this was the first performance of a modest weekend testing the water:  a script-in-hand, moustaches-falling-off,  fresh-outta-wor…

SOURCE: at 02:49AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

GET UP, STAND UP! Lyric Theatre, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

  THE  HEART STILL FEELS THE BEAT         Everything Bob Marley sings lifts the heart,  instructing it to rise and triumph and unite in joy:  lively-up yourself!   Let’s get toget…

SOURCE: at 12:08PM

GRENFELL – VALUE ENGINEERING Tabernacle Theatre, W11 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAIL: scenes from the Grenfell Inquiry    There was a spate of criticism when Richard Norton Taylor’s dramatisation of the Grenfell Inquiry was announced, despite it b…

SOURCE: at 05:42AM
Saturday, October 16, 2021

WHITE NOISE Bridge Theatre, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

 THE RACE WHERE NOBODY WINS       This feels like a howl of baffled frustration, from a millennial generation ( writer and director, and all four characters) unable to deal with the emo…

SOURCE: at 06:59AM
Thursday, October 14, 2021

THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH Almeida, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH.        Almeida, N1 THE SCOTTISH PLAY WE NEEDED   Say what you like about star-casting and auteur-ish directors messing with Shakespeare, but sometimes a multiple…

SOURCE: at 06:59PM

INTO BATTLE Greenwich Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

AN OLD STORY OF YOUNG MEN     Balliol College Oxford, 1910. Confident young Etonians are hurling crockery downstairs, yelling “I’m a bastard, I’m a bastard, rather be a bastard than …

SOURCE: at 04:30AM
Sunday, October 10, 2021

OUR WHITE SKODA OCTAVIA Sir John Mills Ipswich & touring by Libby Purves and Friends

EAST IS EAST, IN EAST ANGLIA       Shamser Sinha – who is on the National Theatre Connections project – relished the idea of writing a play about a South-Asian working-class family i…

SOURCE: at 12:32PM
Friday, October 8, 2021

THOUGHTS ON CUSH JUMBO’S HAMLET Young Vic SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

AN EVER-MORPHING PROTEAN TEXT…RENEWS AGAIN BEFORE OUR EYES      Every Hamlet should give us something new.  The play is a philosophical and psychological labyrinth,  its jewels and se…

SOURCE: at 06:12AM
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT Gielgud, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

 FOUR WIVES LATER,  MANTEL AND MILES COMPLETE THE JOURNEY It was rising eight years ago  that the first two parts of Hilary Mantel’s majestic Wolf Hall  trilogy came to the stage, adap…

SOURCE: at 05:20PM

THE WOMAN IN BLACK (yes, honestly) by Libby Purves and Friends

NOT QUITE A REVIEW, MORE A TRIP DOWN A SIDE ALLEY I was on the early train up when news came that poor old Southwark had ,for the second time, been forced by illness to cancel two performanc…

SOURCE: at 05:13AM
Sunday, October 3, 2021

BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS touring UK by Libby Purves and Friends

WHO NEEDS PANTO? A CLASSY FLIGHT OF FANCY ON THE ROAD      This show, which I had the joy of seeing in a packed Theatre Royal Norwich alongside many small  thrilled children,  knows exa…

SOURCE: at 10:59AM
Thursday, September 30, 2021

THE NORMAL HEART Olivier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

THE LAST GREAT PLAGUE        If you lived as an adult alongside the onset of AIDS forty years ago you don’t forget it: the lost friends and workmates , the rumours of ignorance which h…

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

RELATIVELY SPEAKING Jermyn St Theatre WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

A POCKET JEWEL      We always knew that among the first sproutings of recovery would be a few Alan Ayckbourns, popping up as welcome as snowdrops.  I am always fond of this early one,  …

SOURCE: at 11:40AM
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

BLITHE SPIRIT Harold Pinter Theatre SW1 by Libby Purves and Friends

AN ARCATI MORE THAN MEDIUM I once took a student nephew to this Coward masterpiece, and the thrill for me was that he didn’t know there was a g—–. Until there was. Therefore for a risi…

SOURCE: at 06:34PM
Thursday, September 16, 2021

THE LODGER Coronet, W11 by Libby Purves and Friends

A SHAGGY-DOG TALE IN CRUMBLING SPLENDOUR        Sometimes the building upstages the play. I had not explored the late-Victorian, half-restored  glory of the Coronet before,  and my fir…

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

INDECENT Menier, SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

AN EPIC OF PASSION AND PERFORMANCE         Here is life, history,  theatrical passion, great migrations and  lyrical romance in the rain.  Here’s anger and humour and love and desp…

SOURCE: at 05:22AM
Friday, September 10, 2021

THE MEMORY OF WATER Hampstead Theatre NW3 by Libby Purves and Friends

A HISTORIC HIT BACK, BETTER THAN EVER      This portrait of three bickering sisters, trading memories and revelations  in the days before a mother’s funeral in a snowy Yorkshire winter…

SOURCE: at 04:34AM
Thursday, September 9, 2021

BIG BIG SKY Hampstead Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

LOVE, GRIEF, AND A BRAD PITT ALBATROSS   With loving detail, right down a glimpse of coat-racks beyond the far door,  the downstairs studio serving Tom Wells’ new play has become  a rem…

SOURCE: at 01:28PM
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

FROZEN the musical         Theatre Royal Drury Lane. WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

ICE WORK IF YOU GET IT…        Phew. The Broadway-rooted, Disneylicious,  long-awaited red-carpet premiere night featured (of course) an ice -blue carpet.  And  the throng bursting …

SOURCE: at 06:30PM
Monday, August 30, 2021

SYD touring by Libby Purves and Friends

ARTHUR SMITH CONJURES UP HIS DAD     These days our Arfur comes complete with an overture!  It takes the form of Kirsty Newton at the piano (artfully disguised as an upright 1940’s pub-…

SOURCE: at 12:30PM
Thursday, August 26, 2021

CINDERELLA Gillian Lynne Theatre, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

THEATRE’S FAIRY GODFATHER DOES IT AGAIN We needed this. The return of the big classic shows to packed houses  in the Barbican, Chichester and Sadlers Wells has been invigorating, but Lloy…

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

THIS BEAUTIFUL FUTURE    Jermyn St Theatre, WC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

      Occupied France, 1944.  Two teenagers newly in love meet in an empty house.   Elodie is French,  Otto a German soldier.  They are both endearing and annoying, as befits their ag…

SOURCE: at 11:00AM

OPERATION MINCEMEAT Southwark Playhouse SE1 by Libby Purves and Friends

NOT A REVIEW BUT MIGHT SEND YOU THERE… Take this as a report not a review, because actual work commitments made me skip at the interval.  But I was persuaded to the long 70 minute first h…

SOURCE: at 10:12AM
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BASKERVILLE Mercury, Colchester by Libby Purves and Friends

          This  is the Mercury rising, rebuilt over two years with a cool café and dance studio, modern eco-glazing and, to respect the town’s history,  a solemn archaeological dis…

SOURCE: at 12:29PM
Thursday, August 12, 2021

THE WINDSORS ENDGAME Prince of Wales Theatre, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

WONDERFUL OLD COBBLERS ON  ABDICATION STREET  (longer version of review done for Mail)       You know you’re in safe hands when a stagestruck Prince Edward, diffident and excitable, …

SOURCE: at 03:04AM
Friday, August 6, 2021

SINGING IN THE RAIN Sadlers Wells Theatre by Libby Purves and Friends

FLOODS OF RELIEF Ten years have passed since, in a Times Chief Theatre Critic hat, I last saw a former principal  of the Royal Ballet  leaping in puddles , singing his great heart out, and…

SOURCE: at 06:07AM
Thursday, August 5, 2021

OLEANNA Arts theatre, WC1 by Libby Purves and Friends

A VOICE FROM THE 90’s PREFIGURES THE FUTURE…     This is a grand intellectual teaser of a show, and under Lucy Bailey’s almost mischievous direction does a good job of shaking up fas…

SOURCE: at 01:49PM

DIE WALKÜRE Hackney Empire, N1 by Libby Purves and Friends

GUEST REVIEWER CHARLOTTE VALORI FINDS MORE SMOKE THAN FIRE ON THE HACKNEY STAGE Grimeborn are following up their fantastic 2019 Das Rheingold (see my previous review) with Die Walküre this …

SOURCE: at 05:57AM

ANYTHING GOES Barbican, EC2 by Libby Purves and Friends

VICARIOUS TRAVEL, JUST WHAT WE NEED    The big musicals are back: two dark-edged, South Pacific at Chichester and Carousel imminent at Regent’s Park, while  halfway between them flowers…

SOURCE: at 03:55AM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

GIN CRAZE Royal and Derngate, Northampton by Libby Purves and Friends

THE DARK SIDE OF THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. DON’T TELL JACOB REES-MOGG           Hats off to James Dacre’s Royal & Derngate for bravely slapping on a brand new musical in the ver…

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

SOUTH PACIFIC. Chichester by Libby Purves and Friends

ROARING BACK TO LIFE       Almost the most magnificent part of Daniel Evans’ production is that it’s happening at all:  despite the distanced glimmer of blue paper masks, Chichester …

SOURCE: at 03:40AM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre