All stories by Gary Naylor on BroadwayStars

Sunday, December 3, 2023

£1 Thursdays, Finborough Theatre review - dazzling new play is as funny and smart as its two heroines by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ £1 THURSDAYS, FINBOROUGH THEATRE Beautifully delivered by two sensational leads  Seldom does one see a writer's vision so perfectly realised on stage It’s 2012 and the L…

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Friday, December 1, 2023

Macbeth, The Depot, Liverpool review - Ralph Fiennes leads a conventional production in an unconventional space by Gary Naylor

★★★★ MACBETH, THE DEPOT War in a warehouse scores on its beautiful line readings and spectacle Touring show lands first in Liverpool with a terrifying relevance Next door to the beau…

SOURCE: at 06:18AM
Sunday, November 26, 2023

Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth by Gary Naylor

★★★ OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Joan Littlewood invents devised theatre with satirical wit and righteous anger centre stage Blackeyed Theatre's touring production has its…

SOURCE: at 08:48PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

The Mongol Khan, London Coliseum review - unique operatic spectacle utterly overwhelms flaws in pacing and story by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ THE MONGOL KHAN, LONDON COLISEUM Cirque du Soleil meets Game of Thrones Take its limitations on trust and this Mongolian epic proves the best value in town “But that’s w…

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius, BBC Two review - the Bard's soul bared in hybrid drama-documentary by Gary Naylor

  Speculation and facts woven into a compelling portrait of a singular man Four centuries on from the publication of the First Folio, is there anything new to be said about William Shakesp…

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Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Time Traveller's Wife review - blockbuster 2003 novel does not quite land as blockbuster 2023 musical by Gary Naylor

★★★ THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE, APOLLO THEATRE If Doctor Who did musical romcoms... Powerhouse performances and visual effects let down by unambitious book and lacklustre songs You real…

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Friday, November 10, 2023

Nineteen Gardens, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - Intriguing, beautifully observed two-hander tilts power this way and that by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ NINETEEN GARDENS, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE DOWNSTAIRS Black comedy about transgressive love gone sour proves an accomplished English language debut for prize-winning Polish writer …

SOURCE: at 08:42PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

1984, Hackney Town Hall review - Room 101 shapeshifts into 2023, but remains as terrifyingly plausible as ever by Gary Naylor

The immersive experience makes us both victims of, and perpetrators in, an all too familiar perversion of truth The day after I saw the show, as went about the mundanities of domestic life,…

SOURCE: at 03:25AM
Monday, October 30, 2023

Trueman and the Arsonists, Roundhouse Studio review - new version of old play finds new warnings in old lessons by Gary Naylor

Simon Stephens' take on Max Frisch's classic play can hit and miss, but when it hits, it hits hard A dystopian present. Sirens ring out across the city. Firefighters rush to the wrong locat…

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Friday, October 27, 2023

Manic Street Creature, Southwark Playhouse review - songs in the key of a traumatised life by Gary Naylor

★★★ MANIC STREET CREATURE, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Songs in the key of a traumatised life Maimuna Memon sings of the pain mental illness brings, and not just to the person it afflicts The…

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Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Flea, The Yard Theatre review - biting satire fails to sting by Gary Naylor

★★★ THE FLEA, THE YARD THEATRE Hotchpotch of influences and tones derails production that exposes hypocrisy in high places  Victorian scandal meets Ziggy Stardust with a little panto …

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Saturday, October 14, 2023

Dead Dad Dog, Finborough Theatre review - Scottish two-hander plays differently 35 years on, but still entertains by Gary Naylor

★★★★ DEAD DAD DOG, FINBOROUGH THEATRE Nostalgia rather than political satire drives charming revival  A play that will speak to any middle-aged Londoner with roots elsewhere I know,…

SOURCE: at 07:33AM
Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Changeling, Southwark Playhouse review - wild ride proves too bumpy to land all its points by Gary Naylor

★★★ THE CHANGELING, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Wild ride proves too bumpy to land all its points An excess of gimmicks and uneven tone unbalance an innovative take on a Jacobean epic Writing …

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Monday, October 9, 2023

Othello, Riverside Studios review - three Iagos pitch Shakespeare's villain into the 21st century by Gary Naylor

A compelling character gets re-invented in Sinéad Rushe's fascinating production Shakespeare gives Iago over 1000 lines to implant the jealous rage in Othello, so there’s plenty to of raw…

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Saturday, October 7, 2023

A Voyage Round My Father, Theatre Royal Bath review - Rupert Everett excels in a play showing its age by Gary Naylor

John Mortimer creates a dazzling vehicle for a star, alongside one-dimensional supporting characters Like theatre itself, the law finds its voice in stories, performance and spectacle. Any …

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Imposter 22, Royal Court Theatre review - ace on representation, less so on structure by Gary Naylor

Big-hearted and necessary play fails to deliver fully on its huge promise The Royal Court’s collaboration with Access All Areas (AAA) may not be theatre’s first explicit embrace of the n…

SOURCE: at 08:25PM
Friday, September 29, 2023

Unbelievable, Criterion Theatre review - Derren Brown-directed show misses his otherworldly danger by Gary Naylor

★★★ UNBELIEVABLE, CRITERION THEATRE Entertaining show, but short of a little magic in more senses than one Pantomime vibe undermines the unique frisson of the magician's art Unbeliev…

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play, Young Vic review - committed and important play let down by heavy-handed writing by Gary Naylor

★★ UNTITLED F*UCK M*SS S**GON PLAY, YOUNG VIC A gruelling watch, but message hits home Satirical comedy-drama labours its points across an uninterrupted two hours Seldom can a title hav…

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Friday, September 22, 2023

Rebecca, Charing Cross Theatre review - troubled show about a troubled house nonetheless diverts by Gary Naylor

  Austrian musical finally arrives in London to entertain, but not quite thrill There are times when it’s best to know as little as possible before taking one’s seat for a show – this…

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Infamous, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Lady Hamilton challenges the patriarchy and loses by Gary Naylor

★★★ INFAMOUS, JERMYN STREET THEATRE Caroline and Rose Quentin perfectly cast in mother and daughter play A clever, sexy, confident woman woos the aristocracy but is disowned when she …

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Makeshifts and Realities, Finborough Theatre review - Edwardian dramas with a pinch of Chekhov by Gary Naylor

★★★★ MAKESHIFTS AND REALITIES, FINBOROUGH THEATRE Three one act works revived with a beautiful attention to detail Plays that show that much may have changed for women in the last 1…

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

La Cage Aux Folles, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - 40 years on, the drag show still entertains and educates by Gary Naylor

Feelgood show acquires added poignancy on an emotional night Forty years ago, the world was very different for gay men. AIDS was devastating their communities around the world, especially …

SOURCE: at 05:19AM
Saturday, August 12, 2023

The SpongeBob Musical, QEH review - musical based on popular kids' animation sinks for lack of focus by Gary Naylor

★★ THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, SOUTHBANK CENTRE Broadway show drowns in an unsympathetic venue, holed beneath the waterline by a lacklustre book and incoherent score Fine performances cannot…

SOURCE: at 03:19AM
Friday, August 11, 2023

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - uneven production of intermittent power by Gary Naylor

★★★ MACBETH, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE Stripped back version has plenty of echoes of today's news, but lacks coherence and spectacle Matti Houghton shines as a grieving, accusing, frustrate…

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Friday, July 28, 2023

The Crown Jewels, Garrick Theatre review - star laden comedy fails to sparkle by Gary Naylor

★★ THE CROWN JEWELS, GARRICK THEATRE True story, dreadfully low on laughs and drama, in which the only successful heist comes at the box office  Al Murray and Carrie Hope Fletcher prov…

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Monday, July 24, 2023

Annie Get Your Gun, Lavender Theatre review - new production in new venue has some work to do by Gary Naylor

★★★ ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, LAVENDER THEATRE Corny book still has its problems,. but Irving Berlin's songs are as glorious as ever  In fields of lavender flowers, an open air show sung we…

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Thursday, July 6, 2023

Modest, Kiln Theatre review - tale of Victorian would-be trailblazer fails and succeeds by Gary Naylor

★★ MODEST, KILN THEATRE A trans and queer celebration, but not a very good play  Art, songs and a cabaret (indeed, Cabaret) vibe, but the story goes nowhere Whether you believe that Ell…

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Stumped, Hampstead Theatre review - Beckett and Pinter, waiting for Doggo by Gary Naylor

★★★★ STUMPED, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE A smart, funny, and beautifully staged new play An hour zips by in the company of two playwrights bickering on the boundary edge Much of cricket comp…

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Robin Hood. The Legend. Re-written, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - no bullseye for new take on familiar characters by Gary Naylor

★ ROBIN HOOD. THE LEGEND. RE-WRITTEN. REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Play with music lost in a forest of competing genres and tones New version of old story wastes talent and resources in …

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Thursday, June 15, 2023

42nd Street, Sadler's Wells review - musical extravaganza will knock your socks off by Gary Naylor

★★★★★ 42nd STREET, SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE Glorious entertainment led by a star in the making Old show sparkles in astonishing new production that dazzles from first to last There…

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - busy production overflowing with new ideas by Gary Naylor

★★★ A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE - Hot button issues douse fiery passions MIchelle Terry steals the show as a Puck who brings a malevolent undertow to the comic roman…

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All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater