All stories by Heather Neill on BroadwayStars

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tartuffe, National Theatre review - morality-heavy version of the comedy classic by Heather Neill

★★ TARTUFFE, NATIONAL THEATRE Morality-heavy version of the comedy classic Brexit provides an unwelcome motor for John Donnelly's Molière-with-a-twist Here's a recipe for a successful N…

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Agnes Colander: An Attempt at Life, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Naomi Frederick shines in 'new' Granville Barker by Heather Neill

A rediscovered early work by one of the giants of Twentieth Century theatre focuses on a woman's struggle for independenceRemembering meeting Harley Granville Barker when casting him as…

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ralegh: the Treason Trial, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - gripping verbatim court case by Heather Neill

Jacobean and contemporary justice collide in audience-involving dramaForget the cloak in the puddle. Never mind potatoes and tobacco. The children's book cliché of Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ra…

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Robert Hastie: 'a seam of love runs through the play' - interview by Heather Neill

The director talks about Macbeth in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, cross-gender casting and the director's roleRobert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing Shakesp…

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Don Quixote, Garrick Theatre review - riotous revival of Cervantes' much-loved chivalric tale by Heather Neill

RSC transfer presents a crowd-pleasing mix of metatheatrical comedy and music with, ultimately, a touch of melancholy Don Quixote and his paunchy sidekick long ago escaped the pages of Migue…

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Macbeth, RSC, Barbican review - tense but flawed take on Shakespeare's blood-boltered tragedy by Heather Neill

Horror flick echoes fail to meet all the play's challengesIt has been said before: Macbeth's reputation for bad luck has more to do with the difficulty of bringing off a successful prod…

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Pinter at the Pinter, Harold Pinter Theatre review - harrowing and comic short pieces from the master by Heather Neill

An ambitious celebratory series kicks off in fine fashionTen years after Pinter's death, Jamie Lloyd has set about honouring the Twentieth Century's outstanding British playwright in an ambi…

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Square Rounds, Finborough Theatre review - the science behind warfare, told in verse by Heather Neill

Didactic theatre piece stronger on facts than dramaThe title of Tony Harrison's teacherly entertainment - it can't be called a play - refers to the square bullets invented by James Puckle to…

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Friday, August 3, 2018

The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre, review - Sophie Thompson triumphantly tackles the handbag challenge by Heather Neill

Oscar Wilde's best-loved comedy with extra homo-erotic innuendoAny actor playing Lady Bracknell must dread the moment when she (or, indeed, he) has to deliver that unforgettable line ab…

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

King Lear, Duke of York's Theatre, review - fast-paced, modern-dress production by Heather Neill

Ian McKellen gives a towering performance as Shakespeare's capricious monarch Jonathan Munby's production, first seen last year in Chichester, reflects our everyday anxieties, emphasisi…

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

As You Like It, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - love among the bucolic hippies by Heather Neill

Earnest environmental messages underpin a celebratory, musically gleeful revival of Shakespeare's cross-dressing favouriteIt's been raining in Regent's Park. On a balmy summer evening d…

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - ensemble playing at its best by Heather Neill

The boy who never grows up flies into the First World War This exuberant production both clarifies and further complicates the conundrum of Peter Pan. In any production true to Barrie there …

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Country Wife, Southwark Playhouse review – knowing Restoration update by Heather Neill

Wycherley’s sexy comedy transplanted to the Roaring TwentiesEven in its successful early days Wycherley’s 1675 comedy was notorious, but it was considered too lewd to be staged at all be…

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Brief Encounter, Empire Cinema review – poignant, hilarious revival by Heather Neill

Emma Rice's lauded stage version of the film returns with charm and inventiveness intactIt would be so easy to make fun of the 1945 Noel Coward/ David Lean film in which, famously, noth…

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Brief Encounter, Empire Cinema review – poignant, hilarious revival by Heather Neill

Emma Rice's lauded version of the film returns with charm and inventiveness intactIt would be so easy to make fun of the 1945 Noel Coward/ David Lean film in which, famously, nothing ha…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Somewhere a Gunner Fires review at King’s Head Theatre, London – ‘wordy constraints’ by Heather Neill

Tom Stuchfield tells fascinating stories. They are jam-packed with detail: heroic, messy, bloody, romantic, humorous. Unfortunately, this rich material about a group

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Imaginationship review at Finborough Theatre, London – ‘neatly structured’ by Heather Neill

Sue Healy’s Imaginationship, previously staged as a reading at the Finborough, is expertly patterned. Events and characters, each embodying some aspect of

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dick Whittington review at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – ‘rollicking traditional panto’ by Heather Neill

Here’s a clever invention: a ratnav. This gilded box both susses out vermin and bursts into song at the least hint: say

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Dear Brutus, Southwark Playhouse review – a judicious mix of comedy and sadness by Heather Neill

Barrie’s grown-up fantasy gets a welcome centenary revivalConfused people, some of whom may have made the wrong choices in life and love, find themselves in an enchanted wood at Midsummer.…

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre review – a modern folk tale in the Olivier by Heather Neill

England’s patron saint travels through time to demonstrate changing views of heroismBold and fearless are adjectives that might describe playwright Rory Mullarkey as accurately as any chiv…

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nikki Amuka-Bird interview: 'There’s huge enthusiasm among actors of colour' by Heather Neill

Ibsen hits the Caribbean in The Lady from the Sea at the Donmar. Its star explainsNikki Amuka-Bird spent the summer in Antigua, swimming and scuba diving and could have claimed to be working…

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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Night Pirates review at Rose Theatre, Kingston –’high production values’ by Heather Neill

You can’t go wrong with pirates. All that swash and buckle, big hats and treasure trove provide excellent ingredients for a show

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Waiting for Godot review at the Arts Theatre, London – ‘a well-oiled machine’ by Heather Neill

When the 24-year-old Peter Hall unleashed the first English language version of Waiting for Godot at this very theatre 62 years ago,

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Fox on the Fairway review at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch – ‘laughs are thin on the ground’ by Heather Neill

The costumes in Colin Falconer’s design are paint-box bright – scarlet, lime green and bilious yellow. There should be no room for

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Windows review at Finborough Theatre, London – ‘period charm’ by Heather Neill

There are French windows in Alex Marker’s splendid set, but they are not the kind through which someone is likely to burst

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Brassed Off review at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – ‘joyous’ by Heather Neill

Brassed Off is a heart-warming story with a tough streak, not unlike this production. The first in-house show for almost 40 years

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Around the World in 80 Days review at Cadogan Hall, London – ‘simple theatrical magic’ by Heather Neill

Forget the holiday airport hassle. Instead, take a good-natured trip around the world without leaving Chelsea, or somewhere nearer you on this

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Romeo and Juliet review at St James’s Square, London – ‘delightful open air Shakespeare’ by Heather Neill

Shakespeare’s youthful romance acted full-throttle on a balmy summer evening in the flowery surroundings of London’s garden squares – what could be

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Mentor, Vaudeville Theatre review - having fun with artistic integrity by Heather Neill

F Murray Abraham crackles as a temperamental playwright German writer Daniel Kehlmann’s light-touch 90-minute comedy is a chic satire on the slippery business of making art – and especia…

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Emma review at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – ‘a pedestrian staging’ by Heather Neill

Emma is a challenge for the Jane Austen adaptor. Capturing the essence of the novels – witty, humorous, a touch acerbic –

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Twelfth Night review at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – “energetic comedy” by Heather Neill

This Twelfth Night opens in a jazz-age speakeasy and never really leaves there. Paul Hart’s playful production centres on the considerable musical

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