All stories by John Chapman on BroadwayStars

Thursday, April 20, 2023

‘A compelling play for our times’: SNOWFLAKES – Park Theatre by John Chapman

For Chronic Insanity’s latest piece entitled Snowflakes the company has partnered up with Dissident Theatre in a production at London’s Park Theatre. It’s a dystopian alternative reali…

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

‘Each element benefits from the presence of the other’: GENERATION GAMES – White Bear Theatre by John Chapman

A good double bill of one act plays can be a bit of a rarity. It might consist of pieces with radically different themes by diverse writers who adopt varying tones forming an unsatisfactory …

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

‘You have to admire Jameson’s chutzpah’: TEN DAYS – The Space (Online show) by John Chapman

Taking as his central text American journalist John Reed’s seminal book Ten Days That Shook The World, Matthew Jameson’s “labour of love” project Ten Days (it has taken a mere 10 yea…

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Sunday, March 26, 2023

‘The cast is clearly having a (disco) ball’: THE WAY OLD FRIENDS DO – Touring by John Chapman

Expertly directed by the ever dependable Mark Gatiss, The Way Old Friends Do at the Park Theatre is a surprising delight which does what it says on the tin, and then a bit more.

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Monday, March 13, 2023

‘Absorbing audio drama’: BENNY & HITCH – BBC Sounds (Online show) by John Chapman

Benny And Hitch concentrates on the turbulent relationship between the director and his often first choice composer, Bernard Herrmann. They worked together on an unbroken stretch of eight fi…

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Monday, February 27, 2023

‘Often finds the sweet spot between the comedy & tragedy’: THE WALWORTH FARCE – Southwark Playhouse Elephant by John Chapman

Writer John Mortimer once said “Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute”, a notion which Enda Walsh seems to have taken to heart in his 2006 play The Walworth Farce …

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

‘The plot veers from the ridiculous to the outrageous’: WINDFALL – Southwark Playhouse by John Chapman

Although Windfall at the Southwark Playhouse purports to be a farcical comedy, I only found myself intermittently chuckling; the rest of the time I sat with my metaphorical head in my metaph…

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

‘It is in the scripting that proceedings stumble’: WINNER’S CURSE – Park Theatre by John Chapman

The latest piece to grace the stage of the Park Theatre is a curious beast, and no mistake. Taking the form of a (fictional) lecture with illustrative acted examples, a healthy dose of audie…

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Thursday, February 9, 2023

‘A time for making discoveries about oneself’: TALKING HANDS – Deafinitley Theatre (Online show) by John Chapman

The lockdown experience was, of course, an infinitely lonely and disturbing one for many and involved living life rather differently. It was also a time for making discoveries about oneself …

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Sunday, January 29, 2023

‘Chilling & contemporary’: NOTRE DAME – The Space (Online review) by John Chapman

Ever since Covid’s early days pioneering company Threedumb Theatre has developed and sustained the idea of the one shot livestream; this is unedited and raw but captures much of the sponta…

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Monday, January 23, 2023

‘Can leave the listener wanting & needing more’: OUR VOICES – Small Truth Theatre (Online show) by John Chapman

Small Truth Theatre has commissioned a series of micro plays recorded as part of its Digital Caravan space (their original mini theatre on wheels being decommissioned because of the need for…

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

‘Will ring more than a few bells’: Interdimensional Phishing Scam/Penumbra – Chronic Insanity (Online review) by John Chapman

It’s been an absolute age (well, about a year anyway) since I visited those innovative people at Chronic Insanity. They are well known for pushing boundaries of the possible in both live a…

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

‘Definitely an ensemble piece’: BEDROOM FARCE – BBC Sounds (Online review) by John Chapman

One of Alan Ayckbourn’s biggest ever successes, 1975’s Bedroom Farce, has only just made the transition in an entertaining production from Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres which premiere…

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Saturday, January 7, 2023

‘An engagingly intimate production’: SALT-WATER MOON – Finborough Theatre by John Chapman

If you want to see a couple of young actors bringing truth and sincerity to a well structured piece of dialogue and elevate it towards the stars which provide a backdrop to this piece, then …

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

‘Being right at the heart of what is happening’: Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience – Old Metal Exchange by John Chapman

The War Of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience from experts in the field Layered Reality takes H.G. Wells’ famous novel, adds a heavy layer of input from the famous 1978 concept album mas…

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Thursday, December 29, 2022

‘The social divide is front & centre’: A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A GHOST STORY – BBC iPlayer (Online Show) by John Chapman

What is certain is that if you want an account that’s faithful to the spirit (sorry!) of the original but doesn’t let proceedings drag on (it comes in at under two hours without missing …

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Monday, December 5, 2022

‘Excellent characterisation’: GREY MAN – Online Review by John Chapman

It’s that time of year when days get shorter, nights get longer and tale telling revolves around the supernatural. Just a couple of days ago the last thing I saw on stage, Here, was (partl…

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Monday, November 28, 2022

‘Contains some remarkable writing’: HERE – Southwark Playhouse by John Chapman

When individual members of a family are facing a variety of problems, can looking back at their collective past help to resolve matters or does that simply serve to make things worse? This i…

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

‘The central performance is phenomenal’: THE POLTERGEIST – Arcola Theatre by John Chapman

Philip Ridley’s The Poltergeist is an irresistibly restless creation which emulates the troublesome violent spirit conjured up by the title. The firework cracking solo piece has had a chec…

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Monday, October 17, 2022

‘Hauntingly different & mostly in a very good way’: THE DARKFIELD TRILOGY – Canary Wharf by John Chapman

Darkfield promoted site specific theatre even when we couldn’t actually go anywhere. Their neat answer was to get you using spaces in your own home or in permitted public places such as a …

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Saturday, October 1, 2022

’An impression of these literary figures at the height of their powers’: STUMPED – Original Theatre (Online show) by John Chapman

Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett meet in a cricket pavilion and end up as trapped as some of the characters in their plays

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Friday, September 23, 2022

‘Experience it if you can’: ROSE – Park Theatre by John Chapman

September 2020 and the pandemic was quietly raging. So too was Maureen Lipman in Hope Mill Theatre’s online production of Martin Sherman’s intense monologue Rose; her performance was rou…

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

‘Comic invented history which entertains & informs’: Three Women & Shakespeare’s Will / Mrs Pack (Online Show) by John Chapman

Three Women & Shakespeare’s Will comes from the pen of Joan Greening who has made something of a speciality of writing about historical figures connected to the arts, albeit in imagina…

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Friday, August 19, 2022

‘Out of the ordinary’: ODDS ON – Touring (Online Show) by John Chapman

So, it was with a sense of keen anticipation that I approached Dante Or Die’s latest piece entitled Odds On which is currently on a “digital tour”. It’s a piece about the world of on…

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Saturday, August 6, 2022

‘The show is a triumph for the creative & design team’: TOM, DICK & HARRY – Alexandra Palace Theatre by John Chapman

A real life adventure told with wit, flair and some stunning movement sequences

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Saturday, July 30, 2022

‘Above all it’s the puppetry which really gives the show its heart’: 101 DALMATIANS – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre by John Chapman

It’s third time lucky for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and 101 Dalmatians which is billed as a new musical. Given that it should have premiered two years ago – and then one year ago …

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

‘Has a vigour that is at times quite intoxicating’: FAVOUR – Bush Theatre by John Chapman

Ambreen Razia’s play Favour looks into the lives of a trio of women from the same family but of rather different generations. It does so with a vigour that is at times quite intoxicating a…

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Saturday, July 16, 2022

‘Thoroughly entertaining with a fine sense of comedy’: CARELESS – Touring by John Chapman

The Edinburgh Festival is not far away now and, as often happens at this time of year, there are a number of shows playing themselves in before transferring in a northerly direction for thei…

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Monday, July 11, 2022

‘Eminently watchable, but I wasn’t dazzled’: THE DANCE OF DEATH – Arcola Theatre by John Chapman

August Strindberg’s The Dance Of Death from 1900 has been credited with prefiguring the works of Beckett, Ionesco, Pinter and most notably provided a template for Edward Albee’s Who’s …

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Saturday, July 9, 2022

‘A piece which will endure’: FOLK – Hampstead Theatre by John Chapman

Cultural appropriation doesn't just take place across different nations

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

‘Know us by our courage, not by our fear’: VOICES FROM UKRAINE – Finborough Theatre (Online Show) by John Chapman

The second pair of plays from #FinboroughFrontier’s quartet of pieces #VoicesFromUkraine reflecting on the situation in the war torn nation is now available. They join the first couple to …

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