All stories by Johnny Fox on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

‘Minimalist & thoughtful’: EQUUS – West End ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Ned Bennett’s minimalist and thoughtful production of Equus is by turns thrilling and dull, sensationally staging the sexual and violent aspects of the story while confining the psychiatri…

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

‘You’re fully caught up with the rise & rise of Eva’: EVITA – Open Air Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

At last, someone has laid the sugary ghost of Elaine Paige. Jamie Lloyd’s stripped-back Evita at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park has all the metallic modernity of their Jesus Chris…

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

‘A strong & generously immersive piece that wraps around you’: TREE – Young Vic Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

If a student disco is your personal nightmare, look away now. Tree starts and ends with a throbbing onstage party to wish the audience is persuasively invited. The last time this many Waitr…

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

‘A delight of constantly inventive staging’: PETER PAN – Troubadour White City Theatre ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Sally Cookson’s reinterpreted Peter Pan at the new, splendid, exciting Troubadour Theatre very near White City tube captures contemporary imaginations because they can see how it works, an…

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

‘It does hold your attention’: THE ILLUSIONISTS – West End ★★★ by Johnny Fox

The Illusionists is not overpriced, it does hold your attention – even the row of 11 just-out-of-school-for-the-holidays girls on booster cushions behind me didn’t talk or fidget during …

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Friday, July 12, 2019

‘Sweet, but also a bit too sticky’: CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN – West End ★★★ by Johnny Fox

It seems appropriate that Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the 1990s beach novel that launched a hundred thousand package holidays to Kefalonia should itself be staged in a lightly air-conditio…

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

‘Over-engineered production’: NOISES OFF – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★ by Johnny Fox

Thirty-seven years later, I’m back to see Noises Off re-staged with Meera Syal, Lloyd Owen and Daniel Rigby in a rather over-engineered production by Jeremy Herrin.

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Monday, July 8, 2019

‘Clean & crisp’: PRIVATE LIVES – Sonning by Johnny Fox

Tam Williams’ production of Private Lives at the Mill at Sonning is clean and crisp, nicely framed with a lady accordoniste setting the location, and after a slowish start the piece moves …

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

‘Lovely to look at’: THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA – Royal Festival Hall by Johnny Fox

The most lyrical and romantic thing about Light In The Piazza is its title. That, and the luscious vintage-style 50s costumes which evoke the American idyll of Italy as captured by Audrey He…

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

‘Classy but slow production’: AFTERGLOW – Southwark Playhouse ★★★ by Johnny Fox

Afterglow at Southwark Playhouse is a classy production but still slow, and because every scene change is like cleaning up after a particularly acrobatic shag, there are more pauses and long…

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

‘The desire to mount this epic production is misguided’: MAN OF LA MANCHA – West End by Johnny Fox

One wonders which came first for the Grade/Linnit company – the misguided desire to mount an epic scale production of Man of La Mancha, a musical which hasn’t been.produced in London sin…

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Friday, April 26, 2019

‘Fun, laughs, good time’: SWEET CHARITY – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

This is as unconventional production of Sweet Charity as you’re likely to see. Set firmly in the art milieu of Andy Warhol’s Factory, it’s so perfectly, silver-foil-wrapped acid-tabbed…

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

‘Does the job’: OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY – Southwark Playhouse by Johnny Fox

Remember the eighties? From Michael Douglas’ braces in Wall Street to Joan Cusack’s shoulder pads and big hair in Working Girl, they’re all here if a little distorted from the rear-vie…

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Monday, April 22, 2019

’Katherine Parkinson is undeniably on a roll’: SITTING – Arcola Theatre by Johnny Fox

Katherine Parkinson was not a surprising choice for the joint venture by Avalon and BBC Arts whereby seasoned creatives were sponsored to write for the stage. Although her script for Sitting…

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Friday, April 19, 2019

‘Subjunctives & everything’: Simon Evans: Genius 2.0 – Soho Theatre & Touring by Johnny Fox

At 53, Simon Evans isn’t so different from circuit comedians half his age – a rhetorical stream of invective squirted squarely at current events, with the exception that he speaks entire…

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Friday, April 12, 2019

‘It’s definitely entertaining’: NIGEL SLATER’S TOAST – The Other Palace ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

“You put the grill on high, and the bread under it. Turn it over half-way through. And then you take it out and scrape it.” That extract from my eight-year-old school essay could just as…

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Friday, April 5, 2019

‘Lionel Bart’s diverse score includes sweet & rueful ballads’: MAGGIE MAY – Finborough Theatre ★★★ by Johnny Fox

The London Fringe has been diligent in ploughing back catalogue after back catalogue for ‘forgotten’ musicals, and Maggie May has not been seen in London for 55 years.

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Monday, April 1, 2019

‘Couldn’t be more timely’: ADMISSIONS – Trafalgar Studios ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

One of the best things about Admissions at Trafalgar Studios is how far it will get up the noses of the ‘woke’ twitterati. I can think of a couple of agenda-toting print critics who’ll…

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

‘Breathtaking, brave & brilliantly acted’: DOWNSTATE – National Theatre ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

At last, Rufus Norris’ National Theatre has come of age. Breathtaking, brave and brilliantly acted, Downstate is a landmark play. It’s listed as a ‘collaboration’ between NT and Step…

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

‘Here is an authentically individual voice’: THE PHLEBOTOMIST – Hampstead Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

The Phlebotomist is an exceptional concept for a ‘first play’ and Hampstead has made a real discovery in Ella Road and partnered her script with Sam Yates’ slick direction.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

‘Clumsy mashing of the plots greatly deflates the drama’: THE TWILIGHT ZONE – West End by Johnny Fox

Maybe in a far-off dimension of time and space, at the crossroads of imagination and reality, our descendants will discover a stage adaption of The Twilight Zone which will fill them with th…

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

‘A truly enjoyable, immersive & all-enveloping evening’: THE GREAT EXPEDITION – Secret location ★★★★★ by Johnny Fox

With technically excellent 360 degree projection and sound, and some smart and crisp choreography from the passionate cast, Gingerline’s The Great Expedition is a truly enjoyable, immersiv…

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

‘Dystopian or dysfunctional?’: A MIDNIGHT VISIT – Perth Fringe World Festival by Johnny Fox

Trouble is, engagement needs a theme, and while A Midnight Visit is entirely Poe-faced with references to Edgar Allan’s works, you’d need more than a passing familiarity with both Fall o…

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

‘Vauxhall Tavern-style cabaret meets political stand-up’: DENIM – THE REUNION TOUR – Soho Theatre ★★★ by Johnny Fox

Old Spice: If you couldn’t obtain/afford/be bothered to get tickets for the Spice Girls’ re-re-reunion, Denim The Reunion Tour may just be the very thing you’ve been waiting for.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

‘Vocally they are extraordinary’: THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY – West End ★★★ by Johnny Fox

I’d been looking forward to The Simon & Garfunkel Story thinking how much this was the music of my coming of age years – but it’s funny what tricks your memory plays.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

‘There are decent laugh-out-loud jokes’: BREXIT – King’s Head Theatre ★★★ by Johnny Fox

I wonder if in years to come we’ll look back on the ‘Theatre of Brexit’ in the same way we analyse Shakespeare’s treatment of Agincourt, or the Trojan Wars in Sophocles?

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

‘Simply & sensitively told’: BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

It’s always a pleasure to hear an untold story. In Billy Bishop Goes to War we learn about a baby-faced Canadian teenager who by a string of lucky chances became the world’s most decorat…

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

‘The best interaction is between Stubbs & Brayben’: HONOUR – Park Theatre by Johnny Fox

The best interaction in Honour at the Park Theatre is between Imogen Stubbs and Katie Brayben, largely very convincing as the sharp journalist and they trade some good points about agency an…

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

‘Vividly depicting the frictions between soldiers & their families’: SOLDIER ON – The Other Palace ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

Soldier On is a brave enterprise of the Soldiers’ Arts Academy charity which helps rehabilitate ex-service people through involvement with theatre, and this excellent company is part-milit…

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

‘Go, you will not regret it’: THE CURIOUS VOYAGE – Secret location WC1 ★★★★ by Johnny Fox

I love a bit of immersive interactive theatre shiz: The Grift at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel was last year’s big winner imported from San Diego. Now from Canada comes Talk is Free Th…

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Monday, October 29, 2018

‘McDonagh’s plot is its own hired assassin’: A VERY VERY VERY DARK MATTER – Bridge Theatre by Johnny Fox

I’m fairly sure the land on which the Bridge Theatre was built was once a plague pit, but I’m beginning to wonder if the place isn’t itself cursed. How else can it commission a play by…

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