All stories by Libby Purves on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 17, 2021

REVIEW: Into Battle, Greenwich Theatre ✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our TheatreCat Libby Purves reviews Hugh Salmon's play Into Battle which is having its World Premiere at Greenwich Theatre. This post REVIEW: Into Battle, Greenwich Theatre …

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

REVIEW: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Theatre Royal Norwich (Touring) ✭✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our TheatreCat Libby Purves reviews Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks the musical at the Theatre Royal Norwich as part of the show's UK Tour. Who needs panto? A classy flight…

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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…

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Friday, October 15, 2021

REVIEW: The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our TheatreCat Libby Purves reviews The Tragedy of Macbeth with Saoirse Ronan as Lady Macbeth now playing at the Almedia Theatre in London This post REVIEW: The Tragedy of Ma…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Thursday, September 23, 2021

REVIEW: Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre London by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our very own theatreCat Libby Purves indulges her love of Coward with a look at Jennifer Saunders in Blithe Spirit now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre. This post REVIEW:…

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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,  …

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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…

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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

REVIEW: Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory ✭✭✭✭✭ by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Our theatreCat Libby Purves heads to the Menier Chocolate Facory as it re-opens to review Paula Vogel's Pulitzer-winning play Indecent. This post REVIEW: Indecent, Menier Cho…

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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…

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Friday, September 10, 2021

REVIEW: The Memory Of Water, Hampstead Theatre by Libby Purves

By Libby Purves Libby Purves, our resident TheatreCat reviews The Memory Of Water now playing at Hampstead Theatre. Runs until 16 October This post REVIEW: The Memory Of Water, Hampstead The…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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-…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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, …

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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