All stories by Marianka Swain on BroadwayStars

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play by Marianka Swain

The Cold War 'Match of the Century' fails to translate into compelling drama We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has form wrestling recent hist…

Linked From at 08:12PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart by Marianka Swain

A stirring new musical tackles missed connections in the internet age Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an instituti…

Linked From at 05:48PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre review - a lavish but old-fashioned revival by Marianka Swain

Everyone's favourite nanny returns, again It’s been 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh’s stage musical version of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins made its West End debut.

Linked From at 06:12PM
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ghost Quartet, Boulevard Theatre review - a beguiling journey into the beyond by Marianka Swain

Both mystical and alcoholic spirits infuse this wonderfully distinctive chamber musical London’s latest new theatre opens with an appropriately otherworldly Halloween offering: American co…

Linked From at 08:42PM
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Man in the White Suit, Wyndham's Theatre review - sparks but no combustion in this chemistry farce by Marianka Swain

An Ealing comedy film becomes an intermittently entertaining play A hit comedy about a textile scientist? It might sound unlikely, but Ealing Studios’ 1951 sci-fi satire, starring Alec Gui…

Linked From at 10:36PM
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Noises Off, Garrick Theatre review - sublime chaos in Michael Frayn's meta-farce by Marianka Swain

The West End once again hosts one of the best comedies ever written “Doors and sardines. Getting on, getting off. Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That’s farce. That…

Linked From at 09:18PM
Thursday, September 12, 2019

What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre by Marianka Swain

Cora Bissett recalls the highs and lows of being a teenage Britpop star It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe Fir…

Linked From at 07:48PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Preludes, Southwark Playhouse review - journeying into the mind of Rachmaninoff by Marianka Swain

Dave Malloy's innovative musical immerses us in a creative crisis Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 c…

Linked From at 09:06PM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Falsettos, The Other Palace review - affecting search for the new normal by Marianka Swain

This ambitious musical tackles the changing forms of family, romance and faith William Finn and James Lapine’s musical – which combines two linked one-acts, March of the Falsettos and Fa…

Linked From at 11:12PM
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Once on This Island, Southwark Playhouse review - folkloric Caribbean musical charms by Marianka Swain

Class, calypso and warring gods feature in this enthusiastic revival As British summer really kicks in (umbrellas at the ready), our thoughts might turn fondly to the sunny Caribbean. Good t…

Linked From at 07:48PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Evita, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a diva dictator for 2019 by Marianka Swain

Both literal and figurative fireworks in Jamie Lloyd's innovative musical revival Following a triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ Superstar, now playing at the Barbican, the Park works i…

Linked From at 12:24AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre review - hard times, hot tunes by Marianka Swain

Sharon D Clarke leads a steamy, soulful musical revue It’s too darn hot, BoJo is in Downing Street, and we’re all going to Brexit hell – so we might as well sing the blues. Or at least…

Linked From at 08:03PM
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Bridges of Madison County, Menier Chocolate Factory review - Iowan romance fizzles by Marianka Swain

Trevor Nunn's busy production competes with Jason Robert Brown's exquisite score Robert James Waller’s bestselling, though critically panned, 1992 romance novel was reincarnated in the Cli…

Linked From at 08:54PM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Jesus Christ Superstar, Barbican review - Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical lives again by Marianka Swain

The Regent's Park revival is just as spectacular indoors Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1970 musical had a heavenly resurrection at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre three years ago, w…

Linked From at 09:03PM
Friday, June 28, 2019

On Your Feet!, London Coliseum review - Gloria Estefan bio-musical hits familiar notes by Marianka Swain

The rhythm is gonna get you – even if the drama doesn’t This well-meaning biographical jukebox musical about icons Gloria and Emilio Estefan, which did two years on Broadway and a US tou…

Linked From at 01:36AM
Monday, June 24, 2019

Cash Cow, Hampstead Theatre review - timely look at pushy tennis parents by Marianka Swain

Are the family of a flamed-out prodigy at (double) fault? “How much does she owe us?” So ponder the now estranged parents of a former tennis pro, as they calculate the very literal inves…

Linked From at 07:06PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

BWW Review: THE STARRY MESSENGER, Wyndham's Theatre by Marianka Swain

A decade after originating the lead role Off Broadway, Matthew Broderick returns to Kenneth Lonergan's play to make his West End debut. His devotion to the material is certainly understandab…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 09:06PM

BWW Review: RUTHERFORD AND SON, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

Rain gushes down the front of the Lyttelton stage, a pitiless wall of water trapping and framing the Rutherfords - a clan very much defined by their environment. It's an arresting image to o…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 08:04AM
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

London's Top 10 Family-friendly Theatres by Marianka Swain

Continuing our London Theatre Guides series, we're celebrating half-term by highlighting some of the capital's most welcome and exciting venues for younger audiences.

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 07:48AM
Monday, May 27, 2019

BWW Interview: Charles Busch Talks NATIVE NEW YORKER by Marianka Swain

Actor, playwright and cabaret entertainer Charles Busch's work includesDie Mommie Die,Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,Psycho Beach PartyandThe Tale of the Allergist's Wife.He's returning to London…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 10:56AM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

EUROPE Leads June's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a drama about Europe to immersive Shakespeare and open-air opera, here are so…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 02:16PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

BWW Review: ANNA, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

The audience plays surveillance state in this pioneering collaboration between playwright Ella Hickson and sound designers Ben and Max Ringham. We experience the action through individual se…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 08:01AM

BWW Interview: Tim Howar Talks THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Marianka Swain

Canadian actor and singer Tim Howar's past work includesLes Miserables,The Who'sTommy,Chess, and the 10th Anniversary production of Rent. He's also in the bandMike The Mechanics. Currently, …

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 03:54AM
Friday, May 10, 2019

BWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN, Young Vic by Marianka Swain

Seventy years on from its Broadway opening, Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell present Arthur Miller's masterpiece afresh in an inspired, shattering revival. One key change - making the 1…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 06:42AM
Saturday, May 4, 2019

BWW Review: ROSMERSHOLM, Duke of York's Theatre by Marianka Swain

As politicians and pundits dissect the local election results, Duncan Macmillan serves up a blistering new adaptation of an 1886 work that feels eerily like a 2019 commentary. Move over, Jam…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 08:18AM
Friday, May 3, 2019

BWW Review: SMALL ISLAND, National Theatre by Marianka Swain

The 2004 prize-winning novel by Andrea Levy, who sadly passed away earlier this year, has been beautifully translated to stage by adaptor Helen Edmundson and NT head honcho Rufus Norris, usi…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 09:04AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Man of La Mancha, London Coliseum review - an historical work better left in the past by Marianka Swain

Kelsey Grammer leads a muddled musical take on Don Quixote The ENO continues its run of semi-staged musicals, in commercial collaboration with Grade Linnit, with a revival of this vintage od…

Linked From at 09:06PM
Thursday, April 25, 2019

THE STARRY MESSENGER Leads May's Top 10 New London Shows by Marianka Swain

London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From timely plays to the beginning of open-air theatre season, here are some of th…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 08:07AM
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Ain't Misbehavin', Southwark Playhouse review - a jazz-hot musical revue by Marianka Swain

Dancing, singing and plenty of swinging in this joyful tribute to Fats Waller The joint is jumpin’ at Southwark Playhouse, now hosting an irresistible Fats Waller-inspired, Manhattan-set …

Linked From at 07:35PM

BWW Review: ALL MY SONS, Old Vic by Marianka Swain

London's latest foray into Arthur Miller has serious transatlantic star power, with its leading quartet of Bill Pullman, two-time Oscar-winner Sally Field, Colin Morgan and Jenna Coleman. Ho…

Linked From BroadwayWorld at 07:51AM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sweet Charity, Donmar Warehouse review - Sixties style over substance by Marianka Swain

Design dominates in Josie Rourke's farewell production For her swansong, departing Donmar Artistic Director Josie Rourke goes Swinging Sixties in this stylish but flawed revival of the Cy C…

Linked From at 09:12PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue