All stories by Michael Davis on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

‘Shines a light on mental health care’: HEAD–ROT HOLIDAY – Hope Theatre by Michael Davis

In Sarah Daniels’ Head-rot Holiday (which is directed by Will Maynard) we’re privy to the goings-on in Penwell Special Hospital (‘Head-rot Hotel’) – a psychiatric prison for women …

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

‘Thought-provoking & naturally entertaining’: BORDERS & GAMES – Arcola Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Plays that show a number of perspectives are generally more nuanced, thought-provoking and naturally entertaining. With this in mind, the double bill of plays by Henry Naylor at Arcola Theat…

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Monday, December 10, 2018

‘What brings the show to life are the well-defined characters’: THE BOX OF DELIGHTS – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★★ by Michael Davis

For those seeking an alternative to pantos and Peter Pan for family entertainment over Christmas, look no further than this enchanting tale: The Box of Delights at Wilton’s Music Hall.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

‘Caters for young & old’: A CHRISTMAS STORY – Waterloo East Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Directed by Gerald Armin, A Christmas Story looks at the festive season through the eyes of Ralphie – a nine-year-old boy in Hohman, Indiana. But as well as the show having a child’s per…

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

‘Will resonate today’: JEANNIE – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

One of the most successful playwrights in the interwar years, Aimée Stuart has recently been ‘rediscovered’ – leading to Nicolette Kay’s revival of the 1940 play Jeannie.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

‘Asks pertinent questions’: THE EX-BOYFRIEND YARD SALE – Camden People’s Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

In The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, Haley McGee not only re-examines eight former relationships but assesses the potential of assigning a monetary value to items that have an emotional connection.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

‘Everyone gets their moment to shine’: THE RECRUITING OFFICER – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Possessing the wit of Wilde and the sexual frankness of a Restoration play, George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer has been a firm favourite since its first performance in 1706. Jenny Ea…

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

‘The relevance of the issues it raises screams out to the audience’: INDEBTED TO CHANCE – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Charlotte Ryall and directed by Jenny Eastop, Indebted To Chance follows the life of Charlotte Charke (née Cibber), a forgotten 18th-century pioneer who showed that not only can …

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Friday, November 16, 2018

‘It might not be Fight Club, but it’s no less subversive’: CHUTNEY – Bunker Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Reece Connolly and directed by Georgie Staight, Chutney is a black comedy that examines the ‘less-civilised’ aspects of human nature and whether we can – or should – curb …

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

‘Innovative reinterpretation’: THE PIT & THE PENDULUM – Omnibus Theatre by Michael Davis

The work of Edgar Allan Poe wouldn’t be the most obvious choice for such an innovation, but Christopher York has adapted Poe’s short story The Pit & the Pendulum and transposed it t…

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

‘The audience can’t help but feel empathy’: GILDED BUTTERFLIES – Hope Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Devised by theatre company Tormented Casserole and directed by Kathryn Papworth-Smith, Gilded Butterflies looks at two women who are on death row in the United States.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

‘Accentuates the emotional reality of the situation’: BURY THE DEAD – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

The heart of Bury The Dead is the army using the loved ones to emotionally manipulate the soldiers to ‘obey orders’ – or at least try to.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

‘Exploring how to find one’s musical ‘voice’: A PUPIL – Park Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Jesse Briton and directed by Jessica Daniels, A Pupil explores what happens when someone who is ‘broken’ and the help they might need to find their musical ‘voice’.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

‘Highlights a seldom-explored piece of local history’: THE GREATER GAME – Waterloo East Theatre by Michael Davis

Written by Michael Head and directed by Adam Morley, The Greater Game has as its centre the friendship between Richard McFadden (James Phelps) and William Jonas (Steven Bush).

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

‘Visual treat’: THE WIDER EARTH – Natural History Museum ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written and directed by David Morton, The Wider Earth looks at the early years of Charles Darwin and how a fateful voyage to the Southern Hemisphere became the catalyst for On the Origin of …

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

‘A timely appearance’: PRECIOUS LITTLE TALENT – Courtyard Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

The first production of Ella Hickson’s play since its revival in 2009, Precious Little Talent (which is directed by Brock Elwick) makes a timely appearance in the run-up to the close of th…

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

‘An effortless evocation of yesteryear’: THE PARADISE CIRCUS – Playground Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

In the first half of the 20th century, many of the great American playwrights such as O’Neill, Miller and Williams dealt with the fraught relationships between fathers and sons. In James P…

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

‘The most enjoyable Shakespeare production I’ve seen in a long time’: THE PAPER CINEMA’S MACBETH – Battersea Arts Centre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Inspired by the adaptations of Welles and Polanski, Paper Cinema’s Macbeth is as much a love letter to ‘The Scottish Play’ as Citizen Kane is to the language of cinema itself.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

‘The magic of theatre at service to an emotional reality’: I’M A PHOENIX, BITCH – Battersea Arts Centre ★★★★★ by Michael Davis

Bryony Kimmings’ latest show I’m A Phoenix, Bitch is autobiographical in nature in which she gives a very frank account of what it is was like for her a couple of years ago, where after …

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Monday, October 8, 2018

‘Dark, even for a black comedy’: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of by Michael Davis

Written by Halley Feiffer and directed by Bethany Pitts, it’s fair to say that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center…

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Friday, October 5, 2018

‘Lays bare the reality of maintaining a relationship’: Hedgehogs & Porcupines – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Intimacy: letting oneself be vulnerable to ‘baggage’, words and actions of another. Perhaps not a textbook romantic/sexual definition of the word, but in Hedgehogs & Porcupines, ‘…

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

‘Singing & choreography are one of the show’s highlights’: JEKYLL & HYDE – Chickenshed Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Watching Jekyll & Hyde, one releases that its core, it is about a man who is falling apart because he’s lost his sense of identity and everyone he knows is powerless to help him. A pa…

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

‘Events feel like an organic development of what’s happening globally’: WHERE WE BEGAN – Touring ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written as a response to their previous play Tanja, which explored life in immigration detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood, Stand and Be Counted Theatre’s latest show Where We Began lo…

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Friday, September 28, 2018

‘Shows music is the universal conduit that breaks downs walls’: BUSKING IT – HighTide Festival ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Semi-autobiographical in nature, Danusia Samal’s Busking It is inspired by the 10 years she spent as a London Underground busker.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

‘Its resonance is in its relatability to the here & now’: THE SWORD OF ALEX – White Bear Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Rib Davis and directed by Brian Woolland, The Sword of Alex examines through a fictional scenario the inherent contradictions in ‘independence’ and ‘keeping the status quo…

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

‘There is an awareness in Rynne’s writing’: Hear Me Howl – Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Lydia Rynne and directed by Kay Michael, Hear Me Howl looks at Jess (Alice Pitt-Carter) a young professional whose life mirrors many women in Britain.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

‘All about the details’: FABRIC – Soho Theatre ★★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Abi Zakarian and directed by Hannah Hauer-King, Fabric looks at one woman’s experience of sexual assault.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

‘A distinctive play whose subject matter is seldom tackled in a theatrical context’: THE UNSPOKEN – Barons Court Theatre by Michael Davis

Written and directed by Jody Medland, The Unspoken is a distinctive play whose subject matter is seldom tackled in a theatrical context.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

‘Themes about deception , choice & fate’ are just as relevant today’: BLOOD WEDDING – Omnibus Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

In this latest production of Blood Wedding which is adapted and directed by George Richmond-Scott, the play has been updated to present day Britain, but retains the crucial and distinctive S…

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

‘Relevant examination of the dichotomy of science’: SQUARE ROUNDS – Finborough Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Written by Tony Harrison and directed by Jimmy Walters, Square Rounds examines the dichotomy of science and the ambivalence (in the truest sense of the word) regards its capacity to facilita…

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Monday, September 10, 2018

‘Nails the bittersweet nature of the stages of adulthood’: THAT GIRL– Old Red Lion Theatre ★★★★ by Michael Davis

Playing ‘herself’, That Girl (which is directed by Tim Cook) is a metaplay that chronicles Hatty Jones’ life post-Madeleine and by the same token life for young women in the 21st centu…

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