All stories by Nigel Smith on BroadwayStars

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Suicide review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘comic excess and outdated stereotypes’ by Nigel Smith

Comedy is a serious business and Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 farce The Suicide takes it very seriously indeed. In her new version of the

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Christmas Carol review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘small but perfectly formed’ by Nigel Smith

Theatr Clwyd promised an immersive experience with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol and it certainly delivers, with a clear concise telling of

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Peter Pan review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘festive family theatre rarely gets better than this’ by Nigel Smith

With this year’s production of Peter Pan, Chester’s Storyhouse has created one of its best seasonal shows to date. Gary Owen’s adaptation

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Monday, December 16, 2019

Miracle on 34th Street review at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool – ‘touching and heart-warming’ by Nigel Smith

Originally produced on Broadway as Here’s Love, Meredith Willson’s musical adaptation of the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street is steeped in

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Jack and the Beanstalk review, Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘can’t fail to warm the heart’ by Nigel Smith

With its multi-instrumentalist cast and musical direction from Tayo Akinbode, Theatr Clwyd’s Jack and the Beanstalk is a panto that properly rocks

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Sleeping Beauty review at the Everyman, Liverpool – ‘immense fun’ by Nigel Smith

Writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton (who also directs) strike the perfect balance of storytelling and seasonal lunacy in their new

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Pavilion review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘an assured debut’ by Nigel Smith

Emily White’s assured debut play Pavilion depicts the community of a run-down Victorian spa town somewhere in Wales, where everything is closing

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Lost Boys review at Unity Theatre, Liverpool – ‘potent, passionate gig theatre’ by Nigel Smith

When Luke Barnes was asked to create a piece for the National Youth Theatre, he wanted to make it in the North

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Us Against Whatever review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘angry, compassionate, electric’ by Nigel Smith

Before the show begins the cast chats with the audience – some in English, others in Polish, ensuring that there isn’t a

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘a riotous panto’ by Nigel Smith

The Epstein Theatre panto doesn’t need celebrities on the poster to sell itself – the familiar faces of Michael Chapman, Lewis Pryor

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Jack and the Beanstalk review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘superbly danced’ by Nigel Smith

The dancing is one of the strongest elements of this handsomely designed production of Jack and the Beanstalk. No surprise given that

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Christmas Carol review at Liverpool Playhouse – ‘inventive, sharp silliness’ by Nigel Smith

Say Spymonkey and all thoughts of a traditional telling of A Christmas Carol can be forgotten. Their retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Dick Whittington review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘heart-warming panto with a rock’n’roll twist’ by Nigel Smith

Theatr Clwyd maintains its consistently high panto standards with this year’s rock’n’roll show, Dick Whittington. Christian Patterson’s script manages to remain incredibly

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Friday, November 30, 2018

The Snow Queen review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘a madcap musical reworking’ by Nigel Smith

Writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton very sensibly haven’t tinkered with their tried and trusted Rock’n’Roll Panto formula for the Everyman’s

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Maggie May the Musical review at Royal Court, Liverpool – ‘heartfelt take on a Liverpool legend’ by Nigel Smith

This isn’t the first time the 18th century folk song Maggie May has been used as the basis for a musical –

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Friday, October 5, 2018

By the Waters of Liverpool review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘affectionate and affecting’ by Nigel Smith

Following the success of Twopence to Cross the Mersey, based on Helen Forrester’s popular Merseyside memoir, Rob Fennah’s new adaptation, By the

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Closets review at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – ’emotional time-travelling musical’ by Nigel Smith

Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil Ely’s new musical Closets opens up an important discussion with great charm and sensitivity. It’s 1988 and 16

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Big I Am review at Liverpool Everyman – ‘an anarchic reimagining of Ibsen’ by Nigel Smith

The Big I Am is not an adaptation of Peer Gynt. Rather, it’s a reimagining of Ibsen’s play in which Robert Farquhar

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Crucible review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘atmospheric and intense’ by Nigel Smith

Chiaroscuro lighting and distressed surfaces set the tone in Geraldine Alexander’s production of The Crucible. It’s an atmospheric staging, wit the set

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Swallows and Amazons review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘warm and imaginative’ by Nigel Smith

Both writer Bryony Lavery and director Katie Posner have consciously chosen to keep this adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons rooted

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Miracle of Great Homer Street review at Royal Court, Liverpool – ‘cleverly constructed and mysterious’ by Nigel Smith

Gerry Linford’s The Miracle of Great Homer Street was runner-up in last year’s Hope Playwriting Prize and Les Dennis was sitting on

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Nigel Slater’s Toast review at the Lowry, Salford – ‘warmth, wit and walnut whips’ by Nigel Smith

Nigel Slater’s autobiographical novel Toast is steeped in the aromas of home baking and burnt toast, and his genial writing style is

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Lennon’s Banjo review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘light-hearted Beatles comedy’ by Nigel Smith

Rob Fennah’s new comedy Lennon’s Banjo, like most of its protagonists, gets commercial mileage out of the Beatles bandwagon. Taking the legend

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Clockwork Orange review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘focused and fired up’ by Nigel Smith

Nick Bagnall’s new production for the Everyman is astonishingly the first professional outing for Anthony Burgess’ 1980s stage adaptation of A Clockwork

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer review at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool – ‘an emotional tightrope’ by Nigel Smith

Bryony Kimmings has never been shy of tackling a taboo subject. But in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer she

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Sleeping Beauty at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘eye-wateringly funny’ by Nigel Smith

In the best rock ’n’ roll panto tradition, Peter Rowe’s version of Sleeping Beauty weaves together several convoluted storylines. It manages to

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Peter Pan review at Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton – ‘lovingly crafted’ by Nigel Smith

This Peter Pan is capable of converting the worst panto-phobe. Scriptwriter Julian Lane and director Andrew Margerison have almost completely separated storytelling

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cinderella review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘lavish production values’ by Nigel Smith

Qdos has thrown everything at its Liverpool production, including a talented cast, sumptuous sets, dazzling costumes and even a flying horse. The

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cinderella review at Southport Theatre – ‘slickly staged’ by Nigel Smith

Iain Lauchlan and Sam Kane’s great script for this Cinderella follows the Charles Perrault version of Cinderella pretty faithfully, while squeezing in

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Baskerville – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery review at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool – ‘hugely funny’ by Nigel Smith

Ken Ludwig’s take on Conan Doyle’s most famous mystery story is given crack-shot treatment here under Loveday Ingram’s direction. With five actors

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peter Pan review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘wicked humour and enormous fun’ by Nigel Smith

In this joyous reading of Peter Pan, writer/director Michael Chapman and producer Lee Kelly have scaled new heights in their already winning

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