All stories by Tom Birchenough on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Crucible, The Yard Theatre review - wilfully over-stirred by Tom Birchenough

Arthur Miller’s possession drama staged for spectacle The Crucible is a play that speaks with unrelenting power at times of discord, most of all when the public consciousness looks ripe fo…

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Price, Wyndham's Theatre review - David Suchet stands supreme by Tom Birchenough

Powerful production of Arthur Miller's play of fraternal discord, past painThere’s a sublime equilibrium to Arthur Miller’s 1968 play between the overwhelmingly heavy weight of hist…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pinter Seven, Harold Pinter Theatre review - elaborations of anxiety by Tom Birchenough

The season's closing pairing presents Danny Dyer and a radio revelationIt was back to the very beginning for this final instalment of “Pinter at the Pinter”, with its pairing of A S…

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Cost of Living, Hampstead Theatre review - tough but tender by Tom Birchenough

Adrian Lester compels in new American drama about care and connectionThe Off Broadway production of Cost of Living two years ago brought Martyna Majok the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the …

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre review - searing simplicity by Tom Birchenough

DH Lawrence's tragically inflected 1913 tale of family relationships powerfully toldThere’s a stark power to Jack Gamble’s production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law, which h…

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Merry Wives of Windsor, RSC, Barbican review - panto Shakespeare by Tom Birchenough

Love it or leave it production sends the RSC on a laboured way to EssexFor those of us who have never thought much before about links between pantomime and Shakespeare, Fiona Laird’s new M…

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Nine Night, Trafalgar Studios review - hilarity and heartbreak by Tom Birchenough

Natasha Gordon joins the company as her debut drama transfers from the NationalThis is Natasha Gordon’s first play, and in it she has created a whole world. A world of grief and laughter, …

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre review - Ralph Fiennes in marvellous throttle by Tom Birchenough

Supreme lucidity and two commanding performances make for a moving productionYou always wonder about those final scenes of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Are they really needed dramatically; do …

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Eyam, Shakespeare's Globe review - plague drama, dark and loose by Tom Birchenough

Back to the 17th century: the village that cut itself off to dieThe end-of-season contemporary writing slot at the Globe must be a proposal as full of promise for playwrights as it is perhap…

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Underground Railroad Game, Soho Theatre review - scratching the American wound by Tom Birchenough

A furious, darkly comic riff on race, this frenetic two-hander dazzlesUnderground Railroad Game is scabrous theatre – in every sense. To start with, Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard…

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - in praise of a fantastical Spaniard by Tom Birchenough

The ladies of France shine in a production that otherwise makes heavy weather If ever there was a play of “well bandied” words, it’s surely Love’s Labour’s Lost. The early Shakesp…

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Homos, or Everyone in America, Finborough Theatre review - a complex pattern of glee and profundity by Tom Birchenough

Jordan Seavey paints a landscape of New York gay life that is as moving as it is witty I’m still not entirely sure what the full associations of the title of New York playwright Jordan Sea…

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios review - family drama, creepy and cruel by Tom Birchenough

Orlando Bloom compels as the hitman-cop ruling Tracy Letts's dark, gothic worldRight from the beginning of this production of Tracy Letts’s very first play, it’s clear we’re in fo…

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, Brighton Festival review - molto nervoso by Tom Birchenough

Calixto Bieito's melange of text and music delivers a mesmerising agony of desolationCalixto Bieito has a reputation as a radical theatre-maker, and by any traditional standards The Str…

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Friday, May 18, 2018

As You Like It / Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe review - ensemble emphasis sets leaner style by Tom Birchenough

Michelle Terry's new company explores gender fludity, charts new directionsThere’s a distinct feeling of back-to-basics to this opening double bill at the Globe under the theatre’s …

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism by Tom Birchenough

Bravura performance from Tanya Moodie in sharp new American drama of racial discordConflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 pla…

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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Open House, The Print Room review - razor wit, theatrical brio by Tom Birchenough

★★★★ THE OPEN HOUSE, THE PRINT ROOM A tyrannical family reunion and a dramatic volte-face in Will Eno's ingenious new dramaA tyrannical family reunion and a dramatic volte-face in Wi…

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Charing Cross Theatre by Tom Birchenough

Was Tennessee Williams breaking rules, or breaking apart when he wrote this 1969 play? A bit of both, probably, and the two main characters of the rarely performed In the Bar of a Tokyo Hote…

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Les Blancs, National Theatre by Tom Birchenough

Lorraine Hansberry’s career as a playwright proved tragically short. A Raisin in the Sun is by some distance her best-known work, a key piece about the African American post-war experience…

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Rolling Stone, Orange Tree Theatre by Tom Birchenough

I’m still pondering the title of Chris Urch’s new play. On the surface it’s clear enough: The Rolling Stone is a weekly newspaper in Uganda that has been notorious for pursuing that co…

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Friday, January 15, 2016

P’yongyang, Finborough Theatre by Tom Birchenough

Every incarnation of totalitarianism has its own specific mythology, which exists in different forms as it is believed at home and “translated” abroad (or not, in both cases). North Kore…

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Christmas Carol, Noël Coward Theatre by Tom Birchenough

Is Jim Broadbent Britain’s best-loved actor? The slate of screen roles he’s accumulated over the years – this Christmas Carol is his return to theatre after a decade away – has surel…

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Around the World in 80 Days, St James Theatre by Tom Birchenough

One of the joys about this stage adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days is the contrast between its phlegmatic hero Phileas Fogg, who deals with everything in terms of pre…

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Flowering Cherry, Finborough Theatre by Tom Birchenough

In the world of rediscoveries, half a century may not be a long time. Slightly more, in fact, with Robert Bolt’s first performed stage play Flowering Cherry, which premiered in 1957 with R…

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

One Minute, The Vaults by Tom Birchenough

The repercussions of loss ripple inexorably through Simon Stephens’ 2003 play One Minute. Foreshadowing elements developed in his later work, it’s a testing piece that speaks most of all…

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Lady Anna: All At Sea, Park Theatre by Tom Birchenough

If you were expecting a fusty, formal adaptation of Anthony Trollope – and one of his least known novels, to boot – Lady Anna: All At Sea will come as a breath of fresh air. Colin Blumen…

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Heresy of Love, Shakespeare's Globe by Tom Birchenough

Helen Edmundson’s The Heresy of Love may be set in 17th century Mexico and follow the conflict between strict religion and personal development, but its theme of a woman denied her voice b…

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lesere, Jermyn Street Theatre by Tom Birchenough

There’s a clear territorial divide in the small space of the Jermyn Street Theatre at the opening of Ashley G Holloway’s Lesere. At the centre of Ellan Parry’s persuasive design there…

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Three Lions, St James Theatre by Tom Birchenough

The devil gets the best lines. That may depend, of course, on whether we’re prepared to qualify David Cameron as the devil, but in William Gaminara's rapid-firing farce The Three Lions, th…

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Broken Heart, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Tom Birchenough

Jacobean playwright John Ford is flavour of the season at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. His better-known, and simply better, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, opened the venue’s new programme la…

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Playhouse Theatre by Tom Birchenough

It’s true that there is something wildly, garishly, theatrical about Pedro Almodóvar’s films – none more so than this rampant farce – but it’s equally true that their sensibility …

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