All stories by Tom Bolton on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

‘A fascinating body of work’: I, Peaseblossom / I, Banquo (Online review) by Tom Bolton

Tim Crouch’s series of performances as overlooked characters in Shakespeare is a fascinating body of work. He has been developing these one-man shows (with assistance) for more than 15 yea…

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

‘They are the only tangible reminder of experiences that live powerfully in the memory’: My collection of 57 years of RSC programmes by Tom Bolton

I have been collecting these for at least 35 years and now have a nearly complete set of post-war programmes from the Stratford theatres (if anyone has a hoard of uber-rare, early programmes…

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Monday, April 20, 2020

‘Patsy Ferran is a treat’: TREASURE ISLAND – National Theatre (Online review) by Tom Bolton

The excitement still builds on a Thursday night, when many of us sit down to watch theatre as though it was analogue television in the four-channel era.

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Friday, April 3, 2020

‘Re-living the past so intensely is eerie’: ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – National Theatre (Online review) by Tom Bolton

After the theatres closed, the National Theatre was quick to announce a free mini-season of online shows from their NT Live broadcasts, which immediately became the only evening bookings in …

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

‘The evening is enjoyable for its cast’: THE CUTTING EDGE – Arcola Theatre by Tom Bolton

Despite the combined skills of its performers, The Cutting Edge lacks pace and drive and the key moment of crisis, which always seems around the corner, never arrives.

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Friday, February 21, 2020

‘Dramatic & engrossing’: THE INCIDENT ROOM – New Diorama Theatre by Tom Bolton

The Incident Room is a multi-layered and satisfying drama, a proper assessment of a story that gripped, terrified and obsessed the nation. This excellent production confronts our dark past h…

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Monday, February 17, 2020

‘Cuts to the heart of what it is to have a voice’: CINNA – Unicorn Theatre by Tom Bolton

I, Cinna is a small masterpiece of unshowy writing and performance that is some of the best small-scale theatre of its time, equally satisfying to audiences of young people and adults.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

‘Pitch perfect’: FAR AWAY – Donmar Warehouse by Tom Bolton

Caryl Churchill wrote Far Away in 2000 and, 20 years on, it feels more current by the moment.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

‘No lack of inventiveness in the evening’: PEOPLE SHOW 137 – Southwark Playhouse by Tom Bolton

The company in People Show 137 has an admirable ability to conjure moments that capture the audience’s attention and to deliver about turns that keep the audience intrigued.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

‘The simplicity of Rackza’s writing is masterful’: ANTIGONE – New Diorama Theatre by Tom Bolton

Holy What’s version of Antigone is about the two teenage girls at the heart of the play, Antigone herself (Annabel Baldwin) and her sister Ismene (Rachel Hosker).

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Monday, December 9, 2019

‘Endlessly fascinating’: MEASURE FOR MEASURE – Barbican Theatre by Tom Bolton

Gregory Doran’s RSC production of Measure for Measure is a subtle and absorbing account of a play that gets weirder with every viewing.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

‘Shines a harsh light on contemporary Indian culture’: WHEN THE CROWS VISIT – Kiln Theatre by Tom Bolton

When The Crows Visit is a powerful new play, and Indhu Rubasingham’s production is a notable success for the Kiln Theatre.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

‘Friel’s characters are allowed to blossom’: TRANSLATIONS – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

Brian Friel’s Translations is a rich and complex play and, in Ian Rickson’s production which returns for a second run in the Olivier, its layers are drawn out through the performances of…

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

‘Gets the atmosphere right’: BARTHOLOMEW FAIR – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Tom Bolton

Bartholomew Fair is full of energy and highly entertaining throughout, while making no attempt to glamorise the city’s underbelly.

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Friday, September 6, 2019

‘Too many issues for any one play to carry’: THE DOCTOR – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Robert Icke’s final production for the Almeida, after spectacular successes including Mary Stuart, Andrew Scott’s Hamlet and The Wild Duck, is a complete reworking of a play by Arthur Sc…

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

‘A deeply alarming message’: SEA SICK – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

In Sea Sick Alana Mitchell tells, in an engaging lecture, the story of how she, as a journalist, came to be investigating this little known, devastating climate change phenomenon.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

‘Gives a voice to those who need it most’: WHO CARES – Edinburgh Fringe by Tom Bolton

A fierce indictment of cuts and callous indifference, Who Cares? comes straight from the mouths of young carers in Salford.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

‘An entirely compelling evening’: EQUUS – Trafalgar Studios by Tom Bolton

Ned Bennett has created an entirely compelling evening, which reveals new layers to Peter Shaffer’s play Equus that we can now only see because we have changed as a society since it was fi…

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

‘Does not fully live up to its clever concept’: WIFE – Kiln Theatre by Tom Bolton

Samuel Adamson’s take on A Doll’s House is an ambitious play, sometimes overly so, which delivers fascinating moments but has a tendency to fall short.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

‘Startling & exceptional piece of theatre’: FREEMAN – Touring by Tom Bolton

Freeman is a startling and exceptional piece of theatre and its run in Streatham was a coup for the still relatively new Streatham Space Project theatre.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

‘Ingenious, chaotic & highly enjoyable’: HUMAN JAM – Camden People’s Theatre by Tom Bolton

Human Jam is precisely the type of show Camden People’s Theatre should be producing: fully engaged with its community, angry but imaginative, chaotic and messy, and shining a strong, searc…

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

‘A succession of distinctive performances’: THREE SISTERS – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Rebecca Frecknall’s rich production of Three Sisters takes place in a bubble of unreality, both alluring and doomed to burst.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

‘Remarkably funny & unexpectedly painful’: DIE! DIE! DIE! OLD PEOPLE DIE! – Battersea Arts Centre by Tom Bolton

Ridiculusmus is at the top of their game and Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!, complete with fart jokes, is an absolute must-see for anyone who wants to be awed by what two men on a small stag…

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

‘People won’t be forgetting this in a hurry’: CYPRUS AVENUE – Royal Court Theatre by Tom Bolton

Cyprus Avenue uses shock tactics to show us the horror within, but it is a comedy with depth, perceptiveness and a touch of genius.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

‘Beautifully balanced & unusual piece of theatre’: BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO – Donmar Warehouse by Tom Bolton

It is easy to see why a film set mainly in a recording studio is so suited to the stage and Tom Scutt has created a beautifully balanced and unusual piece of theatre in Berberian Sound Studi…

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Monday, March 11, 2019

’An evening of meandering chat’: SHIPWRECK – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Annie Washburn’s new play Shipwreck is intended as a reckoning with Trump. The show pitches itself as a invitation to dinner with the 45th President, but unfortunately would be better desc…

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

‘Intriguing but strangely disconnected’: When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

The publicity for Martin Crimp’s new play, gleefully stoked by the National Theatre, has been all about Cate Blanchett and ‘bondage’ scenes

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

‘Engagingly told’: KOMPROMAT – Vault Festival by Tom Bolton

David Thame has created a neat drama in Kompromat, but its explicit relationship to such a complex story, with real consequences for people who are very much alive, leaves a lingering sense …

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

‘Excellent, enthralling account of a fascinating play’: OUTLYING ISLANDS – King’s Head Theatre by Tom Bolton

The revival of David Grieg’s 2002 play, Outlying Islands, at the King’s Head Theatre reintroduces a play of wonderful, haunting poetry and complexity, a flawed but brilliant piece of wri…

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The clarity & confidence of this production makes it a must-see’: THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD THE SECOND – Almeida Theatre by Tom Bolton

Joe Hill-Gibbins’ of The Tragedy of King Richard the Second is inherently divisive, and the critics have obliged but, only three days into the year, it is very hard to imagine a more excit…

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Friday, December 28, 2018

‘Shock, revulsion & gleefully disturbing images’: THE TELL-TALE HEART – National Theatre by Tom Bolton

Anthony Neilson’s adaptation of The Tell-Tale Heart for the National Theatre updates the original, adding slasher film shocks while retaining the intense strangeness of the original.

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All that Chat

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