Review: Farinelli and The King

By John Nathan, October 8, 2015

Claire Van Kampen's play about the 18th-century castrato singer Carlo "Farinelli" Broschi - who gave up a glittering opera career to sing to an audience of one, albeit the King of Spain - could so easily have been one of those plodding bio-dramas.

But with the mercurial Mark Rylance as Spain's depressive monarch, together with an inventive production (directed by John Dove) that is at times lik


Review: Hangmen

By John Nathan, October 1, 2015

What must it be like to be the number two at something - especially when you know you have no chance of being number one. The second tallest man in the world must surely have wondered how to knock the tallest man off his pedestal, not that he needs one.


Joy of shtetls, sex and suspicious parents

By Alice Malin, September 24, 2015

It is a line that carries so much meaning: "I see it is with your daughter I must speak." The Marriage Broker - maker of matches between inventors and society belles, millionaires and the progeny of the very best families - realises that the person wearing the trousers in this family is not the tongue-tied man of the house.


Review: Dinner With Saddam

By John Nathan, September 24, 2015

How is a playwright to tackle the most serious foreign policy calamity since the Second World War? An exhaustively researched Chilcot-like analysis? One of those serious-minded if dramatically dry verbatim plays?


The greatest critics are also theatre's greatest fans

By Gerald Jacobs, September 17, 2015

A fortnight ago in these pages John Nathan, the JC's theatre critic, advanced the cause of his profession in the face of a growing onslaught by inexperienced, and sometimes inarticulate, amateurs blogging or tweeting their opinions about the latest plays.



Opera: Orpheet Eurydice

By Stephen Pollard, September 17, 2015

With the Royal Opera House currently on tour in Japan, Sir John Eliot Gardiner's English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir take over from the home team for this new production of one of the greatest of all operas - Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice.

And they alone would make this a performance not to be missed.


Review: Photograph 51

By John Nathan, September 17, 2015

After watching a play about credit not being given where it is due, it would be wrong to say here that Nicole Kidman's first performance on the London stage since 1998 - when a critic famously described the star as ''theatrical Viagra" - is this time the "opposite of theatrical Viagra." At least not without giving full credit to my guest on press night who said it. But it's true.


Review: Song From Far Away

September 10, 2015

Single, gay New York banker Willem - more distant than estranged from the rest of his family - returns to his parents' home in Holland for his brother's funeral.


To be or not to be a critic...

By John Nathan, September 3, 2015

Do you care about the opinion expressed in this newspaper's theatre column? If you do, there is a growing body of opinion that says you are in a shrinking minority. Social media is where opinion increasingly counts.


Review: Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet

By John Nathan, August 31, 2015

To be or not to be - that is the question. Whether, as initially reported, Shakespeare's most famous speech had been diminished by opening the play - or, by showing Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet to be a tormented soul for whom suicide has long been a hovering possibility - Lyndsey Turner's hugely anticipated production had found a new way to explore the Danish prince's state of mind.