Theatre

Review: The Crucible

By John Nathan, July 14, 2014

The sense of foreboding is immediate and never recedes. Yaël Farber's gripping revival of Arthur Miller's 20th-century classic is conjured out of a shadowy gloom by incantation. A woman chants while tracing the perimeter of the Old Vic's intimate in-the-round stage.

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Review: Great Britain

By John Nathan, July 3, 2014

Richard Bean's satire on the press - probably the most significant since Howard Brenton and David Hare's Pravda of 1985 - arrives amid reports of the show being rehearsed in secret and of director Nicholas Hytner taking lawyers' advice not to open until the end of the phone-hacking trial.

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Review: Skylight

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

Since the rise of James Graham and his fascinating parliamentary play This House, David Hare is no longer the undisputed champion of political playwriting in this country.

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Review: Making Stalin Laugh

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

It might help to have more than a passing interest in Soviet politics to get the most out of David Schneider's ambitious new play. Jewish artists such as the Moscow State Theatre's Solomon Mikhoels, played here with great charisma by Darrell D'Silva, had extra reason to be afraid.

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Review: The Valley of Astonishment

By John Nathan, June 26, 2014

A new Peter Brook play is always keenly awaited. This one, which the 89-year-old director has co-written and co-directed with his long-time collaborator Marie-Helene Estienne, is the latest in a series of plays on neurology. It explores synaesthesia - enhanced responses to the world's stimuli.

In some people, it results in an incredible ability to retain facts and sequences of numbers.

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Review: Hotel

By John Nathan, June 19, 2014

There is swagger to this thriller by Polly Stenham, the playwright who in 2007 at the age of 20 burst on to the stage with her debut play That Face.

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Review: Mr Burns

By John Nathan, June 19, 2014

No theatre is showcasing smarter work at the moment than Rupert Goold's Almeida. Whether this astoundingly esoteric show follows the venue's American Psycho and Charles III into the West End is hard to say.

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Review: Clarence Darrow

By John Nathan, June 16, 2014

The American human-rights lawyer Clarence Darrow is one of liberal America's poster boys. David W Rintel's one-man biographical play of 1974 has been performed by Henry Fonda. But now that I've seen Kevin Spacey in the role, I don't much feel the need to see anyone else, not even the man from Twelve Angry Men.

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Review: Fathers and Sons

By John Nathan, June 16, 2014

Before Chekhov gave the world Russian estates populated by melancholics, sufferers of unrequited love and noble families on the cusp of huge social change, there was Ivan Turgenev.

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Review: Antony and Cleopatra

By John Nathan, June 6, 2014

With Clive Wood and Eve Best as two of the ancient world's most passionate lovers, Jonathan Munby's production reclassifies Shakespeare's tragedy as a fizzing comedy. Which is not to say that the business of Antony's army joining forces with Cleopatra's navy to fight his fellow Romans is not an act of deadly seriousness.

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