Theatre

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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Review: Miss Saigon

By John Nathan, June 2, 2014

It's been 15 years since Miss Saigon was last on the London stage. In the months leading up to last week's opening night, I overhead several conversations in which lovers of Nicholas Hytner's original production declared their barely contained excitement. They presumably contributed to the record-breaking advance bookings of £4.4 million.

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Review: Bakersfield Mist

By John Nathan, June 2, 2014

The Los Angeleno writer and director Stephen Sachs has written a play about authenticity. And yet it lacks any, even though it is based on a true incident. Quite how or why it attracted the infinitely watchable Kathleen Turner back to the London stage is hard to say.

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Review: Opus No 7

By John Nathan, May 16, 2014

If you are looking for a tangible link between the two captivating halves of this Russian show devised and directed by Dmitry Krymov, it might be that Shostakovich was inspired to write his 13th symphony by the slaughter of thousands of Jews by Nazis in a ravine near Kiev. Not that you need such a link.

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Review: The Testament of Mary

By John Nathan, May 16, 2014

A curious on-stage installation which the audience is invited to wander around provides an unexpected way into this adaptation of Colm Toíbín's novel about Jesus's mother. Those with a better grasp of the New Testament than I may know the significance of all the artefacts on view - the relevance of the huge iron nails is obvious.

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Review: A Small Family Business

By John Nathan, May 12, 2014

National Theatre
Four stars

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Review: David Baddiel - Fame Not The Musical

By John Nathan, May 12, 2014

Menier Chocolate Factory
Four stars

Is it a man, is it Ben Elton, is it Steven Spielberg? No it’s “archetypal Jew” Alan Yentob. Sorry, I mean David Baddiel. They all look the same, more or less — at least to archetypal Gentiles such as Andrew Lloyd Webber who, according to Baddiel, still mixes up the two comedians even after writing a musical with one of them (Elton).

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Review: Privacy

By John Nathan, April 28, 2014

Donmar Warehouse, London WC2
Three stars

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Review: I Can't Sing

By John Nathan, April 7, 2014

It's a source of some relief that when the title song of this homage to - and pee-take of - Simon Cowell and his X Factor TV show has its moment, it transpires that the singer in question can sing very well indeed.

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