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.


Sister act: how Delia and Nora Ephron wrote their movie and stage hits

By John Nathan, August 30, 2015

Delia Ephron is wearing black. Black trousers and a black T-shirt. "I was probably wearing the same yesterday," she says. Like the other Ephrons in her family, including her late, famous older sister Nora, the creator of When Harry Met Sally, Delia is a writer.


Review: Grand Hotel

By John Nathan, August 22, 2015

It is 1928 Berlin. Fascism is a mere glimmer in Germany's eye and the mood in the Weimar Republic is one of decadence and decay. No, this musical is not Cabaret, but a 1989 Broadway show set in one of Berlin's finest resting houses. Everyone who stays here is rich.


Paying tribute to the Jewish composers who created the musical

By John Nathan, August 20, 2015

In the Tel Aviv Museum of Art concert hall, a show is being honed before it arrives in London for its West End premiere. It is provocatively called You Won't Succeed On Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews, a title many will recognise from one of the more outrageous songs in Monty Python's Spamalot musical. Some Israelis didn't get the joke.


Interview: Julia Pascal

By John Nathan, August 6, 2015

In recent times, plays featuring Israel and Jews have tended to come in clusters and usually in the wake of conflict in Gaza. Some of them are Palestinian, as in the case of The Siege, recently seen at Battersea Arts Centre, others are authored by English playwrights. None is Israeli.