A Streetcar Named Desire

August 7, 2014

As Blanche Dubois, Gillian Anderson - a star whose career was defined by the unflappably cool Scully in The X-Files - turns in a superb performance of brittle fragility that captures the full monumental tragedy of Tennessee Williams's heroine.

This the latest in a series of classic plays at the Young Vic that have been liberated from what Australian director Benedict Andrews calls "chocolate bo


Review: My Night With Reg

By John Nathan, August 7, 2014

There can be few things more poignant in theatre than the revival of a much-loved play being preceded by the death of its author.


Ireland waits no longer for Yiddish Godot

By Simon Round, July 31, 2014

Irish theatre-goers attending a festival celebrating the life and work of Samuel Beckett, one of its greatest playwrights of the 20th century, would expect to see a production of his most famous work, Waiting for Godot. What they might not anticipate is a version of the play being performed in Yiddish.


Review: Shakespeare In Love - The Play

By John Nathan, July 31, 2014

Films don't easily convert into plays. For this one, a lot of theatrical know-how has been conscripted into adapting Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman's Oscar-winning screenplay. Writer Lee Hall, who did a brilliant job converting the film Billy Elliot into a hit musical, has teamed up with director Declan Donnellan. The result is impressively fluid.


Review: Medea

July 24, 2014

There is probably no such thing as a forgettable Medea. This is the mother in Euripides's play who exacts revenge on her betraying husband by murdering their children. Diana Riggs's had a hurricane strength; Fiona Shaw's, set in what looked like a house in Hampstead Garden Suburb, caused audience members to faint.


Review: Invincible

By John Nathan, July 24, 2014

The comparison between playwright Torben Betts and the much more famous Alan Ayckbourn was well made when Betts's class comedy was first seen at Richmond's Orange Tree theatre earlier this year.


Review: Richard III

July 17, 2014

Since he took over the Trafalgar Studios, director Jamie Lloyd has staged some of the most thrilling and accessible productions of Shakespeare I've ever seen. And it's all been done with an eye to keeping the bard as accessible as possible. There are low ticket prices for young audiences.


Review: Daytona

By John Nathan, July 14, 2014

Sometimes returning to a play can change a mind. But even one of the West End's grandest theatres cannot change the impression that Oliver Cotton's work, first seen at the Park Theatre last year, is an all-too whimsical attempt to grapple with heavyweight themes such as Jewish identity and the morality of exacting revenge in cold blood.


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.


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.