Theatre

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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Review: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Musical

By John Nathan, April 7, 2014

There's something uninspiring about the way this show was created. Composer and lyricist David Yazbek was looking down MGM's list of films that the studio were willing to have adapted into a musical. By coincidence, so was book writer Jeffrey Lane.

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Review: Fatal Attraction

By John Nathan, March 31, 2014

I stopped saying that adapting good or even great movies for the stage is pointless when Festen proved me wrong.

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