Theatre

Review: The Truth

By John Nathan, March 23, 2016

If there is a message behind French writer Florian Zeller's utterly absorbing black comedy it might be that no relationship can survive the complete truth. The set-up is very familiar. Michel is having an affair. Less predictably, the affair is with his best friend's wife.

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Review: Not Moses

By John Nathan, March 17, 2016

Whether it is the work of a vengeful God I wouldn't presume to say, But a plague of "'nots" descends on NotMoses, an embarrassingly overreaching new biblical comedy by Leon the Pig Farmer creator Gary Sinyor.

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Review: Motown The Musical

By John Nathan, March 10, 2016

It was not until the end of the glitzy press night, that this Broadway import delivered a genuinely moving moment.

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Review: The Patriotic Traitor

By John Nathan, March 3, 2016

There is something funny about Jonathan Lynn's serious play. It is set against a giant map of wartime France that, with a few advancing swastikas, could be used for the opening credits of Dad's Army.

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Review: Cleansed

By John Nathan, March 3, 2016

It is almost impossible to recommend the late Sarah Kane's brutal play. To do so would be to condemn someone to an evening of the most disturbing depravity that contains scene after scene of torture and atrocity. The setting is a place described in Kane's 1998 script as a university, though in Katie Mitchell's minutely detailed and unflinching production it could be any decaying institution.

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This show is a tribute to all who saved lives like mine

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

When concert pianist Lisa Jura taught her young daughter Mona to play the piano, she used to say to always think of story when playing music. She could never have known that the story that Mona now most often thinks of when playing the piano is of her mother Lisa, the brilliant Viennese musician whose ticket to life and safety on the Kindertransport was won by her tailor father in a poker game.

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De Gaulle's a hero, Trump is just a fascist

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

The last time I spoke to Jonathan Lynn was just before the stage version of the glorious TV sitcom Yes, Prime Minister, which he co-wrote with Antony Jay, opened in the West End.

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Review: The Encounter

By John Nathan, February 25, 2016

There are many things to love about a Complicite show: the invention, the sense that you are sitting on the leading edge of theatrical evolution, the way connections are made between the epic and the domestic and, perhaps most of all, how the formality of theatre is broken up so completely.

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Review: Nell Gwynn

By John Nathan, February 18, 2016

Jessica Swayle's joyful play works like a dream on so many levels. When Charles II cries "Down with austerity," he may of course be referring to Oliver Cromwell's notorious era of puritanism, but the cheeky grin tilted at the audience confirms that this is a very modern joke.

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Review: Escaped Alone

By John Nathan, February 18, 2016

As short as it is - 50 minutes - Caryl Churchill's latest work feels like two plays rolled into one. One is compelling. The other, not so.

Four middle-aged women sit in a sunny, suburban back garden chatting to each other about common acquaintances and the old times they've shared together.

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