Theatre

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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Review: Other Desert Cities

By John Nathan, March 31, 2014

The last time the Old Vic stage was converted from old-school proscenium arch to a much funkier in-the-round space, it seemed the way this grand old theatre should stay. It still does.

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Review: Two Into One

By John Nathan, March 31, 2014

There is one reason why I have never found farce very funny. And the reason's name is Neil Simon.

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Review: Blithe Spirit

By John Nathan, March 26, 2014

The headline here is all about the star playing Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's eternal comedy classic. That, and her age. At 88, Angela Lansbury delivers the role with a touch of comic genius that runs through this production by Michael Blakemore - who, at 85, is himself no newbie.

With wine-red plaited braids coiled over her ears, Lansbury's psychic looks like a Teutonic hippie.

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Review: Urinetown (St James Theatre)

By John Nathan, March 24, 2014

Let us put the deliberately off-putting title aside for a moment. When this satire by composer Mark Hollmann and writer Greg Kotis about corporate greed and environmental collapse opened on Broadway in 2001, it had a fan base that adored its subversion of the optimistic musical.

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