Review: Happy Days - Wrist-slitting drama but also so funny

By John Nathan, February 7, 2014

Buried in a desert, eventually up to her neck. Deprived of sleep by a bell that in Natalie Abrahami’s Young Vic production is an ear-splitting, metallic klaxon. And all the while being slowly baked by a merciless sun. Yet Winnie’s cheery optimism never ceases to amaze.


Webster’s bloodbath made slightly bloodless

By John Nathan, January 23, 2014

The inaugural production at Shakespeare’s Globe’s newest candlelit indoor venue is the big story here. That is not to say that former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is not eminently watchable in the tile role of John Webster’s Jacobean tragedy. Lit by the softest of lighting, there is a serene beauty about her.


Review: Coriolanus

By John Nathan, January 17, 2014

The London stage currently boasts two of Shakespeare's most alpha males, each played by a Hollywood leading man. While, at the Noel Coward, Jude Law's Henry V lays siege to the French town of Harfleur, at the Donmar, the one-man army that is Tom Hiddleston's Caius Martius storms the Italian city of Corioles. These two come hardish on the heels of James McAvoy's battle-hardened Macbeth.


Review: American Psycho

By John Nathan, January 17, 2014

Matt Smith packs more defined pecs than you might expect of a former Doctor Who. The ripped torso rises out of the Almeida's stage as smoothly as a cassette ejecting from a high-end, late-20th-century tape deck.


It's Soho, but not as we now know it

By John Nathan, November 18, 2013

Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1


It’s Ayckbourn by a different playwright

By John Nathan, November 4, 2013

Hampstead Theatre, London NW3


Lyons of fire and Ghosts well worth seeing

By John Nathan, October 16, 2013

The Lyons
Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1

The eponymous Lyons family in Nicky Silver’s New York play are so dysfunctional, it’s a minor miracle they don’t come across as a playwright’s construct rather than real people.


The difficulty of dramatising the gas chambers

By John Nathan, October 7, 2013

Religion and Anarchy
Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1

Hampstead Theatre, London NW3

I have never been one of those who think the Holocaust should not be depicted on stage or film. Whether the primary purpose of a play or movie is to inform, warn against the depraved depths to which people and their dogmas sink, or even to entertain, the Shoah is a legitimate theme.


Playing it for laughs proves a serious error

By John Nathan, September 16, 2013

Edward II
Olivier, London SE1


It's a farcical guilty pleasure

By John Nathan, September 9, 2013

Park Theatre, London N4