Faith Healer at Old Vic – review

Great play, great cast but a strain on the eyes. ★★★★ First things first, Brian Friel’s 1979 play Faith Healer is a masterpiece. The question is, did this production streamed live from the Old Vic via Zoom do it justice? Sadly, the answer is, no. Not because the acting wasn’t ...
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Sleepless with Jay McGuiness & Kimberley Walsh – review

Sleepless Is A Romance About Musicals ★★★ If you’re worried that a musical couldn’t do justice to the classic film Sleepless In Seattle, don’t be. Sleepless does pretty much all you would hope from it and more. Okay, Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh are not Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan ...
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Andrew Scott in Three Kings – review

Andrew Scott rules in monologue live streamed from Old Vic ★★★★ So it’s back on the sofa to watch Three Kings with Andrew Scott streaming live on Zoom from the Old Vic stage. It wasn't the same as being there but there was something exciting about knowing you’re watching Mr ...
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Ralph Fiennes in Beat The Devil – review

Ralph Fiennes mouths David Hare's righteous anger at Boris Johnson ★★★★ After five months of being deprived of live theatre, I say all hail the Bridge Theatre for being, as far I’m aware, the first to put on an indoor show. How wonderful I thought not only to see Ralph ...
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Mike Bartlett’s Albion – review of BBC live recording

Victoria Hamilton blooms in Mike Bartlett's play about loss ★★★★ Sometimes you watch the first act of a play and it’s just the setup and you really want to get it over with so you can move on to how it's all going to work out. Not so with Mike ...
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Hamilton – film review

The best film of a live stage show I've seen ★★★★★ Hamilton was filmed during the initial Broadway run. The recording of the live show was meant to saved for later but with theatres dark, the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to make it available now. After some intense bidding, it ...
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5 Shows That Revolutionised Musical Theatre

How musicals came to dominate theatre for 90 years Musical theatre has dominated Broadway and West End stages for nearly a hundred years but there are five musicals that shaped the modern musical. In choosing these five musicals what I’ve tried to look at is not their quality or success ...
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Groomed by Patrick Sandford – review

An important play about the lasting damage of child abuse ★★★★★ ‘The adult tries so hard to forget, but the child always remembers,’ says the protagonist in Groomed, written and acted by Patrick Sandford.  I am sure you will be as sad and angry as I was by the end ...
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This House – NTLive – review

Film fails to convey thrill of live theatre ★★★ I’ve watched quite a few recordings of theatre shows since the Lockdown and the more I see the less sure I am that that they're a good advertisement for theatre. By which I mean, what works on stage often doesn’t work ...
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Andrew Scott in Sea Wall – film review

Andrew Scott unforgettable in Simon Stephens' astounding play ★★★★★ If you’ve seen Andrew Scott as Moriarty in Sherlock or the hot priest in Fleabag or Hamlet or in Present Laughter, you know he’s a great actor. After seeing this, you may well think he is the greatest actor we have ...
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A Separate Peace with David Morrissey & Jenna Coleman – review

Live reading of Stoppard zooms off the page ★★★★ The Remote Read is an exciting project born out of the coronavirus lockdown. The producers Curtain Call are intending to bring together actors in their own homes via Zoom for live performances of plays. The first was A Separate Peace which ...
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Oscar Wilde Season on Marquee TV – review

★★★ I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth because it is great to have the opportunity to see all four of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedies in stage productions. Unfortunately, good as they are, these Classic Spring Theatre Company versions really don’t work that well on film, ...
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RSC’s Twelfth Night on Marquee TV

Adrian Edmonson's comic turn stands out in Shakespearean farce ★★★★ In case you get confused with Shakespeare’s comedies, Twelfth Night is the one with a woman disguised as a man and much mistaken identity. That doesn’t narrow it down that much? Okay, it’s the one with the shipwreck at the ...
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Fleabag stage show online – review

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterclass in scriptwriting and acting ★★★★★ Last year Phoebe Waller-Bridge performed her original stage show Fleabag for the last time. Now she has generously made the NTLive recording available on demand online with the proceeds going to charity This is the show that was first seen at the ...
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One Man Two Guvnors – NTLive – review

James Corden's finest moment on stage not quite captured on film ★★★★★ (National Theatre production) ★★★ (NTLive recording) I saw One Man Two Guvnors at the National Theatre back in 2011 and would have given it five stars if I'd been posting reviews back then. It is a love letter ...
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Cyprus Avenue starring Stephen Rea at Royal Court – review

Stephen Rea triumphs as psychotic bigot ★★★★ With theatres closed and all of us staying at home due to the coronavirus threat, I thought it might be a good idea to look at some of the theatre shows that were recorded live and are now being made available online or ...
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The Time Machine at London Library – review

An entertaining evening full of fun and frightening facts but light on drama ★★★ The Time Machine offers an opportunity to tour the magnificent London Library. This 180-year-old private lending library is housed in a grade II listed building in Mayfair. It has had among its members Alfred Lord Tennyson, ...
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Lorca’s Blood Wedding at Salisbury Playhouse – review

Barney Norris brings home the power of love ★★★ Wiltshire becomes a metaphor for today's Britain in Barney Norris' retelling of Lorca's Blood Wedding at Salisbury Playhouse. The blood feud of the original is replaced by laddish drunkenness and Mediterranean passion by English reticence in which ‘Sorry’ is the most used ...
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Poet In Da Corner at The Royal Court – review

Exciting drama from Grime poet Debris Stevenson ★★★★★ Poet in Da Corner is the semi-autobiographical tale of Debris Stevenson and how she was inspired by grime music to become a poet. Although the word ‘grime’ suggests ‘grim’, in fact it’s not. It’s an uplifting, exhilarating story of an adolescent woman struggling with her ...
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Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend at the Menier – review

Janie Dee leads delightful revival of The Boy Friend ★★★★ Even when it was first performed in 1954, Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend appeared to hark back to a bygone era, a time of flappers and musical comedies, that preceded the then modern muscular realist musicals like Oklahoma! That it still ...
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Ten Decades Of The Stage Musicals

Listen to Paul’s Ten Decades of Stage Musicals on Box Office Radio on Mondays and Saturdays at 7 pm. Or listen to the podcasts on MixCloud
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2000s
2010s

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