London theatre reviews
There's little that excites me more in theatre than ambitious, thought-provoking productions. In fact, there's only one thing
And now, courtesy of a little old press release on the Harry Potter musical, everyone is talking about Noma. Everyone. So how thrilled I was to catch her here before she becomes huge next year.
I love Medea. For me, the horror in this story is when you feel her terrible act was not just inevitable but understandable. Even logical. Yet that descent, that terrifying unravelling, is missing in this new production at the Almeida Theatre.
Hallelujah! Josie Rourke has finally staged an original play written by a woman at the Donmar Warehouse. Until now, all the original works staged during her tenure have been written by men<. But now we have Splendour, an early work from the very talented Abi Morgan (Suffragette, The Iron Lady) and it's a gem.
It's not just the story that has been overhauled but the production design too. Out have gone the Grecian robes and sandals to be replaced with a sparse set and simple, contemporary clothes.
The play initially opened back in 2013 with Helen Mirren as the Queen. It was very popular then too and it remains pleasant and engaging but almost nothing has changed from this production, in style or content, other than the casting.
Oppenheimer is a powerful, intelligent, huge scope of a play that examines J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man at the centre of the Manhattan Project, and the professional and personal cost he paid to create the atomic bomb.
If theatre is going to thrive then it must take risks. And the Almeida Theatre takes a risk with Game, a thrilling - and chilling - examination of the tipping point of our humanity that doesn't just excite and disturb, but also transforms the experience of theatre itself.
It's interesting what you remember and what you forget about a production. The tension, the gut-wrenching tragedy in the piece is as devastating as when I saw it last year. Yet I'd forgotten how good the sound and lighting design are.
The Hard Problem is Tom Stoppard's first new play since 2006's Rock & Roll and therefore this is a much anticipated production at the National Theatre. The Hard Problem in hand is simply, what is consciousness? But the play itself is actually hard going.