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London theatre critics' choice

Our theatre critics recommend the best London theatre of the moment

BU21

Recommended

BU21 is the number of an imagined passenger jet, shot down over Fulham by terrorists in the summer of 2017. Stuart Slade’s smart, cynical breakthrough play (a transfer from the tiny Theatre 503) follows six Londoners who survive this catastrophic attack…

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Trafalgar Studios , Whitehall Until Saturday February 18 2017

Wish List

Recommended

Zero hours contracts – check. Government sanctions – check. Living with disability – check. Heartless, amoral, technocratic corporation that bears more than a little resemblance to a popular internet retailer – check.  Young writer Katherine Soper’s first play ‘Wish List’ touches so many Serious Social Issues that by rights the whole thing should feel like hard work. And yet ‘Wish List’ is a wonderful, human play…

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Royal Court Theatre , Belgravia Until Saturday February 11 2017

Mary Stuart

Recommended

A family emergency on press day stopped me seeing both versions of Robert Icke’s stunning take on ‘Mary Stuart’…

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Almeida Theatre , Barnsbury Until Saturday January 28 2017

Hedda Gabler

Recommended

Starring an incandescent Ruth Wilson, Ivo van Hove’s modern production of Ibsen’s ‘Hedda Gabler’ rejects the usual, comforting, proto-feminist reading wherein its heroine does the terrible things she does because she is a victim…

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National Theatre, Lyttelton , South Bank Until Tuesday March 21 2017

This House

Recommended

James Graham’s surprise hit about the fraught Westminster wranglings of the 1970s – first seen in London at the National Theatre in 2012 – has made its long-awaited West End transfer against a starkly changed political climate…

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Garrick Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday February 25 2017
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Mary Stuart

Recommended

A family emergency on press day stopped me seeing both versions of Robert Icke’s stunning take on ‘Mary Stuart’. Fortunately it was a fairly minor family emergency compared to the one depicted in Schiller’s play…

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Almeida Theatre , Barnsbury Until Saturday January 28 2017

BU21

Recommended

BU21 is the number of an imagined passenger jet, shot down over Fulham by terrorists in the summer of 2017. Stuart Slade’s smart, cynical breakthrough play (a transfer from the tiny Theatre 503) follows six Londoners who survive this catastrophic attack…

Read more
Trafalgar Studios , Whitehall Until Saturday February 18 2017

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Recommended

Three theatres, three casts, one major disaster and seven Olivier Awards on, the National Theatre’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel about Christopher Boone, the teenage ‘mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’ remains a thing of unbridled wonder.The occasion for this re-review is the end of the enforced layoff inflicted upon ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’. The show figuratively blew the roof off when it transferred from the NT to the Apollo Theatre, but unfortunately the ageing ceiling responded by literally collapsing, necessitating a change of venue and months off.

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Gielgud Theatre , Soho Until Saturday June 3 2017

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Recommended

In the unlikely event you were worried a leap to the stage for JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series would result in it becoming aggressively highbrow, self-consciously arty or grindingly bereft of magical high jinks, just chill the hell out, muggle…

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Palace Theatre , Soho Until Sunday December 10 2017

Hedda Gabler

Recommended

Starring an incandescent Ruth Wilson, Ivo van Hove’s modern production of Ibsen’s ‘Hedda Gabler’ rejects the usual, comforting, proto-feminist reading wherein its heroine does the terrible things she does because she is a victim…

Read more
National Theatre, Lyttelton , South Bank Until Tuesday March 21 2017

An Inspector Calls

Recommended

Did Stephen Daldry know something we didn’t? This revival of the director’s landmark 1992 National Theatre production of JB Priestley’s 1945 play ‘An Inspector Calls’ opened a day after the result of the US election…

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Playhouse Theatre , Charing Cross Until Saturday March 25 2017

Matilda the Musical

Recommended

'My mummy says I'm a miracle,' lisps a pampered mini-me at a purgatorial kiddies' birthday party at the outset of this delicious, treacly-dark family show. The obnoxious ma and pa of its titular, gifted, pint-sized heroine are not, of course, quite so doting. But 'Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a very pair of proud parents. Opening to rave reviews in Stratford-upon Avon before transferring to the West End in 2011 and snatching up Olivier Awards with all the alacrity of a sticky-fingered child in a sweetshop, Matthew Warchus's RSC production remains a treat.

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Cambridge Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday October 15 2017

Wish List

Recommended

Zero hours contracts – check. Government sanctions – check. Living with disability – check. Heartless, amoral, technocratic corporation that bears more than a little resemblance to a popular internet retailer – check.  Young writer Katherine Soper’s first play ‘Wish List’ touches so many Serious Social Issues that by rights the whole thing should feel like hard work…

Read more
Royal Court Theatre , Belgravia Until Saturday February 11 2017

This House

Recommended

James Graham’s surprise hit about the fraught Westminster wranglings of the 1970s – first seen in London at the National Theatre in 2012 – has made its long-awaited West End transfer against a starkly changed political climate…

Book now Read more
Garrick Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday February 25 2017
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By: Andrzej Lukowski

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