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Apollo Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Shaftesbury Avenue
Apollo Theatre
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Time Out says

This historic Shaftesbury Avenue theatre has hosted ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, ‘Travesties’ and ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ in recent years. It was designed by architect Lewin Sharp and opened in 1901, becoming the first theatre to launch in Edwardian London. Its three cantilevered balconies and ornamental boxes look out over the famous stage.


Shaftesbury Avenue
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Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 10am-8pm
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What’s on

Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle

  • Comedy

Luckily for Mischief Theatre, the public’s enthusiasm for watching things go wrong doesn’t seem to be waning. As ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ celebrates ten years in the West End – and ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ having recently played a winter season – here comes the company’s latest: ‘Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle’. It is a sequel of sorts to 2020’s ‘Magic Goes Wrong’, with Henry Lewis returning as the eponymous inept mentalist. As is customary in the plays created by Lewis and his co-writers Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, there’s mess and slapstick aplenty. But, is two hours-plus of slip-ups and mistakes enough to keep our attention? Well, most of the audience seems to love it. The Mind Mangler tries and fails to predict our names, gets accidentally trapped inside a guillotine and has the questionable assistance of a hapless ‘audience member’ (Sayer). But things start to feel very repetitive. Long sections of audience participation are dragged out. There’s some tired attempts to ‘smell’ people’s professions. As the first act comes to a close, you can’t shake the feeling that there’s not much more we can get from an evening of jokes about failed magic. Eventually, the show pulls the rug from underneath us. Shockingly, the Mind Mangler’s tricks start to go right. His successful and genuinely very impressive mind reading sends ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ around the audience, while the big finale is would surely make Derren Brown impressed.  But it’s a little too late to compens

Fawlty Towers

  • Comedy

John Cleese and Connie Booth’s sublime ’70s sitcom about a tightly wound hotelier and his hopeless staff was ubiquitous for decades, back when repeats were a meaningful thing. Times change, and perhaps the fact that it’s no longer on our screens much is what’s allowed Cleese’s own stage adaptation to take root. ‘Fawlty Towers’ (the play) is absolutely not an attempt to boldly reinvent the adventures of Basil, Sybil, Manuel and co for the twenty-first century. Rather it’s stitched together from three classic episodes: ‘The Hotel Inspector’, ‘The Germans’ and ‘Communication Problems’. It sounds like they’ll be woven into a single narrative with a new ending, but whether you’re a long-term fan or too young to have ever seen it, it sounds like you’ll be pretty much getting ‘Fawlty Towers’ in its classic form. Director Caroline Jay Ranger is known for putting classic telly on the stage, being responsible for the ‘Only Fools and Horses’ musical and having worked with Cleese on Monty Python’s final live shows in 2014. Whether the cast can compete with the memories of Cleese, Booth, Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales is TBC but should be interesting to witness: heading up the production will be Adam Jackson-Smith (Basil), Anna-Jane Casey (Sybil), Hemi Yeroham (Manuel) and Victoria Fox (Polly).

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