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London theatre critics' choice

Our theatre critics recommend the best London theatre of the moment

Life of Galileo

Recommended

Sometimes there's nothing more excruciating than a director trying to 'liven up' a classic play with a ton of OTT flourishes…

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Young Vic , Southwark Tuesday May 30 2017 - Saturday July 1 2017

Richard III

Recommended

Richard III is compared to more animals than most of Shakespeare's characters – a dog, a hedgehog, a spider, a toad – and Greg Hicks somehow manages to channel them all in a performance of gripping intensity…

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Arcola Theatre , Kingsland Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday June 10 2017

Room

Recommended

It’s hard to imagine anyone reading the 2010 Emma Donoghue novel ‘Room’, or watching the Oscar-winning 2015 film version, and thinking: ‘You know what’s lacking in this story of a young mother raising a child in forced captivity while being raped by her kidnapper each evening? Songs!’…

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Theatre Royal Stratford East , Stratford Tuesday May 30 2017 - Saturday June 3 2017
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Angels in America

Recommended

Tony Kushner's landmark 'Angels in America' is a mad, eight-hour quasi-religious 'gay fantasia on national themes' that was written in response to – amongst many other things – the AIDS epidemic that was still raging upon its UK premiere at the National Theatre a quarter of a century ago…

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National Theatre , South Bank Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday August 19 2017

The Ferryman

Recommended

There is a live goose in 'The Ferryman'. And a live rabbit. And a live baby. None of these things are particularly important in and of themselves, but I guess I have to start somewhere…

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Gielgud Theatre , Soho Tuesday June 20 2017 - Saturday October 7 2017
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Life of Galileo

Recommended

Sometimes there's nothing more excruciating than a director trying to 'liven up' a classic play with a ton of OTT flourishes…

Read more
Young Vic , Southwark Tuesday May 30 2017 - Saturday July 1 2017

Richard III

Recommended

Richard III is compared to more animals than most of Shakespeare's characters – a dog, a hedgehog, a spider, a toad – and Greg Hicks somehow manages to channel them all in a performance of gripping intensity…

Read more
Arcola Theatre , Kingsland Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday June 10 2017

Room

Recommended

It’s hard to imagine anyone reading the 2010 Emma Donoghue novel ‘Room’, or watching the Oscar-winning 2015 film version, and thinking: ‘You know what’s lacking in this story of a young mother raising a child in forced captivity while being raped by her kidnapper each evening? Songs!’…

Read more
Theatre Royal Stratford East , Stratford Tuesday May 30 2017 - Saturday June 3 2017
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The Treatment

Recommended

Picked for revival by director Lyndsey Turner, Martin Crimp’s early play ‘The Treatment’ has a lot to recommend it, not least the title, which is a particularly pleasing play on words…

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Almeida Theatre , Barnsbury Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday June 10 2017

Angels in America

Recommended

Tony Kushner's landmark 'Angels in America' is a mad, eight-hour quasi-religious 'gay fantasia on national themes' that was written in response to – amongst many other things – the AIDS epidemic that was still raging upon its UK premiere at the National Theatre a quarter of a century ago…

Read more
National Theatre , South Bank Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday August 19 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 Monday May 29 2017 - Saturday June 3 2017

The Ferryman

Recommended

There is a live goose in 'The Ferryman'. And a live rabbit. And a live baby. None of these things are particularly important in and of themselves, but I guess I have to start somewhere in describing this enormous, shattering eruption of a play from 'Jerusalem' playwright Jez Butterworth…

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Gielgud Theatre , Soho Tuesday June 20 2017 - Saturday October 7 2017
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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 July 22 2018

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 December 17 2017
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By: Andrzej Lukowski

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