London theatre reviews

Read through our latest Time Out theatre reviews and find out what our London theatre team made of the city's new openings

‘Pity’ review

2 out of 5 stars

Packed full of explosions, giant inflatables and honest-to-goodness tanks, Rory Mullarkey's apocalyptic exploration of Britishness and crisis is like literally nothing else you'll see at the theatre this summer…

Royal Court Theatre , Belgravia Until Saturday August 11 2018
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‘A Monster Calls’ review

4 out of 5 stars

Patrick Ness’s ‘A Monster Calls’ is one of the great young adult fiction novels of our time, a devastating articulation of the fury that comes with grief, bound up in a nifty magical realist chassis. It has already been turned into a film, which essentially treated the story of 13-year-old Conor and his mother, dying of cancer, as a kitchen sinky drama, sporadically interrupted by the gargantuan, CGI-generated Monster - an ancient walking yew tree, voiced by Liam Neeson. Super-director Sally Cookson’s stab at turning it into a stage play so soon after the film is a tad audacious in theory, but to her credit she mostly nails it. Devised with her company, this ‘A Monster Calls’ takes a while to warm up, but ultimately locks into the searing emotional clarity of the book more closely than the film did. Despite the uncluttered starkness of Michael Vale’s pure white set, at first the production suffers from an abundance of bells and whistles. Benji Bower’s pulsing, ‘Kid A’-style score feels a mite intrusive, Dan Canham’s stylised movement a bit busy, and the initial introduction of the Monster as a mix of actor Stuart Goodwin, some ropes and Dick Straker’s (gorgeous) projections feels a bit difficult to quite take in. It slightly clogs the story of brave, bullied Conor (Matthew Tennyson) and his endlessly – perhaps dangerously – optimistic Mum (Marianne Oldham). But as with the book, the play feels more powerful as its intent becomes clearer. The Monster comes to Conor at nigh

Old Vic , Southwark Until Saturday August 25 2018
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‘The Lehman Trilogy’ review

4 out of 5 stars

Sam Mendes’s recent forays onto the stage – ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘King Lear’, ‘The Ferryman’ –  have all been bombastic, blockbuster-style affairs that sparkle with the traces of his Hollywood success…

National Theatre , South Bank Wednesday July 25 2018 - Saturday October 20 2018
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‘As You Like It’ review

4 out of 5 stars

Shakespeare’s romcom ‘As You Like It’ is having a bit of an outdoor theatre moment this summer: one production kicked off Michelle Terry’s inaugural Globe season, another has recently wrapped up a tour of London’s garden squares, and here it is again at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre…

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre , Regent's Park Until Saturday July 28 2018
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‘The Lehman Trilogy’ review

4 out of 5 stars
Recommended

Sam Mendes’s recent forays onto the stage – ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘King Lear’, ‘The Ferryman’ –  have all been bombastic, blockbuster-style affairs that sparkle with the traces of his Hollywood success…

National Theatre , South Bank Wednesday July 25 2018 - Saturday October 20 2018
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‘The One’ review

4 out of 5 stars

Before we had ‘Fleabag’ – Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s sexy, blistering monologue about a young Londoner making a mess of life and love, later filmed for the BBC – we had this, the debut play by Waller-Bridge’s friend and collaborator Vicky Jones…

Soho Theatre , Soho Until Saturday August 25 2018
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‘Translations’ review

4 out of 5 stars
Recommended

Ropey ‘Macbeth’ aside, the National Theatre’s mercurial Olivier has been crushing it vis-à-vis revivals lately…

Until Saturday August 11 2018

‘Red’ review

4 out of 5 stars
Recommended

Finally bagging itself a West End transfer a hefty nine years after its hit run at the Donmar Warehouse, Michael Grandage’s production of John Logan’s ‘Red’ has lost none of its power over the decade…

Wyndham's Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday July 28 2018
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‘Brief Encounter’ review

4 out of 5 stars
Recommended

Clearly not one to sulk into her P45, Emma Rice has opted to fill the time between her controversial departure from the Globe and the launch of her new company by bringing back one of her most beloved Kneehigh hits…

Empire Haymarket , St James' Until Sunday September 9 2018
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Comments

1 comments
felicity b

Cinderella in Chiswick House Gardens is great!  Went tonight, it was a breath of fresh air without cheesy jokes, but with ballerina mice dancing, an acrobatic lizard, singing and dancing - Inearly forgot, the magician throughout.  Topped off with a sprinkling of snow at the end. 

Company as called Humdalila Productions I think.  Only on in December.