An autumn rich in musicals in the West End may yet bring better ones, but it’ll be difficult to find a more eye-poppingly lavish show anywhere than Wicked. And a musical about the castings of spells seems to have duly cast its own and hypnotises audience who have embraced it as not so much a musical as an event.
Review: War Horse
Straight after coming home from seeing War Horse, the now annual National Theatre production based on a children’s book and designed for family audiences, I went online to book tickets to see it again, this time with my partner, parents and older brother (who is a vet and has specialised in working with horses). So should you, before it sells out completely – and it will.
Review: Treasure Island
The first half, alas, passes by in a lot of sluggish exposition and character development as we are introduced to the pirate band, before the second half takes more imaginative flight when the Hispaniola reaches the island.
Review: The Scottsboro Boys
Here’s a dazzlingly executed piece of showbusiness panache, and all for a story that truly matters.
Review: The Play That Goes Wrong
The play starts ‘going wrong’ even before it has begun when cast members bustle through the front-of-house looking for a missing dog called Winston.
Review: Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon is full of glimpses of, and glances towards, other shows from South Pacific to Pacific Overtures, too, as well as its operatic source. But it remains a striking, occasionally strident, example of musical theatre craftsmanship. I wish it hadn’t been burdened here by over-production, but there’s no question that audiences are getting their money’s worth, and that it will be a massive hit all over again.
Review: The Merchant of Venice
I’ve never seen a production of this play resonate quite as powerfully before, either. Ian McDiarmid charts Shylock’s disastrous pursuit of a pound of Antonio’s flesh with a relentless determination that undoes him.