Long Day’s Journey into Night, Brooklyn Academy of Music

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by guest critic Steven Strauss

On its surface, the title Long Day’s Journey into Night describes the looooong four acts it takes Eugene O’Neill’s play to chronicle the story of one day-into-night in the life of the Tyrone family. Metaphorically, it suggests how the play utilizes this micro-slice of life to depict how this autobiographical family descends from the daylight of sanity to the darkness of madness in a macro sense, and how their projected reality in the sunlight of day masks the true darkness of night lingering underneath. 

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West End Eurovision, Shaftesbury Theatre

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

There can’t be anything more theatrical than Eurovision, right? Well actually MAD Trust’s West End Eurovision is back, combining big musicals with everyone’s favourite European (ish) song contest, and it’s as wonderfully stagey as you’d imagine.

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The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre

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by guest critic Susannah Martin

After humble beginnings in a space above a pub, it’s an impressive feat to go on and conquer the West End, and Broadway too, but Mischief Theatre continue to prove why their productions are worthy of playing a variety of theatres across the world. Celebrating their second birthday at the Criterion Theatre, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is the company’s third West End hit, and it’s easy to see why.

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Report | Mousetrap Theatre Projects’ Anniversary Gala

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by guest critic Susannah Martin

On Sunday, the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre saw some of theatre’s biggest stars  host and perform in the Mousetrap Theatre Projects’ Anniversary Gala, which nodded
to the 21 years that the charity has provided disadvantaged families and young people with the opportunity to experience live theatre. It’s a cause that is celebrated throughout the industry, and the night’s entertainment proved its importance for not only the recipients, but for the performers who have benefited from the scheme.

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Mary Stuart, Duke of York’s Theatre

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by guest critic Kudzanayi Chiwawa

Heads or tails – with the flip of a coin, on this evening, Juliet Stevenson is Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart is portrayed by Lia Williams.

The play opens with urgency, the stakes are high and the rhythm throughout doesn’t let up. It’s exhilarating. Williams commands the stage like a beautiful beast, burdened by captivity. We know how history reads for these two women, but the battle waged on stage, makes you wonder how will it end.

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Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

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Let’s get this out of the way first – does Hamilton live up to the hype? Yes. It’s very good. Though the revolution in the plot doesn’t influence the dramaturgy, that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic show that musically updates the genre and skillfully triggers a spectrum of emotions. It’s simultaneously epic and intimate, staged surprisingly simply with striking, sculptural choreography and utterly engaging throughout.

But this pro-immigration, hip-hop reinvention of the all-American musical about a country gaining independence from a distant, tyrannical overlord resonates rather differently in Brexit Britain than it does in America. Forget the NHS bus – could Hamilton be the new symbol of the Leave campaign?

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Feature | Addiction and the Audience in People, Places & Things

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by guest critic Steven Strauss

Heaps of deserved praise has been showered on Jeremy Herrin’s production of Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places & Things, with much directed at Denise Gough’s thrillingly committed performance of a struggling actor in rehab. Yet after seeing it at Wyndham’s Theatre in mid-2016 then its New York City run this year, it’s easy to see there’s more to it than Gough. A second, transatlantic viewing proves just how thoroughly the production theatricalises addicts’ experiences in order to generate audience empathy with the struggle to overcome addiction.

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