Olivier theatre

A well-meaning but dull Official History: Olivier's Normal Heart reviewed

9 October 2021 9:00 am

The Normal Heart is not about Aids. Larry Kramer’s play is set in New York in 1981 at a time…

Homeric levels of misery: Paradise, at the Olivier Theatre, reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

The National Theatre has given Sophocles’s Philoctetes a makeover and a new title, Paradise. This must be ironic because the…

Racists will love it: National Theatre's Death of England – Delroy reviewed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Death of England: Delroy is a companion piece to Death of England, which ran in February at the NT and…

The National Theatre’s live-streaming policy is bizarre

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The National’s bizarre livestreaming service continues. On 7 May, for one week only, it released a modern-dress version of Antony…

Worth watching for the comments thread alone: NT's Twelfth Night livestream reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

‘Enjoy world-class theatre online for free,’ announces the National Theatre. Every Thursday at 7 p.m. a play from the archive…

A decorative pageant that would appeal to civic grandees: The Secret River reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

The Secret River opens in a fertile corner of New South Wales in the early 1800s. William, a cockney pauper…

Star quality: Mark Rylance as Iago at Shakespeare’s Globe

The gentle side of Bruckner: Rotterdam Philharmonic’s Prom reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

It’s intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful to look at and funny in unexpected places, yet Othello at the Globe didn’t quite meet…

If we offer Ian McKellan a peerage, will he promise not to inflict his King Lear on us again?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Gandalf, also known as Ian McKellen, has awarded himself another lap of honour by bringing King Lear back to London.…

Why has the National given over its largest stage to one of the nation’s smallest talents?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The National has made its largest stage available to one of the nation’s smallest talents. If Brian Friel had been…

Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the National Theatre

Rory Kinnear is less Macbeth, more a tetchy manager of an Amazon warehouse

17 March 2018 9:00 am

The Best Man by Gore Vidal is set during a fictional American election in 1960. Two gifted candidates seek their…

Bring on the dancing-girls: Follies at the Oliver

Age concern

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies takes a huge leap into the past. It’s 1971 and we meet two middle-aged couples who knew…

Les Blancs at the Olivier is good-ish, but it won't be a classic

16 April 2016 9:00 am

Les Blancs had a troubled birth. In 1965 several unfinished drafts of the play were entrusted by its dying author,…

Rosalie Craig as Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’

How did this plotless goon-show wind up at the Royal Court?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

One of the challenges of art is to know the difference between innovation and error. I wonder sometimes if the…

Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of…

Acerbic sex bomb: Susannah Fielding as Mrs Sullen in ‘The Beaux’ Stratagem’

The Anglican elite laid bare: Temple at the Donmar Warehouse reviewed

6 June 2015 9:00 am

In October 2011 anti-capitalist vagrants built an open-air squat outside St Paul’s within shrieking distance of London’s financial heart. The…

Poverty ogling: Stephanie Street and Meera Syal in ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’

The National’s latest attempt to cheer us up: three hours of poverty porn

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Bombay is now called Mumbai by everyone bar its residents, whose historic name (from the Portuguese for ‘beautiful cove’) has…