Murderous Music

“What have you been reading?” Award-winning American playwright Julia Jordan laughs. We’re discussing her latest project, new rock musical Murder Ballad – for which she wrote the book and lyrics, with music from indie singer-songwriter Juliana Nash – and I’ve observed that violence seem to be a preoccupation of her work. From … Continue Reading Murderous Music

Interview: Siobhan Daly

One on side of the Lion and Unicorn’s black-box theatre space, a group of actors rehearsing Titania’s first meeting with Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are enthusiastically trying out different braying laughs for the unfortunate Mechanical-cum-ass. Performing around them, the love-struck Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia cling to each other in … Continue Reading Interview: Siobhan Daly

Boy Meets Boy

It’s the oldest story in the book: boy meets boy in 1930s England, the guy he’s jilted at the altar meddles in their relationship, confusion ensues, he ends up stripping in a Parisian nightclub before being reunited with his love for a show-stopping wedding. Gene David Kirk’s production of Bill … Continue Reading Boy Meets Boy

In Extremis

Theatre, particularly historical drama, loves traces – things mentioned in passing, buried in letters or contemporary accounts. From these meagre roots stories branch out and real lives bleed into fiction as the past becomes a stage-bound phantasmagoria of ‘what-ifs’. Neil Bartlett confronts this head-on in his recreation of Oscar Wilde’s … Continue Reading In Extremis


The supposed site of Christ’s crucifixion, ‘Golgotha’ translates from the Bible as ‘place of the skull’. In Nirjay Mahindru’s searingly intense new play, the river Thames is also a place of skulls, haunted by the ghosts of a buried past. Young Loretta is an unwilling immigrant in nineteenth-century London, brought … Continue Reading Golgotha

A Winter’s Tale

Cult composer and lyricist Howard Goodall’s new musical based on Shakespeare’s great ‘problem’ play ‘The Winter’s Tale’ comes up against the same difficulty facing a straightforward staging. How do you reconcile the pitch darkness and bucolic light of two acts set 16 years apart, in two different countries? Thematic threads … Continue Reading A Winter’s Tale

Steel Pier

This production marks the European premiere of David Thompson, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Great Depression-set musical about a dance marathon on Atlantic City’s famous Steel Pier, inspired by Horace McCoy’s 1935 novel ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ Ostensibly about the romance between mysterious stunt pilot Billy Kelly (Jay Rincon) … Continue Reading Steel Pier

Daddy Long Legs

To modern ears, there’s something creepy about a story in which a benefactor adopts a pseudonym to influence the life of a girl he becomes infatuated with, and who takes to calling him ‘Daddy’ in her letters. But this new musical – directed and adapted by John Caird from the … Continue Reading Daddy Long Legs

The Heiress

Dan Stevens, famously of Downton Abbey, swaps one period drama for another as he makes his Broadway debut in this superb revival of Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s bleakly brilliant play – based on Henry James’s novel Washington Square – about the damage wrought by living without love. The year is 1850. … Continue Reading The Heiress