Jack and the Beanstalk

Although lively from the start, Theatre Royal Stratford East’s characteristically modern spin on this festive favourite only really kicks into gear in the second half, unfolding with a lot of audience participation but a lack of magic. All the ingredients are there in writer Paul Sirett and director Dawn Reid’s … Continue Reading Jack and the Beanstalk

The Arabian Nights

This re-imagining of One Thousand and One Nights is a fun and often lyrical testimony to the cultural richness and diversity of the Middle East, at a time when the western media focuses only on anger and extremism. But as vibrant and as hopeful about the redemptive power of the imagination as … Continue Reading The Arabian Nights

The Bodyguard

This musical based on the hit 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner has got the stuff that you want, it’s got the thing that you need. It might even bring you to your knees (if you’re so inclined). Everything about it is targeted at breathless poster quotes. It’s … Continue Reading The Bodyguard

Ex Libris Macabre

A welcome break from the pre-packaged twinkle of the festive season, Little Jade Productions’s collection of spooky stories, poems and songs from across the world nevertheless sits awkwardly between recital and performance. There’s no doubting the quality of the pieces, which range from a Grimm Tale to a performance of … Continue Reading Ex Libris Macabre

A Christmas Carol

Returning to the Arts Theatre for a second year, Simon Callow’s one-man performance of A Christmas Carol – inspired by Charles Dickens’ popular public readings of the story – already feels like a festive ritual. It’s a well-crafted piece of seasonal cheer that warms the heart even if it doesn’t … Continue Reading A Christmas Carol

Interview: Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne is a little frustrated. At only 34, as the award-winning writer of edgy teen drama Skins, co-writer with Shane Meadows of This Is England ’86 and creator of the criminally short-lived dark fantasy series The Fades, he has accomplished an impressive amount. But when it comes to writing for the stage, he’s chafing at what … Continue Reading Interview: Jack Thorne