Macbeth

Macbeth

There’s a moral sense of the inevitable in Macbeth. Man is greedy. Greedy is bad. Murder is badder. Bad men – especially the badder ones – die. Brushing aside accusations of over-simplification, any fan of the Channel 5 Afternoon Movie could predict from the start that things won’t end well for this eponymous antihero, despite the power and fame that the witches predict for him... 

Network

Network

Here we have a play, based on a film, about television, with heavy use of video (live, recorded and even outside broadcasting), incorporating social media, onstage DJs and audience members cooked and served dinner live in the restaurant situated stage left... 

Saint George and the Dragon

Saint George and the Dragon

For those who don’t know much about mid-20th century Russian literature – I’m sure there must be one or two – satirical playwright Evgeny Schwartz’s 1943 play, Drakon (The Dragon) is the inspiration for this Saint George and The Dragon, now at The Olivier... 

Oslo

Oslo

The challenge with any dramatisation of an historic moment is in trying to appeal to the people for whom the event just ‘rings a bell’ right up to those whose lives were directly impacted by it ... 

Follies

Follies

British audiences have had to wait a long time to finally figure out what Sondheim’s backstage musical Follies is. Any clues in the original 1971 Broadway Cast recording were thwarted by Capitol Records’ purely commercial decision to shoehorn it onto a single LP, lobotomising it in the process... 

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

Let’s get something out of the way - Olivia Colman is darn good at this acting malarkey isn't she? It might actually even be illegal to use her name without the prefix ‘Nation’s Favourite’... 

Common

Common

Within the first five or so minutes of Common, a large chorus of people wearing shrubs, trees and animal heads over their faces chant menacingly, a woman in her fineries introduces herself to the audience as a whore, liar, thief and cunt, and a young boy talks to the robotic crow on his arm that is his dead father... 

Consent

Consent

Decouple any romantic notion of sex as being the physical demonstration of love and what is it other than just an act to satiate a desire for power, ownership, closeness, or to make babies? And if the parties involved are expecting different things from the outset, does that make either better or worse? In Nina Raine’s new play Consent, now at the National’s Dorfman, such emotionally cold intellectualism of something we pretend to be all about emotion creates a tennis game of debate – not only on what defines consent to the act itself but also consent and agreement to its role and impact... 

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

There must be little more that can raise the spirits of young or old than the idea of flying free through the skies. And this production of Peter Pan brings that magic to life with aerobatic feats that are indeed a joy to behold... 

Amadeus

Amadeus

"Why is Opera important? Because it's real-er than any play". So says the wildly frenetic Mozart early in Peter Shaffer's "play with music" (and famed 1984 film) Amadeus. And that could well sum up this production at the Olivier - a truly cinematic, energetic and passion filled piece that intertwines the music and musicians as backdrop, set and settings in tableaux that create a theatrical bubble to envelop you with visual simplicity and audible beauty by the (mostly) on stage orchestra... 

The Red Barn

The Red Barn

If you think The Red Barn will be a nice relaxing audience experience think again and then have another think. A series of pervasive audio-visual effects combine with constrained dialogue to keep you on-guard and in a state of intense concentration... 

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Combining the bawdy naughtiness of St Trinian's, the desire to escape sobriety, language and depiction of true Scottishness of Trainspotting, with beautiful choral harmonies and ELO-heavy rock performances, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour may not be your expected National Theatre mixture but is an energy-filled show that likes to shake you out of your seat from the start... 

Young Chekhov: Three-play day

Young Chekhov: Three-play day

Spending a full day (11 hours from first curtain up to last curtain call) watching three of Chekhov's early plays (hence the 'Young' of the title) may not sound like the most fun day out in London – his themes covering hopelessness, lack of personal fulfilment, depression and of course, tragically necessary death, often at one's own hands... 

The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea

With its clipped accents, simmering tension, undulating music and themes of mental anguish and sexual tension, Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea is quintessentially old-school British Theatre... 

The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera

A common preconception of Brecht's work is that his political views, his 'anti-theatre' style and the didactic tag that precedes any conversation about it, creates theatre that screams "worthy" and "intellectual" but offers little enjoyment for the average theatregoer... 

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a highly entertaining, song-packed show with plenty of heart. It follows the story of six girls from the Catholic high school (Our Lady of Perpetual Succour) as they spend a wild 24 hours in Edinburgh for a choir competition... 

The Suicide

The Suicide

Russian playwright Nikolai Erdman's original script for The Suicide was seen as such a strong satirical attack on the Communist Russian Government that it was branded ‘dangerous’ and ‘anti-Soviet’, banned and led to Erdman’s arrest and the murder of its director, Meyerhold... 

Cleansed

Cleansed

Sarah Kane’s Cleansed is a provocative, invasive and deeply discomforting piece of theatre, one that dazzles and disgusts in equal measure. Set in a laboratory facility within a university, love is dissected, mutilated and examined by the omnipresent figure of Tinker... 

Waste

Waste

We find the notion of the waste of anything in life shameful, if not sinful – removing, as it does, any idea of success or achievement by focusing instead on what could or should have been fulfilled had we not fallen short of expectations... 

A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey

It was 1958 that saw Sharagh Delaney’s first play hit the stage, and it isn’t hard to imagine how totally stupefied the contemporary audience must have been. This is a play about a working class girl who falls pregnant by a black sailor, is abandoned and picked up again by none other than a homosexual art student...