Theatre

Latest Pieces

Henry V – Donmar Warehouse

Max Webster’s excellent production leans into the play’s moral complexity, though world events make Henry’s actions seem even less justifiable than usual

The Chairs – Almeida

Omar Elerian brilliantly deconstructs Ionesco in this hilariously virtuosic, physically comic staging, which uses an invisible, imaginary audience to remind us of our immediate presence in the theatre space

The Forest – Hampstead Theatre

Florian Zeller’s kaleidoscopic new play about the multiplicity and duplicity of men is slickly designed and has fantastic performances, though it does not find the same richness in its female characters

A Number – Old Vic

Exquisite performances lend a transfixing, heightened realism to Caryl Churchill’s profound domestic thriller, in which a man turns to science in a doomed search for spiritual renewal, interspersed with the serene, sacred music of Arvo Pärt

Peggy for You – Hampstead Theatre

Tasmin Greig blazes her way through a biographical drama that questions what theatre is without really finding an answer, while seeming to reflect on the programming choices of Hampstead’s uneven 60th anniversary season

Best of Enemies – Young Vic

James Graham debates the idea of debates themselves, in a highly watchable show that shows Graham continuing to question the value of his own work

The Comedy of Errors – Barbican (RSC)

Phillip Breen’s high-energy take on Shakespeare’s early comedy makes largely sublime additions to the source material – and makes you wonder why Shakespeare comedies can’t be like this more often

Rare Earth Mettle – Royal Court Downstairs

Inventive design, strong performances and occasionally brilliant satire cannot compensate for the dramaturgical failures of Al Smith’s new drama, which notably include its central character’s original name playing into antisemitic tropes

The Wife of Willesden – Kiln

Indhu Rubasinghim’s almost-perfect production brings style and energy to Zadie Smith’s witty and incisive contemporary reworking of Chaucer

Camp Siegfried – Old Vic

Bess Wohl’s 1930s two-hander is alive with contemporary parallels, but has more insight into the processes of radicalisation than its potential solutions

Hymn – Almeida

Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani brilliantly perform Lolita Chakrabarti’s moving play, which astounds in-person in a way it never quite did online

Dream – RSC

A star-studded motion capture riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the theatrical highlight of the last year