★★★★Macbeth Mayhem

Simon Ward reviews The Tragedy of Macbeth at Southwark Playhouse. Flabbergast Theatre have spent years working and re-working this noisy, exuberant, muscular and unnerving version of Shakespeare’s infamous Scottish play. Entering the auditorium is like stumbling onto the enactment of an ancient pagan ritual in a woodland clearing. Characters […]

★★★★★Bear Necessities

Simon Ward reviews Average Bear at the Soho Theatre Michelle Brasier’s Average Bear is billed as comedy, and it is frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it is also thought-provoking and devastatingly emotional. Delivered as a mixture of stand-up, songs and ‘bear-lesque’, the audience never quite knows where Brasier’s irresistible banter […]

★★ Detention Sentence

Simon Ward reviews How To Break Out Of A Detention Centre at the Riverside Studios This is the world premiere of a piece whose themes and message arguably transcend the world of theatre and render any review meaningless. Performed in many languages by performers passionately and deeply engaged […]

★★★★ Breathtaking Bravery

Simon Ward reviews Breathless at the Soho Theatre From the moment that Sophie (Madeleine MacMahon) bursts onto the stage accompanied by an exhalation of breath we are gripped. She is indeed breathless as she tells us her story, and she is rendered breathless and speechless more than once […]

★★★★ Home Truth

Simon Ward reviews How Not To Drown at Theatre Royal Stratford East This is a powerful and important piece of theatre. It provides a counterblast to the prevailing anti-immigrant rhetoric from the government and commentariat and it offers a personal account of a lived experience which could not […]

★★★★ A Sweet Treat

Simon Ward reviews Pick n Mix Downstairs at The Pleasance Taking the bare bones of the plot of Kat Rose-Martin’s brilliant debut play, having its London premiere in North London’s Pleasance, could well suggest a dose of kitchen-sink Northern miserabilism. We witness period pains and problems, multiple unplanned […]

★★ Underwhelming Immersion

Simon Ward reviews Handel’s Messiah: The Live Experience at Theatre Royal Drury Lane For one night only, as a festive treat, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane gives the cast of Frozen a night off and is taken over by what is billed as a ground-breaking version of Handel’s […]

★★ Not The Happiest Day

Simon Ward reviews The Wedding Speech at The Hope Theatre The Wedding Speech is a one-woman play written by Cheryl May Coward-Walker and performed with passionate intensity by Princess Donnough as Rosemary. She is the grown-up daughter who has volunteered to make a speech at her mother’s wedding, […]