Adam Mcdonnell

Wendell Pierce gives an astonishing performance in this enthralling revival of the Arthur Miller classic. With a fantastic supporting cast, Marianne Elliot and Miranda Cromwell’s latest joint venture is an absolute triumph with acting at its absolute finest. This new take on Death of a Salesman keeps the location and timings as originally written. The […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

A warm and engaging revival of a classic musical, Trevor Nunn’s Fiddler on the Roof has heaps of heart as it tells this tale of family, community and solidarity. Set amongst a small Jewish settlement in Imperial Russia during the early 1900s, Fiddler on the Roof’s themes are surprisingly still relevant. The story carefully balances […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Jeanine Tesori’s diverse range of work continues to impress me. Whether it be the scores for the hugely successful Shrek or Thoroughly Modern Millie, the excruciatingly raw Fun Home, or the hilarious yet heart-breaking Caroline, or Change. I was recently lucky enough to see fantastic productions of the latter two in this impressive list, and […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Enjoying its second run at the Arcola, Jack Gamble’s production is a stark portrayal of the family dynamics of a typical working class family at the start of the 20th century. Focussing on the strained relationship between Luther and Minnie during the early weeks of their marriage, D H Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law is all about […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Bright, wondrous, and bubbly, Seussical, is an odd little show, but one that is filled with positivity and happiness. This enthusiastic group of performers throw everything at the production, and I’d challenge anyone to leave the theatre without a massive grin on their face. Littered with playful and uplifting songs, the musical mixes a number […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

With new theatre, it is sometimes tricky to differentiate between what comes from the original writing and from the production you are viewing. After all, such an early incarnation of a musical will have very few, if any, comparisons by which the production itself can be directly judged. With Hadestown, the two are even more […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

A bold new rock musical that brings a contemporary feel to the story of the Bronte sisters, this is a fun and smart piece of work that doesn’t shy away from experimental ideas, and while still a little rough around the edges, is an admirably successful piece of work. There are many parts of this […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

James Hogan’s new play is a touching portrayal of love, struggle and bereavement, but lacks the bite to make the drama gripping, spending too long stomping on well-trodden ground. Centring around Stan, recently out of prison and returning to the home he has been left by his late father, the play focuses on his interactions […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Rory Mullarkey’s new play is totally bonkers, and while it does have some laugh-out loud moments, there are too many misfires meaning it ends up plodding along and becomes quite a frustrating watch. Unapologetically, this is a play deeply rooted in the surreal comedy genre, and it seems likely that it is going to split […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

What a remarkably raw and human piece of theatre. The libretto of this brutally honest look at working-class life is crafted with such eloquence that it is a joy to listen to. Coupled with such a powerful performance from its cast, this play challenges your preconceptions and presents the complexities of an apparently simple life […]

With a sharp and witty script delivered with crisp precision, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is highly entertaining throughout, combining comedy and drama gracefully to produce a wonderfully crafted story. A highly entertaining new play, based on Lola Shoneyin’s novel, it tells the tale of a polygamous relationship in modern day Nigeria and […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Jason Robert Brown is a name that is maybe unfamiliar to the casual theatregoer, but you wouldn’t think that was the case sat in the packed London Palladium for his BBC Radio 2 concert. It is a treat in itself to have Brown in the UK, but the extra appeal of this occasion was that […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

How far will you go to be famous? This is the key theme that is explored in Ruthless!, a musical that does not hold back in poking fun of the brutality involved in succeeding in show business and all the stereotypes that come with musical theatre. The show achieves its aims somewhat, satirizing the very […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Musical theatre isn’t usually the first place you look for a modern horror story, but in this new short creation by Bella Barlow and A.C. Smith, the eclectic mix works incredibly well. While it could do with tightening up in some areas, particularly near the end, the plot moves along with intrigue and excitement, with […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

The 2003 Tim Burton film of Big Fish is one that I have watched many times and grow fonder of with every viewing. I know it well, and so my response may be different from someone coming in blind. For those who are unfamiliar, the story centres on a father and his adult son – […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Late Night, tell-it-how-it-is radio — a premise with the potential for shocking, humorous and meaningful dialogue, but Eric Bogosian’s play lacks depth and originality, with this production feeling in turns forced and unnatural. Barry has risen to fame due to the success of his listener phone-in show, and we join him along with his production […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Jason Robert Brown is one of the most well-respected composers working in musical theatre today. His credits include Songs for a New World, The Last Five Years and Parade (my personal favourite musical). In 2007, he premiered a show called 13, a musical written for a cast consisting completely of, as the name suggests, 13-year-olds. […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Boy does this play keep you gripped. Partly a detective noir drama, partly a psychological thriller, partly an exploration of the human mind, City of Glass is filled with so many twists and turns that it keeps you guessing long after you’ve left its home at the Lyric. With innovative effects and an array of […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

There’s not anything groundbreaking or spectacular in this production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at Wilton’s Music Hall. Neither is there anything particularly problematic or dull. It’s very much an ok production, of an ok show. No more, no less. Describing a show as “ok” seems a little insulting, but that’s […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Virtual reality is one of those things that most of us are aware of, but for many (me included), its uses don’t appear to extend much beyond teenage boys wearing a headset and playing the latest video game. In Lindsey Ferrentino’s new play, the technology is presented as an antidote to physical pain, specifically the […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Joseph Moncure March’s initially controversial poem, The Wild Party, is subject to possibly one of the biggest coincidences in musical theatre history. Back in the 1999/2000 Broadway season, two totally separate musicals emerged, both using the exact same source material for their narrative—even more peculiar given the poem isn’t exactly the most obvious source material […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

There will be few unfamiliar with J.B. Priestley’s most famous piece, An Inspector Calls, and in this latest version director Stephen Daldry extracts the richness of the text to produce a gripping and intense romp and, while it has its ostentatious moments, is a respectfully solid revival of a play that continues to entertain seventy […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

A solid revival of a fringe theatre classic, this latest production of The Last Five Years embraces the personal lyrics and blissful melodies and provides a raw and touching take of a modern love story. A semi-autobiographical piece from Jason Robert Brown, this sung-through musical tracks the relationship between a young aspiring actress, Cathy, and […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

A uniquely bizarre story, Side Show follows the life of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton as they are saved from their tortured life performing as ‘freaks’ in a Texan sideshow and propelled into stardom as the hottest act on the opium circuit. The musical, which first premiered on Broadway in 1997, has a rather […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

A powerful and poignant musical production from director Thom Southerland, who yet again manages to deliver an incredibly high calibre of fringe theatre. Ragtime boasts an accomplished score, intriguing story and cast and creatives who more than equal the quality of the source material. Tom Rogers and Toots Bucher’s set design is instantly striking, particularly […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Two short plays written by Charlie Howitt and produced by Reverend Productions, both featuring the same cast of four, the first titled Jekyll & Hyde and the second Nerve. Performed at the Greenwich Theatre. Jekyll & Hyde Taking its title from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, the play centres around a surgeon named Ellie Jekyll […]