Oliver Simmonds

This 2015 Revival of The Elephant Man is an average production of a bland play with competent actors. It tells the story John Merrick (played by Bradley Cooper), a disfigured Victorian who is saved from the life of a circus sideshow by surgeon Frederick Treves (Alessandro Nivola). Treves teaches John the ways of the upper […]

  Oliver Simmonds

Mad world, mad kings, mad composition, mad play. King John, as a text, is a mess. The plot casually advances from war to marriage to war and then to death in a literary frenzy. The king is barely a character for most of it (Falconbridge seems to be given the most to say) and we […]

  Jordan Morrissey

One of the most intriguing aspects of our fascination with the lives of the members of Britain’s Royal Family is how little we really know about them. Although perhaps one of our most public institutions, it is striking that we know only snippets of their ambitions, their disappointments, their hopes and dreams. Indeed, behind the […]

  Adam Mcdonnell

Regarded as one of the biggest flops in Broadway’s history, following its five-day run in the late 1980s, this revamped and modernised version of ‘Carrie: The Musical’ does an excellent job at leaving its past failures behind and revitalising itself for a new audience. Based on the Stephen King novel, made timeless by the 1976 […]

  Oliver Simmonds

It was not surprising that the National would put on a play post-election about the origins of Parliament. Fortunately, it is not the dry, dour production that one might expect it to be. Carol Churchill’s 1976 work takes on the struggle of the factions of Parliamentarians, Levellers and Diggers during the English Civil War in […]

  Oliver Simmonds

What a turnaround. It is not often that a show can improve so much between its Acts. From the first Act’s close, it seemed like High Society was an extremely middling production, which is not at all expected from the Old Vic. However, the change is unexpected and grand. It is not clear whether the […]