Wind in the Willows, London Palladium ★★★

Reviewed for Musical Theatre Review: Appearing at last weekend’s benefit concert for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe introduced themselves as: “the chaps with two musicals in the West End at the moment – and it’s the only time in our lives when we’ll be able to say…

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Blondel, Union Theatre, London ★★★

Reviewed for Musical Theatre Review: The knowledge that Blondel was Tim Rice’s first musical after his split with Andrew Lloyd Webber adds an extra piquancy to some of its knowing lines. Who needs lyrics, muses the show’s eponymous troubadour Blondel, when it’s the music that really makes people take notice? In this comic rock take…

Taj Express, Sadler’s Wells, London ★★★½

Reviewed for The Reviews Hub: It is not usual, one must admit, for a stage show to start with a voiceover warning that anybody expecting great theatre should leave. There are certainly some shows that could benefit from such a management of expectations. Taj Express, the latest Bollywood-inspired work from the Merchant family, is at…

18-22, Attractive, Insecure, Courtyard Theatre, London ★★★★

Reviewed for The Reviews Hub: There is a website called Casting Call Woe that catalogues all the ridiculous casting breakdowns for acting roles looking for young women. Such roles are usually underwritten, with any characterisation junked as quickly as the creators want their actresses to shed their clothes. Such indignities provide a title and jumping-off…

Aeonian, Etcetera Theatre, London ★½

Reviewed for The Reviews Hub: Imogen is a ghost, of sorts. In the opening monologue in Vesna Hauschild’s new one-act play, Kat Boart implies that she was the mother to a famous Spanish artist – and her cries of “Salvador!” suggests which surrealist provides the inspiration here. Then again, Imogen also implies that she has…

Ordinary Days, London Theatre Workshop ★★★★

New York-based romantic comedies may be less popular in the cinema and on stage than they once were, but they are so plentiful that each needs to be distinctive to succeed. At first, Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days seems to revel in its titular ordinariness. The cast comprises solely of a struggling artist, a similarly struggling…

La Strada, The Other Palace, London ★★★

Reviewed for Musical Theatre Review: Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada (‘The Road’) chronicles the story of Gelsomina, a plaintive young girl who is sold by her poverty-stricken mother into servitude to the brutal strongman Zampanò. Their journey across the Italian landscape, including formative encounters with more circus folk, are brought to the stage by…