An Inspector Calls

5 stars

A dinner party at the Birling family home is rudely interrupted when an Inspector knocks on the door, in J B Priestley’s classic thriller. Set in the north of England in April 1912, the play is about class, the divide between rich and poor, and man’s careless inhumanity to man. It’s a compelling production that has won a whole series of awards, and is the longest-running revival of a play in history - seen by over five million theatregoers worldwide.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 27 February | Read more

The Entertainer

4 stars

Though originally written in 1956, this adaptation of John Osborne’s The Entertainer is set against the backdrop of the Falklands War and Thatcher’s Britain. Yet it remains a story about days gone by, where music hall entertainment provides comfort to ordinary people who are tired and poor. Steve Morris writes about the play: “Many of us can remember what things were like when the country seemed grey and used up.” Perhaps we are there again now, in turmoil and divided.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Friday 25 October | Read more

The Full Monty

4 stars

Rewritten for the theatre, The Full Monty does not disappoint. It’s set in Sheffield in 1988 at the height of Margaret Thatcher’s government, and it’s about a group of men coping with unemployment and looking for innovative ways to make some money.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Tuesday 22 January | Read more

Trial by Laughter

4 stars

Set in December 1817, Trial by Laughter concerns the plight of an unassuming publisher of cartoons and satirical pamphlets, William Hone, who is prosecuted by the King. He is charged by the Tory government with seditious libel and blasphemy – against the monarchy, the Regency government, and God. Hone’s crime is essentially to defend free speech and the right to hold those in authority to account.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Tuesday 27 November | Read more

Evita

4 stars

This revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical begins dramatically, with the whole company on stage mourning the loss of the young Eva Peron. We are introduced to Che (Glenn Carter), a cynical and omniscient presence throughout the piece, who comments pretty much on every move Eva (Lucy O'Byrne) makes. And then we rewind to fast-track through the meteoric rise of the woman who became the "Spiritual Chief" of the people of Argentina.

Reviewed by Tig Land on Wednesday 31 October | Read more

Romeo and Juliet

4 stars

This production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet will not fail to charm. Every actor gets inside the skin of their character, and their zest for life is evident from the first scene of this love story set in Verona.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Tuesday 16 October | Read more

The Habit Of Art

3 stars

Alan Bennett’s 2009 play is set in a theatre rehearsal room, where the audience is invited to observe two actors imagining an encounter between W H Auden and Benjamin Britten. It explores themes of homosexuality, innocence, corruption, grooming, old age and the arts: plays, poetry and music.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 13 September | Read more

The Winslow Boy

4 stars

Once again, the Theatre Royal impress with Terence Rattigan’s Winslow Boy. It’s a compelling story of a thirteen year-old cadet, Ronny Winslow, kicked out of naval school for a petty offence, and the Winslow family’s battle to redress the injustice and clear his name. It’s based on a famous case called Archer-Shee v King, and the central theme is: ‘Let right be done.’

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Friday 27 April | Read more

The Engagement

4 stars

The Engagement is a love story with a difference. It’s a new play written by James Alexander Allen, inspired by a true story from Wayne Liversidge. Allen, an emerging screen writer and playwright, collaborated with Liversidge to tell his story as part of the Hove Grown Festival.

The play opens with Gerri waiting for a date, and hastily tidying her sister away. As the two chat, sister Luanne delivers an sense of something inexorable: this is Gerri's eighth date. Will it be any different to the previous seven? Will the man even show up?

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Sunday 8 April | Read more

Quartet

3 stars

Quartet is a humorous play about growing old, and trying to reconcile present infirmity with former glory. It’s set in an elite retirement home for celebrities and begins on the day when Jean Horton, our main star played by Sue Holderness, arrives.

Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 29 March | Read more

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