Theatre

If only Caryl Churchill’s plays were as thrillingly macabre as her debut

The first play by the pioneering feminist Caryl Churchill has been revived at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Owners, originally staged in 1972, feels very different from Churchill’s later work and it recalls the apprentice efforts of Brecht who started out writing middle-class comedies tinged with satirical anger. Churchill sets her play in the cut-throat London

Cheesy skit: A Mirror, at the Almeida Theatre, reviewed

The playwright Sam Holcroft likes to toy with dramatic conventions and to tease her audiences by withholding key information about the characters. This tinkering seems to scare the critics into praising her scripts even though they feel like clumsily written thrillers or botched sci-fi yarns where the rules keep changing. Her technique appeals to high-minded

Two very long hours: The Effect, at the Lyttelton Theatre, reviewed

Lucy Prebble belongs to the posse of scribblers responsible for the HBO hit, Succession. Perhaps in honour of this distinction, her 2012 play, The Effect, has been revived at the National by master-director Jamie Lloyd. The show is a sitcom set in Britain’s most dysfunctional drug-testing facility where two sexy young volunteers, Tristan and Connie,

Finally an entertaining play at the Royal Court: Cuckoo reviewed

The boss of the Royal Court, Vicky Featherstone, will soon step down and she’s using her final spell in charge to try an unusual experiment. Can she entertain the punters and make them feel happy rather than forcing them to confront various forms of gloom, misery and despair? The answer is yes. Featherstone can tickle

Forgettable stuff: The Crown Jewels, at the Garrick, reviewed

In the 1990s, the BBC had a popular flat-share comedy, Men Behaving Badly, about a pair of giggling bachelors who were scolded and dominated by their mummy-substitute girl-friends. The author, Simon Nye, has written a historical crime caper about the theft of the crown jewels in 1671, as Charles II prepared to celebrate his tenth

Ugly and humdrum: Brokeback Mountain, at @sohoplace, reviewed

Brokeback Mountain, a play with music, opens in a scruffy bedroom where a snowy-haired tramp finds a lumberjack’s shirt and places it over his nose. Then he inhales. Who is this elderly vagrant? And why is he absorbing the scent of an abandoned garment? Two hours later, at the play’s close, we finally learn that