Theatre Reviews

Our theatre reviews aim to bring you the latest and best performances of plays, dance and music. Ink Pellet celebrates the country’s vibrant regional theatres – from performances of the classics and set texts, to new plays that will inspire and support you.

Once again, we have a merry band of discerning teachers who visit plays in their town (sometimes earning themselves a free programme and interval drink)to review for the magazine.

We’ll also review something you might like – just for sheer pleasure! If you would like to join our panel of reviewers, please join in or email the editor Lesley.finlay@inkwellpress.co.uk

  1. Theatre Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – West Yorkshire Playhouse

    Theatre Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – West Yorkshire Playhouse  

    These days, stories and story-telling seem more important than ever. Not just for escaping into but for making sense of the times we live in. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an absolute blueprint of good overcoming evil; a heroic lion battles a white witch in a fantasy land stumbled upon by four […]

  2. THEATRE REVIEW: Jekyll and Hyde, in a radical reimagining by Evan Placey – National Youth Theatre Rep Ambassadors Theatre Company

    THEATRE REVIEW: Jekyll and Hyde, in a radical reimagining by Evan Placey – National Youth Theatre Rep Ambassadors Theatre Company  

      van Placey’s excellent play operates at lots of levels and in different worlds. It’s a topical, intelligent, thoughtful, feminist take on Robert Lewis Stevenson’s novella rather than a dramatisation of it. And it’s rollicking good theatre – frank, uncompromising, fresh and often quite confrontational. In Victorian England, Dr Jekyll’s widow Harriet is dabbling in […]

  3. THEATRE REVIEW: King Lear – Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre

    THEATRE REVIEW: King Lear – Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre  

    Ian McKellen’s Lear is physically and mentally ill from the moment he first appears. He has uncertain, slightly tottery gait. He is in pain and his speech is spat out as if in recovery from a small stoke. It is impeccably observed. So is the capricious mood switching and anger often stressed by the shock […]

  4. THEATRE REVIEW: Othello – National Youth Theatre Rep Company – Ambassadors Theatre Company

    THEATRE REVIEW: Othello – National Youth Theatre Rep Company – Ambassadors Theatre Company  

    We’re in the Cypress pub as opposed to in Cyprus for this Othello Adapted for Frantic Assembly by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett. It’s a thuggish world of gang warfare, ruthless competing for girls and a great deal of violence with rounders bats and knives around a versatile snooker table. There’s a lot of powerful physical theatre […]

  5. THEATRE REVIEW: The Wind in the Willows

    THEATRE REVIEW: The Wind in the Willows  

    One turns to Kenneth Grahame’s masterpiece novel and adaptations of it for Edwardian nostalgia and that’s what this production delivers in spades. Julian “Downton” Fellowes provides an ungimmicky book and the songs from that talented Half a Sixpence duo, George Styles and Anthony Drewe have terrific fun with a range of song styles from Gilbert […]

  6. THEATRE REVIEW: The Hunting of the Snark – Vaudeville Theatre

    THEATRE REVIEW: The Hunting of the Snark – Vaudeville Theatre  

    So what is a snark? Of course, Lewis Carroll, at the time of writing, left it for you and me to decide. Later in life he admitted it might be a metaphor for happiness. The four-year-old I chatted to after this excellent adaptation is sure that the snark is a magical bird. Either way Carroll’s […]

  7. THEATRE REVIEW: Silver Birch – Garsington Opera at Wormsley

    THEATRE REVIEW: Silver Birch – Garsington Opera at Wormsley  

    Garsington’s triennial community opera aims to bring in participants and audience who might not usually have anything to do with opera. With an all-age cast of 180 (youngest child on stage appeared to be around a year old), Silver Birch, directed by Karen Gillingham, tells the story of Jack who served in Iraq, all set […]

  8. THEATRE REVIEW: Fiddler on the Roof – Chichester Festival Theatre

    THEATRE REVIEW: Fiddler on the Roof – Chichester Festival Theatre  

    It’s a pity therefore that this production of a fine musical doesn’t always feel as sparky as it should. One senses that – the dancers in the wedding scene for instance – are still mentally reading their choreography notes. And far too many performers – Tracy-Ann Oberman as Golde for instance – have been cast […]

  9. THEATRE Review: Forty Years On

    THEATRE Review: Forty Years On  

    THEATRE Review: Forty Years On Alan Bennett’s first play is set in a traditional boys’ school in 1968 – forty years after the end of the Great War which the retiring change-resenting headmaster (Richard Wilson) remembers very clearly. Bennett explores the tension between that and the changes about to be introduced by the incoming head (Alan […]

  10. THEATRE Review: Shirley Valentine – Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and touring

    THEATRE Review: Shirley Valentine – Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and touring  

    Less well known in schools maybe than Educating Rita which visits the same territory, Willy Russell’s immaculately, tenderly observed portrait of a frustrated (in every sense) 1970s Liverpool housewife is as moving as it is hilarious. And the observation of women’s experience is so acutely observed that it’s hard to believe that this is the work of […]