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Michael Billington

Memphis: The Musical review Beverley Knight shines in story of R&Bs explosion

Shaftesbury, LondonThe singer combines charisma and power alongside a Sinatra-like Killian Donnelly in this exciting take on a key moment in pop history Continue reading...

The House That Will Not Stand review unlike any other play in London

Marcus Gardleys pulsing new play about a free black woman and her daughters in 1830s New Orleans is a rich mix of rivalry, voodoo and the fight for freedom.

Our Town review an unforgettable evocation of Everytown

Almeida, LondonDavid Cromers cooly observant narrator leads a radically reworked version of Thornton Wilders classic that taps into collective folk memory Continue reading...

The Cherry Orchard review: Simon Stephens leaves little space for laughter

Young Vic, London This compressed, contemporary Chekhov directed by Katie Mitchell skips over the works tragicomic irony Simon Stephens on the impossible act of translating Chekhov Continue reading...

Loves Labours Lost/Loves Labours Won a perceptive pairing

Royal Shakespeare theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonThe operetta treatment of the first play may be misguided, but Christopher Luscombes directing style comes into its own in the second, Much Ado about Nothing Measure for measure: inside the RSCs costume depart

Gypsy review Imelda Staunton in superb tale of showbiz and self-delusion

Chichester festival theatreEverything slots perfectly into place in this glorious evocation of American vaudevilles tackiness Continue reading...

Here Lies Love review a fine, immersive spectacle lacking substance

Dorfman theatre, LondonBeguiling songs, ingenious design and stunning performances dont quite do justice to a subject that deserves more complex treatment Continue reading...

The Distance review a funny, lively second play from Deborah Bruce

Orange Tree, RichmondHelen Baxendale catches perfectly a sense of numbed isolation in this look at the anguished adventure of motherhood Continue reading...

Henry IV review a welcome change from male-dominated Shakespeare

Donmar Warehouse, London Phyllida Lloyd returns to a prison setting for her all-female follow-up to Julius Caesar, with entertaining results Continue reading...

Notes from Underground review an ecstasy of self-loathing

Harry Lloyd's gripping portrayal of Dostoevsky's antihero conjures manic verve and smouldering angst.