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Clare Brennan

Pests review - real drama struggling to get out

The language is sizzling and the performances scorching, yet Vivienne Franzmann's tale of two trapped sisters has fatal flaws in the script.

Hairspray review - 'as light and bouncy as a bubble of gum'

It's Baltimore, 1962. Penny Pingleton's mother (Sorelle Marsh – all angles and spite) "absolutely positively, permanently punish[es]" her daughter (Zizi Strallen – brilliantly transforming from gawky to gyrating) for being jailed after joining an atte

The Seagull review - Anya Reiss's frustrating take on Chekhov

Anya Reiss overlooks the wider context in her vivid reimagining of Chekhov at the Lowry Anton Chekhov 's plays are sometimes treated with an over-earnestness that turns them into museum pieces, subtexts conveyed through overlong, meaningful silences. No

My Judy Garland Life - review

Nottingham Playhouse Sally Ann-Triplett's heartstopping Judy overcomes any script shortcomings in this tale of fan and heroine When you read a book, you see through the eyes of the author. When you watch a performance, the perspective shifts - natch! No

Rantin - review

Rantin, we are told in the course of the performance, is a Scottish word that can suggest anger or joy; or it can relate to the joining of things that do not fit together.

Long Day's Journey Into Night - review

At first this could almost be a TV commercial for something solid, secure – a pension plan, perhaps.

The Jungle Book; Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas - review

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Notions of identity and belonging make for a spellbinding adaptation of the Kipling classic, while Father Christmas keeps things endearingly simple Mowgli brandishes a burning torch. The animals, among whom he has lived u

Chicago - review

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote the play Chicago is based on in 1926.

Suitcase - review

Paragon Interchange, Hull; and touring A railway station near you is the setting for this moving tribute to the children of the Kindertransport and those who helped them Operating on levels personal and political, this production is both a memorial an

Tartuffe - review

Christmas has come early to Birmingham this year with the transformation of this great French classic into a gaudy spectacle, part panto, part Brian Rix farce.