Aleks Sierz

Aleks Sierz is a critic with The Arts Desk. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (64)
The Arts Desk

"The keynote of the play is emotional complexity and conflicted humanity. And humour." Full Review

The Arts Desk

"It feels to me as if Williams has lost control of the material, and that no one has been brave enough to edit his work. The result is that a great idea for a play, structured by means of successive duologues, is buried in a frustratingly verbose and baggy script, which has some great clashes of attitude, but very little dramatic development." Full Review

The Arts Desk

Unfortunately, this thriller is never very thrilling, the satire is never very sharp and the humour is lukewarm. At a time when many feel a real anger at the current government, this playful silliness feels like a middle-class slap in the face to anyone who really wants to change the world. Full Review

Middle (London)
Waterloo
The Arts Desk

The representation of Gary the City boy feels too uneven – and often too humorous. This makes the 100-minute play too funny to be tragic, too erratic to be compelling and too uncertain to be truly raw. Despite this, however, Findlay’s production ... is for the most part lovingly detailed Full Review

The Arts Desk

Van Hove’s production is, as you would expect, perfect in tone and texture...Yes, this overwhelmingly moving performance is a great 70 minutes of theatre — believe the hype. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Disappointingly, Eoin O’Callaghan’s production doesn’t really do the material justice...The intriguing first part falters badly in the second half of the evening, but the play does not deserve to sink without trace. Full Review

Red Pitch
Shepherds Bush
The Arts Desk

To the background sound of construction work, and the foregrounding of dance music, this excellent piece of new writing is effortlessly and energetically entertaining. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Hanly’s writing has a great mix of fun and anger, and her storytelling is rapid and revealing. She has a joyful relationship to word play, rhyming anus with Seamus, and colourfully describing the physical effects of psychological distress and drug abuse. Full Review

The 4th Country
Finsbury Park
The Arts Desk

Although, in the end, this is a slender piece, whose drama doesn’t really build into an overarching plot, it is also an intelligent and enjoyable example of contemporary political theatre. Full Review

Rare Earth Mettle
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

After this bad start, and quite a jinxed series of previews, Rare Earth Mettle is even worse on stage than it was on the page...Smith’s writing is disappointingly functional, often banal and uninteresting. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Although Kramer’s militant drama is light on subjectivity, and his writing style is impersonal, with a preference for debate over imaginative metaphor, there is a clarity and pace in this story, with its good guys, bad guys and in-between guys, that lifts the play above the usual run of docu-dramas. Full Review

Oleanna
West End
The Arts Desk

...through quietly convincing and unflashy performances [Rosie Sheehy and Jonathan Slinger] convey a sense that each of them is both perpetrator and victim. Both are equally emotionally grounded, and the final explosion of violence is deeply disturbing. Full Review

Harm
Shepherds Bush
The Arts Desk

Eclair-Powell tells this terrifying tale of extreme loneliness and obsessive self-harm with a beautiful blend of sharp observation and knowing humour. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Deluxe seasonal storytelling. The Dickens classic, as adapted by this venue’s artistic director, shakes its holly...The three actors make an archetypal tale fresh and moving once more.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

Masterly revival of Inua Ellams’s 2016 autobiographical one-man show... poetic and engaging.' Full Review

The Welkin
Waterloo
The Arts Desk

Maxine Peake struggles to make the voice of reason heard in feminist history play... I really wanted to love this show, but the muddy production makes that very hard labour.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

for a previous production It barely needs to be said that the picture that [Les Miserables] paints of the poor echoes sights you can see in the streets every day, and so there is little point in denying its political punch. Full Review

The Arts Desk

for a previous production You leave the theatre enriched by the superb wit of the writing, the energy and sincerity of the performances and the supreme theatrical imagination that has put all this together. I dare you to miss it. Full Review

The Arts Desk

David Greig's much-lauded mountaineering story doesn't quite peak...As an affirmation of the human spirit, Touching the Void is great, but it doesn't quite scale the summit. Full Review

The Arts Desk

New lecture about British imperialism is energetically engaging, but rather slender...Although the metaphor of water is a powerful one, I left the theatre only partially nourished: I wanted much more of everything.' Full Review

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard.
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

...a typically imaginative quartet of short plays. Each of them is vividly distinct, being linguistically agile, theatrically pleasurable and emotionally dark...' Full Review

The Arts Desk

Brilliant meta-theatrical experience...Experimental exploration of belief and determinism is touched by genius.' Full Review

Rust
Shepherds Bush
The Arts Desk

New play about an extramarital affair is short, but emotionally truthful...Although 'Rust' tells its story with flair and fullness, I was left feeling I wanted some more.' Full Review

Citysong
Soho
The Arts Desk

Big writing, big heart...A poetic journey through time and space in Dublin is beautifully written...The words dance, glimmer and gleam like a glitter ball.' Full Review

White Pearl
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

New satire about the cosmetics industry and race is only mildly funny...The sitcom-style comedy tends to overwhelm the darker themes of racism, cosmetics and female self-esteem.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

"With its energetic arguments, moments of great charm, gritty humour, and mix of filth and idealism, this story of resistance and dignity in the face of dreadful global exploitation is both relevant and contemporary" Full Review

The Arts Desk

There’s a joyous post-pandemic vibe about this gig, full of laughs and quick satirical nips. The club-night vibes – and the cheerful jokes – drown out (sometimes literally) a lot of the more excruciating content. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Ghai’s production, which is designed by Rosa Maggiora, tries, not always successfully, to strike a good balance between comedy and tragedy, although it does honour the material, especially its more difficult moments. Lotus Beauty has many enjoyable moments, but could have been improved by sharper plotting. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Although the play is a heartfelt tribute to Miss Cooke, Williams’s own teacher, it is written with an uneasy mixture of jolly humour and deeply felt idealism. Full Review

Cock (London)
West End
The Arts Desk

You can easily forgive the lack of thematic development when Bailey, Egerton and Anouka ignite the emotional fuel of the story — they really rock. Full Review

The Arts Desk

In the end, Wilkin’s charm and sincerity carry the evening, which climaxes in a brilliant image that combines platonic love with political defiance. You won’t regret, if you can pardon the word play, shedding a tear. Full Review

The Arts Desk

You want to know more about the sisterhood? Well, here you are! Even if much of the material is unsurprising, and the 55-minute running time a bit too short, the performance is delivered with passion, precision and pace. Full Review

The Glow
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

The Glow certainly radiates an unforgettable feeling of spooky beauty, invoking a place where you can almost hear the hooves of the riders of the apocalypse. It’s haunting. Full Review

The Arts Desk

Nancy Medina directs the show, designed by Rajha Shakiry, with a bright touch that sometimes emphasizes the humorous satire over some of the terrible tragedy...This revival of an American classic is both relevant and fun. Full Review

Sessions
Soho
The Arts Desk

Frederick’s writing is always perceptive and convincing, but there is not enough dramatic conflict here, and by the end Tunde’s desperation slides into what may be complete tragedy. Full Review

The Arts Desk

For the most part, I respected the gesture more than I admired the art, and while I cannot argue with the integrity of her vision, I can protest that she has crammed too much into too little space. Full Review

The Arts Desk

The show offers some acute observations, and moving moments, but the constraints of the format only makes me eager to see full-length plays by all three writers. Full Review

Walden
West End
The Arts Desk

In a 105-minute play packed with ideas, the central conflict about humanity’s future is well articulated...What this play needs to lift off is a booster rocket. As it is, it’s good, but unexceptional. Full Review

Quarter Life Crisis
London Bridge
The Arts Desk

Mercy’s writing has an economical vigour and there are passages of vividly rhythmical poetry...Sadly, it is also a disappointing let down.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

Jennifer Saunders is a one-woman tickle machine...So there is something really fitting about casting her as the spiritual medium Madame Arcati in this revival of Noël Coward's 1941 mega-hit. Full Review

Scenes With Girls
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

New play about female friendship is refreshingly original and dazzlingly exciting...Tonight I gasped about five times, then I stopped counting – I was hooked.' Full Review

A Kind of People
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

Family tragedy is emotionally powerful but incomplete and unsatisfying...At its best, this is an empathetic study of the corrosive effects of racism.' Full Review

Midnight Movie
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

New autobiographical play about night thoughts on bodies real and digital...There is something so touching about the pain that soaks through the show like night sweats drenching your T-shirt.' Full Review

On Bear Ridge
Sloane Square
The Arts Desk

Rhys Ifans's tragicomic masterclass...Despite its rather abstract quality, 'On Bear Ridge' has enormous symbolic resonance.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

Tragi-comic masterpiece...Sharp revival of Peter Nichols's taboo-busting fantasia is magnificent... Simon Evans's terrific production presents a perfect balance between tragic desperation and uneasy laughter...' Full Review

Two Ladies
London Bridge
The Arts Desk

Cvitešić and Wanamaker really rock. Excellent acting in a play that tickles the senses by morphing from one genre to another.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

Clive Owen and Lia Williams burn bright...Star cast deliver a terrific revival of Tennessee Williams's last masterpiece Full Review

Bitter Wheat
West End
The Arts Desk

Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat...the most controversial play of the year is shaping up to be the worst Full Review

The Arts Desk

Findlay's production of this well-made play runs at almost three hours, and it can't quite shrug off a cumbersome Edwardian feel, preferring authenticity over accessibility.' Full Review

All My Sons
Hornchurch
The Arts Desk

for a previous production Despite its star casting, Herrin's production is disappointingly uneven... Arthur Miller's classic family drama has one outstanding performance - and one dud.’ Full Review