AlleyCatReviews

About:  I see a lot of theatre and write reviews for friends and strangers. You can find me here: https://www.alleycatreviews.com/
Reviews (28)
85
During previews
Refreshing, Funny, Clever
July 16th, 2022

See it if you want to see a clever and genuinely funny comedy and/of you've ever been part of a ridiculous family argument that goes in circles.

Don't see it if discussing Jewish traditions puts you off or you're Jewish and on a date with a non-Jewish person you'd like to see again.

Also To sum up the plot: 3 Jewish grandchildren squabble over a precious he... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Great singing, Clever, Absorbing
July 14th, 2022

See it if you want an evening of fun, clever writing, and great singing

Don't see it if your only option is a crazy-expensive ticket (the show is good, but not worth the batty prices)

Also Sat in the balcony, and the view was absolutely fine. We felt we got a... Read more Read less

40
Confusing, Indulgent, Overrated, Quirky
July 14th, 2022

See it if you are a fan of Jamie Lloyd or James McAvoy, else you like to see weird quirky plays that make you wonder what's the point.

Don't see it if you have seen and liked any other production of Cyrano or if you'll struggle to not roll your eyes when McAvoy talks about how ugly he is.

Also No prop noses, just McAvoy, handsome, smug, and sexy. It takes more di... Read more Read less

35
During previews
Closer (London)
Hammersmith
Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Cliched
July 14th, 2022

See it if you are a fan of Marber's writing, you don't mind pointless vulgarity, or you enjoy a plot that doesn't really go anywhere.

Don't see it if you expect a nice human drama, you are put off by crassness, or you like a captivating story that moves at pace.

Also Can't believe this play won Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Cir... Read more Read less

75
Banal, Great acting
July 9th, 2022

See it if you are willing to sit through a poorly written text with a stupid premise to see top-notch acting.

Don't see it if having a nonsensical plot will put you off and/or you are not ok watching a play about a child's death and funeral.

Also Must separate the play from the acting. The play is preposterous as in... Read more Read less

85
The Lesson (London)
Elephant and Castle
Funny, Clever, Absorbing
July 9th, 2022

See it if you enjoy absurdist plays.

Don't see it if you like your plays to make perfect sense.

Also Student comes to the home of Professor for a lesson. Professor has a M... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Patriots (London)
Islington
Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing
July 9th, 2022

See it if you like shows about history, Russia, politics, socioeconomics, or you're a fan of Tom Hollander.

Don't see it if you like light and fluffy shows and/or find historical recountings of events dry and unenjoyable.

Also A story of a billionaire puppet-master of Russian business and politic... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Entertaining
July 9th, 2022

See it if you love Shakespeare or actors in the cast.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Shakespeare and/or like your plays to move at a brisk pace.

Also As animals on stage seems to be en vogue, there is a live snake on sta... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing
July 9th, 2022

See it if you love panto, audience participation, double entendres, and physical comedy.

Don't see it if you prefer your humour to be clever, edgy, and thought-provoking.

Also The play is based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 "The Rivals". Th... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Disappointing
June 30th, 2022

See it if you are a fan of Jamie Lloyd or Anya Reiss or any of the actors (and miss seeing them on stage more often).

Don't see it if if you like your classics to remain classic.

Also Everything was kinda fine, but none of it was great. Didn’t like the a... Read more Read less

88
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing
June 28th, 2022

See it if you like clever thought-provoking writing and don't mind politically incorrect dialogue, discussions of mental illness, and themes of death

Don't see it if you have a problem with verbal abuse, depiction of drug/alcohol use, politically incorrect dialogue, mental illness, and themes of death

Also Writing is clever and balanced. Although characters don’t feel fully f... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing
May 28th, 2022

See it if you want to be treated to an evening of good acting and won't be put off by a one-woman play or the subject matter of sexual assault.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows and/or you will be bothered by the play discussing sexual assault and how it's handled by the legal system.

Also Comer is fantastic in the role of Tessa, who is barrister at the start... Read more Read less

65
During previews
Disappointing
May 26th, 2022

See it if you've never seen a film/stage version of it, are a massive Amy Adams fan, or have reasonably priced tickets and just want to see an ok play

Don't see it if you have a favourite version of "Menagerie" (film or stage production) and don't want to see another one that surely won't be as good.

Also This version has 2 Toms (grown-up and in situ) and a minimalist set th... Read more Read less

75
For a previous production
Funny, Quirky, Epic, Ambitious
May 25th, 2022

See it if you're a fan of Rocky Horror and/or are not put out by audience participation.

Don't see it if you expect a typical show format and/or if having the audience screaming lines at the actors is going to annoy you.

Also We confirmed that this was an audience participation performance, but ... Read more Read less

80
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing
May 17th, 2022

See it if you want to see an engaging play with brilliant acting and don't mind a lot of political and social issues making up its backbone.

Don't see it if you are squeamish and/or don't think you will enjoy the play that depicts assorted sexual undertones.

Also The play is a story of the Webster family between 1965 and 2019: wife,... Read more Read less

80
Intelligent, Ambitious, Absorbing
May 12th, 2022

See it if you've never read the book, you've read the but don't care if the play departs from the book in places, or you like complicated stories.

Don't see it if you struggle with convoluted plots where you have to think hard during the show to keep up with what's happening.

Also If you haven’t read the book, you’ll love it. If you've read the book,... Read more Read less

45
Overrated, Excruciating, Cliched
May 12th, 2022

See it if you are big fan of everything Harry Potter.

Don't see it if you like your shows to move at a brisk pace, be scripted to have a sensible plot, or have good acting.

Also Having a 5h 15m play so that it can be run in 2 parts and charging peo... Read more Read less

95
Masterful, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing
May 12th, 2022

See it if you like puppetry shows, you've never seen one and want your first one to be amazing, or you've seen one before but didn't like it.

Don't see it if you have issues with Orwell's book and/or have a problem with a show where some puppetry animals get harmed on stage.

Also The puppetry is unbelievable beginning to end. Toby Olié designed the ... Read more Read less

65
Oklahoma! (London)
Southwark
Quirky, Cliched, Clever
May 3rd, 2022

See it if you like Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and don't mind a slight departure from the classic.

Don't see it if you want a classic interpretation, dislike modern dance, aren't willing to suspend disbelief throughout, or want better singing than acting.

Also Liza Sadovy (Aunt Eller), Anoushka Lucas (Laurey), and Marisha Wallace... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Edgy, Funny, Dated, Cliched
May 3rd, 2022

See it if you are willing to overlook dated and imperfect text for the benefit of seeing an amazing one-of-a-kind performance from Mark Rylance.

Don't see it if you are easily offended by political incorrectness.

Also It definitely helps to have a bit of Englishness to one’s character in... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing
April 13th, 2022

See it if you are after a serious play with solid acting that won't disappoint.

Don't see it if you have a problem with a script steeped with the 19th century attitudes.

Also The premise is simple: an outsider comes to a mining village in Wales ... Read more Read less

50
During previews
Scandaltown (London)
Hammersmith
Quirky, Cliched
April 10th, 2022

See it if you are English (or at least British) and want to see a play that takes pokes fun at the Engish stereotypes.

Don't see it if you can't be bothered to roll your eyes all night trying to work out why the audince is laughing at a bunch of seemingly not funny lines.

Also The play itself is a weird mash-up of Jane Austen-ish rhythm/vernacula... Read more Read less

80
Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you like the big glitsy-glam musicals.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals and/or you don't feel like paying a lot of money any sitting anywhere but the back of the balcony.

Also Worry not about cheap tix in the back: the sightlines were fantastic a... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you want to see how a feel-good story can still come out of a tragic event; also see it even if you don't like big Broadway-style musicals.

Don't see it if you think you will have trouble coping with a production about 9/11.

Also I don't usually like musicals and have been avoiding this one for ages... Read more Read less

95
Intelligent, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you want to see a well-staged and well-acted play that's entertaining and moves along swiftly.

Don't see it if you are a stickler for Lee's book or Peck's movie (Sorkin made significant changes to the text and characters).

Also The London production is far more of an ensemble cast than NYC one wit... Read more Read less

50
Disappointing, Dated
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you're willing to sit through a mediocre play just to see Ruth Wilson on stage.

Don't see it if you like the plot to move faster than at snail pace (or in fact have a plot more complex than a woman crying over a man).

Also Cocteau wrote the play, at least in part, to give his actresses the op... Read more Read less

25
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Cliched, Banal
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you like a panto or absurdity on steroids.

Don't see it if you expect an engaging and thought-provoking play.

Also The set-up could’ve lead to an interesting discussion of patronage: a ... Read more Read less

85
During previews
The 47th (London)
Southwark
Funny, Entertaining
April 3rd, 2022

See it if you are a Bertie Carvel fan or you like a bit of a political comedy.

Don't see it if if you expect a serious in-depth dissection of American politics.

Also At a glance, this play feels like a tribute to Shakespeare: it definit... Read more Read less