Alun Hood

Alun Hood is a critic with WhatsOnStage. 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 (57)
Tasting Notes (London)
Elephant and Castle
WhatsOnStage

"As a soap operatic character-driven piece with some rather lovely observations about urban life and the pretensions people adopt around fine wine, it works pretty well; as a musical it comes across as a bit corked." Full Review

Closer (London)
Hammersmith
WhatsOnStage

"In many ways, it's a deeply cynical play: all four characters behave appallingly at times and the concept of deceit as a valid, overriding currency in matters of the heart is pretty uncomfortable." Full Review

Britannicus (London)
Hammersmith
WhatsOnStage

There's an elegance and ingenuity to [the] design and ... lighting. It's a slightly uneven production that contains many fine things but ultimately doesn't quite live up to it's exciting visual promise. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Hodge's production has a slight sense of hurling everything at the wall to see what sticks. It's messy but appealing, and about as subtle as being smacked over the head ... but you're unlikely to be bored. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Foster's fast-moving production makes a convincing case for the grittier elements of Jacobs and Casey's script, and doesn't shy away from tackling the now-problematic sexual politics head on. This is a thunderously good evening out. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

This is a comedy and a hugely satisfying one at that. The darker interpretation here of some aspects of the text serves to throw the funny stuff into such relief that it soars. This Much Ado About Nothing is as sparkling and heady as an extra dry prosecco: it's a real treat. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Despite the flaws, and the overriding impression of this still being a work-in-progress, Black Love is a refreshingly original piece of theatre, provocative but suffused with affection. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

This is a rollicking good time, but it has a serious heart and a keen wit. It's bubblegum with razor blades. Utterly irresistible. Full Review

Broken Wings
Charing Cross
WhatsOnStage

Despite being dramatically undernourished as a piece of theatre, the unique combination of bombast and delicacy in the music lingers long in the heart and mind afterwards. I suspect it'll divide people, but that its most staunch supporters will be vociferous. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

As a portrait of a star from a bygone era, Ava: The Secret Conversations is efficient, if occasionally ponderous...As a meditation on celebrity and mortality, it's blithely unoriginal. Full Review

Folk (London)
Hampstead
WhatsOnStage

for a previous production Folk is about so much more than musical tradition though...Like the music that inspired it, Folk deserves to be around for a very long time. Full Review

Fair Play
Shepherds Bush
WhatsOnStage

A much ‘bigger' play than it at first looks, and a remarkable piece of theatre. Run to the Bush for this one. I mean it. Full Review

The Bolds
London Bridge
WhatsOnStage

So often with family shows, somebody gets bored as it's too sophisticated or too childish. That is unlikely to happen here: a couple of hours of unalloyed delight, a genuine Christmas cracker. Full Review

Rare Earth Mettle
Sloane Square
WhatsOnStage

Ultimately though, Rare Earth Mettle is frustratingly hard to connect with and, in Pirie's uncompromisingly stark production, proves as dry as the salt flats on which it is mainly set. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

The knowing theatricality on display here may not be to everybody's taste, and Durang lets his characters off the hook pretty lightly in comparison to his inspiration. It's a rollicking good time though, and a splendid, witty addition to the capital's autumn theatrical offerings. Full Review

10 Nights
Shepherds Bush
WhatsOnStage

10 Nights might have been more effective had all the disparate elements been in place from the ground up. Regardless of all that, Khan is clearly a talented writer ... it is heartening to see a piece of theatre that is so determined to be inclusive and outside the conventional box. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

This is a major new play in a flawless, powerful production: educational yet entertaining ... dynamic but never sensationalist. Approach with caution, but go. Just go. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Not hard to see why this ran over 11 years on Broadway then immediately transferred to a smaller Off-Broadway house, "Oh What A Night" indeed. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

[Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah] is a magical pairing, and a well nigh flawless 75 minutes of theatre...It's a total pleasure to re-encounter this magnificent play in Michael Longhurst's boldly imaginative staging. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

for a previous production ...this almost entirely recast Heathers emerges as a cleverer, more exhilarating beast ... than the original iteration, which won the 2019 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Musical. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

If ultimately Shaw Shorts feels like a pair of attractive curtain raisers in search of a more substantial main attraction, rather than a really satisfying evening of theatre in its own right, there is still much here to enjoy. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Ultimately...it's Mahfouz's show, and she is endlessly compelling and relatable. This journey may only take 70 minutes but it's an intense, mind-expanding way to spend the time.' Full Review

Torch Song
Battersea
WhatsOnStage

This version may not be as moving or as funny as previous takes on this gorgeous script, but chances are that anybody encountering Arnold...for the first time will still know they're in the presence of something special.' Full Review

WhatsOnStage

This makes for a satisfying and worthwhile addition to the National's laudable track record of making quality entertainment for all the family. Bonkers, but in the best possible way.' Full Review

Fiver
Elephant and Castle
WhatsOnStage

...this is a blazingly impressive and diverse new score, full of character, invention and melody... most importantly you'll have a wonderful time. I'm definitely going back for more. Fiver is a true original.' Full Review

WhatsOnStage

"There are a few moments that don't fully ignite but not enough to dampen a red hot hit show that sweeps the audience along on a tidal wave of excitement, opulence and sheer fabulousness. It was long before the interval that the question in my head went from "yes, but is it theatre?" to "how many times can I come back and experience this thing before it closes?" It's a blast." Full Review

Favour (London)
Shepherds Bush
WhatsOnStage

" 'Favour' is a consistently engaging watch, and there is real dramatic meat in some of the heated exchanges. If you like your drama with a lot of heart and humour, you'll certainly find that here, along with a quartet of terrific performances." Full Review

The Lion (London)
Elephant and Castle
WhatsOnStage

This is an incredibly life-affirming theatrical experience. I suspect that, when word spreads, this will become a very hot ticket all over again … it's a little masterpiece. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

It may prove a bit of a slog. Soans does deliver a riveting monologue. Despite some tartly accurate observations of family dynamics, less than two hours stage time have seldom felt so long. Disappointing. Full Review

House of Ife (London)
Shepherds Bush
WhatsOnStage

The writing stalls only in the penultimate scene It's a flaw in what is otherwise a really wonderful new play. All in all, this is one of the most vibrant pieces of new work I've seen for years. Full Review

Anyone Can Whistle (London)
Elephant and Castle
WhatsOnStage

Ultimately, Sondheim and Laurents's bizarre confection isn't in whistling distance of being a great musical, but it is undeniably a notorious part of Broadway history, and one that all musical theatre completists will want to encounter. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

Walker has crafted a vital new play that recalls some of David Hare's 1990s state-of-the-nation pieces for the National Theatre: it's witty and civilised but with a brutal undertow. Recommended. Full Review

Never Not Once
Finsbury Park
WhatsOnStage

Now here's Carey Crim's Never Not Once, a meaty modern treatment of the subject that feels timely, particularly in the light of the #MeToo movement. First seen on the USA's West Coast pre-pandemic, it's now receiving a UK premiere at the Park, in a strong but sensitive production by Katharine Farmer. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

It feels a little rough round the edges. While the play doesn't necessarily tell us anything new, it is still an urgent piece of storytelling. Full Review

The 4th Country
Finsbury Park
WhatsOnStage

Crucially, The 4th Country never trivialises what it dramatises. This is undoubtedly a writer and a company to watch out for. Full Review

Peggy For You
Camden Town
WhatsOnStage

Already a much beloved actress, and surely only a BAFTA or two away from full National Treasure status, Tamsin Greig proves once again what a tremendous stage performer she is, a brilliant technician with truth, precision and killer comic timing. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

I'd never previously thought of Measure for Measure as a joyous romp but that, for the most part, is what we have here, and it's a bit of a treat. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

for a previous production Maybe it's the after effects of the pandemic and everything we've all been through, but I don't recall any iteration of this beloved, yet still hard-hitting, story being quite this moving. Full Review

Little Women The Musical
Finsbury Park
WhatsOnStage

If you like your musical theatre ballsy and meaty, you may find all this wholesomeness a little hard to take. Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein's songs ... [sound] mostly derivate. All that said, White really does make a magnificent fist of feisty Jo. Full Review

Mum
Soho
WhatsOnStage

There aren't many plays that one wishes were considerably longer, but here is one. I loved it but felt something akin to whiplash by the time it was done. The three wonderful actresses are fully equal to it. Full Review

Tokyo Rose
Elephant and Castle
WhatsOnStage

It could be brilliant, and it's partially on the way there, but it needs a lot of work. Just occasionally it soars with wit and originality, but there's nowhere near enough of that yet. Full Review

Leopards
Kingston
WhatsOnStage

The vague implausibility of the set-up ... is glossed over by the expertise and energy of the performances. Haydon's production verges on technically flawless, yet ... Metcalf's script ultimately collapses under the weight of its own ambitions. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

This is a very good time in the theatre, a stage equivalent to comfort food, that does exactly what it says on the tin. The main ingredient would probably read "a warm glow". Full Review

WhatsOnStage

It is hard to imagine a show more suited to ushering in a post-pandemic era of lavish crowd-pleasing theatre. Ultimately, you'd have to be a pretty miserable soul not to enjoy this uplifting belter of a musical. It's a little like being force fed vitamins. Truly life-enhancing: great fun but so much more. Full Review

WhatsOnStage

It may not be a great musical, or even a very coherent one, but Amélie is undeniably successful as a fanciful Valentine to the City of Light, and, in this iteration, as a celebration of the unbeatable power of live music. Full Review

One Jewish Boy
West End
WhatsOnStage

Impassioned and absorbing...It packs a lot of power and truth into its 90 minutes. Engrossing stuff. Full Review

Big The Musical
West End
WhatsOnStage

Big contains much to like although it would probably be easier to discover its considerable charms in a more intimate venue than the massive Dominion. Full Review

Falsettos
Victoria
WhatsOnStage

...staged with an intelligence and theatrical flair...This is a musical treat for grown-ups. Emotionally rich, theatrically satisfying and altogether, yes, extraordinary.' Full Review

WhatsOnStage

for a previous production Enjoyable as it is, it's all a bit relentless. However, if you're a die hard Sheridan Smith fan you can probably add at least one more star to the rating above. Full Review

On Your Feet!
West End
WhatsOnStage

...it's easy to see why On Your Feet! was a solid Broadway and touring hit. It will undoubtedly make a lot of people pretty ecstatic over here too. Resistance is futile, that rhythm really is gonna get you. Full Review