Ann Treneman

Ann Treneman is a critic with The Times (UK). 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 (47)
The Times (UK)

If the film had glamour, the smash hit stage show had grit. This production, directed by the impressive Nikolai Foster, has a bit of both, but it is refreshing to hear all the original songs, some rarely heard now, played in their original order. Some of the dialogue seems stilted, not to say dated, and the pace has its slo-mo moments. Full Review

The Times (UK)

...a good cast and some lovely harmonies are not enough to save this. I felt sorry for Russell and Baker-Duly as they tried to power the entire production with their small spark of romance.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

Dominic Hill … has created ... a Dream that is clear in plot and in words but, also, is enveloped in an air of magic. This production is, mercifully, mostly free of … gimmickry. It does veer at times towards panto, but this is not a spectacle but a story. Full Review

Present Laughter
Southwark
The Times (UK)

The show belongs to Andrew Scott. His panache fills the entire theatre. The part feels made for him and he knows it.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

This is a play about memory, though, and that often forgives. The family dynamics themselves are terrifyingly believable...it is Naima Swaleh, making her professional stage debut as Laura, who is the standout star.' Full Review

White Pearl
Sloane Square
The Times (UK)

This play by Anchuli Felicia King has an intriguing premise...The dialogue is sharp and fast, though, and the cast is good...It looks good, but looks aren’t everything, of course.' Full Review

Rosmersholm
West End
The Times (UK)

Ian Rickson directs, stoking the passion, political and emotional, although it does take the occasional melodramatic turn. That is quickly absorbed by the sheer austerity of the set. Full Review

A German Life
London Bridge
The Times (UK)

This quiet tour de force from Maggie Smith is simply unforgettable...From the get-go the audience is rapt. She never leaves the chair and our eyes never leave her. Always we wonder: is she telling the truth?' Full Review

Scary Bikers
West End
The Times (UK)

This is the best play I’ve seen, by far, on Brexit and why people voted Leave. Godber also directs and makes it feel very real, funny and just a little bit sweaty. Full Review

The Times (UK)

Olive is great, as are the three other little “Mean Girl” contestants. But, overall, we never really get involved... Road musical? More like a middle-of-the-road musical, but in the end not even quite that.' Full Review

Downstate
Waterloo
The Times (UK)

for a previous production There are quite a few laughs here amid the pain and anger, but be warned: I was gripped by this play and I wouldn’t want to go again.' Full Review

Billy Bishop Goes to War
Elephant and Castle
The Times (UK)

The songs are catchy and the story has its moments, although it is told in an old-fashioned and nationalistic way... Both actors are good, but Walters needs to make this much crisper.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

“This musical took me by surprise: I expected something much less touching, gritty and moving. It has heart to spare and McPhee’s voice has the lilt and lift that takes you away from yourself...This is one for the XX chromosome brigade, a grown-up ‘Legally Blonde’...There is not a weak link in the cast...The idea of mom and apple pie is a cliché, of course, but this story really does end up centring on both...A slice of Five Star Musical pie.” Full Review

The Times (UK)

The entire endeavour shines but it is the couple at its heart that makes the play live or die and Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo are simply terrific as the lovers who tempt fate one too many times. Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production "The show is fun. As entertaining as any 'Godot' I’ve seen. A blast. Actual belly laughs. And I’m not talking invasive vaudevillian clowning, which has its place in the world but is a curse in this play, but deeper amusements based in human truth...This is a quartet of masterful performances — close to textually perfect, as far as I could tell, and you can’t mess around with Beckett...Hynes’ casting plays up the physical contrasts, as great comic duos have done for years." Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production Simply the best way to tell the story of Tina Turner...I thought I knew Tina’s story but, after she leaves Ike, it gets even more interesting. This musical tells it like it is. Full Review

The Rat Pack
West End
The Times (UK)

At its best it’s fun and nostalgic. At its worst it’s a cringe. Sammy D is particularly good. As for Deano, there’s a Merry Christmas and there’s blotto. This lady needs another revamp. Full Review

Network (London)
Waterloo
The Times (UK)

“Some fine acting loses out to sheer sensory cacophony...The set infuriated me. It was like a teenager’s bedroom — but crazier...There was only one small bit of the stage that was left for actual acting...Cranston is brilliant...He takes his tiny bit of stage and owns it. He’s messianic, composed, gravelly voiced, both sensible and insane...Hall’s adapted script is slow to take off; about halfway through...it finds its pace. The outrage feels real but the satire lacked a savage edge.” Full Review

The Exorcist
West End
The Times (UK)

It has its head-turning moments, but this feels like a Hallowe’en whodunnit with a bit of Catholic hocus pocus thrown in. Full Review

The Times (UK)

The acting is very good...But in general there is a lack of chemistry, which is, I’m afraid, another science fail. Full Review

The Times (UK)

This revival of the 1990 production is so full of energy that it zings. The plot revolves around the Moes trying to convince Nomax to stop drinking and go back to his woman, who has dumped him. Mostly it’s a ploy to showcase some brilliant numbers... Full Review

42nd Street
West End
The Times (UK)

The dancing is the star of this show but Easton, Halse and Tom Lister, solidly good as Julian Marsh, impress. Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production "The bodies are preening, shirts off and on like some sort of Diet Coke advert gone mad, and they are all bodybuilder ready, particularly that of Jonno Davies, who plays the lead...It’s 90 minutes without an interval and it’s quite unremitting, what with the loud music and the violence that includes broken bottles and anal rape...It’s a spectacle, this show, bodybuilder dance theatre, but it feels more interested in testosterone shock and awe than conveying Burgess’s classic novel." Full Review

The Emperor
Brooklyn
The Times (UK)

for a previous production “It’s a fantastic story...I can see why Hunter was chosen. She is a shape-shifter...It’s just Hunter on stage, accompanied by Ethiopian melodies...I think it was too much even for her...It’s a great story but this is a flawed re-telling. The director Meierjohann needed to control the pace more and the set design by Green is too sparse. In the end all the heavy lifting has been left to Hunter and, though she has moments of brilliance, it’s not enough.” Full Review

Fleabag
West End
The Times (UK)

Her timing is perfect and the punchlines are good but, still, it does feel just a little, er, old hat. You cannot help but notice that you are watching Fleabag. Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production Jason Donovan is full-on camp-tastic as Pharaoh in golden loincloth and sparkly trainers. The choreography (JoAnn M Hunter) feels wooden at times...but there is no denying that, as a whole, this Joseph has mojo. Full Review

the end of history...
Sloane Square
The Times (UK)

It’s a sophisticated unhappy families sitcom...Their chats, fights and sulks are brilliantly written...There are a few juddering plot twists and the ending is too long but, hey, that’s family life too, isn’t it?' Full Review

Bronx Gothic
Southwark
The Times (UK)

Unsettling, boring, confusing and, at times, touching. At its best, it is all of those at once. At its worst, you are just waiting for it to end.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

There are laughs, real ones that you remember, but you have to wait for them. The whole star-studded affair is almost three hours long but I didn’t even notice and, for me, that is saying something. Full Review

Orpheus Descending
Southwark
The Times (UK)

Surrealism crosses the line into tedium and loquaciousness often tips into overlong flowery speeches in this Tennessee Williams curiosity.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production Bravo, too, to the sheer theatrical nature of it all, the attention to detail and the emphasis on surprise and spectacle, bound together by some moving musical moments. Full Review

The Times (UK)

The best tale is saved until last, and that, of course, is when Peter is chased by multiple Mr McGregors and his many dancing wheelbarrows. Now that’s entertainment, Potter-style. Full Review

Top Girls
Waterloo
The Times (UK)

for a previous production On paper this production has so much going for it, including a great cast and Olivier award-winning director...but... much of it felt as flat as a deflated shoulder pad.' Full Review

Emilia
Barbican
The Times (UK)

for a previous production This show should be shorter and a few of the feminist rants before the interval need to go (we got it the first time), but the final roar at the end from Clare Perkins is a wonder. This one could go far. Full Review

The Bay at Nice
Southwark
The Times (UK)

This play by David Hare feels more like a short story, a playlet that zooms in on some rather unbelievable characters...There are so many questions left hanging in this production, which at times is a bit of a snooze.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

Jamie Lloyd directs this final offering in what has been a triumphant season of Pinter’s plays and the production oozes confidence and style. Full Review

Alys, Always
London Bridge
The Times (UK)

Froggatt is the star here — and you really can’t take your eyes off her — but the rest of the cast are tip-top...The set, by Bob Crowley, is a thing of wonder...' Full Review

The Prisoner
Brooklyn
The Times (UK)

for a previous production “Parts of this play feel distinctly moribund...I’m certainly pleased that it’s over and I can now reflect on a theme...that is offset by clunky dialogue and skew-whiff morality...This play is more fable than anything else...The dialogue is stilted and the pacing turtle-like, although there is a fascination in the otherworldliness of it...At times it does feel as if we are being sentenced.” Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production "The pacing is slow but as all Rowling fans know, she won’t be hurried. Thankfully, the plot is ingenious, the characters superb and the set by Christine Jones atmospheric. The magic is well beyond abracadabra levels. The stagecraft is out of this world, literally. After a while you don’t care that brevity has never been Rowling’s strong point because you are so involved with the characters...There is something impressive about the way that Rowling insists on being true to her creation." Full Review

The Times (UK)

"As good as the hype but not in the way I thought it would be. I wasn’t so much moved as riveted...They’re telling it loud and proud, with non-stop rap, hip-hop, R&B, bolstered with ballet, jazz dance and cartwheels. In a word, wow...Thomas Kail directs what is a blockbuster. I didn’t want the interval to happen and was sorry when the show ended. The energy comes from both the sweeping music and the choreography but, mostly, from the force of the story." Full Review

The Times (UK)

The pace during the first half did feel a bit jerky at times, but the second never faltered. It’s the real deal, this one. Everyone really should be talking, singing, shouting about Jamie now. Full Review

The Times (UK)

Sam Yates directs and keeps it sharp and, at one hour and 45 mins including an interval, short. The first act seems a bit jerky but, by the second, everything is motoring as smooth as can be. Full Review

The Times (UK)

Monster of a show that promises howls of laughter...Oh this new production of Mel Brooks’s musical about everyone’s favourite mad scientist is a hoot, not to mention a howl... Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production "It is one thing to have heard about the Rhodes Must Fall campaign on the news, but it is another to see, hear, feel the story...The arguments are epic and the truths spoken and shouted here send chills down the spine as the students wrestle with being black or mixed race, rich or poor, revolutionaries or pragmatists...Whatever your views, you can feel how authentic it is. These young people, the future of South Africa, are letting us in, telling us their truths, crying for their future...I l... Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production “This performance by Mikel Murfi holds you close, makes you listen as he weaves a storyteller’s spell...Murfi, alone on stage with just a chair, is writer and performer. He is barefoot, in suit trousers and braces, transforming himself into a multiplicity of characters...The show is 75 minutes long, funny and sad at the same time, just the right length for a piece that never bores and, in the end, touches the heart.” Full Review

The Times (UK)

It’s got starlight, it’s got sweet dreams and, yes, it’s got rhythm too. You almost feel you couldn’t ask for anything more but this Gershwin musical also has that indefinable something called grace... Full Review

The Times (UK)

"Andrew Lloyd Webber at his most playful...This infectiously upbeat musical was a hit in New York and should be one here too, once a few wrinkles are ironed out. The script, sharp and current...The lyrics are clever and never naff. The theme, that music can help you belong, help you find your voice, your niche, could not be more current...It is the kids who make this musical: it’s not as sophisticated, or as dark, as 'Matilda the Musical,' but the story never felt too trite or stereotyped." Full Review