Dominic Cavendish

Dominic Cavendish is a critic with The Telegraph (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)
Waitress (London)
Covent Garden
The Telegraph (UK)

“After two hours of tuneful entertainment my carapace of skepticism had been breached, leaving warm appreciation oozing out. And if you’re averse to tongue-in-cheek, culinary-related metaphors, then do stand warned...this is a show that takes joyous relish in whisking together the staple references of its workplace milieu with all the confused emotions that attend its principals’ appetite for love and companionship...The comedy songs are very funny...The ballads are meltingly lovely.” Full Review

Come from Away (London)
Charing Cross
The Telegraph (UK)

"It would be an ungrateful curmudgeon who didn’t greet it with respectful admiration. At the same time, much as I consider its hour and 40-minute non-stop evocation of that sleepless and rather surreal episode informative, inspiring and even stirring too, there’s a glossiness about it that smooths over the upset of that era-defining world event...A generation on from 9/11 maybe it could use more of the grim wider context and a greater inkling of the dread beneath the defiance." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"An evening of evident cohesion...The journey at times threatens to feel interminable...Elaborate drama is in scarce supply. Mitchell’s through-sung approach squeezes out opportunities for richly character-defining dialogue...Before the stinging, melancholy payoff, an almost deadening repetition creeps in that Chavkin’s beautifully lit and propulsive production can’t quite mask...The show finally delivers the heart-stopping goods, but is it fully achieved yet?" Full Review

Girls & Boys
West Village
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "If anyone was in any doubt that Mulligan, 32, is a phenomenal talent, here’s the proof in triplicate...She proves a born storyteller, getting us to hang on every word; she displays spot-on comic timing too...Part of the power of the evening lies in guessing where we’re going to end up...The Royal Court is usually at its best when it addresses the subject of violence and here, thanks above all to Mulligan’s tour de force, its main-house offering strikes annihilatingly home." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"It really is as good as we’ve been told. Can you quibble that it’s a bit too cold, a bit too clever, and a bit too crammed with exposition? Perhaps, but it displays an artistic sophistication that makes most of its British counter-parts look like they’re mumbling into their shoes in comparison...The ingenious collision of contemporary sounds and 'colour-conscious' casting with period-dressed historical subject-matter makes us see this epic as a biography of the dawn of the USA itself." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "It’s so sketchily written and baldly schematic that, for all its underlying ambition and innocuous entertainment value, it put me in mind of that gag in 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' about the 'tedious brief scene of young Pyramus and his love Thisbe'...Yet despite itself, simply because it attests all the same to Ayckbourn’s own story of tenacity, longevity and attachment to place, it stirs something like gratitude and admiration...There are worse ways of wasting an evening." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"Butterworth has done it again, this time with another rural drama of mighty magnitude set across a single, darkening day...This is a three-hour feast populated with an even more ambitious 22 characters...There is a new warmth about Butterworth’s writing – which eschews the self-aware dialogue of yore and taps his own Irish-Catholic provenance for a vitality that memorably manifests itself in wild Dionysiac outbreaks of dancing...Miss this and you’ve missed a marvel." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"I caught it in New York this summer, and adored it. The big question, though, was whether the same magic could happen here. The answer is a resounding yes...'Team' Lloyd Webber have improved on this vaguely preposterous but resonant fairytale of salvation through disobedience and primal playfulness. What was funny becomes doubly so...The production hits exactly the same high notes of hysterical excitement as the New York version...The most enjoyable few hours money can buy." Full Review

King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "A mightily impressive performance – one that will rank as a crowning achievement in a major career – in a production, directed by Gregory Doran, that is bolted together with clarity, insight, and a relish for the monumental...Sher has the psychological measure of this rash monarch...but there are moments when he succumbs to old-fashioned mannerism...His gravelly delivery, almost as if passing the verse through a rain-stick, doesn’t yield many tonal surprises." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "This fleet-footed piece blazes with a sense of injustice and yearning for change that is hard to refute...Though steaming with militant ire...the piece avoids angry agit-prop, by honouring the arc of the protest...'The Fall' invigoratingly charts the Biko-isation of a generation of students; where it will end, though, is another matter. About the role of the Zuma government in this fraught chapter the show is studiously quiet." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

“It’s a triumph...In all key respects, it grips, it stirs, it delights…You can’t stop watching. That’s partly down to the thrill-a-minute nature of the stage-craft…The leading performances also forge a sense of journeys meaningfully undertaken…There’s a universal, relatable emotional core to the show…There are reservations, but to labor those failings would be to miss the point. The big news is that this is just what was needed, will raise the benchmark for family entertainment for years.” Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

“There’s an original score...There’s no audience-participation, dodgy innuendos or slapstick. And we’re in a land of American accents. But at root it does exactly what the British pantomime does – takes an old folk-tale and drapes it in the tinsel of cheery comedy, cutesy romance, colourful designs and lively song and dance routines...For all the visual splendour, spry, yearning-filled lyrics and syrupy sounds, it barely rises above the generic; a cynic’s idea of Disney ‘magic’ at its blandest.” Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

“This is the funniest show in town...The jokes, visual and verbal, are piled skyscraper-high. Many are as corny as can be but there’s such youthful relish to the playing and so much surrounding theatrical invention that even the hoariest gag earns its keep. With slick direction...you not only want to know what’s going to happen next, but how...You keep thinking this is as good as it gets – then it gets better...It deliver swag-loads of pleasure and thoroughly deserve to make a mint.” Full Review

Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Webber’s most under-valued musical is confirmed in Lonny Price’s semi-staged revival as a glorious, creepy (if resolutely technicolor) thrill a minute–bristling with lush, brooding songs apt to nestle inside your head and keep you awake at night in tormented ecstasy. While Price hasn’t stinted on stripped-back razzmatazz, central to the evening’s tingle-factor is Close’s performance…From the smithy of her undoubted vocal talent she draws forth one molten number after another." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "The trick, as Rourke’s Donmar revival brilliantly grasps, is to ensure the piece makes complete psychological sense – so that we can follow every weather-vane twist of emotion and dagger-like plunge of plot. But the trick, above all, is to keep things light as possible...The evening descends by degrees into a ferocious, self-destructive battle of the sexes. There’s no faulting McTeer, who is the embodiment of glacial elegance...West is initially a few inches north of being just-right." Full Review

Hero's Welcome
Midtown E
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "I’m afraid it’s more filler than killer…Ayckbourn, who also directs, lays out too many scenes in televisual segments, making it slightly stop-start. Some of the characterization is sketchy; we could do with more depth, less plot. Only some of the writing bites…Aside from one odd bit of miscasting the acting is more than serviceable, especially from the wiry, intense Richard Stacey as Murray." Full Review

Ubu Roi
Upper W Side
The Telegraph (UK)

"“School-boy humour” tends to get a bad press. But where would theatre be without it? As a golden opportunity arises to watch Cheek by Jowl’s acclaimed production of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi – seize it! – it feels only right to bow and scrape a bit before Jarry’s seminal act of juvenile disrespect." Full Review

Ubu Roi
Upper W Side
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "This radical spin has its tongue in its cheek, a snigger in its jowl and an accent on showing the bourgeoisie going bonkers. The show is perfectly judged. If the cast seem to having more fun than the audience, it’s nonetheless no boo-boo, this Ubu." Full Review

Antigone (BAM)
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "There’s no getting away from it, though: I’m afraid it’s pretty lacklustre stuff...there’s a hole at the heart of this 90-minute affair; that elusive ability to make us make care...At the end, we get a surprise blast of the Velvet Underground’s 'Heroin' and the evening acquires a sudden upsurge of energy; alas, this rebellious shot in the arm comes too late to save the day." Full Review

Henry IV
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "As so often with theatre’s gender-switching games, fresh insights are shed; so much so that I would have preferred Lloyd to give us more, and take longer about it...This production is about more than just giving the sisters more work, better parts. If it’s empowering for a woman to play a man then it’s also liberating for a man to watch a woman do so: the emphasis shifts to the similarities between the sexes, and the ubiquity of power struggles." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "The production cumulatively builds a potent sense of the old order changing, and time hurtling by in a history-making whirl...A few cavils: Sir John’s low-life entourage need more hustle and bustle. The high-walled set suits the court and rebel scenes well, but drains life from the carry-on in the tavern...All in all, while they show the RSC at its more dependable and royally accomplished, it needs to be careful it doesn’t only do what we’ve come to expect." Full Review

Quietly
Chelsea
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "An inspired import…Impeccably directed by Jimmy Fay – albeit skirting too close to inaudibility – the piece packs sweeping questions about forgiveness and accountability into a tightly plotted encounter. Hypnotically watchable, O’Kane’s Jimmy convinces as a natural hard-nut made harder still by teenage trauma...When they revisit that day of carnage step by step, you listen, riveted. When they simply stand and regard each other, you could hear a pin drop." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Unfortunately both the manner and accompanying matter of this 'Celebration of Harold Pinter,' which sifts through Pinter’s poetry back-catalogue with blanket reverence, smack too much of an earnest sixth-form lecture – one delivered by a prize pupil in honour of a formidable, life-changing teacher...Sands believes Pinter’s poetry alone would have secured him a place in the annals. Having listened to his selection it’s hard to share anything like that opinion." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production “I defy anyone to go and see ‘Woody Sez’ and not come away feeling that this modest yet delectable offering is a pretty snug fit for these cash-strapped, anxious times…If the evening valuably helps puts today’s travails in historical perspective, what comes across equally forcefully is how the songs transcend the time of their writing…The performers sing with lusty conviction and they handle their instruments with impeccable finesse. They spread warmth out across the auditorium.” Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

“Endearing but theatrically under-achieved stage-musical version of the much-loved BBC sitcom...The evening...feels like a bodge job. The script drips with gems of gags that are wearing incredibly well, and all the catch-phrases that you’d expect are in one 'King Lear' and out the other...What it isn’t at least is a complete car-crash...The production moves in fits and starts, sometimes backfiring as it aims for pathos, sometimes almost going places as it teases, cheeks and charms.” Full Review

9 to 5: The Musical
Covent Garden
The Telegraph (UK)

“This colourful, feelgood - but also flimsy and slight - show has done that for Parton and Resnick again. Firstly, owing to the basic need for escapist froth, as alarm-bells ring politically. More saliently, it chimes with the #metoo moment. Yet the evening doesn’t take itself too seriously...It’s certainly not for everyone, but there are worse ways of spending a few hours after a hard day at the office.” Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"This slickly choreographed, beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung bio-musical about Tina Turner...Seldom off-stage and required to execute multiple in-the-blink-of-an-eye costume-changes....This jukebox musical boxes clever within its tight parameters." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Eyre’s deluxe revival of O’Neill’s immense, autobiographically rooted drama...Irons gives the impression of a forlorn, sniping, refined man about the house rather than a prowling, growling survivor of too many nights on the road...The most palpably searing emotional intensity is supplied by Lesley Manville...One of the 20th century’s defining dramas of American dreams and disappointments...O’Neill forges a deeper, tragic sense of handed-on misery, an inescapable inheritance." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

“Van Hove seems to have found the perfect material for his modish aesthetic here...He utilizes an impressive technological box of tricks...Everywhere there is motion, confusion, distraction...This editing job is faithful to the original...proving Chayefsky prophetic...Cranston’s Beale looks terrific in the many close-ups...he starts off recognizably ordinary...and moves by degrees from a wild-man in his underpants to an ethereal, inspiring presence...It works.” Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "I have to confess that for much of the 75 minutes, I felt I was trying to get a handle on a runaway chicken of a yarn, flapping this way and that. Those who’ve suffered grief and loss may be able to catch, if they’re quick-eared, nicely turned phrases of touching consolation...Miserable sinner that I am, I found much of it deathly, and rejoiced not a lot." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "An insightful triumph of pared-down theatre…Becoming more familiar not only with particular actresses but also the prisoners they loosely characterize, is a feature of the cycle’s particular accumulative power. There’s a lot of fantastic work in the ensemble. But it’s not enough to note how terrific – agile, alert, heartfelt – Jade Anouka is…You picture the untapped talent, too, in the fictional prisoner she embodies…Lloyd gives us rich food for thought by 'poor-theatre' means." Full Review

The Emperor
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Even if you didn’t know and adore her from her remarkable body of work, often gender-swapping, often shape-shifting, you’d be by turns captivated, amused and impressed by what she does here...The neat trick of the piece, directed by Walter Meierjohann, is to create a constant sense of the mercurial and the magical...You can’t keep your eyes off her...What’s needed is a fully rounded theatrical portrait of the man and the myth." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Sophisticated, smart and more adult in theme...'Groundhog Day' is as funny and as touching as you could wish, and it lands with the confidence of an instant classic...Minchin uses repetition and sustained notes as a means of deepening the levels of irony, every dab of a refrain contributing to the mood...Like the best stage farce, what starts slowly soon picks up speed. The lyrics are spry, ever alert to a gag, and there’s ample humor." Full Review

Cats
Midtown W
The Telegraph (UK)

"Leona Lewis’s star-wattage is strong – but she needs to lose some of her sheen…Her singing voice is loud and clear, but a touch too serene, needing more of a hint of the gutter…The supporting cast are terrific…This 'Cats' remains an evening of fluff and nonsense, really, with leg-warmers and cutesy costumes that should be risible to a cynic’s eyes. Yet such is the innate confidence and innocent zest of this bizarre, feline spectacle that all cynicism just moults away." Full Review

Privacy
East Village
The Telegraph (UK)

"Short of recruiting Julian Assange to tap-dance in a negligée, Josie Rourke could hardly have applied more headline-grabbing, head-turning panache to this new, souped-up, New York-friendly version of her and James Graham’s techno-savvy play…The evening remains a mass of fascinating material and ideas, with insufficient debate about the security value of governmental snooping. Yet it’s inventive, funny and abounds with memorable images." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "The book is the evening’s weak spot. The dialogue is sometimes so bald it could use an emergency toupet...Bolstered by ingenious, fast-moving, projection-enlivened scenery, expert choreography and sure direction, the cast have a platinum-plated ball...Confronting us with energy and spirit of that irrepressible order, the show moves beyond being a welcome nostalgia fest and becomes an urgent rallying cry for us all to rediscover our Motown mojo." Full Review

Cyprus Avenue
East Village
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Ireland’s queasily entertaining, bleakly funny and finally shocking, blood-soaked play...This is a hard play to watch because it gives casual voice to so much prejudice and hatred – and also because it pushes you to laugh at things you know you’re not supposed to laugh at. It’s a theatrical ambush, booby-trapped at every turn. Yet compulsive viewing...Strange, silly and savage – and I'd say borderline unmissable." Full Review

Battlefield
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Parched of contextual information, and with the translation at times bordering on the monsoon side of heavy-weather, you could disengage, sneer even. Yet go with the flow, and you might–as I did–enter a different zone, getting a potent glimpse of another way of doing theatre, of looking at life, even at the end a fleeting intimation of some ‘cosmic’ otherness. Much of this is down to the luminous charm of the players…Something profound is felt on the pulse here; I cannot quite say what." Full Review

Henry V (BAM)
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Its hallmark is an exposing scenic simplicity, its chief virtue a blazing lucidity...This account holds us captive with its understated power...Across the board it all coheres, which is hard to accomplish in a play so rife with warring moods, one that tilts between the epic and the comic...I kneel down and kiss the ground outside the RSC: this is just what the nation ordered." Full Review

887
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Lepage proves he needs to consistently push the boundaries and nowhere is that more evident than in his technical wizardry...Lepage is an artist who is constantly striving for intellectual inquiry and he adds new layers to the piece by questioning the act of remembering itself...The foundations of the show, then, are simple, personal; the ramifications complex, far-reaching. The tone is wistful but not without insouciant wit and self-irony." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "The most sympathetic Shylock I’ve seen…Do we struggle to understand how he could murderously insist on his ‘pound of flesh?’ A little…Yet Pryce doesn’t disappoint…It’s always more of a duty than a pleasure this play, but Munby ensures it’s not hard-going and that the lighter and darker elements combine in a seamless whole...Boasting gorgeous period attire, the production does more than glisten – even if it’s not absolute gold." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "A darkly atmospheric revival...The most intimate, immersive evening in town...The creative juices of director Bill Buckhurst and his team have coagulated into a deeply satisfying confection...You can quibble about a few supporting performances, and some of the make-up looks a bit am-dram, but this fleet-footed, stylishly lit affair delivers the essentials: finely sung, suitably eerie ensemble story-telling with two hair-raising turns at its centre...What a scrumptious little treat." Full Review

Golem
Upper W Side
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "A visually astonishing, intellectually invigorating show, which taps our anxiety about being manipulated by shadowy corporations and agencies…A witty collision of knowingly antiquated aesthetics, wide-ranging cultural influences and modern-day sensibilities…1927 was the year of Fritz Lang’s dystopian masterpiece 'Metropolis'...I don’t think it’s festive hyperbole to claim that at times this feels every bit as ground-breaking an achievement." Full Review

King Charles III
Midtown W
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "If you’re not interested in the Royal Family, the way we are governed and the future of both the monarchy and the country – or for that matter, being royally entertained and stimulated – then do feel free to ignore 'King Charles III.' If, on the other hand, any of the above applies, then attendance is pretty much compulsory." Full Review

Richard II (BAM)
Brooklyn
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "This production is more reverent than radical...Thanks to an emphasised aura of restraint, you don’t get much sense of the hurly-burly of this chapter of history...Tennant is frail, pale and consistently interesting but the nervous energy he excels in is confined to quarters early on...It’s the older hands who galvanise proceedings with emotional intensity in the first half...The evening is always lucid but only truly crystalises as things fall apart." Full Review

Daddy Long Legs
Midtown W
The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "The relationship that slowly develops between the grateful, goody-two-shoes girl and the shadowy, rich youth who allows her to believe he’s a far older male, sent the wrong kind of shivers down my spine. There’s not just an age-gap problem but a glaring era-gap too. Serving material that inevitably comes across as quite static, director John Caird – who also contributes the book – and composer/lyricist Paul Gordon do their utmost to lull you into a state of happy complicity." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "There are funny-peculiar interludes, accompanied by plinky-plonky piano, in which he goes into agonised, mock-jaunty, spasmodic jigs, as if expressing his character’s repressed interior state. But both Callow and director Simon Stokes are groping for richness of psychological detail where the script supplies bargain-bucket observations about father-son relationships, bare shelves where the back story should be and drearily piled-high descriptions of the weekly routine." Full Review