Fiona Mountford

Fiona Mountford is a critic with The London Evening Standard. 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 (27)
The London Evening Standard

"It feels like loving, lively homage rather than empty imitation. Whitehouse and Sullivan Jr present an appealingly ebullient compendium of what we loved most about the show, serving up ample helpings of wit, pluck, graft, and family loyalty. The major characters are largely all present and correct, offered in careful imitations with astonishingly accurate vocal inflections...In an era of international musicals, this unashamedly British night out is a change and a treat.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

"This musical never fully sparks into life...There’s still much to enjoy...Warren is a livewire performer with a belter of a voice and the hits, as well as that iconic clothing combination of leather and denim, are all present and correct. We bristle with anticipation during a mid-point rendition of Proud Mary, although the show doesn’t let rip musically until an extended finale. Simply the best? Not quite." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "The story is explosive but the storytelling itself is dynamite, as a seven-strong ensemble of former UCT drama students talk, sing, chant, dance, and stomp their way through 80 pulsating minutes of anger and sadness...The conversation of the energized student movement ranges far and wide...Throughout it all, the energy levels never falter in a production curated with confidence and spark...A valuable and vital piece of theatre." Full Review

Killing Time
Midtown E
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "A peculiar two-hander about a professional cellist with a terminal illness and a sort-of social worker who may be the angel of death...It limps its way through some half-hearted meditations on living, dying, and legacy...It’s directed, just about, by Antony Eden, whose flat production does nothing to sustain flagging interest levels...I saw this show two days ago and have already entirely forgotten how it ends. 'Killing Time' in more ways than one." Full Review

Rotterdam
Midtown E
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Brittain’s lively, sensitive, hard-hitting piece about love, gender and sexuality. Brittain handles complex issues with great honesty and thoughtfulness, but also with a refreshing amount of wit...Donnacadh O’Briain’s confident production maintains an ideal equilibrium between all elements in the writing. There’s much admirable, agonized work from Martine as Fiona/Adrian, but even better is McCarthy...A compelling evening’s theatre." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Utilising a vivid, uniquely Irish gift for storytelling, Murfi magics up wonders from a bare stage, with just his words to help him...There are playful echoes of Beckett’s 'All That Fall' in the long walk and eccentric characters Pat encounters en route. Murfi embodies them all...with distinction. He’s blessed with an intensely vivacious face, capped by cherishably mobile eyebrows...A modern classic in the making, I’d say." Full Review

My Eyes Went Dark
Midtown E
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "For a supreme example of high-octane acting in a small space, try ‘My Eyes Went Dark,’ a flintily uncompromising two-hander…This piece also serves as a welcome reminder of the boundless potential of theatre…Our empathy is engaged by an astonishing performance from Jayasundera…It’s high-order work of astounding versatility; in a bigger theatre than this it would make waves and win awards…It’s some of the finest work I’ve had the pleasure to watch in a long time.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Some impressive individual turns don’t quite manage to mesh all this into a compelling whole. Pryce is excellent, with a notable gravitas and richness of performance. There’s particularly lovely work from Dorothea Myer-Bennett as Nerissa...She offers a delicious range of expressive looks and gestures. I’m always struck by how mean 'Merchant' can be...This is a society with a skewed value system and we leave the Globe pondering this anew." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "What a show it is from director Bill Buckhurst, soaked in an atmosphere of thrilling intimacy which suits Stephen Sondheim’s musical so exquisitely...It’s a delight to watch the thought and confidence with which the actors possess every inch of the space...McCarthy shines as the enterprising pie mistress and Jeremy Secomb makes for a magnificently brooding Sweeney. Emma Thompson, soon to set up pie shop at the Coliseum, has some serious competition." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "We’re increasingly used to jazzed-up productions of Shakespeare nowadays, dominated by an overarching directorial conceit. Yet there is still a buoyant market for the other sort of approach, of stately productions in traditional dress, and that is what director Gregory Doran offers in this pairing for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s a fine line between stately and stagnant, however, and the brutal truth is that these productions look tired." Full Review

King Charles III
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Bartlett writes for the most part in blank verse. It brings to mind Shakespeare’s history plays, but there are also echoes of 'Macbeth' and, increasingly and poignantly, 'Lear.' There are confident performances all round in Rupert Goold’s stylish production. This is undoubtedly one of the most stimulating plays of the year." Full Review

Nirbhaya
East Village
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It’s one of the most uncompromising pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen, unbearably tough almost all the time...Farber and her performers are continuing along the trail blazed by the worldwide outcry that followed Nirbhaya’s violation. Proudly, they shatter the pervasive shame culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence against women." Full Review

Trash Cuisine
East Village
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "The overarching concept, a mad skit set in a Capital Punishment Café with its “dishes” of worldwide human rights abuses, is inadequate and the tenuous linking culinary metaphor swiftly gives up the fight. Violations interspersed with recipes — plus some injudiciously selected passages from Shakespeare — are a queasy-making mixture and there is much that’s bewildering." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It's a wistful exploration of acceptance and identity but what it requires in performance are two qualities not easily associated with Callow's acting style, namely nuance and understatement...There are occasional shafts of true emotion but largely it's all surface show and mincing around." Full Review

9 to 5: The Musical
Covent Garden
The London Evening Standard

“A very strange choice of West End musical...Fans of the ditzy eponymous 1980 Dolly Parton film will love it but everyone else is likely to be left mystified at quite how this grimly reductive material fits into the current post-#MeToo narrative...This is, intentionally, bubble-gum stuff, but it’s of a peculiarly acrid flavour...There’s not enough real firepower...I left feeling dispirited, cheered only by the fact that Langford can still do the splits with such panache.” Full Review

The Mousetrap
Seven Dials
The London Evening Standard

“The eight-strong cast, as well as the director, changes regularly and if ‘fresh’ might be something of a stretch, the first half of Ross’s production is certainly spritely enough, as it sets in motion what looks to be a briskly efficient country house murder mystery...Unfortunately the second half gets increasingly creaky before a highly unconvincing, not to mention oddly peremptory ending. The cast play their roles, which are largely character types, with precision." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Here it is, pure distilled 100 per cent proof theatrical magic, conjured up by one man on one chair on an otherwise bare stage. The boundless power of words and storytelling to conjure worlds to involve and enchant an audience has rarely been so clearly demonstrated...Murfi is quite simply mesmerising in his engrossing evocation of this gentle world of vividly realised characters, not least his indomitable, irascible and warmly appealing wife." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "'Adolphus Tips' brims with the imagination and invention that we’ve come to expect from Kneehigh, blending a carefree, homespun sort of charm with top-notch ensemble playing...It’s played a little too much for laughs and the storytelling tends to the meandering, but what wins us round each time is the fact that the piece is brimful of heart. There’s sadness but also lots of hope. It’s Morpurgo’s specialty spell, and in Kneehigh, Rice and the Globe he has found fine accomplice magicians." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

“This new show has also gone wrong although not intentionally...An under-funny farce dotted with some decent set pieces that are oddly unconnected to the rest of the action...The first half of Bell’s production is laboured set-up; the second sees some slightly more fruitful mayhem in the bank. There are nods to various heist movies, but it would be so much more effective if things could go wrong around a tightly coiled narrative, instead of the grab-bag of styles and references here.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Gough gives the greatest stage performance since Mark Rylance in 'Jerusalem'...Gruellingly honest...The arc of the character, and thus of Gough’s remarkable, truthful performance, is awe-inspiring and utterly convincing...A profoundly moving acceptance of flawed humanity. If all this sounds a little daunting, take heart: Macmillan’s lovely writing is never less than slyly humorous and Gough certainly knows how to deliver a funny line...It’s a supremely confident and well-oiled production." Full Review

Operation Crucible
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "A lot of shouting swiftly plays to diminishing returns and so it proves, frustratingly, in this promising new work...An excess of undifferentiated bellowing bedevils Bryony Shanahan’s try-too-hard production, pulling crucial focus from the narrative at key moments. When Shanahan allows the play to take a deep, calm breath and trust in Knowles’s words, as during the hugely affecting ending, it’s far more satisfying." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "One of the many reasons why 'The Velveteen Rabbit' has been a much-loved classic children’s book is the gentle anthropomorphic charm of its titular hero, the shy stuffed toy...The dispiriting thing about Purni Morell’s production is that this charm is almost entirely lacking...Precious alchemy is lost here. Instead Boy and bunny engage in pillow fights which, while superficially amusing, are hardly the point." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "The problem with classic plays is that, in our minds at least, they can become cluttered and dusty, trailing after them into each revival the detritus of past productions. When this happens, it’s a case for Ivo van Hove...This radical rejuvenation of this over-familiar Arthur Miller drama takes up a deserved berth...This sleek, minimalist staging helps the production to feel as tightly, and inexorably, wound as a Greek tragedy." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

"We might have seen it all a number of times before, but doors that won’t open, missed cues and messed-up lines are somehow never not funny...It’s not sophisticated and it’s certainly over-extended; the show’s one-act Fringe origins aren’t hard to spot. Yet, along with the rest of the enthusiastic audience, I laughed continually. Director Mark Bell also offers some ingenious, not to mention precision-drilled, physical comedy. You have to be meticulous to make things look this chaotic." Full Review

Quietly
Chelsea
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Sometimes it's the quietest pieces of theatre that make the greatest impact…A city’s legacy of hate, and possibility redemption, is distilled into this single encounter...McCafferty’s skill is to ground this edgy dialogue-across-the-divide in wonderfully plausible everyday mundanity. There’s a superbly triangulated relationship between Jimmy, Ian and Robert the Polish barman...Jimmy Fay’s production has a remarkable stillness to it." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "The over-simplification made the self-empowerment appear reduced and the piece stubbornly refuses to coalesce into a meaningful, heft-packed whole...Time passes unspecifically and everyone drifts in and out of relationships. Perversely, the show requires stronger anchors than this in order to fly...It’s perfectly fine, but my feet remained unstamped." Full Review

Daddy Long Legs
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It’s a neat idea, to turn Jean Webster’s 1912 young women’s classic into a tuneful two-hander, but the reliance on letters makes for an inherently static piece. The trouble is that the show takes few interesting detours en route; a failed math exam is about as high as the drama gets. Modern sensibilities will find Jerusha’s patron slightly creepy, especially the “Daddy” name she gives him. Yet that’s not the right slant to take and the creative team guides us carefully away from such thoughts." Full Review