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.

If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.

Reviews (60)
The London Evening Standard

What a pity, then, that this musical never fully sparks into life...Yet the material surprisingly lacks rigour, too often staying in soft-focus when a more forensic examination is required... Full Review

Hymn
Islington
The Telegraph (UK)

We get to share the same space and air as Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani as they turn in magnificent performances in Lolita Chakrabarti’s two-hander. Hymn offers a pleasing amount to sing about and it is a cause for celebration that the Almeida. Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

Bold Ibsen reworking in which theory and practice don't quite mesh...The power of Ibsen’s original ideas is still there.' Full Review

Falsettos
Westminster
The Telegraph (UK)

Jewface-controversy musical has flashes of wit but too many songs...The piece is choppy and uneven, betraying its origins as three individual one-act musicals, but everything comes into much sharper focus after the interval.' Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

The relentless tone of sneering jollity has always jarred for some and now it simply sounds outdated. Full Review

The London Evening Standard

Globe's high-spirited comedy is short of subtlety... Overall the tone is too strident, too broad and too often it’s as if the text itself gets in the way of the larks... And yet. There are elements that work very well...' Full Review

On Your Feet!
Charing Cross
The London Evening Standard

This is a script of epic dullness, by which one is usually bored and occasionally bewildered, as births, marriages and deaths all happen without any explanation. Full Review

Bronx Gothic
Lambeth
The London Evening Standard

I have never seen a piece quite like this before. It’s performance more than theatre, a collision of dance, singing and the spoken word...If only the work were more tightly structured, it would be a phenomenon.' Full Review

White Pearl
Sloane Square
The London Evening Standard

A fascinating and unsettling examination of attitudes to race...Kae Alexander’s Built and Katie Leung’s Sunny stand out for energy and attitude...' Full Review

Man of La Mancha
Charing Cross
The London Evening Standard

While Grammer captures well the Don’s melancholy nobility, it’s not the sort of charismatic lead performance necessary to anchor a show in a venue like the Coliseum...He sings adequately, although he fails to make standout anthem The Impossible Dream reverberate in the way it should. Full Review

The London Evening Standard

Jonnie Riordan’s bouncy production is fairly one-note; it’s an agreeable note, but it does try the patience after a time. Playful moments of fourth-wall breaking...are jolly at first, but become increasingly heavy-handed. Full Review

The London Evening Standard

Phillips’s detailed and at times laborious drama doesn’t come to any startling new conclusions...but instead rather hedges its bets as it wends its meticulous way through elegant, occasionally overwritten scenes.' Full Review

Admissions
Westminster
The London Evening Standard

Director Daniel Aukin needs to tone everything down, so that we can reflect upon the occasional sharp and thoughtful point that Harmon does make. Full Review

Only Fools and Horses
Westminster
The London Evening Standard

In an era of international musicals, this unashamedly British night out is a change and a treat. Full Review

The London Evening Standard

You’ve got to be in with a good audience for Showstopper! That’s not for reasons of surround-sound atmospherics but because it is the punters who make the show. Literally. Full Review

SIX
Kingston
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production This is quite the most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre I have ever had the privilege to watch and the fact that it comes from two 23-year-olds, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who graduated only last year, is even more delightful. Full Review

The Grinning Man
Westminster
The London Evening Standard

The music from Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler is copious but largely unmemorable and the singing is too often unexceptional. 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

Titus Andronicus
Barbican
The London Evening Standard

Blanche McIntyre directs what is easily the best bard the RSC has offered in the last two years. Full Review

42nd Street
Covent Garden
The London Evening Standard

We get lengthy, drifting excerpts from this seemingly entirely logic-free piece and, despite the tapping, our spirits begin to flag. 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

2:22 A Ghost Story
Covent Garden
The Telegraph (UK)

Robins takes us on a witty, lightly perceptive and occasionally scary journey towards the witching hour. The denouement manages to be both genuinely startling and a nonsensical let-down. Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

Atim and Jeremiah give a masterclass in presenting the shifting possibilities of interpretation, of inflection and body language, in each fresh take on these short scenes. Full Review

Amélie the Musical
Westminster
The Telegraph (UK)

A talented company of actor-musicians makes fine work of the gently melancholy score...There’s a wonderfully wistful sense to Michael Fentiman’s quietly confident production; it takes gumption for a musical to be this dialled-down. Full Review

Tree
Lambeth
The Times (UK)

...a prosaic script is offset by Gregory Maqoma’s supple choreography and Duncan McLean’s swirling design, as well as by participation from the standing audience.' Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

Amy Hodge’s production – well-meaning, colourful and jolly as it is – is also half-baked. There’s lots of aimless pottering about, and the unmemorable songs are long...' Full Review

Rust
Shepherds Bush
The London Evening Standard

Director Eleanor Rhode creates an admirably precise delineation of mood at the start of each scene...Rust promises far more than it delivers...' Full Review

Afterglow
Southwark
The London Evening Standard

Polyamory with a paper-thin plot... A briefly glimpsed threesome gets Afterglow off to a racy start, but thereafter there are tight boxer shorts where tight plotting would be more useful.' Full Review

The London Evening Standard

a production that frantically contrives to over-egg whatever scraps of humour it can lay its hands upon... Like too many Globe efforts of late, this is not fully formed in its conception...' Full Review

The London Evening Standard

Maxine Peake excels in sobering tale about a woman's fertility journey...settles down to become a sobering, must-hear story for our times.' Full Review

The London Evening Standard

It’s a strange choice to use recorded narration...for a live event, especially given that the audio quality of the broadcasts isn’t perfect. This led to much restlessness among the young audience. Full Review

The London Evening Standard

This musical of heart and charm...has a commendable determination to overcome obstacles. Little Miss Sunshine is such an appealing story that it’s splendid to have it back again...' Full Review

The Bay at Nice
Southwark
The London Evening Standard

Enigmatic Penelope Wilton delights in this thin and dry play... Richard Eyre’s production is calmly assured, but it’s not essential viewing.' Full Review

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

9 to 5: The Musical
Westminster
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

Poet in da Corner
Sloane Square
The London Evening Standard

It’s rare to come across a piece of theatre that is so gloriously and absolutely itself as this sparks-flying homage to grime music...It is, in short, the real deal.' Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "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 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

Peters ensures that the energy levels never falter and choreographer Andrew Wright has the sweet-voiced Moes work up a heady sweat as they leap their way around a circular moving walkway. 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

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