Henry Hitchings

Henry Hitchings 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 (32)
Waitress (London)
Covent Garden
The London Evening Standard

“Though some of its ingredients are fluffy or icky it eventually whisks up a satisfying mixture of whimsy, warmth, and sadness...Bareilles has crafted a propulsive score and lyrics packed with poppy nostalgia. The best of them are soaringly delivered by McPhee...Paulus’s production is fluent without being unpalatably slick...The show has cartoonish elements, but mostly subverts its moments of sentimentality and silliness, and there’s a whole lot of humour baked into it.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

"A defiantly original musical. Its story is thin, transposing the well-known Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to Depression-era America. But musically it’s a feast...A show that’s lush and haunting, even if overlong...The topical significance, especially in the song Why We Build The Wall, won’t be lost on anyone...With its emphasis on mood rather than action, this is the sort of show that risks being labelled portentous. But it’s tightly choreographed and genuinely inventive." Full Review

The Jungle
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, it’s performed with both urgency and wit...Even if some of the characters’ arguments feel too obviously shoehorned in, 'The Jungle' isn’t preachy. Instead it proves tense, moving and courageous. A tribute to hope and resourcefulness, it’s also a sobering reminder of political issues that remain tragically unresolved." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Irons elishes the actorly excesses of Tyrone — and mixes his cigar-chomping dynamism with scowling attentiveness and a wintry disappointment...Manville’s interpretation is finely detailed and compassionate...In Richard Eyre’s production...this sprawling drama feels pacier than usual, though it still weighs in at three and a half hours. It remains a gruelling experience but has a naked emotional power that's genuinely absorbing." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

“While Hall’s adaptation is faithful and affectionate, it also speaks vividly to the present...van Hove has created a brilliant and occasionally bewildering spectacle...It can be hard to know where to look, and that’s the point...The result is two hours of mind-boggling complexity. Sometimes the technical wizardry upsets its momentum. But the show's energy is sustained by Cranston, giving one of the richest and most agonising performances...a King Lear for the soundbite age.” Full Review

The Emperor
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "At first this looks set to be an amusing, detailed parade of oddballs and an exhibition of Hunter’s talents...Meierjohann’s intimate production accentuates Hunter’s mesmeric presence...It is at its best when it also involves Zeleke...The result is an intriguing vision of Selassie’s complexities — not a definitive account, but a suggestive take on his shortcomings and the devotion that he inspired.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

“For once the so-called theatrical event of the year really is just that…Packed with pathos, dazzling choreography and moments of pure enchantment…John Tiffany’s finely orchestrated production is often gorgeous…If explaining the story’s more ticklish details sometimes stalls its momentum, the characterization is richly convincing…For the legions of Pottermaniacs eager to be reunited with the characters they adore, this will be a magical experience." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

“The main reason to see...'Aladdin' can be summed up in three words — Trevor Dion Nicholas...He is show-stealingly brilliant...It is hard to escape the feeling that Aladdin is a pantomime...Nicholaw’s big-budget production is packed with busy numbers, calculated to distract us from such details...Beguelin’s book is puckish and the same goes for the lyrics while Menken’s score is varied and zestful...This is a show with a well-judged air of mischief and spectacle.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Annie Ryan’s adaptation, which she also directs with unshowy clarity, is faithful to the novel without slavishly replicating it. She captures its strange, fierce poetry and choppy stream of consciousness. The result is a bleak, claustrophobic portrait of a young woman’s existential collapse…It doesn’t all make sense and its relentlessness is exhausting. But Duffin is vulnerable and majestic, investing each lilting anecdote, garbled memory and jolt of black comedy with a mesmerising rawness." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "This 70-minute piece, arrives in London garlanded with plaudits. It’s easy to see why. Rachel O’Riordan’s sharply focused production has a pacy directness, and Sophie Melville is sensational as Effie. Her performance is caustic, but also flecked with seductive and vulnerable moments — teasing, touching, profound. She savours the intelligence and political anger of Owen’s writing, which is painfully vivid and sometimes devastatingly funny." Full Review

Henry V (BAM)
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Doran’s interpretation, which deliberately takes a stance that’s neither pro-war nor anti-war, only sometimes pulses with vitality. Lewis’s sparse design isn’t atmospheric, and the lucid, studious and at times pedestrian approach is embodied by Oliver Ford Davies as the Chorus. His voice is reliably resonant and he misrepresents reality in ways that are interesting — but he looks like a rather crumpled history teacher." Full Review

Radiant Vermin
Midtown E
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Philip Ridley’s plays tend to be grotesque and explosive. Their language is dense and their characters monstrous. Here he returns to a familiar theme — that apocalypse is imminent — but his approach is more accessible and overtly political than usual…He’s on stingingly funny form…Director David Mercatali is an experienced interpreter of Ridley’s work and infuses his production with fierce energy. There are dazzling performances from Gemma Whelan and Sean Michael Verey." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "A small and vivid piece, packed with Bean’s now familiar gallows humour...Performed with appealing simplicity, 'Toast' feels like an ode to ordinariness — reminiscent of another writer with strong ties to Hull, Philip Larkin, though Bean evokes a grubbier, grittier world. Eleanor Rhode’s production captures both the grinding tediousness of shift work and the camaraderie that makes it bearable." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Wright wants to expose familiar notions of blame and resentment to fresh scrutiny. As he explores this psychologically rich terrain, he certainly isn’t constructing a case for de Kock’s defence. But he does present him as a complex man and an unlikely villain...This nuanced picture of the couple’s encounters makes for an intimate and intense experience." Full Review

Richard II (BAM)
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Tennant does not disappoint. He delivers a vivid, intelligent performance...Gregory Doran’s production moves slowly for the first hour or so but it is satisfying both visually and dramatically. It also benefits from the strongest RSC cast in a long time...This is a clear, detailed and dynamic account of a drama that can often seem glutted with artful rhetoric and ceremonial formality. It is an impressive start to Doran’s campaign to stage all Shakespeare’s plays." Full Review

My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Charming, sometimes very funny and occasionally bizarre...There are moments where the show edges towards being a parody of a high-concept dramatic provocation. Yet it is much more than that, suggesting the way performers are haunted — not just by the achievements of their predecessors but by ghostly intimations of where their own careers might have led. It’s a celebration of theatre’s special capacity to 'stab at the truth' in a way that seems difficult in real life." Full Review

Come from Away (London)
Charing Cross
The London Evening Standard

"In Ashley’s nimble production, a cast of 12 switch between playing the locals and the stranded travelers who have 'come from away.' It’s an approach that heightens the sense of the groups happily merging, and the songs, mostly choral and propulsive, have a crowd-pleasing warmth as well as a Celtic accent...It also says little — perhaps too little — about the tragic events that convulsed New York on and after 9/11...Its defining features are charm, energy and a real generosity of spirit." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

"A triumphant show that fully justifies the hype...Mendes’s richly textured production his farmhouse kitchen is a place teeming with vitality...There are some similarities here to Butterworth’s last smash hit, 'Jerusalem,' not least a sense of the mystique of rural life. Yet 'The Ferryman' has its own distinct tang of humour and menace. A feast of intricate storytelling, it’s absorbing, soulful and ultimately shattering." Full Review

Girls & Boys
West Village
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Kelly is particularly concerned with male violence and the social mechanisms that exist to muffle it...A crafty 90-minute piece, which sometimes sounds like a lecture. Yet if occasionally it feels manipulative, it’s also packed with memorable lines...While the production is elegant, there’s a note of controlled fierceness throughout. What’s most arresting, though, is Mulligan’s gift for making a throwaway line devastating...It’s the kind of performance that makes the audience hold its breath." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

“”Hamilton’ is a knockout, and its cast is superb...The lyrics are densely packed, and their bristling intricacy justifies Miranda’s thesis that hip-hop is the authentic sound of the American Revolution...With its fresh take on the politics of opportunism ‘Hamilton’ feels sharply topical, but it’s also the best kind of history lesson. There are a few dramatically expedient inaccuracies, but Miranda knows which liberties are worth taking, and he makes the past exciting...Believe the hype.” Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Walter aside, the standout in a strong cast is Jade Anouka...But for all Ariel's dazzle, this isn’t a production that shimmers with exotic images…Yet there are some moments of beauty…Intimate, exciting, often abrasive and sometimes startlingly funny, it’s a celebration of ensemble acting and of the fertile possibilities of breaking free from conventional ideas about casting." Full Review

King Lear (BAM)
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Doran ensures there’s a pleasing narrative clarity, but doesn’t always locate the power of Shakespeare’s tragedy...When Gloucester is blinded, the incident takes place in a perspex box...It has the effect of muffling the drama and making its ugliest episode almost camp...The best scene reunites Lear with a desolate Gloucester, and it’s here that Sher is most absorbingly intelligent. But this isn’t an interpretation that fully realises the play’s depths of grief." Full Review

Yerma
Upper E Side
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "What’s remarkable about Stone’s interpretation is its combination of technical rigour and moments of deeply uncomfortable humour...The action takes place in a glass box...Some will argue that this is a needlessly cold approach, but it heightens our sense of voyeurism and creates a series of unsettling visual and acoustic effects...In the end, though, it’s the quality of the performances that makes this a riveting hundred minutes, and Billie Piper is on raw, ferocious, spellbinding form." Full Review

Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Glenn Close's West End debut is a triumph…She’s majestic, tormented and teasingly seductive. Close played the role on Broadway more than 20 years ago, and at 69 she remains completely persuasive as this manipulative, demonstrative and sometimes ridiculous diva…The book is rarely subtle and the lyrics are often pedestrian. But while the score is occasionally ponderous, it contains passages of opulent romanticism…In the end, though, this is a mighty vehicle for a mesmerizing star." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It’s a performance of startling inventiveness and precision, simultaneously conspiratorial and confrontational. His persuasive storytelling is dense with detail...But what looks like a one-man show in fact relies on the invisible efforts of a brilliant technical crew. Inevitably it’s the richly layered sound design by Gareth Fry that impresses most...'The Encounter' is a hypnotic, almost religious experience that warrants those two much-abused terms, 'immersive' and 'unmissable'." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "West is Valmont, a compulsive womaniser and relentless poseur, and McTeer is the icy Marquise de Merteuil, who’s equally obsessed with dominating everyone she encounters...This is theatre at its most seductive and sinister. One could complain that it’s too long — or that the ending is a touch underwhelming. But there is a huge amount to admire in this pitch-black comedy of manners, which radiates the very opposite of seasonal cheer." Full Review

Antigone (BAM)
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "This austere and slow-moving production, from Belgian director Ivo van Hove, isn’t set anywhere specific. Instead its location is an odd mix of drab office and an ethereal dreamscape that shimmers with video footage. The effect is strange and unsettling...Van Hove marshals his cast of eight with steely precision...But the production at times lacks emotional weight, and it feels a little disappointing." Full Review

Henry IV
Brooklyn
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "This all-female take on Shakespeare is bold, strange and mostly a success. It condenses 'Henry IV’s two parts into two hours, focusing mainly on the first play and its examination of kingship and the sheer abundance of language. Director Phyllida Lloyd has crafted a production that is grungy and rebellious." Full Review

Skylight
Midtown W
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "David Hare’s prickly, intelligent mid-Nineties play has plenty of guts and heart...Skylight packs real emotional punch and is often at its funniest when most angry. The writing has a fierce psychological sharpness." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "A rewarding epic in which we see the court of King Henry VIII in all its glory and ruthlessness...The staging is fluent and mostly very simple; there’s a lot to get through, and the approach taken is to keep obstructions to a minimum. The politically charged conversations can be lengthy, but there’s always a buzz of brisk physicality. The result is meaty, intelligent drama...What could feel like a dusty history lesson instead seems a miracle of compression." Full Review

Ubu Roi
Upper W Side
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "The reliably challenging company Cheek by Jowl does justice to Jarry’s eccentric vision in this expressively physical revival...This is absurd theatre with a brashly apocalyptic resonance, and Donnellan directs with inventiveness. The result, though hard to watch, is an inspired production of a gruesome drama." Full Review

Matilda (London)
Covent Garden
The London Evening Standard

"At the heart of this satisfyingly fresh adaptation of a cherished Roald Dahl story are Australian comedian Tim Minchin's music and lyrics, which ooze humour without veering towards smugness...This is true family entertainment. Children will enjoy its blissful mix of fantasy and irreverence and adults will savour it for these same reasons as well as a host of different ones. This generous, big-hearted piece is already being spoken of as one of the best new British musicals in years." Full Review