Lyn Gardner

Lyn Gardner is a critic with The Guardian (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 (29)
The Prisoner
Brooklyn
The Independent (UK)

for a previous production “This is a wafer-thin evening, beautifully performed...and presented with a pleasing austerity and a less pleasing childlike solemnity as if we are being handed down a dose of spiritual wisdom...Its studied otherworldliness detracts from its effectiveness. It is beautiful, but never urgent in addressing the difficult world we have made for ourselves...Although there are moments of real grace and invention, almost as if in mid-sentence, the staging does not invite emotional involvement." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Melding fact and fiction in comfortable fashion, New Diorama’s ambitious, intelligent, and moving show...There is almost too much here to be squeezed into the brief running time, but directors David Byrne and Kate Stanley do sterling work to tell a story that unfolds with thriller-like precision and has real visual flair...This is a show asking big questions and which has a genuine urgency...A questing intelligence in a piece that sees theatre as a place to tell stories and interrogate myths." Full Review

Re-Member Me
East Village
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production “Theatre is by its nature an ephemeral art form; the traces it leaves behind linger mainly in the memories of the living...An idea played upon in this remarkable show...Beau acts as a kind of medium at a wonky seance....The show is gleefully gossipy, but it made me well up, too, as it magnifies the whispering ghosts of performance history and makes us contemplate our own mortality.” Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "This intelligent, thoughtful play couldn’t be more urgent or topical. Its play-within-a-play construction is a little tricksy, and it often feels a mite earnest. It really needs longer than its one-hour running time to develop…It raises fascinating questions about information, who owns it, and what you should do with it...While the performances of Ford and Steiner keep the thing afloat, there are times when it feels as if it might sink under the weight of its own good intentions." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A funny, heart-breaking show...Right from the start the fourth wall is breached and the show continually reaches out to the audience, playing us with a knowing sweetness...It’s a brief hour that gives the kiss of life to the ancient art of the gag, and it echoes not just to the laughter of this particular audience but of all audiences who, down through the ages, have laughed and recognized their own absurdity in the comic antics of the clown." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production “This is an elegant piece of storytelling spanning more than 20 years and many borders all over the world...The increasingly catastrophic global refugee crisis is under-explored. Its world’s eye view is very much that of a passport-carrying American with safe passage. It makes the show itself seem a little too safe, and Phillips like a raconteur rather than a man with something urgent to say.” Full Review

Ross & Rachel
Midtown E
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A smartly put together and sometimes pleasingly dark show that explores coupledom as a mutual support system – and sometimes as a prison...Performed with a satisfying restraint by Molly Vevers…Gratifyingly, Fritz plays cleverly on our familiarity with Ross and Rachel but without over-playing it…The plotting and Ross’s determination that they should never part doesn’t quite ring true, but Fritz lays out some hard truths about being together and alone." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production “A genuine pleasure–a beautifully written, deceptively simple, warmly comic piece that accumulates layers of meaning through the act of storytelling itself…It is both a celebration of the act of storytelling itself and a sly reminder that fiction and truth are hard to distinguish from each other…It exposes the unreliability of memory and the gap between what we know is true and what we want to believe is true...Audiences who secure a ticket will feel as though they’ve hit the jackpot.” Full Review

The Siege
Greenwich V
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production “A passionate, unashamedly partisan and ultimately affecting retelling of the story of the 2002 siege…This is not the greatest of plays: there is little individual characterization…the action sometimes stutters and lacks fluidity…Even so, it develops into an unexpectedly compelling theatrical experience with a rough and ready energy, and, in the very act of its telling, speaks for the voiceless and forgotten. It also raises some knotty philosophical questions.” Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "This is a show with both a brain and a heart, and one that operates as a sustained metaphor. It completely trusts its audience, and so celebrates the power of every child's imagination as well as the importance of play-acting. It is also a salute to the thrilling transformative possibilities of theatre itself. An inventive, elegant design and the spare clarity of Morell's approach give us all the help we need." Full Review

Bromance
Midtown W
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A very neat blend of physical heroics combined with something more vulnerable...There are passages here when content and form are indeed in perfect harmony. Sometimes it feels a little over-padded, but there are some good moments...It would be nice to see this being developed further...These lads are slightly selling themselves short, because the show is at its best when it is not revealing flesh but trying to employ circus to reveal what it feels like to be a male today." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Wright's play, which gets scorching, vivid performances, cleverly excavates the natural drama of the situation, in which a white Afrikaner man and a black African woman face each other across a table...It's hard to watch, not least because in our hearts we all know, as Gobodo-Madikizela knows, that there are no monsters in this world, only other human beings just like us." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "The narrative sometimes loses focus, but the evening has plenty of musical swagger and wild poetic heart, and develops an unexpected erotic charge as Prudencia dances with the devil and discovers her real self in car park. This beautifully performed piece both uses the ballad form and sends it up rotten, takes a cheeky but affectionate swipe at Rabbie Burns and Conor McPherson, and celebrates the folk tradition...It deserves to tour for eternity." Full Review

Matilda (London)
Covent Garden
The Guardian (UK)

"Writer Dennis Kelly and composer and lyricist Tim Minchin go to the top of the class with this anarchically joyous, gleefully nasty and ingenious musical adaptation...It captures all the original's delicious nastiness...but it also celebrates the solace of books and the transforming powers of the imagination...The production has a razor-sharp tongue-in-cheek edge...Seldom has the inner rage of the hurt and powerless child been so effectively dramatised." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Callow fights manfully with Emmanuel Darley's dull monologue, which is about as thrilling as someone else's shopping list...While it offers a largely sympathetic portrait of the transgendered Pauline, it tips over into all the tired old stereotypes in a final, failed bid for dramatic life." Full Review

The Independent (UK)

for a previous production "Hynes’s finely calibrated, often ferociously comic revival...puts both the pleasure and the pain into the endless waiting...Didi and Gogo’s endless waiting takes on extra poignancy in the light of contemporary political developments...Hynes finds both the psychic pain and the physical comedy in this situation...There are moments when the slapstick comedy is a little too broad, but there’s no argument that the evening’s desperate, jaunty despair is heartbreakingly entertaining." Full Review

Prurience
Upper E Side
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "It’s often very funny and genuinely discomforting, largely because the dramaturgy is much sharper and tighter. It immediately solves the crucial central problem of so much immersive theatre in justifying our presence in the piece...'Prurience' doesn’t entirely succeed in keeping all the balls in the air, but at its fiendish, exhilarating best it makes you question not just attitudes to porn but how we experience reality." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Lloyd’s production is a glorious reminder that genuine diversity on stage offers astonishing creative benefits. Everyone on stage looks different, sounds different and uses their body differently. Yes, it’s a hotchpotch, but a thrilling one. There’s not a character here who isn’t sharply defined…The all-female casts and prison setting make you see the play afresh…This is genuinely art to enchant." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "One of the pleasures of Owen’s play is not just in the way it subtly changes our perception of Effie and gradually builds to an explosive finish, but in its narrative drive. Owen tells a really good story and one involving cliffhangers which are brilliantly handled in O’Riordan’s tightly controlled production...The ending is a little rushed...but this is 75 minutes in which Effie finds a voice to remind us that resilience is a sticking plaster and what is required is revolution." Full Review

Rotterdam
Midtown E
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There is lots bubbling behind the sitcom exterior of a play that is often very funny, engaging and sharply observant about human nature, but Brittain’s facility for writing engaging dialogue means that he doesn’t always dig as deeply into the characters as the subject demands...O’Briain’s production has a pleasing, pop-like shininess but he does let things get a bit shouty...Even if you can’t quite believe the individuals or their relationships, there is plenty to enjoy in the journey." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There is something invigorating about seeing a gobby older woman loudly and unashamedly owning the stage. Yep, she shouts quite a lot and there’s plenty of sloganising, most of which doesn’t really bear too deep an examination. But there’s something so warm about the way she sprays the verbal bullets that you can’t help nodding along, even if the ultimate message sounds suspiciously like something out of a self-help manual." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "The fact that Sonya and Kate had to prove their relationship lends this onstage documentation of their love an appropriateness that is both revealing and poignant. There is no such thing as too much information as far as the immigration service is concerned, and that’s reflected in the onstage honesty and freshness. This is a very, very funny show full of wry, laugh-out-loud moments...Not all of it works. But this little show is a treat, and one to fall in love with." Full Review

Key Change
East Village
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "The voices are of the women themselves, often raw, always heartfelt and sometimes singing with an everyday poetry as if the devising process had unlocked a waterfall of creativity...The show snakes back on itself in surprising ways so that we question our initial reactions: a violent opening scene is repeated, but this time with context." Full Review

Cuddles
Midtown E
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Joseph Wilde's debut play may not be a case of love at first bite, but it's certainly distinctive...Wilde creates a convincing closed world, but the fact that we never really see life outside lessens its impact, and the undertow of abuse and the play's sexual politics are under explored. But it's a reminder that there are many kinds of vampiric behavior, and the finale sends you out into the dark with a shiver." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Van Hove’s great trick is to balance detailed, low-key and almost cinematic naturalistic performances within a non-naturalistic framework and let them bounce off each other in a series of dazzling reflections that enable us to see Miller’s play anew. From the menacing tick of a clock to the under-scoring with Fauré’s Requiem, this is a meticulously conceived production that reinvents Miller without ever getting in the way of the view." Full Review

Cuckooed
Midtown E
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "A clever, funny and angry show. One that is imbued with genuine sadness too...Part of the power of this neatly crafted one-man show is the way it exposes how easily we believe and how hard it is to accept that we have been duped... His roots in standup are in evidence in his self-deprecating humour, but he also plays mischievously with the pretences of theatre as he explores the uses and misuses of deception and reminds us that you should never believe everything you are told." Full Review

Nirbhaya
East Village
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There is so much emotion surrounding Yael Farber's 'Nirbhaya' that it may be beyond criticism...It is undeniably powerful and unbearably harrowing...It gives us the tools to empathise, but not the tools to take action. In an intimate venue with the opportunity for discussion afterwards, 'Nirbhaya' could start to change the world; playing to hundreds at a time with no audience aftercare, it veers dangerously close to well-meaning theatrical misery memoir." Full Review

My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "The entire show gurgles with merriment as it skewers luvvydom, pokes fun at conceptual art and offers tongue-in-cheek advice to theatre-makers on how to treat the audience...The theatrical in-jokes would wear thin, were it not for the fact that Petherbridge's mixture of bravado and frailty brings real heart to the enterprise...A funny, moving reminder that however much we aspire to be the king, we are all fools in one way or another." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There are a couple of good anecdotes, although it could do with a few more, and it does draw heavily on Antonia Fraser's memoir, 'Must You Go.' John Malkovich is credited with directing, but quite what he did is a mystery, because there's a singular lack of variation in staging and performance. It's not bad; just rather dull. And Pinter was never that." Full Review