Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton is a critic with Stage Opinion. 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 (180)
On Blueberry Hill
Westminster
London Theatre

This poetic play is orchestrated like a piece of music by director Jim Culleton to reveal its haunting and constantly shifting perspectives. Full Review

London Theatre

If Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance's score lacks serious break-out hits of its own, there's at least a curtain call reprise of Roy Orbison's famous 1964 hit single that gave the original film its title to send you out on a high. Full Review

A Number
Southwark
London Theatre

Director Polly Findlay's meticulous and moving production fills the large space of the Bridge... The play remains startling and, for me, even more relevant than when I first saw it at the Royal Court in 2002...' Full Review

Leopoldstadt
Covent Garden
London Theatre

This is a powerful, important new play from one of our greatest living playwrights that, should it prove to be his swansong, means he has gone out on a significant high, even as he dramatises a low point on world history. Full Review

Kunene and the King
Covent Garden
London Theatre

In other words, it's a play rich in humanity and experience, and it is rewarded by performances that match it note for alternately anguished and uplifting note. Full Review

Uncle Vanya
Westminster
London Theatre

...it is both refreshing and even radical to go back to Chekhovian basics and produce a more faithful version like this in the West End that demonstrates what a masterpiece the play is without the need for reinvention. Full Review

Magic Goes Wrong
Westminster
London Theatre

The show is unashamedly silly but also affectionately celebratory of a kind of variety theatre that may have long vanished - but makes a welcome return here. Full Review

London Theatre

...'the most striking fact of Fall's production is that for all the piercing drama that unfolds is how much genuine humour it finds... Nadia Falls's expansive production... pulses with a sense of danger and conflict...' Full Review

A Taste of Honey
Westminster
London Theatre

It's a pleasure to have this historic drama back in the West End. Full Review

Fairview
Lambeth
London Theatre

In an intricate puzzle and game that playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury plays with her audience, our response to the play will inevitably be individually calibrated from who we are...' Full Review

The Boy Friend
Southwark
London Theatre

...downright fun and utterly joyous...this is a show with hardly a thought in its giddy head, merely a determination to delight and entertain.' Full Review

London Theatre

White Christmas is a sturdily old-fashioned version of a jukebox musical of genuine classics...As an opportunity to bask in a festive soundtrack, there's hardly a more lovely show in town. Full Review

Henry VI
Bankside
London Theatre

This bloody, tangled tale of royal intrigue and succession management is given a rousing, churning momentum in a production that is co-directed by Sean Holmes and Ilinca Radulian.' Full Review

Dear Evan Hansen
Covent Garden
London Theatre

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's beautiful score may be a little ballad-heavy, but has integrity and depth that matches the story they have to tell, whose book is written by Steven Levenson. Full Review

London Theatre

But for nearly three hours, at least, you can park some of those worries at the door, and simply bask in the gentle familiarity and delightful uplift of this story and the spit-spot production it has been given... Full Review

High Fidelity
Battersea
London Theatre

... it feels more like a throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach...sadly neither the book nor the songs generate enough passion or energy to make us want to care.' Full Review

Vassa
Camden Town
London Theatre

The capable actors are directed, it seems, to extremes of caricature and over-acting...the year's most disappointing show so far. Full Review

London Theatre

I'm not sure writer-director Sean Foley knows quite where things are going wrong, so he keeps driving the comedy in ever more convoluted, desperate directions. Full Review

Noises Off
Charing Cross
London Theatre

It is often said that laughter is the best medicine. In which case, Noises Off should be prescribed on the NHS. Full Review

London Theatre

I am forever grateful to McKellen for his part in this; but I am now forever grateful, too, for the opportunity to share this remarkable journey through his life and career. Full Review

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard.
Sloane Square
London Theatre

Churchill has long been heralded for her challenging games around a theatrical form, and these plays are no exception...These are variously bracing playlets of intellectual teases and puzzles...' Full Review

London Theatre

Sometimes the biggest moments in theatre reside in the smallest of gestures. Faith, Hope & Charity is a mosaic of fleeting glances and unexpressed emotions, sudden rages and brutal revelations...' Full Review

Preludes
Southwark
London Theatre

...both beautiful and brilliant. The show won't be to everyone's taste - but for those that tune into its eerie sense of wonder and the depressive impulses that create it, it's a true revelation. Full Review

The Night of the Iguana
Covent Garden
London Theatre

A large supporting cast populates it with detail and colour, with Finty Williams making a particularly powerful cameo as one of Shannon's tourists. As life's misfits find consolation and comfort in each other, I was truly moved. Full Review

London Theatre

That jaunty sense of fun permeates director Laurence Connor's constantly inventive new vision for the show, which is mostly a steamroller of pure joy and comic delights. Full Review

Blithe Spirit
Charing Cross
London Theatre

But in swapping tragedy for comedy, Eyre strains too much for comic eccentricity, and as a result, the comedy threatens to congeal instead of being liberated by it. Full Review

London Theatre

There's plenty of deeply repetitive though undoubtedly athletic choreography from Sean Cheesman to occasionally distract the eye...but little imagination in the telling of the production from director Scott Schwartz (son of the composer). Full Review

London Theatre

Though there's some fascination...it ends up being too clever for its own good, only sowing confusion instead of revealing fresh insights.' Full Review

Endgame
Lambeth
London Theatre

...this is mostly a strenuous, laboured evening that feels a lot longer than it is...There are two brilliant cameo turns from...Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson...but they can't save it anymore than they can save themselves.' Full Review

The Welkin
Lambeth
London Theatre

Some plays are easier to admire than to actually enjoy...it's a play of fierce ambition but muddled execution...And yet I was also constantly compelled, at least, by the superb ensemble cast.' Full Review

London Theatre

The show remains a thrilling triumph. Here's to the next 35 years, as it looks set to become The Mousetrap of musical theatre; but unlike that murder mystery, there's hardly any mystery to why it's such an enduring success. Full Review

Curtains
Covent Garden
London Theatre

I thoroughly adored this most knowing of Broadway musicals, delightfully directed by Paul Foster and energetically choreographed by Alistair David. Full Review

London Theatre

There's more directorial intervention in this outing, too, but this time it is both more cogent and even more radical, prompting us to view the play through a different cultural lens entirely. Full Review

Cyrano de Bergerac
Westminster
London Theatre

I wouldn't necessarily want all my classics to be delivered in this way, but Lloyd's company is committed to attracting a youthful audience... Full Review

Amélie the Musical
Westminster
London Theatre

Audrey Brisson is a charming delight in the title role amidst a hard-working ensemble of actor-musicians in a show that I sense I could become addicted to. I am already planning a return visit. Full Review

London Theatre

...the action sometimes feels as hurried as the characters...Yet there's also a touching sensitivity to how Niamh Cusack both recalls and narrates their story...' Full Review

London Theatre

There's a gleaming theatricality on display, in a world that's by turn immediate and relatable, fantastical and frightening...This is an evening of rich storytelling theatre...' Full Review

& Juliet
Westminster
London Theatre

...likeable and sometimes spectacular production...The company is led by the extraordinary Miriam-Teak Lee in the title role of Juliet, who brings a sizzling presence, incredible vocals and moves to turn her into a force of nature. Full Review

Touching The Void
Charing Cross
London Theatre

It's also a penetrating portrayal of the impulse of human survival, against the odds: a thrilling, salutary reminder of our shared humanity and ability to overcome hardships, however extreme. Full Review

London Theatre

It's just an all-out brilliant production; one of the very best I've ever seen of this forever-brilliant play. Full Review

Translations
Lambeth
London Theatre

But mostly this play's vivacity resides in its pungent use and demonstration of the power of language and communication...It may be a slow-burner of an evening, but it is a piece of timeless, exquisite beauty. Full Review

Groan Ups
Westminster
London Theatre

Mischief may well be swerving into becoming natural successors to Alan Ayckbourn, at one time a stalwart brand of West End comedy, but structurally the tone isn't, as yet, as confident, deft or outright funny. Full Review

London Theatre

...complex stories and emotions are held in a stunningly calibrated balance by rising star director Roy Alexander Weise. The production may be a slow-burn initially, but it ignites with an overpowering power that is shattering.' Full Review

London Theatre

...it remains a shatteringly personal play and a deeply involving one... It puts the disability at the centre of the play in plain sight, and we can't look away. Nor, watching this finely-tuned production, would we want to.' Full Review

Blood Wedding
Lambeth
London Theatre

...an emotionally precise production that is highly stylised and stately, yet full of rich and savage beauty...evocative use of language is matched by the extraordinarily visceral physical language and clarity...' Full Review

Two Ladies
Southwark
London Theatre

Both performers deliver immensely polished performances despite the mounting improbabilities of its desperate plotting...but there's very little happening below the surface: an empty play and an empty spectacle. Full Review

Big The Musical
Fitzrovia
London Theatre

The score, with music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, is tuneful if occasionally on the bland side; but mostly this is a surprising delight. Full Review

London Theatre

Prebble has an amazing ability to translate true stories into compellingly alive theatrical experiences. She does so by not just staging it as a documentary, but as a jumble of impressionistic scenes...' Full Review

London Theatre

But there's an over-arching earnestness to the storytelling that left me largely unmoved and uninvolved. Faithful readers who just want to be reminded of a well-loved book may find more nourishment. Full Review

Peter Gynt
Lambeth
London Theatre

It's by no means an easy watch, but this entirely watchable production both surprises and illuminates a play that I've previously thought was impossible to actually enjoy.' Full Review