Matt Trueman

Matt Trueman is a critic with Variety. 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 (35)
Variety

"Andrew Scott is magnificent as Noel Coward's shimmering comedy comes out of the closet." Full Review

Variety

"It’s a good time show for bad time times, a hoot that hits its political points hard...Mitchell sticks close to the original myth, fleshing its slight narrative out in song, but she soaks her score in contemporary Americana. It functions like a folksy, old patchwork quilt, pulling musical influences in from across the land...It’s Mitchell’s music that makes 'Hadestown.' Infectious without trying too hard to be catchy, her songs heat up as the show heads down to hell." Full Review

The Jungle
Brooklyn
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "That you feel the extent of your privilege here is a credit to Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson's piece, an amalgamation of their experiences of the migrant camp at Calais. 'The Jungle' asks us to witness, rather than weep. It demands our empathy, never our pity...This is the most important play of the decade, not just because it covers the big issue of our times so comprehensively, but because it humanises it – and at a time when attitudes to refugees are hardening worldwide." Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "It's a vivid account...If the subject seems timely, it's because the arguments have spread...If the arguments have become familiar, 'The Fall' pushes on. What happens next?...Told collectively and directly – old-school agit-prop – a lot of 'The Fall's' drama comes from heated debate. Jostling argument does the job of action and, under Clare Stopford's supervision, it covers the bases...Music acts almost as a balm...The songs stand for something in their own right as well." Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Mikel Murfi contains multitudes – still. The Irish actor can fill a one-man show with people: men, women, children. He brings whole villages to life...Murfi is legion and it is quite a thing to watch...This is a show that abounds with love – so much that, in many ways, it struggles to find the words for it...But it works less through words than through feeling. Through Pat, you feel like you've known Kitsy Rainey all your life." Full Review

Re-Member Me
East Village
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production “In Beau's hands – on his lips – lip-syncing becomes so much more than mere ventriloquism. He's no dummy, opening and shutting his cakehole in sync. Instead, he rearranges his whole face to fit this voice or that...He wrings lipsyncing for all its resonance – questions of liveness, queerness, artifice, and authorship. The act of it – the art – asserts its own virtuosity...As the ultimate everyman, Hamlet ends up standing for us all. Who, Beau asks, does that obscure?" Full Review

Counting Sheep
Financial
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Immersive isn't quite right. It's closer to the forum theatre of Augusto Boal. We're spect-actors in a simulation–and it's impossible to lose sight of that...Even in this controlled environment, your stomach knots, your adrenaline surges, your body clenches for the fight. It's powerful, play-acting...Screens surround you with scenes from Maidan Square. It's incredibly involving...In its midst, you get a sense of what the reality might be like." Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production “As content, it's a tad arbitrary, but it's delivered with style; all the better for the arch shonkiness that cuts through its cuteness. Helicopters on headbands whiz through the skies. Carolers cut out mid-chorus. As it relishes its shortfalls and failures, it seems to rejoice in resilience all the more. Like us, it keeps on carrying on, making the best of our fragile, little lives.” Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "A one-man menagerie; Noah's Ark in human form. At the start of his self-penned solo show, he lends his voice to a whole barnyard...Murfi's a chameleon, capable of shapeshifting in a split-second or holding a three-way conversation with himself...But his performance – indeed, his whole play – does feel like a virtuosic turn, the sort of tour de force that steamrolls everything around it. He's so clamorous that you overlook writing that's heavy with blather and thick with sentiment." Full Review

Sunset Boulevard
Midtown W
Variety

for a previous production "The extra years change Desmond, and make Webber’s musical less credible, but more creepy and more poignant…The bare-stage simplicity lets your imagination do the work…It’s Webber’s score that really benefits, sumptuously arranged for a full orchestra and sung with real expression…Freed of the need to cohere onstage, with a nimble staging to match the darts of the book, you get to hear ‘Sunset Boulevard’ for what it is—not for what usually gets in its way." Full Review

Escaped Alone
Brooklyn
Variety

for a previous production “'Escaped Alone’ covers a lot of ground, but its juxtaposition of afternoon tea and environmental catastrophe proves particularly potent, not to mention wryly funny…As idle conversation, it’s keenly observed — Churchill’s take on talk for talk’s sake…Churchill being Churchill, however, it’s slyer than that…As ever, Churchill writes with power-steering control. Each line earns its keep and each word goes to work…Director James MacDonald matches it for levity and potency." Full Review

887
Brooklyn
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "'887' glides smoothly through time and place, artfully constructing a cloud of associations as it goes...Lepage never ties everything together, preferring that cloud to anything more concrete...Even if you don't come away with fresh understanding of history and memory, it's a beguiling show, full of ultra-pleasing theatricality...Only afterwards do you realise how little it leaves behind, as ephemeral as a memory. But then, maybe, that's the point." Full Review

The Encounter
Midtown W
Variety

for a previous production "It’s a story told with vivid precision, both linguistic and theatrical...It’s a deeply immersive experience, completely transporting. You seem to fall out of time with McIntyre and McBurney, rapt by this gripping thriller...What elevates this story — a gripping adventure in its own right — is that it so matters to McBurney...This is a piece that asks about the price of progress, but never forgets the possibilities. Sensational." Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production That’s the genius of Purni Morell’s staging for everyone aged four and over: its fiction is gossamer thin, even see-through...But we’re also watching something else, possibly without fully realising it: two young men on their myriad adventures, growing increasingly inseparable...this is a gorgeous slip of a show by anyone’s standards. It’s crafted with real care and precision." Full Review

Antigone (BAM)
Brooklyn
Variety

for a previous production "'Antigone' becomes a plea for pluralism in Ivo Van Hove’s new staging...the Belgian director turns Sophocles’s tragedy into a rallying cry against the us-and-them, black-and-white mentality of contemporary global politics. Anne Carson’s new translation, often insistently feminist, advocates the act of listening as the starting point of tolerance. It might lack feeling, but this is an urgent 'Antigone,' less about cathartic release than a real-world response." Full Review

Golem
Upper W Side
Variety

for a previous production "OK, it’s not the sort of satirical genius to spark a revolution, but Andrade skewers the details well with a delicious dottiness to boot...Barritt's animations have the cut-and-paste coarseness of teenage fanzines. Transitions are slow though and, on top Andrade’s eye for a surreal tangent (a heartbroken French singer named Les Miserables, for instance), 'Golem' can feel sluggish. Prescient they might be, but 1927 still haven’t mastered timing." Full Review

King Charles III
Midtown W
Matt Trueman

for a previous production "'It looks like a nifty little joke – a mock-Shakespearean history play, written almost entirely blank verse, looking ahead to the heir apparent’s ascension – but it turns out to be much, much more. It turns out to be a takedown of the entire British establishment. In fact, it turns out to be the best British play since Jez Butterworth’s 'Jerusalem.'" Full Review

Before Your Very Eyes
East Village
Matt Trueman

for a previous production "The show is a minor-miracle, a marvel to behold. It almost needs a drum-roll. Over 90 minutes, these nine children will run the gamut of human existence, zipping through the aging process at warp speed and hurtling towards the grave...Cute young kids + life’s brief candle = coolly detached existential humour + inevitable lump in throat." Full Review

Betrayal
Midtown W
Variety

for a previous production "Tom Hiddleston in ‘Betrayal’ A love triangle twists and turns inside out in director Jamie Lloyd’s revelatory Pinter revival, starring Tom Hiddleston." Full Review

Variety

for a previous production “Massini’s script is a classy affair, storytelling that’s at once sumptuous and spare...On top of clear-sighted financial analogies, Massini never lets an irony pass us by...’The Lehman Trilogy’ succeeds because of its scope...At times, the narrative could use a firm shake...Massini’s script is poor theatre, a story built out of nothing. Mendes’ high-end staging is most certainly not. It’s artful, richly layered, elegantly done, but it’s also missing that vital spark of life.” Full Review

Variety

“The whole production dances itself into distraction...Cranston glides through it all effortlessly...We can’t take our eyes of him...van Hove himself seems stuck on repeat, reusing trickery he’s deployed before — and with diminishing returns. ‘Network’ can feel like the storyboard of a show, one still lacking life. It’s deliberate...and as Hall’s script flags up the fakeries of the film, its contrived romance, it slips further...into a stilted, self-aware soap.” Full Review

Prurience
Upper E Side
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Christopher Green's sly self-help satire...It's a neat spoof of support groups – those cults of lukewarm psychobabble...What, Green makes you ask, is genuine here? What's constructed? 'Prurience' plays with that and if, at first, the glitch from participatory event to scripted play feels like a let-down, it proves far more slippery and self-aware...A deeply uncertain and unsettling experience; one that gets right to the core of contemporary life." Full Review

Variety

"A ripping thriller in a big family home, stuffed with eccentricity and black comedy, it swells into an expansive examination of Republican history, politics and identity, as tied up with the IRA...It’s a tumbling and tumultuous play, one that swerves off into storytelling, song and dance, and debate, without taking its eye off the need for suspense. It’s a thriller that bursts the bounds of its genre, but never forgets what makes the form tick...The tension is as electric as it is symbolic." Full Review

Variety

for a previous production "What seemed, onscreen, like a slight fable about a TV weatherman stuck in a time-loop starts to look like a wise old classic. Even missing a take-home tune, the sort that sticks around for days, it’s the most cohesive musical in ages. Tim Minchin’s score is as smart as Matthew Warchus’ staging is witty...Clever as it is, 'Groundhog Day' works through feeling. Minchin’s music surges with sentiment and wins you round to its characters. Karl, in particular, is superb." Full Review

My Eyes Went Dark
Midtown E
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production “Wilkinson's stark two-hander stares into the deep void of grief and despair…Koslov's numbness is beautifully echoed in the minimalism of Wilkinson's staging…Wilkinson's play might be a metaphor for Russia as a whole...However, while personifying a nation's politics makes those motives quite clear, Wilkinson risks distilling an amorphous knot of issues into a single slight. If this is a portrait of Russia, it's a simple – albeit serious – one.” Full Review

Rotterdam
Midtown E
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "An amiable, if superficial, thing. Sitcoms thrive on identity crises and 'Rotterdam's' chock-full of them...Brittain takes a sitcom tone, one that makes a hefty issue immediately accessible, at the cost of complexity and credibility...The script can feel more like a public infomercial than decent drama. It's all superficial and over-simplification...Yet, a committed, sparky and engaging cast keep it watchable, carving out characters you care for, despite disbelieving." Full Review

Cyprus Avenue
East Village
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "There's a frazzled lunacy to David Ireland's black comedy. He writes with a McDonagh-ish mischief, toying with taboos and a violent absurdity...The play spins itself into a tizz – getting a bit knotted in the middle – until it pops with an altogether unexpected ending. The brilliance of Rea's performance is that he never lets on until it's too late...Featherstone's production plays up the tangy comedy." Full Review

Battlefield
Brooklyn
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "The paradox of Brook is that it takes great skill to do something so straightforward; so straightforward, in fact, that it can look simplistic…As ever with Brook, the actors' precision and purpose carries its own meaning…Brook does the bare minimum. His stagecraft allows him to speak plainly…’Battlefield’ invites personal reflection and it's on each of us to find wisdom and weight in stories that can seem childish and slight. It's an intensely theatrical experience—albeit a self-contained one." Full Review

Variety

for a previous production "Hampton manages to retain the secrecy and disclosure, while reconstructing the action to reveal an elegant, classical symmetry beneath the surface. Its several relationships reflect one another to reveal a specification of sexual politics and practices...However, 'Les Liaisons' needs grounding in reality. It gets very little here...By making Valmont and the Marquis so, so, so scandalous, Rourke blows any chance of unpicking them psychologically or socially." Full Review

Ross & Rachel
Midtown E
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "If the liberal sprinkling of pop culture makes this piquant, the gender politics and wasted lives give it plenty of real-world clout....It's heartbreaking: a relationship that should not have been resuscitated...Our familiarity allows Fritz free reign and some of his writing is just level-up stuff: pained, resentful, resigned; a neat blend of cynicism, whimsy and sincerity....That's 'Friends' ruined, then." Full Review

Kafka on the Shore
Upper W Side
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Frank Galati's adaptation can tease out its parallels - so Kafka muses on Adolf Eichmann at the same time as Nakata witnesses mass 'catricide' - but the story refuses the centrifugal logic of good drama or the connective logic by which theatre makes meaning. It's more nebulous than that - and it's possible Murakami's saying something quite simple in quite over-complicated, wishy-washy ways. It all teeters on pretentiousness." Full Review

Radiant Vermin
Midtown E
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "It's a piquant little satire...Ridley makes it abundantly clear that social climbing implies a social cost, namely those tramped down underfoot, and he's sharp on the way one's blessings calcify into one's just deserts...David Mercatali's production has a real spring in its step, reveling in its cartoon violence and pastiching everything from 'Changing Rooms' to J.G. Ballard...Sean Michael Verey captures the quivering anxiety and wet-fish compliance of the capitalist workforce." Full Review

Variety

for a previous production "Ivo van Hove’s stripped-back staging is definitive enough to ward a generation off Arthur Miller’s family drama. Played barefoot on a bare white stage, freed from its real-world setting, it’s like the play has been triple-distilled and served neat: 100 percent proof. For two hours straight, it plays on a knife-edge as we wait, wound-tight, for the inevitable detonation. You daren’t blink. You scarcely breathe. This is theater as an out of body experience." Full Review

Henry IV
Brooklyn
Variety

for a previous production "It’s an insightful approach, with plenty of layers to gnaw through, and a setting that demands — and gets — gutsy performances. But there’s something presumptuous about speculating what women prisoners might make of Shakespeare, then speaking on their behalf...It doesn’t all cohere — class, in particular, is raised and forgotten — and it never feels totally authentic in its prison setting, but Lloyd’s production is never, ever dull." Full Review

My Perfect Mind
Midtown E
Matt Trueman

for a previous production "All this, however, is handled with the most enormous sense of folly...For all it’s foolish, it’s hugely tender and for such a multi-faceted, fragmented show, it also moves with immense fluidity – a real credit to Kathryn Hunter’s keen-eyed direction. But it’s the layers of thought and the lightness of touch that makes 'My Perfect Mind' such an exquisite treat of a show." Full Review