Michael Billington

Michael Billington 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 (117)
Fleabag
Covent Garden
The Guardian (UK)

Vicky Jones’s production and Isobel Waller-Bridge’s sound design enhance the performance by their essential simplicity and, although the show has been over-hyped, it is still quirky and original. Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Where the play succeeds is in demonstrating Elizabeth’s skill in countering male manoeuvres. Vividly staged, the play reignites one’s interest in Elizabeth without persuading one of the contemporary parallels.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

The production and the performances are first-rate, and the house rose spontaneously at the end of a long evening. Yet I still wish Ellams had been even more ruthlessly radical in rewriting Chekhov.' Full Review

Fairview
Lambeth
The Guardian (UK)

A daring challenge to the white gaze...Directed by Nadia Latif, this Pulitzer prize-winning play by Jackie Sibblies Drury is definitely one to see – and argue over.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Magical escape from the perils of war... In Sally Cookson’s brilliantly inventive production – first seen at Leeds Playhouse two years ago – it becomes about a family of evacuees confronting the perils of wartime.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Travers scholars may still miss the darkness of the books, but for the rest of us the show is an unassailable treat and Eyre’s production has acquired the heart to go with its art. Full Review

Vassa
Camden Town
The Guardian (UK)

Siobhan Redmond is impressive as a tyrannical mother trying to rescue her debt-ridden family in Tinuke Craig’s strangely rootless production Full Review

Groan Ups
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

Penned by the regular actor-writer team of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, it proves fitfully enjoyable but is overshadowed by works that have ploughed the same theatrical furrow. Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Peter Nichols' classic has rare truth...There are excellent performances from a cast including Toby Stephens and Claire Skinner, in a fine revival of Nichols’ humane play.' Full Review

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard.
Sloane Square
The Guardian (UK)

Caryl Churchill's compelling quartet...The latest from the daring playwright is a fascinating four-part exploration into our appetite for blood-soaked myth.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Like the writing, the acting is observant rather than demonstrative....there is exemplary work from the whole cast...In the end, this is that rare thing: a necessary play...' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Lucy Prebble's Litvinenko drama fascinates...Prebble once again...tells a complex story with great clarity and adopts a variety of techniques... to create a uniquely theatrical spectacle.' Full Review

Actually
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

Although Ziegler raises the question of how to define the point at which sex ceases to be consensual and suggests that campus committees are inadequate to the purpose, her play does little to clarify a burning issue. Full Review

The Night of the Iguana
Covent Garden
The Guardian (UK)

...this may not be vintage Williams, but it survives through its opportunities for actors and the author’s boundless charity. Full Review

Peter Gynt
Lambeth
The Guardian (UK)

David Hare brings modern madness to Ibsen's epic... Hare updates Ibsen’s 1867 dramatic poem with wit and ingenuity, resulting in a sharp satire on contemporary mores.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Andrew Scott dazzles in Coward's classic comedy...Scott is richly funny as a peacocking Peter Pan whose theatrical bohemia is threatened by outsiders.' Full Review

Strange Fruit
Shepherds Bush
The Guardian (UK)

...a work of real substance and even if, at three hours length, the drama is slow-burning, it eventually catches fire...Nancy Medina’s production is full of heat and fury and signally well acted.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

...McKellen treats the audience not as passive spectators but as one half of a double-act in an evening that becomes a form of acted autobiography....At heart McKellen is a missionary with the technique of a vaudevillian. Full Review

The Starry Messenger
Covent Garden
The Guardian (UK)

Sam Yates directs with due care but, for all its perceptiveness, I felt Lonergan’s play would work even better on the screen. Full Review

Orpheus Descending
Southwark
The Guardian (UK)

Hattie Morahan and Seth Numrich help breathe new life into Williams’ strange and clumsy southern gothic...the power of the acting overcomes the willed poeticism of Williams’s writing.' Full Review

Rosmersholm
Charing Cross
The Guardian (UK)

This has been dubbed Ibsen’s darkest and most complex play...Ian Rickson’s breathtaking production does justice to its passion and politics, and boasts stellar performances from Hayley Atwell and Tom Burke. Full Review

All My Sons
Lambeth
The Guardian (UK)

Sally Field and Bill Pullman deliver a Miller for our times...In an era of fake news and moral uncertainty, this fine production of Arthur Miller’s play rings as true as ever.' Full Review

Scary Bikers
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

Humane, funny and perceptive two-hander written by John Godber and performed by him and his wife, Jane Thornton. This is certainly the first play I’ve seen that seeks to explain why so many people voted leave. Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

...while I admire the show’s sympathy with the less fortunate, it is caught in a bind...It’s a perfectly likable show, but one that nibbles at the excesses of American capitalism without ever baring its fangs.' Full Review

The Bay at Nice
Southwark
The Guardian (UK)

Richard Eyre’s production, elegantly designed by Fotini Dimou, is spacious, unhurried and text-driven...Penelope Wilton gives a fine turn as an understated heroine in this revival...' Full Review

A Kind of People
Sloane Square
The Guardian (UK)

This is the Royal Court at its best, giving us an uncompromisingly honest account of multicultural modern Britain...What is especially heartening is Bhatti’s ability to convey the complexity of all her characters.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

The result is a startlingly vivid account of the civil war and a direct assault on British neocolonialism. I just wish Ellams had been less faithful to Chekhov. Full Review

Cyrano de Bergerac
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

But I found myself gradually warming to this radical deconstruction of Rostand’s heroic comedy and totally captivated by James McAvoy’s performance as the swaggering Gascon. Full Review

The Boy Friend
Southwark
The Guardian (UK)

An exuberant jaunt to the Riviera...This pitch-perfect revival of Sandy Wilson’s 1953 musical is a positive invitation to dance.' Full Review

Dear Evan Hansen
Covent Garden
The Guardian (UK)

Everything, in fact, is expertly done but, if I didn’t totally surrender to the show, it is because it lacks the courage to admit that high anxiety is not so easily cured. Full Review

High Fidelity
Battersea
The Guardian (UK)

A delightfully tuneful adaptation of the Broadway musical returns the unlucky-in-love record-shop owner to his London roots... The chief pleasure...lies in the music and the production.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Cheeky political lesson makes waves...A mix of gig and lecture and running just over an hour, it is driven by a strong anti-imperialist urge and informs even as it entertains.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

...A riotously busy, squealing farce. It’s enjoyable on its own terms and boasts a fine performance from Stephen Mangan but it lacks the Ealing touch. Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

It reaches a terrific climax but the journey there is somewhat laborious...I still found myself wishing that Fugard’s self-flagellating play told us less about Master Harold and more about the “boys”.' Full Review

Two Ladies
Southwark
The Guardian (UK)

...for all the play’s illogicalities, Nicholas Hytner’s production is pleasant to watch and boasts two strong performances. Zoë Wanamaker captures to perfection Helen’s bristling anger...' Full Review

Torch Song
Battersea
The Guardian (UK)

Pioneering gay drama still packs a punch... Matthew Needham stars with tremulous assurance as the witty, sharp-tongued drag queen of Harvey Fierstein’s 70s drama.' Full Review

Bartholomew Fair
Bankside
The Guardian (UK)

Blanche McIntyre’s hectic production attempts to convey the riotous vice of Ben Jonson’s Jacobean London fair, but falters in translation to modernity.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Sober musical take on tale of late-flowering love...With two excellent lead performances at its heart, Trevor Nunn’s production of the musical version of the bestselling love story is focused and honest.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Occasionally John Cameron’s orchestrations drown the lyrics and one or two ideas, such as guitar-wielding statues, prove there is no lack of corn in Egypt. But this is an ebullient production... Full Review

the end of history...
Sloane Square
The Guardian (UK)

while Jack Thorne’s new play is avowedly personal, always interesting and beautifully staged by John Tiffany, it left me wishing for a deeper connection between the family foreground and the historical background.' Full Review

Bitter Wheat
Charing Cross
The Guardian (UK)

John Malkovich works overtime to squeeze depth into David Mamet’s predatory Hollywood tycoon Barney Fein. Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Festive fun, ear-nibbling and high-wire antics infuse Nicholas Hytner’s startling role-reversal production...I would have enjoyed it still more if it released the microscopic beauties of Shakespeare’s text...' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Roger Allam is magnificent in Edwardian classic...It is a richly detailed performance and Justine Mitchell is equally excellent... If any Edwardian play has stood the test of time, this is unforgettably it.' Full Review

White Pearl
Sloane Square
The Guardian (UK)

A racist ad, and a bracingly funny corporate satire...Anchuli Felicia King’s Singapore-set drama brilliantly unpicks hypocrisy and the base values of the beauty business.' Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

Miller's masterwork is given urgent new life...This [production], mixing the socially specific and the dreamily phantasmagoric, depicts the duality at the heart of Miller’s memory-play with exceptional clarity.' Full Review

Man of La Mancha
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

Even Danielle de Niese’s fine voice can’t save ENO’s out-of-sync commercial collaboration – no matter how many times they play The Impossible Dream. Full Review

A German Life
Southwark
The Guardian (UK)

Maggie Smith shines as Goebbels' secretary,,, Smith returns to the stage in triumph as she relives one woman’s extraordinary experience in Nazi Germany.' Full Review

Top Girls
Lambeth
The Guardian (UK)

...much as I love Churchill’s play, a big theatre and an epic cast do it few favours...It’s still a wonderful piece but at times it seems as if we’re watching three separate plays.' Full Review

Downstate
Lambeth
The Guardian (UK)

...there is a visceral power to the performances under Pam MacKinnon’s direction. Francis Guinan is outstanding as Fred... Norris has opened up a controversial subject...' Full Review

Betrayal
Westminster
The Guardian (UK)

Yet the revelation of this excellent production is its reminder that betrayal is never-ending and that the one deceived forever haunts the imagination. Full Review