Sam Marlowe

Sam Marlowe is a critic with The Times (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 (40)
House of Ife (London)
Shepherds Bush
The Times (UK)

Its atmosphere is slow-smouldering, and when the plot finally does catch fire it’s a little too late. Still Lynette Linton’s traverse production ... sizzles with dangerous tension, and it’s beautifully acted, in particular by Karla-Simone Spence. Full Review

Broken Wings
Charing Cross
The Times (UK)

The singing is sometimes glorious...The pointlessly revolving stage, however, only emphasises the basic problem: this circuitous tale doesn’t really go anywhere. Full Review

My Night with Reg
Battersea
The Times (UK)

It’s performed with a thumping lack of nuance that works directly against the text, making it seem sentimental and dated. The most natural — and watchable — performances come from ... Stephen K Amos as Benny. But this feels, in all the wrong ways, like an evening of missed connections. Full Review

Lava
Shepherds Bush
The Times (UK)

My concern about Lava is that while it airs a valuable life-story that bears the bruises of history, and attests to Lombe’s way with words, it fosters an “us and them” spirit just as we’re all coming out of scarring isolation. Full Review

The Times (UK)

[Alyssa is] in the West End with an evening of chat, musical numbers and eye-popping outfits. In Pride month, it’s a breezily fun way to celebrate. Full Review

London Theatre

After the year we’ve had, we’re all ready for a party – and this production of Shakespeare’s lovestruck comedy, directed by Sean Holmes and first seen in 2019, riotously delivers a fiesta to remember. Full Review

London Theatre

...if it lacks some subtlety, Scott Thomas’s portrait is still a compelling one... It’s certainly worth seeing; but it’s Sandall’s savage canine horror story that leaves its mark.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

In our current political moment...this play ought to be right on the money. Such a shame that, in a production lacking focus, precision and potency, none of its sordid cruelties really seem to matter.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

A fierce, bright flame of a play, blazing with brains and beauty...brilliantly reimagines Elizabeth I as a historical icon stripped bare and equipped with a 21st-century sensibility.' Full Review

Midnight Movie
Sloane Square
The Times (UK)

Leigh’s text...is too diffuse, a stream of effortfully poetic verbiage that discourages emotional and intellectual engagement. A bold experiment in which the results prove less intriguing than the premise.' Full Review

Lungs
Southwark
The Arts Desk

Deluxe casting and slick delivery...Claire Foy and Matt Smith elevate Duncan Macmillan's rather toothless parenting drama.' Full Review

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

Quite simply, no one does it better. From the pre-eminent theatre artist Caryl Churchill comes a quartet of reflections on the human condition, crystalline in their grace and lucidity, audacious in their form.' Full Review

Equus
West End
The Times (UK)

It’s a sweaty, sinewy, pulsing nightmare, a phantasmagoria of the dangers of repression and the potency of desire that grips and haunts the imagination. Full Review

Strange Fruit
Shepherds Bush
The Times (UK)

It is an extraordinary debut play, with passages of transcendently brilliant writing and significant flaws, among them a hefty three-hours-plus running time and slabs of bludgeoning polemic.' Full Review

After Edward
Bankside
The Times (UK)

A fantastical companion piece to Marlowe’s Edward II mischievously mixes gay politics and theatricality, but is lacking in action. Full Review

Alys, Always
London Bridge
The Stage (UK)

For a thriller, it’s weirdly suspense-free. It is also thin, aimless and mired in cliché – and Hytner’s production, for all its starry cast, is startlingly naff.' Full Review

Network (London)
Waterloo
The Stage (UK)

“At times everything’s so hectic that you’re not sure where to look...Yet Cranston’s performance supplies the human heartbeat amid the staging’s shiny machinery. Diana is a soulless creature, but Dockery plays her with appetite, and Henshall’s Schumacher has the slumped, bitter despair of a man who knows his time has passed. The whole glossy, hectoring, lurid package has an undeniable charge and compulsion...It’s not always a pretty sight. But it’s almost impossible to look away.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

The genially enforced audience participation – a singalong and conga line – is too protracted, and the second act could use a trim. But as sheer entertainment, this the show triumphantly succeeds – and the talent on display is red-hot. Full Review

The Times (UK)

for a previous production "This stage adaptation...delivers chunks of Eribon’s questing discourse, while tethering its ideas to the particulars of personal history...It’s a demanding watch; knowingly undramatic, meta-theatrical, and allusive...Ostermeier’s multimedia staging is slick and clever...It’s a narrative full of guilt and ghosts...There’s plenty of meat to chew on, yet the piece feels bloodless. It’s rather too detached, too didactic. Still, it’s probing and intelligent, and you’ll rarely be lectured more ele... Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production "This version offers an invigorating new perspective on its clever, Capra-esque fable. It's harder-edged, dirtier and more acerbic...Minchin's score is a vigorous salute to Americana, mingling bluegrass, country, rock and folk...If, at heart, the show delivers an old-fashioned Dickensian homily, it does it with aplomb, and with a wicked glee all of its own. It's a brave and bracing reinvention of the movie that succeeds on its own terms; and it's highly intelligent entertainment." Full Review

The Times (UK)

Masur gets a couple of bookending, reflective monologues, yet these only make the play feel more stiff and declamatory. And a late, vivid speech by Olivia Bernstone ... feels awkwardly tacked on. It’s a great shame; but history this weighty demands much more dramatic heft. Full Review

The Times (UK)

...Sarah Hanly’s monologue, with its frank, ecstatic expression of desire between women, feels like a rebellion against the norm. First seen at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin last year, the play is otherwise a conventional odyssey of self-discovery, electrified, in Alice Fitzgerald’s vivid production, by kinetic energy. Full Review

The Times (UK)

There is, though, more silliness and set-up here than action: the show is aimed at ages three and over, but very young kids will probably like it best...It’s charmingly performed by four energetic actor-musicians. Full Review

J'Ouvert
West End
London Theatre

This is soul-soaring theatre, charged with a sense of ritual and legacy that give it an elemental power: exhilarating. Full Review

Flight
London Bridge
The Times (UK)

Gently yet insistently confronting, it leaves you reeling, the isolation of the viewing experience ramping up the overwhelming sensory effect. A stunning work of art — and an essential story for our unequal and divided world. Full Review

Six (West End)
West End
London Theatre

for a previous production The songs are insanely catchy, and if subtlety gets gleefully ground beneath the show’s rhinestone-studded stiletto heel, that’s not what anyone came for anyhow. It isn’t profound, but this is a party – and it’s unstoppable. Full Review

Beat The Devil
London Bridge
London Theatre

Hare’s writing vibrates with rage. It’s also grippingly vivid, crackling with gallows humour, and illuminated by tenderness... This is focused, furious theatre; it leaves you deeply angry, but energised.' Full Review

The Times (UK)

...as a whole the play could hardly be more pedestrian... And for all the cast’s efforts and Steed’s game showboating, it remains stubbornly two-dimensional.' Full Review

A Kind of People
Sloane Square
The Times (UK)

An eviscerating, mordantly funny and desperately sad dissection of the pressures and prejudices that divide multicultural Britain...It’s superbly acted and ferociously gripping.' Full Review

The Arts Desk

for a previous production The result is a jukebox musical with the broad humour and feelgood fairytale sentiment of a pantomime, plus a generous dash of The X Factor in its parade of bombastic production numbers. Full Review

Ghost Stories
West End
The Times (UK)

Co-directed by the creators and Sean Holmes, it first opened nine years ago and there has also been a film version, yet it still springs its flesh-creeping surprises. Full Review

Torch Song
Battersea
The Times (UK)

A glorious revival of Harvey Fierstein’s trailblazing play... Needham plays every breath and beat with such deft brio and sincere conviction that the whole thing flies high, as bright and beautiful as a rainbow flag. Glorious.' Full Review

Rust
Shepherds Bush
The Times (UK)

...at just a terse, tart 75 minutes, Emson’s drama feels a little undernourished. However, it’s a smart and arrestingly stylish piece of new writing, assured and precise, and meticulously acted...' Full Review

The Times (UK)

Deeply human adaptation of an IVF memoir with a solo performance by Maxine Peake that is marked by its wit, hurt and naked grief.' Full Review

Richard II
Bankside
The Times (UK)

Exciting, fresh-thinking theatre, performed from the gut and piercing straight to the heart. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

These are fine performances, rich in detail, full of passion’s tremulous desire, yet movingly tempered by the rue of middle age...Compassionate, politically astute and psychologically perceptive. Full Review

Ink
West End
The Times (UK)

It’s so packed with incident and ideas that it’s sometimes almost breathless — but its ferocious grip never slackens. Full Review

Prurience
Upper E Side
The Times (UK)

for a previous production "A disorientating, provocative experience...It’s also funny and shrewd, throwing up questions about the commodification of everything from sex to depression, and exploring the blurred boundaries between fantasy, performance, and reality...While the issues of consumption and alienation are familiar, theatrically the piece is audacious...At times I longed to flee, yet this is the kind of art that leaves its mark on you. Unnerving, and uncomfortably compelling." Full Review

The Roundabout
Midtown E
The Times (UK)

for a previous production “About as substantial as a cocktail olive. A rattlebag of ridiculous contrivance and clownish characters, it lurches in tone from strained sub-Wildean aphorism to effortful Shavian dialectic...Although Hugh Ross’s boisterous production has a twinkling appeal, the whole experience manages to feel at once half-baked and overcooked…‘The Roundabout’ offers only the very slightest of pleasures, and when it stops pointlessly spinning, it’s rather a relief to get off.” Full Review

Time Out London

"As for the children, they are irresistible, stomping and skipping through Peter Darling's angular choreography, thrilling young audiences and push-pulling grown-ups from tears to gasps to laughter with such relentless energy that it leaves you breathless, exhilarated and marvelling at the many ways in which Minchin, Kelly, and Dahl demonstrate that growing up is a lifelong endeavour. For kids, yes, but also for the children that we all remain at heart, this is wise, wicked, glorious fun." Full Review