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 (73)
The Stage (UK)

“You can see why the play felt ripe for revival. The colossal act of democratic self-harm it depicts echoes Brexit and its ongoing effects; its backdrop of demo and dissent could hardly feel more timely.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"This is ferociously gripping, aesthetically astute, complex and compassionate – a well-worn drama turned into a searingly intimate journey into personal hell, its sufferings tricked out in lurid fantasy yet horribly, and compellingly, real." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It is a performance as clever as it is charismatic; a potent enchantment." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"It’s all so winsome it might give you toothache, but if you like your Christmas treats sugary, it’ll slip down as easily as a cup of cocoa." Full Review

Kerry Jackson
Waterloo
The Stage (UK)

"It’s essentially a feeble, overstretched skit, so simplistic that it insults the communities it purports to portray, as well as the intelligence of its audience." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Grandage’s production oozes sensory pleasure...this is theatre to make the heart leap: a blazing beacon to progress, to possibility, to freedom and the power of imagination." Full Review

The Sex Party
Southwark
The Stage (UK)

"[It] is startlingly clumsy: awkwardly staged, poorly paced and unconvincingly acted – which, considering the stellar cast, is quite a feat." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“Ellis’ writing is also compassionate and darkly funny, in a production by Blanche McIntyre that combines the briskness of just-about-coping with the queasy underwater disorientation of mental and physical exhaustion, as days and nights blur and despair sets in.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"... the cast perfectly marry playfulness and truthful emotional simplicity to extraordinary technical sophistication. It’s unadulterated joy: a huge, healing hug of a show, generous and utterly beguiling." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"There’s an airy absence of detail in a piece that leaves us to weave meaning from its gossamer threads. It charms, but that – I’m genuinely sorry to say – doesn’t feel like quite enough." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Owen’s writing is so ferociously absorbing, and Melville’s performance so electric, that you can barely breathe as you watch." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Miller’s vivid language rings out like a burnished bell. And the play’s discordant clamour is our own." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"The play is highly-charged: there are complex ideas here about class, compromise and responsibility; about the cost of success for Black people, and its fragility even after it has been hard-won. At times, it’s more dazzle than clarity. Fierce, funny and fascinating." Full Review

Silence (London)
Seven Dials
The Stage (UK)

" 'Silence', refers to a decades-long reluctance to revisit unspeakable suffering and Britain’s slowness to confront its role in it. There are moments of eloquent stillness and muted agony, but the piece is structurally fragmented – its characters scantly sketched." Full Review

The Times (UK)

"Of all the mechanicals I’ve encountered, these are among the rudest — and the most lovable." Full Review

The Times (UK)

"Life being as it nowadays is, there’s nothing about Elliot Clay’s song cycle that won’t strike a chord regardless of age, and older millennials are anyway hitting their forties." Full Review

Evelyn (London)
Elephant and Castle
The Times (UK)

"It’s all too scattershot, the nightmarish interludes failing to cohere with the more pedestrian scenes. And it never quite reaches the expected climax or unpacks its vague ideas about gendered violence, retribution and redemption, and our fascination with appalling true crime stories. Horrors hover over it, yet we remain fatally detached." 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

The Stage (UK)

"Edelman serves everything up with the lightest, deftest of touches, though it left me craving a little more sting. But it’s as thoughtful as it is beguiling: a show that stares ugliness in the face while wearing a defiantly broad grin." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"In a production that manages to be both manic and flat-footed, there is simply too little to engage with or to care about." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Not a staging to lose your heart to, then; but its sunny intervals offer welcome warmth on a cold night." Full Review

Mandela
Southwark
The Stage (UK)

"As a piece of work, this musical falls short of doing justice to its subject. But it’s worth seeing for the sheer, galvanising passion of the performances." Full Review

Hex
Waterloo
The Stage (UK)

"We’re so uninvested in their happy-ever-afters that none of it matters, and we’re left marvelling at the show for all the wrong reasons. So much effort and energy. So little point." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Whatever its flaws, these are potent moments in an 'Othello' that is not only important, but long, long overdue." Full Review

Blackout Songs
Camden Town
The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "At its best, the writing is arresting: there’s a savage hilarity to the dialogue, which is as sharp and jagged as smashed glass. And however well we know this story’s taste, it has a bitter kick to it." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"The cast radiates such a galvanising energy that it might just temporarily convert even the staunchest non-believer. The result is a show that, for all its faults, leaves you on a high." Full Review

GOOD (London)
West End
The Stage (UK)

"...the play’s pertinence, in our age of populism, scapegoating and sloganeering, remains sharp. It’s a grim nightmare of quietly lethal potency." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"There’s too much contrivance here to convince, and the play never properly gets to grips with its vitally important topic." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"... Nicholas Hytner’s production is glacially elegant. There are bouts of sour humour, and the mood is of a game of cat’s cradle with razor wire." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"In Katy Rudd’s highly coloured production, it’s as hollow as the echo chambers it lampoons, its characters cartoonish and its satire of liberal pieties unrevealing, if sporadically entertaining." Full Review

Antigone (London)
Fitzrovia
The Stage (UK)

"The contemporary relevance is so vigorously and insistently overstated that we lose sight of the story, and the play never achieves the raw, elemental power that tragedy demands." Full Review

I, Joan (London)
Southwark
The Stage (UK)

"Some scenes teeter on the brink of archness; some speeches are bludgeoned home. But this freewheeling, exuberant play is a joyous insurrection." Full Review

The Times (UK)

"Wild and wilful, ecstatic, anxious and enraged, this new show from the vibrantly provocative theatre-makers RashDash hurtles into the experiences of caring and motherhood." Full Review

London Theatre

"A flurry of melodramatic contrivances in the second act sit curiously with the overall sourly comic, social realist tone, and it’s only really in the final, wrenching scene that we’re fully emotionally engaged, the raw grief of Twomey’s Tina over her child’s coffin a devastating gut punch. That confrontation with mortality, is of course, partly what Beresford is getting at: but it’s a sip of real potency in a play that slips down a little too easily." Full Review

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

for a previous production 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