Cold War
72

Cold War London Reviews and Tickets

72%
(22 Ratings)
Positive
64%
Mixed
36%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Great singing, Romantic

About the Show

Rupert Goold directs the theatrical adaptation of Paweł Pawlikowski's Oscar-nominated movie.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (22)

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50 Reviews | 2 Followers
84
Well-paced, Tragic, Engaging story, Sad, Great acting

See it if you like historical love stories that end in tragedy. Great lead performances and design elements. Great use of sound and music.

Don't see it if you are expecting a musical, this is a play with songs. Avoid if you are upset by themes of the holocaust or suicide

64 Reviews | 5 Followers
77
Relevant, Profound, Great singing, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You want to enjoy a delicate musical, with a love story as a thread during difficult times.

Don't see it if You don't like love stories on musicals.

61 Reviews | 1 Follower
72
Captivating, Great staging, Cliched, Absorbing

See it if You're after a captivating, depressing play, with exquisite performances from all

Don't see it if you have an aversion to herbal cigarettes

60 Reviews | 6 Followers
71
Profound, Intense, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a sweeping epic examining a relationship and identity through the lens of the Cold War in Poland and Europe, like Doctor Zhivago

Don't see it if you want a happy ending - it's bleak and nihilistic and hopeless in the extreme; more of the political side of things like Patriots Read more

108 Reviews | 8 Followers
65
Great acting, Slow, Real, Intense, Dated

See it if You like stories about complex relationships. Anya and Luke are great on stage.

Don't see it if Personally, I couldn't connect with the story, didn't particularly like the songs and thought it lacked context at points.

55 Reviews | 5 Followers
65
Clever, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if you want to see a good production with great staging, music and dancing parts. also, if you want to get absorbed in soviet times atmosphere

Don't see it if you watched the original movie and don’t want to spoil the vibe. also, if you’re getting bored easily

143 Reviews | 19 Followers
63
Meh

See it if For half of act 1

Don't see it if For act 2…. Oh dear lord, leave in the interval! Read more

51 Reviews | 4 Followers
61
Slow, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy well-staged productions supported by a stunning band (those strings are to die for!), you liked the movie

Don't see it if you don't like the "plays with music" format, you want some momentum to the story or characters with clear motivations and arcs. Read more

Critic Reviews (10)

The London Evening Standard
December 13th, 2023

“Goold’s production is vividly designed, embracing bright peasant garb and left-bank boho chic, Iron Curtain apparatchik offices and smoky, spotlit clubs...I didn’t have any of this on my dance card for theatre in December, but ‘Cold War’ is a brilliantly bitter antidote to standard Christmas fare.”
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Time Out London
December 13th, 2023

“...this country’s enormous Polish population has little visibility in popular culture, and I feel there was an opportunity missed to do more here. With that said, I’m going to declare glasnost, because frankly ‘Cold War’ is beautiful.”
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The Telegraph (UK)
December 14th, 2023

“With a translation by Conor McPherson, the Almeida's stage premiere of Paweł Pawlikowski’s bleak 2018 film ‘Cold War’ is a triumph”
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WhatsOnStage
December 13th, 2023

“It’s an unusual and original show, one that haunts you long after you leave the theatre, its essential sadness sweetened by tinges of hope and a deep humanity.”
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The Stage (UK)
December 13th, 2023

“For all its moments of stark loveliness, dramatically the play doesn’t satisfy. But it’s like an emotional bruise, tenderly and insistently inflicted.”
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All That Dazzles (UK)
December 13th, 2023

“To call ‘Cold War’ enjoyable feels like a contradiction, given the dark sombre nature of the story and the inevitable doom that awaits it. It manages to convey these difficult themes very well, though the tone of the show did get lost along the way at times and led to a slight pacing problem. Still a beautiful albeit harrowing story in its own right, ‘Cold War’ is bolstered by phenomenal performances, impressive writing and stunning direction.”
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London Theatre
December 14th, 2023

“There are several flashes of scarred beauty, but there’s a feeling of it being unfinished: a tighter script, real chemistry between the leads and a fully Polish score would all lend considerably more power.”
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The Arts Desk
December 15th, 2023

"What the piece forcefully communicates, though, is the serious pain of statelessness and of not knowing where you belong, a sadly perennial theme. It gives the couple’s romance a bittersweet kick, without destroying its tenderness."
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