From left, Naomi Wirthner, Anna Calder-Marshall and Josh Hamilton. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
©Catherine Ashmore

Evening at the Talk House, National Theatre (Dorfman), London — ‘Casually grotesque’

Wallace Shawn’s new play takes aim at 21st-century amorality

Ben Jones in 'Ben Hur'. Photo: Mark Douet
©Mark Douet

Ben Hur, Tricycle Theatre, London — ‘Innocently daft’

A likeable comedy featuring all manner of theatrical nonsense

Nigel Barrett and Jess Latowicki in 'The Body'. Photo: Richard Davenport
©Richard Davenport

The Body, Barbican (Pit), London — ‘Eccentric and eerie’

This strange, unsettling piece explores what it means to be alive

Carson Elrod in 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century'. Photo: Joan Marcus
©Joan Marcus

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York — ‘Witty, inventive’

A curious drama powered by a metal time-travel hat

China National Peking Opera Company’s ' Farewell My Concubine'

Farewell My Concubine, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Eye-popping’

China National Peking Opera Company’s production is dazzling

Warrior Women of Yang, China National Peking Opera Company

Peking Opera in London: ‘Wild complexities of style’

Acrobatics, astounding costumes and a great-grandmother-led army of women

Vadim Muntagirov and Laura Morera in ‘Two Pigeons’
©Bill Cooper

The Two Pigeons, Royal Opera House, London

A perfect work of balletic art with a melodious score

Anthony Drewe, George Stiles and Julian Fellowes

Investing in theatre

Putting your own money into new productions can be a rewarding venture, but what are the risks?

Twyla Tharp's 'Yowzie'. Photo: Sharen Bradford
©Sharen Bradford

Twyla Tharp 50th anniversary, Lincoln Center, New York — ‘Glimpses of what might have been’

Two works illustrate the choreographer’s compulsion for shtick

From left, Matt McGrath, Ashlie Atkinson and Francisco Pryor Garat in ‘Steve'. Photo: Monique Carboni
©Monique Carboni

Steve, Signature Center, New York — ‘Entertaining’

An amusing story of two gay male couples and their lesbian friend

A Letter to My Nephew, MAC-Maison des Arts, Créteil, France — ‘Stunningly musical’

Bill T. Jones’s creation is a meditation on the life of his nephew

Royal New Zealand Ballet, Linbury Studio Theatre, London — ‘Deeply felt, strongly danced’

The programme celebrated New Zealand’s history and culture

d’après une histoire vraie, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Stamping and dervishing’

Choreographer Christian Rizzo’s new piece is a slow-burning affair

The Illusionists, Shaftesbury Theatre, London — ‘Conventional tricks made new’

The standout acts take familiar magic tricks into fresh territory

Misery, Broadhurst Theatre, New York — ‘Uninspired’

Bruce Willis is flat and slow in this Stephen King adaptation

Henry V, Barbican, London — ‘Beautifully done’

Alex Hassell’s powerful portrayal of a solemn young king feeling his way

Small screen, big audiences

The BBC is trying to rekindle Britain’s love for theatre on television, but can the box do justice to the stage?

Waste, National Theatre (Lyttelton), London

The early 20th-century play’s sense of political pragmatism now seems implausible

Sasha Waltz and Guests, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Raw power’

The UK premiere of Waltz’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ was the highlight

Time of Women, Young Vic, London — ‘Potent’

Belarus Free Theatre’s drama tackles oppression and imprisonment

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