West End Review: new plays and revivals

15th January 2013



Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and guests Kate Bassett (Independent on Sunday), David Benedict (Variety) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Lucy Prebble’s The Effect (National), winner of this year’s Critics Circle Award for Best Play, as well as Best Musical winner Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory), plus Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse), Pinero’s The Magistrate (National) and Peter Nichols’ Privates on Parade (Noel Coward Theatre), The Bodyguard (Adelphi) and Viva Forever! (Piccadilly). Recorded at Dewynter’s, 11 January 2013.

It’s rare at the curtain-call to find an audience wiping away tears, but it’s rare to see the actors wiping away tears – and everyone seemed to be collectively shaken by this. For all the potential trickiness of the text, it’s actually a very moving play about love and the origins of love. Those are abstractions I know but they are very grounded in this play.