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This page may better be titled "If you ever get the opportunity"


Below, members have kindly contributed short reviews of plays that they have seen and are happy to recommend to other members. There is a good chance that some of the plays may have completed their runs, but the general tenet of this section is "If ever you get the opportunity to see:" in the view of those below, the opportunity should be taken. 

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Title Type Review Reviewed by


(adapted from the novel by Sebastian Faulks)


First World War drama Anyone who has read this book, published in 1993, will know that it is a mixture of the romance between a soldier serving in the trenches in Northern France and the terrible consequences of the conflict that claimed the lives of so many soldiers on both sides of the conflict. There were moments of tender passion and some very moving drama as the story unfolded. The direction was cleverly done, as the action evolves around Stephen Wraysford, a British Army Officer, and Isabelle Azaire, a French woman with whom he falls in love, and alternates between his life in the trenches and the arms of Isabelle, as the war raged on. There were some very moving moments, and though the horror of this dreadful conflict was shockingly portrayed, I found the play to be a memorable experience.

Brian Leith

 (2nd July 2013)


Never so good

(a new play by Howard Brenton) 


Political drama Entering the Lyttleton Theatre (part of the National complex), the open stage was particularly drab, but from the moment Jeremy Irons made his entrance the whole place came alive. He plays the part of Harold MacMillan telling the story of his life from his days at Eton right up to the time when he was forced to resign as Prime Minister over the Profumo Affair. It was a brilliant insight into this man's life and the problems he encountered as a soldier both in the 1914-18 war and the Second World War, and in his troubled marriage and the intrigues of politics. I would recommend this to anybody who has an interest in politics should it ever return to the stage.

Brian Leith

 (21st August 2008)


The War Horse(adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo) Family show This is a play that has been to The National and at the time of writing this review is back again. It is one I saw some time ago, and was so impressed that I feel that it is worth mentioning.

It is the story of a horse (obviously) and its life from a foal, trained and broken for farm work and in maturity taken by the Army to be trained for the war in the 1914-18 conflict, and beyond. It is about those who love him and those who ill-treat him and how this gentle creature responds to every situation.

All the horses on stage are the most astounding puppets I have ever seen and so magnificently manipulated that one begins to believe that they are flesh and blood.

I would recommend this play as good family entertainment for teenagers upwards, with a strong storyline and the usual brilliant acting that one expects from the National Theatre, although there were no well-known actors in the production I saw.


Gillian Gibbs

 (19th August 2008)


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