Sophie Lieven

After years of writing for and about theatre in London, including as theatre reviewer for One Stop Arts, Sophie relocated to New York in 2012. She is an actress and writer and now writes the Postcards from Broadway column for the theatre pages of the website.
Postcard from New York: 28/02/13

The latest talk of the town started when the New York Times recently ran an article discussing the relative merits of film stars taking on juicy Broadway roles. Are they any good? Who benefits? Is it unfair on more experienced stage actors? And do the obvious economic pros outweigh what is often seen as the creative cons?

Thursday 28th February 2013 Read more...
Postcard from New York

Snow is falling on New York City, forcing the usually dominant lights of Times Square and Broadway to compete with the best display nature has to offer. It has been a difficult few weeks for the city, shut down for several days following Sandy and the subsequent Nor’easter snow, but it is a good time for a newcomer to be introduced to what Broadway has to offer and to assess it during a rare period of quiet.

Friday 30th November 2012 Read more...
Surrealist Games: Cadavre Exquis by Kassys at Sadler's Wells

This quirky experiment in theatrical form and content is steeped in surrealist history and European intellectualism. However, in practice Kassys have produced nothing so heavy; Cadavre Exquis is a rapid journey through pathos and innocence via various visual jokes and incomprehensible twists and turns. At Sadler's Wells.

Sunday 16th September 2012 Read more...
I am the Very Model of a Modern Comic Opera Revival: The Pirates of Penzance at the King's Head Theatre

This is a wonderfully light frolic into the often staid world of Gilbert and Sullivan revivals. No clunking jokes or dodgy singing are in sight (or earshot); instead Charles Court Opera’s production is full of perfectly pitched froth and fantastically well timed joked which really do capture the qualities of comic opera. At the King's Head Theatre.

Monday 10th September 2012 Read more...
Mamma Mia! -REPRINT

Mamma Mia! is the global phenomenon based on the songs of ABBA. Timeless songs such as Dancing Queen and Take A Chance On Me are ingeniously woven into an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Night after night audiences are having the time of their lives at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and it's about time you did, too!

Thursday 6th September 2012 Read more...
Waiting Room

Shaky Isles Theatre have achieved the seemingly impossible: they have produced a genuinely funny, inventive and thought-provoking play on the most unpromising of subjects - miscarriage. Although not to everyone's taste, Waiting Room is worth seeing, if only for the hilarious game show host and the undignified poses the poor protagonists are forced to adopt at their weakest moments. At the Camden Fringe.

Thursday 23rd August 2012 Read more...
Listening

A sombre meditation on trauma, Listening is a monologue in which Annie pieces together her own story via the overheard conversations of nurses, doctors and family. Set against the backdrop of the 7/7 bombings, this is not for the faint-hearted. At the Camden Fringe.

Wednesday 15th August 2012 Read more...
A Life in Monochrome

A sultry riff on film noir and the seedy world of 1930s America, the recently formed Blind Tiger Theatre Company have made an impressive start with this excellent production. It follows a private eye's attempts to solve a sordid mystery and reaches a satisfying, though suitably ambiguous, finale. The addition of pithy writing and live music makes this a near perfect and enjoyable folly. At the Space.

Sunday 22nd July 2012 Read more...
Shrek The Musical

That the film Shrek is so universally loved is not difficult to understand; it is funny, gently surprising and very good-looking, in spite of its unconventional hero. Unfortunately, the stage show inherits none of its celluloid cousin's charm. At the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Sunday 22nd July 2012 Read more...
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

This new stage version of the classic story quite sensibly stays loyal to C S Lewis' original book and tells the children's adventure with charm and imagination. Add to the classic story a big top tent in the middle of Kensington Gardens and some wonderful puppetry and you have a sure fire treat. At threesixty Theatre.

Wednesday 11th July 2012 Read more...
Mamma Mia! The Musical

Mamma Mia! is certainly enjoyable. In all respects it lives up to expectations: it is professional, slick, easy on the eye and feel-good. It's huge advantage, of course, are the songs, which are so recognisable and catchy as to have entered the cultural canon almost by accident. Almost every song, even from the first few bars, draws an audible hum from the audience. At the Prince of Wales Theatre. 

Sunday 8th July 2012 Read more...
Hecuba

Classical it may be but this is a flawed production of a pretty miserable play. It is a short but brutal story and Paul Vitty's direction does nothing to find the light and shade within the horror, giving the audience 90 minutes of unmitigated and high-pitched angst. At the Etcetera Theatre Club.

Sunday 10th June 2012 Read more...
Merrie England

Alex Sutton’s production of this Gilbert and Sullivan-like pastiche on Tudor England includes some excellent comic turns and some nicely delivered songs. Nevertheless it is clear why this is the first time in 52 years it has been produced professionally in London. However, this production does a good job of squeezing out the comedic mileage out of every opportunity and should be applauded. At the Finborough Theatre.

Thursday 31st May 2012 Read more...
The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp

From the first dissonant notes of the live musicians to the leering face-pulling of the actors, this new musical gets off to a cracking start. Part Rocky Horror, part Sweeney Todd, the gruesome and darkly comic plot also manages to throw in a healthy dose of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for good measure. At the Lion and Unicorn.

Friday 25th May 2012 Read more...
The Supreme Fabulettes

The Supreme Fabulettes are an all-singing all-dancing cross-dressing pop of fun. They manage to strut around the small but perfectly formed stage of the famous Madame JoJo’s as confidently as if they had been to the Kylie school of shimmying - but perhaps they are just too good to be really... good. At Madame Jojos.

Friday 18th May 2012 Read more...
Radha is Looking Good + The Clock

This is an unusual and far-reaching double bill, written and produced by its performers and director. As a result, the writing and performances are intimately linked and create quirky short pieces in which the actors seem to enjoy having a chance to use movement and mixed media in ways they would not have licence to in another context. Both plays succeed in being funny and touching. At the Pleasance Islington.

Thursday 10th May 2012 Read more...
Unhappy Birthday

Oh, Morrissey, you charming man, spokesman for the disaffected teenager turned adult cult follower, Amy Lamé loves you; and she hates you; and she loves you. Doesn’t she? Does she? Do you care? Do we care? Who knows? At the Camden People's Theatre.

Friday 4th May 2012 Read more...
As You Like It

Sweating, bruised actors wrestling in the small space at Lion and Unicorn Theatre is pretty entertaining, if somewhat alarming. It certainly alarmed the people in the front row of this sweetly concocted production of one of Shakespeare’s most unusual plays. At the Lion and Unicorn Theatre.

Sunday 29th April 2012 Read more...
Shadow Boxing

The slick precision of this production, from the perceptive writing and unflinching performance through to the quietly effective design, is impressive. That this is matched by an unusual sensitivity and such a strong emotional centre to the story it tells makes this an exceptional piece of work. At the Albany.

Sunday 22nd April 2012 Read more...
MUJU Double Bill

This double bill of comic plays about religion and the vagaries of modern life enjoys varying degrees of success. MUJU’s aim is to bring together Muslim and Jewish performers, channelling their creativity rather than their perceived differences, and they do a good job of poking fun at all the likely suspects- disapproving mothers and cross-cultural love affairs included. At the Tricycle Theatre.

Thursday 5th April 2012 Read more...
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