Review Round Up: Side Show, Southwark Playhouse

This UK premiere of the musical that flopped twice on Broadway arrives at the Southwark Playhouse. Can it be more of a success in London? 

Side Show - artwork image

The Guardian: *** “You couldn’t wish for better casting, and if the show still fails to move as it should, the fault lies with a repetitive book, too many songs and the conflict between the subject matter and the Broadway musical.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Hannah Chissick’s frequently dazzling production.”

A Younger Theatre: “This is one worth seeing for its excellent cast and production values if not its core content.”

Carn’s Theatre Passion: **** “this show delivers enormous heart navigating through their troubling story, proving that even when the world is against you, it’s good to have a friend by your side.”

The Stage: **** “Side Show casts a darkly insinuating and deeply compelling spell.”

Broadway World: ***** “This is top-quality West End stuff at a quarter the price.”

West End Whingers: “Hannah Chissick‘s production does what it says on its tin.”

Everything Theatre: *** “Side Show is staged well and has high production values.”

Evening Standard: **** “Hannah Chissick directs with style, the ensemble makes for striking side show performers and Dearman and Pitt-Pulford, one of the future greats of musicals, are a good pairing.”

Jonathan Baz Reviews: **** “An uncommon musical infused with both uneasiness and joy, Side Show is a unique, rare experience that will stay with you long after the finale.”

The Gizzle Review: *** “Hannah Chissick has provided the Southwark Playhouse with another successful UK revival of a little known musical. Yet in doing so, Side Show is exposed as more conventional than its cast of freaks would have you believe.”

The Upcoming: *** “The music is (sometimes) catchy and Disney-esque, and the visuals are incredibly strong, with an unchallenging story to grasp and a simple moral core: an enjoyable evening.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “it still feels that it is Side Show as the main attraction that is problematic.”

Musical Theatre Review: **** “If it is flawed as a piece of theatre, it is hard to imagine Side Show being done much better than in this thought-provoking, and at times hypnotically absorbing, evening.”

The Reviews Hub: “Chissick captures the essence of Russell and Krieger’s work but substitutes what should be an avant garde piece with a middle of the road vision.”

The Times: *** “though Henry Krieger and Bill Russell’s show goes down smooth in Hannah Chissick’s deluxe fringe revival, and excellent though Louise Dearman and Laura Pitt-Pulford are as the smiling, singing, joined-at-the-hip Daisy and Violet Hilton, Side Show never takes us far from Broadway life as we know it. It’s easy to consume but rarely surprising.”

West End Wilma: **** “All things considered SIDE SHOW’s positives well outweigh it’s negatives and is well worth going to see. So go look at the freaks.”

Side Show plays at the Southwark Playhouse until the 3rd December. For more information and to book tickets visit:





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