Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: JUBILEE, Lyric Hammersmith

Review: JUBILEE, Lyric Hammersmith

Review: JUBILEE, Lyric Hammersmith Jubilee is an event that f-cks with every theatrical convention, but it also provokes its audience in the most important way. Derek Jarman's iconic film has been adapted for the stage by Chris Goode, centring around a marauding girl gang on a killing spree and a time-travelling Queen Elizabeth I - telling a story of what happens when creativity and nihilism collide.

The company hold nothing back - be it via nudity, crassness or direct address, they actively attempt to make you feel something. And I imagine you'll feel a lot, even if it's the sensation of being uncomfortable. Which is good; you should be.

After the interval you can tell who the non-progressive, potentially prejudicial people were in the audience. As Act Two begins many seats are now empty. People have left due to their own insecurities and biases around seeing naked flesh on stage, or as Travis Alabanza calls it, "one too many ballsacks".

This is so much more than a piece of theatre. Chris Goode's production is a political statement that shoves the celebration of individuality down your throat. The entire company shine in their own joyous way and it's a special sight. However, in no way is the play glamorous. It's raw, gritty and viciously attacks every single one of your preconceptions.

It's all so messy; but the production is acutely aware of this, so you just embrace it as the norm. The ensemble moments allow a number of club kids to shine as individuals. Featuring a variety of different queer aesthetics, every look is vastly different and together the company create an atmosphere that embraces the uniqueness of the human spirit.

It's just a shame that the audience wasn't as diverse as the people on stage. Perhaps this is because it was press night, but I do hope that the piece will reach a wider audience than just middle-class white people. It's necessary viewing; not just for queer people, but perhaps more so for those that fall into the lines of heteronormativity.

Jubilee is a production that is desperately needed. Very much of today's theatre is the same old generic tropes that are somewhat entertaining, but certainly predictable. This is something different; it's a night that actively encourages discomfort, in order to make the audience reflect on their views.

Jubilee will stay with me for a long time. It is definitely one of the most progressive pieces of the decade. It's sexy, riotous, celebratory and a bloody good night out. Go and be shocked. Be moved. Challenge your own prejudice. This piece will do something to you, and if it doesn't, well, then I worry for you.

Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith until 10 March

Photo credit: Tristram Kenton



Theatres Trust Announces Theatres at Risk Register 2023 Photo
Theatres Trust, the charity that campaigns to protect the UK’s theatres, has published its annual Theatres at Risk Register, which highlights theatres across the UK under threat of closure, redevelopment or severe decay, but which all have the potential to be revived for their local communities. 

WICKED Appoints Starling Arts to Bring Wellbeing, Anti-Bullying and Musical Theatre Worksh Photo
The stage musical Wicked has announced a partnership with Starling Arts to exclusively deliver school and community group workshops, with an emphasis on wellbeing and self-confidence.

New Musical THE BOOK THIEF  Will Play in Coventry and Leicester Beginning in September Photo
The stage adaptation of best-selling novel The Book Thief, with libretto by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, will be presented at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre and Leicester's Curve Theatre in autumn 2023.

A West End Gala Night of Theatrical Consequences Comes to the Savoy Theatre in May Photo
The game of Consequences - drawing an image, turning over the page to hide it and passing it on - often ends in astonishing and eye-wateringly funny results. Now inspired by this “what will happen next?” children's game, there will be a one night only fundraising gala evening at the Savoy theatre on Monday 15 May, 2023.


From This Author - Charlie Wilks


Review: PINOCCHIO, Unicorn TheatreReview: PINOCCHIO, Unicorn Theatre
November 23, 2022

The Unicorn Theatre’s Xmas pantomime has been dazzling audiences for years. Bright colours, holiday cheer and a well-known tale turned on their head are regular features here; and this time it’s the turn of the famous wooden chap, Pinocchio, to get their moment in the spotlight. They’ve had this spotlight quite a lot recently, with many big budget films released to high acclaim. For this theatre in London Bridge, Eve Leigh has put her own twist on the beloved story. It’s a piece full of heart and hope, with the spirit of solidarity at its core.

Review: LIFE OF PI, Wyndham's TheatreReview: LIFE OF PI, Wyndham's Theatre
October 12, 2022

A cargo ship sinks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, causing misery and pain to all involved. Amongst the survivors is a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi; accompanying him is a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal tiger – all of whom are attempting to co-inhabit a small lifeboat. It sounds extraordinarily unbelievable, but surely even in the most surreal there is truth to be found. It is up to Lulu Chen and Mr Okamoto – lawyers hired by the ships firm – to get to the bottom of this magical mystery.

Review: WHO KILLED MY FATHER, Young VicReview: WHO KILLED MY FATHER, Young Vic
September 12, 2022

Èdouard Louis’ book about love and anger is loved around the world. In the story, a son returns home to his remote part of northern France.

Review: SILENCE, Donmar WarehouseReview: SILENCE, Donmar Warehouse
September 8, 2022

Following a rebellion against the British in 1857, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of Indians and Britain’s, the Crown established a viceroy system over India, affirming its hold over the population.

Review: PROM 4: CYNTHIA ERIVO: LEGENDARY VOICES, Royal Albert HallReview: PROM 4: CYNTHIA ERIVO: LEGENDARY VOICES, Royal Albert Hall
July 18, 2022

Cynthia Erivo, just a few weeks away from beginning rehearsal for the Wicked movie, in which she is playing Elphaba, pops into BBC Proms to give audiences a night they'll never forget. The Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning artist provides the audience with special renditions of some of her favourite songs, backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Edwin Outwater.