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Review – Scandaltown at the Lyric Hammersmith

Harriet Hughes

By Harriet Hughes First Published 19 April 2022, Last Updated 19 April 2022

We were just delighted to attend the party of the year: Scandaltown at the Lyric Hammersmith. The glittering, witty and raucously fun new play by Mike Bartlett. It’s is actually one of three Mike Bartlett plays you can see on stage right now, the other two being COCK at Ambassadors Theatre and The 47th at the Old Vic. Read our recent review of The 47th here.


This larger-than-life show is tonnes of fun and entertaining from start to finish. The script is quick-fire – simultaneously silly and clever. Characters have on-the-nose names like ‘Lady Susan Climber’ and ‘Hannah Tweetwell’ and speak in heightened language, in what feels like a battle of wits. As with The 47th, the text definitely feels Shakespearian, with characters delivering soliloquies and rhyming in couplets.


Each character represents a different generation – from the baby boomers, the tech-fluent millennials. There’s something for everyone to laugh at! The play is set in an imaginary restoration era of the future, with sex, money and lavish parties aplenty. The play is full of hilarious moments, mistaken identities and brilliantly funny characters – which the audience were just loving.

The play looks good too, the costumes are stunning and the restoration era set is impressive.

I always love going to the Lyric Hammersmith, it’s not a long journey from central London on the Circle or Hammersmith & City line, and the theatre is beautiful, spacious and always shows amazing work.


The performances were incredible. Real stand outs for me were Cecilia Appiah as Phoebe Virtue, Matthew Broome as her twin Jack Virtue, Rachael Stirling as Lady Susan Climber and Emma Cunliffe who played Aunty Julie and Rebecca De Souza.

Richard Goulding gave an eerily accurate performance as Matt Eton MP – simultaneously emulating Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and other high-profile MPs.


There is something for everyone in this play – it’s exciting, funny and very current. It feels like you’ve been invited to a party, while also being allowed to peak behind the scenes. It’s the tantalising event that everyone’s talking about.

Get your tickets now to the event of the year!


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Lyric Hammersmith Theatre mike bartlett scandaltown

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