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Stranger Things stage show reviews for The First Shadow

Reviews have dropped for the premiere of Stranger Things stage show The First Shadow in London.


Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions present the captivating new play, written by Kate Trefry based on an original story by the Duffer Brothers and Jack Thorne

Based on the widely acclaimed Netflix series Stranger Things, the show is now open at Phoenix Theatre in the West End.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow

The Guardian - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"The big surprise about this prequel to the TV series, about high-schoolers who tap into the dangerous world of the Upside Down, is that it is neither derivative nor an exercise in imitation. This is breathtaking theatre with its own arresting imagination." - Arifa Akbar, read the full review


London Evening Standard - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"This astonishing experience is full of enough thrills, scares and knowing nods to please fans and the uninitiated in equal measure." - Nick Curtis, read the full review


WhatsOnStage - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Sci-fi enthusiasts and thrillseekers will certainly find the adrenaline-pumping highs they’re hunting for – this is about as close to a rollercoaster experience as the West End can provide." - Alex Wood, read the full review


The Telegraph - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"I can’t claim that, as a piece of drama, this is more than high-class hokum but what we get, as spectators, is a game-changing experience, one which combines state-of-the-art video wizardry with the tricks of the theatrical trade." - Dominic Cavendish, read the full review


BBC - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"The First Shadow manages to capture the hectic, adolescent energy of the TV show at its best but does balance that with more reflective moments. There's also a surprising amount of great comedy and a song-and-dance number that I didn’t see coming." - Neil Armstrong, read the full review


The Stage - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Subtlety is not the goal here, and this show never quite matches the series’ charming mix of nostalgia, hope and horror. But it is an extraordinary, gripping spectacle." - Dave Fargnoli, read the full review


Daily Mail - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Things could not be stranger. In one moment you see an actor's sweet face… then, with one turn of the head, they become monstrous and bloody. It's deft and dazzling" - Luke Jones, read the full review


The Independent - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Humungous projections, a big musical score, an onslaught of foam, dry ice and flares: this big-budget stage play from the ‘Stranger Things’ universe spares no bombastic effect to bring new audiences flocking to the West End" - Alice Saville, read the full review


The Times - ⭐⭐

"If you’re familiar with Henry Creel, Joyce Maldonado and the other denizens of the town of Hawkins, home to a mysterious experimental centre, there’s fun to be had in identifying backstories and clues scattered across a lavish stage adaptation that opens in 1943 and quickly shifts to 1959." - Clive Davis, read the full review


Stranger Things: The First Shadow is currently booking through to 25 August 2024.

Those on the cast of Stranger Things on stage include Shane Attwooll, Kemi Awoderu, Chase Brown, Christopher Buckley, Ammar Duffus, Gilles Geary, Florence Guy, Max Harwood, Michael Jibson, Oscar Lloyd, Louis McCartney, Isabella Pappas, Matthew Pidgeon, Calum Ross, Maisie Norma Seaton, Patrick Vaill, Lauren Ward and Ella Karuna Williams .

The production is directed by Stephen Daldry with co-director Justin Martin, with set design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti, illusions design & visual effects by Jamie Harrison & Chris Fisher, video design & visual effects by 59 Productions, movement direction by Coral Messam, wigs, hair and make-up design by Campbell Young Associates, casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG, international casting consultancy by Jim Carnahan, Gary Beestone for Gary Beestone Associates is Technical Director.

About the author: Stageberry Staff

Our staff reporter keeping you up to date with the latest breaking theatre news from the West End and beyond!