The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Men are immature and women are cruel.

With this damning premise, D H Lawrence condemns straight couples to lives of vengeful misery. Minnie and Luther are newlyweds, but the cold viciousness of married life has already sunk its claws in. Both feel trapped. Luther’s lack of ambition to progress in his job down the coal pits winds up Millie, who just wants him to love her as much as he loves his mother.

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The Seafarer, Irish Repertory Theatre

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by guest critic Steven Strauss

The Seafarer, Conor McPherson’s Olivier Award-nominated play that premiered at the National Theatre in 2006, imagines the plight of humanity as that of lonely sailors lost at sea, teetering on the safe, dry deck of morality above treacherously immoral waters. No matter how far you roam, the Devil that is your sins of the past can always find you. Walking on water isn’t a foreign concept to celestial entities. A reckoning will come, and spiritual debts must be paid.  

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Three Sisters, Yard Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

British theatre’s slavish reverence for classic texts stifles innovation, resulting in safe, similar productions of the same collection of canonical works. This attitude needs to be challenged, and RashDash’s Three Sisters proves they’re the company to do it. Their female-centred, millennial take on Chekhov’s story of three women trapped in the Russian countryside pining for their old lives in Moscow is a gloriously irreverent and refreshing interpretation.

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War Plays, Tristan Bates Theatre

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by an anonymous guest critic

Kali Theatre, a company dedicated to providing exciting opportunities for female theatre directors and leading roles for South Asian actors, have produced a series of readings inspired by women’s experiences in conflict zones. This is a beautiful evening of moving and poignant works-in-progress depicting the atrocity of war crimes and the ongoing realities of their victims’ lives.

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Sex With Robots and Other Devices, King’s Head Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Whether you like or not, time and technological developments are marching on, impacting every aspect of our lives – including sex and relationships. Nessah Muthy’s new play proposes that soon the technology behind life-like robot Sophia will combine with hyper-realistic sex dolls already incorporating AI. In the world of the play, most people choose to buy themselves a made-to-order companion that satisfies all of their needs.

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How to Survive a Post-Truth Apocalypse, Battersea Arts Centre

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

Francesca Beard delves into the complex subject of truth and looks at how it could be perceived in a post-apocalyptic world. Using spoken word (which Beard is clearly a pro at) as well as song and multimedia imagery, the audience takes a journey with their Shaman and guide Francesca who hopes to lead them to the real meaning of truth.

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As You Like It & Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe

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It would be so much fun to be part of Michelle Terry’s ensemble cast that performs both Hamlet and As You Like It to open this year’s season and her tenure as artistic director. They’re having a great time in what are something of a return to the Rylance era of the actor-manager, but uneven pacing and a smattering of interesting but disconnected choices lead to a lack of cohesion that indicates a lack directorial voice.

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Pyar Actually, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by Laura Kressly

Polly lives in Gravesend, has a good job at the council, a husband and two children. Life is…fine. No, really – she insists all is well. Other than a few meddling Aunties and standard marital discontent, it’s fine. Then Bali, her school boyfriend, calls her after 20 years. He’s in town, and would she like to meet for a coffee?

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H.R.Haitch, Union Theatre

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

In a time when our world seems to be headed for destruction thanks to the likes of Brexit and Trump, it is comforting to reflect on a more progressive time. Iris Theatre’s latest production H.R.Haitch does exactly this by focusing in on an typical London family at the end of 2011. Throw in some fantastic music, highly energised performances and a royal wedding, and this show entertains from start to finish.

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