Forgotten, Arcola Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

Old Six and his wife Second Moon are poor but have a new baby. Eunich Lin is constantly ridiculed for his lack of balls and family’s poor timing. Big Dog doesn’t know his real name and loves smoking a bit too much. Apart from the love of performing Chinese opera to their friends and families, there’s little else that brings joy to this rural village in Shandong Province. But when the villagers hear that the British and French are recruiting men to work in labour camps to support the WWI troops, this could be a way to change their fortunes.

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Tap Dogs, Peacock Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Dance shows can be a tough sell, especially those that are strictly tap dancing shows. Luckily for them, Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs is far from an ordinary dance show. Full of tricks, energy and spectacle, this show is thrilling and entertaining from start to finish.

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My Love Lays Frozen in the Ice, Greenwich Theatre

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by Romy Foster

As funky European folk music fills the air, actors buzz about the auditorium during the audience incoming, handing out vodka shots to the audience. Everyone is excited and the atmosphere is electric, setting us up for a feel-good show. Actually, My Love Lays Frozen In The Ice follows Mathilde (Jodie Davey) and her heart-breaking tale of how her finance, brother and friend died many years ago in a tragic accident.

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Tiger Under the Skin, Bloomsbury Theatre

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by Romy Foster

“Calm yourself down, clench and breathe…” Tom utters to himself as he paces through a tube carriage, trying to keep a nervous shit within the safety of his bowels. Tiger Under The Skin is his one-man play based on his own life experiences living with a sudden bout of anxiety and panic attacks at the beginning of this year.

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The Distance You Have Come, Cockpit

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by Amy Toledano

Scott Alan is a long-standing cult favourite amongst musical theatre enthusiasts and his most recent song cycle The Distance You Have Come weaves in his most popular numbers with some newer ones. But whilst this cast is stellar, the ‘story’ is a little bit of a stretch. It’s the songs and actors that make this show most enjoyable.

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War with the Newts, Bunker Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

In post-Brexit Britain, the oyster industry struggles. Work is hard and profits are low. But when oyster harvester Captain von Toch sees mysterious images on the ship’s sonar and discovers a new creature that can quickly be taught fine motor skills, he revitalises his business and changes the course of the human race’s destiny.

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Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, Battersea Arts Centre

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By Laura Kressly

I’m a sucker for inventive adaptations of Shakespeare plays, so Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, a live-action, silent movie version, is hugely appealing. For 90 minutes a team of five use handheld cameras, desk lamps and hand-drawn illustrations to broadcast the story in visual form onto a large screen. Accompanied by a Celtic-inspired, cinematic score, this graphic novel/stop motion/object manipulation telling is enchanting – until I ask my companion, a Dutch woman who doesn’t know Macbeth, what she thought. 

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The Wider Earth, Natural History Museum

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by Laura Kressly

Newly-minted Cambridge graduate Charles Darwin wants to collect insects and rocks, but his father wants him to enter the clergy. When one of his lecturers recommends him for the positions of resident naturalist onboard Naval ship The Beagle, the 22-year-old jumps at the chance. Over the next five years he sails the world, collects specimens and constructs ideas that eventually become On the Origin of Species. He is also a part of an imperialist mission ridden with Christian colonial attitudes that, in this script, are disappointingly excused in favour of spectacular design.

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Elephant and Castle, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Jack Solloway

Elephant and Castle is a strange and precariously funny gig-theatre show about the lives of Lillian Henley, a musician and silent film pianist, and her teeth-grinding somnambulist husband, Tom Adams. Whilst this may sound a little far-fetched, the play is very much rooted in the performers’ own experiences. Acting out their relationship, using live music and verbatim sleep recordings, Elephant and Castle dramatizes the bizarre reality of Tom’s slow-wave sleep parasomnia and his relationship with Lillian.

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I’m a Phoenix Bitch, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Theatremaker and performance artist Bryony Kimmings hit rock bottom a few years ago. Her relationship was breaking down, her infant son was ill and her mental health was in tatters. To recover from the trauma, her therapist recommended a technique where she replays the traumatic events in her mind like a film. What better way to regularly go through this exercise than perform it every night?

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