Plaid Tidings, Bridge House Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

A wholesome guy group from the 1950s with dreams of superstardom died in a bus crash before they could make it big. But for some inexplicable reasoning, a little-discussed deity gives them one more shot at fame. Plopped in front of an expectant audience seeking Christmas cheer, the Plaids muddle through their posthumous encore. Though the story is utterly baffling, the four performers have heaps of holiday charm.

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Seussical, Southwark Playhouse

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by Maeve Campbell

It’s difficult to work out who the musical Seussical is for and why its been revived. Trying to imagine how a ten-year-old might watch this show doesn’t help answer these questions. In fact, it clouds the answer even more. I think if I was ten and watching this show, I’d feel utterly patronised by it.

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The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

I contemplate a ratty t-shirt displayed on a podium alongside several other seemingly random items. I’m asked to write down how much I would pay for it. Determining it’s not something I’d wear or have any other use for, I wrote £0 on a slip of paper that I slid into a box behind it.

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The Dark, Ovalhouse

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by Romy Foster

The Dark is an exhilarating and personal journey through the dusty backroads of Uganda in 1979. Jumping between then and present day, Michael Balogun tenderly tells author Nick Makoha’s story of how he and his mother escaped the terror of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s reign and crossed the border heading for the UK when he was four years old.

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Rendezvous in Bratislava, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Nastazja Somers

Born in 1913 in Koscice, Slovakia, Ján Ladislav Kalina was a man of theatre and art. He
lived the bohemian life that young people in Eastern Europe romanticise when they get lost in the works of Milan Kundera. Jan is Miriam’s grandfather, and in many ways his story, is that of my grandfather too. Miriam is a theatre-maker. Rendezvous in Bratislava is her ode to what’s lost and what’s remembered.

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Cuckoo, Soho Theatre

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By Amy Toledano

Cuckoo by Lisa Carroll has all the elements of a wonderful coming-of-age story. Set in a small Irish town, this play packs many a punch, giving us a raw look at what it means to not fit in, to feel lonely in your hometown and how as a teenager, the need to be liked can seem more important than anything else.

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Lands, Bush Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

A woman sits at a drawing table analysing jigsaw puzzle pieces under an anglepoise lamp. On the other side of the stage, another woman rhythmically bounces on a small trampoline. What starts off as just another post-narrative, young theatre piece becomes a satisfyingly layered work questioning subjects as wide-ranging as ableism, friendship and polarising opinions. 

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Hadestown, National Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

How can we radically reinvent myths and classic literature? I mean, really radically – not in a box ticking way, or a modernisation the production wears like a piece of costume that doesn’t really change the thematic core of the story. I mean thoroughly, totally, completely. So all traces of horrible ‘isms’ and ‘ists’ are either reframed or criticised. 

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Pinter Four, Harold Pinter Theatre

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by Maeve Campbell

Pinter Four continues Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season with the Lyndsey Turner directed Moonlight starring Robert Glenister as ta dying patriarch who bemoans his family’s absence at his death bed to his long suffering wife (Brid Brennan). The second half play Night School, directed by Ed Stambollouian, is a totally different beast from a different Pinter era. Al Weaver plays a disgruntled ex-fraudster who discovers, on his release from prison, that his aunts have let out his bed-room to a mysterious and glamourous young school teacher (Jessica Barden).

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Pinter Three, Harold Pinter Theatre

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Tamsin Greig steals the show in the star-studded third instalment of the six-month season of Harold Pinter’s short plays.

Pinter Three features 11 plays, allowing director Jamie Lloyd to vary tone, pace and style with shorter, more amusing sketches bookended by two more heavyweight works; Landscape and A Kind of Alaska.

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