Dido, Unicorn Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

If theatre has a reputation for being inaccessible and snobbishly high cultured, opera is doubly regarded as such. Fortunately, the Unicorn and ENO teamed up to make this young people’s version of Dido and Aeneas, pared down to 60 minutes with an easy-to-understand story for secondary school students. However, the story is pitched as placing Dido’s teenaged daughter at the centre, but this version is not reconfigured enough to make her more than a passive observer of her mother’s collapse.

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Amour, Charing Cross Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Post-World War II, the city of Paris is putting itself back together. People go to work, people get married, people get by. Monsieur Dusoleil (Gary Tushaw) epitomises this attitude, working harder than the other clerks in the office, and yet, he feels the sting of loneliness. Amongst the other tortured, Parisian souls is Isabelle (Anna O’Byrne), a woman married off much too young and trapped by a much older man, known simply as the Prosector (Alasdair Harvey).

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CLASS, Bush Theatre

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by an anonymous guest critic

CLASS, a play from Ireland co-written and directed by Iseult Golden and David Horan, is set around a teacher-parent meeting in a Dublin primary school. The teacher, Mr McAfferty (Will O’Connell), is a seemingly conscientious man who takes his job seriously. He invites the parents of one of his students, nine-year-old Jayden, to discuss his literacy learning difficulties.

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Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Time. Generally, I never seem to have enough of it. Occasionally – rarely – I have too much to wade through before reaching something I’m eagerly anticipating – a holiday, the weekend, time with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile, or a desperately needed lie-in. Yet for Norman and Vivian, the elderly couple in Ridiculusmus’ new show about ageing, time is a languid, sluggish force. Every weighty moment is stretched to its limits, threatens to stall, and is marked by discomfort, weakness and struggle.

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Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four, Greenwich Theatre

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by Meredith Jones Russell

In this post-Cumberbatch age, you can’t help but feel slightly sorry for any actor taking on the role of Sherlock Holmes. The BBC series has provided such a defining image of Holmes to a generation that one wonders why a company might take on another rehash of a Conan Doyle classic.

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Hotter, Soho Theatre

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by Christina Bulford

How well do you know your inner critic? When you look in the mirror, what does she or he whisper in your ear, or shout loudly in your face? “Too fat! Too skinny! Too jiggly! Not hot enough!” Ell Porter and Mary Higgins have not only listened to these voices, they’ve let them out of their heads and, unabashed, onto the stage – from fat to fitness, men to menopause, dildos to doctor’s surgeries, periods to poo and all the body bits in between. As former lovers they claim to know each other extremely well, inside and out, and go to great lengths to get to the bottom of all this body-business. Pun absolutely intended.

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Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta, Gate Theatre

by Louis Train

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta is an odd show, odder even than the name promises. Edith Alibec stars as a young Romanian woman, pre-pubescent in the earliest scenes, who grows up in a traveling circus where her mother hangs from the big top by her hair. The play is based on Aglja Veteranyi’s autobiographical novel of the same name.

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