Essence explores the theme of loneliness, what it looks like, and its impact on human relationships. Sarah Henley’s charming, new 60-minute play tells the story of how 32-year-old Elyot’s repetitive, meticulously-timed life which he has full control over gets blown apart when Laquaya – 14, intelligent, gentle, yet loud and argumentative – breaks into his home. It is an incredibly thought-provoking and hugely enjoyable story that everyone can relate to.
In the dark and atmospheric Cavern at the Vaults, theatre company Long Distance present us with their first play, Omelette. It explores many of the important questions on the climate crisis. How far should we go to save the planet? How far is too far? Does it make a difference? Should we give up coffee forever?
The group’s sophomore run at the festival, this is the a-cappella company’s homage to
‘guilty pleasures’ – cheesy songs you shouldn’t love, but (judging from the singalongs at this afternoon performance) most people do. An all-male, eleven-strong group greet the audience at this show, with a backdrop of album covers of by the cheesy artists they would be performing.
A site-specific play with a slight immersive element for the audience, this is the latest
production from new company Bee in my Beanie. They establish a framing sequence consisting of the Archivist Society looking at a ‘story’, with the head archivist portrayed as a magnificent, giant puppet. This is mainly the story of Aamira and Gad, two children on opposite sides of a border conflict, forced to come together following a sudden loss.
In Coming Out of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine), Shepard Tone’s Tim and Hannah explore the legacy of one of the most popular songs of all time through a pitch-perfect combination of fun audience interactions and a great use of video in particular.
Disclaimer: Good reviewing practice is not to put yourself into your article – your review is about the show, not the journalist. But I have such an emotional connection to Katie Arnstein’s work, that I struggle to write about her productions as ‘objectively’ as I perhaps should. It’s probably why it’s taken me so long to put pen to paper.
Rhubarb and custard sweets, a ukulele, placards, and a voiceover montage of misogynistic statements that make you oh so angry – all signs point to the final installment of Katie Arnstein’s It’s A Girl! trilogy.
The Network Theatre Company has put together a brilliant night of short plays that are certainly entertaining, if slightly alarming about where the world is heading. The Future is Mental gives us an assemblage of six near-future, ‘soft-dystopian’ stories, admittedly inspired by Black Mirror, that makes us take a step back and really rethink our present lifestyles.