Feature | Dismantling Rehearsal Room Hierarchies

by Laura Kressly

In some of the recent popular discourse on the abuse that pollutes the theatre industry, hierarchies and the power they bestow on those at the top have – rightly – been criticised. A rehearsal room mostly populated by freelancers, but run by a single salaried person on staff with the production company or venue, creates a massive power imbalance that can be weaponised. Of course, many rehearsal processes are steered by good people who don’t exploit their position, but in my 20+ years of working in theatre, I’ve rarely seen these hierarchies dismantled, either partially or fully, when the production company operates with one in place. Power is clearly and consistently utilised, with the person in charge easily visible at all times.

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Shedding a Skin, Soho Theatre

photo by Helen Murray

by Laura Kressly

Whilst feeling uncertain and lost may well be something everyone goes through at least at one point in their life, thats no consolation in the moment. Everyone else seems to have purpose, direction and a place, and the sense of not having that can be debilitating. That’s certainly the case for Myah.

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seven methods of killing kylie jenner, The Royal Court

Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court Theatre | Theatre  review – The Upcoming

by Laura Kressly

Cleo has finally had enough of Kylie Jenner’s celebrity and with nowhere else to safely vent her frustrations, she takes to her anonymous Twitter account. After her first couple of tweets critiquing Kylie’s appropriation of Black culture, Cleo’s best friend Kara busts in when her concerned Whatsapps are ignored. Their ensuing discussion – that often descends into argument – also covers queerness, friendship, teenage offenses and indiscretions, and the long history of violence Black people have suffered at the hands of whites.

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Queen Mab, St. Paul’s Church

Queen Mab – The Actors' Church, London - The Reviews Hub

by Diana Miranda

Freya, a teenager, is dealing with the micro-universe of lockdown life. She delves into music to evade an annoying younger sibling and two stressed-out parents struggling with employment insecurities. While dealing with home school, Freya daydreams about a boy and wishes she could know if her dreams are reciprocated. Enter Mab, Shakespeare’s neglected character now brought centre-stage in this new play by Danielle Pearson.

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The Sun, The Moon and The Stars, Theatre Royal Stratford East

The Sun, The Moon and The Stars: Kibong Tanji gives an unmissable  performance

by Laura Kressly

Women’s anger is often expected to be suppressed or contained rather than be unleashed on the world. Otherwise, we risk being labelled ‘crazy’ or ‘a bitch’, no matter what injustice we experience. But Femi can’t hold it in anymore. The night before the group of white men who killed her killed her brother Seun on Margate’s beach face charges of manslaughter, his ghost visits her to share the truth of his death. Initially baffled by her dead brother’s appearance, she is transformed into an embodied fury that cannot and will not stop until she gets revenge.

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Theatre for Two, Stanley Arts

Theatre for Two

by Laura Kressly

In the middle of a dark room, I am ushered into what looks like a largish, stand-alone cupboard. With a spotlight above a single chair facing a perspex sheet covered with a window blind, there is an immediate sense of the audience becoming the performer. Given that the four mini-plays making up this event are semi-improvised character pieces relying on audience interaction, this feeling is apt. As much the playlets are highly theatrical and often disarming, they are also intimate and conversational. In a time where many of us are learning how to just be in the same space as another person, unmediated by a computer screen, Theatre for Two is comforting and familiar as well as challenging what has become normal disconnect from people and the world we live in.

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Book Review | Hamilton and Me

Olivier Winner Giles Terera to Publish Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal  in 2021 | Playbill

by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Audience members don’t always appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a West End or Broadway performance. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work. The months spent learning lines, choreography and music, lengthy rehearsals, techs and previews are only a small part of it.

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Ginger Johnson and Friends, Pleasance Theatre

Ginger Johnson – Boyz

by Zahid Fayyaz

Something I had been looking forward to for a while now was the return of cabaret to the stage after lockdown’s easing. This event is an excellent way to restart this particular art form live and in-person. The wonderful evening at the Pleasance was curated by Newcastle’s Ginger Johnson, an associate artist at the theatre and member of Sink the Pink, an LGBTQ+ collective and club night.

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The Language of Kindness, Shoreditch Town Hall

Times Local Newspapers & Magazines | “Nurses have become the focus of our  daily lives and we want to celebrate them”

by Laura Kressly

Everyday life isn’t often a particularly generative setting for compelling storytelling, but the many hospital dramas out there show that medicine is an exception. Though they aren’t part of most people’s daily routines, they are for the nurses who work in them. Long, exhausting shifts are dictated by the rhythms of their rounds, but these are punctuated by literal life-or-death crises. Amidst the moments of high drama, there are series of small, precise actions that keep patients safe and looked after. It’s in these little moments that this physical theatre collage excels.

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