In the most supportive of circumstances, grief can feel insurmountable. It’s even harder for a young queer Londoner whose family is in Zimbabwe. How does Takura ensure her Mbuya is mourned properly and what is her relationship to her ancestors, anyway? In a space somewhere between clubbing, Co-star, quantum physics and ancient rituals, she improvises building a bridge to the ancestral plane. A vulnerable and exposing struggle with borders and contrasting cultural norms, this is a considered reflection on how we deal with a loved one’s death.
In each of the three unrelated scenes that make up this triptych, a different Emily and an Emile tackle big ideas. Two flatmates argue about class privilege, a pair of flight attendants mull over love and confronting fears, and grief dominates the conversation between a man and his dead boyfriend’s sister. Each scene has some strong moments and the issues are prescient, but the writing quality varies and it’s unclear why these particular stories are produced together.
Recently unemployed and battling feelings of loneliness, Andrea explores casual dating for connection and distraction – mostly distraction. Tinder one-night-stands gradually evolve into exclusive sex parties. Dissecting a newfound sexual drive, Andrea probes a path that offers a soothing, exciting alternative to her seemingly crumbling life, but her boundary-pushing exploration soon reveals a story of addiction.
Nina, an achingly cool yet awkward young Londoner, wasn’t expecting to meet Gabriel at a BBQ in Tooting, but she does. Their burgeoning relationship seems perfect. Descriptions of dates, parties, meeting each others’ families and moving in together feel natural and healthy, until things start to deteriorate. Moments that were previously joyful become tense, and physical affection is now forceful. As much as this is a monologue about falling in love, it’s also a piece about its deterioration into abuse and finding a way out.
George Floyd’s murder in 2020 was the catalyst for worldwide Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism. Though at the time white governments, institutions and individuals made loud commitments to fight racial injustice, there has been a lack of meaningful change since then. By drawing on numerous recent and historical acts of violence against Black people, theatremaker Christopher Tajah’s solo performance reinforces just how deeply racism runs in white supremacist societies.
Die Hexenhammer is a treatise on witchcraft written and published in 1486 by Catholic clergymen Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. The key argument of the book is the following: Chaos is female and women corrupt men, therefore women must be destroyed. Using this historical event as the backbone of the play, Suzy Kohane (as Heinrich) and Sidsel Rostrup (as Jacob, Heinrich’s faithful companion) mix comedy and verbatim theatre (taken from incel forums) to create a hilarious, yet extremely poignant play that explores the roots of misogyny.
What is love? Riham Isaac wants to know, so she turns to music, old films, interviews, and religious and secular iconography to find out. She in turn shares a collection of ideas of what love is, isn’t or what it might be. The result is a highly visual, multimedia cabaret presenting an international, era-spanning collage of love and romance.
This is an absolute blast of a show. The fourth show from Police Cops, who have previously been on tour and in London and the Edinburgh Fringe previously. It is clear that the three-man group have a great handle on the jokes and physical aspect of their performances.
This one-person show one uses technology to a great degree, with its story of a vlogger living through some form of disaster that has left her by herself, with only access to technology and a dwindling food/drink supply. This had obvious parallels with the lockdowns during the Covid pandemic, and is certainly a situation the audience is able to empathise with.
Laughter is an infiltration strategy, and Liv Ello surely knows it. Part heavy-handed satire, part side-splitting clown show, this is a highly confrontational solo piece. The show uses humour to break down barriers and get audiences to face difficult topics around migration, politics and compassion.