What does dating mean for someone who grew up when cassettes were a thing and fell in love before the era of dating apps? Rachel has just separated from her husband and is back at her mum’s, surrounded by boxes containing memorabilia from the nineties. Among those treasures, she re-discovers Sugar magazine, the ultimate guide to tackling dating. However, being single some twenty years later – when Bumble replaces phone calls – poses a few challenges.
Despite the best of intentions, working with friends doesn’t always turn out well. It can lead to crossed boundaries, arguments, and environments that make others uncomfortable. Work can be sidelined by inside jokes and messing about. Additionally, being mates doesn’t mean you have the same creative vision. However, none of this is the case with actor/writer Dior Clarke and director Melina Namdar. The close friends and creative associates are working together on the premiere of Clarke’s autobiographical, coming-of-age story Passion Fruit, about growing up in north London as a Black, gay man.
Welcome to the madhouse, a place of chaos and confusion, typical of student house-sharing. A group of six friends gives a bittersweet glimpse of early adulthood, a path as messy as the kitchen table around which they party, study, and share their stories.
Maybe You Like It Productions has just finished a run at the Camden Fringe premiering their comedy Pleading Stupidity, a show written and directed by Caleb Barron and inspired by the real case of the ‘Dumb and Dumber bandits’, as the media called them. The show tells the story of two Aussies who robbed a local bank during their gap year in a Colorado ski town, whilst wearing name tags from their jobs and making no attempt to hide their accents. The crime was solved in eight minutes.
The Emoji Project runs through 14 August, and is live streamed on 15 August.
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At the heart of Canary Wharf’s Jubilee Park, The Greenhouse lets go of theatre productions’ bells and whistles to become a zero-waste venue that works only with recycled materials. The little wooden cottage and its in-the-round staging give the audience a feeling of gathering around a fire for a storytelling session, and the tales it offers are set in natural environments that frame, or even shape, the characters’ fortunes.
Emotional connections with others – or lack thereof – can feel all-consuming. In this expressionistic montage, mini-scenes exploring the essence of how we relate to and with others culminate in a sense of isolation that comes with growing up and growing apart from friends and loved ones. However, this channeling of big ideas through characters who are only onstage for the briefest of moments doesn’t give either the ideas or the characters space to grow.
The Greenhouse Theatre is a zero-waste, pop-up venue created to motivate people to take action in response to climate change and, through the power of storytelling, help build individual emotional connections with the immediate natural environment. As part of their summer programme and written by playwright and climate activist Henry Roberts, 12 follows a couple who help each other find a sense of self in a world in crisis. He designs buildings and can never quite shake the feeling that every creation is deemed to fade away. She is a linguist and has a passion for words as a means to bond with our surroundings. Together they navigate a world in which both words and landscapes seem to be disappearing as if hit by an irreversible pandemic, and try to find ways to inspire sustainable and meaningful connections.
“A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind; Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.”
It is a brave author that uses the word ‘comedy’ in the title of a play. Expectations are high, humour is anticipated and disappointment likely. Happily, this is not the case with the RSC’s current production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors: a tale of mistaken identity and separation (of two pairs of twins) at birth.