I Am of Ireland, Old Red Lion Theatre

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by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell

A buoyant cast enters singing their hearts out to “Ireland’s Call”. They are dressed as a variety of Irish stereotypes: a man in a balaclava, a priest, Miss Ireland, an Orangeman, a rugby fan. Caricatures, certainly, but there’s a lot of energy, and the suggestion we might see some of these clichés unpacked and explored.

Then, suddenly, we seem to be in a completely different play. I Am of Ireland, an examination of the complexities and divisions of recent Irish history up to the present day, provides short monologues and scenes focusing on an entirely different set of characters, with a markedly different tone. Continue reading

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For King and Country, The Colab Factory

by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell

The recent boom in so-called immersive theatre has seen a whole range of shows bill themselves using the term, when in reality their approach is anything but. However, it can’t be said that For King and Country is anything other than a genuinely immersive experience.

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Coconut, Ovalhouse

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

Rumi (Kuran Dohil) is a Muslim atheist, having to hide huge chunks of her life from her family. Including her new, white, non-Muslim boyfriend, Simon. What could possibly go wrong?

Coconut is one of those plays where each person who watches it will take away or resonate with something different, for me it was the role religion plays in our lives.

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Things that do not c(o)unt, VAULT Festival

by an anonymous guest critic

Nastazja Somers’ remarkable and brave one woman show delivers inspiration by the mouthful.

It’s not very often you get to watch someone eat a whole grapefruit on stage, but Somers does just that. As you watch her slowly devouring the fruit, it’s hard to break your gaze as she courageously stands in a defiant red dress that screams Siren.

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Nest, VAULT Festival

by an anonymous guest critic

Nest is a beautiful two-hander by Katy Warner, which was understandably shortlisted for Theatre503’s playwriting award. Travelling through an unconventional, council-estate couple’s journey, the play invites the audience into snippets of their relationship, through a series of non-chronological scenes.

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