Broadway at Leicester Square with Ramin Karimloo, Leicester Square Theatre

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by Joanna Trainor

“Colm (Wilkinson) sucks the soul out of you when he sings”. Ramin Karimloo told host Seth Rudetsky on Friday night. Well, there’s also something about Karimloo’s voice that leaves you a bit awe-struck. Opening the show with the song he is perhaps best known for, “Til I Hear You Sing” from Love Never Dies makes everyone in the room holds their breath at the same time.

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SHIFT, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

by guest critic Rebecca JS Nice

Barely Methodical Troupe members Louis Gift, Esmeralda Nikolajeff, Elihu Vazquez and Charlie Wheeller​ are bound together by their reliance on each other to lift, and catch so that very little happens independently. SHIFT plays with balance, direction and suspension by adding an object to the ensemble that has the strength and flexibility to bear weight and change gravitational paths. A giant elastic band acts as a naughty fifth body and limb, changing up the choreography and providing endless opportunities for play and experimentation.

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A Little Hero, White Bear Theatre

by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell

A devastating and often surreal critique of a state’s oppression of a minority, with a strictly limited dissemination in the country it was written in, A Little Hero is a brave first play for young company DoneDid. Its production at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington doesn’t always quite get it right, but makes a worthy and powerful attempt.

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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

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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