Pops, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

A young woman unceremoniously returns to her family home, where her dad watches cooking shows on repeat and listens to battered cassettes on a boom box that’s probably older than she is. She looks worn and fatigued, though promises she’ll only be there as long as it takes her to get back on her feet. He doesn’t really listen.

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Brawn, King’s Head Theatre

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by Louis Train

What makes some people obsess over fitness? That’s the question at the heart of Brawn, a new play written and performed by Christopher Wollaton under the direction of Matt Staite. At a lean 60-minute run time, Wollaton, alone on stage save a pair of dumbbells, tells the story of how his character, Ryan, came to be the impressive physical specimen he is today, and what he has had to give up to reach it. Part confessional, part social insight, part torture, Brawn is a wise, shocking look into the mind of one man who wants to get bigger.

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The Half, Vault Festival

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By Laura Kressly

Defying the odds, Nell and Cathy are comedians with successful careers behind them. But now that they’re nearing 40, they’re also on the verge of being forgotten by an industry that only values women who meet very specific criteria. When they are offered a rare gig at the London Palladium, this is a chance to resolve lingering tension between them and revive their reputations, but it could also lead to total ruination of everything they’ve fought to achieve.

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The Political History of Smack and Crack, Soho Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Mandy and Neil have known each other since they were kids. They grew up in Manchester’s Moss Side in the 80s and 90s, watching the streets burn in the riots then be flooded by drug dealers hawking heroin. There’s hardly been a time where drugs weren’t a part of their lives.

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A Gym Thing, Pleasance Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Will is having a rough time so isn’t inclined to leave his Playstation. His worried mate Jay convinces him to join the gym with him, in the hope that it pulls him out of his funk. Unknowingly, Jay creates a monster. The gym gives Will not just new-found purpose, but triggers an addiction that totally transforms him from quiet and shy into a vain, self-absorbed and destructive force.

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Trashed, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

Trashed is a high energy, thrilling and heartbreaking show that has the audience hooked from beginning to end. David William Byran plays Keith – a rubbish collector from a working class community in the UK. Throughout, Keith is engaging with the audience, asking questions and offering some of his beer, which he drinks continuously throughout the piece.

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