Luna, VAULT Festival

Image result for moon

by Jade Pathak

Luna is exactly what it describes itself as: ‘A Play About The Moon’. Through a series of sketches from characters ranging from sensible to kooky, our favourite satellite of the Earth is explained and questioned. A charming quality of Toby Hulse’s play is that it does not favour science over story, or vice versa. Luna is a pleasant balance between lessons about how the moon works, and the myths and mystery around it.

Continue reading

Shackleton’s Carpenter, Jermyn Street Theatre

Image result for shackleton's carpenter jermyn street

by Laura Kressly

In 1914 Sir Earnest Shackleton set off to cross Antarctica via the South Pole, but the mission was cut short when one of the two ships froze in an ice floe that eventually crushed it. Miraculously, the men were able to seek help due to the ship’s carpenter repurposing the life boats to make them suitable for long journeys in turbulent water. That carpenter’s name was Harry McNish, and in his dying days on a New Zealand dock, he relives his memories of that voyage.

Continue reading

Police Cops in Space, VAULT Festival

https://www.londoncalling.com/images/uploads/feature_images/Police_Cops_in_Space-_Supporting_Image_03.jpg

by guest critic Tom Brocklehurst

The Pretend Men return with a ridiculous sequel to their action-packed police parody. Don’t worry if you missed the first one – you should still get a ticket to this! Done with parodying cop shows, we now get references to The Terminator, Blade Runner and Star Wars – to name but a few of the references.

Continue reading

Mat Ewins Presents: Adventureman 7 – Return of Adventure Man, VAULT Festival

https://files.list.co.uk/images/2017/08/23/MatEwins3.jpg

by guest critic Zahid Fayyaz

From a successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Mat Ewins bring his well-received show to London’s VAULT festival. This is a series of daft but funny jokes, using faked videos and audience participation supported by a spine of an Indiana Jones-style adventure. The quest is to obtain a magical amulet to prevent the closure of his museum.

Continue reading

The Magic Flute, Soho Theatre

https://i0.wp.com/www.sohotheatre.com/files/images/applicationfiles/1773.1121.OperaUpClose.TheMagicFlute.AbigailKellyPaminaPeterKirkTaminoFleurdeBrayQueen.PhotobyChristopherTribble.jpg/600x600.fitdown.jpg

Late one night, a couple fights in bed. After falling asleep angry, Tamino fitfully dreams of a nightclub, a beautiful girl and a quest to save her. He is accompanied by a cheerful sidekick and is given a magic flute by the Queen of the Night, a glamorous celebrity who strokes his ego and stokes his curiosity.

Continue reading

Skin of the Teeth, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

https://www.thestage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Skin-of-the-teeth-700x455.jpg

Nick is fearless. Literally, he can’t feel fear. The young man’s father finds this most unsettling and whilst Nick thinks it’s kinda cool, he desperately wants to find his shudder so he can fit in with everyone else in his small coastal town. When a mysterious stranger appears on the beach and offers to help, Nick jumps at the chance. This modern myth by Anna Beecher is a vibrant, young hero’s journey through a dark underworld of a solo performance with good potential.

Daniel Holme tells Nick’s story with sweet, wide-eyed naiveté, making the people he encounters in the big city after his father sends him away all the more threatening. The gang of men with green gloves who claim they will help him find his shudder through increasingly extreme tasks builds suspense and danger to a climax in Beecher’s script that Nick only vaguely understands. An open ending and some unanswered questions are a bit of a letdown, but otherwise her script is a good piece of storytelling.

Holme’s performance does a good job at keeping the audience’s attention, though more dramatic lighting design, projections and/or props would add visual variation and further increase the ebb and flow of his adventure. Beecher’s language contains some gorgeous moments of imagery and dystopia that certainly deserve to be supported further through a strong design concept and a larger space that grants more freedom of movement to Holme.

Skin of the Teeth is a strong character monologue that can work well on its own, but also has scope to develop further into an action-driven, multiple character script. The story is a good concept though in its current incarnation in a small venue, it is limited in its power. Beecher is a promising writer with dynamic ideas who, with more resources, has the power to make even greater impact.

The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.