Lunatic 19’s, Finborough Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

As ICE parasitically invade peaceful American neighbourhoods and imprisons people in concentration camps, the country’s president spaffs racism from his twitter feed and white supremacists take to the streets. Life for immigrants in the US, documented or not, is terrifying right now and Tegan McLeod’s “deportational road trip”, certainly proves this. Though immigration control and the human face it takes on here is horrifying, McLeod’s script never quite settles on the narrative she wants to tell.

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Garry, White Bear Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

In the programme notes, director Graham Watts states, “there are hundreds of astonishing plays written by women that have never seen the light of day…Let me be clear. These are not ‘lost works’. They’ve never been considered and were simply ignored.” This world premiere by the writer of Machinal proves his point. Though several of Sophie Treadwell’s 39 plays were produced on Broadway, this one from 1954 – one of her last, and demonstrative of her skill and experience – has never before been produced.

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The Glass Menagerie, Arcola Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

In 1930s St Louis, Missouri, housing laws ensured black people and white people lived in separate neighbourhoods. Racial inequality was rife and the city as a whole, like the rest of the US, was suffering the effects of the Great Depression. The Wingfield family are no different – living in a tenement apartment, Amanda and her grown children, Tom and Laura, struggle to make ends meet. Stress, worry and resentment drives wedges between them, creating a tension stoked by Tennessee William’s exquisite language. In this production directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, the Wingfields are black, so their dreams and aspirations are all the more devastatingly unreachable when contexualised by the segregation of the day.

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Ain’t Misbehavin’, Southwark Playhouse

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by Louis Train

The dresses sparkle, the band swings, and the dancers fly at the Southwark Playhouse, where Ain’t Misbehavin’ runs through June. This revival of the Broadway show from the 1970s, which strings together tunes from Harlem Renaissance man and jazz great Fats Waller, proves that when music is really good, it’s really good in any decade.

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Waitress, Adelphi Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Butter, sugar, flour – these pie crust ingredients form a comforting motif that gets Jenna through each day. There are her solace every morning as she bakes her insecurities, worries and feelings into pies that are served in a small-town American diner. The young waitress is full of hopes and dreams but her story, like the script that contains it, has another ingredient so thoroughly embedded in the narrative that it leaves such a nasty aftertaste that it overpowers everything else.

CW: abuse, abortion, assault

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Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Young Vic

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by Maeve Campbell

Angel Cruz has shot a man in the ass. He says he didn’t kill the religious cult leader, who
had apparently brainwashed his best friend Joey, but this man is now dead. This is where
we start Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. What follows is a compelling exploration of guilt,
goodness and godliness as Angel, incarcerated in New York’s infamous Rikers Island,
confronts his emphatic public defender, a sadistic prison guard and a charismatic, born-
again Christian serial killer.

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