Armadillo, Yard Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

America’s gun epidemic is easy to criticise and ridicule from afar. But Americans, even those who oppose gun ownership, know that the firearms debate stems from deeply entrenched cultural mores and politics, and is also intertwined with class, regionalisms, race, money, and so on. In Sarah Kosar’s latest play, gun-obsessed Sam and her husband John are trying to quit their gun addictions when a local girl disappears, threatening their new, anti-weapon convictions. Cinematic lighting and sparse design heightens the nuanced script, and compelling performances support the story of one of many reasons why someone may want to own a gun.

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J’ouvert, Theatre503

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By Laura Kressly

Over the August bank holiday weekend, people of West Indian heritage have been celebrating their history and culture in the face of racial oppression since the 1960s. Bright colours, elaborate costumes, loud music, dancing, and lashings of rum mark the Carnival that’s now one of the largest in the world. In her female-led, debut play taking place over a day at Notting Hill Carnival, Yasmin Joseph pays homage to the people, young and old, that make up the event’s vibrant landscape and give it its soul.

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Funeral Flowers, The Bunker

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by Laura Kressly

CW: rape and sexual assault

Making a bouquet of flowers is more than just bunging some random blooms in a vase. It takes care, thoughtfulness, skill and time to craft something beautiful and unique. People need that same sort of care and nurturing too, especially children and teenagers. This high stakes, solo performance shows the pressures that young women encounter daily, and how much they need support to grow and flourish in a world that is out to exploit them.

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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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The Justice Syndicate, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Lara Alier

Walking upstairs to the performance space, I was wondering why are there only 12 of us and why hadn’t I investigated a bit more what am I about to watch. Or, as it turns out, what I am about to do. Around one, big table, there are twelve tablets and name tags saying Juror 5, 6, and so on. I am going to be part of the jury that would decide if a Doctor was guilty or not guilty of sexual assault.

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Fabric, Soho Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Leah loves life. She works in a Saville Row shop and shares a flat with her best mate. It gets even better when she meets Ben Cavendish, a new customer at work, and things starts turning into a real-life fairytale. But real life isn’t a fairytale – awful things happen and endings aren’t always happily ever after.

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