Madame Ovary, VAULT Festival

Image result for madame ovary

by Laura Kressly

Rosa’s been bloated and uncomfortable for about week, but she’s sure it’s nothing. She just needs to find some clothes that hide it, and are also suitable for a first date. A week after that, convinced the pain is something she’s eaten or trapped wind, she’s diagnosed with cancer. It’s 1 April 2018. She’s only 23 years old. Despite her hopes for it to be the year she sorts her life out, the reality is much more stark and scary.

Continue reading

Oddball, VAULT Festival

4271FE7E-5591-48D0-A5F0-0C791F206B3F

By Grace Bouchard

“It’s a sexy song about eating.” Francesca Forrestal says to the front row, before Oddball begins. She’s referring to “Bon Appetite” by Katy Perry that plays on a pre-set loop. At the same time, she’s limbering up – swinging her arms, chatting nonchalantly with the audience, and building a familiar relationship she carries throughout the performance – when the show has begun and latecomers enter halfway through one of her speeches, she unflinchingly welcomes them and instantly settles back into the script as though nothing happened. The ease with which she captivates and holds the room is enchanting in itself.

Continue reading

HOT (Helen of Troy), Cockpit Theatre

Image result for HOT (Helen of Troy), theatre

by Laura Kressly

Like many teenage girls past and present, Amy is riddled with insecurity about her body to the point that she struggles to see her strengths. She wants so desperately to have everything that her best friend Ellie has – popularity, good looks and a date for the dance. Fortunately, Amy’s super pro-active so she’s gathered together everything she needs to cast a spell that will make her pretty. Things don’t go to plan though – instead of suddenly transforming into a conventionally attractive girl, she summons an unexpected guest.

Continue reading

Lunatic 19’s, Finborough Theatre

F0D5272D-7288-418A-A14C-EDDF2CDF3DC6

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.

Continue reading

Outrageous Fortune, Greenwich Theatre

Image result for woman wild swimming

by Laura Kressly

It’s 2019 and we’re in purgatory. Some (many?) might say hell, considering the late capitalist nightmare and and rise of right-wing extremism, but Gertrude, former Queen of Denmark, has assured us we’ve arrived in purgatory and will shortly be assigned to our own, personal patches of dusty, red rock.

Continue reading

Hotter, Soho Theatre

Image result for hotter soho theatre

by Christina Bulford

How well do you know your inner critic? When you look in the mirror, what does she or he whisper in your ear, or shout loudly in your face? “Too fat! Too skinny! Too jiggly! Not hot enough!” Ell Porter and Mary Higgins have not only listened to these voices, they’ve let them out of their heads and, unabashed, onto the stage – from fat to fitness, men to menopause, dildos to doctor’s surgeries, periods to poo and all the body bits in between. As former lovers they claim to know each other extremely well, inside and out, and go to great lengths to get to the bottom of all this body-business. Pun absolutely intended.

Continue reading

Notorious, Barbican Centre

https://i2.wp.com/theupcoming.flmedialtd.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/NOTORIOUS-feat.-Lauren-Barri-Holstein-Krista-Vuori-Brogan-Davison-by-Manuel-Vason_Fierce_day3_5-1000x600.jpg

by guest critic Nastazja Somers

It wasn’t by accident that I ended up seeing The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein’s new work The Notorious at The Barbican Centre. Give me feminism, plenty of liquids and general messiness on stage and I’m there, screaming my head off, like when Lucy McCormick performed her Triple Threat two years ago at Edinburgh Fringe.

Continue reading