by Laura Kressly
Croydon’s Fairfield Halls re-opened to much fanfare this year, and their traditional pantomime – with all the glitz, glamour and gags that you’d expect – is ramped up with Disney-quality animations, LED screens and special effects. Though all the problematic elements of panto are still there – like heteronormativity, misogyny, and narrow gender roles – this production showcase the capabilities of tech within what is now a conservative form.
by Romy Foster
Kylie Jenner has just been announced as the world’s first ‘self-made billionaire’ and Cleo is VEX. Feeling this is undeserved, she has launched a tirade of tweets from her anonymous Twitter account @Incognegro about how to kill a social media entrepreneur or, as Cleo thinks of her, a ‘con artist-cum-provocateur’. She is now shut in her bedroom receiving persistent whatsapps from best friend Kara, who is worried about Cleo’s online rant.
by Amy Toledano
An eighties jukebox musical set on the sunny coast of Spain sounds like a fun night out. However, Club Tropicana highlights the ignorance of British people on all-inclusive holidays, trivialises and stereotypes entire communities of people (in this instance the LGBTQ+ and Spanish communities), and scrapes the bottom of the barrel for a story that has clearly been written in order to serve the eighties tracks, with one-liners that are the lowest common denominator of gags.
by Tony Diaz
The English National Opera’s upcoming concert performance of Man of La Mancha, a musical inspired by the Spanish classic novel Don Quixote, takes place in Spain where, coincidentally, all of the characters are Spanish. However, this production seems to include no performers of Spanish or Latinx descent.
By Meredith Jones Russell
Idiosyncratic, eccentric, fearless and alien-like are just a few of the descriptors a rudimentary Google search of Tilda Swinton will throw up. Based on these, Byron Lane’s Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist has absolutely captured the essence of an icon. It has undoubtedly created a new one, too.
by Louis Train
Thriller Live, the Michael Jackson concert show on the West End, celebrated its tenth anniversary last night with a performance and a reception. The performance was great fun and the reception was tasteful, and the evening, overall, was a success. But I feel there were some lingering questions that neither the personalities on stage nor at the party can answer.
by guest critic Amy Toledano
In the time of #metoo and what seems to be never-ending news of sexual harassment cases in the celebrity world, The Buzz by Lydia Rynne is a new perspective on how deeply the repercussions of such actions run.
by guest critic Gregory Forrest
On 10 September 2001 – the last day of a different time – Army Major Charles Ingram won the jackpot of ITV’s ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ In the days that followed, the Twin Towers fell and producers of the quiz show made their case against the Major, his wife, and a coughing contestant who supposedly cheated their way to the million pound cheque. As one character observes, take a step back and the whole story sounds too silly to be true. Which is precisely why West-End regular playwright James Graham picks it up.
by guest critic Susannah Martin
On Sunday, the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre saw some of theatre’s biggest stars host and perform in the Mousetrap Theatre Projects’ Anniversary Gala, which nodded
to the 21 years that the charity has provided disadvantaged families and young people with the opportunity to experience live theatre. It’s a cause that is celebrated throughout the industry, and the night’s entertainment proved its importance for not only the recipients, but for the performers who have benefited from the scheme.
by an anonymous guest critic
As we enter the Arcola main stage, we are presented with a hotel room in midtown Manhattan circa 1954. Albert Einstein sits on the bed going over some notes on his legal pad.