My Lover Was a Salmon in the Climate Apocalypse, Cockpit Theatre

by Diana Miranda

“This gig gets weird”, announces Bradán Theatre in their publicity blurb. And weird it gets as it tackles the climate crisis through an absurdist script infused with Irish mythology and folk music, presenting a majestic salmon as an icon of environmental awareness, and veering from metaphors to literal meaning in quite a jarring spin.

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That’s Not My Name, Bread & Roses Theatre

By Luisa De la Concha Montes

Described as a “an internal stream of consciousness and sketch comedy” That’s Not My Name, written and performed by Sammy Trotman, is a one-woman show that explores the absurdity of psychiatry. Through a direct and satirical exploration of her own experience of psychiatric wards, diagnosis and stigma, Sammy skilfully navigates the stage and eases the audience into an unconventional take on mental health.

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Brown Boys Swim, Soho Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Little can get in the way of teenagers’ hormones. In Kash and Mohsen’s case, the fact they can’t swim isn’t going to stop them going to the biggest event of the year, Jess Denver’s pool party. They’ll simply learn how so they don’t embarrass themselves in front of their entire year group. After all, Kash needs to flaunt his gains in front of the girls, and Mohsen will provide reluctant moral support. With a whole month to go, surely they can figure it out. Swimming’s not that hard, right?

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100% Cotton: In a Spin, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Diana Miranda

Song-based storytelling with cheeky humour at its core, 100% Cotton: In a Spin captures snapshots of Liz Cotton’s life as an empty nester in a small village. The solo show unravels within a kaleidoscope of acoustic music, video delights, and storytelling sequences that smoothly interweave as she glorifies her lovely cat and parodies lockdown life with a suffocating husband.

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All’s Well That Ends Well, Royal Shakespeare Theatre

by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Although often deemed a ‘problem play’, All’s Well That Ends Well can also be said to be progressive. Our heroine gets a lot of stage time, soliloquies and – for want of a better word – sass.

And yet, some of the characters are lacking. We may never know why Shakespeare chose to write them as he did, but (and perhaps because we are not 100% sure of the final play) the idea that Helen and Bertram live ‘happily ever after’ because she’s carrying his child is a bit ridiculous.

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Much Ado About Nothing, Jack Studio Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Outdoor summer touring Shakespeare shows are about as British as they come. This one by Bear in the Air, apart from this short stop at the Jack, is no exception. There’s no dominant production concept, but the cast of six zip through the trimmed down script with confidence and energy. The performances are consistently excellent though some of the directorial choices mean there are issues.

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Chloe Petts: Transience, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

As “the man she always wanted to be”, Chloe Petts is a devoted Crystal Palace football fan who embraces and is (mostly) embraced by lad culture. Her fellow season ticket holders who sit nearby, all very manly men, accept her as one of their own but she has issues when she goes to the loo. Over the course of this low-key hour Petts considers the effects of whether she is perceived as a woman or a man by those around her, and how this relates to the right-wing instigated culture war about trans people. It’s a pointed, provocative and very funny debut with heaps of promise.

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There’s No Mystery in Murder, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Romy Foster

Northern Corner brings humour and mischief to this brand-new musical based in the fictional town of Rothersdale. It’s a quiet town where nothing ever happens, so when a local councellor is shot, the community unravels. A once peaceful town reveals all it’s dark secrets when the blame keeps shifting to nervous suspects in an attempt to find out who the murderer is.

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Good Grief, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

When one of their friends died, theatre company Ugly Bucket navigated their grief the only way they knew how – by making a show. Using clowning and physical comedy, an ensemble of five flit between a dying man and his family, an afterlife of jagged pink gravestones where they playact a life cycle, various ways people die and depictions of people dealing with death. It’s both funny and immensely sad, as well as a sophisticated reflection on how we process loss and our own mortality.

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