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 Lara Alier
Forgiveness, guilt and punishment: these words are part of our nature and yet they’re still hard to talk about. The death penalty has always granted me hours of heated arguments. I’ve found our morals are malleable depending on each situation and can stretch or shrink like copper.
by guest critic Joanna Trainor
Nine characters, three stories, one not-so-boring room.
Loosely linked by themes of crime and mystery, The Boring Room is made up of three unusual pieces that finish moments before a satisfying ending. A door is about to open, a decision made, a body buried and the audience are plunged into darkness.
by guest critic Tom Brocklehurst
On arrival at Bethnal Green Town Hall, we are split into groups, given a key each, and then given the opening spiel. Ben, a secret love child of Michael Caine and Marilyn Monroe, was raised by the hotel staff in the 60s at the behest of its owner to save the stars from a scandal.
George Joseph Smith was a petty thief and con man who preyed on the most vulnerable women he could find. He would win their love, persuade them to elope, then strand them on their honeymoon after cleaning out their bank account. In exchange, these women who were lonely and insecure, would have a wedding night of bliss. He thought this was more than fair.
by guest critic Liam Rees
Grid Iron and the Traverse Theatre’s new co-production Jury Play is a play of two halves with rather mixed results. Based on Dr Jenny Scott’s research into jury members’ experiences and how to improve them, director Ben Harrison and writer, Dr Jenny Scott, have decided that the best way to bring these issues to life is to cast the audience as the jury in a fictional murder trial.
A playwright wants to write a play about patricide, but with an actual criminal onstage instead of an actor. Initial research leads him to a young man called Martin Santos, serving consecutive life sentences in Belmarsh for killing his father. As weeks pass and the two men get to know each other, stereotypes and expectations are upended in this moving story of masculinity, violence and theatre.