Translations, National Theatre

National Theatre

By Laura Kressly

Mud covers the Olivier stage. It’s dark, nearly black, thick and peaty. The ‘emerald’ part of the Emerald Isle is pointedly absent. The muck’s heavy and pervasive, working its way into every crevice of the rural hedge school where students of all ages learn Latin and Greek. They don’t mind the mud. But the British soldiers that come with their imposing colonisation, also working its way into nook and cranny? That’s where the villagers take issue.

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Sancho, Wilton’s Music Hall

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By Laura Kressly

Like many before and after him, Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship in 1729. Unlike other slaves, the orphan received an education, married, owned property, published letters and compositions, and was the first black person to vote in a British election. 

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Left My Desk, New Diorama Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Becca gets to work at the local council and is immediately bundled into a police car. She’s not in trouble, but one of the people on her caseload is. She and her colleague Craig go to hospital to see a little girl that ‘fell out of bed’. Or to a shelter to meet with a young woman who is pregnant and addicted to huffing hairspray. Or to a school to check on a teenager being groomed by drug dealers. Every day she fights for their safety within a system on the brink of collapse. But how long can she go on like this?

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Pyar Actually, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by Laura Kressly

Polly lives in Gravesend, has a good job at the council, a husband and two children. Life is…fine. No, really – she insists all is well. Other than a few meddling Aunties and standard marital discontent, it’s fine. Then Bali, her school boyfriend, calls her after 20 years. He’s in town, and would she like to meet for a coffee?

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Grotty, Bunker Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

At 22 years old, Rigby is a troubled, naive lesbian navigating the dating and club scene where everyone knows everyone else. The awkward, bumbling young woman just wants to get fucked and fucked up at the weekends – but between the nasty gossip and incomprehensible social politics, her good intentions are exploited. Though this stark, unsentimental view of the London queer scene has moments of comedy and poignancy, the rambling script lacks a focused and coherent journey.

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Nine Night, National Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

A riotous party is heard offstage and the cheerfully vintage, open-plan kitchen we see is full of food and drink. But this London home isn’t hosting any old house party. It’s a customary Jamaican wake following Gloria’s death, and three generations of her family have gathered to mourn. As they wrestle with grief, tradition clashes with modern Britain in Natasha Gordon’s kitchen sink drama that bounces from hilarity to gravity and back again.

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How to Be a Londoner in an Hour, Centre17

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by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell

How to Be a Londoner in an Hour is part of a “politically charged” season at new venue Centre17 in Walthamstow. “Politically charged” wouldn’t be the most obvious way to describe How to Be…, unless you count repeated references to Boris Johnson, who hasn’t actually been London mayor for two years.

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