Rain Pours Like Coffee Drops, VAULT Festival

by Diana Miranda

Amidst VAULT Festival’s craziness, The Motion Packs’ movement-led work casts a contemplative spell, causing reflection on the effects of having obsessive, work-driven lives. This one-man physical theatre piece brews slowly, with contemporary dance accompanied by a soundscape combining poetic audio clips, instrumental scores led by the eerie resonance of a piano, and calming sounds of nature. The show has English and Welsh versions, and I experienced it in the latter. While the Cavern’s acoustics and a poorly-equalised volume make it difficult to understand the poetry, the dreamlike soundscape and a soft, unhurried voice create a comforting aural experience, even for non-Welsh-speakers.

Continue reading

Handel’s Messiah: The Live Experience, Drury Lane Theatre

by Euan Vincent

When Handel wrote the Messiah in 1741, he faced fierce competition within the dwindling operagoing-market to get more bums on seats. Opera was seen as obtuse, elitist and too expensive (oh, how times have changed). Faced with this reticence, Handel wrote Messiah as an oratorio, which is similar to opera but isn’t typically staged, is written in English and focuses heavily on Christian themes – all of which were designed to broaden the appeal of his piece to the widest audience possible.

Continue reading

Briefs: Bite Club, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Performer at Briefs Bite Club with feathers
Photo: Lachlan Douglas

by Joanna Trainor

The first rule of Bite Club – tell absolutely everybody about Bite Club! Briefs Factory are back in Britain, and not a moment too soon. Feathers, wigs, exceptional headwear, soaking wet thongs, a man entirely covered in glitter – what more could you possibly want? Heartfelt sentiments and joy? Also check.

Continue reading

Jean Paul Gaultier: Fashion Freak Show, Camden Roundhouse

by Zahid Fayyaz

Originally staged in London in 2019 at the Southbank Centre, this part-revue, part-fashion show has been rebooted and now has a long residency at Camden’s iconic Roundhouse venue for around 50 dates. The concept consists of a narrative of the life and times of fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, put together to include a multitude of his fashion designs and a large cast of dancers.

Continue reading

Singin’ in the Rain, New Wimbledon Theatre

by Zahid Fayyaz

This adaptation of the much-loved 1952 Gene Kelly film has had a very productive life as a stage musical, what with its catchy songs and tap dancing routines. This particular touring production by Jonathan Church previously ran in the West End and Sadler’s Wells so as expected, the dance has received a lot of attention. The lovely New Wimbledon Theatre where it’s on for this leg of the tour is one of the bigger theatres that lie outside of the West End on the edges of London.

Continue reading

Anne of Green Gables – London Children’s Ballet, Peacock Theatre

by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Anne of Green Gables is one of those stories that will never lose its appeal. She is a charming, feisty orphan who gets into continuous scrapes, but is ultimately trying to do her best.

It’s far from a complex story, but there is a lot going on. Yet, telling the story through the medium of dance seems no simple feat. The London Children’s Ballet have accomplished this phenomenally. Director Ruth Brill ensures all children have a significant role to play, with different ages and abilities involved in multiple scenes.

Continue reading

The Language of Kindness, Shoreditch Town Hall

Times Local Newspapers & Magazines | “Nurses have become the focus of our  daily lives and we want to celebrate them”

by Laura Kressly

Everyday life isn’t often a particularly generative setting for compelling storytelling, but the many hospital dramas out there show that medicine is an exception. Though they aren’t part of most people’s daily routines, they are for the nurses who work in them. Long, exhausting shifts are dictated by the rhythms of their rounds, but these are punctuated by literal life-or-death crises. Amidst the moments of high drama, there are series of small, precise actions that keep patients safe and looked after. It’s in these little moments that this physical theatre collage excels.

Continue reading

Here Come the Boys, London Palladium

Here Come the Boys – London Palladium - The Reviews Hub

by Zahid Fayyaz

This was certainly a rare treat in 2021: a packed-out West End show! Last year, the London Palladium was one of the venues to hold a pilot show when theatre was trying to work out the logistics of how to safely get audiences back. A year later, the stunning building hosts an extremely entertaining dance show in the West End after extensive touring in pre-Covid times.

Continue reading

FROSTBITE: Who Pinched my Muff? Garden Theatre

REVIEW: Frostbite, Who Pinched My Muff at the Garden Theatre | Pocket Size  Theatre
Natalie Lomako Photography

by Laura Kressly

The lights dangling over the audience in the intimate pub garden theatre look rather like anal beads. It’s a great choice by lighting designer Richard Lambert because they suit the joyously raunchy tone of this adult panto in Vauxhall, or rather, the charming mountain village Vaüxhallen. The town’s residents we meet over the two hour-long show are all out for some action and adventure – in every sense of the word.

Continue reading