A Wake in Progress, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Trigger warnings have been the subject of some debate in theatre circles, but if ever there was a perfect example of the right time to use one, it is in A Wake in Progress. Not only because it is easily and deftly woven into the piece by master of ceremonies Amy Fleming without spoilers or awkward interjections, but also because the point of this show is absolutely not to make anyone feel uncomfortable or unhappy about death. Quite the opposite.

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River in the Sky, Hope Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

Waves quietly break along the beach outside a remote holiday home. A woman drinks Earl Gray, eats biscuits and mourns her infant son. Her husband checks on her regularly, but within the icy sea of debilitating grief, they’ve lost the ability to communicate other than through fantastical stories of mythical creatures. Time all but stops in this sparsely-written series of snapshots depicting a couple trying their best to piece their lives together after a tragedy.

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Shackleton’s Carpenter, Jermyn Street Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

In 1914 Sir Earnest Shackleton set off to cross Antarctica via the South Pole, but the mission was cut short when one of the two ships froze in an ice floe that eventually crushed it. Miraculously, the men were able to seek help due to the ship’s carpenter repurposing the life boats to make them suitable for long journeys in turbulent water. That carpenter’s name was Harry McNish, and in his dying days on a New Zealand dock, he relives his memories of that voyage.

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To See Salisbury, RADA Festival

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Boshirov and Petrov are Russian men who find themselves on the run after they are implicated in the biggest spy drama of the decade. Accused of poisoning a compatriot on British soil with Novichok, they have hotfooted it back to Russia in an attempt to give the authorities the slip. But with their names and faces all over the media and a seemingly conclusive collection of evidence against them, their case looks desperate.

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Digging Deep, Vault Festival

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by Laura Kressly

CW: suicide and self-harm

Mossy is only 22 but he’s tired of life. He can’t shake the feeling that there’s nothing more than this, so the best option is to call it a day and kill himself. His only concern is that his mum won’t be able to afford his funeral, so he convinces his reluctant mates to launch a fundraising campaign before he goes. Touching on toxic masculinity, male friendship, euthanasia and voyeuristic media consumption, this new script has some clumsy writing but the themes that propel the action forward to a surprising end smartly support the story of friendship.

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Murder for Two, The Other Palace

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by Laura Kressly

Novelist Arthur Whitney is murdered at his surprise birthday party his wife throws for him. When a young and keen police officer arrives to secure the scene and do some preliminary investigating, he encounters a bizarre collection of characters who all have reason to kill the writer and are totally unbothered by his death. So whodunit?

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