Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, Ovalhouse

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By Laura Kressly

I’d never considered hair salons to be the domain of estranged, murderous sisters, but this contemporary, actor-muso update of Snow White shows a darker underbelly of this normally jolly place. At the Happy Ever After salon, Trish has built a beauty empire that she rules with an iron fist, toxic pomades and razor sharp scissors. Punctuated by original vintage-style tunes, puppetry and engaging performances, this show is a sophisticated pantomime that’s diverse, accessible and fun.

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Guys and Dolls, the Mill at Sonning

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by Meredith Jones Russell

This is a real Christmas treat. Following a delicious festive feed at the Mill’s onsite restaurant before the show (included in the ticket price), settle back to watch a talented cast of dodgy gamblers, Salvation Army missionaries and showgirls perform such classics as ‘Luck Be a Lady,’ ‘The Oldest Established’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat.’

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Seussical, Southwark Playhouse

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by Maeve Campbell

It’s difficult to work out who the musical Seussical is for and why its been revived. Trying to imagine how a ten-year-old might watch this show doesn’t help answer these questions. In fact, it clouds the answer even more. I think if I was ten and watching this show, I’d feel utterly patronised by it.

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The Dark, Ovalhouse

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by Romy Foster

The Dark is an exhilarating and personal journey through the dusty backroads of Uganda in 1979. Jumping between then and present day, Michael Balogun tenderly tells author Nick Makoha’s story of how he and his mother escaped the terror of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s reign and crossed the border heading for the UK when he was four years old.

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Hadestown, National Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

How can we radically reinvent myths and classic literature? I mean, really radically – not in a box ticking way, or a modernisation the production wears like a piece of costume that doesn’t really change the thematic core of the story. I mean thoroughly, totally, completely. So all traces of horrible ‘isms’ and ‘ists’ are either reframed or criticised. 

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Gilded Butterflies, Hope Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

There have been several different mediums focusing on the story of the female prisoner, especially from the US and Gilded Butterflies, while following this same theme, pays particular attention to the prisoner herself. It gives her story a voice and allows for a deeper understanding of her perspective. This two-hander is a lovely exploration of not believing everything you hear.

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My Love Lays Frozen in the Ice, Greenwich Theatre

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by Romy Foster

As funky European folk music fills the air, actors buzz about the auditorium during the audience incoming, handing out vodka shots to the audience. Everyone is excited and the atmosphere is electric, setting us up for a feel-good show. Actually, My Love Lays Frozen In The Ice follows Mathilde (Jodie Davey) and her heart-breaking tale of how her finance, brother and friend died many years ago in a tragic accident.

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