Tryst, Vault Festival

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by Meredith Jones Russell

It’s a week until Matt and Steph’s wedding and they’re hungover. They want to be playing computer games on the sofa but instead they are having to field calls from Steph’s mum, arrange Matt’s suit and make big decisions about bunting.

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Play Two, Tristan Bates Theatre

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By an anonymous guest critic

As the audience enters the small studio space, we see a young man scribbling animatedly on a legal pad. Whether he’s mentally troubled or just in an intense creative state, we’re not sure. The mystery of this young man named Trevor (played by the play’s author Scott Howland) unravels over the course of the next hour in this new production directed by Harriet Taylor.

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Velvet, Vault Festival

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by Gregory Forrest

A red velvet chaise-lounge is a telling symbol. Positioned in the middle of the stage, the piece of furniture manages to evokes tacky luxury, softcore porn, and casting couch culture all at once. It is just one example of how smart Tom Ratcliffe’s one man show Velvet is.

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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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