A State of Mind, King’s Head Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Billie has been around. Now in her 60s, she reflects on a life filled with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. But it’s not always been carefree – looking after her dying mother, dysfunctional relationships and a lack of parental support system meant that from her teen years she largely had to find her own way. Though she grew up in the age of free love, she also saw its dark underbelly and wants to share what she’s learnt along the way.

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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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Albatross, Gate Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

There aren’t many writers who conjure stories the way Isley Lynn can. Her innate instinct for achingly human characters in situations rarely – if ever – seen on stage sets her well apart from most young playwrights. Her oeuvre includes Skin a Cat, a hilarious and necessary story of a young woman navigating dating and sex whilst unable to be vaginally penetrated, and Tether, the journey of a blind woman and her guide training for a marathon. These intimate stories leave a huge impact when set on stage, their echoes long reverberating with her audiences.

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Yokes Night, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by Laura Kressly

Yokes (n.): Irish slang for ecstasy pills

In March 2015, a governmental gaff meant that for one night only, all drugs were legal. The good people of Ireland duly took advantage of this accidental loophole, leading to a night of glorious mess and the inevitable disappointment that comes from overinflated expectations. Two people, Saoirse and Harry, fall out with their friends and connect with each other during the glorious chaos in this sweet yet predictable story.

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Trainspotting Live, Vaults

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by Laura Kressly

Two men pelting it down Princes Street in Edinburgh as a voiceover lists the goals of typical adult life – big tellys, cars, careers – is one of the most iconic moments in British cinema. Ranked tenth by the BFI in its 1999 evaluation of best British films, Trainspotting has left an indelible mark on popular culture.

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Stardust, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

There’s political theatre, and then there’s Stardust.

Arguably the most visually stunning piece to come to the VAULT Festival this year, Blackboard Theatre combine movement, out-of-this-world animations and the power of words to expose the dark world of the Columbian cocaine industry.

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