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.
Here’s a slice of history from Out of the Forest Theatre, set during World War Two. It follows the story of King Boris the Third, who allied with Nazi Germany for geopolitical reasons, but wanted to keep Bulgaria out of the fighting and his Jewish citizens safe as much as possible. This story is told with the use of dramatic recreations of what we are told are true events, with Bulgarian Folk tunes peppered throughout the performance.
Spies Like Us Theatre have returned for one week with their award-winning show from 2017’s Edinburgh Fringe. A five-person adaptation of the Graham Greene satirical novel, this one-hour show follows the story of a local vacuum cleaner salesman pushed into working as a spy for MI6 in Cuba, Havana.
BIG is a fun, tongue-in-cheek look at society’s relationship with food, how we are perceived by others and our growing issues with mental health. This production seems to be in the early stages of its development, but with the correct support, has the potential to become a hilarious piece of theatre with a powerful commentary on dieting, wellbeing and celebrity culture – topics that are ever growing in importance and with impact on young people, and society more widely.
Six young actors, maybe friends or maybe strangers, are stuck. They greet us when we enter and they are kind, but they do look a bit lost. They take turns to share important memories from their childhood, which sometimes fall out as fairytales or pop songs. Fragments of innocent childhoods which have slipped through fingers.
As I stand to leave, my foot lands on something soft as it squashes into the ground. I pick up my shoe to see a glistening, pink strawberry, now jam, on the floor. That’s a shame, I think to myself. I could have eaten that.
Yes, this is my first time in Dingle – no, I’ve not been out on the peninsula yet and yes, I’ll make sure to say hello to Fungie. The next thing I know we’re splitting a bag of Taytos with the row in front and cheering along to a traditional song that has risen up. And the play hasn’t even started yet.
Croydon’s Fairfield Halls re-opened to much fanfare this year, and their traditional pantomime – with all the glitz, glamour and gags that you’d expect – is ramped up with Disney-quality animations, LED screens and special effects. Though all the problematic elements of panto are still there – like heteronormativity, misogyny, and narrow gender roles – this production showcase the capabilities of tech within what is now a conservative form.