My Dad’s Gap Year, Park Theatre

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by Louis Train

“Fuck me, these exotic birds are well shaggable!”

…is actually one of the more enlightened lines in Tom Wright’s new play, My Dad’s Gap Year, under the direction of Rikki Beadle-Blair. Part giddy romp and part failed attempt at progressive theatre, Gap Year’s greatest accomplishment is proving that – solidarity be damned! – LGBT art can be thoughtless, regressive, and ignorant.

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Opal Fruits and Dangerous Lenses, Vault Festival

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by Laura Kressly

It’s no secret that the social class system in this country has marginalised the working classes, with women pushed to the absolute fringes of society. To the world outside their immediate circle, sometimes no bigger than the street they live on, they are invisible. Solo shows Opal Fruits and Dangerous Lenses, though radically different in style, seek to change that by centering the working class woman’s experiences and demanding attention for those wilfully forgotten.

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Anomaly, Old Red Lion Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

Even the most powerful of men can fall when society finally decides their actions are no longer excusable. Unfortunately, women have their lives ruined before these men get what they deserve, and the women closest to them have to clean up the mess. Because the patriarchy is so deeply ingrained, women may even be complicit in the abuse that men perpetuate.

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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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Rendezvous in Bratislava, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Nastazja Somers

Born in 1913 in Koscice, Slovakia, Ján Ladislav Kalina was a man of theatre and art. He
lived the bohemian life that young people in Eastern Europe romanticise when they get lost in the works of Milan Kundera. Jan is Miriam’s grandfather, and in many ways his story, is that of my grandfather too. Miriam is a theatre-maker. Rendezvous in Bratislava is her ode to what’s lost and what’s remembered.

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I’m a Phoenix Bitch, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Theatremaker and performance artist Bryony Kimmings hit rock bottom a few years ago. Her relationship was breaking down, her infant son was ill and her mental health was in tatters. To recover from the trauma, her therapist recommended a technique where she replays the traumatic events in her mind like a film. What better way to regularly go through this exercise than perform it every night?

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