Anansi the Spider, Unicorn Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

They say that a long time ago animals could talk, just like people do now. Anansi the spider was the smartest of all these ancient creatures, and used his intelligence for all sorts of nefarious aims. His legacy of scheming lives on as a collection of stories from West Africa to the Caribbean. This new production presents three of them where the mythical trickster isn’t always the nicest, but directed by Artistic Director Justin Audibert for 4-7 year-olds, they are engaging morality tales with music, interaction and excellent performances.

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Chiaroscuro, Bush Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Beth, Opal, Aisha and Yomi are working-class women of colour. They’re busy with dates, dinner parties, and games of pool at their local, over which they bond, confide and fight. Their stories are punctuated by soulful songs providing further insight into their fears, insecurities and loves. These women could easily be young Londoners today – but Jackie Kay’s gig-theatre show was written in 1986. This relevant, moving production addressing issues of sexuality and identity, and centered on characters that are often left out of theatrical narratives, is a vital and vibrant contribution to contemporary theatre.

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She Sells Sea Shells, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Mary Anning was a working class fossil hunter from Lyme Regis. She and her dad would sell their finds to the posh, Victorian collectors who wanted to horde artefacts without digging them out of the cliffs themselves. She became known as one of the best fossil hunters in the country, but her discoveries of new dinosaur species and their impact on science were, of course, attributed to wealthy men.  Now, about 200 years later, Mary’s tired of being ignored – so she hijacks a lecture about her work.

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Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina?, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Bea wants to get drunk and get laid, as often as possible and with no strings attached, but she has a problem. Whenever anything tries to enter her vagina, it hurts. A lot. It’s like her vagina closes up and throws a tantrum about the probing finger, penis or sex toy, and it’s ruining Bea’s life. In Ella Langley’s tentative but hopeful new play on living with and overcoming Vaginismus, Bea’s vagina is suitably personified and Bea must get Vag to trust her again.

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Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Royal Court

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by Romy Foster

Kylie Jenner has just been announced as the world’s first ‘self-made billionaire’ and Cleo is VEX. Feeling this is undeserved, she has launched a tirade of tweets from her anonymous Twitter account @Incognegro about how to kill a social media entrepreneur or, as Cleo thinks of her, a ‘con artist-cum-provocateur’. She is now shut in her bedroom receiving persistent whatsapps from best friend Kara, who is worried about Cleo’s online rant.

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Exceptional Promise, Bush Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

1. What is ‘Exceptional Promise’?
a. Another name for a UK Tier 1 visa
b. An interactive game show-slash-performance piece
c. A critique of the cesspit that is London’s housing market
d. All of the above

If you answered ‘D’, then you win! You’re one step closer to getting the keys to your dream house. But first – you need to survive the rest of the rounds and beat your other two opponents, otherwise you’re doomed to dodgy landlords and housemates forever.

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Woke, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

After graduating from City College of New York in the 1960s, Assata Shakur joined the Black Panther Party. In 2014, after enrolling at Washington University in St Louis weeks after unarmed teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer in the same city, Ambrosia starts going to Black Lives Matter rallies. Moved by injustice decades apart, the two Black women are subjected to systemic racism and violence in their pursuit of freedom. Apphia Campbell performs them both, embodying their passion and anger through storytelling and song, in this lightning-strike of a show.

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