White Pearl, Royal Court

6D29BC21-0F87-4957-8E1B-D92072E730EE

by Laura Kressly

Sometimes writing reviews is easy. Thoughts are fully-formed, and words that convey them easily flow onto the page. Sometimes, it’s the opposite. Writing about complex plays full of culturally sensitive material requires a lot of care and awareness, both of the critic’s position in the world, and their relationship with the content of the play. It’s a reflective, delicate process that isn’t and shouldn’t be easy for those in positions if privilege.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Hotter, Soho Theatre

Image result for hotter soho theatre

by Christina Bulford

How well do you know your inner critic? When you look in the mirror, what does she or he whisper in your ear, or shout loudly in your face? “Too fat! Too skinny! Too jiggly! Not hot enough!” Ell Porter and Mary Higgins have not only listened to these voices, they’ve let them out of their heads and, unabashed, onto the stage – from fat to fitness, men to menopause, dildos to doctor’s surgeries, periods to poo and all the body bits in between. As former lovers they claim to know each other extremely well, inside and out, and go to great lengths to get to the bottom of all this body-business. Pun absolutely intended.

Continue reading

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta, Gate Theatre

by Louis Train

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta is an odd show, odder even than the name promises. Edith Alibec stars as a young Romanian woman, pre-pubescent in the earliest scenes, who grows up in a traveling circus where her mother hangs from the big top by her hair. The play is based on Aglja Veteranyi’s autobiographical novel of the same name.

Continue reading

Funeral Flowers, The Bunker

Image result for bunker theatre, funeral flowers

by Laura Kressly

CW: rape and sexual assault

Making a bouquet of flowers is more than just bunging some random blooms in a vase. It takes care, thoughtfulness, skill and time to craft something beautiful and unique. People need that same sort of care and nurturing too, especially children and teenagers. This high stakes, solo performance shows the pressures that young women encounter daily, and how much they need support to grow and flourish in a world that is out to exploit them.

Continue reading

Wolfie, Theatre503

Image result for wolfie, theatre503

by Laura Kressly

Britain is a nasty, hostile landscape of bureaucracy for children in care. Their lives are at the mercy of under-resourced local councils, overworked social workers and teachers, and a hegemonic class system that sees them as unwelcome, sub-human burdens. The Sharky twins, the heroes of Ross Willis’ “some sort of fairytale”, fight to defy the government’s disregard for the hardship they endure and their odds of survival in this genre-bending, complex critique of the county’s failings to look after those who need it most.

Continue reading

10, Vault Festival

Image result for 10, vault festival

by Laura Kressly

It’s no secret that history has been written by rich white men, and anyone not a rich white man is sidelined in textbooks and scholarship. Though institutions are starting to decolonise and de-centre the narrative that is widely taken as fact, women still aren’t getting the attention they deserve and change is slow. In 10, playwright Lizzie Milton wants to redress the balance. The potted stories of 10 women who have been largely forgotten in the passage of time unfold in choral celebration, serving to both educate and enlighten audiences.

Continue reading

SIX, Arts Theatre

Image result for six, arts theatre

by Hailey Bachrach

SIX knows exactly what it’s doing wrong, which is what makes it so aggravating. After an hour of catty jostling between the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII, who are competing in song to see who had the worst time of it, the show turns around and tries to scold itself for pitting the women against each other. It’s the ultimate in cheap, have-your-cake-and-eat-it moments: get the laughs, then admit they were lazy ones.

Continue reading