Hamlet (an experience), Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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By Laura Kressly

Shakespeare’s audiences were likely to be much more engaged with theatre performances than they are today. Emily Carding far surpasses any Elizabethan or Jacobean audience participation, however. This pared down version of Hamlet by the solo artist requires about half a dozen willing audience members to take on some of the key characters in Shakespeare’s play. The rest of the audience don’t just sit and watch, either – this is a collaborate effort.

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With Child, Soho Theatre

by guest critic Maeve Campbell

Clare Pointing’s With Child isn’t actually about pregnancy. Facing a show that’s billed as six ‘talking heads’ style monologues delivered by six pregnant characters feels dauntingly alienating when you only know or care a little about trimesters or nursing plans. But thankfully, none of these themes are focused too heavily upon in Pointing’s perceptive, nuanced one woman show.

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Emilia, Shakespeare’s Globe

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by guest critic Nastazja Somers

Anger is what I am not allowed to feel.

Most days I wake up, think about the prospect of hiding my anger and dealing with whatever life throws at me, then consider hiding under my duvet. The theatre industry keeps throwing so much shit at women that sometimes the only way we can keep going is by unleashing our rage. Except anger is an emotion often denied to women. So we suppress and suppress and suppress. It’s a vicious circle and it keeps happening. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. My hope of ever witnessing a true revolution for women in theatre began to disappear over the last year – until this show.

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Egg: Richard Pictures, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Egg

by guest critic and photographer Esther Moorton

Egg may be a comedy, but the underlying message behind the sketches is that women are still underrepresented in comedy, in the workplace and are still being objectified. “Hello, my name is Sharon” is the tagline for this show and serves as a reminder that any one of us can be subjected to sexism and objectification.

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Sparks & Cry God for Harry, England and St George!, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Using the word ‘strong’ to describe women and girls is redundant. Putting up with all the trash that women have to deal with as a result of their gender, on top of everything else life throws at them, makes them strong by default. If they are queer, women of colour, disabled, working class, or fall in any other category that others them, this makes them even tougher because life is all the harder.

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Losing My Mindfulness, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Our company is restructuring and every one of us has to reapply for our jobs. Tensions are running high, but don’t worry! Our caring employers have asked one of the HR team to lead us in a Mindfulness workshop to help us cope. The thing is that this workshop leader’s life is falling apart as well, and the skeletons are tumbling out of her closet quicker than she can put them back in.

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