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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Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

“We’re not here for your pleasure.” “Consent is hot.” The Fringe Wives Club need some merch with these slogans on. Glittery Clittery has everything you need for a cult feminist disco, plus a labia costume.

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Polaris, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

Val is a concerned, elderly citizen of her community. She believes that if everyone followed the rules on refuse disposal and the agreed schedule for mealtimes, every thing would be peaceful and orderly. She also believes that recent arrivals like Tracy, displaced by natural disasters, aren’t her problem.

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Othello, Shakespeare’s Globe

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By Laura Kressly

Who knew one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies could be funny? Director and composer Claire van Kampen has tapped into a rare rhythm that sees Iago as a weaselly, clownish man lacking power and finesse, yet still manages to twist Othello into knots. Played by Mark Rylance, one of the finest actors of his generation, his performance is the strongest feature of this production.

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Home I’m Darling, National Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Judy loves the 1950s. Nay, she’s obsessed with the era. Frustrated and tired by the demands of modern life, she and her husband Johnny have kitted out their home with authentic fixtures and fittings, and have dedicated themselves to maintaining a ’50s lifestyle. Are they happy living like they did in the good ole’ days, though?

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Metamorphoses 2, Waterloo East Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

There are many reasons why the classics are still read and performed, with their enduring relevance one of them. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a narrative poem containing more than 250 different myths, is a wealth of flexible source material that can easily be updated and applied to modern socio-political landscapes. Here, five different myths are updated by five different playwrights to comment on a range of current topics, from #MeToo to the refugee crisis. Ranging in style and quality, the new writing night is largely well-curated and impactful.

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Power Ballad, Battersea Arts Centre

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By guest critic Amy Toledano

Writing a review for this abstract piece of feminist theatre feels almost unnatural, as Julia Croft’s Power Ballad is one that is completely subjective. And while the piece is not exactly to my own person taste, it is plain to see that this is almost the point. It’s certainly understandable how Croft has taken the Fringe world by storm.

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Three Sisters, Yard Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

British theatre’s slavish reverence for classic texts stifles innovation, resulting in safe, similar productions of the same collection of canonical works. This attitude needs to be challenged, and RashDash’s Three Sisters proves they’re the company to do it. Their female-centred, millennial take on Chekhov’s story of three women trapped in the Russian countryside pining for their old lives in Moscow is a gloriously irreverent and refreshing interpretation.

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