Cruel Intentions: The Musical, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Does the world need a musical version of 1999 American teen flick Cruel Intentions? Probably not, but by God it’s entertaining.

Packing out the Underbelly’s Palais du Variete, this is closer to rock concert than musical. The mainly millennial audience is practically word perfect on both the script, which has been cut for length but otherwise largely unaltered from the screenplay, and the ‘00s hits that are peppered through the plot, often with the flimsiest justification.

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Drag Becomes Her, Soho Theatre

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by Maeve Campbell

Drag auteur Peaches Christ has made their name as an adaptor of cult movies, directing the great and good of Ru-Paul’s Drag Race in leading roles. Drag Becomes Her stars charming long-term collaborator Jinx Monsoon and the ‘terminally delightful’ Ben DeLaCreme in the Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn film roles. What results is a raucous hour and half-long mess of a show, that’s both stressful and exciting to watch.

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Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist, Vault Festival

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By Meredith Jones Russell

Idiosyncratic, eccentric, fearless and alien-like are just a few of the descriptors a rudimentary Google search of Tilda Swinton will throw up. Based on these, Byron Lane’s Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist has absolutely captured the essence of an icon. It has undoubtedly created a new one, too.

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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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Elephant and Castle, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Jack Solloway

Elephant and Castle is a strange and precariously funny gig-theatre show about the lives of Lillian Henley, a musician and silent film pianist, and her teeth-grinding somnambulist husband, Tom Adams. Whilst this may sound a little far-fetched, the play is very much rooted in the performers’ own experiences. Acting out their relationship, using live music and verbatim sleep recordings, Elephant and Castle dramatizes the bizarre reality of Tom’s slow-wave sleep parasomnia and his relationship with Lillian.

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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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Finishing the Picture, Finborough Theatre

by an anonymous guest critic

An insight into the stark realities of the film industry, the Finborough Theatre’s production of Finishing the Picture is a perfect mix of grit and comedy. Loosely based on Arthur Miller’s then-wife Marilyn Monroe’s experience filming The Misfits  in 1961, this is the play’s first European premiere and is harrowingly apt in a era of #MeToo allegations.

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