Madonna or Whore?, VAULT Festival

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by guest reviewer Daphne Penn

Holly Morgan and Tom Moores create an upbeat, haphazardous cabaret sketch show that is loosely based on the daytime TV show Ready Steady Cook’s audience participation in order to judge important controversial women from history. Well, not all the women, not Madonna because ‘She’s too perfect to judge’ – in much the same way the TV show audience judges food.

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Jamie Saves the World 2: Save Harder, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Amy Toledano

Everyone loves a sequel right? Well…. Even if you don’t, Jamie Saves the World 2: Save Harder will have you laughing yourself silly and soon have you forgetting whether you even saw the original.

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The Grift, Bethnal Green Town Hall

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by guest critic Tom Brocklehurst

On arrival at Bethnal Green Town Hall, we are split into groups, given a key each, and then given the opening spiel. Ben, a secret love child of Michael Caine and Marilyn Monroe, was raised by the hotel staff in the 60s at the behest of its owner to save the stars from a scandal.

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Instructions for Border Crossing, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Human instinct to categorise and label everything and everyone extends to drawing boundaries and borders around bits of land, dividing the world up into distinct nations with names and cultural features. They’re arbitrary really, and Daniel Bye channels obscure, near-mythical performance artist Edward Shorter to challenge them.

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Double Double Act, Unicorn Theatre

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What happens when two experimental performance artists join forces with a few kids to make a kids’ show? Utterly delightful, if messy, madness. 1990s Nickelodeon is a clear influence, as are fart jokes, poo, time bending and parallel universes. An attempt at education intrudes near the end, but otherwise the script is a joyful, jokey celebration of all things silly and gross. There are moments, particularly in the beginning, that are a touch too self-serving for a show pitched to children, but there’s plenty of slapsticky fun for adults and young people alike.

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Killology, Royal Court

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I have a fairly robust constitution and am not particularly squeamish, but Gary Owen’s latest had me trying not to be sick on Meg Vaughan’s bag on my right, or the empty seats to my left and in front of me. They were empty because some people walked out in the first half, and others didn’t return after the interval. That’s not to say Killology isn’t brilliant – it absolutely is. But the brutal story about fractured father/son relationships, toxic masculinity and revenge is bloody hard to watch.

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