Balaklava Blues, Vault Festival

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by Laura Kressly

In 2014, Mark and Marichka Marczyk met in Kyiv as protesters fighting against the Ukraine’s corrupt government. As riot police marched against citizens standing up to their rulers, the pair fell in love.

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The Half Moon Shania, VAULT Festival

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By Joanna Trainor

Jill, Lola and Ketamine Kerry are on the precipice of greatness. Tonight will change their lives forever; a representative from Diamond Records is coming to see the G Stringz play at the Half Moon pub. If he likes them the band will be signed on the spot. That’s a lot of pressure for 18-year-olds, but these kick-ass women have got it covered. They will not apologise for the space they take up, and their songs are feminist anthems, surely they’ve got this in the bag.

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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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Poet in da Corner, Royal Court

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by Laura Kressly

At the start of the millennium, Deborah is a teenager living on the edge of East London with her silent father and zealous Mormon mother. She feels suffocated by religion when she starts secondary school. But as she gets stuck into this new world, she meets Vyper and discovers Dizzee Rascal. Once her mind and her talent are unlocked by these two forces, her life is irrevocably changed for better and worse.

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2nd Coming. Again., Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Carl and Jason, like many millennials, are special. Or rather, they’ve been told they are in their formative years. The two have grown up clinging to that knowledge as the world has bombarded them with rubbish. When they each receive a mysterious leaflet telling them they’re the chosen one, they both buy it without question.

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The Lost Boy Peter Pan, Pleasance Theatre

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Think of your favourite stories as a young child. What did they have in common? Adventure. Youth. Fantasy. Foreign lands. Probably at least one good fight. Stories like Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island and Peter Pan are still popular, and for good reason. They’re compelling, well told stories.

But as a proud killjoy feminist, returning to these childhood favourites as an adult has proved troublesome. Action to the Word’s fairly solid reinvention of Peter Pan for seven actor-musicians is a fun, inventive adventure story that stays close to the original.

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Snow White and Rose Red, Battersea Arts Centre

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Battersea Arts Centre’s family Christmas show for people aged 5 and up is far from the Disney version of Snow White. The children’s show by RashDash, creators of naked, feminist, Edinburgh hit Two Man Show, is also far from conventional kids’ theatre. Combining their woman-led, political ethos with the use of live music, the company reclaims femininity and appropriates the traditionally patriarchal adventure of fairytales in this spirited show for all ages.

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