Die or Run, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

It’s the 1980s. Big hair, shoulder pads and synth-pop provide a backdrop for Margaret Thatcher’s advocacy of the individual instead of a collective society. This results in a country that loves to go out dancing, but when crisis hits, people find themselves isolated and overwhelmed. Denise’s journey from cheerful disco queen to depressed carer unfolds through a fragmented monologue of nostalgia, song lyrics and sound-bites. 

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Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina?, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Bea wants to get drunk and get laid, as often as possible and with no strings attached, but she has a problem. Whenever anything tries to enter her vagina, it hurts. A lot. It’s like her vagina closes up and throws a tantrum about the probing finger, penis or sex toy, and it’s ruining Bea’s life. In Ella Langley’s tentative but hopeful new play on living with and overcoming Vaginismus, Bea’s vagina is suitably personified and Bea must get Vag to trust her again.

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Crystal Clear, Old Red Lion

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by Laura Kressly

Richard is an art dealer living a Bohemian life in the early 1980s – his London bedsit is cluttered with quirky finds from Portobello Market, he fills his time with music, wine and women. When years of not taking care of himself eventually take their toll on his body, writer Phil Young wants us to feel sorry for Richard but his misogynistic and abusive behaviour in this 1982 play makes this difficult to achieve.

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Lunatic 19’s, Finborough Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

As ICE parasitically invade peaceful American neighbourhoods and imprisons people in concentration camps, the country’s president spaffs racism from his twitter feed and white supremacists take to the streets. Life for immigrants in the US, documented or not, is terrifying right now and Tegan McLeod’s “deportational road trip”, certainly proves this. Though immigration control and the human face it takes on here is horrifying, McLeod’s script never quite settles on the narrative she wants to tell.

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Elephant in the Room, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

What’s your anxiety like? For Michael, he feels stuck to the spot, unable to force himself to keep walking or to get out bed, or put on his hoodie. He knows he needs help but when he tries to discuss his worries with his friends, he is laughed at, brushed off or told to toughen up. Lost and alone, his struggles are captured in this physical, solo performance that gives a detailed perspective on the helplessness, expectations and daily struggles of a man struggling with mental health issues.

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Gilded Butterflies, Hope Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

There have been several different mediums focusing on the story of the female prisoner, especially from the US and Gilded Butterflies, while following this same theme, pays particular attention to the prisoner herself. It gives her story a voice and allows for a deeper understanding of her perspective. This two-hander is a lovely exploration of not believing everything you hear.

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Baby, Drayton Arms Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Baby by MKEC Productions follows a year in the life of three couples as they experience the world of childbirth, from their struggles with conception, to difficulties in their relationships and within themselves as individuals. This talented cast does their best with this dated book and ideas, and attempts to bring the 1983 Broadway hit into the 21st century.

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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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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Of New York City, Finborough Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Although this show has an incredibly long title, it is the only thing about it that feels drawn out. This comedy about a cancer ward in New York city is a touching tale of unlikely friendship and the broken relationships and the ways in which we forgive in the face of tragedy.

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