An Adventure, Bush Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Jyoti crouches on the floor rearranging five photographs, frowning with much consternation. A man emerges from the storm outside, awkward and in an ill-fitting suit. Jyoti must decide if this is the man whose promises of an adventure in the one who will change her life forever, or if it is to be another. But chose she must, for it’s 1954 in India and her father needs the extra income that will come from marrying off his daughter.

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Leave Taking, Bush Theatre

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

“He wants me to know who I am.”

Sometimes you can question why a theatre has chosen a particular moment to produce a revival of a show. This is not one of those times.

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Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

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Let’s get this out of the way first – does Hamilton live up to the hype? Yes. It’s very good. Though the revolution in the plot doesn’t influence the dramaturgy, that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic show that musically updates the genre and skillfully triggers a spectrum of emotions. It’s simultaneously epic and intimate, staged surprisingly simply with striking, sculptural choreography and utterly engaging throughout.

But this pro-immigration, hip-hop reinvention of the all-American musical about a country gaining independence from a distant, tyrannical overlord resonates rather differently in Brexit Britain than it does in America. Forget the NHS bus – could Hamilton be the new symbol of the Leave campaign?

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Expat Underground, Tristan Bates Theatre

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by guest critic Kudzanayi Chiwawa

Expat Underground tells the story of a modern day Italian migrant, who having ventured to London, the “Shiny Eldorado”, finds herself struggling with the metamorphosis from Italian to British, whilst still remaining Italian – a familiar journey for many who find themselves new in London.

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Double Trouble, Intermission Youth Theatre

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It can be tough to get kids to engage with Shakespeare. Many of them see the foreign-sounding language and old-fashioned stories as irrelevant to the issues they battle as growing up today. Fortunately, Intermission Youth Theatre artistic director Darren Raymond focuses on exploring contemporary themes in Shakespeare’s work with the 16-25s that make up the theatre company and convinces them to love the Bard.

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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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