Burke and Hare, Jermyn Street Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

A story of two men who murder people in order to sell their corpses to doctors in 1820s Edinburgh shouldn’t work as a dark character comedy with music. But largely work it does and this three-hander, though somewhat structurally clumsy, is a good alternative to more typical Christmas theatre.

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War with the Newts, Bunker Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

In post-Brexit Britain, the oyster industry struggles. Work is hard and profits are low. But when oyster harvester Captain von Toch sees mysterious images on the ship’s sonar and discovers a new creature that can quickly be taught fine motor skills, he revitalises his business and changes the course of the human race’s destiny.

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Woman of the Year, The Space

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by Amy Toledano

Anna Nicholson’s Woman of the Year is a comedy cabaret that hits all the solo show marks. Incredibly high energy, brilliantly timed with some lovely audience banter and a charming concept, this is a show that brings together all the elements that make character sketch comedy great.

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Hamlet (an experience), Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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By Laura Kressly

Shakespeare’s audiences were likely to be much more engaged with theatre performances than they are today. Emily Carding far surpasses any Elizabethan or Jacobean audience participation, however. This pared down version of Hamlet by the solo artist requires about half a dozen willing audience members to take on some of the key characters in Shakespeare’s play. The rest of the audience don’t just sit and watch, either – this is a collaborate effort.

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Quiz, Noel Coward Theatre

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by guest critic Gregory Forrest

On 10 September 2001 – the last day of a different time – Army Major Charles Ingram  won the jackpot of ITV’s ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ In the days that followed, the Twin Towers fell and producers of the quiz show made their case against the Major, his wife, and a coughing contestant who supposedly cheated their way to the million pound cheque. As one character observes, take a step back and the whole story sounds too silly to be true. Which is precisely why West-End regular playwright James Graham picks it up.

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Trainspotting Live, Vaults

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by Laura Kressly

Two men pelting it down Princes Street in Edinburgh as a voiceover lists the goals of typical adult life – big tellys, cars, careers – is one of the most iconic moments in British cinema. Ranked tenth by the BFI in its 1999 evaluation of best British films, Trainspotting has left an indelible mark on popular culture.

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