Cuckoo, Soho Theatre

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By Amy Toledano

Cuckoo by Lisa Carroll has all the elements of a wonderful coming-of-age story. Set in a small Irish town, this play packs many a punch, giving us a raw look at what it means to not fit in, to feel lonely in your hometown and how as a teenager, the need to be liked can seem more important than anything else.

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Lands, Bush Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

A woman sits at a drawing table analysing jigsaw puzzle pieces under an anglepoise lamp. On the other side of the stage, another woman rhythmically bounces on a small trampoline. What starts off as just another post-narrative, young theatre piece becomes a satisfyingly layered work questioning subjects as wide-ranging as ableism, friendship and polarising opinions. 

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Drip Feed, Soho Theatre

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by Maeve Campbell

Karen Cogan begins her one-woman show floppy and lifeless looking, slumped over a grubby sofa bed. This is an uncomfortable image to pre-show chat in front of and it sets the mood for the proceeding work. Drip Feed is Brenda’s story, a ‘youngish’ queer woman living in Cork, inhabited by insular, parochial and judgemental residents. Brenda, though, is ‘part of the furniture’ of the city, but seems both in love with and restricted by it.

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I Am of Ireland, Old Red Lion Theatre

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by guest critic Meredith Jones Russell

A buoyant cast enters singing their hearts out to “Ireland’s Call”. They are dressed as a variety of Irish stereotypes: a man in a balaclava, a priest, Miss Ireland, an Orangeman, a rugby fan. Caricatures, certainly, but there’s a lot of energy, and the suggestion we might see some of these clichés unpacked and explored.

Then, suddenly, we seem to be in a completely different play. I Am of Ireland, an examination of the complexities and divisions of recent Irish history up to the present day, provides short monologues and scenes focusing on an entirely different set of characters, with a markedly different tone. Continue reading

Translations, National Theatre

National Theatre

By Laura Kressly

Mud covers the Olivier stage. It’s dark, nearly black, thick and peaty. The ‘emerald’ part of the Emerald Isle is pointedly absent. The muck’s heavy and pervasive, working its way into every crevice of the rural hedge school where students of all ages learn Latin and Greek. They don’t mind the mud. But the British soldiers that come with their imposing colonisation, also working its way into nook and cranny? That’s where the villagers take issue.

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Yokes Night, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by Laura Kressly

Yokes (n.): Irish slang for ecstasy pills

In March 2015, a governmental gaff meant that for one night only, all drugs were legal. The good people of Ireland duly took advantage of this accidental loophole, leading to a night of glorious mess and the inevitable disappointment that comes from overinflated expectations. Two people, Saoirse and Harry, fall out with their friends and connect with each other during the glorious chaos in this sweet yet predictable story.

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Stud & If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Gregory Forrest

There are no openly gay male professional footballers currently working in Britain. Of course, there are almost definitely gay male professional footballers currently working in Britain, but the prospect of coming out in a sport well known for its chanting crowds and tabloid-splashing players is a daunting one. Paloma Oakenfold’s new play Stud tackles this issue head on.

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