by guest critic Amy Toledano
This tour-de-force of a show is a love letter to the last of the East End geezers and birds alike who, just like everybody else, want to live their lives the way they please, free from societal pressure and judgement. Written, directed and performed by the brilliant Elliot Warren and Olivia Brady, the story has been brought to life through many a real life experience, as they detail the grit, violence and love they dish out and take in everyday.
by guest critic Joanna Trainor
There is something magical about watching this open air production of The Tempest in the gardens at the Actors’ Church. Sun going down, wind whistling through the trees – it is such a beautiful setting and the lighting and sound design by Benjamin Polya and Filipe Gomes respectively set the mood perfectly. Actually, the performance itself could have done with a little more actual magic*, not that we don’t appreciate a good coin being pulled from behind someone’s ear trick.
by an anonymous guest critic
An insight into the stark realities of the film industry, the Finborough Theatre’s production of Finishing the Picture is a perfect mix of grit and comedy. Loosely based on Arthur Miller’s then-wife Marilyn Monroe’s experience filming The Misfits in 1961, this is the play’s first European premiere and is harrowingly apt in a era of #MeToo allegations.
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
by guest critic Maeve Campbell
Heading home from the Soho Theatre after watching Justin Hopper’s Flutter, it was striking to see crowds of people, mainly men, congregate outside the huge Hippodrome Casino that faces Leicester Square station. The detailed interior of the Grosvenor betting shop, immaculately imagined in the Soho upstairs space, had impressed, but felt rather distant from the location of the playing space. Now facing these worshippers to the church of gambling, it seems such snobberies were ignorantly informed. The play’s press describes it as “a love-letter to the high street bookies”. This love is a dark one though, rapidly told in this hour and a half melodrama.
Paul (Chris Polick) is a London property developer. He’s a smooth talker and wears impeccably cut, expensive looking suits. He goes to exclusive chillouts where he takes pills and fucks men he doesn’t know. He’s waiting for the clinic to phone.
Wendy’s (Sarah Malin) an art therapist for a few different charities. She’s a liberal activist, and works with homeless people when budgets allow. She and her boyfriend Dave have just split up so moved out and has no where to go. With luggage in tow and work in the morning, she’s reached the end of the line.
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.