The Art of Gaman, Theatre503

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by Laura Kressly

Tomomi stands on the prow of a ship with arms flung open, ready to embrace a new life as a Hollywood actress. There’s something of Kate Winslet in Titanic about her unfaltering determination and hope – and that seminal pose, of course. When an older man disturbs her quiet reflection on the fish feeding below the water’s surface and her need for acting compared to their need for water, her destiny is forever altered.

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It Happened in Key West, Charing Cross Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

In 1930s Key West, German x-ray technician Carl Tanzler harbours an obsession for a local woman dying of Tuberculosis. Claiming to have nine degrees and access to technology that will cure her, he lavishes her with gifts and dubious treatments though the married woman never returns his affections. When she inevitably dies, he pays for the construction a mausoleum for her. Not content with this tribute, two years after her death he steals her remains and lives with them as his wife for seven years before being discovered.

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Blueberry Toast, Soho Theatre

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by an anonymous guest critic

We open on a stereotypical, modern American kitchen where wife Barb (Gala Gordon) is busying herself. When her husband Walt (Gareth David-Lloyd) comes down for breakfast, she attempts to make him something extra special: blueberry toast. Walt refuses the dish, insisting that he never asked for it and that what he really wanted was blueberry pancakes.

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The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Men are immature and women are cruel.

With this damning premise, D H Lawrence condemns straight couples to lives of vengeful misery. Minnie and Luther are newlyweds, but the cold viciousness of married life has already sunk its claws in. Both feel trapped. Luther’s lack of ambition to progress in his job down the coal pits winds up Millie, who just wants him to love her as much as he loves his mother.

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Coconut, Ovalhouse

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

Rumi (Kuran Dohil) is a Muslim atheist, having to hide huge chunks of her life from her family. Including her new, white, non-Muslim boyfriend, Simon. What could possibly go wrong?

Coconut is one of those plays where each person who watches it will take away or resonate with something different, for me it was the role religion plays in our lives.

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Pericles Prince de Tyr, Barbican

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by Laura Kressly

Flawless royal blue walls reminiscent of the sea surround an unresponsive, middle aged man lying in a hospital bed. Nurses and a doctor flit in an out, efficiently checking vitals and holding quick, whispered conversations with waiting family. This is Pericles, physically and mentally buffeted by a life of grief and tragedy, but this is not quite the story of Pericles that Shakespeare and Wilkins co-wrote. Translated into French and then adapted, Cheek by Jowl here present a man in poor physical and mental health trapped inside his head, in a world composed either of memories or the figments of his imagination.

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The Wedding Room, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Even though I grew up in Catalonia, my reference of  weddings come from watching American romcoms and attending two weddings in England. Despite the fact that I am a hopeless romantic, I feel this tradition is closer to resembling a funfair than a spiritual ceremony and frankly, makes me cringe. Maybe this play was trying to raise this issue. Maybe not.

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