All’s Well That Ends Well, Royal Shakespeare Theatre

by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Although often deemed a ‘problem play’, All’s Well That Ends Well can also be said to be progressive. Our heroine gets a lot of stage time, soliloquies and – for want of a better word – sass.

And yet, some of the characters are lacking. We may never know why Shakespeare chose to write them as he did, but (and perhaps because we are not 100% sure of the final play) the idea that Helen and Bertram live ‘happily ever after’ because she’s carrying his child is a bit ridiculous.

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This Is Paradise, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

Kate is a 30-something woman in Belfast expecting her first child with her husband, Brendy. At the same time, Northern Ireland and its political parties have announced that peace is finally coming. Though Kate and her country should be looking forward, she is troubled by recurring abdominal pain and memories from her past that threaten the peace she has made for herself.

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Relatively Speaking, Jermyn Street Theatre

Relatively Speaking – Jermyn Street Theatre, London - The Reviews Hub

by Zahid Fayyaz

This is the first show in the Jermyn Street Theatre’s Encounters season, and they have certainly started it off on a high note. This is a production of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s first plays from 1965, a comedy and farce set around the misunderstandings between two couples. It begins when Greg, keen to propose to his new girlfriend Ginny, decides to travel down to ask her parents for permission, having gleaned their address from a cigarette packet in Ginny’s flat. However, the couple at the address, Phillip and Sheila, are not Ginny’s parents, but Greg fails to cotton onto this – hence the comedic miscommunications.

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How We Love, VAULT Festival

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by Dora Bodrogi

“But it’s getting better, right?”

This is the question I get the most often when I mention institutionalised homophobia in a country I’ve left, Hungary. And it’s not so bad there in this regard, they ‘only’ have a ban on marriage equality, same-sex joint adoption, and Gender Studies. After all, a Pride march isn’t the same without skinheads booing from the cordons, and pulling out of Eurovision because it doesn’t agree with traditional national values (read: because it’s too gay). It could be worse.

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Jollof Wars, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

The play opens with three, young lads playing games. As it reaches dinner time they begin to debate whose country’s food is better: Jamaica, Cameroon or Ghana? This is the basis of Jollof Wars – an argument between two families that will see relationships broken and mended. Focusing on the engagement of a Ghanaian man to a Nigerian woman, Jollof Wars gives a witty yet poignant insight into how culture influences our choices, and in turn impacts the rest of our lives.

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Scenes With Girls, Royal Court

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by Laura Kressly

Lou and Tosh aren’t long out of uni. They’re housemates and best friends who share everything with each other, including their rejection of society’s expectation of young women to want a serious, monogamous relationship with a man. However, their opposing approaches cause some friction between them, people grow and change, and friendships between girls and women are extremely complex, so the feminist utopia they’re trying to create may not be as perfect as they hope.

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Out of Sorts, Theatre503

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by Laura Kressly

Zara lives with Alice, her best friend from uni. They work for the same law firm and party with the same friends, but their similarities largely end there. Alice is white and from a wealthy family, whereas Zara’s parents are working class, Muslim refugees from the Middle East. The class and race differences between the two women add to the increasing pressure on Zara to live up to the opposing ideals of the two cultures she inhabits, making her feel out of place in both. But how long can she keep up this balancing act before the strain becomes too much to manage?

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