Play Two, Tristan Bates Theatre

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By an anonymous guest critic

As the audience enters the small studio space, we see a young man scribbling animatedly on a legal pad. Whether he’s mentally troubled or just in an intense creative state, we’re not sure. The mystery of this young man named Trevor (played by the play’s author Scott Howland) unravels over the course of the next hour in this new production directed by Harriet Taylor.

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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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Gilded Butterflies, Hope Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

There have been several different mediums focusing on the story of the female prisoner, especially from the US and Gilded Butterflies, while following this same theme, pays particular attention to the prisoner herself. It gives her story a voice and allows for a deeper understanding of her perspective. This two-hander is a lovely exploration of not believing everything you hear.

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My Love Lays Frozen in the Ice, Greenwich Theatre

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by Romy Foster

As funky European folk music fills the air, actors buzz about the auditorium during the audience incoming, handing out vodka shots to the audience. Everyone is excited and the atmosphere is electric, setting us up for a feel-good show. Actually, My Love Lays Frozen In The Ice follows Mathilde (Jodie Davey) and her heart-breaking tale of how her finance, brother and friend died many years ago in a tragic accident.

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Tiger Under the Skin, Bloomsbury Theatre

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by Romy Foster

“Calm yourself down, clench and breathe…” Tom utters to himself as he paces through a tube carriage, trying to keep a nervous shit within the safety of his bowels. Tiger Under The Skin is his one-man play based on his own life experiences living with a sudden bout of anxiety and panic attacks at the beginning of this year.

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I’m a Phoenix Bitch, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Theatremaker and performance artist Bryony Kimmings hit rock bottom a few years ago. Her relationship was breaking down, her infant son was ill and her mental health was in tatters. To recover from the trauma, her therapist recommended a technique where she replays the traumatic events in her mind like a film. What better way to regularly go through this exercise than perform it every night?

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Flies, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Theatre doesn’t need another all-white, all-male absurdist production ridiculing vulnerable people. Whilst fun in its staging and innovative in its storytelling, Flies lazily exploits cishet, male power dynamics in a Kafka-esque nightmare for fly-phobic Dennis whilst exploiting systemic, patriarchal structures to make him even more of a victim.

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