The Ice Cream Boys, Jermyn Street Theatre

Image result for the ice cream boys, jermyn street theatre

by Laura Kressly

Jacob Zuma, the retired president of South Africa, is in hospital for some tests. On checking into his room he discovers his nemesis, former Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, in the room opposite. The two men have a long and complex history that unfolds over the course of Gail Louw’s play as a dialogue-driven wrestling match. Though their relationship has plenty of material to fuel discussions and augments about revolution, women, race and South Africa’s history, the plot meanders through topics rather than telling a cohesive story. Strong performances make this an engaging production minute-by-minute, but the overall result is not satisfying.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Eigengrau, Waterloo East Theatre

Katie Buchholz and Callum Sharp in Eigengrau at the Waterloo East Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Penelope Skinner’s 2010 play feels like it’s bursting at the seams with damaged – and damaging – people, but there’s only four of them. Cassie works for a feminist charity and can barely contain her rage against the patriarchy. Her flatmate Rose believes in fairies, numerology and fate but is less concerned with holding down a job and paying rent. Mark owns a flat in Chiswick, works in marketing and is capable of extraordinarily disgusting misogyny and casual homophobia. Then there’s his flatmate Tim, a uni mate who wants to be a carer and is grieving the recent death of his grandmother. The combination of these four personalities could easily lend itself to sitcom-type comedy, but instead they create a perfect storm of dramatic chaos after Rose and Mark start sleeping together.

Continue reading

Fiver, Southwark Playhouse

Image result for fiver the musical

by Amy Toledano

Do you ever think about where your cash goes once it has been handed over to the cashier? How many hands does a five pound note pass through before it gets to you? And what should you do if you see a fiver on the ground? Do you pick it up and keep it for yourself or see if the owner is nearby? These are the questions that Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees, the creators of new musical Fiver explore in their show.

Continue reading

The Glass Menagerie, Arcola Theatre

A12F78F0-DFBF-4F5C-AD3A-66E0CDCEF326

By Laura Kressly

In 1930s St Louis, Missouri, housing laws ensured black people and white people lived in separate neighbourhoods. Racial inequality was rife and the city as a whole, like the rest of the US, was suffering the effects of the Great Depression. The Wingfield family are no different – living in a tenement apartment, Amanda and her grown children, Tom and Laura, struggle to make ends meet. Stress, worry and resentment drives wedges between them, creating a tension stoked by Tennessee William’s exquisite language. In this production directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, the Wingfields are black, so their dreams and aspirations are all the more devastatingly unreachable when contexualised by the segregation of the day.

Continue reading

Digging Deep, Vault Festival

Image result for digging deep, vault festival

by Laura Kressly

CW: suicide and self-harm

Mossy is only 22 but he’s tired of life. He can’t shake the feeling that there’s nothing more than this, so the best option is to call it a day and kill himself. His only concern is that his mum won’t be able to afford his funeral, so he convinces his reluctant mates to launch a fundraising campaign before he goes. Touching on toxic masculinity, male friendship, euthanasia and voyeuristic media consumption, this new script has some clumsy writing but the themes that propel the action forward to a surprising end smartly support the story of friendship.

Continue reading

The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, Camden People’s Theatre

Image result for the ex-boyfriend yard sale, Hayley mcgee

by Laura Kressly

I contemplate a ratty t-shirt displayed on a podium alongside several other seemingly random items. I’m asked to write down how much I would pay for it. Determining it’s not something I’d wear or have any other use for, I wrote £0 on a slip of paper that I slid into a box behind it.

Continue reading

Losing My Mindfulness, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Image result for losing my mindfulness, barnstaple

by Laura Kressly

Our company is restructuring and every one of us has to reapply for our jobs. Tensions are running high, but don’t worry! Our caring employers have asked one of the HR team to lead us in a Mindfulness workshop to help us cope. The thing is that this workshop leader’s life is falling apart as well, and the skeletons are tumbling out of her closet quicker than she can put them back in.

Continue reading