by guest critic Susannah Martin
Songs for a New World, Parade, The Bridges of Madison County and The Last 5 Years – these are a just a handful of the musicals penned by composer Jason Robert Brown, and just few of the treats that were peppered amongst his packed-out, one-off concert at the London Palladium. A pre-recorded concert for BBC Radio 2’s ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’, Brown’s layered evening catered to theatre fans and music lovers alike.
by guest critic Amy Toledano
The political climate of 1990’s America may be something the world has largely forgotten, but playwright Kevin Armento certainly has no issue in reminding us of one of the country’s most memorable sex scandals. In his audacious new play Devil With The Blue Dress, Armento examines five women’s accounts leading up to – and resulting in – President Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. From the moment you set foot in the Bunker, you cannot help but be transported into what feels like the smoky underworld of dirty politics. This sensation can only be helped by saxophonist, and lone instrumentalist of the show, Tashomi Balfour, who underscores the entire piece with his smooth and often haunting melodies.
by guest critic Kudzanayi Chiwawa
If you’ve not been to Wilton’s, the oldest grand music hall in the world, it’s a wonderful treat. This tucked away venue, is the stage for the European premiere of Songs For Nobodies, written by acclaimed playwright, Joanna Murray-Smith, directed by Simon Phillips, and performed by Bernadette Robinson.
By Gregory Forrest
Self-proclaimed Sh!t Theatre turn trash into treasure. They’ve been killing fringe circuits over the last few years, and Dollywould is meant to be their ‘mainstream cross-over hit’. Or so they say. The show then takes aim at every kind of ‘mainstream’ taste level imaginable: country music, visual art, physical beauty, cabaret, and theatre. It’s an absolute shitshow and the most fun I’ve had in a theatre in ages.
Tori Scott is all charming wit and fabulous gumption in this autobiographical narration. She bills it as an experience that will not inspire you to greater heights — “lower your expectations” she warns — before carrying you on a meander of her life’s efforts and delightful failings.
By Laura Kressly
The infant Earth was a place of chaos and noise. High winds, rivers of lava and churning layers of rock glowed and cracked. It’s from this hot, toxic sea that arose the perfect conditions for life as the surface of the planet divided into sea and land, and gravity’s pull invited the formation of an atmosphere.
by guest critic Lara Alier
Smaller scale musicals are on the rise at the moment. They’re performed in smaller venues that, as well as being kinder on production costs, also offer an intimacy between performers and the audience that we really value. Lock and Key’s cast is also small, with only two performers on stage, and a live quartet including a cello, violin, piano, and a cajón.