Snow White and the Happy Ever After Beauty Salon, Ovalhouse

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By Laura Kressly

I’d never considered hair salons to be the domain of estranged, murderous sisters, but this contemporary, actor-muso update of Snow White shows a darker underbelly of this normally jolly place. At the Happy Ever After salon, Trish has built a beauty empire that she rules with an iron fist, toxic pomades and razor sharp scissors. Punctuated by original vintage-style tunes, puppetry and engaging performances, this show is a sophisticated pantomime that’s diverse, accessible and fun.

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Guys and Dolls, the Mill at Sonning

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by Meredith Jones Russell

This is a real Christmas treat. Following a delicious festive feed at the Mill’s onsite restaurant before the show (included in the ticket price), settle back to watch a talented cast of dodgy gamblers, Salvation Army missionaries and showgirls perform such classics as ‘Luck Be a Lady,’ ‘The Oldest Established’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat.’

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Drip, Bush Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

In anyone fifteen years old, emotions are running high. Everything feels bigger and more extreme than it actually is, so it’s easy to be swallowed up by all the feelings. Add on top of that being queer in the North of the UK, and the teen years are bound to be an absolute rollercoaster. Drip is a lovely reminder of what it feels like to be young, and how important friendship is.

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Plaid Tidings, Bridge House Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

A wholesome guy group from the 1950s with dreams of superstardom died in a bus crash before they could make it big. But for some inexplicable reasoning, a little-discussed deity gives them one more shot at fame. Plopped in front of an expectant audience seeking Christmas cheer, the Plaids muddle through their posthumous encore. Though the story is utterly baffling, the four performers have heaps of holiday charm.

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Seussical, Southwark Playhouse

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by Maeve Campbell

It’s difficult to work out who the musical Seussical is for and why its been revived. Trying to imagine how a ten-year-old might watch this show doesn’t help answer these questions. In fact, it clouds the answer even more. I think if I was ten and watching this show, I’d feel utterly patronised by it.

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Hadestown, National Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

How can we radically reinvent myths and classic literature? I mean, really radically – not in a box ticking way, or a modernisation the production wears like a piece of costume that doesn’t really change the thematic core of the story. I mean thoroughly, totally, completely. So all traces of horrible ‘isms’ and ‘ists’ are either reframed or criticised. 

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Baby, Drayton Arms Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Baby by MKEC Productions follows a year in the life of three couples as they experience the world of childbirth, from their struggles with conception, to difficulties in their relationships and within themselves as individuals. This talented cast does their best with this dated book and ideas, and attempts to bring the 1983 Broadway hit into the 21st century.

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