Pinocchio, Unicorn Theatre

by Laura Kressly

As autumn turns into winter and Christmas approaches, the lonely toymaker Geppetto pleads with the blue moon gleaming over his village in the Italian alps, to make him a father. Luckily, the Blue Fairy hears him and brings to life the boy-sized puppet born from Geppetto’s despair. Her gift comes with a condition, however; The wooden child Pinocchio must learn how to be good by Christmas. If he doesn’t – and Geppetto fails at parenting – then he turns back into a toy. Like the iconic Disney film, many hair-raising adventures ensue, portrayed by the fantastic cast of five.

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My Lover Was a Salmon in the Climate Apocalypse, Cockpit Theatre

by Diana Miranda

“This gig gets weird”, announces Bradán Theatre in their publicity blurb. And weird it gets as it tackles the climate crisis through an absurdist script infused with Irish mythology and folk music, presenting a majestic salmon as an icon of environmental awareness, and veering from metaphors to literal meaning in quite a jarring spin.

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Super High Resolution, Soho Theatre

by Luisa De la Concha Montes

CW: suicide

Turning to medical settings for drama is not a new endeavour. With long-running series like ER and Grey’s Anatomy, the plot of Super High Resolution might sound overdone in the first instance. However, contrary to TV blockbusters, Nathan Ellis’ new play utilises simplicity to defy expectations and tackle the elephant in the room: the collapse of the NHS.

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Evening Conversations, Soho Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Sudha Buchar has had an extraordinary career as an actor, writer and producer. Other parts of her life are equally exciting – born in Tanzania to Indian parents, her early childhood was spent between East Africa and Asia before moving to the UK at age 11. Now 60 years old and long-settled in middle-class Wimbledon with a husband and two Gen-Z sons, she reflects on a vast range of topics in her stream-of-conscious monologue. Generational differences, race, feminism, and her neighbours are just a few of these that make up this chatty and reflective staged reading.

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That’s Not My Name, Bread & Roses Theatre

By Luisa De la Concha Montes

Described as a “an internal stream of consciousness and sketch comedy” That’s Not My Name, written and performed by Sammy Trotman, is a one-woman show that explores the absurdity of psychiatry. Through a direct and satirical exploration of her own experience of psychiatric wards, diagnosis and stigma, Sammy skilfully navigates the stage and eases the audience into an unconventional take on mental health.

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The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, Battersea Arts Centre

By Romy Foster

Framed by the lens of the intrusive and boundary-breaking rise of artificial intelligence, The Shadow Whose Prey Becomes the Hunter by Back to Back Theatre serves as a wake-up call on how non-disabled people alienate people who have what are referred to in Australia as ‘intellectual disabilities’. (Australia and the UK have very different language for disability. In Australia ‘people with intellectual disabilities’ is considered polite. This is the language used the show.)

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Wipe These Tears, Camden People’s Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Operation Desert Storm. An English primary school. Guantanamo Bay. The Green Zone. A village in Afghanistan. These are some of the places where writer Sînziana Cojocărescu situates individual stories of colonisation and oppression. Informed by interviews with over 90 people involved in or survivors of war and conflict, as well as activists and researchers, the resulting collage of violence forces audiences to reckon with white western imperialism.

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Dido’s Bar, Royal Docks

by Archie Whyld

It struck me that the journey to Dido’s Bar, through east London, past City Airport and to a warehouse adjacent to Tate and Lyle’s sugar refinery, allows us to imagine what it feels like to be a new arrival in a strange world. And this, Dido’s Bar, a reimagining and retelling of Virgil’s Aeneid, centres Dido’s narrative, namely her experience as a refugee in a foreign land.

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Brown Boys Swim, Soho Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Little can get in the way of teenagers’ hormones. In Kash and Mohsen’s case, the fact they can’t swim isn’t going to stop them going to the biggest event of the year, Jess Denver’s pool party. They’ll simply learn how so they don’t embarrass themselves in front of their entire year group. After all, Kash needs to flaunt his gains in front of the girls, and Mohsen will provide reluctant moral support. With a whole month to go, surely they can figure it out. Swimming’s not that hard, right?

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