Feature | A Day with Oily Cart

Jovana Backovic, Robyn Steward, Mark Foster, Aaron Diaz, Griff Fender, Daniel Gouly in JAMBOREE. Design by Flavio Graff Photo credit Suzi Corker

by Laura Kressly

“Welcome to the glitter zone!”

I’m greeted exuberantly by one of the actors, who are mid-yoga warmup when I arrive. Though I try my best to quietly enter their rehearsal space, I’m flustered by a series of train and tube delays that mean I arrived nearly half an hour after I intended and it’s impossible for me to not be noticed. I self-consciously wave, smile, and settle into the chair that’s closest to the door. There are musical instruments, costume, sound equipment and lots of ‘stuff’ everywhere in their Tooting rehearsal room overlook a school’s playground. And indeed, glitter.

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Blind Date, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

A sexy French clown goes on a blind date with a willing gentleman from the audience. And it is wonderful.

As you are ushered in to the theatre to witness this potentially most alarming of spectacles, French waiters politely hand out small typed compliments from silver platters. ‘You are beautiful,’ reads one. This gives the immediate reassurance needed before this kind of show. This is not about humiliation or nastiness. Far from it, Blind Date is full of warmth, heart and even love.

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A Wake in Progress, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Trigger warnings have been the subject of some debate in theatre circles, but if ever there was a perfect example of the right time to use one, it is in A Wake in Progress. Not only because it is easily and deftly woven into the piece by master of ceremonies Amy Fleming without spoilers or awkward interjections, but also because the point of this show is absolutely not to make anyone feel uncomfortable or unhappy about death. Quite the opposite.

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The Sea Queen and Twelfth Night, The Scoop

by Laura Kressly

Since 2003, there has been a summer of free, open-air theatre at The Scoop, a sweeping, granite amphitheatre on the Thames next to City Hall. This year’s double-bill is a 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and a new children’s musical, The Sea Queen. Performed by one cast doing double-duty, Twelfth Night is the far superior show though there is plenty to appeal to young children in The Sea Queen.

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Cruel Intentions: The Musical, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Does the world need a musical version of 1999 American teen flick Cruel Intentions? Probably not, but by God it’s entertaining.

Packing out the Underbelly’s Palais du Variete, this is closer to rock concert than musical. The mainly millennial audience is practically word perfect on both the script, which has been cut for length but otherwise largely unaltered from the screenplay, and the ‘00s hits that are peppered through the plot, often with the flimsiest justification.

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