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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Age Is a Feeling, Soho Theatre

by Laura Kressly

We have time, and life is short. It’s ok to make mistakes, and every choice has a consequence. Self-care is important and so is hitting milestones. These conflicting truisms living within us inform small decisions and big ones. As actor/writer Hayley McGee demonstrates, they are often the root of our greatest pleasures and most suffocating griefs. Her monologue narrating an unnamed person’s life, from age 25 through the years after the they die, hones in on key episodes that irrevocably define them and their future, as well as drawing attention to death’s inevitability. As sombre as this piece is, it also adeptly encapsulates moments of joy. As a whole, it’s deeply human and beautifully performed.

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100% Cotton: In a Spin, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Diana Miranda

Song-based storytelling with cheeky humour at its core, 100% Cotton: In a Spin captures snapshots of Liz Cotton’s life as an empty nester in a small village. The solo show unravels within a kaleidoscope of acoustic music, video delights, and storytelling sequences that smoothly interweave as she glorifies her lovely cat and parodies lockdown life with a suffocating husband.

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Block’d Off, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Romy Foster

A young black boy has just been stabbed in the hallway downstairs. The neighbours are sad but ultimately, not surprised. This one-woman show follows the lives of these working-class people in this typical London block.

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Breathless, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

Sophie has started a new life back home in Plymouth after years of living in London. She finally has her own place, and things are going well with the woman she’s dating. However, something looms over her life that she can’t bear to let go of – the vast collection of designer clothes that takes up every spare inch of her new flat. The urge to hold onto these items that she sees as an extension of herself is all-consuming, but she also really wants to invite her new girlfriend over.

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Learning to Fly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

James Rowland’s Songs of Friendship trilogy focuses on the equally hilarious and moving antics he got up to with his best mates Tom, Sarah and Sarah’s partner Emma over the years. These include stealing a friend’s remains and giving him a Viking funeral, and donating sperm to Sarah and Emma. This show is situated outside of that group of friends. Instead, it focuses on another mate who is far less conventional. Though Rowland’s work here is not as neat or as focused as his previous shows, his seemingly truthful delivery and comic timing are as engaging as ever.

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Man of 100 Faces, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

The disaffected son of a clergyman, Sir Paul Dukes, ran away to Russia to work as a musician. While there, the Russian Revolution started and British intelligence recruited him to work as a secret agent. He was to smuggle prominent people and useful materials across the border to Finland, and otherwise do what spies do without getting himself killed. Reportedly a master of disguise, the so-called ‘man of a 100 faces’ is portrayed by the versatile and energetic Saul Boyer, though the story is so dense and frenetically told that it is difficult to keep track of the various subplots and characters.

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There’s Something in the Water, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

In transphobic discourse, trans people are feared and consequently monstered. In these bigots’ brains, they are positioned outside the gender binary and labeled ‘not normal’. Canadian trans nonbinary theatremaker SE Grummett (they/them) first satirises what is considered normal within traditional gender roles, then creates a simple folktale where trans people as superheroes. They uses puppetry, audience interaction and live feed video projection along with monologues to both hilarious and profound effect.

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The Girl Who Was Very Good at Lying, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Bryony Rae Taylor

21-year-old Catriona is very good at lying. She knows she isn’t supposed to, but she just can’t help herself when a ‘not unhandsome’ American man comes into the pub where she works. Craving some exhilaration and a reprieve from her mother’s grilling about whether she is living an exciting life yet or not, Catriona takes American Man on a wild goose chase of tall tales around her small home town in Northern Ireland.

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