RAH is a play written and performed by Laila Latifa. Set in the bedroom of Manal, a half-Moroccan, half-British woman in her early twenties, the play bravely depicts a history of belonging. Structured as a monologue, the script explores Manal’s internal ramblings, exposing the truth about her family, her feelings of inadequacy at university, and her difficulties navigating her sex life within the context of an overtly religious family.
This is certainly an eye-opening show that’s a great ending to this year’s festival. The second show from director, writer and actor Adam Scott-Rowley, this follow-up to his critically acclaimed show THIS IS NOT CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT has a lot of buzz around it.
This is a debut, solo performance looking at the attempts by the titular Ace to woo the object of her school affections, Sasha. The show is mainly set in a nightclub, epitomised by Ace (played excellently by Tiffany Marina Pearmund) walking amongst the crowd and with nightclub music playing over the speakers.
Many of us crave the escape from mundane routine that a holiday abroad gives us. Sun, sand, great food and immersion in different cultures are all wonderful experiences – usually. There absolutely can be downsides. Using clowning and mime, David Hoskin presents the annoying (sunburn and fellow travellers), the uncertain (whether or not a dubious-looking meal will hurt you), and the down-right strange and terrible (getting stranded in the woods and threatened by wild animals). Hoskin’s physical performance is exceptional, though the narrative’s shift into the surreal is less effectively conveyed than other parts of the story.
Fresh from a month’s run at the Edinburgh Fringe and then Soho Theatre, Fanboy is a one-man show written and acted by Joe Sellman-Leava. It is seemingly autobiographical, looking at changes in society through the lens of the Star Wars fandom. Using videos and props to develop the story of the piece, it’s certainly not static, which can often be an issue with one-person shows.
This is a one-woman show with an accompanying musician, three chairs and a suitcase that tells the story of a British South Asian student, focusing on the beginning of her relationship with Jay at university. However, in between the descriptions of university life, there is a looming sense of dread and violence due to her family not approving of her match and what happened to her friend who went against her family’s wishes.
As elder Gen Zs approach their mid-20s, it makes sense that they turn to comedy to cope with what seems like the never-ending apocalyptic disasters plaguing their brief adulthood. Writer/comedian Rosalie Minnitt has tapped into her generation’s resulting anxiety by condensing what seems like all early-20-somethings’ tropes into an unhinged character piece set “sometime in the past”. Utterly bizarre and nonsensical, the title character is on an absurd quest to marry as soon as possible so that she avoids her parents disappearing her, but this is a thin narrative that’s really just a vehicle for Minnitt’s jokes.
This a one-man show, with the aid of props and sound design, ostensibly tells the story of ABC Merriman-Labor, an African satirist who wrote a scathing story of a Black man living in London after coming from Sierra Leone. This particular production, however, jumps around in time to tell the story of the production of the play from the perspective of the actor as well, and how the play’s subject of ABC’s forbidden love for his friend John Roberts mirrors the actor’s own relationship with Alfred, the shows own writer.
In the most supportive of circumstances, grief can feel insurmountable. It’s even harder for a young queer Londoner whose family is in Zimbabwe. How does Takura ensure her Mbuya is mourned properly and what is her relationship to her ancestors, anyway? In a space somewhere between clubbing, Co-star, quantum physics and ancient rituals, she improvises building a bridge to the ancestral plane. A vulnerable and exposing struggle with borders and contrasting cultural norms, this is a considered reflection on how we deal with a loved one’s death.
Recently unemployed and battling feelings of loneliness, Andrea explores casual dating for connection and distraction – mostly distraction. Tinder one-night-stands gradually evolve into exclusive sex parties. Dissecting a newfound sexual drive, Andrea probes a path that offers a soothing, exciting alternative to her seemingly crumbling life, but her boundary-pushing exploration soon reveals a story of addiction.