YAYAYA AYAYAY, Southbank Centre

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By Laura Kressly

The infant Earth was a place of chaos and noise. High winds, rivers of lava and churning layers of rock glowed and cracked. It’s from this hot, toxic sea that arose the perfect conditions for life as the surface of the planet divided into sea and land, and gravity’s pull invited the formation of an atmosphere.

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Mexico: A Love Story, VAULT Festival

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by Laura Kressly

Critics don’t enjoy writing pans. We don’t review because we want theatre to be bad. Quite the opposite – every time we take a seat, whether it be plush and commercial or a bench on the fringe, we hope the show we’re about to watch is the best thing we’ve ever seen. But we’re duty-bound to be honest.

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Stardust, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

There’s political theatre, and then there’s Stardust.

Arguably the most visually stunning piece to come to the VAULT Festival this year, Blackboard Theatre combine movement, out-of-this-world animations and the power of words to expose the dark world of the Columbian cocaine industry.

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I Have a Mouth and I Will Scream, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Ava Davies

The raging influence of Alice Birch’s revolt. she said. revolt again. runs through this performance art/theatre piece by Abi Zakarian. The six-strong ensemble of women (not all white, which is good, but it could always be less white) are trying to discuss feminism. Is that even the right word anymore? It’s become bogged down in pop culture references, in mass-produced t-shirts, in discussions about depicting vaginas in art. I HAVE A MOUTH… occasionally feels like it drifts into white feminist territory, as much as it tries to unpick and dissect that movement.

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Red Bastard: Lie with Me, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Lauren Gauge

Swan, dirty pony, or pervert? What kind of lover are you?

Through scintillating physical comedy and personal probing questions uniting, dividing and cross-examining the audience, the truth and the lies are uncovered one by one, social construct by social construct. Who made the rules of love, and why if none of us know who made them, do we follow them*?

*Most of the time.

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Notorious, Barbican Centre

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by guest critic Nastazja Somers

It wasn’t by accident that I ended up seeing The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein’s new work The Notorious at The Barbican Centre. Give me feminism, plenty of liquids and general messiness on stage and I’m there, screaming my head off, like when Lucy McCormick performed her Triple Threat two years ago at Edinburgh Fringe.

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