The Wedding, Barbican

by Romy Foster

Born into fun, teddies and laughter, each character comes into the world by a slide, toppling into a pile of stuffed animals. Two at a time, the actors play together as grown-up and child. We watch as the adults entertain the children with their toys. It’s heart-warming, though these encounters do not last long. Shortly after, we see multiple children stripped of their innocence; their cuddly toys adorned with sunflowers are thrown aside. They are thrust straight into marriage and working life. It seems like the fun is over all too quickly.

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Snowflake, Brighton Fringe

By Luisa De la Concha Montes

Snowflake is a one-woman show written and performed by Hanna Winter. Presented as a physical monologue, it tries to unpack the personal impact of intergenerational trauma through the lens of comedy and absurdism. Through continuous audience interaction, the boundaries between fiction and reality are constantly being blurred, creating a show that ultimately ridicules self-indulgent performative art.

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No One, Brighton Fringe

by Diana Miranda

Invisibility’s appeal has a new angle in this show by AKIMBO physical theatre company. Loosely inspired by H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, AKIMBO gives the narrative an original twist that locates the story within the millennial scene of social media, instant messaging, pub parties and nightclubs. The story stands on its own and explores themes that move away from the questions of science and ethics of Wells’ novel. As such, AKIMBO’s No One navigates (in)visibility in the digital era and offers a tragicomic thriller that starts as a detective investigation and slowly takes on a warmer, more intimate focus on an invisible man that craves connection.

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Somewhere to Belong, Lion & Unicorn Theatre

Photos: Sycorax Collective Presents SOMEWHERE TO BELONG

by Laura Kressly

As writer and performer Kim Scopes points out, bisexual representation on our stages and screens is limited. When a bisexual character appears at all, they are usually defined by their sexual activity and reduced to shallow, biphobic stereotypes. So a whole show about being attracted to more than one gender, made by a bisexual/queer person, is hugely exciting. Unfortunately, despite many great ideas and individual moments of excellent execution, this production feels like a disjointed work-in-progress with sections that only tenuously connect to each other.

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seven methods of killing kylie jenner, The Royal Court

Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court Theatre | Theatre  review – The Upcoming

by Laura Kressly

Cleo has finally had enough of Kylie Jenner’s celebrity and with nowhere else to safely vent her frustrations, she takes to her anonymous Twitter account. After her first couple of tweets critiquing Kylie’s appropriation of Black culture, Cleo’s best friend Kara busts in when her concerned Whatsapps are ignored. Their ensuing discussion – that often descends into argument – also covers queerness, friendship, teenage offenses and indiscretions, and the long history of violence Black people have suffered at the hands of whites.

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The Spirit part 2: The Lion, Battersea Arts Centre

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By Euan Vincent

Director Jack McNamara promised very different performances for each part of Thibault Delferiere’s Spirit trilogy. Attending Lion, we begin to see what he means. Audience filter in to find a desolate Delferiere sitting in a cage. Food is once again dangling from the ceiling, but whereas in the first it was an innocent apple, here a large chunk of meat, tantalises Delferiere from above.

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Our Man in Havana, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayyaz

Spies Like Us Theatre have returned for one week with their award-winning show from 2017’s Edinburgh Fringe. A five-person adaptation of the Graham Greene satirical novel, this one-hour show follows the story of a local vacuum cleaner salesman pushed into working as a spy for MI6 in Cuba, Havana.

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The Spirit part 1: The Camel, Battersea Arts Centre

Image result for the spirit, thibault delferiere

by Euan Vincent

Accompanying the first performance of Thibault Delferiere’s trilogy (directed by Jack McNamara), is a side of A4 paper containing three quotes from Nietzsche. They depict a journey through three transmutations: the spirit as camel, the spirit as lion, the spirit as baby. Like the camel, the spirit desires to burden itself and takes on heavy loads. Once laden it transforms into a lion – where it’s power and destructiveness can create the space for the new. And in that space, the baby emerges –  wide-eyed and forgetful, the spirit can now create unencumbered. That is the journey that the trilogy promises to traverse.

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The Art of Cuddling and Other Things, VAULT Festival

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by Euan Vincent

The Art of Cuddling and Other Things might more aptly be named the art of subversion, as Circ Motif delight in carefully building a set-up before delivering a delightfully twisted punch line. The die is cast with the opening sequence. Lights fade up on two men standing 10 feet away from each other, staring in blank silence. In the corner, a multi-instrumentalist solemnly creates an ambient soundscape (think Brian Eno when he still had long hair). The two men walk towards each other and – without uttering a word – they embrace. Ahh, the art of cuddling. How touching.

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