Dogs of Europe, Barbican

by Zahid Fayyaz

This is the UK Premiere of Alhierd Bacharevic’s epic political and fantasy thriller, by Belarus Free Theatre. The original novel is banned in Belarus and the theatre company are now based in the UK, after seeking asylum following the Belarusian authorities attacking them for their plays and politics. It originally ran in 2019 in Minsk, and then across Europe in secret venues. The Barbican show – postponed from 2020 – is on a much larger scale, which works wonderfully with the epic feel of the show. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is present in mind whilst watching the show, making it seem even more prophetic than it may have been a couple of years ago.

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Thinking Bigly, online

Thinking Bigly — Then Do Better

by Laura Kressly

Between Ben Yeoh and David Finnegan, there’s an impressive array of interests, knowledge and skills. Theatre, economics and climate change are among them. Their lecture-performance amalgamates these three topics into an engaging, informative and interactive presentation that gives a wide-angle view on what we can do to save the planet.

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Freedom Hi, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

Making a show political without feeling like a rant is a tough nut to crack; too much seriousness and you’re the news, not enough and you look misguided. The company Papergang Theatre make it look easy. They’ve incorporated just about every performance medium: dance poetry, lecture, video. This is proof that less is not always more.

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Alice, VAULT Festival

Image result for alice, vault festival

by Amber Pathak

Smoke fills the room, we’re all sitting upright in stiff wooden pews, and in the distance a steady drip echoes off the walls. Is this part of the show or is there a leak in the roof? I wonder. Either way it’s very atmospheric.

A spotlight pierces the darkness, illuminating her. As she goes on, it feels more like a sermon. There is a holiness about the whole effect that is totally compelling.

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Omelette, VAULT Festival

Omlette - Ali Wright-52

by Lizzie Jackson

In the dark and atmospheric Cavern at the Vaults, theatre company Long Distance present us with their first play, Omelette. It explores many of the important questions on the climate crisis. How far should we go to save the planet? How far is too far? Does it make a difference? Should we give up coffee forever?

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Aamira and Gad, VAULT Festival

Image result for aamira and gad, vault festival

by Zahid Fayyaz

A site-specific play with a slight immersive element for the audience, this is the latest
production from new company Bee in my Beanie. They establish a framing sequence consisting of the Archivist Society looking at a ‘story’, with the head archivist portrayed as a magnificent, giant puppet. This is mainly the story of Aamira and Gad, two children on opposite sides of a border conflict, forced to come together following a sudden loss.

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Head of State, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayyaz

Given the state of our current world leaders, this play is certainly a timely one to put on. It follows Mo, the newly elected Head of State of Nechora – a country so tiny, it’s literally not even on the map. Due to the seemingly insignificant size of his country, the congratulatory phone calls from the world leaders turn into impromptu therapy sessions, and Mo is suddenly privy to the thoughts and secrets of some of the world’s most powerful people. He hopes he can use this access to help his country, but things start going wrong.

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