River in the Sky, Hope Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

Waves quietly break along the beach outside a remote holiday home. A woman drinks Earl Gray, eats biscuits and mourns her infant son. Her husband checks on her regularly, but within the icy sea of debilitating grief, they’ve lost the ability to communicate other than through fantastical stories of mythical creatures. Time all but stops in this sparsely-written series of snapshots depicting a couple trying their best to piece their lives together after a tragedy.

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J’ouvert, Theatre503

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By Laura Kressly

Over the August bank holiday weekend, people of West Indian heritage have been celebrating their history and culture in the face of racial oppression since the 1960s. Bright colours, elaborate costumes, loud music, dancing, and lashings of rum mark the Carnival that’s now one of the largest in the world. In her female-led, debut play taking place over a day at Notting Hill Carnival, Yasmin Joseph pays homage to the people, young and old, that make up the event’s vibrant landscape and give it its soul.

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A Lesson From Aloes, Finborough Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Peter and Gladys pass their days tending potted plants and journaling. Life is quiet as they reflect on their lengthy pasts, stretching out behind them like toxic shadows. Neither are happy in their shabby, all-white suburb tense with apartheid-era legislation, but a visitor that evening may just be the thing they need.

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Plaid Tidings, Bridge House Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

A wholesome guy group from the 1950s with dreams of superstardom died in a bus crash before they could make it big. But for some inexplicable reasoning, a little-discussed deity gives them one more shot at fame. Plopped in front of an expectant audience seeking Christmas cheer, the Plaids muddle through their posthumous encore. Though the story is utterly baffling, the four performers have heaps of holiday charm.

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Gilded Butterflies, Hope Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

There have been several different mediums focusing on the story of the female prisoner, especially from the US and Gilded Butterflies, while following this same theme, pays particular attention to the prisoner herself. It gives her story a voice and allows for a deeper understanding of her perspective. This two-hander is a lovely exploration of not believing everything you hear.

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Baby, Drayton Arms Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Baby by MKEC Productions follows a year in the life of three couples as they experience the world of childbirth, from their struggles with conception, to difficulties in their relationships and within themselves as individuals. This talented cast does their best with this dated book and ideas, and attempts to bring the 1983 Broadway hit into the 21st century.

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