Big Girl, Bread & Roses Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Emily Jane Rooney longs for a world that doles out praise for being happy rather than being skinny, and where people can comfortably be their true selves. On the other hand, she wants the posh kid she works with to just fuck off. This clever use of contrast – switching from warm and vulnerable, to biting and sharp, and back again – keeps this one-woman show consistently engaging and fun despite a few underdeveloped moments that don’t fully cohere with the rest of the narrative.

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F**K OFF, Bread & Roses Theatre

Man Knocks Out Gang of Thugs in Fight Over Wife

by Laura Kressly

The first pub theatre reopening after 5 months of COVID-19 closure feels like a celebration of survival. Given the governmental neglect of the theatre industry has faced since lockdown started, and the number of job losses this has caused across the industry, a tiny space in Clapham being able to stage its first socially-distanced, indoor production is huge. However, this unassuming new play by Michael Dunbar is more of a tangled character study that, though largely well-performed, consists of under-developed subplots and good intentions that aren’t effectively conveyed.

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Resonate, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayaz

This is the first preview performance of a one-man show following Jacob, a young man trying to turn over a new leaf away from his previous life as a hard-living and loving party animal. He’s doing this through Jesus and focusing on his education. He is, however, finding this difficult due to constant interruptions from his friends and ex-girlfriends whilst he is trying to finish an assignment.

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Baaba’s Footsteps, VAULT Festival

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By Keagan Fransch

Baaba’s Footsteps begins with a striking first image: Takako, a 16-year old woman embarking on a life-changing journey in Japan, 1920. She stands upright and wide-eyed; determined, stoic, hopeful, and perhaps a little naive, Takako gazes into the middle distance, willing her new life as a picture bride into existence with a desperate intensity. It is this image that Yu, Takako’s great-granddaughter, frantically chases a hundred years later. Yu works as a television director in Tokyo, talented and busy and upwardly mobile. However, when she is suddenly fired for having an affair with a married co-worker (who is then promoted to the position she was up for), she is forced to take stock of her life, and decides to retrace her great-grandmother’s footsteps to America to hopefully regain a sense of meaning and control.

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If This Is Normal, VAULT Festival

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by Zahid Fayyaz

This is a three-person play, following the lives and loves of a brother and sister, and their best friend, from when they first meet at school, to after graduation, to university. Along the way, their close friendship is threatened by various events and miscommunications.  Developed with support from the Soho Theatre development labs, this is a punchy and kinetic show, in which the hour passes by in – almost – the blink of an eye.

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This Queer House, VAULT Festival

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by Keagan Fransch

Oli and Leah are a queer couple who have just inherited a house. Well, Oli has, and Leah as their devoted, loyal partner has come along for the ride despite her misgivings about what this milestone in normativity will do to their carefully curated queer existence. But with books going missing, wires tripping and odd sounds coming from the basement, it soon becomes clear that perhaps the house is just as unsure of them, as they are of it.

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L I M B O, VAULT Festival

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by Evangeline Cullingworth

Six young actors, maybe friends or maybe strangers, are stuck. They greet us when we enter and they are kind, but they do look a bit lost. They take turns to share important memories from their childhood, which sometimes fall out as fairytales or pop songs. Fragments of innocent childhoods which have slipped through fingers.

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Meat, Theatre 503

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by Laura Kressly

Two mouldering animal carcasses dangle from butchers hooks at the back of the stage. Glistening fat and muscle clinging to white bone waits to be turned into an expensive meal, then served at the high-concept restaurant’s table for two in the foreground. But fuzzy, green patches around the edge of the larger, more exposed dead body exude an unsettling energy – this meat is old, with the mould indicating a deeper, more insidious rot that’s not so easy to cut out.

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