War with the Newts, Bunker Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

In post-Brexit Britain, the oyster industry struggles. Work is hard and profits are low. But when oyster harvester Captain von Toch sees mysterious images on the ship’s sonar and discovers a new creature that can quickly be taught fine motor skills, he revitalises his business and changes the course of the human race’s destiny.

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Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, Battersea Arts Centre

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By Laura Kressly

I’m a sucker for inventive adaptations of Shakespeare plays, so Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, a live-action, silent movie version, is hugely appealing. For 90 minutes a team of five use handheld cameras, desk lamps and hand-drawn illustrations to broadcast the story in visual form onto a large screen. Accompanied by a Celtic-inspired, cinematic score, this graphic novel/stop motion/object manipulation telling is enchanting – until I ask my companion, a Dutch woman who doesn’t know Macbeth, what she thought. 

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The Wider Earth, Natural History Museum

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by Laura Kressly

Newly-minted Cambridge graduate Charles Darwin wants to collect insects and rocks, but his father wants him to enter the clergy. When one of his lecturers recommends him for the positions of resident naturalist onboard Naval ship The Beagle, the 22-year-old jumps at the chance. Over the next five years he sails the world, collects specimens and constructs ideas that eventually become On the Origin of Species. He is also a part of an imperialist mission ridden with Christian colonial attitudes that, in this script, are disappointingly excused in favour of spectacular design.

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Elephant and Castle, Camden People’s Theatre

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by Jack Solloway

Elephant and Castle is a strange and precariously funny gig-theatre show about the lives of Lillian Henley, a musician and silent film pianist, and her teeth-grinding somnambulist husband, Tom Adams. Whilst this may sound a little far-fetched, the play is very much rooted in the performers’ own experiences. Acting out their relationship, using live music and verbatim sleep recordings, Elephant and Castle dramatizes the bizarre reality of Tom’s slow-wave sleep parasomnia and his relationship with Lillian.

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I’m a Phoenix Bitch, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Theatremaker and performance artist Bryony Kimmings hit rock bottom a few years ago. Her relationship was breaking down, her infant son was ill and her mental health was in tatters. To recover from the trauma, her therapist recommended a technique where she replays the traumatic events in her mind like a film. What better way to regularly go through this exercise than perform it every night?

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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Of New York City, Finborough Theatre

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by Amy Toledano

Although this show has an incredibly long title, it is the only thing about it that feels drawn out. This comedy about a cancer ward in New York city is a touching tale of unlikely friendship and the broken relationships and the ways in which we forgive in the face of tragedy.

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