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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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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Revelations, Summerhall

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by Laura Kressly

James Rowland’s trilogy about his best mates Tom and Sarah began with Team Viking two years ago on the free fringe. A Hundred Different Words for Love followed, and the story now comes to a close with the funny and tragic process of growing up that begins with donating sperm to Sarah and her partner Emma.

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Lights Over Tesco Carpark, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Poltergeist Theatre wanted to make a show about alien abductions, so they advertised locally to see if anyone had any stories. An email from a man called Robert leads them down a rabbit hole of research and testimonies that often sound mad – but is there truth in these stories that are so quickly written off?

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YAYAYA AYAYAY, Southbank Centre

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By Laura Kressly

The infant Earth was a place of chaos and noise. High winds, rivers of lava and churning layers of rock glowed and cracked. It’s from this hot, toxic sea that arose the perfect conditions for life as the surface of the planet divided into sea and land, and gravity’s pull invited the formation of an atmosphere.

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The Rain God, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

Charles Mallory Hatfield made it rain – and rain and rain and rain.

This is the little-known story* of a man who went from selling sewing machines to controlling the heavens, told through the eyes of a little boy in Manchester. Hatfield would travel to drought-ridden cities with his secret mixture of chemicals and, most of the time, the weather turned.

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