Seussical, Southwark Playhouse

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by Maeve Campbell

It’s difficult to work out who the musical Seussical is for and why its been revived. Trying to imagine how a ten-year-old might watch this show doesn’t help answer these questions. In fact, it clouds the answer even more. I think if I was ten and watching this show, I’d feel utterly patronised by it.

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The Sweet Science of Bruising, Southwark Playhouse

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by Gregory Forrest

When you think of women in the 19th Century, you probably think of drawing rooms and tea parlours; you might even think of the early suffrage movement. You probably don’t think about boxing rings.

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Old Fools, Southwark Playhouse

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

“Why have you stopped eating?” Viv asks Tom at the nursing home. “Why have you developed an entirely different accent in your old age?” Tom could reasonably respond.

This is a slightly harsh opener; Old Fools is one of those productions that has a few things to pick at but is redeemed by its ending. From their first meeting to a cold garden in a nursing room, this is the story of Tim and Viv and Alzheimer’s.

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Pippin, Southwark Playhouse

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by guest critic Maeve Campbell

Scouring Broadway forums and Twitter feeds after seeing Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse did not illuminate meaning or clarify an overwhelmingly strange plot. I did, however, find a large cult following for the 1972 American musical, all positing and debating different plot theories. It made me wonder whether Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin is the theatrical equivalent of David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive, and whether this assessment makes it cooler? I’m not so sure.

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Angry, Southwark Playhouse

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

“Remember me; I sparkled.”

Philip Ridley’s ability to write about the most grotesque scenarios with the most beautiful language will never cease to amaze. The director tweeted to say he was glad I enjoyed the show, but “enjoy” never feels like the right word for Ridley. Uncomfortable, anxious, grossed out but oddly moved by the whole thing seems far more appropriate. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t want our in yer face theatre any other way.

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Mendoza, Southwark Playhouse

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by guest critic Nastazja Somers

A Shakespeare expert, friend of mine always says, “I love Shakespeare but I hate watching it, most of the time it bores me”. And isn’t it the truth? I get to see a lot of the Bard’s plays and most of the time I leave theatres feeling uninspired and craving a surprise. I yearn for Shakespeare productions that will move audiences whilst placing them in a centre a collective experience.

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