Devil With the Blue Dress, Bunker Theatre

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

The political climate of 1990’s America may be something the world has largely forgotten, but playwright Kevin Armento certainly has no issue in reminding us of one of the country’s most memorable sex scandals. In his audacious new play Devil With The Blue Dress, Armento examines five women’s accounts leading up to – and resulting in – President Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. From the moment you set foot in the Bunker, you cannot help but be transported into what feels like the smoky underworld of dirty politics. This sensation can only be helped by saxophonist, and lone instrumentalist of the show, Tashomi Balfour, who underscores the entire piece with his smooth and often haunting melodies.

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Beowulf, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

Stories always have monsters. They may not be literal monsters, but anything that’s scary, or an obstacle, or destabilising, or otherwise threatens the story’s hero.

Stories also always have choices. Usually a lot of them, made by the hero, that determine his or her fate.

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Ok Bye, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Imagination and simplicity are very effective storytelling devices. Ok Bye feels like a small step forward in the evolution of theatre. Ok, I’m getting carried away, but when I see people pushing theatre forward I get excited. There are verbatim sections, choreography, lighting devices, live music, three actors and one musician.

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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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Girls & Boys, Royal Court

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by Laura Kressly

A woman stands on a pastel blue stage and starts at the beginning. She tells us a love story – how she met a man in an airport, fell in love and built a life with him. Great jobs, a family, a house, the full works. It’s perfect. Until it’s not.

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