Paper Cinema’s Macbeth, Battersea Arts Centre

5211003A-1235-4B66-800B-1D34E060C437

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. 

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Wider Earth, Natural History Museum

Image result for the wider earth, natural history museum

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.

Continue reading

Elephant and Castle, Camden People’s Theatre

Image result for elephant & castle, camden people's theatre, tom, lillian

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.

Continue reading

Arabian Nights, Hoxton Hall

Image result for arabian nights, hoxton hall

by Lara Alier

If you close your eyes and I mention ‘Arabian Nights’, what can you see? How does it feel, sound and smell? The description of Hoxton Hall will probably match what you imagine. Strong incense blends with warm lights and the sound of a little fountain adds ambience to the big Arabic arches.

Continue reading

Mengele and Gulliver Returns, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

BC7EC1ED-D288-416A-9920-F6B94F2C09CD

by Laura Kressly

Misogyny is everywhere, even in stories that aren’t about misogyny. A mysterious woman saves a drowning man who treats her like scum, and a beleaguered wife tolerates a torrent of abuse in the name of genius, but these scenarios lie within stories with more dominant narratives. 

Continue reading

Revelations, Summerhall

Image result for revelations, james rowland

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.

Continue reading

Orpheus, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Image result for orpheus, flanagan collective

by Laura Kressly

Last year at the fringe, my nearly eight-year relationship fell apart. In order to survive the final stretch of the festival, I put on a brave face and told no one. Already tired and drained but with a week or so still to go, I continued to see shows and write about them, refusing to acknowledge my personal emotional landscape.

Continue reading