by Laura Kressly
A woman informs us that storytelling needs a sustained breath. She’s then interrupted by a crying baby, a young boy who wants her attention, and a husband who points out both but makes no attempt to help. The unnamed translator, who may or may not have lived in New York, now lives in Mexico City. Her days that – remembered or imagined – were once filled with reading and writing, nights out, casual sex and music, now consist of nappies, playtime and housework.
By Meredith Jones Russell
Idiosyncratic, eccentric, fearless and alien-like are just a few of the descriptors a rudimentary Google search of Tilda Swinton will throw up. Based on these, Byron Lane’s Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist has absolutely captured the essence of an icon. It has undoubtedly created a new one, too.
by Lara Alier
The very first thing we see onstage is a dead body covered with a cloth. Is it a real person? I scrutinise its limbs and every part of its shape. That is the great thing about intimate theatre, that each member of the audience can really focus on small details and have a totally different experience.
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.
by an anonymous guest critic
As we enter the Arcola main stage, we are presented with a hotel room in midtown Manhattan circa 1954. Albert Einstein sits on the bed going over some notes on his legal pad.
What happens when two experimental performance artists join forces with a few kids to make a kids’ show? Utterly delightful, if messy, madness. 1990s Nickelodeon is a clear influence, as are fart jokes, poo, time bending and parallel universes. An attempt at education intrudes near the end, but otherwise the script is a joyful, jokey celebration of all things silly and gross. There are moments, particularly in the beginning, that are a touch too self-serving for a show pitched to children, but there’s plenty of slapsticky fun for adults and young people alike.
by guest critic Jo Trainor
It’s pouring rain and three strangers are waiting. An endless wait that is made unbearable by the constant cellist in the corner of the room. Matei Visniec’s surreal comedy utilises the simplest scenario and creates a storm in a teacup.