Period dramas have become the ultimate weekend watch according to trending British media. And while Ladyfriends, written and directed by Clodagh Chapman, is pretty much suffragettes Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney’s story, this isn’t one of those dramas. Ladyfriends starts from the premise that Annie and Christabel are dating. Though historians dispute this based on ‘lack of scholastic rigour’, Chapman’s take doesn’t engage in these controversies and sees Chris and Annies’ dating as a fact. To her, a more exciting endeavour is to explore how people relate to history, and what lays behind re-visiting it and pursuing new readings.
Between Ben Yeoh and David Finnegan, there’s an impressive array of interests, knowledge and skills. Theatre, economics and climate change are among them. Their lecture-performance amalgamates these three topics into an engaging, informative and interactive presentation that gives a wide-angle view on what we can do to save the planet.
This is an ambitious, interactive new video-game inspired musical, melding a tale of the trials and tribulations of a contemporary family with an 8-bit video game aesthetic. Each audience member is given a ‘controller’ (a bit of card which is blue on one side and red on the other), and at certain points in the narrative, they gets a say in what direction the plot turns. Towards the latter part of the show, the narrative rewinds and you see all of the alternative paths that could have been taken.
Making a show political without feeling like a rant is a tough nut to crack; too much seriousness and you’re the news, not enough and you look misguided. The company Papergang Theatre make it look easy. They’ve incorporated just about every performance medium: dance poetry, lecture, video. This is proof that less is not always more.
Oli and Leah are a queer couple who have just inherited a house. Well, Oli has, and Leah as their devoted, loyal partner has come along for the ride despite her misgivings about what this milestone in normativity will do to their carefully curated queer existence. But with books going missing, wires tripping and odd sounds coming from the basement, it soon becomes clear that perhaps the house is just as unsure of them, as they are of it.
The Network Theatre Company has put together a brilliant night of short plays that are certainly entertaining, if slightly alarming about where the world is heading. The Future is Mental gives us an assemblage of six near-future, ‘soft-dystopian’ stories, admittedly inspired by Black Mirror, that makes us take a step back and really rethink our present lifestyles.
Georgie Coles, Rosie Doonan and Kylie Perry asked young people across the UK, born and brought up on Whatsapp, Google and Instagram, to write in and ask them anything, anything at all. They then created Ask Me Anything to provide them with some answers.
[/see:] dim corridors. neon and spray paint and brick. [/smell:] must. vimto-flavoured vape. cigarette smoke. beer. [/feel:] water sweat-dripping onto crowns of heads. dusty warmth. [/hear:] chatting. applause. glasses clinking behind the bar. a pub quiz announcer. [/taste:] breath mints. mould in the air.
Soph (Natalya Martin) and Jel (Monica Anne) are pouring over creepypasta horror stories at break time and catch the attention of Ellie (Melissa Parker), the new girl in school who wears her phone in her shirt pocket like a sheet of armor. Their interest become fixations, and what begins with giggles and goosebumps quickly reaches dramatic heights. Something Awful perfectly recreates some of the most memorable times at school, the battles fought over playground loyalties, the fanatic scrutiny of gossip and the stories told in ravishing detail. The breakneck thrill of the internet adds to this nostalgia to create a stomach dropping tragedy.
Heart-thumping music blaring, performers Ayden Brouwers and Lizzie Morris take the stage. As they dance towards each other, vibrant disco lights hitting their slow moving bodies, they ask “How do we look?” and “How do you look?”. It is at this point that we realise why we are here. We are here to look, and to observe. Simply through the act of being in the room with them, I am complicit in demonstrating the impact the cis gaze has on transgender bodies.