Monkeys Blood, Vault Festival

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by Laura Kressly

There’s a world of difference between London and the impoverished estates in Britain’s small towns. Mickey grew up on one in Hartlepool, a place famous for its historic execution of a monkey mistaken for a Frenchman, the more recent fraud case committed by John ‘Canoe Man’ Darwin, and not much else. Some of the town’s citizens maintain its xenophobic, monkey-slaughtering legacy in the form of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant protests, even though they’ve never met anyone off the estate. Micky escaped these attitudes through a successful career as a children’s entertainer – or so he thought.

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Ladykiller, Pleasance

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by Amy Toledano

Ladykiller by Madeline Gould is a grizzly dark comedy that turns the patriarchy on its head with its feminist theme. Produced by the Thelmas and directed by Madelaine Moore, this one-woman show leaves audiences tingling with fear from beginning to end and wondering if everything is really as it seems.

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Fagin’s Twist, The Place

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By Laura Kressly

Charles Dickens’ story of the orphan boy who nicely asked for more dinner in an orphanage before training to become a pickpocket is here refocused on the older ringleader of Victorian London’s underworld, Fagin. In the musical and film, little is shared of Fagin’s backstory.  But it is the beginning of this contemporary dance piece in two acts.

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Tabarnak & Casting Off, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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By Laura Kressly

Circus is a a marvellous showcase of physical skill and the possibilities of the human body, but with this often comes a sexualised view of women and men dominating the form with their strength. Tabarnak certainly focuses on the latter, with the women serving more as support to the acts. Fortunately there’s feminist circus in the form of Casting Off that challenges women’s role in society and the circus.

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Legally Blonde, New Wimbledon Theatre

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

The story of Elle Woods is one that many people are familiar with, and from the way the New Wimbledon Theatre was buzzing with excitement for it’s press night, it remains clear how many hold Legally Blonde close to their hearts. We have seen numerous productions of this show since it opened on Broadway in 2007, many of which have tried their best to be differentiate from the original. This version is no different.

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Our Country’s Good, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by an anonymous guest critic

Ramps to the Moon’s Our Country’s Good delivers a production that seamlessly integrates actors with and without disabilities to produce excellent all round performances. Originally written by Timberlake Wertenbaker in 1988, it tells the extraordinary true story of a group of convicts in Australia, who in 1797 with the help of an officer, rehearse and perform a play despite the odds being stacked against them due to strong opposition from the other officers at the settlement.

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