The Black Eye Club, Bread & Roses Theatre

BEC_MAIN_PRESS_IMAGE.jpg

Zoe’s back at her commuter belt town’s refuge after her husband beat her up again. This time it’s because Palace lost. Last time, it was because she was nagging to much. She jokes about what will bring her here the next time with her new friend Dave, an anxious gay man who escaped through his bathroom window after his partner beat the shit out of him again. Dave’s not allowed in the refuge, but Zoe felt bad and snuck him in.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Listening Room, Stratford East

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJ_rZDbXcAAHgLN.jpg

Can violent criminals be rehabilitated, and can their victims ever forgive them? The Listening Room says yes.

This verbatim piece tells the stories of three violent crimes, primarily from the perspective of the perpetrators. Some character background sets the scene for climactic moments where they commit their offences, but at least half of each of the five characters’ stories spotlights the rehabilitation process and mediation between the assailants and their victims.

Continue reading

Eyes Closed Ears Covered, Bunker Theatre

https://i1.wp.com/everything-theatre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Eyes-Closed-Ears-Covered-Danny-Boy-Hatchard-and-Joe-Idris-Roberts-photos-by-Anton-Belmont%C3%A9.jpg

by guest critic Liam Rees

Alex Gwyther’s Eyes Closed, Ears Covered is a slippery play that continuously raises questions. We’re immediately presented with Alyson Cummins’ concrete-grey, angular set, suggestive of a brutalist play park in a rundown housing estate. A recording of a distressed phone call to the police about a pair of young boys and a terrible act of violence adds tension. Gwyther’s script immediately has us hooked with the right amount of specific details to suggest what may have occurred whilst not to revealing too much.

Continue reading

Monster, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

https://cdn.thestage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/16102305/Untitled-11-700x455.jpg

I didn’t have any particular expectations from Joe Sellman-Leava’s new play on male violence. But I am joyfully surprised by an opening montage of rapidly-delivered Shakespeare, ranging from Othello to Taming of the Shrew. Disarmingly vicious in its delivery, this scene snaps into an audition for a play, then a house in Exeter, then the video research material for Joe’s character, and back again.

Continue reading

Palmyra, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

https://i0.wp.com/www.theatrebubble.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PALMYRA.jpg

Two men glide around the floor on small wheeled platforms. Like children, belly down on skateboards, they relish the speed and inability to control their paths. There’s a sense of freedom and joy in their movements, but collisions soon turn happiness into hostility. The fights increase in aggression, and the audience is made complicit. No one is innocent here.

Continue reading

Ponyboy Curtis vs., The Yard

https://i1.wp.com/www.theyardtheatre.co.uk/archive/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/vs.-Image1.jpg

Trying to write about Chris Goode’s latest Ponyboy Curtis show vs. is like trying to fit a hurricane into a canning jar. The energy, love and freedom on the Yard’s stage is irrevocably alive and unrestrained, and trying to pin this one-of-a-kind butterfly onto a page kills it a little, or a lot. So take this review as a tiny sample of an extravagant banquet that can only be fully experienced directly.

Continue reading

Killology, Royal Court

https://d19lfjg8hluhfw.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/29111051/Killology-at-the-Sherman-Theatre191-Richard-Mylan-Sion-Daniel-Young-Se%C3%A1n-Gleeson-credit-Mark-Douet-1024x683.jpg

I have a fairly robust constitution and am not particularly squeamish, but Gary Owen’s latest had me trying not to be sick on Meg Vaughan’s bag on my right, or the empty seats to my left and in front of me. They were empty because some people walked out in the first half, and others didn’t return after the interval. That’s not to say Killology isn’t brilliant – it absolutely is. But the brutal story about fractured father/son relationships, toxic masculinity and revenge is bloody hard to watch.

Continue reading