Home » Author Archives: Alex Hayward

Author Archives: Alex Hayward

Funeral Flowers, The Bunker Theatre

If you’ll forgive the ad pitch, flowers suit nearly every occasion. A loving declaration, celebratory congratulations, or a sorrowful consolation. Living things that bloom and die, flowers represent beauty and sorrow, life and death. In Funeral Flowers they represent something else – the chance at something new. Funeral Flowers is a powerfully personal, utterly involving tale of a girl’s struggle to achieve her dream. Written and performed by Emma Dennis-Edwards, Funeral Flowers tells the story of Angelique, a 17-year-old whose ...

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Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre – Review

Blood Knot - Orange Tree Theatre Production photo

What can a play tell us about the world – more than half a century after its debut? I may as well ask why people still watch Shakespeare, but in the case of recent history, I always find myself wondering. Why now? Much like the Bard, it seems that racism will, sadly, always be relevant. Blood Knot is a play about apartheid in South Africa. Athol Fugard’s play about two brothers, one black, one white, premiered in 1961, one year ...

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Can Can, Union Theatre – Review

In late 19th century Paris, a bawdy new dance was born. The can-can grew from the seductive dances of Moulin Rouge courtesans into a high-energy show involving high kicks, splits, and exposed undergarments. Back then, you would have to go to French cabaret for the can-can. Now you can see it in railway arch in South London. Can-Can! promises fun and frivolity, and boy does it deliver. The show is a stunning, sugary confection of acrobatic feats and lavish design. ...

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Cuzco, Theatre503 – Review

Language can take you on a journey. Through stories we can explore the histories, cultures, and struggles of people across continents and ages. In a more literal sense language, or rather translation, can bring these stories to new audiences, many miles away from their source. In Cuzco, an unnamed couple journey to Peru. He hopes to rekindle the spark in their relationship. What she wants is unclear. As the two travel from one exotic locale to another they are driven ...

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Welcome to the UK, The Bunker – Review

Pros: Fantastic comic routines, dark satire, beautiful set design, and an endearing ensemble performance make Welcome to the UK a rewarding and powerful watch.   Cons: Welcome to the UK may disappoint viewers looking for character or narrative development. Immigration is a joke. Whether fleeing death or simply looking for a better life, recent arrivals in this country can expect meagre allowances, strict surveillance, limited work, trafficking, exploitation, violence, demonisation and, always, the threat of deportation. The joke is a cruel ...

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Bricks of The Wall, Etcetera Theatre – Review

Pros: Has little to commend it, aside from a cast who are clearly enjoying the material.      Cons: Suffers from an overdone plot, clunky dialogue, poor characterization and, most regrettably, nothing to say. Brexit was, for better or worse, a defining moment in British history. Depending on your outlook, the vote to leave the European Union could represent triumph or travesty, a chance to redefine British society and identity or a woeful regression to a darker time in European politics. Theatre can, ...

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One Jewish Boy, Old Red Lion Theatre – Review

Pros: Funny dialogue, smart observations and powerful performances from two leads with natural chemistry.  Cons: The lack of nuance and erratic pacing sometimes makes the play difficult to engage with, particularly during moments of revelation.   Europe has a long history of antisemitism. Hatred of Jewish people has existed on the continent for centuries, and is not going away anytime soon. Last week, a survey of European Jews found that nearly a third avoid attending events due to safety fears. In Britain, ...

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Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Pros: Beautifully staged and performed with incredible joy and skill. Cons: Fans of Django Reinhardt may find his personal story underexplored. Musical theatre can be a time machine. With the help of skillful performers, detailed design, and an inspiring setting, songs and sounds can transport audiences to other eras and places. Old worlds that would otherwise be lost to history can be recreated, experienced, and enjoyed. To this end, Little Bulb’s new production is not only effective, but a hell of a lot of fun. ...

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