Home » Author Archives: Marianna Meloni

Author Archives: Marianna Meloni

Better Than Sex: The Story of Mae West, Toulouse Lautrec – Review

Emily Hutt’s tell-all cabaret on the 1930’s limelight icon Mae West follows almost pedantically the chronology of her life events, to the detriment of a sought-after dramatic climax. West – embodied by the talented Bella Bevan – takes centre stage with the accompaniment of pianist Kieran Stallard, and alternates tales from her past with some of her most recognisable songs. A promising opening scene involves some of the biting one-liners that made the artist famous, smattered with sexual innuendos and ...

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Queen of the Mist, Jack Studio Theatre – Review

On the cusp of the 20th century, Anna Edson Taylor hit the headlines as the first woman to descend the Niagara Falls and survive. Trained as a physical education teacher and widowed soon after marriage, she found herself heavily indebted and resorted to the daring deed as a way to escape poverty, with a promise for future fame and recognition. Already attempted unsuccessfully by several men and women, her ride was negotiated inside a bespoke pickle barrel, made of oak ...

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The Idiot, Print Room at the Coronet – Review

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot revolves around Prince Myshkin (Saburo Teshigawara), a young man who returns to Russia, having spent four years in a Swiss clinic to treat his epilepsy. Soon, his good spirit and innocence clash with the dirt and evil of the local aristocracy. This is represented on stage in the contrast between the Prince’s pristine costume and the stark, if gorgeous, gowns of Nastasya Filippovna Barashkova (Rihoko Sato), the unworthy woman with whom he becomes increasingly obsessed. In ...

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Pain(t), New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

Spectators expecting to receive an interpretation of Richard Foreman’s Pain(t) might be utterly disappointed, as this play is intended to be entirely devoid of meaning. This is by admission of Patrick Kennedy, the creative mind behind this European premiere of Foreman’s 1974 play, which is part of a triple bill, celebrating the author’s 50th anniversary of theatrical engagement. In 70 minutes a number of scenes follow each other, connected merely by the recurrence of the same characters. Each vignette revolves ...

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Fame – The Musical, New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

In Italy, where I grew up, the TV series Fame was broadcast in the afternoon, when families would enjoy it gathered after lunch. As a young child, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the topics, but rather enjoy the musical score and, in particular the opening credits with the series’ theme song. Only recently have I been made aware of how controversial some of those topics were. For those who aren’t familiar with this 1980s cult title, Fame focuses on ...

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Never Swim Alone, Etcetera Theatre – Review

Pros: The fresh take on the pressures entailed by an alpha male role. Cons: The narrative structure feels fragmentary. Bill (Azan Ahmed) and Frank (Jack Dillon) have been friends since childhood and know each other’s secrets and history. They both look smart and act cool, wearing blue suits and fancy silk ties. Looking impeccable, pleasing the boss and being cordial to each other are all part of their role, although, deep inside, they’re burning with mutual envy and tormented by an unreasonable pressure ...

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To The Bone, Katzspace Studio – Review

Pros: The bleak honesty of Motherhood or Madness and Eoin McKenna’s top-notch comedic delivery in Specky Ginger C*nt. Cons: Motherhood or Madness could benefit from a more imaginative lighting design, whereas Specky Ginger C*nt plunges too deeply into hopeless drama. In a renewed climate of female emancipation, women are unafraid to address motherhood in dispassionate tones. No longer seen as a gift from god, nor a state of bliss, it is often considered a mere inconvenience, a life-changing event over ...

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Drowned or Saved?, Tristan Bates Theatre – Review

Pros: The poignant portrayal of Primo Levi is brought to life by an excellent cast. Cons: Condensed into just over one hour, the events described might feel fragmentary. Primo Levi’s contributions play a pivotal role in our understanding of the Holocaust. Born and bred in the Italian city of Turin, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 and owes his survival to the Nazis’ decision to employ him as a chemist in a rubber factory – which kept him away ...

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