Home » Author Archives: Polly Allen

Author Archives: Polly Allen

Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead, Soho Theatre – Review

credit: Show and Tell

Pros: A multi-layered concept, deftly handled by Morpurgo, who has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Cons: Audience participation elements might deter some theatregoers. Also, the Soho Theatre’s side-view seating makes it easy to miss some of the jokes. Have you ever sat through a highbrow 9-hour vanity project based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, followed by a post-show Q&A? Nope, neither have I, but Joseph Morpurgo’s Hammerhead takes that concept and runs with it, imagining a ...

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Eyes Closed, Ears Covered, Bunker Theatre – Review

Credit: Anton Belmonté

Pros: The confident and able cast deliver this play with conviction, in an unusual venue that makes it stand out even more. Cons: A weaker second act loses the flow (and the plot), leading to a distressing climax. Eyes Closed, Ears Covered is a full-on piece of theatre: it demands attention, but also scrutiny. On the surface, we see two teenage boys bunking off school for the day, back in 1986. They swap grim Woking and the school bus for ...

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Mental, Assembly Roxy – Review

Credit: Lucas Smith

Pros: Excellent songs, use of sound clips and lights make this play stand out. Kane Power is a confident performer who balances the light and shade of the piece. Cons: As the volume is turned up to 11, the lights are flashing and Kane’s mother leaves upsetting voicemail messages, sensitive viewers may struggle to watch. Early on in Mental, there’s a disclosure from the man behind it: ‘This show will fail – how can I capture my mum’s experience?’. Kane ...

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Our Man in Havana, Pleasance Courtyard – Review

Production shot for Our Man in Havana by Spies Like Us Theatre Company

Pros: A perfectly executed adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel, with endlessly inventive choreography and the best use of a vacuum cleaner you’ll ever see on stage. Cons: None – it’s a solid all-rounder. Have you ever seen a vacuum cleaner become a coat stand, a bar, a phone and a dog? All these are possible, and many more transformations too, in Our Man in Havana, by Spies Like Us. Here, the household prop, which is sold by a vacuum salesman ...

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