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Alternative

Fancy something a bit different from the norm? Something immersive, or something taking place in a caravan perhaps? Here you’ll find reviews of some of the most interesting and unique shows that we’ve seen.

Yamato – Passion, Peacock Theatre – Review

Formed in 1993, Yamato has performed shows every year, in 54 countries and carried out nine world tours.  That should give an idea of their universal appeal and high standard of musicianship.  For this show, the ten strong troupe performed a number of pieces, almost non stop, on the theme of passion.  There were small drums, medium sized drums, large drums and couple of ginormous ones. There were wind instruments, other percussion, some singing, some strings, and did I mention ...

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The Grand Expedition, Secret Location – Review

Following texted directions to the secret location “somewhere on the Victoria Line”, you make your way to a disused warehouse on the outskirts of town. Welcomed by a woman dressed as a 1930s aviator, speaking an imaginary language that hovers somewhere between Japanese and Klingon, you’re handed a beer – never a bad thing in a theatre – and led into the dining room. This turns out to be a vast octagonal space, hosting a dozen round 8-seater tables, mounted ...

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The Paper Man, Soho Theatre – Review

The inventive, social-change focused company Improbable present The Paper Man at one of London’s most vibrant venues for new theatre and comedy. It’s the true story of Matthias Sindelar, an Austrian football star who refused to throw a match against Germany during the Nazi regime and was found dead a few months later. Lee Simpson, actor and co-artistic director of Improbable, explains on stage that he wanted to tell this story for a long time and, but when he hired ...

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The Dip, The Space – Review

The Dip has the distinct honour of being the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen although, full disclaimer, I’m not really sure what it is that I saw. I think that might be the point of the piece. It’s 70 minutes of a psychedelic acid trip with an (extremely loose) narrative around a young man, Al, who is questioning and exploring his sexuality and attraction to his friend Nick. The audience are with Al on every step of this bizarre, largely ...

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I Stopped…when, The Vaults – Review

PROS: The thought and passion that went into the poetry was a pleasure to watch. CONS: It was hard to avoid the slow pace of the dialogue once a slam poem was finished, it only ever picked up during the poetry. I Stopped…when, tells the story of three young slam poetry contestants. The lives of Wren (Tom Nguyen), Naya (Nicole Acquah) and Adele (Lauren La Rocque) are all intertwined; they face ongoing battles due to their identities and the wrath ...

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#Hypocrisy, Theatre503 – Review

Pros: Full of honesty, humour and a word perfect performance, the sound and strength of Imogen Stirling’s words create a landscape that restores the faith in middle class privilege. Cons: Spoken word performance is not for everyone. Spoken word performance may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For many it brings to mind images of bearded hipsters in berets; rest assured that only occurs once tonight, and in a most amusing of ways. But if you were to consider spoken ...

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vessel, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Pros: Let’s talk about an intriguing piece of abstract art Cons: Let’s talk about intense inscrutability Let’s talk about conceptual theatre. This is not a play in any conventional sense, jettisoning character and plot in favour of something almost entirely different. Let’s talk about four women sitting in a row on chairs within vivid yellow circles as though hemmed in by the whirls of an enormous highlighter pen. Let’s talk about reading and repeating lines that all begin “Let’s talk ...

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Mirabel, Ovalhouse – Review

Pros: Mirabel is a highly original and emotionally affecting tale of loss and learning. Cons: The abstract narrative can be challenging and sometimes hard to follow. The end of the world has rarely been a cheerful affair. In films, television, novels, and of course, the Bible, the apocalyptic event has usually been described in terms of fiery chaos, fractured earth, and the horror of mass death. We are not short of inspiration for such imaginings, whether looking to the past, ...

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Fans, Canada Water Theatre – Review

Pros: Theatre and live music gig for the price of one! Cons: The show is on tour with only short stops, so you’ll have to be quick off the mark to see it! Nina Berry’s show Fans is described as a performance for anyone who has ever loved music – i.e., everyone. Indeed, it is hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t be charmed by the humour, energy and sheer joyfulness of Fans. It’s a beautiful production peppered with excellent musical hits, ...

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Buddha Babies, Soho Theatre – Review

Evenings with the Crick Crack Club begin with a call and response: the word ‘CRICK’ prompts the audience to inform their storyteller that they are open to listening, and therefore you are required to reply emphatically ‘CRACK’. Thus begins a slightly barmy, but beautiful evening of storytelling. Buddha Babies, with story teller Xanthe Gresham Knight, is a complex and hilarious exploration of what it means to be ‘childless’, with whatever connotations that might carry for a woman, negative or positive. In the ...

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