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Off West End

Ah, the Off West End. For those not familiar with the term, this is where the real magic of the London theatre scene happens. Great shows are born here, in pubs, in 50-seat theatres, in tunnels. Recommended for the adventurous – we can’t get enough of it, and you’ll save a quid or two as well!

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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After the Dance – Review

Bridewell Theatre Taking place at company Sedos’ own residence at Bridewell Theatre on the edge of the City, the not-so-amateur collective brings their rendering of Terence Rattigan’s inter-war drama, After the Dance, to life. The play was written on the eve of the Second World War, and suffered as a result – the looming declaration of the war caused audiences to fizzle out after its debut, and it took a 90s BBC TV adaptation to reanimate it, and a prominent ...

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Butterfly Power, Rosemary Branch Theatre – Review

“Cigarette, dear?”“No thank you, dear.”“I think I might have a cigarette, dear.”“No you won’t, dear.”“Very well, dear.” And so the scene is set: in two inflatable armchairs, presided over by a goldfish on a gold pedestal, sit Mr and Mrs Fox. She – in a luminous, captivating performance by Alice Marshall – is domineering, supercilious, wilfully mispronouncing words and oblivious to the feelings of those around her; he – a foppish, Wooster-like Jack J Fairley – is an ineffectual, waistcoated ...

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Scary Bikers – Trafalgar Studios 2

I volunteered to cover this without knowing anything about it, and when I had a quick look at some blurb claiming that it was yet another Brexit-themed piece I admit my heart sank a little.  Fear not.  Yes, Brexit is talked about, argued over and looming in the background, as it probably has for the majority of the UK population over the last couple of years, but I wouldn’t say it was the focal point.  It is a very amusing ...

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Killymuck / Box Clever Double bill – Review

The Bunker Theatre Social inequality is the theme that binds Killymuck and Box Clever together, a double bill of one woman shows at The Bunker. But there is so much else that links these shows. Both have powerful performances from their sole actor, exploring the lives of young women affected by the simple fact they were born into poverty and social inequality, and both are a mixture of laughter and seriousness as they try to present their topics in a ...

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The Project, White Bear Theatre – Review

It’s 1942 in a transit camp in Holland. Four Jewish detainees make up the camp’s concert party: impresario Victor (Lloyd Morris), dancer Anna (Faye Maghan), her sister Millie (Eloise Jones) and Anna’s lover Peter (Nick Devallé). When Millie discovers that their sick mother, Ette (Cate Morris), has been put on the notorious Tuesday List for transportation to a concentration camp the sisters form a plan of action: to ingratiate themselves with the camp’s commandant, Conrad (Mike Duran), in order to ...

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Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran, Omnibus Theatre – Review

Drag theatre is an increasingly broad church and here it is used to serious political effect at Omnibus Theatre’s 96 Festival of queer theatre, which celebrates the iconic 1996 Pride party on nearby Clapham Common.  The drag, for fans, delivers. Lip syncing, pop covers, gay culture references (including a welcome nod to Kenneth Williams), fan dances and wounded glamour are all present and correct.  Everything looks divine too. Sam Wilde and Elizabeth Harper’s set design, in a reconfigured Omnibus auditorium, is ...

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There Is A Field, Theatre503 -Review

Mark (Sam Frenchum) is from a typical East End family, working class to the core.  Except Mark has gone off the rails with too many drugs, and has been kicked out of the family home.  After the death of his dad his mum (Sarah Finigan) wants him home, because after all, family is everything and it’s his duty to be at the front of the funeral; people have to see him there to show the family strength.  The problem is ...

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The Problem With Fletcher Mott, Drayton Arms Theatre – Review

There is something exhilarating about seeing a work in progress, especially when it’s from a team surely only just out of their teens!  There’s an energy created you just don’t get at normal press nights. Ok, so that’s because the place is full of friends and family along to support, but that means an excitable youthful atmosphere that is just so joyous to be part of.  Secondly, the anticipation that you might be witnessing something special that may one day ...

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