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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!

Genesis New Writing Night, Genesis Cinema

Presented by Genesis Cinema Directed by William Walsh ★★★★ Pros: A chance to witness some early work from up-and-coming playwrights. Cons: Some plays need quite a bit of rewriting. Our Verdict: A fun night out and a chance to mingle with the actors and playwrights. Courtesy of Genesis Cinema I must admit I was a tad nervous at being given this assignment. I have been to numerous new writing evenings and quite a few have been terrible. They are often far too ...

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Treatment, Drayton Arms Theatre

Written & Directed by Raymond-Kym Suttle ★★★★ Pros: A well developed storyline that touches nerves in everyone’s lives – delivered with passion by the whole cast. Very emotionally engaging. Cons: Some may find the themes cliché and the acting soapy. It could do with a bit more balance in role distribution. Our Verdict: A tremendous collective effort that succeeds in bringing a strong message of paternal love and homophobic prejudice together. A very enjoyable night out at this Old Brompton ...

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Skin Tight, Park Theatre

Gary Henderson Directed by Jemma Gross ★★★★ Pros: Stand out performances and well-written dialogue that really hits home. Cons: I would have liked a little more detail on the story of their family, but it’s a really minor quibble considering the packed content of the relatively short play. Our Verdict: A strong production that expertly carries you through highs, lows, laughter and tears. Credit: Andy Colbourne The Park is a newcomer to the London theatre scene: it first opened its ...

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Macbeth, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

William Shakespeare Presented by Wyrd Sisters Theatre ★★★ Pros: Beautifully performed by each and every cast member. Cons: The immense heat came close to ruining the experience. Our Verdict: A fantastic rendition of this Shakespearean classic, but bring a fan! Credit: Ciaran Cunningham I was intrigued to see this unusual version of Shakespeare’s Scottish play from the Wyrd Sisters Theatre Company. Made up of an all-female cast – aside from the three male witches – the Bard’s dark tragedy is ...

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Glasshouse, The Battersea Arts Centre

The Honest Crowd★★   Pros: It’s unique and quite funny at times. The performers show excellent composure in the face of adversity. Cons: A little repetitive in the early stages and fairly unpleasant to watch at times. Not for those who don’t like a little audience-participation. Our verdict: An interesting experiment and very well performed. The script, while simple, does its job. Fans of performance art and surrealism may enjoy it. My friends will tell you that I don’t like ...

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The Precariat, Finborough Theatre

Emily Pulham Directed by Chris Dunkley ★★★★ Pros: All of the actors are excellent, and convincing. A very minimal set is cleverly utilised to add conviction to the scenes, and the theatre has a great atmosphere. Cons: Some of the more political rants don’t always sound true to the characters who are speaking them, and feel a little preachy (although the rants are not without purpose). Our Verdict: A wonderful piece – well cast, moving, enjoyable, thought provoking and darkly ...

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In Cahoots, Hen and Chickens

Paul Raymond & Luke ManningDirected by Paul Raymond and Luke Manning★★★ Pros: Fresh, energetic and original. In Cahoots show a lot of promise and works the audience well, especially in such a small venue. Their improvisation is very strong and shows real comedic talent underneath the written material. Cons: The performance wasn’t as slick as it might have been. Whilst this added a certain organic quality to their show, they need to be careful not to let it get out ...

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what happens to hope at the end of the evening, Almeida Theatre

Andy Smith and Tim CrouchDirected by Karl James★★★★ Pros: Simple, hilarious and entirely relatable with a great connection between the two performers. Cons: May prove too simplistic for some. Our Verdict: A cozy little performance that felt intense yet somehow lighthearted, all at the same time. The Almeida Theatre was decked out in astroturf and plastic daisies as I entered. Done especially for the Almeida Festival, I was loving the cool, outdoorsy feel as I stepped out of the hot ...

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Crookback, Etcetera Theatre

William Shakespeare, adapted by Tim Welham Directed by Megan Watson★★★Pros: As one man shows of Shakespeare’s go, this was a feat to behold. Done with a succinct and intelligent adaptation of the script of Richard III. Cons: Richness of character and story get lost in this pared down version of the play. Those who are not familiar with the script are in danger of feeling lost, as all contextualising action and dialogue have been cut. Our Verdict: One applauds the immense feat of ...

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