Home » Reviews » Off West End (page 204)

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!

Pilgrims, Etcetera Theatre

Sarah Page Directed by Kevin Williams ★★★★ Pros: A play about a recent event is always interesting, and tying it in with a smaller, personal story is a masterstroke. Cons: It could be argued that at one point in the play, things are overwrought, but then again with a lot of families, life can be like that – and then some! Our Verdict: A strong play that has well-rounded characters that are emotionally engaging. Time zips by! Credit: Dan Barry ...

Read More »

The Blood is Strong, Finborough Theatre

David Hutchison Directed by Bruce Guthrie ★★★★ Pros: A terrific script and a few top class performances. Cons: The play lags in places with a number of slightly confusing moments. Our Verdict: Well worth a look. The topic of Scottish independence is very of the moment and you won’t find a more entertaining exploration of it than this. Courtesy of FinboroughTheatre “In 1950’s Scotland, Nationalists were the kind of people who, if they saw a roadside cliff face adorned with ...

Read More »

Bye Bye World, Battersea Arts Centre

Anne Gehring & Vera Ketelaars Directed by Marjolein Frijling ★★★ Pros: A very relatable, poignant story with recognisable characters. Wonderful weird writing. Cons: A strange and rather awkward watch and not to everyone’s taste. Perhaps not the best choice for a family outing or a first date. Our Verdict: At times hilarious, at times tragic, this is a brilliant look at the desire to run away from your life. Experimental theatre at its best. Courtesy of Battersea Arts Centre Performed in a ...

Read More »

SAPPHO… in 9 fragments, The Rose Theatre

Jane Montgomery Griffiths Directed by Jessica Ruano ★★★ Pros: A five star execution by actress Victoria Grove, who performs with both vigour and grace. Cons: Difficult to follow without any background knowledge. You quickly find yourself playing catch-up as you try and dissect each scene.  Our Verdict: An enchanting and apt venue, with the play set in the archaeological ruins of The Rose Theatre. To truly enjoy and understand the play, some reading about the life of the ancient Greek ...

Read More »

Yellow Face, Park Theatre

David Henry Hwang Directed by Alex Sims ★★★★★ Pros: Delves into a very complex and hard-to-communicate idea with a perfect balance of levity through humour. Cons: The last 5 minutes. Our Verdict: An intensely engrossing play. Creates plenty of laughter and leaves you with a greater understanding of the issues surrounding cultural identity and prejudice. Courtesy of Evening Standard Cats and wool. It’s hard to believe that these two things didn’t evolve at the same time in the same environment. ...

Read More »

The Shepherd’s Chameleon, CLF Art Cafe

Eugene Ionesco Directed by Moji Kareem ★★★ Pros: Both well-designed and well-acted, with an intriguing and thought provoking concept.Cons: Lofty subject matter and repetition made it a bit pretentious and at times hard to swallow.Our Verdict: Well-conceived and produced. Delightfully absurd at times, but perhaps an overly intellectual examination of theatre. Courtesy of Rob Sloetry Covell Eugene Ionesco is the king of avant-garde and absurdist theatre. With this production, Utopia Theatre tackles his apparently quite personal struggle with the place ...

Read More »

Killing Romeo, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Written and directed by Jazz Martinez-Gamboa ★★★★ Pros: The plot stays with you; I love a play that doesn’t leave you alone and forces you to relive the experience. I still come up with new thoughts even a few days after seeing it. Cons: If you lose concentration for even a second the plot might be completely lost to you. It’s filled with subtleties that act as brush strokes to create a powerful picture. Our Verdict: I loved it. If ...

Read More »

The Significant Other Festival, Park Theatre

Presented by The Pensive Federation ★★★★ Pros: An excellent short-play challenge with great results Cons: A couple of noticeably weaker pieces within the 10 plays. Our Verdict: An overall enjoyable evening of short plays, with the added fun of a competitive spirit and participation from the audience as well. Courtesy of The Pensive Federation I’ve seen a lot of short plays in the past month or so, but The Pensive Federation’s Significant Other Festival has far and away been my ...

Read More »

The Bear, Ovalhouse Theatre

Angela Clerkin & Lee Simpson  Directed by Lee Simpson ★★★★ Pros: This show has something for everyone; from drama to dance and spoof to satire, there is never a dull moment. A genuinely funny and original concept performed with perfect simplicity. Cons: Very few. The twist in the plot is quite obscure and comes out of nowhere, which could leave you more than a little bemused (but that’s the idea, really).  Our Verdict: We highly recommend this show. At times ...

Read More »