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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!

Damage, Rich Mix

Ninaz Khodaiji★★★ Pros: The intimate space meant that each audience member became inescapably involved in the story. Cons: The consistent use of one narrative style meant that momentum was sometimes lost and audience members began to visibly lose interest. Our Verdict: A very brave and honest piece of theatre which engaged well with its audience. Theatre is one of the greatest and most powerful platforms for voicing aspects of yourself; opinions, Courtesy of Rich Mix your life, your experiences – the list ...

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Paper Dolls, Tricycle Theatre

Philip HimbergDirected by Indhu Rubasingham★★★ Pros: This show is lively, enchanting and huge fun. Lovely characters and wonderful music. Cons: There is a lack of focus in the script and some overacting from the cast. Our Verdict: Flawed, but wonderful.  Courtesy of The Tricycle Theatre The Tricycle theatre is a terrific, quirky space which is both a theatre and a cinema. It also serves jerk chicken for £7 – one of the best I’ve ever eaten and feels like the kind of ...

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Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre

Presented by Little Bulb Theatre and the Battersea Arts Centre ★★★★ Pros: Lots. Something very different from your average trip to the theatre: it is a concert and a play all in one with a little French joie de vivre. Fantastic performances from a dedicated cast. Cons: A little slow to get going. Our Verdict: Another fabulous production in the spectacular Grand Hall of the Battersea Arts Centre that offers a lot of excellent content for a reasonable price. Courtesy ...

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Jane Eyre, Rosemary Branch Theatre

Charlotte Brontë Adapted and directed by Bryony J. Thompson ★★★ Pros: A great cast and an interesting and loyal approach to the inspirational material. Cons: While the attempt to preserve the original text was well meaning, it steered the production towards monotony at times. Our Verdict: A loyal and enjoyable adaptation of a well-loved classic, but the concept might have worked better in theory than it did on stage. Courtesy of the Rosemary Branch Theatre Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is ...

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Boys’ Life, Etcetera Theatre

Howard Korder Directed by Sebastien Blanc ★★ Pros: The team work hard at the frequent scene changes and utilise the small space to maximum effect. It’s an interesting script, worthy of revival and there are some humorous moments. Cons: The actors struggle with the American accents and there is no sense of a real understanding of the characters and the 1980s setting. The use of several lit cigarettes in the confined theatre space is oppressive and uncomfortable. Our Verdict: This ...

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Othello, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

This production of Othello was previously reviewed by everything theatre during it’s short run at the White Bear Theatre. This second review was written independently of the first by a different member of our reviewing team. William Shakespeare Directed by Emily Morrison ★★★★ Pros: Using a small theatre space well, this production shows the depth of all the characters and adds more than a little extra to any other performance I have ever seen of Othello. Cons: One or two ...

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The Secret Garden, The Space

Frances Hodgson-Burnett Adapted and directed by Eleanor Appleton ★★★★ Pros: A dynamic and enjoyable adaptation of a classic good-mood tale with some very good acting and use of space. Some great physical theatre and puppetry scenes. Cons: Props were bare but did their job. Some rushed transitions interrupted the magic flow at times. Our Verdict: A well-adapted, fast and uplifting play set in an interesting theatre space. Enjoyable all round. Credit: Estibaliz Moreno  There’s something special about attending a show ...

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#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Hampstead Theatre

Howard Brenton, based on Barnaby Martin’s book Hanging Man Directed by James MacDonald ★★★★ Pros: An intelligent script which portrays the life of an important figure both realistically and with great humour. Benedict Wong breathes life into the central role. Cons: A slow start makes it difficult to fully engage in the first half. Our Verdict: This show isn’t ground-breaking, but it explores important issues with terrific insight while incorporating nice performances and a surprising number of laugh-out-loud moments. Courtesy ...

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Rope, Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Patrick Hamilton Directed by John Fricker ★★★★ Pros: Absolutely superb acting – you’d never want to see this play cast differently! Cons: Needless break and clumsy sound effects. Our Verdict: A very entertaining night out – even for die hard television fans – at a lovely theatre. Courtesy of Mark Bowsher for OutFox Productions Anyone who lives in London will be aware of Zone Prejudice. If you live in Zone 2, then Zone 3 is an uncivilized place. If you ...

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Take a Deep Breath and Breathe, Ovalhouse Theatre

Bola AgbajeDirected by Toby Clarke★★★ Pros: An electric display of young acting talent with moving performances from all cast members. Cons: Sexism seems to be engrained in the script and is never challenged – I came away hating both men and women. Our Verdict: A brave and hard-hitting piece of work which thrusts its wide range of emotions onto the audience and says it how it is. Courtesy of the Ovalhouse Launched in 2008, 33% London is a festival run ...

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