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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!

Opposition, Ovalhouse Theatre

Written and Performed by Hannah Silva ★★★★ Pros: A political satire which works remarkably well on many different levels. A brilliant performance from a dynamic young artist. Cons: The sound effects and the music occasionally drown out the words. This is particularly bad during an important speech at the end. Our Verdict: This is abstract theatre for people who don’t like abstract theatre (as well as those who do, of course). A unique, funny, incredibly clever one-woman show from a ...

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Our Country’s Good, Watford Palace Theatre

everything theatre originally reviewed this production at the Watford Palace Theatre. It will return to London from 30th January – 9th March 2013 at the St James Theatre: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/events/our-countrys-good/Timberlake WertenbakerDirected by Max Stafford-Clark★★★★ Pros: Great ensemble production with a fabulous cast, and a message that remains incredibly important. Cons: Parts of the script remain tricky in places. Our Verdict: A very good production with an excellent cast that will make you feel good about the very fact you’re in a ...

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Bones, Tristan Bates Theatre

Jane UptonDirected by Angharad Jones & Laura Ford★★★★ Pros: An excellent performance and script complimented by a well-designed set. Cons: The fast-paced script was occasionally hard-to-follow, and the subject matter is not for the faint hearted. Our Verdict: A disturbing but overwhelmingly engrossing and worthwhile production. Courtesy of Fifth Word If you’ve ever seen a grisly car accident on the side of the road but been guiltily unable to peel your eyes away, prepare for a similar experience when viewing ...

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Happy Birthday, Wanda June, Old Red Lion Theatre

Kurt VonnegutDirected by Ant Stones★★★ Pros: A very clever script full of wit and humour, poignant moments and surrealism. The cast are versatile – I really liked the use of female actors playing male roles – and the comic timing is really good. Cons: The interpretation of a central character lacks charisma which saps the energy during an important scene in the second act. At times the dialogue was a little stiff. Our Verdict: This is a really enjoyable production ...

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Khadija is 18, Finborough Theatre

Shamser SinhaDirected by Tim Stark★★★ Pros: A brilliant and haunting ending, great performances from the female actors in particular and a noble script attempting to raise the profile of refugees. Cons: Often moments involving the male actors weren’t quite believable; dodgy accents in places didn’t help. Our Verdict: A show of two halves. It took a while for us to suspend that pesky disbelief, but the ending was tremendous. Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre Khadija is 18 marks the full-length ...

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The Snow Spider, Ovalhouse Theatre

Delyth Jones & James Lark, based on the book by Jenny NimmoDirected by Delyth Jones★★★★ Pros: A really interesting script, incredibly talented performers, and a great design. Cons: Though advertised for children, some moments came off as potentially too dark for the youngest viewers. Our Verdict: A delightful and engaging adaptation suitable for kids and mature viewers. Courtesy of the Ovalhouse Theatre In their latest production at the Ovalhouse, the Io Theatre Company has successfully intertwined children’s literature with music ...

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The Supper Party, Tabard Theatre

Alison EvansDirected by James Beedham and Eleanor Teasdale★★★ Pros: A witty script with interesting, quotable thoughts on life, art and relationships. Some very good acting too. Cons: The story lags in places and some of the acting is less than perfect. Nothing too bad though. Our Verdict: This is a show which offers plenty of laughs with a number of profound observations to add real depth to a story which is essentially about rubbish parties and vacuous people. A definite ...

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Unseasoned, Shooting Star Pub

Presented by Back Here! Theatre Company★★ Pros: Most of these pieces contain interesting concepts and humour, and there is some observant and poignant writing in the monologues. Bethan Cullinane stands out as a talented writer and actor. Cons: The characters presented in the plays are, on the whole, unimaginative and obvious. The dialogues are delivered to a measured cadence that lacks dynamic. The acting is weak at several points throughout the performance, lacking credibility and sincerity. Our Verdict: This company ...

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The Watcher’s Kaleidoscope, The London Theatre

Chris ThorpePresented by New Write Productions★★ Pros: An interesting actor in the central role. Cons: Full of annoying and unprofessional mistakes from start to finish. Our Verdict: A dull and occasionally infuriating evening. Please note that this review was for a preview performance of The Watcher’s Kaleidoscope. The Watcher’s Kaleidoscope is the story of Paul, an awkward but outwardly sweet young man as he deals with the news that he has cancer. As the story develops we see that he ...

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Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!, Chickenshed Theatre

Dario FoTranslated by Lino Pertile, adapted by Bill Colvill and Robert WalkerDirected by Jelena Budimir★★★★ Pros: A fun play from a Nobel prize winning playwright. Great comedy with impressive rough-and-tumble slapstick. Cons: The venue is at the top end of the Piccadilly Line (possibly the slowest line of them all) so give yourself plenty of time to get there, and then some! Our Verdict: A night of hilarity from a tremendous, forward-thinking company who are on the up. Courtesy of ...

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