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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!

The Cat’s Mother, The Courtyard

Pericles SnowdonDirected by Natalie Scott and Joseph Thorpe★★★ Pros: An interesting idea, with some good collaborative work by this group of young women, who are working hard to increase the presence of women on the stage. Cons: The script, while strong in places, needed more active development by the directors and the performances suffer as a result of this. Our Verdict: Not going to go down in history as one of the greatest pieces of theatre ever created, but an ...

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Carbon Dating, Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Ron ElishaDirected by John Fricker★★★ Pros: A well-polished production featuring quick-wit and down-to-earth sketches from the frontlines of first dates. Cons: Low stakes and a weak point of view create a sketch comedy feel, so the show lacks real weight. Our Verdict: A less-than-ground breaking but appreciatively light-hearted rom-com that will absolutely entertain but won’t linger on conscience. Credit: Mark Bowsher If you loved the 2009 film, He’s Just Not That Into You or other similar romantic-comedies, OutFox Productions and ...

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Who is Noskov?, Theatro Technis

Five plays written by George NoskovDirected by George Eugeniou Grey Foam: ★★Turkey: ★★★ Pros: The opening and closing scenes of an empty stage with voices coming through the speakers were poignant and an excellent idea which both enthralled the audience at the beginning and caused them to leave thinking. Cons: Sadly the space, a thrust black box theatre and stage, was not used very well by either the actors or the director. The venue seemed just too big for the ...

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Riot Night, The Old Frizzle

Hugh JanesDirected by Robert Young★★★ Pros: Some nice performances, particularly from Alex Williams. Fantastic idea for a show. Cons: Never quite becomes totally immersive. Sometimes feels a little overdone. Our Verdict: An important production which is likely to become more subtle and immersive as the run progresses. Worth making a detour to see! Riot Night, 12-15 November 2012 This is the second production I’ve seen recently dealing with last year’s London Riots, but I must confess that I am not ...

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The Trojan Women, Gate Theatre

Caroline Bird, After EuripidesDirected by Christopher Haydon★★★★★ Pros: An excellent and original reworking of the Greek text with stellar performances and an exceptional design. Cons: Sight-lines are a little tricky, but blockages can be avoided by arriving early to claim front seats. Our Verdict: An all-around wonderful production featuring a spectacular script, cast, design, and message. Courtesy of the Gate Theatre Several years ago I worked in the sound-booth for my university’s production of The Trojan Women, so while I ...

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The Atheist, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Ronan NooneDirected by Hugh Ross★★★ Pros: An interesting insight into a world that is written, created and manipulated by the media from the perspective of one overly self-aware journalist. Cons: While this one man performance is impressive, there could have been better differentiation between the female characters. The slight predictability of the plot made the end points of acts less impactful than they should have been. Our Verdict: A compelling story of relevance well-told. However, the one man characterisation of ...

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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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