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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!

Our Friends, The Enemy, New Wimbledon Studio

Alex GwytherDirected by Tom O’Brien★★★ Pros: Fantastic design coupled with a bright and enthusiastic performance based on a fascinating historical moment. Cons: The plot didn’t have much of an arc and despite an engaging performance, the script might have been better suited as a short story or full-cast production rather than a solo piece. Our Verdict: There were many great elements at play here but ultimately the dramatic presentation lacks effectiveness. Courtesy of New Wimbledon Theatre Alex Gwyther is the ...

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Kinky, Ovalhouse Theatre

Presented by 2HeadedPigeon★★★★ Pros: So much fun! Gets you thinking about a wide range of important issues in a very entertaining way. Cons: Not all theatrical devices worked and some parts aren’t clear in their meaning. Our Verdict: This show is right at the top for pure enjoyment. It is a bundle of anarchic fun which puts into the open some very important issues which rarely get discussed. Courtesy of Ovalhouse The set for this piece resembles the state of ...

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A Strange Wild Song, New Diorama Theatre

Presented by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company ★★★★ Pros: Lovely storytelling, great acting, creative use of set and props, impressive synchronicity between light, sound and performer. Cons: I found the music distracting and it jarred with the action for the most part. Our Verdict: This performance feels like a big warm hug. Underpinning the impressive technical mastery of the performers is a show which is filled with real heart and soul. Courtesy of Rhum and Clay Theatre Company Sometime around ...

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Freakoid, Ovalhouse Theatre

Emma Adams Directed by Sarah Applewhite ★★★ Pros: A clever, witty and thought-provoking play that tackles one of societies’ most disturbing interferences with individual freedoms in a funny, hilarious and utterly bonkers way. Acting is near flawless. Very good use of audiovisuals. Cons: Bare props and some needlessly prolonged scenes make it occasionally tedious, especially in the latter part. Our Verdict: A funny and enjoyable one-woman show that gives you food for thought and an insane attraction to household appliances. ...

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MyFirstTrainers.com, Tristan Bates Theatre

Jonathan LewisPresented by Act Naturally ★★★ Pros: An entertaining concept. Witty and satirical throughout. Office workers around the country will be reminded of their own training day experiences, with their countless buzz words and instantly forgettable mnemonics. Cons: The show’s appeal is likely to be limited, being aimed at a specific corporate audience. In saying that, this demographic covers a fairly sizable portion of the population. Our Verdict: A fun-filled hour if you have ever experienced the corporate office environment! ...

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The Deep Space, Old Red Lion Theatre

Lila Whelan Directed by Claude Girardi ★★★★ Pros: An intelligent script with an excellent set of performances behind it. Cons: An emotionally involving play; the content can be hard to swallow. Our Verdict: Highly recommended if you are looking for gripping, poignant theatre, but not if you are looking for a light-hearted lark. Courtesy of Sprocket Theatre The Old Red Lion is a pub-theatre with a reputation for delivering great shows. It boasts several West End transfers, such as a ...

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If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, Royal Court

Anders Lustgarten Directed by Simon Godwin  ★★★ Pros: The cast are excellent and the lack of set and back stage area is an interesting way to present a drama set in times of ‘austerity’. Cons: There are too many ideas, presented too quickly and too piecemeal. Some of the characters and situations presented are clichéd and the humour just doesn’t happen. Our Verdict: This quality production will appeal to those who have an understanding and interest in politics and economics. It ...

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Waiting for Lefty, White Bear Theatre

Clifford Odets Directed by Christopher Emms ★★★★ Pros: A terrific script and a (mostly) excellent cast deliver an impassioned story which rings true. Cons: Not all of the actors are believable. Our Verdict: This is a very enjoyable play and the majority of the performances are of a very high standard. Courtesy of  Waiting for Lefty is a terrific political drama written in 1935 which tells the story of impoverished workers on strike through a series of vignettes. It was ...

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Othello, White Bear Theatre

William Shakespeare Directed by Emily Morrison ★★★★ Pros: Gorgeous costumes, inspired direction and world class acting. Cons: Not much to report here. A few of the actors didn’t quite hold my attention but this is only a minor dent in a truly dazzling show. Our Verdict: A stunning feat of wholly engaging entertainment with highly creative directing and two astonishing central performances. This came dangerously close to a 5 star review. Courtesy of Emanate Theatre Company Whoever calls the shots at the ...

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Dr Faustus, Network Theatre

Christopher Marlowe, adapted by Bernie C. Byrnes Director Bernie C. Byrnes ★★★ Pros: The themes of the play (the corruption of power and the struggle between personal morality and worldly temptation) are acutely condensed into an intelligent view on the faults of society today.  Cons: While the actors clearly understood the play inside out and presented an impressively cohesive and entertaining piece in half the usual rehearsal time, it did lack a certain polish.  Our Verdict: This play as a ...

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