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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!

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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Nightmare, The Space

Roger MossDirected by Peter Snee★★ Pros: Some good performances and character interaction. Cons: A clichéd evening where the acting, direction and script didn’t quite create the perfect recipe overall. Our Verdict: Not great I’m afraid, but a decent attempt at the (extremely difficult) on stage horror which may get better with time. Courtesy of The Space When I finally found The Space in East London, it was last thing I think I expected. I had disembarked the train at Canary ...

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The Ones Who Kill Shooting Stars, White Bear Theatre

Conall QuinnDirected by Alice Malin★★★ Pros: A funny and beautifully poetic script with some fantastic characters. Cons: The action is occasionally too loud and grandiose for such a tiny venue and some of the accents are not quite right. Our Verdict: A fairly decent (ish) production of an excellent script. Courtesy of The Public Reviews The White Bear is an intimate theatre hidden at the back of a lovely, cozy pub near Kennington tube station in South London. It is ...

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The Good Neighbour, Battersea Arts Centre

Intrepid Explorers Tour (Adults)Presented by the Battersea Arts Centre★★★★ Pros: A thought-provoking, inclusive and friendly production. Cons: Could perhaps have been a little shorter; at times a little unpolished. Our Verdict: Story-telling turned on its head. Certainly worth the trip down to South London! Courtesy of the BAC The Battersea Arts Centre, affectionately known as the BAC, probably doesn’t look like you’d expect it to. Based in a grade two listed Victorian town hall, it is an imposing but welcoming ...

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Scallywags, The Space

Presented by SOOPDirected by Nathan Chapman★★★★ Pros: Highly talented and dynamic cast, clever and simple design, interesting subject. Cons: The stakes of the story often took a back seat to the comedy, leaving something to be desired from the conclusion. Our Verdict: A fantastically funny and clever tribute to some unsung heroes of World War II – a history lesson without the lecture! Courtesy of The Space The first thing you should know about SOOP’s production of Scallywags at The ...

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Stacy, New Diorama Theatre

Jack ThorneDirected by Sam Miller★★★★ Pros: Simple, effective, easy to ‘get’, thought-provoking, funny and stylishly executed. Cons: I needed clarification on the plot in some places (but I’m not that bright, so…) Our Verdict: Great stuff once again from this excellent young company. Worth every penny of the measly £10 cost. Courtesy of All The Pigs I know we’ve raved about All The Pigs before now: our review of Scooter Thomas was so gushy that I could understand people believing ...

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The Wordcatcher, Blue Elephant Theatre

Presented by Smoking Apples Theatre★★★ Pros: The show boasts lots of very interesting and original ideas. Cons: The actors overstretch their abilities making the show seem amateurish in places. Our Verdict: An interesting show with some great ideas. Credit: Jax Braithwaite Situated off Camberwell Road in South London, the Blue Elephant is a vibrant arts venue offering a variety of award-winning, multi-cultural performances from every genre imaginable. Founded in 1999, this hidden gem has staged a huge amount of successful, ...

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Lucy and the Hawk, Ovalhouse Theatre

Written and Directed by Phil OrmrodPerformed and co-devised by Tom Walton & Abigail Moffatt★★★★ Pros: Perfectly choreographed, great performances and nice design. Cons: Stream of consciousness monologues can make it a little hard to follow the plot in places. Our Verdict: Great! Another fun, engaging piece from the Ovalhouse. Courtesy of the Ovalhouse It’s been a while since we last ventured down to the Ovalhouse Theatre, March in fact. Since we’ve last been down, the theatre bar and restaurant area ...

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The Soft of Her Palm, Finborough Theatre

Chris DunkleyDirected by Ola Ince★★★★ Pros: The cast give a very strong performance of gritty subject matter and complex characters. The story is told in reverse which is a fantastic way to challenge the audience’s perception of the circumstances. It is particularly refreshing to be presented with an unconventional female lead. Cons: Domestic violence and abuse is confronted head on which some audiences may find unpalatable. Our Verdict: This is a powerful piece of drama, which resonates long after you ...

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Cross Purpose, King’s Head Theatre

Albert CamusDirected by Stephen Whitson ★★★ Pros: A sharp production with an extremely strong cast. Excellent lighting, costume and sound design that compliment the seedy and unnerving themes and (not so under) undertones perfectly. Cons: It’s bloody depressing. Our Verdict: This is an excellent all-round production of which the cast, creative and production teams should be extremely proud – pity about the writing. Courtesy of the King’s Head Theatre It is a brave turn to perform a play by Albert ...

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