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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!

Vault Festival, Old Vic Tunnels

Various Writers and DirectorsVault Festival produced by Heritage Arts Company★★★★ Pros: A variety of performances in a completely different fringe setting, affordable theatre and a fantastic fringe atmosphere. Cons: Individual shows likely to be risky and inconsistent, not a guarantee for excellent theatre! Our Verdict: Definitely make time to go and see something at the Vault Festival, no need to be too fussy about what! Courtesy of Vault Festival We all have a long list of things we hear about ...

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Belt Up Theatre’s The Boy James, The Goldsmith

Alexander WrightDirected by Dominic Allen★★★★  Pros: A thoroughly engaging performance by Jethro Compton. Cons: Not the best from Belt Up and may have lost some audience members along the way. Our Verdict: An intimate and moving evening of theatre, offering something entirely different from the norm. Courtesy of Belt Up Theatre Sat on a sofa in a dimly lit study, watching two characters struggle with each other as one tries to have sex with the other, it occurred to me ...

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Outward Bound, Finborough Theatre

Sutton VaneDirected by Louise Hill★★★★★ Pros: Fringe theatre at its best, wonderful venue, fantastic acting and a completely engaging performance. Best fringe production we’ve seen.  Cons: None worth mentioning. Our Verdict: Superb. If you haven’t been to the Finborough before, then you’re missing out. Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre On Wednesday, one of my co-bloggers and I worked a normal 9-5 day. At 7pm, we met at the Finborough Theatre, our first visit to this much ballyhooed fringe venue, and ...

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Measure for Measure, White Bear Theatre

William ShakespeareDirected by Emily Morrison★★★★ Pros: Confident and accessible Shakespeare, excellent portrayal of Angelo, interesting use of TV monitors in the set, talented young company. Cons: Not enough use of TV monitors, very hot theatre, a little expensive for what it is (£13/£10). Our Verdict: A good evening of theatre, definitely worth a trip to remind yourself that theatre doesn’t need money to be good!  So the year of the Shakespeare Festival has begun and in the run up to April, when it ...

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Avignon Off Festival, France

www.avignonleoff.com While most UK readers will have heard of, and probably indeed attended the Edinburgh Fringe, I imagine that only few will know about the Avignon Off festival. The similarities between the two are striking: they were both founded in 1947, they both attract hundreds of companies and thousands of tourists, they each last for three weeks every summer and, ironically, they both tout themselves as the largest theatre festival in the world. Sometimes it seems like the organisers of ...

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