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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!

Othello, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

This production of Othello was previously reviewed by everything theatre during it’s short run at the White Bear Theatre. This second review was written independently of the first by a different member of our reviewing team. William Shakespeare Directed by Emily Morrison ★★★★ Pros: Using a small theatre space well, this production shows the depth of all the characters and adds more than a little extra to any other performance I have ever seen of Othello. Cons: One or two ...

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The Secret Garden, The Space

Frances Hodgson-Burnett Adapted and directed by Eleanor Appleton ★★★★ Pros: A dynamic and enjoyable adaptation of a classic good-mood tale with some very good acting and use of space. Some great physical theatre and puppetry scenes. Cons: Props were bare but did their job. Some rushed transitions interrupted the magic flow at times. Our Verdict: A well-adapted, fast and uplifting play set in an interesting theatre space. Enjoyable all round. Credit: Estibaliz Moreno  There’s something special about attending a show ...

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#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Hampstead Theatre

Howard Brenton, based on Barnaby Martin’s book Hanging Man Directed by James MacDonald ★★★★ Pros: An intelligent script which portrays the life of an important figure both realistically and with great humour. Benedict Wong breathes life into the central role. Cons: A slow start makes it difficult to fully engage in the first half. Our Verdict: This show isn’t ground-breaking, but it explores important issues with terrific insight while incorporating nice performances and a surprising number of laugh-out-loud moments. Courtesy ...

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Rope, Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Patrick Hamilton Directed by John Fricker ★★★★ Pros: Absolutely superb acting – you’d never want to see this play cast differently! Cons: Needless break and clumsy sound effects. Our Verdict: A very entertaining night out – even for die hard television fans – at a lovely theatre. Courtesy of Mark Bowsher for OutFox Productions Anyone who lives in London will be aware of Zone Prejudice. If you live in Zone 2, then Zone 3 is an uncivilized place. If you ...

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Take a Deep Breath and Breathe, Ovalhouse Theatre

Bola AgbajeDirected by Toby Clarke★★★ Pros: An electric display of young acting talent with moving performances from all cast members. Cons: Sexism seems to be engrained in the script and is never challenged – I came away hating both men and women. Our Verdict: A brave and hard-hitting piece of work which thrusts its wide range of emotions onto the audience and says it how it is. Courtesy of the Ovalhouse Launched in 2008, 33% London is a festival run ...

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Between Ten and Six, Leicester Square Theatre

Chris Mayo with additional material by Owen LlewelynDirected by Garrett Millerick★★★ Pros: Mostly confident and nuanced performances with a set that perfectly augments the creepy atmosphere of an odd ball’s flat. Cons: Whether this was the tale of a psychopath, a farce of a horror flick or simply just a farce, was a little unclear. Whatever it was, it went from quirky, awkward and mildly amusing to dark and tedious all too quickly. Our Verdict: Perhaps aiming for down right outrageous, the script fails ...

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It Never Rains, White Bear Theatre

Presented as part of AXIS Emerging Artists Festival Written and Directed by Shaun Kitchener★★★ Pros: Great atmosphere with laugh out loud moments thanks to some fantastic writing. Cons: Some of the dialogue was lost on delivery leading to some awkward and polite audience laughter. Our Verdict: Makes for an enjoyable evening in the cozy environment created by the White Bear Theatre. Courtesy West Avenue Theatre Walking into the theatre you could be forgiven for thinking you’d made a complete idiot ...

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Love vs Hate, Tristan Bates Theatre

Wounds Chantelle Dusette Directed by Zoe Ford To The End Of Love Edwin Preece Directed by Sean Turner ★★★ Pros: Two plays for the price of one. Well-crafted, well-produced performances set in an intimate space. Cons: The individual character storylines lacked that spark of originality. Our Verdict: An intensely moving and depressing show – wouldn’t recommend it for someone looking for a jovial night out. Gripping, though not particularly groundbreaking. Courtesy of Lonesome Schoolboy Productions When I was 14, I ...

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Shaw Thing: Two one act plays, The Poor School

George Bernard Shaw Directed by Paul Caister ★★★ Pros: You can’t beat George Bernard Shaw for witty, digestible period drama with a twist in the tale. The cast do a good job of delivering an enjoyable performance and provide plenty of laughs. Cons: There are some clunky bits and some performances are a bit hollow. At times the lines are delivered at such a pace that they become blurred, lose impact and are a little difficult to distinguish. Our Verdict: ...

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