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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!

Equally Divided, Watford Palace Theatre

Ronald Harwood Directed by Brigid Larmour ★★★ Pros: A great cast and a polished production featuring funny and touching moments. Cons: The last leg of the play unfortunately does not compare in quality to the first two-thirds. Our Verdict: A very decent production in most ways, which sadly loses some of its impact since the conclusion unravels before the curtain closes. Courtesy of Watford Palace Theatre It’s always nice to see an old-fashioned parlour-room drama which manages to compete in ...

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The Lady’s Not For Walking Like an Egyptian, Ovalhouse Theatre

Written and directed by Rachel Mars and nat tarrab ★★★★ Pros: Two great performances, great big laughs from start to finish and an interesting, intelligent script. Cons: Not much to report here. If you’re easily offended by jokes about the Falklands war and such, best avoid this one. Our Verdict: A brilliant night out brimming with light-hearted fun but also featuring many poignant ideas on feminism, homophobia and other important issues. A great show! Courtesy of the Ovalhouse The Ovalhouse ...

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Prophesy, Blackall Studios

Devised by Baz ProductionsDirected by Sarah Bedi★★★★ Pros: An incredibly original and exciting reimagining of Greek mythology. Cons: Sight lines are a little inconvenient and some background information would have been helpful. Our Verdict: A truly engaging revision of classic characters by a great up-and-coming company! Courtesy of Baz Productions As my two favorite productions of 2012 were the Gate’s Trojan Women and Kneehigh’s Midnight’s Pumpkin, it seems Baz Production’s new work was created with tastes like mine in mind. Like ...

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Crimplene Millionaire, Ovalhouse Theatre

Boogaloo Stu Directed by Emma Kilby ★★ Pros: The game show format of this production is a great idea and produces lots of laughs. There are plenty of interesting facts about the political, economic and sexual climate of the 1970s and the audience participation is fun. Cons: It isn’t cohesive and misses a real opportunity to use the concept to maximum effect. After about forty five minutes it is a bit predictable and the humour at times is intentionally cringe ...

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A Woman of No Importance… Or Somewhat Little Importance Anyhow, Hen and Chickens Theatre

Katherine Rodden Directed by Cat Robey ★★★ Pros: A great script, full of big laughs and wonderful slapstick. Cons: The play starts wonderfully but it spirals into a mildly annoying farce. Our Verdict: The script is hilarious and the cast are very talented but the performances need toning down towards the end. It’s meant to be a comedy but it all got a bit too silly in the last scene. Courtesy of Paradigm Theatre I was very excited to review ...

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Macbeth, Camden People’s Theatre

William Shakespeare Directed by Amber Elliott ★★★★ Pros: Intelligent all-round theatre making. Cons: If you sit in the wrong place, you miss a lot of the best action. Our Verdict: A traditional interpretation which uses every element theatre has to offer in perfect harmony to a high standard. Courtesy of Titian Rep Theatre Company Shakespeare is a popular choice – it has familiar style, quality, and narrative. One of the reasons Macbeth is considered the cursed play is because it ...

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Othello, The CLF Art Café

William Shakespeare Directed by Anthony Green ★★★ Pros: The modernization of this production of Othello makes the verse and story clearer and more comprehensible in its relevancy to current affairs. Cons: The theatre was freezing to the point of distraction. Our Verdict: This is a sharp and sleek production which lends thought to those serving in present day wars. While the performances are, for the most part, impressively robust, the production lacked a certain insight. Courtesy of Othello Peckham A black ...

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LineUp, Greenwich Theatre

Presented by Vertical Line Theatre Company ★★★ Pros: An amusing and at times powerful sequence of theatrical shorts made with tremendous enthusiasm and boasting some very decent acting. Cons: Bare scenography and some rushed performances as you would expect from a series of untested new writings. Our Verdict: An enjoyable night out! Recommended if you are not after too many bells and whistles and if you fancy supporting young talent all the way up to Edinburgh. Courtesy of Vertical Line ...

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Saer Doliau, Finborough Theatre

Gwenlyn Parry Directed by Aled Pedrick ★★★★ Pros: A unique theatrical experience with a skilled cast and a captivating plot.  Cons: The entire play is in Welsh, and even with the subtitles it can be difficult to follow and demands a lot of attention! Our Verdict: Despite the language barrier, the play is really fun to watch – the cast is excellent, and the “thriller” style of the script will keep you on edge! Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre I ...

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London Wall, Finborough Theatre

John Van Druten Directed by Tricia Thorns ★★★★★ Pros: A sparkling, fast-paced, hilarious and heart-warming show that still manages to get you thinking. Majestically directed and perfectly executed with meticulous attention to detail and splendid period costumes.  Cons: Do let us know if you think of any! Our Verdict: Another triumph from the Finborough. Head to Earl’s Court before you end up having to pay West End prices to see this one! Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre Admittedly, going to ...

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