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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!

Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, The Space

Book and Lyrics by Bill RussellMusic by Janet HoodDirected and Choreographed by Joseph C Walsh★★★ Pros: Showcases some strong young and up-and-coming talent. The Space, a converted church with a warm, spiritual interior, nicely augments the memorial and celebratory nature of the piece. Cons: Powerful vocals were occasionally too great for the space. The storyline is slightly overdone, and the running time a bit too long. Our Verdict: A tight-but-slightly-dated production with an important theme and story to tell (the ...

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Confessions of a Butterfly, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Jonathan SaltDirected by Sam Conway★★★★ Pros: A look at World War Two from a slightly different angle that doesn’t remove any of the awful-ness of period whilst allowing a man’s love and honour to shine through. Cons: Focus is a little broad which left me wanting to know more about the man; technical design not quite level with the artistic performance. Overall: Poignant monologue told through a well-scripted play that attempts to combine the horror of the time with the ...

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Monday, Etcetera Theatre

Gloria WilliamsDirected by Ellie Joseph★★★★ Pros: Consuming, innovative, and lyrical writing delivered by a strong, passionate, and talented performer. Cons: The central conflict wavers toward being cliché; noise from the pub downstairs proved distracting throughout. Our Verdict: A great one-woman show, certainly worth your time and (small amounts) of money! Courtesy of the Etcetera Theatre I should start by saying that I’ve never seen a one-actor production that I enjoyed as much as Freedom Tongues’ Monday at the Etcetera Theatre ...

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Passing By, Finborough Theatre

Martin ShermanDirected by Andrew Keates★★★★ Pros: Top class writing and charming performances make for a very enjoyable evening. Cons: A few rough bits but nothing too bad. Our Verdict: Another great production from the Finborough. Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre We have a certain fondness for the Finborough here at Everything Theatre. It has produced some truly remarkable work in recent years and as a result this cozy fringe venue regularly sells out faster than many big name West End ...

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A Broken Rose, The Cockpit

Sarah Goddard Directed by Phil Willmott ★★★★ Pros: A very clever script with an engrossing tale – you don’t want the story(ies) to stop! Cons: The vocals in the singing components are a little shaky at the beginning, as were the sound cues which didn’t quite do justice to the original score. Our Verdict: This is rich story-telling with a skillful blend of fantasy and reality; well worth seeing. Courtesy of the Cockpit Theatre A Broken Rose doesn’t give much ...

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Hindle Wakes, Finborough Theatre

Stanley HoughtonDirected by Bethan Dear★★★★★ Pros: Expertly produced, expertly performed, expertly designed, and a fantastic script. Cons: I would be clutching at straws if I were to try and formulate any genuine criticism. Our Verdict: If you can get your hands on a ticket, it’s a must. Courtesy of the Finborough Theatre Just to confirm: the Finborough is a truly magical place, an opinion of ours that anyone who has read our reviews before will know. About ten minutes’ walk ...

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Uninvited, New Diorama Theatre

Fat-Git Theatre, adapted from the novella by Peter MortimerDirected by Josh Roche★★★ Pros: Dark, quirky comedy, well acted, smooth and simple design. Cons: Sometimes hard to follow. Thought provoking, but ultimately unrewarding. Our Verdict: An equally entertaining and unsettling piece inviting questions about the safety and dangers of solitude, but failing to create a completely connected story line. Courtesy of Fat-Git Theatre It’s not an uncommon trope in modern theatre to have actors, like scenery, preset onstage as the audience ...

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The Matchmakers/Yolk, RADA Studios

The MatchmakersPaula Fleming YolkNatalie Cheary Directed by Ng Choon Ping★★★ Pros: Interesting new writing, not far off being very good; committed performances. Cons: Slightly more development needed by both the script and the acting in places, felt slightly like a first draft of something excellent. Our Verdict: An enjoyable showcase of two shows and two writers with real potential that isn’t fully realised on this occasion. Credit: Jon Cartwright This visit to the RADA Studios was a first for Everything ...

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This is a Reconstruction, Oxford House Theatre

Presented by MayDay Theatre ★★ Pros: A funny, talented all-female cast with lots of great humour. Cons: A lot of it just didn’t make much sense and the show had very little depth given the subject matter. Our Verdict: Nice comedic performances from an undoubtedly talented cast, but ultimately let down by an undeserving script. Courtesy of Oxford House Theatre The 21st December 2012 is thought to be the final date on the 5,125-year-long Mayan calendar. There are currently hundreds ...

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I Am A Camera, Southwark Playhouse

John Van DrutenDirected by Anthony Lau ★★★★★ Pros: Great writing, great acting, great direction, great music, great costumes, great set design (I could go on!). Cons: I know I have to write something here but I’m struggling to think of anything. The herbal cigarettes were a bit stinky, I guess. Our Verdict: A fantastic evening with stunning performances. Hilarious, devastating and thought-provoking. “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” Credit: Nicolai Kornum I Am A ...

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