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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!

Blood Wedding, Omnibus Theatre – Review

Racheal Ofori and Ash Rizi (Bride and Leo) web pic credit Nick Arthur Daniel

Pro’s: Intensely dramatic and beautiful adaptation of classic; not one to miss. Con’s: Anything that wasn’t quite up-to-scratch was forgiveable, and more than made up for. Lorca’s classic is given the modern-day London treatment by a multinational, multi-talented cast. Boldly and subtly adapted into the 21st Century, this production of Blood Wedding seamlessly weaves the everyday of 2018 into the grand and timeless themes presented first in Madrid 85 years ago. This adaptation of what is, at its simplest, a ...

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Distance, Park Theatre – Review

Distance Production Photos

©The Other Richard

Pros: The solid sound and lighting design. Cons: This pessimistic portrayal of mental illness doesn’t contribute to fighting the stigma, and risks sending out a discouraging message. The soaring incidence of suicide in British men under 45 has recently become one of the most recurrent topics in fringe theatre. This reflects an attempt to make sense of the phenomenon, raise awareness and, in many cases, try to suggest solutions. Playwright Alex McSweeney’s decision to explore this subject matter came after ...

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Italian Theatre Festival, Print Room at The Coronet – Review

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Pros: A rare opportunity to see some of Italy’s most iconic theatre works. Cons: The language barrier is only partially compensated by the presence of subtitles. Promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute and curated by Monica Capuani, the first edition of the Italian Theatre Festival was hosted at The Coronet, a long-standing arts institution in the heart of Notting Hill. Spread over two days, the event included four plays by some of Italy’s most renowned theatre-makers, as well as a ...

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Kiss Me, The Other Palace – Review

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Pros: Great jokes and a wonderful heroine Cons: The bits of slo-mo physical theatre don’t add much The narrative holds few surprises, but Kiss Me is a beautiful chamber piece that draws you in with the warmth and complexity of its two characters, Stephanie and Dennis. Stephanie was a young bride and now, in the aftermath of World War I, is a young widow. With most of the young men gone, she enjoys doing a man’s work, driving a truck, ...

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Guy: A New Musical – The Kings Head Theatre, Islington – Review

Guy - A New Musical (c) www.toriabrightside (1)

Pros: An original and ambitious new musical showcasing new writers and songwriters that makes for a fun, fast-paced night out with friends Cons: The script is corny at times, with a few plot holes. The songwriter could have done with cramming fewer words into some of the songs as they were hard to follow in places Guy: A New Musical is an original play which showcases new writers and songwriters. It brings the narrative of young gay men navigating the often ...

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In The Heights, Stockwell Playhouse – Review

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Pros: The main characters were phenomenal, especially for being ages 16-21. Not a note, dance move or line out of place. Truly professionals. Cons: The band was way too loud and drowned out the performers. In The Heights, the popular musical by Lin Manuel Miranda, has been chosen by RicNic Theatre Company for their summer show. It tells the story of a group of Latinos living in Washington Heights, New York and the journey they all take, learning about themselves, each other and their ...

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The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Park Theatre – Review

Sally George in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at Park Theatre. Photo by Ali Wright-49

Pros: A brilliant cast and a magnificently scripted story provide the perfect combination. Cons: The musical interludes are all too brief, and annoyingly clipped to make way for more detail in the script. The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was released as a film in 1997 and featured a starry cast including Michael Caine and Brenda Blethyn, with Jane Horrocks in the title role. There’s always a dilemma seeing the stage version after you’ve seen the film: you naturally miss the  expansive ...

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Much Ado About Nothing, Gray’s Inn Hall – Review

Credit: Scott Rylander

Pros: A silent but expressive, accordion-toting Verges Cons: Too many cicadas It’s common these days to watch ‘high’ culture in a ‘low’ setting: Mayerling at the local multiplex, Hamlet on catch-up, in PJs. Watching Antic Disposition’s Much Ado About Nothing is the opposite experience. It’s a sort of cheesy sitcom (with shades of honour killing), in the pannelled and stained-glassed splendour of Gray’s Inn Hall. This cheesy sitcom is set in France, 1945. There are pretty girls in tea dresses ...

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