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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!

vessel, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Pros: Let’s talk about an intriguing piece of abstract art Cons: Let’s talk about intense inscrutability Let’s talk about conceptual theatre. This is not a play in any conventional sense, jettisoning character and plot in favour of something almost entirely different. Let’s talk about four women sitting in a row on chairs within vivid yellow circles as though hemmed in by the whirls of an enormous highlighter pen. Let’s talk about reading and repeating lines that all begin “Let’s talk ...

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Bury the Dead, Finborough Theatre – Review

Pros: Irvin Shaw’s 1936 expressionist play about the futility of war is brilliantly brought to life by director Rafaella Marcus. Cons: This excellent staging does its best with a slightly uneven work, though the last third feels very much of its time. There’s always a lovely sense of expectation, going up the stairs to the Finborough Theatre. While the pub has recently been modernised and lost its old school atmosphere, the theatre remains unchanged and is as evocative as ever. ...

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Mirabel, Ovalhouse – Review

Pros: Mirabel is a highly original and emotionally affecting tale of loss and learning. Cons: The abstract narrative can be challenging and sometimes hard to follow. The end of the world has rarely been a cheerful affair. In films, television, novels, and of course, the Bible, the apocalyptic event has usually been described in terms of fiery chaos, fractured earth, and the horror of mass death. We are not short of inspiration for such imaginings, whether looking to the past, ...

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Fans, Canada Water Theatre – Review

Pros: Theatre and live music gig for the price of one! Cons: The show is on tour with only short stops, so you’ll have to be quick off the mark to see it! Nina Berry’s show Fans is described as a performance for anyone who has ever loved music – i.e., everyone. Indeed, it is hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t be charmed by the humour, energy and sheer joyfulness of Fans. It’s a beautiful production peppered with excellent musical hits, ...

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Shrödinger’s Dog, White Bear Theatre – Review

Pros: This is a full-throttle production by a contemporary theatre company oozing with confidence. Cons: The action is distractingly far-fetched, to the point of total implausibility, while the characters are never developed much beyond surface-level. It’s also about 45 minutes too long. Shrödinger’s Dog, the second production from young theatre company Break the Verse, is presented as “a black comedy about the epidemic of male suicide with an LGBTQ+ twist”. It also features a cast of nine, and touches on ...

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Frankenstein. The Old Red Lion, Islington – Review

Pros: An original play with a largely female cast. Good use of props and set pieces to create the multiple locations of the play as well as nice use of puppetry. Cons: The issue of feminism wasn’t really explored despite the gender swap of the lead characters. It felt like the script could have done with an edit to make it more succinct as was a little meandering in places. Burn-Bright’s production of Frankenstein replaces the male scientist from Mary ...

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