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Reviews

Reviewing is at the heart of what we do. Here you’ll find all the reviews that our wonderful team have written. If you want to find something more specific, why not pick a genre of show instead from the list in the menu

Mad Women in My Attic!, PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court (PQA One) – Review

Mad Women in My Attic!, Edimburgh Fringe 2018 - Courtesy of Roberto Ricciuti

Pros: The fin-de-siècle atmosphere generated by a superb combination of production elements. Cons: The raked stalls tend to obstruct Salvi’s flamboyant interaction with the audience. Often typecast in the role of a mad woman, Royal Academy of Music graduate Monica Salvi started to develop a strange sympathy for her characters, which eventually led to a nervous breakdown. Now safely locked away in a mental asylum, she makes the most of her recreational hour by introducing her fellow inmates to the ...

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The Vanishing Man, Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Two) – Review

The Vanishing Man, Edinburgh Fringe 2018 - courtesy of Alex Brenner (6)

Pros: Simon Evans’s close-up magic tricks are brilliant. Cons: Those who are led to believe that there will be a vanishing act performed on stage might feel disappointed. Drawing from the life of Edwardian magician Hugo Cedar, theatre veterans Simon Evans and David Aula try to deconstruct on stage with The Vanishing Man the greatest magic trick ever performed and never revealed. In the early morning of June 20th 1930, Cedar stood silent and motionless on London Bridge for over ...

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Angry Alan, Underbelly, Big Belly – Ed Fringe Review

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Pros: Fascinating glimpse of real-life misogynists Cons: The narrative is not always convincing A large projection screen in this cavernous venue scrolls through cherry-picked Twitter tweets of anti-feminist whinges. It’s an effective – if rather un-nuanced – way for writer Penelope Skinner to set out the stall of her latest play: as the ancient patriarchy starts to crumble, some men are biting back in a desperate attempt to perpetuate the status quo. The show stars Donald Sage Mackay (Skinner’s real-life ...

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BLUE HEART @ C Venues, C Too Ed Fringe Review

Blue Heart- Ed Fringe- Review

Pro’s: Two exceptional Caryl Churchill scripts Con’s: Committed but inexperienced actors With thousands of shows competing to make an impact in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s a bold move for a student ensemble to dive into the fray, pitching their production up against veterans and professionals. The young players of the University of Greenwich’s Bathway Theatre Company deserve kudos for taking the plunge with a pair of challenging Caryl Churchill plays. They realise this project with no shortage of commitment ...

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Broken Wings, Theatre Royal Haymarket – Review

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Pros: A refreshingly strong storyline for a musical, with superb attention to detail and an excellent score. Cons: Although tuneful and pleasant, there are no real stand-out hit songs to make this production a truly great musical. The air conditioning was happily in full effect at the Theatre Royal Haymarket as I took my seat for the premiere of Broken Wings. Launching a new musical is always a calculated risk but the producers pull it off with relative ease in ...

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My Land, Assembly Roxy – Ed Fringe review

Photo by Zsofia Palyi for CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival

Pros: Jaw-dropping acrobatics Cons: Turgid music and relentless po-faces sapped the energy I went to see My Land on a word-of-mouth recommendation, and I’m really glad I did. The seven performers of Hungarian company Recirquel were awe inspiring. In the opening solo a figure clad in rags floated languidly into a one-armed handstand, then tilted over to one side, his sacrum swinging like a slow-motion pendulum. The skills were consistently breath-taking: an audacious duet by acrobat twins created a beautiful ...

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Dead Quiet – Kensington Central Library, Review

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Pros: An immersive theatre show in which you get to challenge the actors in your quest to reveal the truth Cons: The cramped library setting sometimes makes it hard to witness all the events It’s 1962, and Kensington Central Library is host to a sparsely-attended lecture on Cuban music – coinciding with the Cuban missile crisis, during which the world came as close as it has ever been to all-out nuclear war. A man is found murdered shortly after the ...

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For Reasons That Remain Unclear, King’s Head Theatre – Review

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Pros: A strong script with equally striking performances from the cast. Cons: The over-estimated running time stretches the story too much. A cosy pub theatre isn’t necessarily the place to be in the hottest summer since 1976. Thankfully, every fan in Islington has been seized to produce some much needed air in the back room for the UK premiere of For Reasons that Remain Unclear, presented by the King’s Head as part of its 2018 Queer Season. A tightly lit ...

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Mowgli, Brunel Museum – Review

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Pros: Set and costumes are the most inspired outcome of the company’s joint effort. Cons: An overstretched, overlong production which should shed a third of its weight to hold audience engagement. Taken from his family when he was a toddler, Mowgli (Nnamdi Oli) is adopted by a family of wolves and raised in the Indian jungle as a part of the pack. Responsibility for his education lies with the bear Baloo (Paul Robinson) and the black panther Bagheera (Joe Newton), who teach him ...

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Cockpit – Review

Sweeney Todd Promotional Picture

Pros: Strong acting which created a present, dark and twisted atmosphere Cons: Some risky creative choices were made which didn’t quite land for me and seemed peculiar Best known for it’s miraculous ability to engage with both the twisted and the tender, Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd is a tough balancing act to pull off. The play delves into the dirty streets of London and follows the vengeful and murderous actions of Todd as he desperately tries to reclaim his daughter ...

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