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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

The First Modern Man, Hen & Chickens Theatre – Review

Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century writer and philosopher, was a complex character. He invented the essay form – his ‘essais’ being ‘tryouts’, as he explains – to set down his thoughts on a vast range of topics. He wrote over 100 essays, on subjects as diverse as anger, virtue, vanity, smells, sleep, solitude, pedantry and drunkenness. In this one-man show Jonathan Hansler plays Montaigne to powerful effect, welcoming us as English visitors into his library and regaling us with ...

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monolog 2, Chickenshed – Review

Have you ever moved to a new house or workplace and gone past the place you left, soon after? It’s something like feeling your phone vibrate in your pocket, but finding it’s not there. These feelings struck me as I sat on the Piccadilly Line and passed straight through Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Garden on a theatre night without getting off. I was heading to deepest darkest North London for a performance at Chickenshed. A short walk from ...

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Call me Vicky, Pleasance Theatre – Review

I wanted to love this show so much, because of the subject matter. And certainly, the bravery of real Vicky in the hateful climate of the 80s, and the support she received in her journey is stirring stuff! But a play is not comprised of themes alone, it is writing, acting, lighting, directing and a host of infinitesimally small things. It is in the realisation of its themes that Call me Vicky falls down. There is an issue of timing ...

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Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, The Young Vic Theatre – Review

Certain theatres have a mystique, a marque of quality that sets them apart; an assumption that a play must be good if it’s running there. The National Theatre, Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe are three such examples. Add to that list the Young Vic, just down the road from its older sibling in Waterloo. Like many modern theatres, the bar is set to the front entrance, creating a great atmosphere as you go in. The performance area is arranged amphitheatre ...

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Fame – The Musical, New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

In Italy, where I grew up, the TV series Fame was broadcast in the afternoon, when families would enjoy it gathered after lunch. As a young child, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the topics, but rather enjoy the musical score and, in particular the opening credits with the series’ theme song. Only recently have I been made aware of how controversial some of those topics were. For those who aren’t familiar with this 1980s cult title, Fame focuses on ...

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The Paper Man, Soho Theatre– Review

The inventive, social-change focused company Improbable present The Paper Man at one of London’s most vibrant venues for new theatre and comedy. It’s the true story of Matthias Sindelar, an Austrian football star who refused to throw a match against Germany during the Nazi regime and was found dead a few months later. Lee Simpson, actor and co-artistic director of Improbable, explains on stage that he wanted to tell this story for a long time and, but when he hired ...

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All in a Row, Southwark Playhouse – Review

With a small cast, the action takes place in the modest kitchen-living room of dysfunctional husband and wife Tam (Charlie Brooks) and Martin (Simon Lipkin), as they struggle to care for their severely autistic and non-verbal child, Laurence. Also in the equation is Laurence’s carer of two years, Gary (Michael Fox), who is both a blessing but also a constant reminder of the couple’s own failings as parents. The play has received a barrage of negative press for its representation ...

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The Problem With Fletcher Mott, Drayton Arms Theatre – Review

There is something exhilarating about seeing a work in progress, especially when it’s from a team surely only just out of their teens!  There’s an energy created you just don’t get at normal press nights. Ok, so that’s because the place is full of friends and family along to support, but that means an excitable youthful atmosphere that is just so joyous to be part of.  Secondly, the anticipation that you might be witnessing something special that may one day ...

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Bodies, Southwark Playhouse – Review

Playwright James Saunders presents us with a classic scenario. A younger couple and an older couple gather together in a living-room, having not seen each other for nine years. Each spouse has cheated with the spouse of the other, and no-one is really sure why they agreed to meet. Chaos ensues; drama is born. This is the first staging of Bodies since 1979. Certainly Saunders is not a playwright I’ve encountered much in my long and lovely affair with drama. ...

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Bottled, Vault Festival – Review

Like the abusive marriage that it describes, Bottled starts off deceptively sweet. It is Katy’s 15th birthday, and she’s celebrating at home with family and her mum’s boyfriend, some shiny balloons and a violently pink cake. As she talks us through the scene, describing the characters and their part in her life, the commentary is wry and perceptive, a healthy mix of childish candour and teenage snark. When, shortly after that birthday party, she hooks up with Bradley, a hot, ...

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