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Cuckoo, Soho Theatre – Review

Cuckoo, Soho Theatre (Courtesy of David Gill) (4) Elise Heaven and Caitriona Ennis

Pros: Superb script and performances Cons: A few plot points not entirely clear “Thank fuck for Ryan Air!” isn’t something you hear that often in real life or in the theatre, what with all the cancelled flights and relentless penny pinching. But this uncommon praise is understandable, coming from the lips of young misfits looking to flee small town life in Ireland for the bright lights of London. Iona (Caitriona Ennis) and Pingu (Elise Heaven) are best pals with a ...

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Love Lies Bleeding, Print Room at the Coronet – Review

A scene from Love-Lies-Bleeding by by Don DeLillo @ Coronet Print Room. Directed by Jack McNamara.
(Opening 14-11-18)
©Tristram Kenton 11/18
(3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550  Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

Pros: An excellent cast of familiar faces give the play a much needed boost. Cons: A beautiful venue in serious need of refurbishment and a script requiring similar tender loving care. I feel quietly reassured when a Grade II listed building is purchased and restored to its original function. The Coronet in Notting Hill Gate is one such example. Designed by legendary theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague it opened with royal patronage in 1898 and hosted a variety of productions until ...

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Rendezvous in Bratislava, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Rendezvous In Bratislava photocredit SWTHEATREPHOTO IMG_2298

Pros: Rendezvous is inventive and immersive, with catchy songs and great performances.   Cons: The comic interludes can be frustrating, as they distract from an otherwise compelling story. Laughter is a powerful response to oppression. Comedy has a long history of speaking truth to power, and cabaret is no different. Czechoslovakia, a country that endured both Nazi and Soviet rule, had plenty of horrors to contend with, particularly for the Jewish population. But for one cabaret writer, plenty to laugh at as ...

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Super Duper Close Up, The Yard – Review

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Pros: Engaging, smart and surprising, Jess Latowicki carries you with her deeper and deeper. SDCU takes on baffling cultural matters with an engaging directness. Cons: Too baggy particularly around the end and could benefit from pruning, sharpening and general revision. The dance? Fun, but too long.  Jess Latowicki performs Made in China’s new show on a set made up of an over-fluffy carpet, a calming waterfall backdrop, and, we are soon to discover, a camera providing us with a live-stream of the performance, ...

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Little England, Museum of Comedy – Review

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Pros:  A funny and entertaining show with good performances from all concerned. Cons:  The points being made were accentuated unnecessarily.  The Museum of Comedy is an interesting place full of old posters, props, books and photographs. It is worth getting there a bit early to get a drink from the bar and have a good look around. The cosy theatre space smells a bit damp which is to be expected as it is in the basement space of a church. ...

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The Pit and the Pendulum, Omnibus Theatre – Review

P & P 4

Pros: The original twist of a Poe horror classic. Cons: Too much focus on how the play is delivered (headphones, projections) and less on the content of the play itself, which feels overloaded. There are many things in common between the Spanish Inquisition and the Guidance Patrol of Iran. Both were created to maintain religious orthodoxy and police people’s morals. Neither was particularly keen on women. Edgar Allan Poe’s short horror story The Pit and the Pendulum recreates the torments of ...

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Drowned or Saved?, Tristan Bates Theatre – Review

Drowned Or Saved - Marco Gambino & Paula Cassina - Photo by Ewa Ferdynus

Pros: The poignant portrayal of Primo Levi is brought to life by an excellent cast. Cons: Condensed into just over one hour, the events described might feel fragmentary. Primo Levi’s contributions play a pivotal role in our understanding of the Holocaust. Born and bred in the Italian city of Turin, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 and owes his survival to the Nazis’ decision to employ him as a chemist in a rubber factory – which kept him away ...

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vessel, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Sue MacLaine - vessel (Credit Hugo Glendinning) (7)_resized

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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