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Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre – Review

Blood Knot - Orange Tree Theatre Production photo

What can a play tell us about the world – more than half a century after its debut? I may as well ask why people still watch Shakespeare, but in the case of recent history, I always find myself wondering. Why now? Much like the Bard, it seems that racism will, sadly, always be relevant. Blood Knot is a play about apartheid in South Africa. Athol Fugard’s play about two brothers, one black, one white, premiered in 1961, one year ...

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Romance Romance, Above The Stag Theatre – Review

This was my first visit to Above The Stag’s latest premises, and I think it’s the slickest building they’ve inhabited to date. It’s still under railway arches with regular distracting rumbles from the trains, but there’s a large bar area to accommodate waiting audiences, and the main theatre (there’s also a studio space now) is well-designed with a nice stage;seating ratio. Having been a patron of the venue since it actually was above The Stag pub in Victoria, I’m always ...

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Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Only last week I was writing “how adults can instil a sense of adventure into children”. Those words rung even more true tonight as a packed audience watched in pure delight this group of youths perform; a group so clearly inspired by people such as Conrad Murray, one of the men behind BAC Beatbox Academy, the makers and performers of Frankenstein. Conrad acted like the proud father as he introduced not just the show but other members of the academy, ...

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Pain(t), New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

Spectators expecting to receive an interpretation of Richard Foreman’s Pain(t) might be utterly disappointed, as this play is intended to be entirely devoid of meaning. This is by admission of Patrick Kennedy, the creative mind behind this European premiere of Foreman’s 1974 play, which is part of a triple bill, celebrating the author’s 50th anniversary of theatrical engagement. In 70 minutes a number of scenes follow each other, connected merely by the recurrence of the same characters. Each vignette revolves ...

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Yamato – Passion, Peacock Theatre – Review

Formed in 1993, Yamato has performed shows every year, in 54 countries and carried out nine world tours.  That should give an idea of their universal appeal and high standard of musicianship.  For this show, the ten strong troupe performed a number of pieces, almost non stop, on the theme of passion.  There were small drums, medium sized drums, large drums and couple of ginormous ones. There were wind instruments, other percussion, some singing, some strings, and did I mention ...

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The Project, White Bear Theatre – Review

It’s 1942 in a transit camp in Holland. Four Jewish detainees make up the camp’s concert party: impresario Victor (Lloyd Morris), dancer Anna (Faye Maghan), her sister Millie (Eloise Jones) and Anna’s lover Peter (Nick Devallé). When Millie discovers that their sick mother, Ette (Cate Morris), has been put on the notorious Tuesday List for transportation to a concentration camp the sisters form a plan of action: to ingratiate themselves with the camp’s commandant, Conrad (Mike Duran), in order to ...

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CIRCA, Old Red Lion Theatre – Review

Having connected online, a pretty young man (Thomas Flynn) and a bulky older guy (Antony Gabriel) meet for an unsuccessful sexual encounter. Then the pretty boy plays a strip game with a friend (and lover?) who tries to discourage him from moving to London to attend art school. Next, at art school we find pretty boy enamoured of an older student (Joseph Rowe) who’s about to abandon him to study in Paris. And so it rolls on… At first I ...

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One Hundred Words For Snow, Trafalgar Studio 2 – review

All explorers are men.  Beady men at that.  So says Rory, who isn’t a man, even though she has a man’s name.  Although Rory is short for Arora, which isn’t much better in her eyes. We find all this out, plus so much more, within the first few minutes that follow Rory bounding onto the stage, already chatting to an audience that hasn’t even had the chance to settle down into their seats. She’s a bundle of pure energy and ...

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