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Sardines, Drayton Arms Theatre – Review

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Pros: Sharp writing and good performances characterise this collection of scenes set in a tube train Cons: The lack of connection between the stories means we’re constantly having to get to know new characters “Make sure you take your belongings with you when you leave this life.” So runs the announcement that introduces this sharply observational piece set entirely on a tube train. The young cast each play multiple roles, as we eavesdrop on conversations and snatched exchanges between strangers; tight direction ...

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The Tempest, St Paul’s Church Yard – Review

Iris Theatre's The Tempest, St. Paul's Church (Paul Brendan, Prince Plockey and Reginald Edwards) - courtesy of Nick Rutter

Pros: All the advantages of being outside in a garden space helping to create a magical atmosphere – flowers, breeze, full moon in a clear sky. Cons: All the disadvantages of being outside in a garden space, spoiling the magical atmosphere – pollen, noises off, helicopters. Right in the heart of Covent Garden, St Paul’s Church Yard is a cool space even on one of the hottest days of the summer, shade provided by the surrounding buildings and a gentle breeze.  Being ...

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Olaf, Barons Court Theatre – Review

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Pros: Good to see an early Ibsen being staged. Cons: Early Ibsen sags in the middle. Ottisdotter Productions bring their focus to lesser known and obscure plays that emphasise the role of women in society. Having last been presented at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 1911, Henrik Ibsen’s Olaf belongs amongst the Norwegian master’s lesser known works, falling outside the 12-play ‘Ibsen Cycle.’ The version presented at Barons Court Theatre is an adaptation by ottisdotter of Anders Orbeck’s translation of Ibsen’s Olaf ...

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Breaking Out Season: Kiss Chase & Guy, The Bunker – Review

Guy 07 - photographers credit-Simon J Webb _ Jack The Lad magazine

Pros: The second show, Guy, is enough to make the whole evening worthwhile Cons: With such contrast between the two shows, a question mark has to be put over the decision to schedule these on the same evening The Bunker’s remit is new contemporary theatre, and with its short Breaking Out Season it is certainly meeting that. Six shows rotating over a month is a great introduction to these emerging theatre groups.  Two shows each night, with the chance to ...

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Machinal, Almeida Theatre – Review

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Pros: A brilliantly constructed set is a visually stunning accompaniment to the play. Cons: The disappointingly clipped nine episode format slows the plot down far too often for its own good. The Almeida is one of my favourite theatres so I pounced on the opportunity to see Machinal, by Sophie Treadwell. Both play and author were unfamiliar to me; stylistically Treadwell has apparently been compared to Virginia Woolf and is viewed as a leading purveyor of expressionism. The play, written in 1928, ...

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Left My Desk, New Diorama Theatre – Review

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Pros: Brilliant and politically sensitive script, fantastic cast and great direction Cons: Nothing to report A joint research report from Community Care and UNISON from 2016 found that social workers are suffering increasing emotional distress and verbal abuse in their routine work as a consequence of staff shortages and budget cuts. According to the paper the vast majority (80%) reported that during a typical working day they suffered emotional distress, while 40% also described being verbally abused. These numbers represented an increase on ...

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The Yellow Wallpaper, Omnibus Theatre – Review

Credit:: Lidia Crisafulli

Pros: Subtle shifts in tone and mood lace a darkly disturbing atmosphere through a beautifully crafted performance. Cons: Less is definitely more, but I would have relished the tension being cranked up even more! Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper happens to be my favourite short story, so Another Soup’s production at the rustic Omnibus Theatre had high expectations to meet. It did not disappoint. From the start, Gemma Yates-Round’s charming portrayal of Alice has the audience wrapped around her ...

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