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The Half Moon Shania, The Vaults – Review

Feminism and fishnets, punk and precarious friendships, The Half Moon Shania shakes the Vaults Festival in this punk/rock opera reverberating with energy and poignancy. The show evokes youthful excitement and naivety within a dark smoky world. The rush and the barely organised chaos are infectious, but there are moments that don’t quite land as effectively as the rest of the show. THE G STRINGZ are a band of three best friends trying to secure a record deal in the Half ...

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The Dip, The Space – Review

The Dip has the distinct honour of being the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen although, full disclaimer, I’m not really sure what it is that I saw. I think that might be the point of the piece. It’s 70 minutes of a psychedelic acid trip with an (extremely loose) narrative around a young man, Al, who is questioning and exploring his sexuality and attraction to his friend Nick. The audience are with Al on every step of this bizarre, largely ...

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Of Our Own Making, Tara Theatre – Review

If there’s one topic which occasionally penetrates the news agenda through the cacophony of the Brexit debacle, it’s the ongoing refugee crisis, as the displaced population of war-torn Syria continues to strive desperately to reach some sort of safety in Europe. Jonathan Brown’s extremely accomplished play introduces us to Saif (Vincent Kerschbaum), Hassan (Hamza Siddique), Amira (Natali Servat) and her tiny baby, who have trekked through Egypt to the Mediterranean coast, whence they hope to board a boat to Italy, ...

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My Dad’s Gap Year, Park Theatre – Review

The naked arse and abs on the marketing material and on the cover of the play text don’t belong to the actors in this production. Presumably they were cast after the publicity deadline, so stand-ins were required. The gays like topless twinks, don’t they, so any pecs will do the job, right? It’s sad that this crude and demeaning strategy continues to pervade the presentation of gay theatre productions, and that prominent voices in the queer community are content to ...

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The Ruffian On The Stair, Hope Theatre – Review

A lesser known Joe Orton play was the incentive for a long overdue visit to the Hope Theatre in Islington. I’m guessing most people wouldn’t be able to name more than three of his plays; Joe Orton actually wrote nine that have at some point been performed on stage. So I’m fairly certain The Ruffian on the Stair is one of the six you don’t know. It was originally written as a radio play and first broadcast by the BBC ...

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Cuzco, Theatre503 – Review

Language can take you on a journey. Through stories we can explore the histories, cultures, and struggles of people across continents and ages. In a more literal sense language, or rather translation, can bring these stories to new audiences, many miles away from their source. In Cuzco, an unnamed couple journey to Peru. He hopes to rekindle the spark in their relationship. What she wants is unclear. As the two travel from one exotic locale to another they are driven ...

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Welcome to the UK, The Bunker – Review

Pros: Fantastic comic routines, dark satire, beautiful set design, and an endearing ensemble performance make Welcome to the UK a rewarding and powerful watch.   Cons: Welcome to the UK may disappoint viewers looking for character or narrative development. Immigration is a joke. Whether fleeing death or simply looking for a better life, recent arrivals in this country can expect meagre allowances, strict surveillance, limited work, trafficking, exploitation, violence, demonisation and, always, the threat of deportation. The joke is a cruel ...

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I Stopped…when, The Vaults – Review

PROS: The thought and passion that went into the poetry was a pleasure to watch. CONS: It was hard to avoid the slow pace of the dialogue once a slam poem was finished, it only ever picked up during the poetry. I Stopped…when, tells the story of three young slam poetry contestants. The lives of Wren (Tom Nguyen), Naya (Nicole Acquah) and Adele (Lauren La Rocque) are all intertwined; they face ongoing battles due to their identities and the wrath ...

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