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Machinal, Almeida Theatre – Review

MACHINAL

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

Desk-SRylander-3500-059

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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Smack That (a conversation), The Barbican – Review

Rhiannon Faith, Smack That (a conversation), Production photos

Pros: Inventive and inclusive dance theatre. A moving and necessary exploration of domestic violence. Cons: While the piece’s educational mission can’t be faulted, it could have explored the psychology of the subject matter more creatively. ‘Welcome to the party!’ Music is blaring, and drinks are being poured. ‘Help yourself to popcorn, marshmallows, what can I get you my love?’ Beverly is having a party, but it won’t all be fun and games. A collaborative, participatory piece, Smack That (a conversation) ...

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