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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Rita/La Serva Padrona, The Sun Tavern (site-specific)

Gaetano Donizetti and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Directed by Darren Royston★★★ Pros: Rarely staged operas sung by new operatic talent. Cons: Occasionally hard to follow due to inter-weaving storylines and lack of surtitles. Our verdict: Innovative, fresh and intimate night of opera in an unusual space. Courtesy of Pop Up Opera Pop up Opera’s productions are the modern day theatrical equivalent of a warehouse party. Not quite site specific, their productions are, for lack of a better term, pre-packaged and performed for us in ...

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Luck Penny, Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Aisling Foster Directed by Cherry Cookson ★★ Pros: Some great accents and beautiful scene change music produced a lovely sounding show. Cons: The actors were very wobbly on their lines and the show didn’t run straight. Our verdict: Sadly, an interesting topic based on true events is let down by the lacklustre performance and script that would be better as a novel or article. Courtesy of Ciaran Cunningham for Giant Olive Theatre When the Bolsheviks and the Irish were trying ...

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The Nighmare Dreamer, Blue Elephant

Devised TheatreDirected by John-Michael MacDonald★★ Pros: Unusual and visually intriguing, with some innovative stylistic direction.Cons: The improvised nature meant the piece fell flat at times – it might be too weird for some people.Our verdict: A strange and unnerving production, which seemed to be conflicted between a conventional linear play and a physical interpretative performance. Every so often, I get night terrors. Once I dreamt I was in a room full of wardrobes, and these Courtesy of the Blue Elephant ...

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The Cripple of Inishmaan, Noel Coward

Martin McDonaghDirected by Michael Grandage★★★★ Pros: Visually stunning, unabashedly hilarious, and flawlessly performed by an excellent cast including world-famous Daniel Radcliffe. Cons: Whether due to direction or flow of the script, some scenes dragged and lacked the same energy as the production overall. Our Verdict: Another excellent and well-rounded production from Michael Grandage– a must see for theatre lovers and Radcliffe fanatics alike! Courtesy of Michael Grandage Company Michael Grandage, Martin McDonagh, Daniel Radcliffe. I didn’t need any more information ...

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Tonight Is Your Answer, Theatre Royal Stratford East

Sarah Rutherford Directed by Dawn Reid ★★★★  Pros: A play about women, with an A-list cast, female director and author, that asks important questions about race.  Cons: Perhaps the play could have gone further in certain areas, but more of that later.  Our Verdict: A good ice breaker to kick off the latest Angelic Tales Festival. Courtesy of Theatre Royal Stratford East Earlier this week, the Theatre Royal’s season for new writing got off to an excellent start with a ...

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Surprise Theatre, Royal Court

Inua EllamsDirected by Thierry Lawson★★★★★ Pros: This is a wonderful piece of theatre from an incredibly talented writer/performer. Not knowing what you are seeing until the curtain goes up ensures you appreciate it without preconceptions. Cons: None really, although the set is a bare box and more could be done with the lighting to evoke the change in locations from Nigeria to London. Our Verdict: I love Inua Ellams – this is a fabulous piece of poetic writing and he ...

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Hear a Pin Drop Here, Battersea Arts Centre

Holly Rumble★★★★ Pros: An interesting topic is used to explore the sights and sounds of London living.  Cons: Only a small cog in the wheel of a much larger project. Our Verdict: A lovely project that has taken a very simple idea and ran with it. While not strictly falling under the obvious definition of theatre, Holly Rumble’s piece is well considered! Holly Rumble walked every street within a 500-meter radius of the Battersea Arts Centre. Every 50 yards or ...

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Adventure/Misadventure, Ovalhouse

Written and directed by Nick Field ★★ Pros: Poetic writing, memorable original music and the theatre even lay on sushi and saki. Cons: The performance lacks polish; aspects of the show felt gimmicky and I felt the play’s message to be trite. Our Verdict: The mixture of rollerskating, harp playing, and travel writing does not add up to a rewarding theatrical experience. Courtesy of Ovalhouse  Adventure/Misadventure got off to a wonderful start when, upon arrival at the Ovalhouse theatre, I ...

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Happy New, Trafalgar Studios

Brendan Cowell Directed by Robert Shaw ★★★ Pros: This play has it all: comedy, drama, ups and downs. It will have you laughing at one moment and in tears the next. It is impossible to be bored. Cons: It takes a while to really understand the whys and hows of the characters. Until the pieces fall into place it feels a bit hard to let the play sink in.  Our Verdict: A completely different theatrical experience with multiple innovative elements. ...

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The Amen Corner, National Theatre

James Baldwin Directed by Rufus Norris  ★★★★★  Pros: A unique and remarkable script, exceptional performances and gorgeous costumes with the best live jazz you’ll find in London town. Cons: Literally nothing. Our Verdict: We love the National and yet this production surpasses even its own high standards. This is an unforgettable evening of first class theatre. Courtesy of The National Theatre ‘Some of the congregation are sick in the body, some are sick in the soul.’ The Amen Corner has already ...

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