Monday, 26 November 2018

A Very Very Very Dark Matter - Bridge Theatre

The critical stance on Martin McDonagh’s latest play at The Bridge has been difficult to avoid. Besides a couple of four-star reviews, there were an abundance stamped around the two-star mark. Though I prefer not to read any criticism ahead of seeing a production, particularly if I’m going specifically to review, the consensus that A Very Very Very Dark Matter is a convoluted, bizarre and often offensive piece of theatre has bubbled up and disrupted the surface in a way that’s impossible to ignore. 


Monday, 5 November 2018

Chicago The Musical, Phoenix Theatre: The Verdict

Revivals are equal part safe and risky. Yes, you are guaranteed an audience with an existing connection, but with that connection comes expectations and a scrutinising comparison between the new production and the source material. While a Chicago revival seems like an easy move on paper - the assured level of recognition, interest and ultimately ticket sales - it also exposes the revival to being pitted against every prior production, forces the actors into the shoes of those who tread before them and raises expectations for something bigger, better and bolder than ever before.

Friday, 28 September 2018

On Morality, Mettle and Magic - #BeMoreMatilda

Over my few (and completely unintentional) months away from the blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to make of this space, and the strange online universe that has become of blogging. Though I sat stubbornly within the ‘lifestyle bloggers’ camp in my initial couple of years of blogging, I’ve clearly, and again, unintentionally, drifted comfortably into the (rather expansive) niche of theatre, travel and books. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

It’s Only Life - Union Theatre

Formed of songs by John Bucchino, It’s Only Life is a musical revue, positioned as enveloping themes such as longing, loss and triumph. Tucked underneath a railway arch in Southwark, Union Theatre’s fringe space provides an intimate setting for Bucchino’s narrative-led cycle of songs. The five performers are unamplified and accompanied by only a piano, allowing intricate lyrics and storytelling to garner focus.


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Strictly Ballroom the Musical - Piccadilly Theatre

Though it’s been at Piccadilly Theatre for two months now, Strictly Ballroom the Musical is a show I knew very little about. Besides being aware that Will Young had taken up a lead role, I hadn’t indulged at all in researching the show and unusually and unintentionally had read very few reviews. While I welcome the ‘going in blind’ approach, in this case not being prepared for the hyperbolic style and farcical humour presented an initial barrier. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Nightfall - Bridge Theatre

Now onto its third production, Bridge Theatre has already established itself as a key player in London’s theatre scene. For Laurie Sansom’s production of Barney Norris’s play Nightfall, the versatile space takes on another set-up, this time electing a thrust stage, forcing the family dynamic out into the audience.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Tale of a Tooth - Allie Rogers

Some of my favourite books of all time are written from a child’s perspective, both adult and children’s fiction. But it’s still not all that commonplace to find an adult read narrated by a child, especially not a book about domestic abuse through the eyes of a four-year-old. What sets Tale of a Tooth even further apart, is that it’s not just a close third-person narrative, giving insight into Danny’s thoughts, but an explicitly first-person account.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Teddy - The Vaults

After visiting the venue for the first time last year to see Hair, I jump at the chance to see anything at The Vaults. As with Hair, for Teddy the space is completely transformed, plunging you into the atmosphere of 1950s Teddy Boy subculture from the moment you enter the bar area. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Young Frankenstein - Garrick Theatre

Not being familiar with the 1974 film of the same name or even Mel Brooks’ award-winning musical The Producers (the latter of which I need to change, I know), Young Frankenstein wasn’t a show I rushed to see when it arrived in the West End last year, however it’s been lurking on my list for a while. 

Based on Mel Brooks’ comedy horror, Young Frankenstein follows the story of the infamous Frankenstein’s grandson, Frederick, the Dean of Anatomy at a school of medicine in America. As Frederick learns of his grandfather’s death, he journeys to Transylvania to deal with the castle that has been left to him, spoofing various classic horror films and traits along the way. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cathy - Soho Theatre

To mark the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach and Jeremy Sandford’s film, Cathy Come Home, Cardboard Citizens’ Cathy was commissioned in 2016. Two years, 8,400 viewers and a performance at the House of Lords later, this powerful piece on homelessness and the housing crisis is embarking on a revival tour, including a three-week run at Soho Theatre.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Ruthless! The Musical - Arts Theatre

Following an acclaimed Off-Broadway production, 1992 show Ruthless! The Musical is playing at the Arts Theatre until 23rd June. The musical presents a suburban American family: a housewife who is permitted no identity beyond this role and her 8-year-old daughter, Tina, who wants nothing more than to be a star. Under the guidance of her talent agent, Tina murders her classmate in order to gain the lead role in the school musical. What follows is a series of ridiculous twists and turns, culminating in a frenzy of hysteria.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

A Secret Sisterhood – Emily Midorikawa & Emma Claire Sweeney

Despite doing an English Literature degree, the lack of writing on female literary friendships is not something I had given much thought. Of course, the dominance of the male voice in the literary canon was blindingly obvious, but finding books and criticism on their female counterparts was never a struggle.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Hotel on Shadow Lake – Daniela Tully

The transition between two books is always a disconcerting experience, particularly if you pick up a new one the instant you’ve read the final line of the last. Not only are you torn from one fictional world to another, but into an often contrasting narrative voice and style. 


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The B*easts - Bush Theatre

Written and performed by BAFTA-winning Monica Dolan, The B*easts is a one-woman show exploring the sexualisation of the female body, particularly among young girls. The play, which won a Stage Edinburgh Award for its stint at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is running at Bush Theatre until 3rd March.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

5 Theatre Trips to Make in 2018

Although I wrote my annual favourites post, I didn’t take the time at the beginning of the year to look forward. I spend so much time dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future, that I forced myself to breathe only in the present over the Christmas break.

Second to drowning myself in memories and nostalgia, I love to plan. And there’s no better time than the beginning of the year to plan the coming months. Yes, I’m aware it’s already February. So if, like me, you’re a little behind on the whole New Year’s plans, here are five things to see at the theatre in 2018. These are both recommendations of things I’ve already seen, and a couple I can’t wait to experience. 

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

For a Black Girl - VAULT Festival

It’s difficult to fathom how there are still so many individuals who believe that racism and sexism don’t exist in the UK. That is until you’re presented with an abundance of characters that bear an uncanny resemblance to individuals you encounter on a frequent basis.

In her hour-long play, For A Black Girl, Nicole Acquah doesn’t just address issues of racism and sexism, from ‘casual’ misogyny to horrific hate crime, but continually scorns those who see this everyday discrimination but refuse to acknowledge its existence.


Monday, 29 January 2018

The Believers Are But Brothers – Bush Theatre

The Believers are but Brothers is a one-man show that tackles the internet, masculinity, and their part in fuelling extremist views. Javaad Alipoor, writer and performer, splits his time between addressing the audience as himself and narrating the stories of three extremist individuals. These may be fictional accounts, but they are rooted in truths from the extensive research that shaped the piece. 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Interview: Carly McCann - For a Black Girl

“Racism and sexism don’t exist,” a friend says one day. He is adamant. “They can’t do. Especially not in the UK.”

It is this sentiment to which Nicole Acquah's new play, For a Black Girl, responds. Tackling female sexuality, violence and everyday racism, the play fuses spoken word, interviews and movement in order to explore the Black British experience. Ahead of its run at VAULT Festival, I spoke to Carly McCann about this production and her role as movement director.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Hair – The Vaults

It’s always a very different experience seeing a show on stage for the first time that you already know inside out. And Hair, for me, wasn’t just the usual case of being able to sing the entire soundtrack inside out.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

New Zealand: Day Trips from Hamilton

My 2016 superhuman blogging self, who used to churn out four blog posts a week, would be less than impressed to know that seven months after my trip to New Zealand I still haven't finished my blog posts, but here we are. 

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