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HIDING HEIDI (A TALE OF LOVE & HATE IN STOKE ON TRENT) written and directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Presented by Golden Age Theatre Company

Etcetera Theatre 13th November, 21st November – 3rd December 2017

*

‘After a promising start, it feels like a wasted opportunity’

What will post-Brexit Britain look like? With the negotiations still full of uncertainty, how it will affect day-to-day life in the 2020s is an unknown. Hiding Heidi (A tale of love & hate in Stoke on Trent) ... Read More 

 

FLYCATCHER by Greg Masuak

The Hope Theatre, 7 November- 2 December 2017

*****

‘Stunning piece of original theatre’

Flycatcher follows the story of Madelaine (played by Emily Arden, with an amazing ability to portray a complex, disturbing character convincingly). Madelaine is strange, socially awkward and utterly ... Read More

 

AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS WITH ANIMALS I’VE F*CKED by Rob Hayes

Lion and Unicorn Theatre, NW5, 13 – 29 November

***.5

‘Brilliant and engaging absurdist play’

A young man looking for love tries to find it with various animals he has f*cked but in their telling silence, he only finds rejection and a lack of common feeling.  He’s a square peg in a round hole and as he continues ... Read More

 

THE TAILOR-MADE MAN by Claudio Macor

White Bear Theatre until Saturday 25th November 2017

****

‘An extraordinary play that takes on even greater significance in today’s landscape’

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Claudio Macor’s play, The Tailor-Made Man, Eastlake Productions revive an extraordinary play that takes on even greater significance in today’s landscape. Telling the true story of Holywood ... Read More

 

THE BUSY WORLD IS HUSHED by Keith Bunin

Finborough Theatre

Until Saturday 25 November 2017

****

'A must-see night of theatre exploring families, religion, loss and love'

Hannah ( Kazia Pelka) is a American Episcopalian vicar (Church of England equivalent). She’s just had an email from a wealthy Egyptian family who say they have an explosive document –  the first Gospel written about Christ ... Read more 

 

QUAINT HONOUR by Roger Gellert

Finborough Theatre  29 Oct – 21 Nov 2017

****

‘It has an unexpected frankness about its subject matter, but it is the play’s emotional complexity that is its enduring legacy’

Those heading to the Finborough expecting a worthy but dull historical curiosity are in for a pleasant surprise. Quaint Honour, not performed since 1958, explores the relationships ... Read Here

 

THE BACCHANALS  

The Etcetera Theatre 14 – 18 October 2017

Part of VOILA EUROPE festival

*****

‘irreverent, ferocious, and inciting’  

Euripides’ ‘The Bacchae’ is often cited as one of the greatest tragedies ever written. It is concerned with the two opposite sides of human nature: the rational and civilized side ... Read More

 

LAST MAN STANDING by Jude Cole

Directed by Courtney Larkin

Presented by Theatre N16: A first credits production

Theatre N16 until 18th November 2017

***

‘A talented cast that deserves more sophisticated writing’

In its short but effective tenure in Balham, Theatre N16 has become a genuine power-player in the fringe scene. They understand how difficult it is for new graduates to get a foot on the acting ladder and with this production of Last Man Standing, N16 offers an opportunity for actors to gain their first professional theatre credit ... Read More

 

SIRENS OF THE SILVER SCREEN

Upstairs at the Gatehouse, N6, 7 – 18 November 2017

****

‘Gorgeous vocals, stunning stories and tremendously entertaining’

Solo performer, Beth Burrows, has created this show based on three of the most iconic silver screen stars of the last century. As well as bringing to life their public persona she delves into their private selves to bring a more rounded understanding of ... Read More

 

THE BLACK EYE CLUB by Phil Charles

Bread & Roses Theatre, SW4, 1 – 18 Nov 2017

****

‘Full of mellow humour and tasty conflict of character’

Phil Charles’ THE BLACK EYE CLUB is Bread & Roses Playwright Award winner, chosen anonymously from over 450 scripts .... Read More  

 

THE DIARY OF A NOBODY

King’s Head Theatre 31 Oct – 18 Nov 2017

****

‘charming, silly and delightful production with plenty of hilarious moments’

The production premiered at White Bear Theatre June 2014, followed by a run at King’s Head Theatre earlier this year.  Already very well received by the press, director Mary Franklin has continued to develop ... Read More  

 

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES

The Drayton Arms Theatre, South Kensington until 12 Nov 2017

****

‘Beautiful’

With the New Year fast approaching, MKEC productions gave us a glimpse of what might unfold in some homes around the world with their production of When Midnight Strikes. This was such a relatable story about New Year’s Eve and ... Read More

 

IED by Martin McNamara

Theatre N16, Balham, until 11th November

****

‘Multi-layered and thoughtful’

In 2008 at the height of the Afghanistan conflict the British forces sustained heavy losses, many due to IEDs (improvised explosive device). While the focus was on those involved in the conflict, back home the ... Read More

 

DARK VENILLA JUNGLE by Philip Ridley

The Etcetera Theatre 6th Oct – 11th October 2017‘What’s unique about this production is the courageous simplicity’

Philip Ridley’s Dark Vanilla Jungle is a challenge. It’s a challenge for the audience but also a challenge for anyone who decides to put it on. Dark and disturbing even by the author’s standards, Andrea’s story of heartbreak, trauma and abuse could be melodramatic in the hands of a less skilled writer. ... Read More

 

ON THE PISTE by John Godber

Jack Studio Theatre 24 Oct - 11 Nov 2017

****

“You must all be very sexy in the body”  

For “On the Piste” the Brockley Jack Studio has been turned into the slopes and hotel of Chamonix with firs, snow and snowmen. The jolly soundscape reinforces the rather delicious wintry embrace that awaits the audience .... Read More

 

METROPOLIS by Joe Brooks and Dusty Hughes

Ye Olde Rose and Crown Walthamstow 10th October – 5th November 2017

****

‘a superb show’  

Following on from their great successes this year with My Land’s Shore and 110 In The Shade, All Star Productions have triumphed again with the futuristic musical Metropolis ... Read More

 

THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR

Old Red Lion Theatre 4 November 2017

*****

‘Truly scary’

Studies have shown that some horror video games, stage productions and books are way scarier than movies. How is it possible? One might ask, especially since movies have all the tricks ... Read More

 

THE RAVEN

Adapted/Directed by Simon James Collier (After Edgar Allen Poe)

The Old Red Lion Theatre 18th – 19th October  

The Etcetera Theatre 31st Oct – 5th November

‘a story most worth of being told’

Regardless of one’s personal taste it is undeniable that ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe is one of the most famous poems ever written. Poe’s seminal work has been parodied and reinvented before, and ... Read More

 

TRYST by Karoline Leach

Tabard Theatre 12th October – 5th November

****

‘gripping play driven by two outstanding performances, with Leach’s script keeping the audience guessing until the end’

There are no shortage of cads and bounders in Victorian and Edwardian literature. But their dastardly actions mainly occur offstage, with the “ruined” women re-emerging only after being deserted. Karoline Leach’s Tryst, first performed in 1997 and superbly revived at the Tabard Theatr .... Read More

 

HEROES by Bebe Barry and Tony Barry

Bridge House Theatre until 5th November

****

‘Sweet, sparky coming of age tale.’  

1972 was a pretty grim year. Northern Ireland was at the height of the Troubles and still reeling from Bloody Sunday and the whole of the UK was sliding inexorably into a recession that was to last almost until the end of the decade. So when a young Bowie complete with red spiky hair and ... Read more

 

SKIN TIGHT by Gary Henderson

Hope Theatre until 4 November 2017

*****

‘fervently brought to life’

Skin Tight, a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998, is fervently brought to life in the first production from Southern Magpie Theatre, which is sure to be ... Read More

 

PSYCHOPOMP by Roger Benington

Canal Café Theatre 20 – 28 October 2017

****

‘A spectacular end to the American Season at the Canal Cafe Theatre’

Psychopomp, performed as part of the Canal Cafe Theatre’s American season is a tense journey through the complex relationship between one man and ...

Read More

 

TOSCA

King's Head Theatre N1, until 28 Oct 2017

****

'Becca Marriott is superb in the role'

Puccini’s opera is transported from 1800 Rome to 1944 occupied Paris in this evocative production. The twists and turns of the Italian libretto is now rendered in English by Becca Marriott and Adam Spreadbury-Maher allowing ... Read More

 

IN THE EVENT OF MOONE DISASTER by Andrew Thompson

Directed by Lisa Spirling

Theatre503,  4 - 28  October

*****

“An orgasm’s like an apology. You never get one from a man”

This is an astonishing piece of work. It’s also a jolly good evening ...Read more

 

ARCHIVE FIVE-STAR REVIEWED SHOWS:

 

FRANKENSTEIN

Brockley Jack Theatre, until 21 October 2017

*****

‘a sight to behold’

With so many adaptations and parodies of Frankenstein, Arrows and Traps Theatre Company had it all to do on the Night. And with an audience who might have commenced ... Read More

 

THE IMMORTALIST by Heathcote Williams

Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead until 15 October 2017

*****

‘tour de force performance of Heathcote Williams’ dazzling play’

A brilliant discourse between the Immortalist, a 278-year-old man and his interviewer, a cynical TV reporter.  This is a play for anyone who wondered whether ... Read more 

 

CONSUMABLES by Matthew Kyne Baskott

King’s Head Theatre 9 – 14 October 2017

*****

'Subversive and hilarious first date'

This play doesn’t fully match the scenario the flyer seems to suggest of kinky sexual activity that goes one step too far.  Yes, the play does start with a middle-aged man wearing a gimp mask surrounded by ... Read more

 

Turkey

The Hope Theatre until 14 Oct 2017

*****

‘short, punchy and heartfelt’

Turkey; noun, something that is extremely or completely unsuccessful, especially a play or film. A brave title for Frankie Meredith’s first full length play. But it becomes apparent within the opening minutes ... Read More

 

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY

Baron’s Court Theatre 5 - 30 September 2017

*****

Dante’s narrative poem was completed in 1320, one year before his death. Telling the story of the soul’s journey towards God, Dante was very much a man of his time. So It Goes Theatre have taken this late Medieval epic and given it contemporary focus. Read More

 

THE PROVOKED WIFE by John Vanbrugh

The Hope Theatre, 5 to 23 Sept 2017

*****

It takes something special to make a 320-year-old play feel fresh, funny, and entirely up-to-date, and Marooned Theatre do exactly that with their new take on Vanbrugh’s The Provoked Wife. Read More

 

TALK RADIO by Eric Bogosian

Old Red Lion Theatre 29 August – 23 September 2017

*****

Thirty years ago, when Eric Bogosian penned the play, talk radio was at its height. With loners, drunks, and insomniacs included amongst their callers, they were not, the most level-headed bunch. Read More

 

ADAM AND EVE by Tim Cook

Jack Studio theatre until 2nd September

*****

‘the slow disintegration of a relationship…with enough edge to keep it feeling fresh’  

The dysfunctional teacher pupil relationship has proved to be a rich seam for playwrights to mine (Phoebe Éclair Powell’s Wink, Matt Parvin’s Jam and Brad Birch’s The Brink) and playwright Tim Cook adds a new dimension ... Read More

 

THE GAME’S AFOOT by Tom Taylor (Touring nationally)

Reviewed at Upstairs at The Western, Leicester 1 September 2017

*****

‘the laughs come thick and fast’

Tom Taylor is a very funny multi award winning comedian whose usual genre is silly musical comedy. This year he has branched out into what can only be described as spoof detective stories and ... Read More

 

FILTH based on the novels by Irvine Welsh adapted by Harry Gibson

Etcetera Theatre, 18 – 20 August 2017

Part of Camden Fringe

*****

'A stonking filthy Glasgow Kiss'  

As the show kicks off, it becomes clear that the filth of the title role is an officer of the law who has chosen his job for the sole satisfaction of abusing the power it gives him. Read More

 

MIMES (Most Imbecilic Mime Ensemble Show)

The Three Dots Company

Etcetera Theatre 16 – 20 August 2017

Part of Camden Fringe

*****

'Their expressive faces reveal so much more than words could say, in this exquisite mime show'

In this family show the mimes use traditional Commedia dell’arte techniques as well as clowning and ... Read More

 

BROKEN by Matthew Lyon

The Etcetera, Camden  14th – 17th August

*****

‘soaring musicality and delicious smuttiness’

Broken is one of those rare things where you feel as though you are watching a classic in the making. Set in Shepherds Bush it focuses on the ... Read More

 

SAM AND TOM: UNRECTIFIABLE (Edinburgh Preview)

By Tom Burgess & Sam Nicoresti

Etcetera Theatre, Camden 22nd July

*****

‘a depth of oddity that’s utterly unique’

A sweet and awkward pair, the boys hit the ground running with intense energy and silliness. They quickly established a relationship with the audience, striking ... Read More

 

TAMING OF THE SHREW

Jack Studio Theatre 18 July – 5 August 2017

Presented by Lazarus Theatre Company

*****

‘If Kneehigh did fringe theatre, this would be it.’

The play is relocated from 16th century Padua to the midst of a muddy festival field in 2017. Here, men and women engage in an epic battle of the sexes to a modern upbeat soundtrack, donned with face glitter and wellies.

Read More

 

4.48 PSYCHOSIS by Sarah Kane

Angel Theatre Company

Barons Court Theatre, 4-8 July 2017

*****

‘Magnificent seven actors bring poetic beauty to a deeply challenging subject’

You know if you are going to a Sarah Kane play it’s going to be a challenging night. So, it was with some trepidation that I went to see 4.48 Psychosis, the last play Kane wrote before taking her life in 1999 aged just 28. Read More

 

DYL by Mark Weinman

Directed by Clive Judd

Old Red Lion Theatre, 9 May to 3 June.

*****  

James has exiled himself to Aberdeen. He works two weeks on an oil rig. Then he sits for two weeks on the sofa in his rented flat and his dressing gown, staring into space.

James (Scott Arthur) has no friends, but he has a flatmate, and that flatmate, Ryan (Laurie Jamieson), is the friendly, garrulous, foot-in-the-mouth kind of guy who isn’t going to let James waste away his life this way.  Read More

 

LIVING A LITTLE by Finlay Bain

The Kings Head Theatre 6th May – 14th May

Presented by Riot House Theatre with In Your Face Theatre

*****

‘Full of crudeness, charm, and heart’

It’s happened: the zombie apocalypse. The world is in tatters, society has dissolved, chaos reigns. But holed up in a small flat with all the pre-apocalypse luxuries one could hope for, Paul and Rob are living life as normally as they can. But when their sanctuary is invaded by the katana-wielding Penelope, their carefully constructed way of life is challenged and irrevocably changed. Read More

 

THE MAGIC FLUTE

The Kings Head Theatre 3rd May – 4th June

Presented by The Charles Court Opera

*****

‘will delight opera veterans and convert new comers alike’

Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ is one of the best known and well-loved operas there is. An intimidating project to say the least. The Charles Court Opera present their interpretation of this famous show setting it in the heart of the South American jungle. The story follows intrepid explorer Tamino as he embarks on a journey filled with fantastical, magical creatures, where nothing is as it appears to be.  Read More

 

BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE by Dennis Potter

The Hope Theatre 2 – 20 May 2017

*****

‘an immeasurably good play’

Where would you find the devil? Is it Mr Bates hiding behind the National Front? Or even more disturbingly behind a cup of tea and the Sunday Times? Or, Martin, the ‘kindly’ stranger inveigling his way into the household. In Dennis Potter’s 1970s play, banned by BBC radio and not aired until 11 years later, we are faced with this dilemma. Read More

 

CASTE by TW Robertson

Finborough Theatre

2 - 18 April 2017

*****

“Kind Hearts and Coronets”

The Finborough Theatre has done it again. They have re-discovered (and dare I say it re-imagined) this wonderful play ‘Caste’ by TW Robertson. They have, without a doubt, ‘a hit. A palpable hit’, on their hands.  Read More

 

Arthur Miller’s INCIDENT AT VICHY  

Finborough Theatre until 22 April 2017

Presented by Anita Creed Productions for The Phil Willmott Company

*****

Pitch-perfect production

Rather like the Finborough itself, ‘Incident At Vichy’ is small but perfectly formed and never less than ambitious. One of Arthur Miller’s lesser known plays, it centres around the capture and questioning of a group of men during the Second World War.

It’s late enough in the war ... Read More

 

MY LAND’S SHORE

Music and Lyrics by Christopher J Orton

Book and Lyrics by Robert Gould

Presented by All Star Productions

Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre 7 – 26 February

*****

Deserves a transfer to the West End

Director Brendan Matthew recalls in his programme notes that My Land’s Shore was described during its workshop stage as ‘The Welsh Les Mis.’ And that’s exactly what it is.

Read More

 

Cole Porter's ANYTHING GOES

Presented by Ovation

Gatehouse Theatre until 29th January 2017

*****

'Delightful cast in a well-presented production'

The action takes place on a transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton in 1934. This charming production is faithful to the period and might have been exactly as Cole Porter would have wanted to see it. Read More

 

 

 

 

 

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