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BUT IT STILL GOES ON written by Robert Graves

Finborough Theatre10 July - 4 August 2018

****

‘An engaging drama, providing glimpses into things that would not be fully explored on stage for another forty years’

The Finborough specialises in reviving long neglected works or plays unseen in England before. But It Still Goes On, written in 1929 but previously unperformed, is pretty much peak Finborough. Read More

 

THE UNNATURAL TRAGEDY by Margaret Cavendish

The White Bear Theatre 3 - 21 July 2018

*****

‘This cleverly written, and bitingly satirical play is superbly directed by Graham Watts’

Margaret Cavendish is a woman for our times.  This play written 360 years ago (c 1658) has never been performed before and is at last getting its well-deserved premiere, honouring her memory.  Every woman should ... Read Here  

 

FAT JEWELS by Joseph Skelton

Hope Theatre, Islington 3 to 21 July 2018

***1/2

‘realistic depiction of hope-free working-class life that neither reviles nor romanticises it’

Two men in a flat. They’ve had a couple of beers, a fish supper. Banter, male chat, up on the surface, friendly, but not friends, not really, just companions passing the time.

Read More

 

Café of the Damned by Jim Mannering

Etcetera Theatre 10 – 14 July 2018

***1/2

‘ …. a rollicking dark-comedy thriller sure to entertain’  

In a mundane coastal tea room, the decrepit, under-employed and ‘recreational’ users spend their time complaining about each other and themselves. Sounds like your average banal café somewhere in one of those sea side towns we all wish we’d forgotten but ... Read More

 

BACK TO WHERE by Colin James

Brockley Jack Studio 10 - 14 July 2018

****

‘A hilarious and affecting story of love complicated by circumstance.’

In times of trouble, the desire to return can be hard to resist. When faced with difficulty, whether it's a bad relationship, an unfulfilling job, or a more general dissatisfaction with life and one's place in it, we often ... Read More

 

IMMACULATE CORRECTION by Catherine Expósito

King’s Head Theatre 9-13 July 2018

Part of Playmill Festival

****

‘This show would be ideal for touring around schools and starting conversations about body image, bullying and adolescent sexuality.’  

One of the joys of pub theatre is the sheer breadth of stories being told and concerns being highlighted.  In Catherine Expósito new play she shows us what life was like growing up in a Catholic school ... Read More

 

TIMMY by Roxy Dunn

King’s Head Theatre 11 and 12 July

Part of PLAYMILL Festival

*****

‘ … ballsy originality, catch it when you can’  

Who needs an expensive set when you have two ‘talking heads’ speaking directly to the audience bringing the whole house into convulsions of laughter.  Read More

 

STEPPING OUT by Richard Harris

Jack Studio Theatre, Brockley 19 June - 7 July 2018

***1/2

‘Fizzy, frothy and entertaining.’  

Once a week Mavis Turner and her hapless class of amateur dancers meet in a dingy village hall to tap away their troubles. When this disparate group are invited to perform a routine at a local charity night ... Read More

 

SARDINES by Jenna Kamal

Drayton Arms Theatre 26 June - 7 July 2018 7:30pm

***1/2

‘Tube drama should get Londoners talking’

One of the beauties of fringe theatre is the range of issues performances raise. In this case the playwright, Jenna kamal, is exploring the subject of loneliness and using the London underground as a metaphor for those feelings. According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics ... Read More

 

COCKAMAMY by Louise Coulthard

The Hope Theatre 12 - 30 June 2018

*****

“…makes the mundane sparkle in an absolute tragic joy…”

We often talk of theatre in terms of tragedy and comedy, but perhaps the most powerful moments are found in the stark contrast between the two. To bring an audience to a place of laughter whilst ... Read More

 

STEPPING OUT by Richard Harris

Jack Studio Theatre, Brockley 19 June - 7 July 2018

***½

‘Fizzy, frothy and entertaining.’

Once a week Mavis Turner and her hapless class of amateur dancers meet in a dingy village hall to tap away their troubles. When this disparate group are invited to perform a routine at a local charity night, they must discover their ... Read More

 

FINISHING THE PICTURE by Arthur Miller  

 

Finborough Theatre 12 June – 7 July 2018

 

***

 

‘This often inspired and well-acted production cannot resolve all the shortcomings of Miller’s script and Finishing the Picture is in essence a curio – the final work of an American Great.’  

 

They say there are no second acts in American lives. This seems true for the great American playwrights of the twentieth century. Tennessee Williams famously struggled to find an audience for his later work. Arthur Miller lived a lot ... Read More 

 

 

 

THE UNBUILT CITY by Keith Bunin

 

King’s Head, Islington 6 to 30 June 2018

 

***

 

‘Quality performances and tender moments’  

 

Alone in her cold and food-free uptown apartment, Claudia, one-time actress, art collector and society belle, awaits the arrival of Jonah, an art student who can value the collection she may finally need to sell. Since Jonah, well advised by an old adversary of Claudia’s, has come supplied with a bottle of bourbon, the older lady and the younger man settle down to while away the afternoon ... Read More 

 

 

 

PERFECT PITCH by John Godber

 

The Tabard Theatre, Chiswick, 12 - 23 June 2018

 

***

 

“some special moments”  

 

Spoiler alert: Name dropping ahead.

 

Years ago I was chatting to Alan Ayckbourn, when, apropos of nothing at all, he said, ‘I have been caravanning Rich. Quite enjoyed it. Until we pitched up beside a White Witch.’ Now I really wasn’t sure if the latter was a caravan brand or a person with a pointy hat. So, to fill the conversational void I said, “do you know Alan, I’ve never really understood the difference between White Witches and Black Witches”. He looked at me rather askance.  Read More 

 

 

 

RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET  

 

Upstairs at the Gatehouse 12th May – 17th June

 

*****

 

“Sci-fi Shakespeare with heart and soul and rock ‘n’ roll”  

 

As Director John Plews says in the programme of his production of Return to the Forbidden Planet “this is Shakespeare, but not as we know it”. Currently showing Upstairs at the Gatehouse in the very pretty Highgate Village (London, but not as we know it!), this production by Ovation is a revival of the original ... Read More

 

 

 

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Drayton Arms Theatre 29 May - 16 June 2018

 

*****

 

‘Sharp, funny, slick and humane, if only all days in class could be this life-enhancing.’  

 

Watching high school kids spelling words out loud may sound like watching paint dry but THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE proves there’s joy in the most unlikely of settings. A Broadway hit in the 2000s, it’s a musical about 10 geeky kids competing for the prize in the title, with three pretty equally geeky adults supervising.  Read More 

 

 

 

THE NIGHT ALIVE  

 

Jack Studio Theatre until 9th June 2018

 

****

 

‘filled with pathos and humour’

 

First Knight Theatre have brought to life a blistering version of Conor McPherson’s intense and touching play. Read More 

 

 

 

ADAM & EVE by Tim Cook

 

The Hope Theatre 22 May – 9 June 2018

 

*****

 

‘knowing who to trust is not always straight forward in this searing indictment of social media … ’  

 

With #metoo debates rocking the foundations of society through connectivity on social media, this play pins down one of the most disturbing consequences of hysteria.  Whilst these debates need to ... Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          REVIEWS  2018

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Fat Jewels

FAT JEWELS by Joseph Skelton

Hope Theatre, Islington 3 to 21 July

the unnatural But it 2