As a musical nerd who recently realised that she’s almost definitely asexual, Asexuality! The Solo Musical was one of my most eagerly anticipated shows of the Fringe, and it did not disappoint.
The show charts the writer/performer, Rebecca McGlynn’s relationship with her aceness and her gender identity. As the only performer on stage, McGlynn delivers an incredible performance that captures all the nuance of the emotions associated with each scene and song. Similar to a lot of other one-person shows, the narrative requires McGlynn to play multiple characters as well as herself, which she does very impressively – at every point, you know ‘who’ is talking. This feat only becomes more impressive when you factor in the three other characters that McGlynn plays in the show (Ruth, John, and Hope) via video screen next to the stage who she interacts with throughout the show. I can only imagine how long it took to get the timing right for that but it’s so effective.
The script manages to nicely walk the line between entertaining and serious. There are lots of good laugh lines, but there are also lines and moments that stop the show dead in its tracks very effectively. Where the show could do with a smidge more development is in its songs. The lyrics felt a bit repetitive and over-simplistic at times. There is also something of a pacing problem about ¾ of the way through, which McGlynn herself acknowledges during the show. I wanted to flag it purely for completeness but I feel the solution to the problem is just to make the show longer to give the final section of the show more time to breathe. However, I feel this isn’t an issue with the show as much as it is an inherent issue with limitations surrounding timing at the Fringe, as increasing the length of your show often isn’t possible – hopefully, the show will have a future life where it can expand from 75 minutes to 90.
Overall, this is a very entertaining show that also manages to remain impactful. There are places where it could do with a bit of a tidy-up, but this is why I really hope this isn’t the last we see of this show.
The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, High Tide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
Drum roll please…(Cue a literal drum rolling across the stage.) The Lyric pantomime is one of traditions with the return of many well-loved jokes and skits. Costumes and sets are all made at the Lyric itself by Good Teeth, with set pieces being reused year on year. This year Cinderella gets the Hammersmith makeover, with some success. The costuming is fun and vibrant, with the ugly stepsisters’ equine pyjamas and hoop-skirted ball gowns giving all the wrong kinds of extra you need for those characters. Cinderella’s on stage dress transformation is magical and really well-timed. The Dame, Lady Jelly-Bottom’s, outfits … More CINDERELLA – REVIEW – LYRIC HAMMERSMITH
Amy catches up with Linus Karp ahead of his performance of Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story, at London’s Clapham Grand. Linus and Joseph of Awkward Productions are also the masterminds behind the new show Gwyneth Goes Skiing. Hello Your Majesty/ Candle Entrepreneur, how are you feeling coming back from a hugely successful fringe and triumphant tour across your kingdom, ahead of performing in front of 700 of your loyal subjects, and before (the list never ends!) opening a brand new show, which has recently gone viral? Exhausted, exhilarated and alive. We’ve had the most ridiculous year – I feel … More INTERVIEW – LINUS KARP – DIANA: THE UNTOLD AND UNTRUE STORY