As America Ferrera said recently many of us, but especially women, grow up too fast. Before you know it we have to put the toys aside and begin paying bills and deal with a never-ending laundry pile. Well have no fear, Big Kid Kindergarten is here!
Not technically a show, more of an interactive experience, Big Kid Kindergarten allows you to be transported back to your youth. You’re encouraged to jump head-first into this 55-minute experience, put your phone down and be present.
Our teacher, Soleil Kohl encourages us to pick up a material and take a seat, she then asks us to all introduce ourselves and our preferred pronouns. We then spend the next half an hour or so making new friends, playing, crafting, and building.
There are duplo blocks, playdoh, arts and crafts materials, and PVA glue – which most of us placed on the back of our hands, let it dry and peeled off. There is then time for a nap, during which Kohl explains to us why this experience is important and why she has created it. It was emotional for some people in the room, probably those that had to grow up quickly, or that maybe didn’t have the nicest of childhoods.
I feel the space this experience is held within could be improved, it was rather a dark room and the lighting was far too bright and slightly jarring after nap time. I also hoped we’d have one of the rugs with a town printed on it that you can drive your toy car along, as this was the background image on the show’s website.
This festival, whilst joyous, can be overwhelming, for artists, reviewers, workers, and even just the people of Edinburgh who have to suddenly deal with silent disco tours everywhere – Big Kid Kindergarten allows you to unlock your inner child, to simply have fun and leave your stresses and worries at the door. It’s the best form of escapism, a great way to decompress, and something I implore you to do – we could all do with an hour of playtime, even as adults. Kohl is the perfect kindergarten teacher, softly spoken, patient, kind, and inclusive.
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