Deleting dating apps is hands down one of the proudest things I have done this year. I mean, the struggle of it! The uncomfortable feeling in your gut as you choose the best photos of yourself (grimace immediately appearing on my face as I type this), idiotic captions that you would NEVER, EVER start a conversation with, the same quotes about pineapples on a pizza and how all men want is “someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.” Must I go on? No, but you must see the fruit of this most unnatural phenomenon of our century: the strangest strategy to find love in our disconnected world.
Letty Thomas plays a woman who’s had it. Enough of the niceties, enough of the same boring questions, let’s get to it, shall we? Let’s immediately show our true colours and just say what’s on our minds. But her poor date, played by Archie Backhouse clearly didn’t get the memo. He’s still resolved on being the nice, liberal guy who smiles a lot and says ‘sorry’ even more. Thomas and Backhouse are electrifyingly good with an immediate love-hate chemistry that makes this show flow so well, you almost don’t want their date to end. I have an instant urge to hug Thomas and Backhouse, to thank them for this bare portrayal of modern-day dating.
In Strategic Love Play, Miriam Battye lets go to create a perfect, terrifyingly raw script that will resonate with pretty much anyone; it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a first-hand experience with dating apps, you probably know someone who has. The direction is like the beautiful foamy top of the pint the two protagonists chug one after another, Katie Posner creating the perfect atmosphere of intimacy with the help of Robbie Taylor Hunt, the Intimacy Director. Posner’s direction is spotless with just the right amount of space given to actors to cause uncontrollable laughter in the audience, the awkwardness so real you feel naked and seen. Rhys Jarman makes everything so much easier, letting the set work for the show and audience, the simplicity of it transporting me straight to a London bar with memories of my own Bumble dates with Blue Moons.
When finally, secrets are revealed and the simplest, most beautiful sentence uttered: “I accept you” it gives us all hope of a happy ending. Is that what happens when we let our guard down and show weaknesses and past encounters with love? Come and find out.
Since its Broadway premiere in 1976, Pacific Overtures has become a surprising addition to the musical theatre canon. Telling the story of Japan’s isolationist foreign policy transformed in 1853 by the arrival of American forces was and is not traditional musical theatre fare. Nor is the manner of telling; writers Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, coupled with original director Hal Prince, sought to tell this as a Japanese story with techniques borrowed from kabuki and with music structured around fourths, rather than Western triads. Although relatively little known within Sondheim’s body of work, it is one of his most ambitious … More PACIFIC OVERTURES – REVIEW – MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Following on from a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, this boy band Christmas music has made its way to the Seven Dials Playhouse. With an obvious influence from Dickens’ classic Christmas story, Chris Kirkpatrick is visited by an Angel – Marky Mark and is allowed to make a wish. What follows is an hour of boy band fun. Yes, this plot might sound crazy… but it ain’t no lie. The plot is rather thin on the ground, and whilst at times the production really leans into the weird and hilarious, so much about it could be made bigger. The … More CHRISKIRKPATRICKMAS – REVIEW – SEVEN DIALS PLAYHOUSE
The infamous Sh!t Faced Showtime are back in London with a festive edition, they have taken Dickens’ classic and put a drunken spin on it. The formula is the same as other iterations of the Shi!t Faced shows, one member of the cast has been boozing, and this time it is John Milton who plays Scrooge. Before the show, half a bottle of Jim Beam, some wine, and beer have been consumed in the previous 4 hours. The rest of the cast, try to keep the show on track, also aided by James Murfitt as the compere, Charles Dickens. The … More A PISSEDMAS CAROL – REVIEW – LEICESTER SQUARE
Spine-tingling yet heart-warming, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of A Christmas Carol truly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of a Victorian ghost story, balanced out with enough humour so as to capture the festive season. Led by Keith Allen as Scrooge, with Peter Forbes as Marley, this show is perfect for Christmas viewing. The set design by Paul Wills is instantly captivating, containing stacks of metal cabinets towering over the theatre, moveable by the cast to allow space for other central props like doors, beds and tables. In addition to this, the puppetry design by Matthew Forbes is incredibly clever, adding creepy elements to the show such … More A CHRISTMAS CAROL – REVIEW – ALEXANDRA PALACE
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