Alan Ayckbourn’s play How The Other Half Loves is the perfect comedy entertainment to brighten up a winter’s evening. Three couple’s lives and marriages entwine. It’s the morning after the night before and two have been playing away from home. There’s no mystery about who they are from the start of the play develops around their secret coming out.
Mates blogger: Elaine Chapman
Elaine Chapman is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Elaine's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
The latest from Elaine on MyTheatreMates
‘Funny, soul-destroying & entertaining’: TEECHERS LEAVERS ’22– Touring
Everyone remembers that ‘one’ teacher who helped inspire, encourage, or left a lasting impression during their school years. Equally, we all remember the ones who you dreaded encountering too. John Godber’s writing in Teechers encapsulates these experiences brilliantly. From the inspiirational new drama teacher, and “stuffy” mathematics teacher to the “prissy” stuck-up PE teacher.
‘Narcissistic behaviour is central to the performance’: PICASSO – Playground Theatre
Grandeous narcissistic behaviour is central to the performance throughout Picasso, which brings the world renowned artist Pablo Picasso to life in the production currently playing at the Playground Theatre.
‘Extremely moving to watch’: ALLEGIANCE – Charing Cross Theatre ★★★★★
Allegiance at Charing Cross Theatre will be one of the musicals that leaves a lasting memory for all the right reasons. Running until April 8th there’s plenty of time to catch a performance and catch this legendary actor on stage.
‘One not to be missed’: MY FAIR LADY – Touring ★★★★★
Director Barlett Sher brings 1913 London to life through My Fair Lady in the touring production of the same name. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s novel Pygmalion, the story focused on Eliza Doolittle’s quick rise through the classes as an experiment devised by Professor Henry Higgins.
‘Compelling & repelling experience’: ONE MAN POE: A TRIPLE BILL – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★
Director and performer Stephen Smith bought One Man Poe to our screens during the lockdown. The gothic trilogy The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Raven are now being performed live on stage at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. Smith breathes an eerie new life into the 19th century work.
‘Fantastic balance of humour, singing & special effects’: THE WIZARD OF OZ – Winchester ★★★★
The Wizard of Oz is an all-time family favourite. Dorothy Gale (Abigail Coy) is swept away to the land of Oz after Kanzas is hit by a tornado. Killing the Wicked Witch of the East was never her intention. However, after her house lands on her, she is instantly revered by the locals and Glinda (Katie Stasi) the good witch.
‘I especially liked the slapstick-style comedy’: RAPUNZEL – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★
There’s nothing quite like reviewing a festive family production when the auditorium is full of excitement from the four busloads of primary school children sitting ready and waiting the wonders that are about to come alive on the stage. At 10.30am, spirits were running high for Rapunzel at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury.
‘Creating a world for adults & children to travel to’: THE SLEEPING SWORD – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★
Based on the 2002 book by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Tatty Hennessy, The Sleeping Sword tells the story of the Arthurian legend-obsessed Bun, who has read the story many times. Swept up by the magic of Merlin and the innocence of young Arthur removing Excalibur from the stone.
‘Delves deep into the depths of heartbreak’: THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★
The Solid Life of Sugar Water is an exceptionally strong 75-minute performance from two highly emotive passionate actors. Alice (Katie Erich) and Phil (Adam Fenton) met in the Post Office queue and started talking. While there, Phil has an untimely accident with his oversized “exploding” box of risque items he is sending to his brother.
‘Powerful & chilling’: THE CORAL – Finborough Theatre ★★★
How can such a small item of jewellery create so much chaos and disruption? The blood coloured coral brooch appears to lead the wearer to become obsessed with power and wealth. The Coral makes its first staged performance in one hundred years. The storyline is still relevant in our society and strained family relationships are probably more relatable.
‘I was hooked from the first number’: Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch – Touring ★★★★★
There’s nothing to dislike about Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch, I was hooked from the first number. As a company, they have set their sights on performing in the West End and I honestly think they have an excellent chance of fulfilling that dream.
‘Thought-provoking production delivered by a strong cast’: LANDSCAPE WITH WEAPON – Cockpit Theatre ★★★★
Landscape with Weapon at the Cockpit Theatre focuses on Ned (Danny Szam) whose deadly vision is to create a flock of drones capable of taking out enemies that are hiding in buildings or underground with horrifying precision. Therefore eliminating the need for mass killing and destruction of civilians often caught up in the firing line.
‘There’s nothing to dislike about Karp’s feline alter ego’: HOW TO LIVE A JELLICLE LIFE – Edinburgh Festival Fringe ★★★★★
Linus Karp’s deconstruction of the relatively unpopular movie adaptation of Cats, How to Live a Jellicle Life: Life Lessons from the 2019 Hit Movie Musical CATS, is a one-person cabaret show which combines everything bad and partly good about the star-studded film based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name.
‘Memorable production’: WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★
The Watermill’s bespoke setting and compact stage wouldn’t be my first choice of venue for a revival production of the musical Whistle Down the Wind based on the book by Mary Hayley Bell, adapted to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Jim Steinman. However, the results are extremely impressive.
‘An intriguing life’: THE WOMAN WHO AMUSES HERSELF – Brockley Jack Studio Theatre ★★★★
Victor Lotado’s story The Woman Who Amuses Herself is based on true events which took place back in 1911 when Vincenzo Peruggia stole the famous painting Mona Lisa from the Louvre in Paris. Posing as a workman and dressed accordingly the theft in his opinion was effortlessly carried out.
‘Suspending your disbelief is an imperative requirement’: THE THRONE – Charing Cross Theatre ★★★
Finding yourself stuck in a portaloo toilet with Her Majesty the Queen would be nerve-wracking enough for anyone, add a bomb into the equation and an anti-Royalist and The Throne at the Charing Cross Theatre has all the ingredients for an explosive performance.
‘The immersive experience is a must’: Fawlty Towers The Dining Experience – President Hotel ★★★★★
The President Hotel located in Russell Square is currently the home to Fawlty Towers The Dining Experience. Situated a few minutes walks away from Russell Square tube station it’s conveniently located for a West End night out.
‘The ensemble precision & attention to detail are superb’: CHICAGO – Touring ★★★★
New Wimbledon Theatre presented the latest touring production of the “sleek and sassy” successful West End musical Chicago. Set in the heart of 1920s America, the inner moral compass has virtually vanished, underground clubs are a common part of the social landscape and literally anything goes.
‘Humorous & bawdy’: BLEAK EXPECTATIONS – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★
Anthology Theatre productions and David Wolstencroft have adapted the BBC Radio 4 comedy production Bleak Expectations and bought it to the stage. Its cast of nine brings many of the famous Charles Dickens characters to life with a twist away from their usual narrative surroundings.
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