Best of the Blogs: Education, Education, Education to Custody to Country Music

In Awards, Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Lisa Martland

Classic or contemporary, current theatre in London, on the Fringe and across the UK could never be accused of not tackling current political and social topics, and in the current climate we need that kind of debate more than ever.

It makes us appreciate the intelligent analysis of our contributors at My Theatre Mates, those 40-plus affiliated bloggers who cover such a wide range of locations and styles. From cabaret to circus, from straight drama to musical theatre, from immersive theatre to opera and dance.

Carrying on a new series, our editor Lisa Martland picks out seven of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (2-9 June 2019). Amidst her top choices are Maryam Philpott’s journey back to a time of political optimism in The Wardrobe Ensemble’s Education, Education, Education at Trafalgar Studios and Emma Clarendon’s visit to the emotionally raw Custody at the Ovalhouse Theatre which looks at police treatment of black males.

Elsewhere, Shanine Shalom, Anne Cox, Michael Davis, Liz Dyer and Daniel Shipman also offer us their reflections on writing which thankfully asks questions about age-old society problems which constantly need addressing.

Education, Education, Education – Trafalgar Studios, London
Maryam Philpott: “The Wardrobe Ensemble has far more to say and a key debate focuses on the faux surety of British concepts of identity and the extent to which we too readily believe our own myth-making.”
Custody – Ovalhouse, London ★★★★
Emma Clarendon: “Raw and passionate throughout, Custody is an extraordinary piece of drama that brings into sharp focus just how far attitudes have yet to undergo change in Britain in terms of racism and brutality in the police force.”
The Glass Menagerie – Arcola Theatre, London
Shanine Shalom: “I admit that conflicts between this updated production and the original script did distract me, but because of such a talented cast I was still able to appreciate how well The Glass Menagerie was performed.“
Beneath The Blue Rinse – Park Theatre, London ★★★★
Anne Cox: “Those over a certain age will recognise the patronising tone, the condescension. Where once they had been respected by the younger generation they are now treated with disregard and spoken to as though they are imbecilic children.”
Hoard – Arcola Theatre, London
Michael Davis: “In many plays, a mother who casts a shadow over the lives of her daughter(s) ends up emotionally estranged from them in the long run. This play puts a human face on this age-old ‘problem’ and shows how such issues can be worked out.”
Country Music – Omnibus Theatre, London
Liz Dyer: “The plot may at times be slightly muddled, but the sense of waste and irretrievable loss at its heart comes through powerfully in this excellent revival.”
Hobson’s Choice – Royal Exchange, Manchester ★★★
Daniel Shipman: “This adaptation of
Harold Brighouse’s 1916 play has the action updated from Victorian-era Salford to Ancoats
in the 1980s.”
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Lisa Martland
An editor, writer and critic, Lisa Martland is the founder of Vuelio top-ranked website Musical Theatre Review which she set up in 2013. She has largely single-handedly developed it into one of the UK’s must-read sites for professionals and expert followers of the sector. In 2018, Lisa also joined the Terri Paddock Group, taking on the role of editor for both MyTheatreMates and our sister musical theatre site Stage Faves. Formerly, she was deputy editor at The Stage Newspaper.

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Lisa Martland on FacebookLisa Martland on InstagramLisa Martland on RssLisa Martland on TwitterLisa Martland on Youtube
Lisa Martland
An editor, writer and critic, Lisa Martland is the founder of Vuelio top-ranked website Musical Theatre Review which she set up in 2013. She has largely single-handedly developed it into one of the UK’s must-read sites for professionals and expert followers of the sector. In 2018, Lisa also joined the Terri Paddock Group, taking on the role of editor for both MyTheatreMates and our sister musical theatre site Stage Faves. Formerly, she was deputy editor at The Stage Newspaper.