News, Reviews and Features


These are all of our in-house news and features as well as syndicated article excerpts from our 45+ theatre bloggers. You can also access All Our Mates' Posts in comprehensive list form and view individual author pages.
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Review: Pension Plan (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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There’s a plethora and a half of one-woman shows at the Edinburgh Fringe where the material spills from the uncoordinated ramblings of an early-disappointed or pre-menopausal harpy at the microphone. ‘Look at my awful life’ they rant ‘and feel better about your own’. In ‘Pension Plan’ at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, the oddly spelled but […]

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Review: Girl, Constantly F*****g Interrupted (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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Great title, rubbish play. I was about to launch into a diatribe against this piece – a sketchy, tentative overlong rummage around the physical and mental attic of the solo character Faith’s brain as she retreats from her murdered mother’s funeral to debate her mental state with the voices in her head. It sounds far-fetched, […]

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Review: Out Of The Blue (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

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My Edinburgh posse recommended Out of the Blue, the Oxford undergraduate a cappella singing group. Oh right. Spoilt chinless posh boys frittering away a musical month in jolly old Edinburgh before joining mummy and daddy on the grouse moor? I had to be dragged there. And on they bounce: hearty chaps in flannel suits, blue […]

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Review: A to Z of Oompah (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Not having had previous exposure to this group, I spotted one of the lederhosen-clad soloists in the bar before the performance. ‘What part of Bavaria are you from?’ I asked in all innocence. ‘Fulham’, he replied. Part of the wise and worthy ‘Five Pound Fringe’, Oompah Brass’s “A to Z of Oompah” can be found […]

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Review: The Improvised Musical (Edinburgh Fringe 2010)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

A million years B.C., when I was a first-year drama student, we were encouraged to tit about with improvisation and gradually take, from the frankly ludicrous scenarios and inane characterisations we invented every wet Friday afternoon of the Autumn term, some semblance of a skill set which could be useful in actual acting performance, if […]

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Review: Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Camden Fringe)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

It would be like pissing on a grave to be overly critical of ‘Elegies’, the song cycle of AIDS victims interspersed with thirty-two heartfelt blank verse monologues charting individual experience of the fatal disease. But a little bit of wee did come out when we reflected on the wasted opportunity of staging this electrically important […]

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Review: Queer In The USA (Camden Fringe)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

With a topical reference to ‘Glee Club’, Manuel Simons’ late-night show is part paean of praise to Bruce Springsteen, part stretched sketch in which teen wiener Johnny from Jersey wants to model himself on “The Boss” but sings and sounds more like Shirley Temple. Simons plays all the parts so Johnny’s journey from weak gleek […]

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Review: Sondheim by Sondheim (Roundhouse Studio)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

This is not the best week to put on an intimate Sondheim revue. Overshadowed by the glorious Sondheim Prom at the Albert Hall, by Maria Friedman’s all-Sondheim set at Cadogan Hall and the reputedly outstanding Into The Woods just beginning at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and you’re on a hiding to nothing. Throw in […]

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Review: Aspects Of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

The trouble with Andrew Lloyd Webber… No, that’s too easy. The trouble with Apects of Love is that it’s a trite plot about characters too self-absorbed to care about, woven with the relentless thread of ALW’s musical recycling. All the new Trevor Nunn production at the Menier Chocolate Factory does is illuminate the weaving flaws. […]

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Review: Not By Bread Alone (Artsdepot)

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You may not know much of Finchley: La Thatcher’s old constituency perhaps you recall, a pimple on the forehead of London’s map-face just before it breaks out in to the bushy afforestation of, well, Bushey and the rest of leafy Hertfordshire. Be grateful though that someone has thought to fund its modern and enterprising ‘Artsdepot’ […]

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Review: Assassins (Union Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

U.S. Presidents get a raw deal from musicals … in Kaufman and Hart’s 1937 I’d Rather Be Right George M. Cohan starred as Franklin Roosevelt who despite his polio paralysis sings and dances – at least in Annie he remains confined to his wheelchair whilst the ginger moppet bawls a succession of shaky key-changes into […]

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Restaurant Review: Fig

In by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

We could blame the Blumenthal zeitgeist, we could bemoan the jaded palates of Islington which demand the culinarily arcane be proffered in their domestic midst, but the main draw to ‘Fig’, a smallish shop-front gastro in otherwise mid-posh residential Barnsbury, is curiosity – chef Christoffer Hruskova has quickly snagged a reputation for alchemical cookery with […]

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Review: Karen Akers (Pizza On The Park)

In Broadway, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Why should you go to a basement venue condemned for redevelopment to hear a tall slender American woman you probably haven’t heard of sing the works of a long-dead composer and lyricist? Because, trust us, you should. For three good reasons. One : Karen Akers has a ten-album back-catalogue (much of it available on Amazon, […]

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Review: Dream of the Dog (Trafalgar Studios, London)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

In the living room strewn with tea chests and cardboard boxes it couldbe cosy Priestley or Coward, ‘Laburnum Grove’ or ‘This Happy Breed’ as an elderly housewife packs away the last of the family belongings before the house move to a peaceful retirement by the sea. But instead of South London we are high on the windswept veldt […]

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Review: Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

There is an array of all-American talent squished onto the Menier Chocolate Factory stage that is both formidable and incomprehensible. From Mandy Patinkin, arguably the finest Sondheim interpreter of his generation, to Broadway back-catalogistas like Judy Kaye and John McMartin, this is the stuff of dreams for many producers. Such a pity, then, that they […]

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Review: The Reindeer Monologues (Above the Stag Theatre, London)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, but there’s rape here tonight in Santa’s pervy wonderland … At North Pole Central, a traumatized Rudolph beats his hooves softly against the walls of his padded cell, Cupid admits his masochistic taste for the whip and describes Santa’s grotesque […]

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Review: Shirley Valentine (Menier Chocolate Factory)

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There can be scarcely a Chardonnay-drinking woman on the planet who failed to be inspired by the story of Shirley Valentine, a Liverpool housewife whose confidence and personality were so submerged by her marriage until she rediscovered them on holiday in the Greek Islands, fulfilling an ambition to ‘drink a glass of wine in the […]

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Review: The Northerners (Finborough Theatre, London)

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It’s general election year, the economy is reeling from the cost and shame of an unpopular war, development of radical new technology has made experienced workers too expensive to employ, and depressed wage rates for the rest. Strikes and confrontations between management and unions have become the order of the day … But this is […]

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Review: Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

We are in Coney Island, and if Lloyd Webber’s claim that the events are set ten years after Phantom of the Opera is accurate, it’s about 1891. The Phantom has become a sideshow illusionist, bringing with him Madame and Meg Giry, and three henchpersons suggestively called Fleck, Squelch and Gangle whose sole purpose is to […]

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Review: Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi (Union Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Ever since Garbo leaned against the door-jamb of her luxury suite and murmured ‘I want to be alone’, the glamour and intrigue of Grand Hotels has captured public imagination. In Liverpool, the landmark Adelphi Hotel had its profile boosted by carriage trade from the ocean liners arriving from the New World and statesmen, gangsters and […]

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