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Year in Review: Helen McWilliams’ Top 5 Off-West End productions of 2016

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

2016 has been the year that Break A Leg has been out and about seeing what London’s Off-West End productions and theatres have to offer. I have adored going to see new spaces, places and faces – it’s been aces! So, without further ado… here are my top five choices from among the many I have had the pleasure of reviewing.

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Matthew Bourne’s THE RED SHOES – Sadler’s Wells & touring

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Reviews, Sticky by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

Well, he’s done it again. Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, based on the iconic movie by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is a triumph, whichever way you look at it. Scenic-wise, music wise and not least as a gripping story, from first to last you know you are in the hands of someone who loves and has complete mastery over the technical and dramatic qualities of theatre.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Vaults Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

Turning Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into a mock radio recording is, in a sense, returning Dickens to his roots. Dickens public readings of his work are legendary. So here we are, in the Vault Theatre under the thundering trains of Waterloo, with the Fitzrovia Radio Hour, who, formed eight years ago have made staging radio plays their speciality.

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THIS HOUSE – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

This House has taken on a life of its own since its first appearance at the National Theatre in 2012 in the Cottesloe Theatre. Transferred to the Olivier, then revived this year at Chichester, it now sits grandly in the West End, complete with on-stage seating, rock band, glowered over by the face of Big Ben.

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THE SEWING GROUP – Royal Court Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

E V Crowe has been steadily building a reputation as a writer of taut, stringent control since her debut, Kin (2010) followed by the positively garrulous (by her standards) but impressive Hero (2012) with Daniel Mays. Last year, Brenda, a study in mystery and abuse, premiered at the High Tide festival and certainly took no prisoners. Nor does her latest, The Sewing Group.

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OIL – Almeida Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

So the ‘new world order’ is upon us but maybe not quite as many of us might have expected or hoped for. And if the new order of things continues as recently indicated, Ella Hickson’s vision will surely turn out to be bleakly prophetic. Oil is one of the most remarkable pieces of theatre new writing I’ve seen this year, or maybe even for some years.

OIL – Almeida Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Carole WoddisLeave a Comment

So the ‘new world order’ is upon us but maybe not quite as many of us might have expected or hoped for. And if the new order of things continues as recently indicated, Ella Hickson’s vision will surely turn out to be bleakly prophetic. Oil is one of the most remarkable pieces of theatre new writing I’ve seen this year, or maybe even for some years.