Daniel J Carver’s Revealed at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory has been heralded as the most important work the space has ever presented. Perhaps the pitch pushes this conceit a little far, but what is presented is a cracking three-hander that explores what it means to be a black man in contemporary Britain.
Taking aim at capitalism, The Wardrobe Ensemble’s Winners rushes through the history of man, big ideas and systems designed to make the ‘special ones’ rich at the expense of all others and the good of the world at large.
David Mercatali’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf though long finds layer after layer in the lashings of marital discord.
There is a sadness behind the sitcom-like deadpan of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses that keeps its audience gripped while still holding it one step removed.
An always fascinating piece, Wild Goose Dreams detours constantly down different alleys to tell its story and gets overwhelmed by all the work’s devices.
In tackling Homer’s The Odyssey, Bristol favourites Living Spit, known for their anarchic, slapstick takes on history’s great and infamous figures, ascend to the next level of ambition.
Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s Much Ado About Nothing hits a higher level of excellence again, producing a work that will appeals to both Bard newbies and connoisseurs.
It’s only when the location moves to the battlefield and the production is allowed to breathe and the poetry to sing that this production of Cyrano finally begins to come into its own.
Much like Six, that pushes King Henry to the sidelines to place the spotlight on his long-suffering wives, here the Bennett sisters get to take complete ownership of the stage and the story they tell in Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of).
It may not be a piece that shakes you, but in bringing the words of Keith Douglas to its audience, Sheers has proved a willing literary executor.
A sold-out Pleasance Grand suggests that Fishbowl may be one of the hits of the summer.
You can’t accuse upcoming composer Finn Anderson of resting on his laurels. His fingerprints are all over this year’s Fringe, from the buzz-worthy Islanders over at Summerhall, to this, Limbo: City Of Dreams.
Who needs that double espresso shot when shows like Meghan Tyler’s Crocodile Fever exist?
Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical is unlikely to go down as a musical theatre classic but you’re guaranteed a good night out, even if you can’t quite believe what you’re watching.
It may not be the company hitting their absolute heights, but it knows what its audience wants having been versed over the past few years and plays all the hits. Like your favourite festival and a week by the pool, I’d expect it to become a summer institution.
Rupert Everett’s fascinating performance hides some of the deficiencies inherent in this production of Uncle Vanya which never gets to the heart of this transcendent play.
The Malory Towers company deserves great plaudits for putting their all into such a high-intensity show; it’s a charming piece but one that undoubtedly feels like minor-key Rice.
A large percentage of the theatre community may be heading up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the next week or so but our editor Lisa Martland’s Top Picks from the last week’s productions in the West End, London Fringe or beyond prove there’s plenty of diverse work to enjoy elsewhere.
What may have worked as a leisurely memoir, consumed over a period of a few weeks, fails to ignite in Vanessa Redgrave’s Vienna 1934-Munich 1938.
It’s is not going to change your life but for a chance to see a national treasure and to wallow away from the pressures of the real world for a couple of hours, Blithe Spirit ticks all the boxes.