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‘Powerful without being sentimental’: THE APOLOGY – Arcola Theatre

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Kyo Choi’s new play, The Apology, looks at sexual slavery in the Second World War and insists that a tactical political apology isn’t remotely enough for the women and their families denied official acknowledgment of responsibility from modern governments.

It always takes one lone voice, someone brave enough to stand up and speak about what happened to them. Soon, others will follow inspired by that first individual and that is how truths eventually come to light. With Maria Schrader and Rebecca Len…

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‘Certainly makes a statement’: WHO KILLED MY FATHER – Young Vic Theatre

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It is always exciting seeing van Hove’s work for the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam with its cinematic vision encapsulated in theatrical form. Here in Who Killed My Father at the Young Vic Theatre there is both intimacy and scale that neatly capture the contradictions and complexities of loving a family member. The title of this work may not be a question but it certainly makes a statement.

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‘Vastly overlong & tonally varied piece of drama’: I, JOAN – Shakespeare’s Globe

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History wasn’t only written by the winners, but by the men on the winning side so what can it really tell us about the lives, experiences and identities of anyone else? That is the central debate in Charlie Josephine’s new play for the Globe Theatre, I, Joan, a re-examination not only of the supposed facts and assumptions made about Joan of Arc but also her subsequent presentation predominantly by male artists and writers who retrospectively project shape and meaning onto her story, replacing Joan’s voice with their own.

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‘Transports the viewer to different locations & into diverse lives’: MILES / THE FALL – Original Theatre Company (Online Show)

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Riverside Studios has partnered with the Original Theatre Company to make their three competition-winning plays from debut writers available for on-demand viewing. Across three nights in July, these three plays were performed in the small space at Riverside Studios with all-star casts and simultaneously live-streamed to an international audience. Separate release dates for Miles and The Fall will follow, but watching them as a collective is just as valuable, transporting the viewer to three very different locations and into diverse lives.

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‘Sets the standard against which future productions will be judged’: SOUTH PACIFIC – Sadler’s Wells & Touring

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This is a smart and thoughtful interpretation of South Pacific that takes carefully considered approach to some of the problems in the scenario without fully absolving the characters for their behaviour and choices. Managing to balance the sparkle of the big set-pieces and the not so charming effects of military occupation with some serious emotional clout that will leave you wrung through at the end, this sets the standard against which future productions will be judged. With a UK tour running until November, Bali Ha’i is calling you, don’t resist.

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‘Experiments with its theatrical form’: CHASING HARES – Young Vic

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Exploitation can take many forms and sometimes it even begins with a creative opportunity. Sonali Bhattacharyya’s lead character in new play Chasing Hares at the Young Vic takes a while to find themselves confronting a major moral dilemma but the road to it begins with storytelling, imagination and character creation.

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‘Utterly joyous’: JACK ABSOLUTE FLIES AGAIN – National Theatre

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Delayed by Covid for over two years, Jack Absolute Flies Again finally lands on the Olivier stage when we have never needed Richard Bean and Oliver Chris’ goofy and hilarious romp more. An adaptation of Sheridan’s The Rivals relocated to a 1940s air base on a Sussex estate, there is a care in the construction of the play and a determination that everyone watching should have a good time that speaks to a wider need for lighter fare.

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‘Really gets to grips with the multiple meanings of its title’: MAD HOUSE – Ambassadors Theatre

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Ambassadors Theatre, London – until 4 September 2022 For the second time in successive weeks an American family drama opens in the West End and while Jitney may be a less obvious group of characters, the premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s new play Mad House focuses on a more traditional dynamic. US theatre is filled with dysfunctional family dramas and the …

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‘Worth the wait’: THE UNFRIEND – Chichester

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Delayed two years by the pandemic, one of the most hotly anticipated shows of 2020 finally makes it to the stage in 2022. The combination of TV writer and former Dr Who showrunner Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith proves irresistible as The Unfriend finally premieres in Chichester’s Minerva Theatre and it has been worth the wait.