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‘A great foundation to an unconventional story’: PROJECT ATOM BOI – Vault Festival

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by laurakresslyLeave a Comment

Project Atom Boi follows the story of Yuanzi (Xiaonan Wang), a doomer who, pressured by a self-indulgent Filmmaker (Francesca Marcolina), starts re-exploring the memories of her childhood in China. Yuanzi grew up in Factory 404, a Cold War ghost town in the Gansu province that was built in the fifties with the sole purpose of hosting a nuclear weapon. As Yuanzi travels back in time, we also meet her childhood best friend Erdan and her grandfather (both played by Kelvin Chan).

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‘No amount of vegan-shoe jokes can save it’: KERRY JACKSON – National Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

Billed as an examination of gentrification, Kerry Jackson at the National Theatre has disappointingly little to say about this subject. Its main characters have clichéd opinions and stereotypical attributes, and De Angelis spends a lot of time getting them to tell us who they are, what they think and how they feel.

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‘One of the more original plays of 2022’: PARADISE NOW! – Bush Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

How many plays pass the Bechdel Test? Originally featured in a comic strip, and popularised in film criticism, it simply states that to pass this test your story has to have: 1) at least two women in it; 2) who talk to each other; 3) about something other than a man. Well, one of the brilliant things about Irish writer Margaret Perry’s new dark comedy, Paradise Now! is that it passes this test with an A Plus grade.

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‘A ray of optimism in a horrible world’: SONS OF THE PROPHET – Hampstead Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

In his award-winning play, which premiered in Boston in 2011, American playwright Stephen Karam examines the issues in a thoroughly original, brilliantly constructed and thematically compelling way. Now getting its belated European premiere at the Hampstead Theatre, Sons of the Prophet is an enthralling experience, both intellectually and emotionally.

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‘Either way the play does make you feel’: BAGHDADDY – Royal Court Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

At best Baghdaddy at the Royal Court Theatre is a surreal trip into traumatic memory, at its worst it’s a self-indulgent mess. If you think that American crime are worse than Saddam’s you’ll love this show; if you like playwrights wagging their finger at you, you’ll love this show; if you believe that parental trauma can be inherited and then self-consciously joked about, you’ll love this show.

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‘An extremely important story’: The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes – Touring

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Framed by the lens of the intrusive and boundary-breaking rise of artificial intelligence, The Shadow Whose Prey Becomes the Hunter by Back to Back Theatre serves as a wake-up call on how non-disabled people alienate people who have what are referred to in Australia as ‘intellectual disabilities’.

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‘What you remember is the power of the characters’ emotions’: RAVENSCOURT – Hampstead Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

Therapy is inherently dramatic. After all, it’s all about character – and it has the aim of producing a recognisable change. But who is most affected by the process: client or therapist? Georgina Burns, a graduate of Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire course for emerging playwrights, examines the issues in her debut play, Ravenscourt.

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‘Delivered with engaging energy’: BROWN BOYS SWIM – Soho Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Most impactful in Brown Boys Swim at Soho Theatre is the unexpected ending where the actual stakes are revealed, after have been largely masked by the frivolity of the premise. There’s some brief foreshadowing, but this is glossed over by the boys’ vivacity and focus on impressing their peers so it’s easy to miss.

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‘Deeply human & beautifully performed’: AGE IS A FEELING – Soho Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Hayley McGee’s monologue Age Is A Feeling at the Soho Theatre, narrating an unnamed person’s life, from age 25 through the years after the they die, hones in on key episodes that irrevocably define them and their future, as well as drawing attention to death’s inevitability. As sombre as this piece is, it also adeptly encapsulates moments of joy. As a whole, it’s deeply human and beautifully performed.

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‘Difficult to keep track’: MAN OF 100 FACES – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In Comedy, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

by Laura Kressly The disaffected son of a clergyman, Sir Paul Dukes, ran away to Russia to work as a musician. While there, the Russian Revolution started and British intelligence recruited him to work as a secret agent. He was to smuggle prominent people and useful materials across the border to Finland, and otherwise do […]

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‘Reclamation of trans people’s othering is joyful & fun’: SOMETHING IN THE WATER – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In Comedy, Edinburgh Festival, Festivals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

In transphobic discourse, trans people are feared and consequently monstered. In these bigots’ brains, they are positioned outside the gender binary and labelled ‘not normal’. Canadian trans nonbinary theatremaker SE Grummett (they/them) first satirises what is considered normal within traditional gender roles, then creates a simple folktale where trans people as superheroes. They uses puppetry, audience interaction and live feed video projection along with monologues to both hilarious and profound effect.

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‘The comedy & cultural references are spot-on’: BAD TEACHER – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In Edinburgh Festival, Festivals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Bad Teacher is a new production from Queen of Cups, a young female-led and London-based theatre company. This one-woman play follows young teacher Evie and her particularly bad day at school, from coming in with a hangover to a hectic parent evening.

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

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

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.