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).
Ultimately, Iphigenia at the Hope Theatre is a fascinating piece which has lots of ideas about how women are treated, and where their choices lie, but it stops just short of being as emotionally engaging as it should be.
In Dots and Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical, which comes to London from the Edinburgh Fringe, the women of Bletchley Park are centre stage, clever mathematicians, linguists, and navigators who were selected to serve their country.
Wreckage, Tom Ratcliffe’s latest play to reach London (he also performs as Sam) is an ambitious and emotional powerhouse about love, loss, and regret at the Turbine Theatre.
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.
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.
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.
In his latest, Blackout Songs, a powerful 95-minute two-hander, Joe White uses a flexible structure to represent some excruciating emotional material, and the result gives an almost overwhelmingly sense of the horrible realities of addiction, both to alcohol and to people.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
Guinea Pigs, a new play that shines a light on Britain’s decades-long nuclear testing cover-up, written by the daughter of a test veteran, premieres next month at London’s The Space, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Operation Hurricane, Britain’s first nuclear detonation.
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.
After the success with Anita Luna THE DIVA at Clapham Fringe last year, award-winning Italian cabaret artist Anita Giovanni is back at the festival this year, debuting her new show Full of Shit, which runs for one performance only on 26 September 2022. It’s a love affair: in London, Anita found her artistic heart. Time to get booking!
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 […]
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.
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.
Mark St Germain’s play Freud’s Last Session at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington is a compact yet powerful play which imagines a clash of intellect and reasoning between two famous minds.
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.