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ORIGINS – Touring

In Manchester, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

This new piece of physical theatre by Animikii Theatre Company explores the story of the world’s first murderer: the killing of Cain by his brother Abel. The result is an intense hour of gripping storytelling communicated only through movement and sound. Co-created by Henry McGrath and Adam Davies, who also plays Abel, Origins probes the psychological and divine relationship between the two brothers and examines the reason that the two became such hateful enemies.

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HARDY ANIMAL – Touring

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

What happens when a dancer and performance maker loses the ability to dance due to chronic pain? She makes a solo dance piece with hardly any dance in it. A mix of emotive description, encounters with medical and health practitioners, and her own research tell the story of an injury and the subsequent pain that wouldn’t leave her body. Pointedly still and so quiet that she needs a mic, Laura Dannequin’s resilience makes a compelling piece of solo storytelling that mourns the dances her body wouldn’t allow her to make.

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THE BROKE ‘N’ BEAT COLLECTIVE – Battersea Arts Centre

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Kids have it tough, especially if they’re poor. Decreasing social mobility, higher costs of education and living, and decreasing welfare are trapping our future generations in inescapable cycles of poverty. They are just as aspirational as young people from more privileged backgrounds and aware of the opportunities they don’t have. They are angry, frustrated and lack the opportunity to constructively express their feelings that often go completely disregarded by more comfortable members of society.

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LEAPER: A FISH TALE – Greenwich Theatre

In Children's theatre, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Our oceans are dying. Just yesterday, the news reported that 95% of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached due to temperature rises. There are huge swathes of sea with high concentrations of microplastics that leach toxins into the water and the food chain. We are overfishing our oceans, causing a myriad of problems to human and sea life.

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THESE BOOKS ARE MADE FOR WALKING – Jackson’s Lane

In Children's theatre, Circus, Comedy, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Fabrice Dominici is a solitary librarian who takes great pleasure from the books he tenderly looks after. Gently stroking them, he flips to his favourite passages before giving them a sniff and balancing them on shelves made out of ladders. When a pile of books at the top comes to life, revealing a woman who has no intention of leaving and has a musician friend join her, the librarian tries everything to drive off these nonchalant interlopers.

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INSTITUTE – Touring

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Say your only close friends are people you work with. Can you trust them to help you out if you’re struggling with your health? Martin’s mental health is deteriorating, so Daniel, Louis and Karl try their best to care for him despite their own inner demons and needing to be looked after as well. With a distinctive physical vocabulary and a masculine camaraderie, Gecko’s Institute is an absorbing look at a society made of lonely, needy people without the safety net that family can provide.

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MIRRORS – Rosemary Branch Theatre

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

Maybe the witch in Snow White isn’t that bad. Or, maybe her badness is justified, like she had a traumatic childhood or suffers from a mental illness. Siobhan McMillan proposes just that: Shivvers realizes she’s past her prime and, with insecurity taking over rational thought, she decides to hunt down the young woman who dethroned her from her position as the fairest in the land. This quest takes shape as a solo performance told in the third person, like a fairytale. McMillan regularly interjects with contemporary references and using sarcastic humour to great advantage, makes a strong comment on women’s insecurity about ageing.

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SHAKESPEARE AS YOU (MIGHT) LIKE IT – Rosemary Branch Theatre

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

Four hundred years ago this April, Shakespeare died. A bunch of academics decided to take advantage of this bizarre anniversary and launched Shakespeare 400. It’s a great excuse for a nationwide Shakespeare celebration, but few of the involved events appear to acknowledge that the celebration is of his death and that he most definitely would write no more. Shook Up Shakespeare hasn’t let this fact bypass them, though. Their 45-minute Shakespearian cabaret mash up, Shakespeare As You (Might) Like It, is a quad centenary wake celebrating some of the Bard’s best female roles and the chaotic spirit of Elizabethan and Jacobean performance conventions.

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Laura Kressly: My top ten picks of 2015

In Features, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Carmen Disruption  This Simon Stephens deconstruction bore little resemblance to the opera. Instead, we had a cast of dysfunctional, damaged characters unable to connect with the world around them on any meaningful level. They filled the Almeida with an electric loneliness that grasped the desperate humanity residing deep inside us all before chucking us out, […]

BEAUTY & THE BEAST – Polka Theatre

In Children's theatre, Comedy, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Cold, dark days make me want to see feel-good theatre, especially in the run up to the holidays. Bonus points if it’s colourful, has some depth and at least some non-formulaic elements, even in a classic story. Polka Theatre’s Beauty & the Beast for ages 6-12 meets these criteria with a surprisingly complex storyline that keeps adult attention as well as kids’. Despite the target age range, there is some great humour and a touch of innuendo adults will appreciate (kids definitely won’t get it), sumptuous set and lighting and an adapted, relevant script. Some of the performances are wooden from the dated language and there are some dodgy movement-based transitions, but the school group audience was quiet and focused for most of the nearly two hours with interval.

LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS – Camden People’s Theatre

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Austerity sucks. People all over the country have had their benefits cut, work opportunities reduced and wages frozen. Austerity has badly affected young people at the onset of their careers, inhibiting the making of an independent, adult life. Young couples don’t have it any easier, even if one of the pair has a great job. For Bernadette and Oliver, life’s about to get even harder. They live in a Britain where the government isn’t just limiting welfare, arts council grants and junior doctors’ salaries. The newest austerity measure is on their speech – not what they say, but how much. Every individual is limited to 140 words a day in Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons.