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ONLY BONES – Soho Theatre

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

Short and sweet, classic and comical. Thomas Monckton performs a solo piece glued to his spot, centre stage beneath a low hanging lamp, which obscures his body from the shoulders up for at least half of the work. Only Bones is a classic example of body manipulation that playfully explores all the possibilities that a clown can find and make with only his body, one square metre of space, and one light.

THE PEOPLE SHOW 124: FALLOUT 124 – Toynbee Studios

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

Making devised work for the past 50 years, People Show are nothing less than prolific. Their multidisciplinary works are numbered as part of the title; the company’s works now number 132. To celebrate their anniversary, the company’s taken over Toynbee Studios for three days, filling the venue with performances, films and an exhibition celebrating their half a century of work.

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Edinburgh Fringe: World Without Us

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

Imagine the world if the entire human population disappeared suddenly, without a trace. What would it look like after a day, a month, a century, an era? A lone performer from Belgian company Ontroerend Goed methodically describes how the theatre space we sit in would change as a focal point within the wider world’s transformation.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Declaration

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

Sarah wants to know everything. She’s inquisitive, gregarious and energetic, the life and soul of any party. But now that she’s in her thirties and wants to start a family, she needs to sort out some of her issues. So, she goes to a doctor to talk through all the behaviour quirks she’s had since childhood – the trouble sleeping, the irrational impulses, the disorganisation, the obsessions.

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HOW TO WIN AGAINST HISTORY – London & Edinburgh

In Cabaret, Comedy, Edinburgh Festival, Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Scotland by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

British history is peppered with truly remarkable people. Kings, queens, writers, actors, scientists, athletes and military generals pepper school history books and cultural subconscious. Then there are the people like Henry Paget, fifth Marquis of Anglesey, who are largely forgotten, tucked away in the centuries-old folds of this country’s past.

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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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KING & COUNTRY – Barbican

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

Shakespeare’s history plays are some of his best. Epic tales with tragedy and comedy, love and war, politics and history are brought to life on stage, with the storyline of some characters spanning years and multiple plays. The RSC and Barbican have, over the last few years, presented the first four as separate productions but to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year, unite them as a single ticket.

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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, […]

GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM – West End

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

The WWII image of dejected, scrappy children with brown tags around their necks, clutching their most precious belongings as they are re-homed with strangers in the countryside is a powerful one. It’s one that inspired author Michelle Magorian to write Goodnight Mister Tom, adapted by David Wood for the stage, now in London after a successful run at Chichester and before heading off for a national tour. The audience meets little William, who is sent from Deptford to Dorset and assigned to live with the reclusive Tom Oakley. With a focus on Tom more so than the relocated children, this is a story about finding love again after a devastating loss. This part of the production is moving, but the story is slow to develop over a long time period and the flimsy, thin dialogue doesn’t support the large cast of characters, their development and the devastation of wartime.