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Showing posts from February, 2015

Another take: This Comedian @EmbassyTea

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Idil Sukan’s debut exhibition, This Comedian, is now at the Embassy Tea Gallery through to 8 March.

It is a retrospective of her creative work in production, design and photography in the comedy industry. The varied collection from the last decade includes 200 of Idil's portraits and photographs of live performance.

Romford burning: A Local Boy @ThePleasance

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It had only a short run but A Local Boy which concluded yesterday at the Pleasance Islington is a great new piece of writing by Dan Murphy. The dialogue is funny and incisive about the cruel trials and traumas of today's youth, where anything is fair game and everything is online.

It is a world where there is no privacy and sometimes this has unforeseen consequences. This time there has been an incident at the local war memorial in Romford where young people hang out and drink.

Ice cream and other treats: She Loves Me @LandorTheatre

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It has been a week since I caught She Loves Me at the the Landor Theatre, but there is something so sweet, perky and fun about this show that it lingers with you long after you have seen it. Perhaps the terrific cast headed by Charlotte Jaconelli and John Sandberg helps. There is so much enthusiasm in the performances that you can't help but like it.

It is a show about mistaken identity, scandal and intrigue. The story revolves around a little shop in Budapest and two of its employees. Although they are constantly at odds with each other, through a personals advertisement, they inadvertently become anonymous pen pals. Soon romance starts to develop. The work is based on a play by Miklos Laszlo that would become The Shop Around the Corner and the inspiration for such films as You've Got Mail.

Cold dark killers: Assassins @menchocfactory

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Finally caught Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory. This dark and grim piece of musical theatre is re imagined as a funfair where the cast of would-be and actual assassins of US Presidents tell their stories like a bunch of grim clowns. But it comes across heavy handed and lacking much irony.

Staging a musical with this subject matter is always going to be a challenge, but both the material and the production don't really dig too much into the obsessive gun culture that is part of the country's DNA. Compared to The Scottsboro Boys, another musical based on an unpleasant subject, there is none of the bitterness or outrage presented ironically as a song and dance musical.

Bare emotions: Gods and Monsters @swkplay

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Gods and Monsters, now playing at the Southwark Playhouse is a showcase of incredible performances from its terrific cast and an engaging story. Oh and there is a bit of full frontal nudity too.

Based on the novel Father of Frankenstein (which was also the source material for the film of the same name), the story is a blend of fact and fiction. Age, memory, fame, youth and loss collide in the story of the last few months in the life of English director James Whale.

Whale director and creator of the first two Frankenstein films, had a moderately successful career in Hollywood which enabled him to live comfortably in Los Angeles. He was also openly gay. But following a series of strokes in his sixties, he lost his ability to prevent painful memories from his past flooding back. And without giving too much away, his most successful creation, the monster in Frankenstein, seems to become something far more personal.

Sassy and sexy: Anything Goes @NewWimbTheatre and everywhere @AnythingGoesUK_

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Going on a cruise seems like an awful lot of fun if this high spirited production of Anything Goes is anything to go by.

The cast sing and dance their hearts out in Cole Porter's classic musical. There is so much to take in with the fast footed choreography, wonderful performances and imaginative staging.