Posts

Showing posts from January, 2020

Bad Teacher: The Glass Will Shatter @OmnibusTheatre

Image
The Glass Will Shatter by Joe Marsh focuses on a young teacher continues to relive a harrowing event that took place at an inner-city school. School is a battleground of crowd control and regulations. Pieced together through a series of flashbacks, it’s a smart piece of storytelling which turns the incident on its head.  And a lack of understanding and inherent biases lead a to both a disaster and new opportunities. It’s having its world premiere at Omnibus Theatre.

Rebecca (Josephine Arden) can’t sleep. She keeps having the same nightmare where her former student is about to cause some act of terror. She meets her old boss, Jamilah (Alma Eno) to see if she can get over the past. There through the flashbacks, we see her encounters with the young student Amina (Naima Swaleh). But Amina isn’t the student from hell we’re expecting. Sure there’s the backchat and the classroom banter. But there’s the curiosity and interest in Rebecca that’s dismissed out of hand by her.

As the piece progr…

Fitting in: The Canary and the Crow @Arcolatheatre

Image
What do you do when you're the only working-class black kid who has a scholarship to a prestigious grammar school? Written and performed by David Ward, The Canary and The Crow is a funny and lively story about what it's like growing up black in Britain. And how trying to fit in leads to all sorts of unexpected life lessons. It's currently playing at the Arcola Theatre.

It's a bit like joining a party coming to see it. There's a party atmosphere happening on stage thanks to the music by Prez 96 (Nigel Taylor). As the show gets going, he becomes Ward's neighbourhood friend. They're joined by musicians Rachel Barnes and Laurie Jamieson on cellos, keyboards and vocals to tell a story about identity and belonging in modern Britain. It may be called gig theatre here, but it's also a compelling and funny piece of storytelling.

It's kept in focus by Ward. He's constantly reminding the audience of being that young kid so excited about finding a place in…

Gay Gore: Sex/Crime @sohotheatre

Image
At a point early on in Sex / Crime, the lights go dark in a room covered in plastic with a rubber floor, and all you can hear are the screams. The mind is left to imagine just what pre-negotiated terror is unfolding. Until it becomes clear, nothing is happening, and we can all laugh. Part tease and part terror, the piece unfolds against a backdrop of gay fetishism and modern-day neuroses. It’s currently playing at the Soho Theatre upstairs.

Written and performed by Alexis Gregory, he’s visiting a man with a specialism, who goes by the name of A (Jonny Woo). He provides a service of reenacting the works of famous gay serial killers for the right fee. Just the thing for a man who is bored with his life and searching for the next extra special thrill.  With the promise of experiencing what it was like to be a victim of one of these killers. Or as close as far as health and safety regulations allow.

If gay serial killers and the people who fetishise them seems a queasy topic for a night…

The woke and the trolling: Scrounger @Finborough

Image
Athena Stevens takes her experiences with an airline that damaged her wheelchair and refused to pay for a replacement into a sharp and an incisive piece on how discrimination affects disabled people. The incident led to her confinement in her flat in Elephant and Castle for months while she tweeted about the experience and gained media attention. And was called a scrounger by the usual band of internet trolls. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre.

It's an exciting piece of storytelling that puts you in her shoes. Stevens is a detailed storyteller, and she expertly covers the everyday ordeals that people with disabilities face. From the passive aggressive remarks uttered by flight attendants to friends who have trouble thinking that Elephant and Castle is a part of central London. It's all told with humour, warmth and a healthy amount of outrage.

While the case was eventually settled, she explains as far as her non-disclosure agreement allows, how people, including…