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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Theatre: Four Dogs And A Bone

Thursday evening was an opportunity to catch Rock 'n' Roll Theatre's production of Four Dogs And A Bone at the Phoenix Artists Club.

The play, by John Patrick Shanley (of Moonstruck and Doubt fame), focusses on the business of Hollywood, the backstabbing and shenanigans that go on to get a film made. It is a dark world where bond completion companies, sexual favours and lecherous producers rule.

This piece which runs a little over an hour focuses on two actresses appearing in the film. One is an established theatre actress, Collette (Laura Pradelska) who does not want to become a character actress. The other is Brenda (Amy Tez), an up and coming performer so desperate to be famous she chants daily for it... Each know that slight changes to the script could improve their career prospects remarkably. They enlist the support of the writer and the producer to help secure their aims, with sometimes comic and always engaging results.

The Phoenix Arts Centre, with its low ceilings, ageing theatre paraphernalia and unique artsy smell provides and excellent location for this little show about the seedier side of movie-making. There isn't anything particularly new Shanley's play is saying about the movie business, but with this cast the piece is funny and mildly disturbing. If you are into fringe theatre, it is a funny (and short) night out at the theatre that is hard to beat...

It runs through to 20 August. Get there early at the club and try the menu (which has things such as "cow in a bun" on offer). I couldn't help notice the menu includes a message from the chef: As a young boy, I helped run Grandma Cristi’s restaurant back in Brasov, Romania. So I thought I’d bring the tradition of good value, family warmth and home-cooked, tasty food here to London... Well we can be all glad for that...

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