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Showing posts from July, 2019

A room with a song: The View Upstairs @Sohotheatre

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The View Upstairs imagines a dialogue between the trailblazers of the LGBT+ community and today's self-absorbed gender-fluid Millennials. The dialogue is through a series of songs by Max Vernon that veer from soft rock, disco and glam. It has some wry observations about what has and hasn't improved for the community since the 1970s. So the conversation becomes more like a musical theatre bitch slap to anyone who takes for granted the right to be themselves. It's currently playing at Soho Theatre.

Set in 2017, internet influencer and conflicted fashion designer Wes (Tyrone Huntley) has fled New York for New Orleans. He's bought a building intending to show off his work. But he's either mixed his citalopram with his cocaine or trapped in a time warp as he found himself back in 1973. And the building he bought was the site of a largely forgotten arson attack on the gay bar Upstairs Lounge that killed 32 people. This had been the deadliest attack on the LGBT+ communit…

Hello young lovers: Games for Lovers @TheVaultsUK

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Love in the age of #metoo, career goals, money worries and online dating can be a bit random and to chance. It's all part of life in London. That and the need for a flat close to the tube. It's all explored in Games for Lovers, a new piece by Ryan Craig that's currently playing at The Vaults.

There's Martha (Evanna Lynch) who is secretly in love with her best friend Logan (Calum Callaghan). But Logan's got a girlfriend, Jenny (Tessie  Orange-Turner), although he has trouble with intimacy. When Darren (Billy Postlethwaite), an old college mate of Logan's, has a room to rent, Matha takes it since it has excellent tube links. Even if Darren's a bit odd.

Through a series of flashbacks and addresses to the audience, we get a sense of who they are. But things really get interesting when Darren decides to give Martha lessons in the art of seduction. Lynch and Postlethwaite together are hilarious with their unexpected outbursts and comic timing. And Orange-Turner …

Hull on earth: Starved @TheHopeTheatre

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It’s a game of survival of the fittest in Starved. A desperate world set in a bedsit on a rough estate in Hull in northern England. Two characters circle each other like wild animals as their circumstances and choices strip them of their dignity. And any creature comforts. It’s a short and provocative piece that’s currently at The Hope Theatre in Islington.

Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it gives you options. Here the two young characters, Lad and Lass, have nothing. They’re on the run and hiding out, having dropped out of society. But they’re running out of luck too, trying to get by living on a diet of cup-a-soups and whatever they can steal.

Writer Michael Black (who also plays Lad) lures you into moments of comedy before quickly shifting gear into much darker territory.  Imprisoned by their circumstances, they retreat into a world of hunger, scraps, sexual favours and addiction until they hit the point of no return. But it’s such a natural progression that the po…

Space for reflection: Dark Sublime @Trafstudios

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Cult eighties television is the launch pad for looking back on a life sort-of lived in Dark Sublime. A long but rewarding look at how trivial and inconsequential things can end up being so much more. In this case, a crap science fiction show alters the space-time continuum with enduring rewards, and a chance to reflect on a life well lived so far. It’s currently at Trafalgar Studios.
Marianne (Marina Sirtis) is a serious actress who reached fame with a London Television science fiction show, Dark Sublime. Full of cheap effects and overacting, it was a minor hit when it aired in the eighties and since developed a cult following.
Her television work gave her fame and paid for the mortgage. Nowadays, she makes ends meet with random jobs that pay for her penchant for cheap wine at Tesco. But a young man with a childhood obsession for Dark Sublime (Kwaku Mills), tracks her down for his fan website. Their meeting leads to a moment of reflection of where she is in her life, and her relationshi…

Have a good day: Grey @Ovalhouse theatre

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Koko Brown is a strong, independent, Black woman. She’s written one show, and she now has another called Grey playing at Ovalhouse Theatre. A fantastic performer who uses spoken word, live vocal looping and multimedia to tell her stories, she has so many exciting and fabulous thing in her life. What could be wrong? But she’s also a little sad. And this starts the story and journey exploring in mental illness and having an elusive good day.

Similar to the exploration of labels and names explored in her first work, White, Brown uses Grey to tell a story about mental health and discovering who she is and as a black woman in modern Britain.


Candid, honest and provocative. It's also funny. And it’s moving how Brown, as the character Woman, depicts her journey as she struggles to cope with everyday life before seeking help. Then after help the unexpected side effects and consequences of drugs on her body, while still trying to be everything everyone expects her to be. Alongside her is …