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Grief and fluff: Tiger @OmnibusTheatre

Death is something we all will face. After all, nobody gets out of here alive. But how do you get past it when grief is all you can feel? And this is the premise of Tiger, currently playing at Omnibus Theatre . It's a fascinating exploration of the stages of grief. And with a terrific cast to take you on this journey, it's an endearing and sweet story that has you engaged from the start, wondering what will happen next.  We are introduced to Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby) as she gives a stand-up routine. It's not particularly funny and starts to veer into the topic of dying. Something isn't right. She used to be good at this but can't move forward. Soon, she is back in her London apartment with her partner Oli (Luke Nunn), discussing that they need to get a lodger to make ends meet.  Oli is a doctor working night shifts at the local NHS hospital. Alice is not ready to face a return to stand up or anything. So when the first potential lodger arrives (Meg Lewis), looking

Gone to the dogs: The Border @TCLive

You know things have really gone to the dogs when four-legged friends are being rounded up and used as collateral. The dogs are used by migrants to pay to escape to a better life in East Oolia. Such is the slightly absurd but strangely familiar tale called The Border by Afsaneh Gray. It’s just finished playing at the Peckham Theatre but continues touring other sites and schools.

It opens with a young girl from the fictitious town of East Oolia called Julia. She’s just lost her dog as a border wall went up to divide East and West Oolia, and he ended up on the wrong side of the fence. The mayor did it to deliver on an election promise and to stop those West Oolians taking jobs from the East Oolians (or something like that). As Julia embarks on a quest to find her dog, she stumbles into a divided country. Her own family is divided, and immigration and crime (in the form of dog theft), is spiralling out of control.

Things get really interesting towards the end when the actors break the fourth wall and ask the audience about where they get their political views. Naturally being in the comfort and surroundings of the inner London the bubble, you can imagine what people would say about today’s politics. But the discussion quickly came to a consensus about the need to better understand different points of view and finding a middle ground. If only BBC Question Time could find such thoughtful audiences.

As an allegory for current day politics where hashtags and shouts of traitor replace thoughtful debate, it’s funny and engaging. As the dogs from the show say, all they’re after is “a patch a grass to piss on.” Maybe that’s a philosophy we could all try and live with instead of trying to keep pissing on each other.

Directed by Natalie Wilson, The Border continues touring schools and venues across the UK. Check their website for details.


Photos by Jack Barnes

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