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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

The young and the infectious: Make Mine A Double @ParkTheatreLondon

Ah, to be young, carefree and single. When the receptionist at the clinic testing for gonorrhoea knows you by sight, or you haven't yet found the right (Jewish) man to settle down and enjoy smoked salmon and bagels. You know that there is trouble afoot. Park Theatre has programmed a series of short plays from emerging artists called Make Mine A Double this month. Four shows are running for two weeks apiece. And the first two are hilarious. 

The first piece is called Anything with A Pulse. It's a two-hander about twenty-somethings falling in and out of love in London. Describing all the action in the third person can sometimes be a bit jarring. The reviewer thought. The reviewer also struggled to keep up with the goings on in the drama. But that was probably more to do with his age than the writing.

Still, things move fast in this boy meets girl on the dance floor and then returns to her place for some ambiguously unsatisfying sex before they go their separate ways, wondering what might have been. Writer/director Eliana Ostro keeps the story witty throughout, and Annie Davison as the woman and Rufus Love as the man give the characters infectious likability and enthusiasm.

Then there is Pickle, which returns after an earlier sold-out run this year. It is a one-woman story about being Jewish and single in your late twenties in secular (or at least not very Jewish) London. Written and performed by Deli Segal, the piece captures the life of nosy parents and family members, traditions and flying foreskins. 

Along the way, there are meaningful conversations about Amy Winehouse, goys without hairy backs and just how uncomfortable the pews are in Christian churches. Segal riffs on so many topics that it could be a standup routine. Or a Jewish Fleabag. Helpfully there is a glossary of terms on every seat so you can try and keep up. 

Both shows run until 26 November. Following on from their run will be Tunnels, a story set during the Cold War (and sounds a bit more serious) and Press, which is about confessions of a tabloid hack. Check the Park Theatre website for more details. You can book shows individually if you fear the commitment.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (for the double)

Photo credits: Anything With A Pulse production photos and Pickle photos by Danny Kazan

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