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Showing posts with the label Omnibus Theatre

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Grief and fluff: Tiger @OmnibusTheatre

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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

Bleak house: SAD @OmnibusTheatre

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I get home from seeing SAD at the Omnibus Theatre on the weekend, and a friend is over. "What did you see?" She asked. "Well, I saw a play about a woman who locked herself away in an attic after accidentally killing her mother over Christmas with an overcooked turkey. Meanwhile, the neighbour comes through the skylight for unsatisfying booty calls, and her husband brings up ham sandwiches." I guess sometimes you really can make things up. Victoria Willing's new work weaves together four characters searching for life and meaning as they realise life has passed them by so far despite a series of challenging events.  It's challenging to work out is a black comedy or just a very depressing story about life in London in January. That's the time of the year when the days are short, the parties are over, and the only thing to keep people motivated is some pointless New Years' resolution. But if you have a warped sense of humour, you'll probably enjoy th

Some mothers do have them: Small Change @omnibustheatre

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With time often comes perspective, but in Peter Gill's memory play Small Change, time is less kind. The march of time has left behind a hazy recollection of events, missed opportunities and cues. Nothing seems to be what it is or was. For the audience, if you're lost trying to follow what's happening or unfolding, it shouldn't matter. And not just because if you’re like me it has been a while since seeing something at the theatre in person. The characters are most likely lost too. Its currently playing at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham. The story takes place on the east side of Cardiff in both the 1950s and 1970s (time is a bit relative here). In the later period, Gerard (Andy Rush) is trying to find the moments in his life that made him who he is —growing up Catholic in the 1950s in Cardiff with his stern talking mother,  Mrs Harte (Sioned Jones). But his relationship with his neighbour and best friend Vincent (Toby Gordon) causes the most moments of reflection. From l

Online and lifelines during lockdown...

As life in London remains in a suspended state, theatres are moving online... and requesting some lifelines. Here are a few so far: Finborough Theatre The Finborough Theatre is updating its archive of shows over the years. And you can donate online to help keep the theatre open . There is also Continuity, a gripping monologue about a man with a bomb, last seen in 2017 and now available to watch online . Jermyn Street Theatre The Jermyn Street Theatre has launched an emergency fund to keep it running. And they just recently had a burst water pipe to deal with. Check out their twitter feed for performances as well. Omnibus Theatre Clapham's Omnibus Theatre Online launched with a performance of Our Day's coming-of-age comedy-drama DEM TIMES. Recorded live at King's Place for London Podcast Festival 2019. There is also a section on the website for donations. Battersea Arts Centre Battersea Arts Centre's groundbreaking film, Performance Live: The Way O

Bad Teacher: The Glass Will Shatter @OmnibusTheatre

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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 p

Age of innocence: Country Music @Omnibus_Theatre

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The latest instalment of the Up series landed this week. It tracks the lives of a bunch of unrepresentative British people every seven years. Fascinating in its ordinariness and irritating by director Michael Apted's random and pompous commentary, it was on my mind as I was watching Country Music. It's a much more subtle exploration on how people change over time. Or at least your perception of them. And how your life can be shaped from your early years in ways you can never appreciate. It's currently playing at the Omnibus Theatre . Jamie (Cary Cranson) and his girl from school, Lynsey (Rebecca Stone) are in a car Jamie has stolen. Along with a large bag of crisps. It's 1983, and they're just out of school. They talk about getting away and the benefits of different flavours of crisps. But beneath the surface, something isn't quite right. Jamie has a short fuse. There's talk about a mighty fight. And soon, Lynsey is scared. Things jump forward a f

A little more mascara: Lipstick, a fairy tale of Iran @Omnibus_Theatre

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A nightclub. A cultural exchange to Iran. Rose flavoured marzipan. A drag nightclub. An unlikely series of elements come together to tell a polished and compelling tale of oppression and freedom in Lipstick: A fairy tale of Iran. Written and directed by Sarah Chew, it’s currently playing at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham . On a simple stage we’re introduced to Orla (Siobhan O’Kelly) and her best friend Mark (Nathan Kiley). They’re about to open a drag club night in Soho. But Orla’s just returned from a theatre residency in Iran as part of some government sponsored initiative.  And by chance she’s seen a failed revolution. A daring drag cabaret stage show in soho pales in comparison to the everyday acts of defiance she sees in Tehran.  Life in Iran seems so much more complicated than how its depicted in western media. Meanwhile life in London is not without its drawbacks either. The show uses lip syncing, drag cabaret, and fragmented memories to paint a picture of oppression