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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

Last orders: We Anchor In Hope @BunkerTheatreUK

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The only thing missing when you walk into The Bunker and see it transformed into a working pub is the smell. That unmistakable smell of stale beer that permeates those old places is missing. But everything else is there. The worn carpet, the pool table, the tat on the walls. It's a terrific way to set the scene for the next two hours of comedy and drama that is Anna Jordan's We Anchor In Hope. Set on the last night of the Anchor, a pub trapped in the eighties when it's 2016 and located somewhere around Pimlico in London. The pub's been sold and about to be redeveloped into luxury flats (or perhaps a Tesco Express). The night before it was packed for the formal closing. But on the final night, a couple of regulars, the bar staff and landlord get together for one last time. But as the bar slowly runs dry and everything is cleared out (even the Aperol), things take a darker turn. And what's revealed is less of a community than a series of frustrations and unreali

Swatting: The Flies @BunkerTheatreUK

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The Flies at The Bunker theatre is a chance for production company Exchange Theatre - which specialises in translating plays for English audiences - to return to the piece that put them on the map. With live music, video and eye-catching design, it’s an ambitious piece. But it seemed to miss any sense of drama. And it’s star actor Meena Rayann was off too. Jean Paul Satre’s take on the Oresteia and the Electra myth, was written during the Nazi occupation of France. Fast forward seventy years, it's tempting to equate today’s new nationalists with yesterdays fascists. But it's a lazy comparison given the grand themes under exploration here. It feels more like an apparent dig at Nazi occupation, organised religion or group think over fake news, immigrant bashing and economic hardship. It opens where two travellers approach Argos, a town where everyone is in mourning. One is Orestes in disguise. The city has become a dark place cursed with flies as punishment from the Go

Perma-austerity: Killymuck and Box Clever @bunkertheatreuk

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The Bunker is currently presenting a double bill of what life is like for women in Britain with less opportunity. The two monologues chart growing up in different eras of inequality. But both are gripping as they mix anger, evocative storytelling and humour in equal measure. They're terrific pieces of writing with strong performances. First up is Killymuck, written by Kat Woods. Niamh (Aoife Lennon) is living on a housing estate that was the site of a paupers graveyard in 1970s Northern Ireland. Locals think the estate is cursed. But there are plenty of real-life causes to her problems. Her mum is surviving on benefits. Her dad suffers from alcoholism. Teachers at school are only too keen to discriminate, even if she is clever. And violence is never far away. There's salvation with the occasional babysitting job. Particularly with the neighbour when she's out turning tricks as she pays better than anyone. Lennon conveys the passion, anger and humour of Wood'

Long term relationships: Chutney @BunkerTheatreUK

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The central message from Chutney, is that anyone you date at University is not worth staying in a long term relationship with. You get bored with your smug post-university life and soon you’ll be wanting to murder the neighbour’s cat. Or their parrot. Or a few hedgehogs. It’s currently playing at The Bunker . We’re introduced to Claire (Isabel Della-Porta) and Gregg (Will Adolphy) after something terrible has happened. They’ve just been dog-sitting for some friends and then a fox came and ripped the dogs head off. Or was it a homeless man. Or did they do it? There’s a middle class kitchen complete with John Lewis kitchen appliances. It sets the scene where boredom meets murderous thoughts and actions. It’s American Psycho meets Croydon Cat Killer. Without the moral panic. There’s plenty of gross, stomach churning dialogue. But playwright Reece Connolly has some sharp observations about the lives of millennials. Not old enough to have positions of power. Not young enough to have carefre

Fear and loathing in London: Grotty @BunkerTheatreUK

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Daring to go where no other Lesbian comedy drama does, Grotty takes you to the underworld of the London lesbian scene. No subculture is left unturned and no mind game is left unplayed. It’s weird, creepy and funny. And currently playing at The Bunker . Written and performed by Izzy Tennyson, she introduces you to the world of London lesbian scene. It’s a scene that takes place in “a couple of little sad old basements that drip with sweat and piss.” At this point it’s tempting to scour your surrounding just to reassure yourself this basement theatre is not one of them. It’s lovely and worth a visit for it’s provocative stories. Including this one. Tennyson plays Rigby, a young girl with two girlfriends. One named Toad (Rebekah Hinds) who likes lesbian bingo and curry. The other’s named Witch (Grace Chilton) who is a tattooist and likes putting Rigby in a dog collar. Both have very nice flats and strange proclivities that Rigby indulges for reasons that aren’t always clear. Rigby is a cl

The happening: Ken @BunkerTheatreUK #Ken

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How do you make a play out of the life of theatre maverick Ken Campbell? Turn it into Ken, which is more like a happening than a straight play. A writer comes on stage as if to give a lecture and then things get weird. Terry Johnson has crafted a fitting tribute with his mostly true stories about his life. The focus is on Terry’s encounters with Campbell. But over the course of the piece you get a sense of the man and his contribution to British Theatre. It’s currently playing at The Bunker following a previous run at the Hampstead Theatre. The Bunker is a quirky and intriguing space at the best of times with its different seating options. Old seats from the Chocolate Factory and comfy lounge chairs and tables. Thanks to designer Tim Shortall, for Ken it’s been overrun with a fabulous orange shag pile, throws, divans and cane lounges. Get in early if you want the best seats, but be aware that Ken might kick you off them for a bit if the drama requires it. With incense burning and a ra

Christmas in Hull: FCUK’D @BunkertheatreUK

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FCUK’D at The Bunker is a an alternative Christmas theatre experience about life on the margins of British life. A teenage boy kidnaps his little brother and they run away. Escaping their grim council flat, daily run-ins with the authorities and in search of something better than this in the lead up to Christmas. Estimates put it at around 100,000 children run away from home every year. This piece unpacks some of the reasons why. Dad is gone. Mum is either drinking or comatose. Nobody cares about them and so they’re going to have some fun. They steal crisps from the supermarket. They steal a car. And then they burn it for warmth. Written and directed by Niall Ransome, the story is told in verse. Ransome took inspiration from his experiences growing up in Hull. It’s delivered convincingly by Will Mytum as the troubled youth. He engages you through it’s short duration. Pacing about the stage, eyeing the audience, brining to life this tale about never getting a break. The stage is a squa

Boys town: Eyes Closed, Ears Covered @BunkerTheatreUK

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In the year since opening,  The Bunker  at Southwark has established itself for new and experimental pieces. Alex Gwyther’s Eyes Closed, Ears Covered is no exception. It’s a dark and confusing world where laughs and kicking about is a cover for something more sinister. It opens with an incident on the beach in Brighton in the late eighties. A boy’s been attacked and the police arrest two boys and question them about the events of the day. The two boys questioned, Seb and Aaron, had planned the day for weeks. They’ve planned and saved enough money and are going to bunk off school. But something has gone horribly wrong. There’s Aaron (Danny-Boy Hatchard), the cocky yet short-fused one. He’s got the plan to make it happen. And it was Seb’s (Joe Iris-Roberts) idea of the wide-eyed to visit his mum in Brighton. They seem like ten year olds as they bounce off each other and run about the stage recounting their mate ship. But as they tell their stories separately neither seem to provide a c

Playing in a rock and roll band: Muted @mutedmusical @BunkerTheatreUK

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  Muted, a new British Musical explores grief and loss through music. It's playing at the new theatrical space in Southwark known as The Bunker . While it still feels as if it is a work in progress, it's prospects look good. Perhaps just like the characters within the piece. Muted tells the story of teenager Michael. He is a singer in a band on the brink of stardom. But after his mother dies in a hit and run accident he quits the band and stops speaking. Three years on his former band mate Jake is trying again for a shot with the band. And Lauren, Michael's ex who is now with Jake has been enlisted to try and get him to speak. But soon this drama proves as difficult to deal with as it is to describe...