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Showing posts with the label monologues

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A little less conversation: After Sex @Arcolatheatre

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According to research, millennials in rich countries are having sex less these days. But they were prepared to talk more about it. So, it is no surprise to see a story about what happens when a series of no-strings-attached encounters start to become attachments. And the conversations arising from it. Such is the premise of After Sex, Siofra Dromgoole’s two-hander of the conversations afterwards. It’s not particularly sexy or erotic, and the snappy pacing and short scenes sometimes make you wish they stayed longer to finish the conversation. Nevertheless, it is still a funny and, at times, bittersweet picture of single lives in the big city. It’s currently playing at the Arcola Theatre .  He is bi and works for her in an office job. She is neither ready for a commitment nor to let the office know what’s happening. He isn’t prepared to tell his mum there’s someone special in his life. He doesn’t speak to his dad, so his mum is his world. It’s a perfect relationship/arrangement. Or so it

Taking the moral high ground: Super Duper Close Up @Yardtheatre

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In Super Duper Close Up, Jess Latowicki is seven minutes early to a meeting. It’s a meeting that could give her work. I never arrive early to meetings so I figured this is a chance to find out what early arrivers do to pass the time. During this time, between taking the moral high ground for arriving early, she starts talking about her life and where it’s gone all wrong. It’s theatre we can all relate to. Funny, moving and often bizarre, it’s currently playing at The Yard Theatre. Latowicki with her robotic-like rapid fire delivery often feels like she’s a stand up comedian talking about her life. She gives phrases like “think pieces” and “scrolling” specific hand gestures so that they stick in your mind. Everything is filmed and projected. It’s like you’re trapped inside in an Instagram story or someone’s live feed on social media. At one point she moves into the audience. Then she takes someone to show her detailed beauty regime. A regime that’s described in French as it sounds more

Brief transactions: The Cloakroom Attendant @Tristanbates

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The Cloakroom Attendant is a mediation on the ordinary among the extraordinary. It concludes this evening at the Tristan Bates Theatre . Set deep below a prestigious gallery of national importance. In the basement lies the cloakroom. It’s a place where dreams, fashion and items larger than a small bag need to be left. It’s a ritual and an obligation before viewing the masterpieces high above.  And of course being a job in London it’s a role that’s filled by a young European national, Dimitra Barla. Over qualified and over from Greece. Fluent in four languages.  She watches the people and their belongings while contemplating her own life and choices. This solo show brings to life Barla’s experiences working as a cloakroom attendant. She provides a museum-like categorisation and classification of visitors. And along the way she also imagines and reimagines her own life and the artefacts around her.  Alternatively funny and mysterious, objects and artefacts intertwine with her own dreams.

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

Mixed race privilege: White @ovalhouse

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I always knew what I was. I was mixed race. I was... And so begins Koko Brown’ s monologue White. It’s about being mixed race and being an outsider and growing up in modern Britain dealing with labels when sometimes none really fit. It’s currently playing at the Ovalhouse Theatre as part of its Autumn Series of shows. Koko Brown uses spoken word, live vocal looping and multimedia to create a powerful and compelling statement on how we view people.

Unfinished business: Continuity @Finborough @Continuityplay

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  It's an odd feeling to laughing along with man about plant a bomb... But such is the world you're drawn into with Gerry Moynihan's Continuity, currently at the Finborough Theatre . What's chilling about this this monologue is how it hooks you in to the story . Here the cause is taken as a given. Unquestioned, unflinching and ongoing... The Good Friday Agreement is the thin veneer of peace that conceals what's really happening on the ground. The ongoing rough justice, score settling and resistance that is largely unreported. The story involves Padraig (Paul Kennedy), a member of the Continuity IRA. He is dedicated to the cause. But after meeting a girl from Barcelona, he soon finds his colleagues questioning him  about his commitment. And he begins to wonder about it himself.

Things ain't wot they used to be: CTRL+ALT+DELETE @CamdenPT

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  Everything is fiction. Whether it is our post-truth politics, which led the country out of the European Union on the premise of an imaginary amount of money going to the NHS and immigration being cut. Then there is our partisan newspapers shouting political hysterics mixed with celebrity stalking to an ever-dwindling audience. And then there is what we tell ourselves. So is the premise of  Emma Packer's  fascinating CTRL+ALT+DELETE. It is having a short run at the Camden People's Theatre.  Written and performed by Packer, she first introduces us to Amy. A child of the 80s she reminisces about her love of sport and knowledge of the Spice Girls. She also had a loving relationship with her grandfather and the time they spent together.  But things quickly shift when we are introduced to Amy's mother. Drinking and smoking prior to Amy's birth, afterwards abuse becomes a pattern. The unsettling part of the piece is how this becomes acceptable behaviour and consequences for

Read the: Labels @stratfordeast

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Joe Sellman-Leava's one man show is a fascinating look at how the use of words out of curiosity, fear and hostility have impacts. His power is in his ability as a storyteller to hook you in on his argument and walk in his shoes. In roughly sixty minutes he hooks you in on his story and the story of his family. Sellman-Leava was born in Gloucestershire but his family has connections to Uganda and India. This background leads to constant inquiries about where he was from. And saying Gloucestershire is not the response people expect. This leads to an exploration about why we seek to label people.

Oh what a lovely war on terror: Product @arcolatheatre

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One of the lasting memories about watching the 9/11 terrorist attacks unfold live on television was wondering what would happen next. There was the first tower, then the second, then the Pentagon, and then somewhere in middle America. A few weeks later there would be the anthrax scare , the need to be alert but not alarmed , and to buy up duct tape . In the immediate post 9/11 period there was so much paranoia about how clever and evil the perpetrators of this terrorist attack were, that anything next was possible. Product , currently playing at the Arcola Theatre, is Mark Ravenhill's monologue about the pitching of a dubious script. It brings back the memories of the worst of this post 9/11 paranoia.

It's a wonderful life: The Me Plays @ORLTheatre

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Growing up in Wembley seems like fun in Andrew Maddock's The Me Plays, currently showing at The Old Red Lion Theatre.  Two forty-five minute monologues delivered by Maddock present a semi-autobiographical look at his life growing up there. Male body image, internet pornography, Catholic schools, surgical procedures are all covered in this brutally honest account. The cleverness in the work is its frankness and his matter of fact delivery, which makes for a fascinating evening that will linger with you after leaving the show.

Slappers and braggers: Fleabag at Soho Theatre

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge's one woman show Fleabag is an entertaining smutty, funny and bittersweet tale. In Mydidae she was naked but here her character's soul is laid bare, as "Fleabag", a woman obsessed with sex. Everything leads to sex from a dripping stuffed crust pizza to a chance encounter with an ugly man on the tube. But amongst all the wild crazy hedonism emerges a real vulnerable person who is coming to the end of period of her life, even if she does not know it yet. Sitting on a stool under a spotlight the piece opens with Fleabag taking an interview for an office job. It soon goes horribly wrong which then leads to her confessional-like monologue on her life. It is a life is full of asides about her ex-boyfriend, her family, casual sex and her friend, with who she ran a hamster-themed coffee shop with until her death.