Friday, June 18

London

Scaramouche Jones or the Seven White Masks – Wilton Music Hall
London

Scaramouche Jones or the Seven White Masks – Wilton Music Hall

“50 years to make the clown. 50 years to play the clown.” This closing remark, delivered by the centenarian clown Scaramouche as he waits for the clock to strike midnight and usher in the new millennium, is perhaps the closest to capturing the essence of this astonishing odyssey of the 20th century. Scaramouche Jones or the Seven White Masks recounts the extraordinary life of a man’s journey through crumbling empires, comic misadventures, dark episodes and tragic discoveries on a quest to understand why he is who he is. From tales of his birth in slim alleys of Trinidad and his escapades on the busy streets of Milan, to the haunting memories of concentration camps in Eastern Europe and the exhilaration of finally being on English soil, this text not only gives us a glimpse into what we...
Psychodrama – Never for Ever, Kentish Town
London

Psychodrama – Never for Ever, Kentish Town

Psychodrama is a gripping one-person show about an ageing actress under investigation for the murder of an auteur theatre director. Written and directed by Matt Wilkinson, and performed by Emily Bruni, this 70-minute long monologue presents a sharp, incisive take on the cut-throat nature of show business and the toll it takes on the lives of those who choose to be in it. Through the eyes of its titular character, a middle-aged actress on the brink of being forgotten, we are introduced to the everyday realities of a creative struggling in an overly competitive industry – a dead-end job that demands more energy than what it deserves, the frustration of maintaining relationships that don’t actually serve you, the occasional self-indulgent purchases that remind you of just how broke you ar...
West End Musical Celebration – Palace Theatre
London

West End Musical Celebration – Palace Theatre

Originally planned to be A West End Musical Christmas, and devised by the producers of West End Musical Drive In and West End Musical Brunch, in association with Nica Burns, this all-star concert morphed into a celebration of the gradual re-opening of the West End after the 15-month enforced hiatus. The stellar cast of Ben Forster, Alice Fearn, Sophie Evans, Layton Williams, Rachel John, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Shanay Holmes represent the very best of what the West End has to offer and this show provides a great showcase for their talents. There are many high points in a show full of great moments. John blows away the audience with "Don't Rain On My Parade", Dion Nicholas reminds the audience of what a perfect genie he was with Aladdin's "You Never Had A Friend Like Me", and Forster r...
HEMATOMA – Lion & Unicorn Theatre
London

HEMATOMA – Lion & Unicorn Theatre

I’ve never been to the Lion and Unicorn Theatre which as a born and bred north Londoner is, I know, disgraceful. I was met by a very polite and welcoming front of house who was clearly as pleased to be back to live performances as I was and directed through to my seat. It’s a simple black box auditorium, intimate but with one of the better seating setups I’ve seen in this kind of venue, all Covid-compliant, spacious and clean. Hematoma bills itself as a ‘road play’ - like a road movie, but on the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I wasn’t sure if one man and his thoughts would be the return to being in a live audience that I wanted, but I definitely needn’t have worried. This felt to me like a true coming of age piece, and I spent an hour utterly engrossed in writer and performer...
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Garrick Theatre
London

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Garrick Theatre

As the theatres gradually re-open, audiences are like kids in a toy shop, wide-eyed, rushing around not sure what to see first. Well it's a no-brainer. Book tickets for Showstopper! It sounds absolutely crazy - a musical improvised on the fly with suggestions of setting, musical styles and show title provided by the audience - but it has been running to incredible and well-deserved success since 2008. After a long stint at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the show had two West End runs and a series on BBC Radio 4. And along the way they picked up an Olivier award.  It's funny, clever, interactive and unique, each night becoming a completely different show full of references to styles the audience can recognise. A bit of Shakespeare here, a Hamilton-esque sequence there, an homage to...
The Death of A Black Man – Hampstead Theatre
London

The Death of A Black Man – Hampstead Theatre

In 1975, The Death of a Black Man by Aflred Fogan made its premiere at the Hampstead Theatre. 46 years later, the darkly compelling drama makes a return to its Main House as part of an effort to remember, and celebrate, a range of plays from every era of Hampstead’s history. Directed by Dawn Walton and starring Natalie Simpson, Toyin Omari-Kinch and Nickcolia King-N’da, this show captures the trials and tribulations of young working class Black British citizens as they set out to carve a future for themselves and the limits to which they’ll go in order to succeed. At the centre of the story is a flat in Chelsea, London where we meet Shakie, played by King-N’da, an 18-year old entrepreneur whose business of selling African art and handicraft items (which are actually sourced locally fro...
The Language of Kindness – Shoreditch Town Hall
London

The Language of Kindness – Shoreditch Town Hall

“I don’t remember the doctors, I don’t remember the medicine, all I remember is the nurse.” Arriving at Shoreditch Town Hall for the final leg of its three-stop tour, The Language of Kindness is a beautiful celebration of NHS nurses. Based on Christie Watson’s bestselling memoir of her 20 years a nurse, Wayward Productions present the touching true tale, embracing the seamless physicality of Complicité. Directed by Sasha Milavic Davies and James Yeatman, the dance-theatre piece is simply gorgeous. There is a true poignancy throughout as the love letter production explores themes of humour, tragedy, and grief. Showcasing the work of hospital nurses and staff, we witness the emotions nurses both feel and impose as they go about their day-to-day job. The Language of Kindness highlights...
The Money – County Hall
London

The Money – County Hall

If you only had sixty minutes to make a potentially life-changing decision with a group of strangers you’ve never met before, what do you think could happen? Would you keep your nerves and follow a logical and rational decision-making process or allow yourself to be swayed by the emotion and energy of the room? And what happens when you know you’re being watched? No, these aren’t hypothetical questions asked in a job interview (those are nerve-wracking as it is) but the central dilemma of an interactive theatre piece called ‘The Money’ by Exeter-based production studio Kaleider. This show invites you, the audience, to be in-charge of deciding how to spend a briefcase full of money (amounting to GBP £240 at the start of the night) along with a group of other strangers. Presented at t...
Amélie The Musical – Criterion Theatre
London

Amélie The Musical – Criterion Theatre

Based on the hit 2001 French film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant of the same name, Amélie tells the story of a young Parisian waitress living in her own little vibrant world. Following a sell-out tour in 2019, the musical adaptation has finally arrived in the West End. I must confess, I have not yet seen the motion picture although I am familiar with it, but after watching the show, Amélie is certainly at the top of my must watch list. Michael Fentiman’s production certainly creates the imaginative world of the young heroine I was hoping for. From the joyful opening number to Dik Downey’s creative puppetry of Amélie as a child struggling to cope with her distant father (Jez Unwin), the production really delves into the colourful imagination of the quirky lead. Audrey Br...
No Strings Attached – King’s Head Theatre
London

No Strings Attached – King’s Head Theatre

“You asked ‘who are you then?’ I don’t think I know the answer to that.” The debut play by Charles Entsie marks the King’s Head Theatre’s return to live performances after 436 days. Directed by Aileen Gonsalves, the audience are exposed to, and reminded of, the lengths gay men feel they must go to hide in the closet. Sorcha Corcoran’s skeletal car structure against a concrete backdrop, set in an underground car park, brilliantly highlights the claustrophobia felt by the two men. At very different stages in their lives, they are equally lost in trying to find themselves, “tired of just surviving”. The play is riddled with their anxieties, distraught and pain, despite attempts to suppress. Utilising Gonsalves’s own method, of the audience feeling what the actor does in each moment,...