Friday, December 3

London

A Christmas Carol – Alexandra Palace
London

A Christmas Carol – Alexandra Palace

For many Christmas would not be Christmas without Dicken’s famous ghost tale which in many ways started and embodies the Victorian tradition of Christmas, which is still with us today. The Nottingham Playhouse production presently playing at Alexandra Palace is a new adaptation by Mark Gatiss, who also stars as Jacob Marley. The play script follows the traditional story closely with all the normal ingredients that one would expect, but Gatiss emphasises the spookiness of the original story which in the dilapidated auditorium of the old, but only recently re-opened Alexandra Palace Theatre, works well and is enhanced by numerous very effective supernatural effects created by the illusion designer John Bulleid. The traditional setting, however, is not maintained by the Paul Wills’ set...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – The Troubadour Theatre
London

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – The Troubadour Theatre

I was twelve years old when I first entered Christopher Boone’s world in the pages of Mark Haddon’s widely celebrated novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Fifteen years later and a decade after the play first premiered, I sat in the audience of the Troubadour Theatre in a pool of nostalgia as passages from the story vividly made their way back from my memory. Christopher’s detective journey across the United Kingdom was my first introduction to neurodiversity as a young adult. Traveling through his narrative altered my very singular understanding of touch, sound, and emotion in a way that fifteen years later, staged within the deft craft of Simon Steven’s playwriting, held even more value. This play has been taken all around the world. It has excellent reviews and ...
The Drifters Girl – Garrick Theatre
London

The Drifters Girl – Garrick Theatre

Jonathan’s Church’s brand-new musical The Drifters Girl focuses on Faye Treadwell, the female manager of The Drifters, one of the biggest R&B groups of all time. Through some of their greatest hits, the jukebox musical follows Treadwell’s journey from a Southern-born teacher to the world’s first African American female music manager as she recounts her story to her daughter. Singing sensation and Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight, stars as Faye Treadwell alongside four extremely talented singers – Adam J Bernard (Dreamgirls), Tarinn Callender (Hamilton), Matt Henry (Kinky Boots) and Tosh Wanogho-Maud (Showboat). Packing in plenty of high-energy and fun, the cast performed classics such as ‘Kissin’ in the Back Row of the Movies’, ‘Rat Race’ and ‘You're More than a Number In m...
Old Bridge – Bush Theatre
London

Old Bridge – Bush Theatre

British-Bosnian writer Igor Memic's debut play 'Old Bridge' seeks to shine a light on the on the armed conflict that took place in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. Winner of the 2020 Papatango New Writing Prize, Memic situates the narrative around the Stari Most (also known as Mostar Bridge and Old Bridge), a 16th-century bridge in the city of Mostar that was destroyed during the conflict. The play is an intimately layered exploration of love, religion and identity during war and follows a group of friends whose lives get relentlessly entangled in the fallout. This production at the Bush Theatre is directed by Selma Dimitrijevic and designed by Oli Townsend, with Amela Beha as cultural advisor and George Turvey as dramaturg. The play opens at the site of the 'O...
Jazz Meets Flamenco – Sadler’s Wells Theatre
London

Jazz Meets Flamenco – Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Professional dancer and singer Karen Ruimy took to the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells Theatre to bring together two of her passions – Flamenco and jazz music. In this show, she brings together exciting, foot-tapping numbers from her album ‘Black Coffee’ with a live musical ensemble, including Flamenco dancers and musicians, from Spain and the United Kingdom. Released earlier this year, her EP 'Black Coffee' features a selection of covers in English, French and Spanish, blending Jazz ballads with a distinctive Latin flavour. Collaborating with the late producer Phil Ramone, Ruimy accesses musical influences from different cultures and fuses them together in what proved to be a thoroughly enchanting production. The show opens with first three songs of the evening, namely 'Black C...
Aladdin – Lyric Hammersmith
London

Aladdin – Lyric Hammersmith

Panto's resurgence in recent years has brought new attention to a format which often is a child's introduction to live theatre.  Vikki Stone's re-imagining of the traditional Aladdin keeps the plot (well, not that there is much plot and what there is makes little sense) and brings in modern elements of beatboxing, references to TikTok, current politics and celebrity gossip. The leads wear tracksuits, the princess is feisty and unwilling to be married off to just anyone or at all but the villain is still evil and the good guys win in the end.  The show starts with a song about how they all know they are just pretending because they are in panto. The audience does already know that, obviously, but it's a very on-the-nose statement to start by challenging the high level of suspe...
Flinch – Pleasance Theatre
London

Flinch – Pleasance Theatre

Emma Hemingford’s two-hander ‘Flinch’ returns for a new UK tour after its 2019 premiere at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Tracing the gradual breakdown of a young couple's relationship, Flinch offers a complex perspective on modern dating. Directed by Gemma Aked-Priestley and produced by Liam McLaughlin Productions, the show emphasizes the unrelenting negotiation between words and action in defining personal boundaries and shared intimacy. We meet Jess (Emma Hemingford), a 25-year old working actor who has just finished drama school and is on the lookout for her first break into the industry. She's expressive, extroverted and a little self-conscious. For the last three years, she has been dating Mark (Benjamin Aluwihare), a 25-year old working professional who works as a foreign e...
While The Sun Shines – Orange Tree Theatre
London

While The Sun Shines – Orange Tree Theatre

British writer Terence Rattigan’s 1943 comedy ‘While The Sun Shines’ makes a grand return at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, after its sold-out run in 2019. Directed by Orange Tree Theatre’s artistic director Paul Miller, the show breathes a new life into Rattigan’s sharply-written farce about a lovers’ quarrel in the backdrop of the war through well-crafted performances and an engaging in-the-round staging. When it was first published, the show surpassed the success of Rattigan’s 1936 comedy ‘French Without Tears’ and had an immensely popular run of over 1000 performances on the West End. Many attribute this to Rattigan’s ability to wring humour from ordinary characters in absurd situations as well as subtly acknowledge the circumstances and implications of war in day-to-day life...
Yes So I Said Yes – Finborough Theatre
London

Yes So I Said Yes – Finborough Theatre

David Ireland is known for his particularly absurd, political and wildly unpredictable pieces. This new play does not fail to reach and exceed the marks he has set for himself. David was commissioned, along with Robert Anthony Welch to write in response to the 100th anniversary of the Partition and what was created was an utter shock from start to end. Starting with only tiptoeing into dark territory to then diving head first to the end of the dark comedy spectrum. This piece does push buttons and people- but that is the intention. The piece follows ‘Snuffy’ (Daragh O’Malley) a Northern Irish protestant who begins in a Doctors office asking for advice on his neighbour’s dog who is constantly barking, so much so that he cannot sleep at night. Although he asks the neighbour to keep his d...
A Christmas Carol – The Old Vic
London

A Christmas Carol – The Old Vic

Returning for its fifth year to The Old Vic, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ feels as new, as innovative and as compelling as it ever was and always will be. On entering the theatre, it’s as if the show has already started, as the entire company mill about, dressed head to toe in dramatic black overcoats and top hats, offering mince pies and oranges to just seated audience members. The hearty welcome and wishes of ‘Merry Christmas’ set the tone for the evening immediately; the excitement in the room was palpable. Enticingly, this show is performed in the round. This may not be entirely unusual, but it it’s not something all that typical in my experience either, and definitely piqued my interest as to how this would influence the production. As it turns out, this may be the most...