Tue, 26/07/2016
Photo: Manuel Harlan

Whilst critics are battling with the decision of how much to reveal about this year's most anticipated theatre event, I understand as a keen enthusiast of the novels and the story of the Boy Who Lived, that JK Rowling’s plea to #KeepTheSecrets has been at the very heart of plot since its conception. When the first book was released in 1997, readers worldwide embarked on a journey which led us to understand the nature of trust, friendship and protection on such a level that with each subsequent release, we waited for our peers to finish reading before we discussed. In…

Fri, 22/07/2016

Secret Theatre have returned with another site-specific immersive production, stealthily housed inside a Zone 1 London location. As with their previous work, we are given very little information in the lead up to the event, finally receiving an email from “Queen Pussy” with location, dress code, password and start time. Since tickets went on sale there have been one or two photos and quote suggesting what film they would be adapting, and my group knew what we had come to see. I will not however mention that here to avoid spoilers for those who have not figured it out yet. 

Fri, 22/07/2016
Photos: Tristram Kenton

Anthony Neilson’s latest offering was created in the rehearsal room using a number of stimuli to influence the devising process. The decision was made to display these stimuli on a website dedicated to the creative process. Sound risky? Yes! Does it make for a fascinating afternoon at the theatre? Absolutely! Coming out of Unreachable, I felt as though I had witnessed something different, something special; as though the play is as unique as the ‘light’ that central character Maxim is seeking to enhance his film. These days there are so many companies looking for a…

Tue, 19/07/2016

Here's the thing about Secret Cinema events. The event starts long before your actual experience. In the case of this year's offering, “Dirty Dancing”, one had to register at Kellerman’s Holiday Camp a week or so beforehand at which point being assigned a name (Deborah Willis), a job (sketch artist) and a new place of residence (apparently I've been from California for the last fortnight!). Once registered there was a whole brochure of anticipatory delights presented to prepare and excite you, from costume and prop suggestions, to message boards and activity sheets. So by the time…

Mon, 18/07/2016

Judging by the atmosphere in the foyer of the Apex, it is easy to see what a solid fan base Matt Cardle has built for himself since winning the X-Factor in 2010. A lengthy queue at the merchandise stand, and many people arriving already wearing current and previous tour gear combined to project a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Cut to an hour later, and you see why. Cardle’s rapport with his audience is one you rarely see in this day of artists who project a mystical image, seemingly afraid to reveal anything genuine about themselves. Not so in the case of this artist. The gig…

Sat, 09/07/2016

A man walks into a bar… arrives on stage pint in hand, and proceeds to berate the compere for failing to set up the stage correctly. Having stormed off the stage demanding a reset, he returns, shouting down an inebriated and somewhat rowdy female in the front row. What followed was twenty minutes of nerve shredding aggression and adrenaline, except one thing was strange; the man was falling apart before our eyes. One minute unashamedly arrogant, the next a broken victim protecting himself from crippling insecurity by making his problems our’s. He is dishevelled, unkempt and wild…

Tue, 14/06/2016
Photograph: Alistair Muir

As “People Places and Things” comes to the end of its time in London’s West End, there has been talk of a limited run on Broadway later this year, according to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye. Since opening at the National Theatre’s Dorfman space back in September last year and transferring to the Wyndham’s Theatre on 15th March, the play has generated rave reviews; not to mention its leading lady, Denise Gough, taking home the Critic’s Circle Theatre Award and 2016 Olivier Award for Best Actress. Indeed, Gough gives the performance of a lifetime in a role most…

Mon, 13/06/2016
Credit: Johan Persson

Adrian Noble’s stunningly visual production focuses heavily on the emotional journey of T.E Lawrence throughout his escapades across the Middle East. Whilst the political backdrop of the period is perhaps slightly underplayed, the drama and intensity of Lawrence’s experiences provides an evocative performance for its audience. The structure of the narrative works in flashback, the action set in 1922 bookends the main body of the plot allowing us to meet Lawrence in the RAF, as Aircraftman Ross, before transporting us to the desert for his epic adventure.

Joseph…

Fri, 10/06/2016
Courtesy of Udderbelly, Southbank Centre.

Comedy in the Dark is exactly as it sounds; an hour of stand-up comedy performed in pitch darkness. On the evening I attended, four comedians and a compere took to the stage in a bid to entertain and amuse their audience. The show emerged in 2008 at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival a has since played sell out shows across the UK and Europe. Comedians have been enthusiastic about taking part as it provides them with an opportunity to explore the nature of their performance without having the visual aspect to rely on. I imagine the success of the…

Fri, 03/06/2016

Having explored the nature of immersive performance through experience, and read a great deal of reviews whilst researching the topic, I noticed one very prominent issue. Very few reviews capture the emotional, visceral nature of the art form. So I set to finding a way in…and what I came up with was an odd combination of a bedtime story and a piecing together of what I understood from one section or 'loop' of the show in question: Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More”. The production is based on Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, coupled with elements of Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’; and asks its audience to wear…