Wed, 01/06/2016

Having avoided jumping into the initial rush of theatre goers fighting to see one of TV’s men of the moment, I had some time to set aside the negative feedback from press night and arrive with an open mind, free from the influence of others. I'm extremely glad I did as I feel much of what has been said about Jamie Lloyd’s production is a combination of wanting to cut down the presence of a huge star name, and a lack of willingness to think progressively. There were one or two things about the performance that grated on me, but as a piece of theatre Dr Faustus is creative, fresh and moist…

Fri, 27/05/2016

Since embarking on his stand-up career in 2007 in a Los Angeles comedy club, Joel Dommett has acquired a loyal fan base. This was evidenced by a request at the end of last night’s show by a lady in the front row requesting he perform the ‘childhood rap’; a piece involving playing back a song he wrote on his mobile phone which as a 30 year old, he now mocks. Much as the audience found the rap hilarious, I felt like Dommett sold himself short by throwing the end of the set to the audience. He has a great deal of solid material, and didn't need to turn to an 'old faithful' to pad out the…

Sun, 22/05/2016
Photograph: The Drowned Man

I fell into the world of immersive theatre when Punchdrunk's "The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable" opened at Temple Studios in 2013. The mystery and seduction of the piece was mesmerising, and for a time I found myself captured by the explorative nature of the work. 

By the time the production closed in 2014 I had been back a number of times, unlocked a number of secrets and delved deep into the many layers of story Punchdrunk slip into their worlds. Since then it has been exciting to see the work of companies seeking to develop the genre; from R-ft's…

Wed, 18/05/2016

It's always really sad when you see a production which despite superb reviews and excellent word of mouth, gets its notice after far too short a run. This is certainly the case with “Showboat”, currently playing at the New London Theatre. Daniel Evans’ beautiful production opened at the Sheffield Crucible in December of 2015, and transferred to the New London on April 9th 2016.

The day before I attended the show, on 11th May, it confirmed its closure on August 27th, 5 months before its ‘booking to’ date. 

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II crafted a stunning…

Tue, 10/05/2016

This year marked the 7th festival which brought together a diverse range of comedy, theatre and music, catering for adults and children alike. The festival, organised by Henry Widdicombe and Emma Butler, takes over the entire town offering performances over the three days, ranging from small intimate venues to their largest 300 seated Tabernacl.

I have a certain amount of reluctance in committing the last bank holiday weekend in April to print. The battle here is between a fear of never being able to capture the experience effectively anywhere outside of my own head and…

Sat, 23/04/2016
Photograph courtesy of Edward Moore.

With absolute certainty I can say that the eclectic mix of punters queueing outside the Forum on 14th April was amongst the most unusual I've ever seen. From women in their 20s-30s all dolled up, to more gothic, tattooed types; older beer drinking men in their 40s to young skinny men with girlfriends on a date night, it seems everyone has turned up to see Nick Helm launch his new album. The album in question, “Nick Helm Is Fucking Amazing” sees us through a rollercoaster of ego, vulnerability, affection and frustration, all the while retaining a…

Mon, 18/04/2016

A plastic banner stretched across a dingy doorway signifies I have arrived at Found 111. Aside from the banner, the site looks like an abandoned premises; somewhere you would half expect asbestos or infestation…ironic given the title of the play I’m here to see.  As I make my way inside and climb the stairs, I come across a sign ‘Almost There’ painted on the wall, which if I wasn’t familiar with the site-specific scene, would answer the question any confused traditional theatre goer might have… ‘Am I in the right place?!’ It is pleasing to see the the main site of Central St…

Fri, 15/04/2016

UnCorked Theatre Company have taken up a residency above a swanky pub in Kensal Green, following a sell out run of an earlier incarnation of this production. At the helm of the company are Artistic Director, Christie Lee Manning, and assistant Lee Peter Hedges, both of whom also appear in the piece. The venue is small but quirky, which adds to the feel of what is afoot here. The company describe this production as “Cluedo meets the Seven Deadly Sins”, categorising it as an ‘immersive’ murder mystery. For certain there is a strong comparison to be made with Cluedo, and the piece is…

Mon, 11/04/2016

What if I was to tell you that the ultimate Pandora’s Box lies on the very edge of our solar system? If your imaginings of this ancient mythical treasure trove are of a beautifully ornate, golden box which locks with a key, you are mistaken. This hidden gem is a dull, lifeless grey colour, lying tilted at an awkward angle in the middle of a frozen glacier on Pluto. There is no key to speak of, just an airlock keeping in the fears, torments and memories of a dying species….our own. From inside the box, the most prominent view is of darkness, the nothingness of a desolate planet.…

Sun, 10/04/2016

Jane Horrocks, her live band and an ensemble of skilled dancers explore the theme of love through prominent songs of the post-punk era with surprising and unexpected results.

A long stage, protrudes into the audience, framed with black speakers, amps and microphones stacked either side of the stage. All lighting hangs visible to the audience, seeming to suggest a gig. The entire set is white; the stage, the back wall where a gigantic plug is slotted into a socket, and the sliding curtain used throughout the piece. The black and white appear to be a cultural nod to the Buzzcocks ‘…