The Boring Room

3 stars

With a cast of just three, this show sets out to explore crime, judgement and punishment through a trio of separate stories. With a minimal set, the action takes us from film noir to gritty interrogation, each scene leading us into a different, intimate room.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Saturday 10 February | Read more

Assmonkey: In Conversation

3 stars

"Johnny Assmonkey" is the name that writer-performer Sophia Del Pizzo has given to her anxiety. In Assmonkey: In Conversation she tries to come to grips with both anxiety and depression, and particularly how they feed and are exacerbated by substance abuse.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Saturday 10 February | Read more

Bicycles and Fish

5 stars

In this brilliant one-woman coming-of-age show, Katie Arnstein transports us back a decade or so to the day she became a feminist. In many ways it is was ordinary day: time at school, a minimum-wage job, and fairytale dreams of that precious first kiss. But not everything goes smoothly. Bicycles and Fish will be a familiar gut-punch to most women, even though the story is uniquely Arnstein's.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Friday 9 February | Read more

Providence

4 stars

Providence, Rhode Island. One of the first cities in America, with a long English heritage – and the place where today, our protagonist has decided to end it all. As he plunges his head into the river, however, the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe appears… and Howard Philips Lovecraft shows us not his death, but his life. From his parents' committals to institutions, his grandfather's lesson and his publishing rejections, through to his estranged marriage and many correspondences, his story returns again and again to Providence.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Saturday 3 February | Read more

Tomorrow Creeps

1 star

There's a class of play that seems so highbrow – so self-confident in the intelligence of its concept – that if you find you don't understand it, you feel the fault must lie with you. It's so tempting, and so easy, to applaud the intent; to read the blurb on the flyer, and paraphrase it as your own. But no, dear reader, I shall not play that game. Tomorrow Creeps is either an hour-long joke that simply isn't funny, or an artistic self-indulgence that's embraced its own conceit to the point that nothing else remains.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 28 January | Read more

Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bit Her

4 stars

Wind Bit Bitter, Bit Bit Bit Her is a show that wrong-foots you at every turn. It starts with that riddling title, which as well as being virtually incomprehensible, has almost nothing to do with what actually happens in the play. It carries on with the sudden appearance of a raging woman called Mary – who at first you might take for an abusive yob, before the reason for her distress becomes clear.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 26 January | Read more

Dietrich: Natural Duty

4 stars

Marlene Dietrich has a famous name – but, as a star from the golden age of 1930's Hollywood, she is beginning to fade from living memory. So Peter Groom’s portrayal of her in Dietrich: Natural Duty is a welcome reminder of a woman who was not just a screen goddess, but led a fascinating life across Germany and America in the Nazi era.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Friday 26 January | Read more

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