Sunday 24th September

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Marie Fortune and Lucy Laing photographed by Venus Raven
Marie Fortune and Lucy Laing photographed by Venus Raven

Duchess of Malfi @ New Diorama Theatre

Rating:

This is a totally engrossing production of Webster’s phenomenal tragedy. All actors are word perfect but more than this this allows the beauty of the language to shine, infused as it is with pathos; sometimes humorous, often ironic, to “perceive the shape of loveliness more perfectly in woe than in joyfulness…” So beautiful that I want to read the whole play through again.

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Category: Theatre
Marriage
Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

Marriage @ Jack Studio Theatre

Rating:

Another capacity crowd at the Jack Studio Theatre welcomed a new run of Gogol’s ‘Marriage’. Loaded with wisecracks from the start, the story, such as it is (translator Howard Colyer compares it to ‘Waiting for Godot’) is a grower. Sunny Jeon’s graphic-y design, de-constructed, Surreal, opens-up the space. You almost feel inside the setting whilst simultaneously looking-on. Is the same dichotomy shared by the players?

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Category: Comedy
The writing was on the wall
The writing was on the wall // Photograph by Martin Slidel

The Review that Never Was

Rating:

Arrived at the Oxford Arms to a review a fringe production. Usual enough. Long day at the office followed by an inspirational exhibition of children’s art that I’d been invited to by a local secondary school. Spent my time and money staying out, traipsing around my old (very old) stomping ground of Camden before time to venture forth.

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Category: Comedy
Darren Beaumont
Darren Beaumont // Photo credit: Tim Stubbs Hughes

Pool @ Jack Studio Theatre

Rating:

Showing until June 7, 2014 // The Write Now Festival

As always, setting the scene is a vital aspect of a visit to The Jack. This time, literally stepping into a Hockney-esque painted ‘pool’ can feel quite disconcerting. The attractive and effective set by David Shields makes full use of Amy Mae Smith’s transcendent lighting; birthing those lovely rippling reflections of sunlight-on-water. Kate Bannister comments that “the designers have done a cracking job…” and likewise the director. The sound-scaping by Mark Webber is exemplary.

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Category: Culture
Playerist
Graphic by Sofia Hagen

Playerist Comedy Night // Thursday May 29 // Poetry Café

Playerist returns for another Comedy Night at the much-loved Poetry Café in Betterton Street, in the heart of Covent Garden, kicking-off at 7.30pm on Thursday May 29. A widely diverse range of talent promises a memorable occasion, at the attractive door price of £3. Playerist supports writers, musicians and artists, and offers a unique showcase of billed acts comprising a varied programme. The events offer further opportunities for chatting and drinking (or networking if you like) and this time around the venue has guaranteed a well-stocked fridge…

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Category: Art
Sally Mortemore and Claire Louise Amias
Sally Mortemore and Claire Louise Amias

Women of Twilight @ Pleasance Theatre

Rating:

A fun night out ‘Women of Twilight’ is not. It is a truly great evening of theatre at a commendable (and welcoming) venue. If Sylvia Rayman’s play seems long-overlooked, in some ways it’s easy to understand why. The taboo of illegitimacy in post-war England seems not only reprehensible but through contemporary eyes is like visiting an alien land. Director Jonathan Rigby refers to “the continued relevance of the play…” as I imagine both at home and abroad, and considers that “maybe it’s appropriate to revive a play written during the early years of the Welfare State at a time when strenuous efforts are being made to dismantle it…” Rigby’s current production, at the roomy and comfortable Pleasance Theatre, is more than worth a revisit.

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Category: Culture
Imogen Miller Porter
Imogen Miller Porter photographed by Martin Slidel

Spotlight on Imogen Miller Porter

It’s a delight to catch up with actor and writer Imogen Miller Porter, just as she’s finishing her current run as the screeching matriarch in the interactive Faulty Towers Dining Experience at Charing Cross Hotel. Despite what I imagine as an exhaustive role she blusters into the nearby café looking fresh as a daisy; resplendent in turquoise plaid shirt, plaited locks not quite free of that infamous Sybil coiffure.

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Category: Comedy
Pole Factor - Reena Lalbihari
Pole Factor - Reena Lalbihari

Pole Factor at the VAULT Festival

As I walked down the colourful Leake Street near Waterloo Station, it became fairly obvious that any expectations I had for Pole Factor at The Vaults should just be thrown out of the window (imagine falling down a psychedelic version of Alice’s rabbit hole). Pole Factor is an Angry Bairds production written by Nazish Khan that satirises society’s obsession with media and celebrity in a way that (more often than not) cuts quite close to the bone.

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Category: Festivals