Theatred

Reviews

Written for Everything Theatre

Usually, when I go to review a show, I like to go in without too much prep work. And sometimes that leads to surprises, like in this instance: when I got on my bike to Hampstead for a seven o’clock performance involving two Lewis Carroll characters, I assumed it would be a family show. How wrong I was. Fortunately, however, that wasn’t a bad thing.

Written for Everything Theatre

One can hardly imagine two more different shows than the angry, testosterone-fuelled punk musical American Idiot and Annie, the saccharine Christmas fairytale. And yet, they do have something in common: they’re both currently playing at the Arts Theatre, just off Leicester Square. Although no one could blame if you didn’t realise this, because the whole theatre is completely done up American Idiot style. That’s because the other show there is not actual Annie but Annie Jr, an amateur production of the Broadway favourite in which all roles are taken on by the children and young adults of performing arts programme P2P.

Written for Everything Theatre

London boasts some very fine theatres, but it difficult to think of one more perfect to spend a beautiful summer’s evening at than Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Equipped with a large bar, a barbecue and a liberal sprinkling of fairy lights, it’s a wonderfully secluded spot right in central London. Currently it’s home to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which centres on Oregon mountain man Adam Pontipee, who comes riding into town looking for a wife to clothe and feed him and his six younger brothers. When he meets waitress Milly the deal is quickly sealed, but events take an unexpected turn when Milly finds out about her new brothers-in-law, and decides to introduce them to women and civilisation.

Written for Everything Theatre

London has a new theatre! At least, that’s how the clever people at Hackney Showroom advertise themselves. This lead to mild confusion on my part when, after nicely following the route Google Maps had spit out, I found myself standing outside a venue I recognised as Hackney Downs Studios. But, with a new name, setup and a fresh lick of paint, this section of the studios does look and feel very much like a new theatre indeed, and where better to go for some fresh new writing?

Written for Everything Theatre

Although entirely on the wrong side of the river for my liking, I never mind taking a trip to Theatre503 in Battersea: it’s a friendly theatre-above-a-pub with good legroom and challenging, relevant programming. Lightbox Theatre’s The Air Around Us fits that bill, particularly for locals, since it’s a ‘spinoff’ from the company’s earlier production Battersea Odyssey. For that project, 120 inhabitants told Lightbox about their lives in Battersea. George Cresswell’s story, however, stood out from the rest, and has now been turned into a separate, verbatim play. In The Air Around Us, the audience gets to peek into Cresswell’s life, from his early memories as a dirt poor child living through the Second World War to joining the RAF, starting a family and buying his own house.