Reviews

Written for Everything Theatre

Iris Theatre’s shows at Saint Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, also affectionately known as the Actor’s Church, are one of those fixtures of the summer theatre calendar. After a foray into darker realms last year with Macbeth, the company is back on familiar, family-friendly ground with The Three Musketeers.

Written for Everything Theatre

I will be the first person to admit that, after spending the day in a hot, crowded office, the prospect of seeing a show about two people trapped in very close confines did not fill me with unadulterated joy. Fortunately, the Tristan Bates Theatre is one of those rare beasts – a fringe theatre that doesn’t get hotter than the face of the sun in summer – so my initial misgivings were quickly soothed.

Written for Everything Theatre

It’s a testament to the iconic status of Legally Blonde that, despite having never seen either the 2001 film or its subsequent musical adaptation before, I was already aware of most of its highlights. Bend and snap? Check. Scented CV? Check. Now, having finally clapped eyes on the national tour production of Legally Blonde – the Musical, which is currently in residence at the New Wimbledon Theatre, I can absolutely see what all the fuss is about.

Written for Everything Theatre

‘Capybara.’ ‘Vug.’ ‘Oubliette.’ Did you know how to spell any of these words? Fortunately, now we both do. Centred on the titular uniquely American phenomenon, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features six tweens trying to spell their way to the national competition in Washington DC. It also involves overbearing gay dads, absentee mums in Indian ashrams, young love and lots of juice boxes. The cast of nine - our six spellers and three adults hosting the competition – tackle this quirky show with the enthusiasm only musical theatre people and (pretend) Americans are capable of.

Written for Everything Theatre

‘Excuse me, could you answer the phone for me please? Here’s your script, you’re the secretary.’ With these words Lois Weaver gets one of my fellow audience members out of her seat, and elicits a round of nervous chuckling from everyone else. If you’re not keen on audience participation and in your late fifties or older, you’re out of luck at tonight’s performance. Split Britches was founded in 1980, and for the past 38 years Weaver and her collaborator Peggy Shaw have been pushing at the boundaries of theatre making. In Unexploded Ordnances, this entails sorting their spectators by age (‘Who was alive during the Second World War?’ ‘Who remembers the Korea War?’) and cajoling the ten oldest ones into joining their council of elders. (This is done with varying levels of reluctance.)