Good With Maps Theatre

2 stars

It can be exciting to review a show which pushes traditional boundaries of "theatre". This one was billed as a "performance essay"; Noelle Janaczewska’s text is a strong piece of writing, but I’m not convinced that having Siren Theatre Company "perform" it was the best form of communication for the work.

Review by Catherine Meek published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

Ensonglopedia of Science Theatre

4 stars

Are you a scientist? Babies all are, says performer John Hinton; they experiment with whatever they can get their hands on, learn how things work through trial and error, and always want to know more about the world around them. Cue this eclectic musical jaunt through the alphabet of science, which aims to kindle the same unreserved interest in children and adults alike.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

John-Luke Roberts: Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair! (All in Caps) Comedy

5 stars

Unfortunately John-Luke Roberts can't be with us today, but in his place he's sent famous medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer… who's not a bad stand-in to have at your disposal, even if he isn't a big fan of clothing. Chaucer – being from the past, of course – speaks in his favoured Old English (or is it Onglish?) This takes a little getting used to, but after a few minutes you catch on and it soon becomes addictive.

Review by Liam McKenna published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen Comedy

4 stars

Sarah Kendall: One Seventeen is a story about luck and timing, made up of lots of little stories woven together. It’s a raw, emotional and often funny journey through the lives of Kendall and those closest to her. The stories flow beautifully, winding through time and crossing over each other to tie the show together, and add humour with some very funny recurring jokes.

Review by Elsa Maishman published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

John Robins: The Darkness of Robins Comedy

4 stars

John Robins has an immensely appealing natural comedic style. He can improvise and play nicely with the audience but also has the ability to write cerebral, emotionally intelligent material. All of this makes a ticket to one of his shows a safe bet in terms of quality and enjoyment. The content, however, isn't "safe": The Darkness of Robins is full of raw, frank and naked exposition, as we journey into the comedian's hang-ups, heartbreak and pain.

Review by Tamarin Fountain published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

Hurt and Anderson: Come What May Comedy

3 stars

Georgia Hurt and Laura Anderson are a fun-loving double act in the style of French and Saunders, Morecambe and Wise et al., mixing comedy sketches and songs, with some traditional on-stage conflict thrown in for good measure. Today they have set out to perform a series of planned and rigorously rehearsed sketches – at least that is what Hurt thinks. Anderson has other ideas.

Review by Liam McKenna published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

Michael Stranney: Welcome to Ballybeg Comedy

4 stars

Michael Stranney plays the loveable yet slow-witted comic creation Daniel Duffy, who is delivering a multimedia presentation on behalf of the Ballybeg tourist board to drum up some business in the area. And so begins our weird and wonderful guided tour of Duffy's small Northern Irish village.

Review by Liam McKenna published on Wednesday 16 August | Read more

Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market Theatre

5 stars

Goblin Market is one of my favourite poems. Violent, sensuous, and redemptive, it also lends itself well to stage adaptation. Given its Bacchic imagery, Jennifer Jewell could have been tempted to make this an all-singing, all-dancing, busy show, where the staging would overwhelm the words; luckily though, she knew better. Jewell’s solo performance provides all the excitement of a bigger production, but keeps the focus on telling a fantastic story.

Review by Ellen Macpherson published on Tuesday 15 August | Read more

Stand By Theatre

2 stars

"It started off fine, then went down the usual cliché route." Rarely has a playwright unwittingly penned such an accurate description of their own show. The line's delivered by a policeman, complaining about how his profession is portrayed on TV; what Stand By gives us is a little different from that standard fare, but it's hard to claim that it's better.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Tuesday 15 August | Read more

Between the Crosses Theatre

3 stars

Between The Crosses is not what I'd call a play. I'm not sure exactly how I would describe it though: a lecture perhaps, or an annotated memoir, or a live version of Who Do You Think You Are?, maybe. Alone on the stage, actor Will Huggins plays a recording; it's his real-life great-uncle Edgar's voice, being interviewed by the Imperial War Museum about his experiences of the First World War. Breaking into the recording, Huggins offers explanation and context for the story we're hearing, and shares a few thoughts and observations of his own.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Tuesday 15 August | Read more

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