Descent Theatre

5 stars

Cathy and Rob are a couple in their 50s; he is an architect and she a teacher. Their lives, along with their daughter Nicola’s, start to fall apart as Rob experiences the symptoms of early-onset dementia. And so begins the hard-hitting and intense show Descent, which has all the familiarity of a relatively well-known condition but none of the typical plot points you could usually bank on.

Review by Udita Banerjee published on Monday 14 August | Read more

Atlas Theatre

4 stars

Science is full of background stories that rarely are discussed. There are continuing feuds over the first innovators, questions around which discoveries are credited to whom, and cult-like personal fan groups. Atlas, performed by the Mermaids from St Andrews, brings out one such tale of intrigue and mystery – a story which led to Newton’s ground-breaking theory of gravitation.

Review by Udita Banerjee published on Monday 14 August | Read more

100 Ways to Tie a Shoelace Theatre

4 stars

"I'm Kat, I forget things, I struggle with tasks a 5-year-old can do, and sometimes I imagine myself in army films." But Kat's life wasn't always like this. Before the accident there were no doctors, no nightmares… and she could tie her own shoelaces. Now she must come to terms with what has happened, and try to relearn what she has lost.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

Stephen Bailey: Can't Think Straight Comedy

5 stars

Head into Can’t Think Straight with a full drink, and you will be in genuine danger of laughing so much that you spill it. Stephen Bailey is an exceptional performer, and this hour of stand-up about everything from dating to working-class culture to his own family is well-written and achingly funny.

Review by Elsa Maishman published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

Murder, She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery Comedy

3 stars

Murder, She Didn’t write: The Improvised Murder Mystery is a completely improvised whodunnit based on audience suggestions. Poor old Detective William (Willy) Solveit has forgotten the details of his latest case, and must call upon the audience to remind him of the setting, victim and culprit.

Review by Elsa Maishman published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

Chamberlain: Peace in Our Time Theatre

4 stars

"I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street…" With those famous words, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced the beginning of the Second World War. This simple, effective two-hander takes us inside that Cabinet Room, witnessing the nervous moments leading up to Chamberlain's historic radio broadcast. He's lonely, but he's not alone, and there are a couple of unexpected twists to this solidly informative historical drama.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

No Miracles Here Theatre

3 stars

No Miracles Here features a live band and much dancing, as it explores protagonist Ray’s struggles with depression. Feeling like he can’t go on as he is – and inspired by his late dad’s tales of Northern Soul dance marathons – he sets out for one of these almost-mythical competitions.

It’s a promising premise. The metaphor is sketched out clearly; the dance competition is a marathon, so it’s about endurance, which is more important than technique. The rules are simple: keep moving and don’t let your knees hit the floor. If you don't know the steps, find your own.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

Elephant in the Room Theatre

3 stars

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion – and of its many Gods and Goddesses, elephant-headed Ganesha is a popular one. I grew up listening to tales of his wisdom, his childlike innocence and his devotion to his parents. Ganesha’s stories render him as an approachable friend to many children; he is the sort of God you confess stealing cookies to. And a lot of these aspects that are brought to life in Elephant in the Room.

Review by Udita Banerjee published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

The Power Behind the Crone Theatre

4 stars

At the University of the Third Age Enfield Chapter, Professor Artemis Turret sets out to refute Helen Mirren’s claim that there are no good parts for older women in Shakespeare. But she's been let down by her actress chum, Dame Bunti Smart – so Turret has to tackle the seven different parts herself. In The Power Behind The Crone, actor and writer Alison Skilbeck has managed to pull off that most difficult of tricks: making an informative show entertaining, and vice versa.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

Odyssey Theatre

3 stars

I’m sure that some in the audience will disagree with my star rating. On the day I attended, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s George Mann received a standing ovation and cries of "Bravo" from a handful of us. He in turn thanked us for being "beautifully attentive"… but I’d be surprised if I was the only one whose mind had wandered.

Review by Catherine Meek published on Sunday 13 August | Read more

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