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Ready or Not – The Arcola, London

Writer: Naylah Ahmed Director: Helena Bell Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The atrocities of war are now felt far beyond the battlefield and not just by those directly involved in the fighting. When the First World War breached the borders of civilian exemption from conflict, everything changed and the concept of total war was born. Now, over a hundred years later, sometimes ...

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Queen of Carnage – The Space, London

Creative Lead / Director: Sobriety Twist Reviewer: Maryam Philpott There is a point where performance art and theatre intersect and it’s usually at the more absurdist end of the theatrical scale, but fetish performance is something you rarely come across depending on how sheltered a life you’ve led and presumably the venues you frequent. The Space is hosting Sobriety Twist’s ...

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The Devil’s Passion – St James’ Church, Piccadilly, London

Writer: Justin Butcher Director: Guy Masterson Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The greatest story ever told was never really one story at all; it was a collection of narratives, reminiscences and experiences of people who encountered one particular man for a few minutes or a few years which have been fashioned into one ‘account’ of the life and death of the son ...

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7 Princesses – The British Museum, London

Writer: Nizami Reviewer: Ann Bawtree British Museum’s “Epic Sundays” series presents its second event. 7 Princesses, by the Persian poet Nizami, was written in 1197. This production is put on by the Crick Crack Club, the well-established company specialising in storytelling as performance art. 7 Princesses is best described as a fairy tale but one strictly for adults. Their own publicity ...

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The Playwrights Suite: Full Tilt – Canal Café Theatre, London

Writer: Sarah Pitard Director: Cat Robey Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Attending a staged reading of a work in progress is an experience unlike any other for an audience member. There is no set, no exits or entrances, no lighting or sound cues – although all of those such stage directions are read direct from the script. And so, in addition to ...

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It Is So Ordered – The Pleasance, London

Writer: Conor Carroll Director: Lucy Curtis Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Hope has always had such a good reputation, something that persists when life is at its most bleak but hope is also destructive, especially when the possibilities it affords do nothing but tease the suffering into feeling again. “It’s the hope that kills” Johnny explains after serving 50 years for a ...

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Out of Blixen – Print Room at the Coronet, London

Dramaturg/writer: Paul Tickell Director: Kathryn Hunter Reviewer: Stephen Bates Most of us know very little about the writer Karen Blixen, her name conjuring up only images of Meryl Streep gliding above the Serengeti in a small plane piloted by Robert Redford. It is probable that Out of Africa was once screened at the art deco Coronet that has become the home of ...

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The Verdict – Civic Theatre, Chelmsford

Writer: Barry Reed Adaptor: Margaret May Hobbs Music: Lynette Webster Director: Michael Lunney Reviewer: Michael Gray Given the title, it's no surprise that this is a courtroom drama. A strong morality play too, which began as a novel, then became a film with Paul Newman. Now, 35 years on, it's on stage for the first time, touring the country with Middle ...

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