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This House – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Writer: James Graham Director: Jeremy Herrin Reviewer: Alice Fowler The year is 1974 and Britain has a hung parliament. At Westminster, the Labour and Tory whips must employ every ounce of skulduggery and thuggery. Ahead loom a European referendum and the hornets’ nest of devolution. So far, so familiar? The beauty of James Graham’s excellent play This House, set from ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Blue Sky Thinking – Sweet Dukebox

Creators: Pop Heart Productions    Reviewer: Simon Topping The venue is decorated in post-it notes, with anti-slogan business-speak like: Orange is NOT the new black and Business-Fart. Among the notes on stage are a single office desk and a couple of chairs. As the show begins we meet Penny, a writer of plays and a creative whirlwind, forced to apply for ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Elf Lyons – Swan, Brighton Komedia

Creator: Elf Lyons Reviewer: Simon Topping Elf Lyons’ show Swan is too good to miss. Entering the stage in a parrot costume, bought from eBay for too much money, along with several other ill-advised purchases and speaking Franglish like a combination of Officer Crabtree from Allo Allo, with a pinch of Stanley Unwin, Lyons is already delighting the crowd. The night, we ...

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Merrily We Roll Along – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Writers : Stephen Sondheim and George Furth Director: Charlotte Conquest Reviewer: Steve Turner Stephen Sondheim’s and George Furth’s 1981 musical about the fracturing of friendships and relationships has a somewhat unusual way of delivering its narrative. The action runs backwards in time, each scene set before the previous one, so instead of watching as things disintegrate, we see them at ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: I am Somebody – The Warren: The Hat 

Creators: Sirqus Alfon Reviewer: Simon Topping After some torchlight shenanigans and a "scan" of the Brighton audience in the dark, Sirqus Alfon burst onto the stage looking like vibrant circus militia, decked out in powder pink, yellow and blue army outfits, exuding energy and joy. Immediately immersing the crowd in what simultaneously feels like the 1980's and somewhere in the distant future, ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Just Don’t Do it – Sweet Werks 1 

Creators: Beside Ourselves Collective Reviewer: Simon Topping The audience enters Christian camp for girls 1999, greeted by our hosts wearing the camp t-shirts, singing sickly religious songs and readying themselves to present a lecture on sex and Christianity. This is the start of Just Don't Do it! an irreverent and surreal look into the modern Church’s approach to sex, celibacy and female sexual desire. Nat ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Obitchuary – The Warren: Theatre Box 

Creators: Yes Mama! Comedy  Reviewer: Simon Topping Cara Dawson and Alex Nash are dead.  We are welcomed to their funeral service with delicious quiche snacks and a rousing rendition of I Don't Feel like Dancing by the Scissor Sisters.  But are they really dead? This is what the audience are about to find out in this engaging one-hour comedy duo ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE:  Marie – The Warren, Theatre Box

Creators: House of Mirth Reviewer: Simon Topping Liz, the Landlady of the Prince Arthur, is hosting their regular theme night.  There are two rules to the evening, the first being that the person you choose must be dead and secondly you have to be dressed up to get in. Elsewhere in London, a young Scottish woman (Marie) steps off a ...

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