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The Players Lab @ Shuffle Festival – St. Clement’s Hospital, London

Writers: Kate Gilbert, Tony Hickson, Sally Lewis and Thomas Massey Directors: Chris Hosking, Tor Kristofferson, Sarah Myott-Meadows and Stephen Myott-Meadows Reviewer: Mary Halton [rating:3.5] As site specific venues go, one cannot ask for better than St. Clement’s – an abandoned psychiatric hospital and former Victorian workhouse on the Mile End Road. The three acre estate is dominated by a derelict ...

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The Ballad of Rudy – Chelsea Theatre, London

Writer: Matt Borgatti Director: Andrew Barry Music: Will Dollard, Mary Erskine and David Lydon with additional material from Dan Bottomley, Claude Deppa and Wendy Paver Reviewer: Christopher Hong [rating:4] A reindeer not interested in pulling a sleigh, a jazz penguin too cool for the South Pole and a polar bear feeling blue because of global warming, this is a Christmas ...

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Singular Sensations: John Wilson – Charing Cross Theatre, London

Reviewer: Elizabeth Vile [rating:4.5] Did you know that John Wilson has his piano in his kitchen? Or that his mum is his most valued critic? These were some of the tit bits of information that this afternoon’s audience were treated to as they sat and wondered at the modest but amazingly talented man seated on the stage before them. John ...

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The Shape of Things – Arcola Theatre, London

Writer: Neil LaBute Director: Samuel Miller Reviewer: Ian Foster [rating:3] What price art? How far and fearlessly should one be allowed to pursue artistic ambition? The arguments may recall the more recent debates to try and protect the arts in the never-ending rounds of funding cuts in the name of austerity but they also form the basis of Neil LaBute’s ...

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The Upstanding Member – Old Red Lion Theatre, London

Writer: Gregory Skulnick Director: Hamish MacDougall Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty Japes. Madcappery. Escapadery? It's a bit difficult to describe farce properly as its charm really is in theperformance. More than straight comedy and more than improvisation, a farce needs precision in comic timing, energy, and chemistry between the performers to push through the ridiculous conditions the characters find themselves in. Staging ...

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The Bald Prima Donna – Old Red Lion Theatre, London

Writer: Eugene Ionesco Director: Benji Sperring Reviewer: Stephen Bates [rating:3] The grand master of Theatre of the Absurd, Eugene Ionesco, has become rather out of fashion in Britain in recent times. Yet this one-act play, written in 1948 and Ionesco’s first, is the French equivalent to The Mousetrap, having run in Paris since 1957. Romanian by birth, Ionesco spent most ...

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Let The Right One In – Royal Court, London

Writer: Jack Thorne, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist Director: John Tiffany Reviewer: Ian Foster [rating:5] Adapted by Jack Thorne from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel and its two subsequent film versions, Let The Right One In could be said to fall into the teen vampire genre that has proved so enduringly popular of late, but that would do ...

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The Jungle Book – Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London

Adapted by Adam Dechanel and Simon James Collier Director: Simon James Collier Reviewer: Bernie C. Byrnes [rating:2.5] There are two creators behind this adaptation of The Jungle Book and therein lies this productions most obvious flaw. It is clear that Adam Dechanel and Simon James Collier are both capable of good things but there seemed to be a mishmash of ...

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