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London Reviews

Aladdin – Hackney Empire, London

Writer/Director: Susie McKenna Reviewer: Richard Maguire There ain’t nothing like a dame, and, frankly, there’s one no quite like Clive Rowe, who lights up Christmas once again, this time as Widow Twanky. Under the direction of Susie McKenna the Hackney Empire pantomime is now in its 20thyear and is as much of a feature as Christmas as mince pies and ...

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The Box of Delights – Wilton’s Music Hall, London

Writer: Piers Torday Director: Justin Audibert Reviewer: Maryam Philpott This year, theatreland seems to be offering a greater variety of Christmas shows than ever before; while there are still plenty of familiar pantos and festive cabarets, the more unusual offerings are much easier to find. The Pleasance has the horror-drag show How to Catch a Krampus, the Union Theatre is ...

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True West – Vaudeville Theatre, London

Writer: Sam Shepard Director: Matthew Dunster Reviewer: Maryam Philpott After a stint in a long-running TV show, a lot of actors head for the theatre almost immediately - the stage is their shop window, a chance to show the casting agents and creatives that the character they have been playing for years is only a fraction of what they can ...

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Hole- Royal Court, London

Writer: Ellie Kendrick Director: Helen Goalen/ Abbi Greenland Reviewer: Grace Patrick In the hollowed out, cavernous Jerwood Upstairs, which is currently flecked with paint and (hopefully intentionally) a little unfinished looking, Ellie Kendrick’s Holes is a fiery, explosive take on the theme of female rage. Expectations inevitably run high at theatres like the Royal Court, but as the piece grew it ...

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Striking 12 – Union Theatre, London

Book, Music and Lyrics: Brendon Milburn, Valerie Vigoda and Rachel Sheinkin Director: Oliver Kaderbhai Reviewer: Maryam Philpott With so much expectation focused on Christmas from at least early October, we forget that just a week later New Year’s Eve brings further pressures to have an amazing and memorable evening. At the end of a busy year, like Brendan the protagonist ...

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The Night Before Christmas – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Anthony Neilson Director: Alex Sutton Reviewer: Stephen Bates When we see a children’s show that is totally unsuitable for children, somehow we know that it must be Christmas. December 2018 at Southwark Playhouse is ushered in with Anthony Neilson’s 65-minute one-act play, a mix of ingredients that include a Santa’s elf, kids’ toys and glitter along with prostitution, hard ...

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A Christmas Carol – ChickenShed Theatre, London

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor/Lyrics/Director: Lou Stein, Music: Dave Carey Reviewer: Sophia Moss Let’s take a trip to a slightly steam-punk version of the 1930s: the banks have crashed, the people are hungry, and somewhere in a tiny London office Ebeneezer Scrooge is shouting at his clerk. Lou Stein’s version of A Christmas Carol has time travelled from the mid-1800s into the Great ...

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Redefining Juliet: Storme Toolis – Barbican, London

Artistic Director: Storme Toolis Director: Robin Norton Hale Reviewer: Maryam Philpott While Shakespeare’s plays can run to thousands of lines with a timeless understanding of the interior human world, the appearance of his characters is less defined. Yet think of any part and almost certainly an expectation of their age, physical shape and size comes to mind, especially for the ...

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