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Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis – Park Theatre, London

Writer: Charlotte Jones Director: Robert Wolstenholme Reviewer: Richard Maguire Written in 1998, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis makes its London debut in the Park Theatre, but a lot has happened since 1998, and now Charlotte Jones’s Bolton comedy seems a little worse for wear. Jokes about OCD, sex work and men dressing up in women’s clothes make for uncomfortable ...

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A Little Princess – Drayton Arms, London

Adaptor and Director: Rachael Bellis Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Being a princess is a state of mind and, according to Frances Hodgson Burnett, very little to do with riches and breeding. In fact, as Rachael Bellis’ new adaptation at the Drayton Arms suggests, being a princess is about dignity, graciousness and kind-heartedness whatever life brings. Bellis’ adaption emphasises Sara’s essential goodness ...

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To the Moon and Back – Barbican, London

Director: Paula Manning Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The 50th anniversary of the moon landing earlier this year inspired very little response from the theatre community, and in fact, plays about or set in space are few and far between, primarily a genre for television and film with an extensive visual effects budget. But M-SET theatre company is an inspiration to us ...

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The Undefinable – Camden People’s Theatre, London

Writers/Directors: Shamira Turner and Eugénie Pastor Reviewer: Scott Matthewman The way in which romantic relationships are pigeon-holed is the focus of this anarchic performance by She Goat, aka performers Shamira Turner and Eugénie Pastor. The duo perform as hosts of a garage radio station – basically a podcast with phone-in callers – who discuss the undefinable nature of relationships, both ...

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Cinderella – Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Writer: Will Brenton Director: George Wood Reviewer: Richard Maguire It’s Cinderella City here in South London with Wimbledon and Croydon both taking on the pantomime this year. Wimbledon’s version of the pantomime favourite is a hoot, but, despite the presence of Ore Oduba and Tim Vine, Croydon’s Cinderella is flat and sanitised. The crucial point about pantomimes, and the reason ...

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One Under – Arcola Theatre, London

Writer: Winsome Pinnock Director: Amit Sharma Reviewer: Maryam Philpott An unexpected death in mysterious or shocking circumstances can be very difficult for family and friends to come to terms with, convincing themselves that something more meaningful than an accident or mere chance is to blame. Winsome Pinnock’s 2004 play One Under presented now at the Arcola Theatre explores the impact ...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane – National Theatre, London

Writer: Neil Gaiman Adaptor: Joel Horwood Director: Katy Rudd Reviewer: Stephen Bates The National Theatre’s dramatisation of Neil Gaiman’s 2013 novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane could pass as their Christmas extravaganza for kids (12+) or it could be viewed as a dark psychological fantasy which speaks to those of us who are much older. Actually, in ...

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Potted Panto – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner, Richard Hurst Director: Richard Hurst Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty Back again to the Southwark Playhouse with no small amount of fizz, Dan and Jeff bring their Potted Panto to the world for the fifth time in this theatre. Like their other Potted shows, you very much know what to expect here. Rapid-fire belly laughs, shrieking kids ...

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