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Asking For It – Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Writer: Louise O’Neill Adaption: Meadhbh McHugh in collaboration with Annabelle Comyn Director: Annabel Comyn Witnessing Asking For itis a small act of intervention in the hypocrisy and victim-blaming of social and legal rape culture, but it is an important one. This liquid, shifting adaptation of Louise O’Neill’s powerful novel replicates the disintegration of self when shame and trauma meet in ...

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Rendezvous in Bratislava  – Battersea Arts Centre, London

Writer: Miriam Sherwood Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Miriam Sherwood’s grandparents threw the biggest parties in the darkest times. Surviving the Nazis in the Second World War, and then surviving the political purges of the 1970s, Sherwood’s grandparents managed to remain in Slovakia for decades before they were forced to flee to Munich. Rendezvous in Bratislava is Sherwood’s attempt to recreate one of ...

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Rocky Shock Horror – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Reviewer: Julia Beasley Those talented folk from the Wardrobe Theatre of Bristol are at it again – putting together disparate cultural ingredients to serve up a feel-good fusion of happy-clappy, sexually explicit musical entertainment. For this production staged at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, the original cult classic films are Rocky and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. One is a macho ...

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Don Quixote  – Garrick Theatre, London

Writer: Miguel de Cervantes Adaptor: James Fenton Director:  Angus Jackson Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Such a triumph in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2016, the RSC’s production of Don Quixote now comes to the West End, albeit in a version that strips off 20 minutes from the original running time. Cervantes’ novel is over 1,000 pages long, but poet James Fenton’s adaptation manages to preserve ...

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Sense and Sensibility – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Jane Austen Adapted by: Jessica Swale Director: Juliet Forster Designer: Barney George Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Lakes Season at York Theatre Royal is a terrific idea. Over the summer, The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick presented five plays with the same ten actors, each involved in two or three plays, in either Main Theatre or Studio. Four of ...

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Frankenstein – Arnos Vale Cemetery

Writer: Matt Grinter from the novel by Mary Shelley  Director: Rebecca Robson Designer: Molly Hawkins Reviewer: Leah Tozer Playing God in an Anglican chapel is, like Frankenstein’s Creature, ‘fearless, and therefore powerful’. Amongst the gravestones at Arnos Vale, Red Rope Theatre stitch together and stage their agonized, magnificently imagined Frankenstein’s Monster at the cemetery’s Victorian altar in Matt Grinter’s elegiac, gorgeously gothic imagining of Mary ...

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The Funeral Director  – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Iman Qureshi Director:  Hannah Hauer-King Reviewer:  Richard Maguire The Funeral Director is this year’s winner of the 2018 Papatango New Writing Prize, an award that guarantees the winner a full production of their play, and a £6,000 commission for another one. The setting, a Muslim funeral home, is definitely a novel location for London theatre, but Iman Qureshi’s story is, ...

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Bury The Dead  – The Finborough, London

Writer: Irwin Shaw Director:  Rafaella Marcus Reviewer:  Richard Maguire In an unspecified war in the 1930s, six dead American soldiers refuse to be buried. As their fellow soldiers shovel earth over their graves, the corpses rise to their feet and they will not lie down again. This is the fascinating premise at the start of Bury The Dead, but unfortunately, ...

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