Reviews I’ve written

Reasons to be Cheerful

Graeae, Nottingham Playhouse, 5th April 2012

I should begin with a confession. I’m not really an Ian Dury and the Blockheads fan. Which is not to say I don’t like his music, more that I don’t know it that well. Full review…

Romeo & Juliet

Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse, 14th March 2012

This brave, energetic production is definitely worth a watch. Just make sure you arrive in time. Full review…

DNA

Hulltruck, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, 20th February 2012

DNA comes with some big names attached – writer Dennis Kelly is currently recieving plaudits for Matilda the Musical; Hulltruck are an established theatre company with an excellent reputation; director Anthony Banks is Associate Director for the National Theatre; and ex-Eastender James Alexandrou plays a central role. And yet it never quite lives up to the expectations established by these big names. Full review…

Swallows and Amazons

Children’s Touring Partnership, Theatre Royal, Nottingham, 7th February 2012

I’ve witnessed some disruptive audiences in my time, but never before have I seen entire rows of children repeatedly launching missiles at an actor on stage. Fortunately this was not the work of a group of violent young rioters-in-training, but part of a rambunctious interactive finale to the stage adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, an entertaining 180 minute reminder of the importance and value of play. Full review…

The Full Monty

Performed by Beeston Musical Theatre Group, The Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton, 16th November 2011

It takes some balls to tackle this familiar story of a group of amateur male strippers and Beeston Musical Theatre Group’s production of the musical version is great fun, if a little wobbly around the edges. Full review…

Much Ado About Nothing

Mappa Mundi, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, 8th November 2011

Mappa Mundi’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is an entertaining and engaging interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale of quarrelling lovers and dastardly trickery, in which it is the women who are placed firmly centre stage. Full review…

A Clockwork Orange

Lace Market Theatre, Nottingham, 20th June 2011

For many, the name A Clockwork Orange is synonymous with controversy – Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel met fierce criticism for its portrayals of brutal violence and sex, and was withdrawn for a time after accusations of inspiring copycat crimes. This production at Lace Market Theatre uses the script and music written by Burgess after the film was released, and despite the novel being originally published in 1962, it feels full of contemporary relevance. Full review…

Break Your Own Pony / Horse

Curated by Hatch, Playroom at Nottingham Playhouse (part of NEAT11 Festival), 11th June 2011

The penultimate offering from Hatch as part of their neat11 programming exploring cultural identity, this equine double-bill was everything I have come to expect from the Nottingham-based performance organisation – delightfully bonkers and off the wall, while funny, thought-provoking and well executed. Full review…

Hymns

New Theatre, University of Nottingham, 8th June 2011

Hymns originates from a late nineties collaboration between writer Chris O’Connell, and renowned physical theatre companies Frantic Assembly and DV8. Frantic Assembly initiated the devising process in response to the startling statistics surrounding the number of young men committing suicide. Full review…

The Last Supper

Reckless Sleepers, Nottingham Contemporary (part of NEAT11 Festival), 4th June 2011

One of the clever things about the programming of the NEAT11 festival is bringing in big hitters from Europe and placing them alongside some of Nottingham’s finest homegrown talent. While it’s exciting and refreshing to see performances like Woyzeck and Faust taking place on Nottingham stages, companies like Reckless Sleepers and Gob Squad are rightfully garnering just as much attention with inventive performances like The Last Supper, leaving no doubt as to the creative talent bubbling away in the city. Full review…

Aquabelles

Playroom at Nottingham Playhouse (part of NEAT11 Festival), 2nd June 2011

Aquabelles, performed by the cast of The League of Youth as part of the “Playhouse etc.” series of events and readings, has an enchanting central premise – a secret synchronised swimming club made up of three hairy thirty-something men, one of whom transforms into an otter. Full review…

Ulrike and Eamon Compliant

Blast Theory, starting from Nottingham Playhouse (part of NEAT11 Festival), 28th May 2011

In Ulrike and Eamon Compliant, Blast Theory take an innovative approach to the recent trend for audio theatre, using mobile phone calls to guide you through the city and on a journey “inside the mind of a terrorist”. Full review…

Circa

Circa, Frederic Wood Theatre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (part of PuSh International Performing Arts Festival), 21st January 2011

There are so many adjectives I could use to describe Friday evening’s performance of Circa: breathtaking, exhilarating, funny, inventive, dramatic, mesmerising, hot – but the truth is none of them would do the performance justice. Full review…

Floating

Hoipolloi, Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver (part of PuSh International Performing Arts Festival), 20th January 2011

Hugh Hughes is a fictional character – a persona created by Hoipolloi Artistic Director Shon Dale-Jones – on stage to tell a fictional story about a real place, but an event that never happened. I think. The truth is, after watching Floating, I’m not entirely sure what’s fictional and what’s not anymore, and I think that’s the point. Full review…

La Marea (The Tide)

Boca Del Lupo, Gastown, Vancouver (part of PuSh International Performing Arts Festival), 18th Janurary 2011 

La Marea (The Tide), part of the 2011 PuSh Festival, offers a voyeuristic glimpse into unspoken thoughts, unknown futures and secret pasts; and is at once funny, intriguing, beautiful and sad. Full review…

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