A Remarkable Person

3 stars

The play begins with a funeral; the funeral of a celebrated writer, loved by many, eulogised as the "remarkable person" of the title. We hear from those whose lives she touched, whether directly or through the power of her work. But things aren't quite as we seem. As we witness scenes from earlier in the writer's career, we come to doubt the truth of what we're observing. Is this really her memorial… and are these really her friends?

Review by Richard Stamp published on Saturday 17 June | Read more

Killer Cells

5 stars

For anyone who has struggled to have a child, Killer Cells is a must-see show. It’s a true story of life, loss, resilience and hope; its humour and authenticity is demonstrated in the love that the characters show each other, and the isolation of each person’s private pain. Writer and director Sarah Lewis tackles the play with great sensitivity, wit and insight – something that's only possible because it is her story. The knowledge that actors in the play have also suffered miscarriages and the loss of a child gives them the power to speak directly to your heart.

Review by Roz Scott published on Wednesday 7 June | Read more

Another Brighton

4 stars

Cascade Creative Recovery has teamed up with Invisible Voices to put on a stellar show about homelessness, addiction, and how to beat it. Appearing first, the Cascade Recovery Choir is hugely popular and clearly enjoy themselves – but for me the drama in the second half stole the show.

There were two plays: Elephant in the Room performed by the Cascade Drama Group, and Fit for Work Assessment which was the brainchild of Still Human UK. Like Craig Neesam’s poetry, the dialogue fizzed with wit and humour that I did not expect.

Review by Roz Scott published on Saturday 3 June | Read more

Tennessee Williams Double: Ivan's Widow & Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen

4 stars

The first short play in this hour-long double-bill, Ivan’s Widow is a graphic exploration of abuse of power – in this case between a counsellor/psychiatrist, and a bereaved widow who simply could not come to terms with her husband's death. Tennessee Williams, the playwright, is self-assured and sophisticated in his portrayal of a woman longing to come home to her husband: drinking and driving to escape the torment of life without him.

Review by Roz Scott published on Friday 2 June | Read more

Tennessee Williams' 27 Wagons Full of Cotton

3 stars

Tennessee Williams’ plays may be dark, and to some extent dated, but he still has the power to shock and enthral. Here, Fox and Hound Theatre Company produce a one-act play which is an affront to femininity in a male dominated world. Written in 1946 but set in 1930, the play is a period piece about life in the cotton fields of America’s Mississippi Delta.

Review by Roz Scott published on Friday 2 June | Read more

Blink by Phil Porter

3 stars

From the minute Jonah (Rob Hall) begins to tell the “true story” of how he and Sophie (Tara Lacey) met and fell in love, I was hooked by the premise and wanted to know more about the characters. The intricate narrative cleverly sets the scene, and weaves the actors' storylines together through a series of coincidences and twists of fate.

Review by Tig Land published on Thursday 1 June | Read more

Obama & Me

4 stars

Obama and Me is among most compelling solo shows I've ever seen. It's a political play from Sylvia Arthur, a black Brit, documenting her struggle for freedom of movement and racial equality. She already has an agent for a half-written book on the subject – but in frustration at the slow pace of writing, the scale of her endeavour and her own lack of time, she wrote a play as well.

Review by Roz Scott published on Wednesday 31 May | Read more

The Ruffian on the Stair

4 stars

If you hadn't picked it up from the 1960's music, a glimpse at the impressive period set would instantly anchor this play in time. A lesser-known script by Joe Orton, The Ruffian On The Stair belongs to an age when a man was the king of his castle – even if the castle's a bedsit, and the king is barely scraping through. The ruffian of the title comes later; we first meet the bristle-moustached, square-shouldered Mike, a middle-aged ex-boxer who's kept tolerably in shape, the very image of self-conscious masculinity.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 26 May | Read more

Lulu

3 stars

Lulu is about a wild young woman who is very attractive, but abused and lost. Her attraction is both her greatest strength and her biggest problem. Her past is murky and deprived; her father is cruel and vindictive, so she finds herself at a very young age alone in the world, not knowing who to trust or how to be a woman.

Review by Roz Scott published on Thursday 25 May | Read more

The Missing Special

4 stars

Early on in this intricately-constructed, time-shifting play, we hear two characters discussing movies: the kind of movies where they pull the rug out from under you, revealing that you've misunderstood what you've been seeing all along. There's a similar gambit waiting for you in The Missing Special, but there's more to this show than a clever trick. It's an interesting riddle, a rewarding character study… and a parable on the way we behave towards others too.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Tuesday 23 May | Read more

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