She Wolf

4 stars

"The history plays are super-boring," complains Queen Margaret of Anjou. And she should know: Shakespeare wrote her into four of them, including one scene – in Richard III – set when the real Margaret was dead. This quick-witted, irreverent one-woman shows aims to reclaim her true life story, and uses it to make adroit and important points about women's experiences in our own day.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 25 May | Read more

POST

3 stars

Post is a piece of innovative, interactive theatre, set around a Portuguese dinner table and hosted by Xavier de Sousa. His parents are among "the returned": migrants who had made their home in other countries for a generation or two, but are then returned to Portugal, a land unknown to them. He poses a variety of questions about national identity and invites his guests to answer them. From the moment we set foot in the theatre, de Sousa effortlessly puts us at ease, with a kind word for each guest or a question by means of introduction.

Review by Roz Scott published on Thursday 24 May | Read more

Are Strings Attached?

4 stars

On paper, it sounds like Are String Attached? tackles an impossible mish-mash of themes: graffiti spraying, professional tennis, and time at drama school. But we learn soon enough that these disparate forms of self-expression fulfil a common need – to be seen, to be respected, to be top dog. Billed as a "fictional autobiography", Simon Lovat's one-man play is both a gentle reflection on what matters in life, and a fascinating insight into what drives certain people to do the things they do.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Thursday 24 May | Read more

Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn

2 stars

At one point during this lecturing one-man show, the reincarnation of Karl Marx asks: "Is there anything more outrageous than an honest critic?" OK then, Brighton. Prepare to be outraged.

This play gives us plenty of facts about Karl Marx's life, but very little nuanced insight, and even less about his fascinatingly prescient political philosophy. Instead, we have an accusatory rant at the world's ills – a crowd-pleasing sermon which will persuade no-one and change nothing.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Thursday 24 May | Read more

Ensonglopedia of Animals

4 stars

Ensonglopidia is an awkward name – but it's perfectly descriptive of this informative, scientific, musical show. It's the latest production from Fringe favourite John Hinton, best-known for his musical biographies of famous scientists, who this time leads us on an encyclopaedic A-to-Z gallop through the wonders of the animal kingdom. Billed as suitable for children aged 5 and older – but perfectly enjoyable for grown-ups too – it's an hour of unashamed natural-world trivia, bundled up in a series of witty songs.

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

My Father Held A Gun

4 stars

Sahand Sahebdivani is of Iranian descent, while Raphael Rodan's family is Israeli. Together they tell a series of stories, attempting to answer the question: Why do men make war? Brought up in Amsterdam, the two men are friends, but their journey to adulthood involves understanding their identity through the eyes of their fathers and forefathers. One is a Jew, the other an Arab – and while they try to frame their debate in a European context, their own ethnic and racial heritage may not let them go.

Review by Roz Scott published on Tuesday 22 May | Read more

Always, With a Love That's True

4 stars

I always enjoy Wired Theatre's unconventional site-specific work – partly because they're so willing to break theatrical rules, and partly because they invariably surprise me with something different and new. Set in a real house in Hove, with scenes in the lounge, hallway, kitchen and conservatory, this one certainly preserves Wired's reputation for performing in unusual spaces. But after years presenting shows which hop back and forth in history, this time they gave me the one thing I least expected: a traditional linear storyline.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Tuesday 22 May | Read more

Wan In Wan Oot

3 stars

One in, one out: it's a rule that works for busy nightclubs, not generally for life. But this heartwarming two-hander tackles both ends of life's journey, as central character Leanne says goodbye to her ageing grandmother and sees the birth of her own longed-for baby, too. It's a gently humorous and very watchable family story, with a few stand-out emotional scenes.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Tuesday 22 May | Read more

Antigone Alone

3 stars

Plays built on Greek myths are intimidating for many – but there's really nothing to fear from Antigone Alone. It's clear, accessible, and engaging; a strong solo performance of an easy-to-follow script. It focuses, as the title suggests, on the story of Antigone, whose brothers fought for control of Thebes in days of legend. The winning man refused to allow his defeated brother to be buried… blocking his way to the afterlife, and forcing Antigone to take matters into her own hands.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 20 May | Read more

Space Doctor

1 star

There are some one-star reviews which actually sell tickets: which make a show sound so unique, so iconic in its badness, that you can't resist going to see it. This might, just might, be one of those. Space Doctor is truly terrible, but it's the kind of terrible of which cults are made.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 20 May | Read more

Pages