Author: Lexy Hudson

Trailblazers: Eight Women Who Rewrote The Rules

As International Women’s Day falls on the 8th March, I thought it fitting I lay out eight condensed histories of high-achieving women with whom you may not be familiar. As with literature, music, art, and theatre, it’s easy to fall back on the same examples, the same handful of icons, over and over again. But in the vast ocean of countless drops that is human history, why deprive ourselves of so many sources of inspiration that, until the Internet age, have simply been less publicised than others? This is a string of introductions to influential women who deserve more...

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Scarier than Fiction: Bête Noire’s production of Father of Lies

True crime is something of a nomadic genre. Aside from comedy, no other type of narrative storytelling seems so malleable that it can make equally wild successes out of books, Netflix documentaries, and podcasts within the same handful of years. Occupying the murky intersection of investigative journalism, forensic psychology, and gothic horror, it follows the deliberate pace of a police procedural whilst also offering sparks of shock at the depravity that seemingly ordinary and unremarkable human beings are capable of. Researched, written, and performed by Sasha Roberts and Tom Worsley, and directed by Stephen Sobal c/o Bête Noire Productions,...

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The Best of All Possible Narratives: The Storytelling Secrets Behind the Success of Netflix’s ‘Dark’

The “x meets y” formulation is one of the most efficient ways to pitch an idea. Nowhere have I seen more x’s and y’s thrown about than in the reviews for Netflix’s first original show in German, Dark, written and directed by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. Despite having only been released on 1st December 2017, it’s already one of Netflix’s “most-watched Non-English shows ever”. Coming from the same platform responsible for Narcos, that’s saying something. A small distillation of the initial storyline for those of you reading this piece without having watched Dark in its ten-episode entirety:...

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‘The Duke’ at the Edinburgh Fringe: The Life Aquatic with Hugh Hughes

If Wes Anderson were ever to try his hand at staging a Fringe production, it would look something like this. Part comedy, part one-man sound desk, and part good old-fashioned storytelling, Edinburgh regular and double Fringe First award-winning performer Hugh Hughes (aka Shôn Dale-Jones) sets a warm, friendly tone from the moment he greets you with a handshake at the door. Hughes comes across as an effortlessly cool teacher in charge of a hundred cheeky kids, amenable to some light heckling, short detours and minor derailments, but with a firm enough grip on the show not to let it...

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Joan Clevillé Dance’s ‘The North’: Surreal Northern Plights at the Fringe

If you’re fresh off the train/plane/automobile and eager to fit at least one “quintessentially Fringe” production into your schedule, look no further than Joan Clevillé Dance’s The North. For a rough idea of just how fringey this piece gets, here is a non-exhaustive list of items that feature in the hour of combined dance, drama and physical theatre: gold trousers, reindeer antlers, a self-constructing tent, toy cars, an unreliable (possibly magical) miniature radio, and a tiny Christmas tree. “Rather than describing a realistic environment,” writer, director and choreographer Clevillé explains, “I was interested in evoking a human experience, a...

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‘Border Tales’: Humanity for Humanity’s Sake

Going back through reviews of Border Tales from its initial March 2014 run is fascinating — it almost beggars belief to see that one begins with “Is multiculturalism still a sensitive issue?”[1] All of them connect this hybrid of live music, dance and spoken word to an ominous backdrop of increasing hostility towards immigrants. Three years later, with some new cast members and an avalanche of very real threats towards free international movement, the arrival of physical theatre choreographer Luca Silvestrini’s Border Tales at the Edinburgh Fringe could not have been better timed. It is possibly the only overtly...

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Rosie Wilby’s ‘The Conscious Uncoupling’: Breakups in the Digital Age

Whether you are living through them or critiquing a show about them, relationships are tricky to navigate. The material is so intensely personal, so tailored to the individual storyteller, that it almost eschews comments from a detached third party — almost. Over the course of an hour, standup comedian and singer-songwriter Rosie Wilby alternates between reading emails from early 2011, capturing the moment a major three-year relationship came to a sudden halt, and reciting monologues that lay out the full context around it. In a similar vein to Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and Master of None, Wilby pitches her...

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‘Flood’ by Paper Creatures Theatre: Artistry in a Floating World

Billed as “a complex and humane portrayal of a group of friends struggling to define themselves beyond the confines of their small town”,[1] Flood, directed by Tristan Bates Theatre regular, Georgie Straight, finds its comedy in the literal and its drama in the symbolic. The literal flood in question overwhelms a small, unidentified town in the West Country, soaking basements, sweeping away centuries-old bridges, and putting cemeteries underwater. For protagonist Adam (Jon Tozzi) and his older sister Jess (Emily Céline Thomson), this deluge proves to be both a relief and a nightmare — their mother has recently died, and...

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