Author: Max Adams

‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ in The Vaults: Immersive Nonsense

  “When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one”   This quote comes from Alice’s musings in the fourth chapter of Alice in Wonderland. It also finds a home on the opening page of the programme for Les Enfants Terribles’ current production of Alice’s Adventures Underground at London’s Vaults Theatre, and for good reason. Produced by ebp, Emma Brunjes Productions, this show has been revised and refined since its sell-out run in 2015 and continues to push the boundaries of immersive theatre: giving...

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‘Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing’

One of the most wonderfully volatile fringe theatre productions of recent years has set up shop in London’s Leicester Square Theatre: this is Shakespeare, but not as you know it. Established in 2010, and self-described as the “deeply highbrow fusion of an entirely serious Shakespeare play with an entirely shit-faced cast member”,[1] “Shit-Faced Shakespeare” attempt to perform a heavily condensed version of one of the Bard’s classics whilst having to contend with the unexpected outbursts of one heavily inebriated cast member. What results is a hilariously chaotic show, which generically falls somewhere between theatre and improvised comedy. For their...

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Cheek by Jowl: ‘The Winter’s Tale’

Cheek by Jowl are a theatre company that pride themselves on being innovative and offering something a little different. With an emphasis on producing theatre in a variety of different languages (namely English, French, and Russian), they have also to date delivered the British premieres of ten European classics.[1] The foundation of their repertoire, however, has always been Shakespeare, and so it is a welcome sight to see them back on the London stage with their current production of The Winter’s Tale. This production (in English), currently showing at London’s Silk Street Theatre, will complete its UK tour in...

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Brave New Word – ‘Legacy: What We Leave Behind’

Self-described as a “Nomadic showcase of London’s new writing talent”,[1] Brave New Word provides a performance space for newly written pieces of all genres, setting them alongside each other in order to explore a particular theme. Established in 2015, previous themes explored by Brave New Word include Instantmatch: Love in the Age of Tinder and Breakup Britain: Out of the Ashes of Brexit, and last week saw the coming together of fifteen new pieces of writing to examine the theme, Legacy: What We Leave Behind. In a time where predictions of the future are becoming increasingly apocalyptic, taking a...

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Le Gateau Chocolat: ‘Black’

The advertising for this production of Le Gateau Chocolat: Black features prominently a quote from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”. This piece of wisdom from Angelou can often be found superimposed over photographs of dramatic sunsets to be shared on social media, but it makes perfect sense to attach it to Black. This is a show in which Le Gateau Chocolat really does birth an untold story and offers an often heart-breaking, but also regularly humorous depiction of a life as an outsider...

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Fighting Against the Tide: ‘Sea Fret’ At the Old Red Lion Theatre

 “A ‘clean up’, that’s what they’re calling this, they’ll clean us up along with it, this’ll be the beginning. They’ve got no qualms taking away the actual history of a place.”[1] The Old Red Lion Theatre, one of London’s finest fringe theatre venues, is currently playing host to the debut of Tallulah Brown’s Sea Fret. Described on the back of the published edition of the script as “a paean to her native Suffolk coastline”,[2] Sea Fret sees Brown explore the damage being wrought by coastal erosion on local history and communities on England’s East Coast. This is not a...

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Getting Down and Dirty: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Young Vic

The Young Vic’s current production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not the whimsical comedy about naïve lovers and pesky fairies that one may expect. It is an earthy (literally) exploration of the dark side of human relationships, and the role of theatre in society. Director Joe Hill-Gibbons said in an interview with The Guardian that Shakespeare’s Dream is “really quite a deep and dark play about how difficult it is to sustain relationships, and the way people manipulate and hurt each other, even torture each other, intentionally or otherwise”.[1] This production, which cuts the play down into a...

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Rounds: Humanising Junior Doctors

“It’s like I’m on this treadmill… and somebody else is choosing the gears” Our current unending media frenzy about healthcare has made the figure of “the doctor” a somewhat dehumanised entity. The real people who work to keep the NHS functioning are subsumed into the larger political entity of the profession as a whole: pieces on a chessboard whose lives are subject to various “efficiency savings”.  Rounds is a show that delves beneath the headlines and the politics of the current crisis in the NHS to examine the human aspect of being a junior doctor. In order to achieve...

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