Archive review: 5***** Finding Joy @vamostheatre @marlowetheatre

Originally posted on Review Hub in 2014

With Vamos theatre coming back to the Marlowe on the 4th of October, I thought it was time to reshare my review of Finding Joy. This is an amazing play and worth every tear!

A fully masked play with no dialogue about dementia? Well, that sounds like a finding joyharrowing night out – but I promise, this is a play which is more than worth the tears.

If you ever ranked types of theatre with mime firmly at the bottom, Finding Joy will change your mind completely. I was certainly one of those people who would never have considered going to see a mime/mask performance but in the last few months, I have seen two fabulous productions, including this one, and I won’t look back.

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Review: ROYAL VAUXHALL 5***** @thervt ‏

#Tweetingit: Princess Diana. Freddie Mercury. Kenny Everett. Drag. Drugs. A fabulous gay bar – what more do you want? 5*

Yep, you heard right…

‘Royal Vauxhall’ tells the alleged tale of Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett and Princess Diana and their wild night out at one of London’s legendary gay venues, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.Twenty years after her untimely demise and based on real accounts, Royal Vauxhall commemorates Diana’s death with a insightful play on a right royal night out.

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Review: 5***** The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time @curiousonstage @marlowetheatre

#tweeting it: 5***** An emotional, poignant and, in parts, funny portrayal of the struggles of people with autism. This production is astonishing

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted for stage by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s mystery novel, is very much a work about obsessions.curious 3 The more obvious of these obsessions are those of the protagonist, Christopher, portrayed quite amazingly by Scott Reid, who we meet crouched on the floor next to the corpse of the titular dog at the beginning of the play. They are clear and laid out, elucidated in character monologues, ably assisted by some fantastic LED based set design.

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5***** The Ginstitute at The Portobello Star @the_ginstitute

#Tweetingit – 5***** – A Gincredible experience for gin lovers and newcomers alike

Now  technically this isn’t a theatre review, but a masterclass review, but we think that it felt like a lot of the immersive, interactive theatre events that have been springing up around London of late.  Oh, and we totally loved it so think that everyone should go!


A group of 4 of us attended as part of the seemingly year-long 30th birthday celebrations for Playhouse Pickings’ very own Rhiannon Lawson – who happens to be rather a fan of “mother’s ruin”.  Two more of us are practised gin-soaks and our fourth has recently discovered that gin isn’t all that bad if you don’t add tonic to it, so is very much on a learning curve at the moment.

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News and interview: Nina Conti, the Caring Stage Mother of Cyborgs part 1 @ninaconti @newwimbtheatre

Hearing the voice of Nina Conti is normal. But when it is coming from your phone it is a little strange. You normally hear it when you can see Nina Conti, but are being lead, through suggestion and stage craft, to not think it is 30700_fullcoming from her mouth but instead that of one of her puppet friends or, more recently, unsuspecting audience members. But this isn’t that, this is a phone. I may be overthinking things because I am pleased and surprised to be talking to someone of whom I am a fan.
I have been a fan for many years, I’ll take care of my bias on Monday when I review Conti’s show ‘In Your Face’ but for now let’s be clear that she is cool, and this has a lot to do with the fact that her work is interesting, and constantly subverts the form of the tools and techniques she employs.
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Archive Reviews: 3*** A Hard Rain @abovethestag

Above the Stag is one of my favourite off westend theatres! Get to to see what’s on and coming up; I cannot recommend their “adult” pantos enough!

First published at

10th March 2014

Pros: A really nice change to see something slightly more serious coming from Above the Stag, and this show covers issues which are important to the gay rights movement.

Cons: Occasionally, some of the acting felt a little hammy and, considering the subject matter, the play wasn’t quite hard hitting enough. A-Hard-Rain-Review-Above-the-Stag2-620x330.jpg

A Hard Rain is the most recent, and slightly-more-serious-than-usual, play at Above the Stag. Writen by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, the play is set in 1960’s America on the eve of the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots were spontaneous and violent demonstrations by members of the gay community and are often seen as one of the most important events in the gay liberation movement. They are an important and provocative subject to tackle. Continue reading

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Archive Review: Tell me on a Sunday 3*** @martiwconcert

Marti Web is in concert now! For more details see

First published on

March 2014

Pros: You cannot go wrong with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beautiful music, performed by a brilliant band and a stage icon such as Marti Webb. index

Cons: Marti Webb doesn’t quite have the presence and range that she once did and therefore there are occasions on which the singing sounds a tad strained and uncomfortable. 


Webb is not as dynamic or strong as she once was but if you want to quench your thirst for nostalgia, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

You might want to pick your favourite place, such as a park covered in trees or a circus ring with a flying trapeze, and wait until Sunday for me to tell you this: Tell Me on a Sunday with Marti Webb, could have been better.

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Archive Reviews:5***** The Pearl @battersea_arts @DumbshowTheatre

An unmissable show – would recommend going to look at to see what this fabulous company have coming up now

First published at

26 November 2014

Summary: An incredible script moved effortlessly to the estate to create a charming and picturesque piece of drama that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Pros: A practically perfect production, with fantastic acting and a clever set touching on a number of serious themes without being too heavy going. The-Pearl-Review-Battersea-Arts-Centre.jpg

Cons: It is rare to struggle to find a con…the theatre is almost too small for this production, not because they need more space to perform but because it deserves a bigger audience

Adapted from John Steinbeck’s novella of the same name The Pearl, created and performed by Dumbshow Theatre, is a beautifully crafted and effortlessly performed play touching on a number of themes including love, loss, greed and social immobility.

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Archive reviews: Wyrd – Immercity – Secret Location @Immer_City

I started reviewing some time ago and I thought perhaps I should post some of my old reviews so they are all in one place. These will be coming up over the next week or so…

This one was my first experience of immersive theatre and the one which started my obsession with it. I havent seen Immercity’s productions for a while but they are definitely worth going to see!

First published at –

6 May 2013

Immersive theatre is an extremely popular style of performance at the moment and is it any wonder? 

Everything we do is interactive; we can press our buzzers while watching Britain’s Got Talent, wyrdcall in to vote for the next popstar, even text our opinions during the political debates running up to the General Election; so why not theatre too? Many companies now ask the audience to get involved and Immercity do this brilliantly. It has had great success with a number of productions and its most recent piece, Wyrd – which is part devised, part improvised using social media – is no exception.

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Review: 4**** The Last 5 Years . @MarloweTheatre @marlowestudio

#tweetingit 4* an emotional play well performed by an amateur company; expect to shed a tear.

t’s always great to see a local amateur company fitting perfectly into a theatre programme alongside the miread of fabulous professional shows which tread the boards –and Back of House Theatre Company do just this with The Last 5 Years at the Marlowe Theatre

The Last Five Years tells the story of Jamie and Cathy,  a successful author and struggling actor in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years.the_last_five_years_main As Jamie gets everything he wants, gaining his book deal and success he has always wanted, Cathy struggles to get work and understand why things aren’t going the way she hoped. With their lives and careers going in different directions, they struggle to stay connected and a mix of petty jealousy and immature egos begin to tear the two apart, decimating what was once a happy relationship.

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