All stories by Louise Penn on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 6, 2021

‘Intelligent & ambitious’: ROCKY ROAD – Jermyn Street Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

A tense, psychological thriller, Shaun McKenna’s new play Rocky Road is a two-hander set across a couple of flats where new tenant Kirsten Foster meets building manager Tyger Drew-Honey. T…

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

‘This is not just Zoom transferred to the screen’: The F*ck Am I Doing – Cow Collective (Online review) by Louise Penn

The digital revival of The F*ck Am I Doing marks the inaugural production of new writing initiative, The COW Community, founded by recent graduates of the Royal Central School of Speech and …

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Monday, May 3, 2021

‘Captures all the fun, eyebrow-raising, awkward silences of the beloved song contest’: EUROBEAT: THE PRIDE OF EUROPE – Stream.Theatre by Louise Penn

It’s the merry month of May, which means it is… Eurovision! To celebrate, is hosting a virtual revival of Craig Christie’s witty parody of our country cousins across Eur…

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

‘Fascinated by the script & staging throughout’: BEING MR WICKHAM – Original Theatre Company (Online review) by Louise Penn

Being Mr Wickham is a lovely idea: we are not just seeing the change in Wickham, but in Adrian Lukis portrayal. He clearly has a close affinity with the character and fits back into it perfe…

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

‘Economically written & absolutely truthful’: VESPERTILIO – King’s Head Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Barry McStay’s play Vespertilio, first staged at the Vault Festival in 2019, is a two-hander about bats, vampires, gay life, lies, and displacement.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

‘Lovingly detailed’: THERE’S SOMETHING AMONG US – Chronic Insanity (Online review) by Louise Penn

We are back on the dark side with the latest production from Chronic Insanity’s 12×12 project – There’s Something Among Us starts with the premise of five YouTubers who died in a fire…

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

‘The casting is an absolute master stroke’: CELLS – Metta Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Writer/director P Burton-Morgan and composer Ben Glasstone have developed a pair of characters in Cells who build their stories in song as they see the reflection of self in each other.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

‘It’s all about humanity’: SACRAMENT – King’s Head Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Following successful runs at The Theatre Upstairs in Dublin and The Vault Festival, Sacrament now comes to the King’s Head Theatre’s Plays on Film season.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

‘Melodically spot-on & lyrically fun’: I WISH MY LIFE WERE LIKE A MUSICAL – King’s Head Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

King’s Head Theatre and Spectacular Music present Alexander S. Bermange’s sparkling musical revue I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, which heads into London from the Edinburgh Fringe wi…

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Friday, April 23, 2021

‘A place for the performers to explore’: SOFT SESSIONS IN CONCERT – Stream.Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The idea behind YouTube’s series of Soft Sessions, launched last year, is “it’s time to ask the artist what art they want to create”. All six of the performers in this concert have e…

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

‘Costello is luminous in the title role’: PRIVATE PEACEFUL – Barn Theatre, Cirencester (Online review) by Louise Penn

A co-production from BoxLess Theatre and the Barn Theatre, and adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, Private Peaceful is the story of Private Thomas Peaceful (Emily Costello, the first…

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

‘Each story is unique, real & thoughtful’: SAFE – Hackney Empire (Online review) by Louise Penn

Safe is a verbatim play created and directed by Alexis Gregory (I reviewed his work previously in Sex/Crime). Previously performed at the Soho Theatre, this is now reimagined for the digital…

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

‘Engrossing from the first moment’: A SPLINTER OF ICE – Original Theatre Company (Online review) by Louise Penn

A Splinter of Ice is a ‘tell, not show’ play but it is engrossing from the first moment, and the characters feel completely believeable with their moments of resigned boredom, creaks of …

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Friday, April 16, 2021

‘Constantly surprises with the visuals it gives us’: NO FUTURE – Camden People’s Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The second commission in the Outside the Box series, No Future (written by Adam Welsh) is a multi-dimensional project bridging film, theatre and installation.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

‘Brings out the emotional heart of the piece’: ANTIGONE – Brave Mirror Productions (Online review) by Louise Penn

For Bristol-based Brave Mirror Productions, Antigone is adapted and directed by Jamie Saul, performed on Zoom, and edited by Thomas Duggan. The ten-strong cast are led by Gemma Lee (a powerf…

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘Displays a lot of good ideas’: GENERAL SECRETARY – Applecart Arts by Louise Penn

Applecart Arts’ General Secretary is a two-hander written and performed by two undoubtedly intelligent performers, Cassie Symes and Georgina Thomas, also known as Thick ‘n’ Fast. Their…

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

‘An enjoyable reimagining of this story’: PYGMALION – Talking Gods Festival (Online review) by Louise Penn

All this week, you can find a free premiere each night from Ross McGregor’s Talking Gods series of new plays on the website of theatre company Arrows & Traps, who specialise in classic…

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Monday, April 5, 2021

‘Strangers can share the most profound things’: OPEN MIC – Soho Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

This is a curious show: announced as a semi-improvised production with audience participation, Open Mic is streamed live from the Soho Theatre’s Cabaret Space.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

‘Feels very much of the here & now’: IN PLAIN SIGHT – Different Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

In Plain Sight is a surreal piece which toys with the expectations of both a digital ‘theatre’ piece and the historical characters it depicts.

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Friday, April 2, 2021

‘Uneasy watch, but a necessary one’: THE LESSON (Online review) by Louise Penn

At slightly under 40 minutes, The Lesson has moments which are both hilarious and educational, as well as making the audience think about the truly shocking messages being discussed.

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

‘Colourful & bright tale’: JABALA & THE JINN – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry (Online review) by Louise Penn

Jabala & The Jinn is a piece of drama which explores complex themes on growing up, honesty, and friendship.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

‘A work of art in its own right’: FLAVOUR TEXT – Chronic Insanity (Online review) by Louise Penn

Flavour Text is the fourth show in Chronic Insanity’s 12×12 project for 2021. A browser-based game in which clues are followed to solve a mystery, it follows previous shows Means of Produ…

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

‘Viewpoints sorely needed’: HEAR ME ROAR – Burn Bright (Online review) by Louise Penn

An excellent set of seven short plays made their debut on Monday night in a Zoom presentation called Hear Me Roar, produced by Burn Bright.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

‘Deeply effective & emotionally engaging’: BKLYN THE MUSICAL – Lambert Jackson Productions (Online review) by Louise Penn

BKLYN the Musical is assured, confident and dynamic, while staying true to its source material. I thoroughly enjoyed its innovation, cleverness and attention to detail.

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Monday, March 22, 2021

‘The music is magical & the visuals impressive’: DREAM – Royal Shakespeare Company (Online review) by Louise Penn

Dream, using motion capture of actors, animation, music and some audience interaction, is not an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but is inspired by the forest presented within it.…

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

‘Never flags in its delivery or pace’: WHERE THE BUGABOO LIVES – Little Angel Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Where The Bugaboo Lives is the Little Angel’s first Zoom production, performed live. It joins the productions which have been available for free on their YouTube channel during theatre clo…

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Saturday, March 20, 2021

‘An innovative & imaginative piece’: CURSE OF THE CRACKLES – Shoreditch Town Hall (Online review) by Louise Penn

The world premiere of “the great sonic adventure” Curse of the Crackles proves to be 45 minutes of utter fun. Find yourself a dark space or wear an eye mask, plug in your headphones, and…

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Friday, March 19, 2021

‘The music is absolutely beautiful’: LOVE IN THE LOCKDOWN (Online review) by Louise Penn

A web series from medieval music group The Telling, written and produced by their artistic director Clare Norburn; the third episode of Love in the Lockdown will land on YouTube on 23 March …

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

‘A narrative that entertains & educates’: JINA & THE STEM SISTERS – HMDT Music (Online review) by Louise Penn

Jina and the STEM Sisters is the story of young aspiring scientist Jina, who meets key women from the fields of Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths (STEM) as she tries to find her way home.…

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

‘Pulling back the layers’: BIRDS & BEES – Theatre Centre (Online review) by Louise Penn

A production of the Theatre Centre, in association with Soho Theatre, Birds and Bees is an important new dramatic addition to the discussion around sexting, consent, and “revenge porn”.

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

‘A light touch & a dose of laughter’: FABLES AT THE KITCHEN TABLE – Stute Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Soph is a storyteller, sharing tales from Aesop’s Fables to a virtual audience of school groups on Zoom. Fables at the Kitchen Table is the latest show from Stute Theatre, aimed at childre…

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All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre