All stories by Louise Penn on BroadwayStars

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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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

‘Intriguing piece’: 24, 23, 22 – Chronic Insanity (Online review) by Louise Penn

24, 23, 22, the latest production from theatre whizzes Chronic Insanity runs about 48 minutes, and is viewed across two devices (computer and phone).

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

‘Not simply a journey through history’: The Road to Prominence / Break Free – Thespie (Online review) by Louise Penn

Thespie has launched its newest concerts in celebration of Black musicians and composers, and of LGBTQIA+ performers. These are now available on demand, and their proceeds go to Black Lives …

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Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘A entertaining confection in the old Broadway style’: DADDY LONG LEGS – Boulevard Productions (Online theatre) by Louise Penn

Daddy Long Legs is an entertaining confection in the old Broadway style, filmed before an audience at the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, and presented by Boulevard Productions.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

‘Your chance to boogie in the stars’: HOTLINE – Tron Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

A new audio experience from Tron Theatre and Produced Moon, Hotline is an interactive piece over the telephone, concerning a call to the Moon.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

‘Each performance is well worth seeing’: SECRET SOCIETY OF LEADING LADIES – Barn Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies is the latest initiative from the Barn Theatre and it gives you, the viewer, the power to create your own concert.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

‘Simply unmissable’: THE COLOR PURPLE – Curve Leicester (Online review) by Louise Penn

I have loved both book and film of The Color Purple for as long as I can remember. Alice Walker’s novel of strong black females in an America which sees them as not just second-class citiz…

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

‘Perhaps the best one yet’: The Theatre Channel – Episode 5 The Classics of Broadway (Online review) by Louise Penn

We are now into a third lockdown, but the Theatre Cafe and Adam Blanshay Productions continue undeterred with the Theatre Channel’s musical theatre spectaculars.

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Friday, February 19, 2021

‘A hard-hitting fusion of text, images & sound’: AND BREATHE – Living Record Festival (Online review) by Louise Penn

Twelve minutes is the average lifespan of a plastic bag, we are told at the start of Mark Conway and Alex Packer’s hard-hitting fusion of text, images and sound, And Breathe.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

‘Beautifully written & engagingly performed’: ALL ON HER OWN – (Online review) by Louise Penn

All On Her Own is an unusual monologue which holds the attention throughout; although perhaps the borderline hysterics of the original version are ultimately truer to the play as written.

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

‘Amusing look at love in lockdown’: VALENTINE’S SKETCH SHOW – Northern Comedy Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The material in Valentine’s Sketch Show feels a little rough at times, but when things click and the company runs with it, you do have a giggle. However, Northern Comedy Theatre (ba…

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All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre