All stories by Louise Penn on BroadwayStars

Sunday, October 25, 2020

‘Highlights the creativity displayed by female writers during this pandemic’: PRESS PLAY – Popelei Theatre by Louise Penn

A season of new digital performances written and performed by a female-led creative team, Press Play offers bite-sized chances to escape from the worries of the current world situation.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

‘Quirky, knowing, endearingly awkward, innovative & inventive’: FIRST DATE – Crazy Coqs (Online review) by Louise Penn

A Broadway musical turned streamed extravaganza, First Date is a co-production from Lambert Jackson and Crazy Coqs and features an awkward encounter between Jewish Aaron (Simon Lipkin) and a…

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

‘A special piece of theatre’: FINDING PERCY EREBUS – Elephant Talk Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

With a startingly original score by Sam MacDonald, clowning, puppetry, and different video and audio effects, a variety of settings and emotions are conjured up Finding Percy Erebus, a depic…

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

‘Just the thing to lift the spirits’: BUYER & CELLAR – Above The Stag Theatre by Louise Penn

There’s a lot to unpick from camp comedy Buyer and Cellar set in Barbra Streisand’s basement mall (as described in the chunky book she wrote about designing her Malibu estate) which has …

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Friday, October 16, 2020

‘Offers psychological chills from the start’: MACBETH – Big Telly Theatre Company (Online review) by Louise Penn

With some scenes of conflict filmed in a style which evokes the “found-footage” style seen in The Blair Witch Project and others, this Big Telly Theatre Company’s Macbeth – for which…

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Monday, October 12, 2020

‘Thoughtful tale’: QUARTER LIFE CRISIS – Bridge Theatre by Louise Penn

As part of the one-person play series which has reopened the Bridge Theatre, Quarter Life Crisis brings the story of Alicia to the stage as she approaches her 26th birthday.

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Friday, October 9, 2020

‘It is the small moments that matter’: APOLLO 13 – THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – Original Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

While Original Theatre’s Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon is largely filmed in the homes of actors, the audience is taken straight into the interior of the spacecraft as a mission whic…

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

‘A feast for the eyes & ears’: WAIT FOR ME (Online review) by Louise Penn

Without pieces of art like Wait For Me – and this mixes music, theatre, ballet, cinema, storytelling and production – the world would be a far lonelier place.

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

‘A chance for performers to come back & shine’: The Theatre Channel – The Theatre Cafe (Online review) by Louise Penn

The Theatre Channel showcases classics from musical theatre in a variety of settings for the digital age, so fans can enjoy their favourite songs and stars from the comfort of home.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

‘We want to come back bigger & better & stronger than ever: What a first year for Hope Theatre’s AD Kennedy Bloomer by Louise Penn

Welcome back to the Fringe Focus series of interviews with artistic directors around London. Recently I caught up with Kennedy Bloomer, who has been running the Hope Theatre (above the Hope …

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Monday, September 28, 2020

‘A whole lifetime of joy & pain packed into this tale’: BEFORE AFTER – Southwark Playhouse by Louise Penn

Filmed simply and elegantly in the Little auditorium at Southwark Playhouse, Before After places all our attention on the problems of these two people as they begin again.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

‘The surround sound is disturbingly realistic at times’: Double – Darkfield Radio by Louise Penn

A 20 minute audio experience for two people, Double is a psychological puzzle set in any normal kitchen, against any normal kitchen table.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

‘Showcases 3 actors at the top of their game’: FAITH HEALER – Old Vic (Online review) by Louise Penn

Ultimately this Old Vic in Camera production of Faith Healer, starring Michael Sheen, David Threlfall and Indira Varma, is a flawless rendition of a deeply engrossing and emotional text.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

‘I’m looking forward to welcoming people back’: David Brady describes how it feels to be reopening the Lion & Unicorn Theatre by Louise Penn

Welcome back to Fringe Focus, our series putting a spotlight on smaller theatres. Today’s guest is the artistic director of the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, David Brady. As well as running …

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Monday, September 14, 2020

‘A riot of filth in words & gestures’: PINOCCHIO GETS WOOD – Guildford Fringe Theatre Company (Online review) by Louise Penn

Strictly 18-plus, Pinocchio Gets Wood is a riot of filth in words and gestures right from the first appearance of Dame Ciabatta Myflange (the tireless Daniel Page). No Widow Twankey, this Da…

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Friday, September 11, 2020

‘A complex play which will make you laugh & cry’: ROSE – Hope Mill Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Martin Sherman’s intense play is revived by Hope Mill Theatre with an absorbing performance from Maureen Lipman as the 80-year-old recounting the events of her life.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

‘The tale is in turns mystical & magical’: HOLLOW – The Space UK (Online review) by Louise Penn

Included in the shows offered at this year’s digital Edinburgh Fringe, comes Hollow. It is a musical from performer David Kent and collaborator Dereck Walker, weaving supernatural stories …

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Sunday, September 6, 2020

’It has been traumatic’: Iris Theatre’s Paul-Ryan Carberry on life for the company pre & post lockdown by Louise Penn

Welcome back to Fringe Focus, putting a spotlight on smaller theatres. Following my attendance at Dear Peter last month, the series reopens with the artistic director of Iris Theatre, Paul-R…

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

‘The subtleties & concerns of this story are universal’: SAFE SPACE (Online review) by Louise Penn

Teater V’s Safe Space faces a tough subject head on with some style while always staying one step ahead of its audience.

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Monday, August 31, 2020

‘Stays sharp & relevant’: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: THE CONCERT – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre by Louise Penn

It seems extremely apt for the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park to resurrect its celebrated production of Jesus Christ Superstar just as live theatre starts to take the first tentative st…

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Friday, August 28, 2020

‘Superb & enjoyable musical treat’: GODSPELL THE CONCERT (Online review) by Louise Penn

The marvellous Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester has co-produced Godspell The Concert with Ginger Quiff Media.

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

‘Will disturb & amuse, provoke & enthuse’: 52 SOULS – Chronic Insanity (Online review) by Louise Penn

Chronic Insanity’s final show of 12 in lockdown may well be their best, with each virtual performance a random set of pieces chosen by the viewer from a deck of cards.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

‘This piece has some zinging one-liners’: UNTIL THE AD BREAK – Maverick Charles Productions (Online review) by Louise Penn

You can catch Until the Ad Break at [email protected] until the end of August. It is a reimagined scene from the company’s 2018 show, 21 Minutes, created and filmed during lockdown.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Got a few minutes? Then why not catch an Edinburgh Fringe show from The Space UK (Online review) by Louise Penn

Welcome to the virtual Edinburgh Fringe. Here I look at the shows made available via The Space UK which run under ten minutes duration. All are available until 31 August at [email protected]

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

‘I was fully invested in these people & their discussions’: JURY – Park Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

A new play written for lockdown by Martin Murray, Jury puts us into the jury room – or Zoom – as 12 people on furlough come together to consider a case against a high-profile white femal…

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

‘Fun, family-friendly & warm-hearted’: ALICE: A VIRTUAL THEME PARK – Creation Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Alice: A Virtual Theme Park is ultimately a show of charm and occasional barbed wit, which is fun for both families or adults. You don’t have to switch your video on and join in, but it is…

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Friday, August 14, 2020

‘There is an immediacy which pulls you into the action’: GRIP – Reading Fringe (Online review) by Louise Penn

Not for the faint-hearted, Grip is worth a look to consider what it adds to a constant contemporary debate. It is available for free once you have registered for the Reading Fringe.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

‘A complex & fascinating character from the Stuart era’: THE MASKS OF APHRA BEHN / ORANGES & INK (Online review) by Louise Penn

Claire Louise Amias’ pair of plays, The Masks of Aphra Behn and Oranges & Ink, resurrect Aphra Behn from a place of relative obscurity into sharp relief as a chatty, warm, and witty ra…

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

‘Reimagined with the voices front & centre’: NATALIE BARNEY’S LAST SALON – Reading Fringe (Online review) by Louise Penn

As an audio play for three rather than a stage monologue, Natalie Barney’s Last Salon is directed by Fiona Leonard and reimagined with the voices front and centre.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

‘Completely accessible & inclusive’: MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER – Hot Coals Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

By developing a language which is uniquely that of the theatre, the world in which Hot Coals Theatre’s film My Darling Christopher exists comes to life.

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

’An important addition to the discourse around disability’: INVISIBLE MUSIC (Online review) by Louise Penn

A bold initiative from Platform 4 comes to your computer screen with this new immersive digital film. Invisible Music starts from the point of considering the issues around hearing loss but …

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue