All stories by Louise Penn on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

‘It’s all rather lovely’: ISLANDER – Radio 4 (BBC Sounds) by Louise Penn

New musicals like the award-winning Islander continue to challenge the status quo of what the genre can offer. The two-hander cast of Kirsty Findlay and Bethany Tennick p...

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Monday, January 25, 2021

‘Interesting exploration of the seedy side of internet fame’: CONTROVERSY – Living Record Festival (Online review) by Louise Penn

A six-part web series about social influencers, Controversy is filmed entirely on Zoom. It is written by Maya Katherine, who stars as Hayley, a student who aims to hit the big time and becom…

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

‘An absurdist piece of mischief’: I STOLE SATAN’S GIRLFRIEND – Thornhill Theatre Space (Online review) by Louise Penn

Scott McQuaid’s short play premiered on the virtual Thornhill Theatre Space. At just 14 minutes, I Stole Satan’s Girlfriend feels more like a television comedy sketch than a fully-fledge…

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

‘Part Zoom meeting, part supernatural chiller’: BROKEN LINK – Living Record Festival (Online review) by Louise Penn

What starts as a glimpse into a private chat between friends becomes something much more complicated and dark as Broken Link progresses.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

‘Open, thought-provoking, funny & heartbreaking’: OVERFLOW – Bush Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

New play Overflow by Travis Alabanza returns as a digital stream and proves to be an intriguing hour about the politics of women’s bathrooms and who is allowed in them.

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Friday, January 15, 2021

’An intriguing piece of work’: ALIVE – [email protected] – Season 2 (Online review) by Louise Penn

Alive feels a very sensitive exploration of close companionship despite clear differences, and the discussion around “letting go” were starkly presented, slickly directed by Penny Cole.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

‘It’s raw, brave & controlled’: AVALANCHE – Bloom Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The beauty of Avalanche is not just in the poetry of its words, but also the honesty it displays on tough subjects within scene changes and forbidding musical motifs.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

‘We need the escapism of entertainment more & more’: All I Want for Christmas Is Theatre / Hopeful Holidays (Online review) by Louise Penn

A double whammy of festive musical frolics for the festive season reached us with the launch of Thespie’s All I Want For Christmas Is Theatre and The Theatre Channel’s fourth episode Hop…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

‘Dorothy but not as you remember her’: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ – Creation Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The wide range of characters, sound and visual effects, and pithy commentary make for excellent entertainment in Creation Theatre’s The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

‘Delivers both smiles & retrospection’: WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS (Online review) by Louise Penn

Directed by Michael Strassen and produced by Ginger Quiff Media and Guy Chapman, We Need a Little Christmas from St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden is a hearty bowl of punch you will not wa…

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

‘The perfect accompaniment’: OOPS! I STREAMED IT AGAIN (Online review) by Louise Penn

Thespie has “done it again” with Oops! I Streamed It Again, a lively concert featuring some of the stars of West End musical on hiatus, & Juliet. In a pause where the singe...

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

‘The atmosphere was buzzing’: SHOWSTOPPER! THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL – Garrick Theatre by Louise Penn

The Showstopper gang haves had a busy time of it in lockdown (including their Alternative Eurovision and an online musical improv) and now they are back for a residency at the Garrick Theatr…

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Monday, December 7, 2020

‘Charms with its songs & sense of showbusiness’: THE FABULIST FOX SISTER – Southwark Playhouse (Online review) by Louise Penn

Luke Bateman and Michael Conley have written a piece in The Fabulist Fox Sister which may still have the odd rough edge, and which rushes through their subject’s string of misfortunes late…

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

‘Glorious, campy & traditional’: JACK & THE BEANSTALK – Online review by Louise Penn

A glorious, campy and traditional pantomime conceived and co-directed by Peter Duncan, Jack & the Beanstalk steams into Everyman cinemas/online from 4 December 2020 and Showcase cinemas …

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

‘You may want to sleep with the light on afterwards’: ETERNAL – Darkfield Radio (Online review) by Louise Penn

Darkfield Radio is back with a new show, Eternal, this time for one person, in bed. It is just as creepy as the others, using a soundscape through headphones to give you the shivers.

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Monday, November 30, 2020

‘Fizzes with energy’: THE HOUSE THAT JACKSON BUILT – Half Moon Theatre (Online review) by Louise Penn

The Half Moon Theatre has been sharing a wide variety of shows for children during theatre lockdown, and in its latest, The House That Jackson Built written and performed by Justin Coe, they…

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

‘Has become more cinematic with each episode’: The Theatre Channel – Episode Three (Online review) by Louise Penn

Filmed inside The Theatre Cafe and out and about, this latest episode of The Theatre Channel’s series of musical theatre showcases features songs from rock musicals.

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Friday, November 27, 2020

‘Each minute counts’: SHAKEN – The Actors Centre (Online review) by Louise Penn

Currently streaming via The Actors Centre, Shaken is a one-person production by writer/director/performer Mariana Lafón.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

‘Seeing the piece from several angles is liberating’: UNFAMILIAR AT HOME – ArtsDepot (Online review) by Louise Penn

Unfamiliar is a sensitive piece of work which explores a facet of queerness and masculinity we do not often see.

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Monday, November 23, 2020

‘Pulled me in & out from what was unfolding on screen’: THE HUNGER ARTIST – CVIV Arts (Online review) by Louise Penn

An “absurdist adaptation of Kafka” by CVIV Arts, The Hunger Artist opens with three people brightly lit on a stage with wooden flooring. A chalk board detailing “warder” and “day…

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

‘A tour de force performance in a brilliant monologue’: THE POLTERGEIST – Southwark Playhouse (Online review) by Louise Penn

A tour de force performance (mark Joseph Potter as one to watch) in a brilliant monologue on an empty stage, you will not want to miss Philip Ridley’s The Poltergeist.

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Friday, November 20, 2020

‘There is love up here on the screen & it shows’: UTE LEMPER – RENDEZVOUS WITH MARLENE (Online review) by Louise Penn

More of a dramatic piece than a concert, Ute Lemper (once described as “the new Marlene”) brings back the memory of the progressive woman, “Hollywood icon, chanteuse, soldier”, throu…

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Monday, November 16, 2020

‘A lot of thought is given to the online audience experience’: MISFITS – Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch (Online theatre) by Louise Penn

When the writing is tight, fresh and more character driven, Misfits is very much worth a watch.

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

‘Brings actions into sharp relief’: RIGHT LEFT WITH HEELS – STIGMAcollective (Online review) by Louise Penn

This 50-minute film of STIGMAcollective’s right left with heels, returning for a second year to the Voilà Europe Festival at The Cockpit, remains a piece of power and intellect on the scr…

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

‘Thoughtfully written & delivered‘: You Don’t Know Me, But… – The Telephone Theatre by Louise Penn

Lockdown theatre has offered a lot of inventive ways to deliver performances – Zoom, email, through the post, on WhatsApp, and in the case of You Don’t Know Me, But…, a one-to-one perf…

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

‘Clever immersive adventure game’: VIPER SQUAD – CtrlAltRepeat (Online review) by Louise Penn

You will quickly feel involved, in Viper Squad and have to think on your feet, retain a lot of information and trust your instincts. The Viper Squad relies on you.

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Saturday, November 7, 2020

‘The usual stereotypes are shaken’: TWO – Guildford Fringe (Online review) by Louise Penn

Jim Cartwright’s Two is a snapshot of its time and its people, their abject poverty and aspiration to escape clearly underlined.

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Friday, November 6, 2020

‘Utterly involving’: THE BARREN AUTHOR – Spiteful Puppet (Online review) by Louise Penn

Richard O’Brien returns like a welcome glass of fine wine to take centre stage in the six-part audio piece, The Barren Author, written by Paul Birch from a treatment by director/producer B…

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

‘These women are full of strength & fire’: LITTLE WARS (Online review) by Louise Penn

The world of Little Wars is one where women can make a difference, and bond together, despite their obvious differences.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

‘Provides hugely satisfactory chills to its captive audience’: STAY SAFE – New Perspectives (Online review) by Louise Penn

In the spirit of continued inventiveness under these odd times, spooky drama Stay Safe from New Perspectives takes place entirely over WhatsApp.

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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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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes