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Review: The Taming of the Shrew @ The Barbican

Until recently, all that I knew about the plot of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew was what I had seen in 10 Things I Hate About You: the frosty, hostile Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) softens when she accidentally falls for the slightly intimidating Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). On my way to London, to see this production I felt reasonably excited by the prospect of watching the original play. The idea of going to see a performance at the Barbican over the Christmas period sounds enticing – especially when it is to watch something as cultured as a Shakespeare play. Little did I know that I would not be so pleased afterwards. Continue reading Review: The Taming of the Shrew @ The Barbican

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Review: Quirk Theatre’s ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ @ Exeter Phoenix

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A delightful, magical, and charming rendition of the timeless children’s book to warm every audience member’s heart this festive season.

When I went to see Quirk Theatre’s adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, I must admit that I was dubious and had a few questions. In particular, how was this cast going to convey and embody the actions and emotions of a stuffed rabbit? However, Quirk Theatre quashed all my doubts and left me yearning to re-read the charming children’s book in order to re-live their heartwarming production of the story.  Continue reading Review: Quirk Theatre’s ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ @ Exeter Phoenix

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Review: Exeter University’s Shakespeare Company’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Love’s Labour’s Lost, a poetic story of four couples, is a rarely performed gem by Shakespeare. I especially have a soft spot for the character of Berwone whose romantic iambic pentameter burrowed their way into my heart quite a few years ago. This production was able to adapt the story successfully by keeping the central point relevant, and making the humour and wit punchy.  Continue reading Review: Exeter University’s Shakespeare Company’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’

Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall

It was always going to feel weird at a gig in the same place I’ve been forced to do so many exams. I was just getting past that, and the ridiculous Freshers’ Ball flashbacks (hello Professor Green), when the first surprise came out: Arlo Parks. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough to find out beforehand, but who was supporting Loyle Carner on his epic European tour seemed to be the best kept secret and one I was grateful to finally hear. Continue reading Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall

Review: Bleak House@Exeter Northcott

Atmospheric, theatrical, dirty and playful. Artaud and Brecht as a way to explore this episodic novel.

A dark and challenging night of theatre. If that’s what you like, you will be a fan of David Glass Ensemble’s production of Bleak House. What they do, they do very well.

The company of actors in white face paint with exaggerated facial features emerge around the audience, inciting gentle participation and thrusting the story right in our faces. It is expressionistic, visceral and self-aware. Scenes gel into one another, actors transform into different characters in front of our eyes, and the set of two-story scaffolding with removable wooden slabs and vertical steps literally frames the narrative. The whole stage is placed onto a layer of dirt and the costumes indicate the worn-out feel so vividly presented in Charles Dickens’ novel. Continue reading Review: Bleak House@Exeter Northcott

Review: Thunder Road @ Exeter Phoenix

Two Friends. Voluntary First Aid service. A desire to be of use which has come about from a dissatisfaction with the real world. Stand-up comedy, narrative storytelling, influence from both real life and a road trip tragic comedy. This show has all of these elements, often joining together ideas which would initially seem difficult to connect. It is a testament to the skills and experience of its creative team. Continue reading Review: Thunder Road @ Exeter Phoenix