Reviews: Callum Hughes: Thirst, Love’s A Beach, For A Brief Moment And Never Again Since and Intruder | Intruz, VAULT Festival 2023

Callum Hughes: Thirst, Studio

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pure magic from start to finish, one of the most incredible storytellers we’ve every seen. 

Callum Hughes’ Thirst is the perfect blend of music, storytelling, comedy and purpose. Navigating Callum’s relationship predominantly with alcohol, secondarily his relationship with music and performing, it tenderly comprises of stories from childhood, up to just a few years ago. Hughes dextrously weaves known and original music into this autobiographical tour-de-force, as well as underscoring his own storytelling, creating a beautiful and eclectic soundtrack to his life so far. Perceptively capturing both a sense of his thoughts and feelings in those moments, as well as providing an elucidation on his character, relationships, influences and background. 

Dealing mostly with alcoholism, concluding with how Callum nearly joined the 27 Club a few months ahead of his 28th birthday, the direct result of his reliance on alcohol and ability to convince himself that his intake was normal. It is through this stark storytelling that, Hughes’ delivers both an honest and impactful piece that is sincere and meaningful, but ultimately not too heavy, as it is equally full to brim with light comedic moments, and a much-appreciated conversational approach. The piece does wonderful job of shedding light upon sobriety, something few are willing to talk about, or see little need for, Hughes’ excellently de-stigmatising it. Callum’s intake is initially influenced by pub culture and goes unchecked by himself as he becomes known for being a bit of a boozer and uses it as a coping mechanism for feeling a bit down. He experiences some gentle warnings from friends and family, but interprets them as out of proportion. The way this is communicated expedites his experience perfectly, in a tangible and entertaining way.

Leaving the audience with an impactful insight into alcoholism and sobriety. Hughes is also an incredibly charismatic performer, as well as a stellar musician, he holds the audience in the palm of his hand from the off and creates this safe space, that feels laid back and almost like being in the pub with mates (even when you’re not), it’s fun, nostalgic, musically inviting and simply wonderful!

Callum Hughes: Thirst is on at VAULT Festival until Sun 29th Jan, or on tour. Click here to book now.

Writer/Performer: Callum Hughes

Co-Directors: Roann Hassani McCloskey & David Shopland

Producer: Fake Escape

Marketing and Design: David Shopland 

PR Consultant: Annie Abelman 

Love’s A Beach, Cage

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Side-splittngly good fun!

Katie Sayer and Will Johnston‘s exposé on influencer culture is a Gen Z theatrical feast and masterclass in comedy writing. The show imagines the life of an influencer power-couple who, having been runners-up in a popular TV dating show (cough, cough Love Island – although not explicitly named), are trying to navigate both their relationship. 6 months after being on the show together and, the varied options of brand deals / opportunities that derive from their large followings and TV exposure. Cyrus and Ben, the LGBTQ+ couple and protagonists couldn’t be more different in their views and approaches to social media and influencing, delving deep into the pressures of keeping up follower counts, the competitive nature of staying relevant and having a moral stand-point on brand promotions. With as many twists and turns as a modern tabloid media circus, Sayer and Johnston’s piece is a satirical triumph, coupled with Phoebe Barrett‘s expert direction, the hilarity doesn’t stop.

When Cyrus is offered a golden opportunity, in the form of a one-month influencer trip with Sam to Dubai in order to promote a hotel chain, Sam is the only one who sees the obvious issue with them taking up the opportunity, whilst Cyrus is absorbingly focussed on growing his follower count up to, and beyond 1 million, whatever it takes. Making the piece, not just a barrage of comedy, but also intuitive of today, from its commentary on the LGBTQ+ experience, to the cut-throat nature of online relevancy and the fragility of public image, particularly how it can be manipulated and is constantly dissected by the masses online. Segueing perfectly in the design, as sound bites of a chorus keyboard warriors, tabloid views and gossip blogs, expertly weave the piece together, doing much to insinuate the dangerous and efficacious nature of social media and how opinions voiced behind a screen can be insensitive and radicalised.

Performance-wise, James Akka (Cyrus) and Iain Ferrier (Sam) are the top of their game. Akka has impeccable comedic timing, whilst their talent for physical and facial comedy is certainly something to be jealous of here. Ferrier is the perfect foil to Akka, equally as quick-witted and engaging, they are a robust performer, able to bounce off the flamboyance of Akka, effortlessly creating a diametrically-opposed and more down-to-earth character, the ideal contrast. And both are clearly names to watch out for in the future.

Writers: Will Johnston and Katie Sayer

Cyrus: James Akka

Ben: Iain Ferrier

Director: Phoebe Barrett

Technical Director: Sam Frakes

Intruder | Intruz, Network Theatre

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Intruder | Intruz is one of the strongest one-man performances you will ever see. This bilingual, autobiographical storm is one man’s journey through trauma, PTSD snd forgiveness. Told from Remi’s own perspective, by himself, in his native language, (Polish) and in English, the piece uniquely time hops, and bounces between Scotland and Poland, charting Remi’s life before and until he reaches his ambition to be an actor.

Although the piece is so fast-paced and at times, disjointed, making it hard to navigate at times, requiring those who only speak one of the two languages, to follow it partially based on tone and action alone, Remi Rachuba is simply a spell-binding performer and it is difficult to truly feel lost with them guiding you through it. Rachuba captures the vulnerability of a victim, the PTSD and embarrassment involved in experiencing trauma eloquently and powerfully, he also shades this to perfection with humour and warmth in the delivery. Whilst Rachuba’s writing is equally as raw, brutal, combative and filled with intelligence, we feel as if we are right there with him in his consciousness as he processes events and battles with fear. In fact there is so much there, it can feel like an overload at times.

Marcus Montgomery Roche‘s direction is inspired, they keep the energy up and the story flowing, navigating a complex web of events and mental triggers with ease. The design compartmentalises these events and triggers into an array of shoes, some becoming indicative of characters, helping Remi’s sporadic mental processing of the attack become more tangible.

Overall Intruder | Intruz is not light watching, it is challenging and complex, but it is also incredibly unique and a story well-worth telling. Whilst Remi Rachuba is a star.

To keep up to date with Intruder | Intruz click here, on again at VAULT Festival Sun 29th Jan.

Actor/Writer/Producer: Remi Rachuba

Director: Marcus Montgomery Roche

Set and Costume Designer: Basia Bińkowska

Lighting and Sound Design / Show Op Technician: Charles Webber

Poster Design: Cindy Derby

For a Brief Moment and Never Again Since, Pit

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Judi Amato‘s writing provides a solid exploration of a relationship, weaving in the joy from its beginnings, to its challenges and its final fizzling conclusion. Demonstrating the best and worst of Owen and Sarah and the couple’s best and worst moments, Amato does a wonderful job of exploring criminal incarceration from both the offender’s and their family’s perspective. Doing much to elucidate upon the complexities of relationships caught up in the judicial system and the strain it causes from both sides, particularly the negative stigma faced by the family, socially punished for a crime they didn’t commit.

Stylistically, the piece is fantastic. Lisa Miller‘s direction is clear and concise, the physical theatre moments do much to break the piece up and convey the character’s frustration. Performed dextrously by Monique Anderson (Sarah) and Peter James (Owen) who are both excellent actors and physical performers. The work is also performed in the round and does much to envelope the audience into this world of Owen and Sarah. Whilst the design, is incredibly performative, the central green circle within which much of the piece is performed, becomes indicative of the couple’s entrapment from Owen’s physical incarceration, to their marriage and also Sarah’s tarnished reputation and need to escape to something better. Whilst the large baby mobile above their heads is a dreamworld, that they simply cannot get to, suggestive of Owen’s crime, which keeps them from a better life and also, the baby girl, they perhaps didn’t intend to have, but that they both cherish dearly, she is the one thing at the end that still ties them together.

If work is done to develop the characters further and streamline some of the dialogue, showing more tender moments of the couple’s deep love for each other in the beginning of their relationship, in order to contrast the shouting and toxicity, the piece would become more affecting and apperceptive, but as is, it shows great potential and an eye for untold stories.

For A Brief Moment And Never Again Since is on again on Sun 29th Jan or at Greenwich Theatre in February.

Writer & Producer: Judi Amato

Director & Dramaturg: Lisa Miller

Set Design: Damien Stanton Light

Lighting Design: Marie Colahan

Cast: Monique Anderson & Peter James

To find something else to see at VAULT Festival click here now to view the entire programme.

Review: On The Ropes, Park Theatre

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Packs a punch!

What is most striking about brand new piece On The Ropes, is the fact that it is astonishingly honest, an authentic take on the Windrush Generation, told for them and by them. Beautifully delivered from the protagonist’s perspective, Vernon Vanriel, (portrayed here by Mensah Bediako), with the help of two ‘Chorus’ members, dubbed ‘The Entertainer’s, in reference to Vernon’s boxing epithet, the piece materialises as an autobiographical, musical spotlight on the Windrush Scandal and it’s consequences for real victims. Humanising the reverberations of the shocking actions of the UK Government into a tangible personal tale, rather than a written paper trail of statistics.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

On The Ropes is therefore, first and foremost Vernon, (a British-Jamaican, former Boxer)’s memoir split into 12 chapters or “Rounds” to thematically tie it into Vernon’s profession, written by Vanriel himself with Dougie Blaxland, it is a comprehensive life story. A life full of joy, which this production captures magnificently, but also of course, as earlier alluded to, a life also full of turbulence and tragedy. It is the open and frank quality to the storytelling, that seals the charm of this production. We see the ups and down of Vernon’s Boxing career until it splinters, but even though his fighting days fall behind him, his biggest fights are the ones for his life after this. In 2005, having lived in North London for over 40 years, (arriving in the UK at just 6 years old), he returns to Jamaica and after remaining there for just over 2 years, is prevented by policy changes, from returning home and a bare-knuckle fight for his right to citizenship with the British Home Office ensues, the separation from his home and family being further intensified by his lack of aid, homelessness and non-existent health care. These ‘fights’ to survive, get home and acquire citizenship are importantly, not sugar-coated by this performance, they are however balanced with some satire and comedy to add in light and shade, as well as proficiently punctuated and emoted by the music woven in.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

Segueing nicely, onto the musical elements, the piece is the soundtrack to Vernon’s life, it is a mixture of blues, reggae, sprechstimme, soul, funk and other styles, and although inclusive of newly written/rewritten sections of song, it mostly eventuates as a jukebox musical, including such hits as Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen. It is from these sections you truly get the sense of joy Vernon feels in regard to song, music demonstrably being what has kept him going through such a disrupted life and it being, of the utmost importance to him. Vanriel was in fact, one of the first boxers to request music upon his entry to the boxing ring and dancing with his sister Blossom, was one of his favourite hobbies, a perfect way to prepare for the quick footwork needed for avoiding punches in boxing. These highlights of his career in the 70s and 80s are subsequently tenderly staged here. The songs are also suitably delivered with ebullience by this cast of just three, all three have incredible vocal presence and blend effortlessly together, often in three-part harmony. Amber James‘ soulful voice is a highlight.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

The piece does not always flow, however Anastasia Osei-Kuffour‘s direction is fairly robust. Osei-Kuffour’s choices are somewhat Brechtian in tone, from the direct address and connivance of the audience, to the slightly caricatured characters that Ashley D Gayle and Amber James instantaneously jump into and present to us. The storytelling is clear and concise, it is the poetry that feels slightly out of place and at times the pacing is off. Yet the comedy is strong and deliveries sincere, all-in-all a stellar job has been done. Similarly Zahra Mansouri‘s design absolutely shines and intuitively complements Osei-Kuffour’s direction. Being performed in the round, audience members on each side, Mansouri builds on this to emulate a boxing ring and the arena it is within, as if an actual fight is about to take place before our eyes, stylistically becoming the setting and an indicator of the fights Vernon is going to face throughout his life, as aforementioned these are performed as rounds 1 – 12 throughout, indicated to the audience again in a Brechtian style, by projections stating the number, when the actors announce the scene. These ‘fights’ include but are not limited to trouble in school, the experience of growing up black in Britain, mental health, Bipolar disorder, medication, drug use and substance abuse, homelessness, navigating health issues without health care, grief, denied visas, citizenship, appeals and court battles. The lighting and sound (Holly Ellis and Gareth Fry), also does an exemplary job of perpetuating the boxing thematics built into this piece, from the subtle dings of the signifying bell to start a round, to the microphones used to reproduce an essence of sporting commentary – and from, the blue and red gels used for the iconic red and blue corners of a ring, to the flashes of light and blackouts creating suspense and intensity, the theatricality of a real fight. There is just so much thought that has gone into the style and themed nature of this piece by Ellis, Fry and Mansouri, particularly in the versatility of the ring central to the piece, it is pulled apart just as Vernon’s career shatters, the cross in the middle and hues of red and blue signify a Union Jack for the UK and the next time it is moved, Vernon’s heads to Jamaica, and hues of yellow and green for the Jamaican flag are displayed, this subtlety in design is perfection. The two flags are displayed at either end of the auditorium as a reference point too. Similarly the chorus members who must adopt an innumerable number of characters in order to deliver the story, are dressed in the signature black and white of sporting referees, they are refereeing the match between Vernon and his various demons, they are also, as per the back of their shirts, ‘The Entertainer’s (Vernon’s epithet), storytellers who continuously move the story on and entertain. This is what functional, clever and complementative design is all about.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

Now we absolutely cannot end this review without talking about the performances. Mensah Bediako‘s Vernon is understated gold, a candid and layered protagonist, who Bediako brings to life with such dignity and warmth. Whilst Ashley D Gayle‘s ability to deliver multiple characters with such precise detail and ease, is enviable. As aforementioned Amber James‘ voice is beautiful, and her quality of characterisation and malleability absolutely matches this. To conclude, a trio of pure talent.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

It’s imperfect, but boy is it soulful. Catch this unique treasure of a show – On The Ropes at Park Theatre runs until Saturday 4th February 2023, book here now. A story worth seeing.

On The Ropes Park Theatre – credit Steve Gregson

Cast and Creatives:

By Vernon Vanriel and Dougie Blaxland

Directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour

















Photographs of Vernon Vanriel kindly gifted by Seán Anthony and David Levene.



Review: A Final Act of Friendship, White Bear Theatre 


Star Rating: ★★★★★

Black Lives Matter. The messaging of this piece is as clear as it’s Title Treatment, as is the urgency of the story it tells. 

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

A Final Act of Friendship is a funny, charming and sincere, gut-punch of play. Engendering both an articulate, warm and razor-sharp dissection of friendship, as well as enacting as a powerful discourse on systemic and institutional racism. Everyday racism that leaves young boys having to explain to their, even younger, siblings why they are being stopped and searched by police again and, that strips mothers of their children, another black individual dying in police custody due to a disproportionate use of force. 

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

Diametrically opposing a white middle class experience to that of a black working class individual’s, A Final Act of Friendship beautifully interlinks the two character’s perceptions of each other, and their versions of their story. Not only uniquely and humorously telling of an unlikely friendship, that despite a number of bad assumptions and insensitivities, outlasts, it uses it’s own form, to comment upon how we can be better ally’s to our black friends, why it is important to have difficult conversations and most importantly, to stand up and show up for your friends. A poignant and well-written commentary on small acts that can make a big difference in the fight against racism. Imperative work, that can easily be described as first class. 

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

‘Acts’, thus forming an important core to the piece, with it ultimately reminding you to ask yourself, what acts can you do for others to make yourself a better friend? (As aforementioned there is an important emphasis on the power of allyship). On the other side of this, the title is also a play on words, as A Final Act of Friendship is, from a narratorial point of view, a play about acting and one that many in the industry will find endearing as well as strikingly realistic, providing a startling appraisal of the industry and it’s culture. Though it picks up on the prevalence of inequality within the system, it is also a love-letter to the passion and creativity of the industry, joyfully shouting out the Fringe Theatres of London who strive for excellence in accessibility and inspire hundreds, Following two young men, both from different backgrounds, as they meet and begin to compete in an industry that inherently favours one over the other, the play builds a narrative, where at first they are rivals in auditions, competing for a spot at drama school, (with some opinionated assumptions of each other), and though they clandestinely do finally become friends, there remains a disruptive sense of bitterness and rivalry that underpins the rifts in their friendship. It is the character’s differences that ultimately bring them together as they realise they can learn from each other in order to get ahead, but it is also these differences and ambitions, alongside their inability to see from each other’s perspective that fosters the animosity between them.

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

Therefore, A Final Act of Friendship is also a play about perspectives. As aforementioned in each situation we are told first-hand from both character’s point of view, a dual-narration, as it unfolds. From their first meeting, to their first acting jobs, to the times when they needed each other most, we experience what each are feeling and thinking and, as universally different characters this is often an opposing thought, feeling or act, showing us how truly different these characters are because of their different upbringings and cultural polarity. Yet, when they do briefly find common ground it is hugely heartwarming and pure. Making for a deeply emotive and truly humorous dichotomy, particularly when they misconstrue the other’s viewpoint. And this is where the intelligible and enigmatic direction by Natalya Micic comes into play. The White Bear Theatre space is particularly unique, because it has an audience on two faces of the playing space, one directly in front and the other, along the left-hand side. This challenge, allowed for there to be a lot of precision and thought about where each piece of address is going to be directed, like a game of cat and mouse the characters flit between talking to one side of their audience, whilst the other addresses the alternative side, there’s no particular pattern to this, enabling it to flow naturally. The result is a pacey, personable, inviting and without a doubt, engaging hour of storytelling. There were some gleaming moments where their dialogue overlaps, directed in different directions, and in those sections there is an overwhelming sense of ephemerality based on where you chose to sit yet, the perspectives, playing side by side, remain a shared and understood experience. An important lesson to remember to try and walk in someone else’s shoes for a while, to see it from their side. Most importantly, these characters are both flawed, neither Is morally better than the other, and this is hugely important because the characters feel real, a necessary factor to make the peace as powerful and relatable as it is. And with the depth achieved in these characters in mind, it isn’t hard to see familiar themes of toxic masculinity creeping in as they struggle to both empathise and to open up, unable to be honest with one and other. Here then, credit must be given to Stephen Hayward and Gbenga Jempeji for their sensational deliveries. Both are exceedingly watchable, responsible for creating characters that full of depth and can only be described as mirrors to life, masterful.  

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

Thematically then, the work eloquently strives towards promoting positive change. A Final Act of Friendship is thus, a near perfect race play. It all encompassingly tackles the subject of racial injustice from both a black and comparative white perspective, working from the ground up to start the debate about how we can improve, it’s duplicity of perspectives doing much to underline the need for positive change – in order to do better by one and educate the ignorance of the other, as well as highlighting the injustice in the disparity of their experiences. The piece is therefore astutely peppered with motives that dutifully pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement, from it’s momentum fuelling use of archival sounds from rallies as an underscore, to it’s painted cardboard protest sign, to a protest speech that exuded the energy of John Boyega’s iconic, viral BLM rally cry and the endin, a moment of finality that is desensitising, yet hits the tone of what the protests were fighting to put an end to without even skipping a beat. The design also intrinsically supports the idea of these two converging antipodean perspectives, in it’s monochromatic, compact simplicity. Methodically, A Final Act of Friendship also sets itself the task of painting an authentic picture of the black experience that many would deny exists in the UK, from the persistent stop and search instances experienced by black men, to the challenges of accessing equal opportunities, to the higher likelihood of them being arrested for a minor or non-offence. And in this sense, there is a certain intuitive depiction of the difference in the action and consequences faced by the the two men because of their race, we begin to see the divide with the piece delicately comparing experiences and determining that, that which is ‘normal’ for one character is far from the other’s experience, we hear of expensive taxi rides, regular high-end theatre trips  with parents and fancy soho bars, compared with fringe theatre, working two jobs and looking after younger siblings in your free time and having a mum whose never even stepped foot in a theatre. Conceptually this is more than proficient. 

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

To conclude, I’ll be disappointed if this piece doesn’t go anywhere else after it’s simply too short run at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington. A Final Act of Friendship is a play about Race, a play about Friendship, about ‘Acts’, about Perspectives, about Theatre and about Finality. It is a much-needed, provocative, powerful and bitter-sweet piece. Thoughtfully written and expertly directed. Book tickets for Saturday 15th Jan here now

Photo Credit: Natalya Micic

Cast: Stephen Hayward & Gbenga Jempeji

Director: Natalya Micic

Lighting Designer: Matthew Kalorkoti

Review: fester, The Cockpit (Camden Fringe)

Star Rating: ★★★

Halfpace Theatre’s new devised piece fester intriguingly takes inspiration from, and adapts itself from within, Goethe’s Faust, using the classic play as a springboard to explore marginalised identities and what would happen if they chose to reject the paths set before them, ferociously fighting back to stop the narrative in its tracks. Playing on the idea that many find the conclusion of Goethe’s original tragedy (Part One) unsatisfactory, much like many find the roles typically available to marginalised identities (such as those in Faust), equally as unsatisfactory. fester thus writes a new ending, a different part two if you will. Centring on Faust’s Gretchen, it gives her a little more fight, as the character is usually portrayed as a two-dimensional, innocent pawn with very little agency in the tempestuous games between man, heaven and hell. The narrative here, begins immediately after her death, Gretchen, having mistakenly woken up in hell in place of her would-be lover Heinrich Faust, hurriedly makes a deal with the devil, Mephistopheles, to bring him Faust in exchange for her freedom, thus igniting this idea of Gretchen wanting to be in control of her own destiny, no man, devil or god to puppet-master her. With Faust nowhere to be found, we are thus entered into this dual reality, Gretchen’s reality, an off shoot from the original play’s and then in conjunction with this is, that of a distressed writer who has lost Faust and is inserting himself instead into the piece, maliciously controlling the characters, to fix his creation so it will go back to the beginning and play as written. The writer seemingly enacting as a physical representation of the patriarchy and its oppression on marginalised groups. We watch with baited breath as the two world’s collide, the piece sinisterly toying with the fourth wall. A truly insightful preposition and reimagining. 

The piece is very much a work in progress, but it does throw up some interesting ideas and motifs like those aforementioned. In eerie silence five ensemble members enter, they stand in a circle and surround a copy Faust centre stage, after taking several slow inhales and exhales, they then go on to establish the world of the play, tenderly recanting the classic’s original plot and then beginning their version from the end of the original. As they do this they adopt various costume pieces and props transitioning from performers into characters, perfectly establishing the earlier mentioned dual reality, engendered in a theatrically representative manner. This is then revisited at the end, the actors transition back from characters to actors by removing these representative pieces and placing them on the ground, a direct rejection of the limited character(s) written by Goethe. This methodology establishes both the plot, as well as the intention behind the piece. We see the marginalised identities in both the actors and the characters. Mephistopheles is non-binary delivered by non binary performer Niamh Smith, God is female played by Kyrgyz actor Aijamal Nova, whilst Gretchen is now a determined Protagonist who wants more than what is ordained, portrayed by British-Czech actor Pavlina Karlo. They, (a duplicity of characters and actors) reject the boxes ‘the writer’ has seemingly tried to put them in and leave. Some excellent meaning making. We can vividly see, in the characters presented that there is room for improvement in both representation and the prevention of limiting actors, people even, because of their identity and, that this is not the end of the conversation, yet we also see how detrimental and un-motivational this can be for an actor, as here, they leave the space in a melancholic manner, a moment that seems to be defiantly stating that there is so much more work to be done. A moment that also pays homage to Goethe’s original, it is beautifully tragic, with very little resolve, everything still hanging in the air. There’s something incredibly clever about it and a sense that those without the biggest of voices are being given a space to make themselves seen and heard.

fester is also highly reliant on physical theatre, of which there are some wonderful expressions, demonstrating the ensemble’s skill and creativity. A particular moment of intrigue was the use of blackout, torches and movement sequences to create the impression of hellhounds observing the audience. At times the physical moments did however, have a tendency to fall flat or lack precision/clarity regarding varying sight-lines and the way the stage was lit at that moment in time. So, in the piece’s next iteration these will need to be looked at, cleaned up and developed, particularly in the transitions between dialogue and physical motifs. Similarly the piece has moments that are comedically vibrant, fester is after all a self-professed fusion of the silly and the sinister. The unrelentingly savage and abrupt nature of Mephistopheles, an unapologetic character with huge personality, is a wonderful example of this. As are their hellhounds who use physical comedy and non-verbal attributes to provide much of the humour in the early scenes of the piece, alongside some well-placed elevator music, need we say more? That being said the dialogue, particularly that of Mephistopheles needs further development in order to give the character more depth. There was one too many jokes about being on a fringe budget, alongside a few unnecessary expletives, a couple of these are of course are fine, but going overboard can mess with the integrity of a character and makes the dialogue appear unnatural/forced. A final development that would benefit the piece, is in the protagonist Gretchen, her bargaining with Mephistopheles is a great first step in taking control of her destiny, but beyond this, there needs to be more of a clear definition of her actually fighting back and taking control. Rather than a number of subtle hints. something else larger and inadvertently dramatic would work best, she’s almost a badass female protagonist but there needs to be a switch in her to take it to 100.

Performance-wise you cannot fault this five-strong ensemble, nor the direction provided by Megan Brewer. Particularly in the sound, which was mostly ensemble driven, intricately created by an eclectic, live mix of percussion instruments and vocal patterns, doing much to build atmosphere, sense of location or tension, demonstrable of the team effort required in order for this piece to succeed. The sound also ameliorating Jonathan Chan‘s lighting, to deliver a sharp, precise and dynamic synergy, ensuring the piece flowed with ease, quickly switching between scenes and sequences. To conclude, fester has great potential and will be a must see for anyone interested in work that breaks the mould or even those passionate about Goethe’s Faust, as it is a genuinely provocative adaptation. To find out more about Halfpace Theatre and what they have coming up next, click here

Credit: @HalfpaceTheatre

Ensemble: Bethany Monk-Lane, Niamh Smith, Pavlina Karlo, Aijamal Nova, Milo Juan. Director: Megan Brewer, Producer: Sarah Jordan Verghese, Movement Director: Monica Nicolaides, Designer: Daria Vasko, Lighting Designer: Jonathan Chan, Stage Manager: Morgan Lee.

Review: Every Sinner Has a Future, Chelsea Theatre (Kensington + Chelsea Festival)

Star Rating: ★★★★

In 2020, according to GOV.UK’s ethnicity facts and figures service, ‘Black men were over 3 times as likely to be arrested than White men – there were 60 arrests for every 1,000 Black men, and 17 arrests for every 1,000 White men’. In Frank Skully‘s youth, he, as a black man, had his fair share of run ins with the police, many through no fault of his own but the colour of his skin and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His retelling of these instances, Every Sinner Has a Future, recanting how they eventually led him onto to small-scale crime and then explaining how he then found a life beyond crime, is therefore as relevant and vital as ever. Seemingly taking it’s name from a quote in the Oscar Wilde play A Woman Of No Importance: “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future“, the piece therefore sides itself with the motifs of Wilde’s work such as inequality/double-standards in the forgiveness for indiscretions or moral failings, again relating to the inherent societal racism that played a part in Frank’s developmental years.

Every Sinner Has a Future is a brutally honest, incredibly witty and comedically vibrant autobiographical memoir by Frank Skully. Depicting his tumultuous early years, born in the 1960s and growing up on All Saints Road, it is told by him, through his eyes, in what enacts as a compelling and personable retelling of the black experience past and present, and the affect preconceptions can have on those constantly subjected to them, from the way they are treated, to the decisions they make and the way they start to view themselves. A hilarious series of coincidences, bad luck and wrong decisions land Frank repeatedly in the back of a police car, intuitively delving deep into the inherent prejudices that ultimately led Frank to this destiny, from paperboy to prison. Questioning was it really by choice or chance that he ended up stuck in the webs of crime? Taking a hard, cold look at both societal racism and the criminal justice system, a system that does little to rehabilitate or prevent those within it from reoffending, the piece is both a searing, candid and intentionally funny portrait of Frank’s experiences as a young black man, as well as a love letter to the opportunities in theatre that freed him from a life of crime.

Frank Skully‘s performance is sensational, he is instantly likeable, a loveable rogue if you will, who is able to vividly and engagingly recant the instances where his life changed, peppering them with a series of knowing glances and cheeky grins. The audience were instantly won over and became audibly affianced with the story, from it’s relatability, to it’s short, sharp episodic nature and it’s comedic ebullience. His writing is incredibly clever and well thought out, for example he weaves in childhood memories with ease, comparing and contrasting his first experience in a court room to his next, two very different sides of the coin, the first as a witness rewarded for his bravery, the next as a defendant and considerably less kindly treated. We are also told of one of his first experiences with racism, when he, chopper bike in tow went to apply for the open paper round at Mr Patel’s shop, only to be told ‘people don’t want to see your people at their door at that time in the morning’. This huge blow not disheartening him, but instead lighting his entrepreneurial flare, as his refusal to give up meant he asked if he could sell papers in the pubs instead, and unsurprisingly the custom came easy. We then go on to see that racism like this would play a larger part in his development in spite of his business smarts. Leading on to the question of destiny and how much of a choice Frank would have in the direction of his life, making Frank’s autobiographical work feel much like The Hero’s Journey, unavoidable and preordained, yet as he goes on to bravely and emotively admit to his mistakes, and talk of the sentence he served for them, he therefore acknowledges his hubris and responsibility and now an omission of it, shows how he has atoned for it and has returned changed, thanks to a prison theatre programme that is. Whether this adoption of the The Hero’s Journey was intentional or not, it shows why the piece is so engaging as it contains what seems to be the winning formula regarding plot and takes the audience on a true moral and relatable rollercoaster ride.

Direction and design-wise the piece is also particularly strong. Nathanael Campbell ensures the work is conversational, delivered outwards, so as to involve and engage the audience as much as possible, and it works. From start to end, you feel as if you are part of the story and that you can see it unfold before you, there is little need for set and props, so this was a smart choice to keep it minimal as Frank Skully‘s enthralling storytelling is all that is needed. It is wonderfully bookended and underscored by the sounds of Frank’s home All Saints Road, from Rasta and Reggae music, to Afro Punk, Drum and Bass and beyond, the sound design intricately creates a sense of the area as a melting pot of ethnicity, culture and beliefs. The lighting also is used to divide the piece up into motifs and keeps the delivery at a snappy and manageable pace. Some fantastic work by all involved.

To conclude Every Sinner Has a Future is a moving and exceedingly well written memoir, tangibly painting a picture of the past and today’s reality, it is a relatable and a powerful look at the criminal justice system as well as the inherent racism still present in our society today. But most importantly it is real, truly heart-warming and actually laugh out loud funny. You can see the show again on 17th August at Chelsea Theatre, click here. Or to find out more about the team behind Every Sinner Has a Future click their names below.

Photo Credit: Sarah Jordan Verghese

Written and performed by Frank Skully, Directed by Nathanael Campbell and Produced by Sarah Jordan Verghese.

Review: RIDE: a new musical, Forge (Vault Festival)


Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸

Freya Smith and Jack Williams’ brand-new musical RIDE, is quite simply sensational. An endlessly fresh and innovative musical delivered by only two actors and four musicians, brimming with plenty of heart, rhythm and story, this one is not to be missed.

Bolstering a strong narrative, RIDE is proficiently bold, well-written, engaging and thoroughly entertaining. Set in 1895 and following 24 year old Annie Londonderry, who has returned victorious to America as the first woman to cycle around the world, this vibrant female-led two-hander, wonderfully enacts as Annie telling and embellishing the story of her travels. With the unwitting assistance of a secretary named Martha, she delivers the retelling to several big-wig New York editors, aiming to demonstrate her versatility and secure a paid newspaper column. Smith and Williams thus, phenomenally capture Annie’s mounting ambition and irreverent charm. A blaring ambition and persuasive ability that often caused a tendency in her to focus on story over fact, Annie’s wild imagination and idealistic pitching of her story being tumultuously staged here. The piece augmenting in this, a fantastic amount of depth, as it touches upon the parts of Annie’s life she’d perhaps rather leave hidden and not confront, such as her Latvian immigrant status and Jewish heritage, (particularly in a period rife with anti-Semitic tropes, Annie Kopchovsky being her real name). As well as illuminating on the heart-wrenching death of Annie’s younger brother Jacob and the leaving of her own children in order to cycle around the world. Doing much to paint and explain Annie’s motivations, financial or otherwise, whilst gravitationally demonstrating just how easy it is to manipulate a press story for widespread appeal.

As aforementioned the work is strikingly well-written; a salient narrative, delivered with an imaginative, comedically-rich and vivacious book, that is paired with 10 simply outstanding songs. Smith and Williams’ score being characterised by its harmonic intricacies and repetitive motifs, making it catchy, smart, euphonious and most importantly, entertaining. These are certainly two writers to watch out for. Likewise, Smith’s direction, with help from Associate Director & Dramaturg Adam Lenson, is dynamic and assured, doing much to perpetuate and bring to life the many facets of Annie, bringing in turn, a lot of colour to Martha’s character. A character that could quite easily have remained two dimensional as a subordinate to the dominance of Annie, exploited by her into the role of a storytelling tool. The storytelling, story within a story nature of the writing, is furthermore mirrored perfectly in the staging and minimal set, allowing for Annie and Martha to manipulate the elements of the office space, such as filling cabinets, a writing desk, documents, flowers, a hat and coat-stand and more, these becoming wonderfully suggestive of various characters and locations, desk chairs instantaneously becoming bicycles travelling the breadth of the earth at speed.

As far as performances go, Amy Parker’s Annie is suitably boisterous and tricky, as she must be in order to try and play in a man’s world. Yet, Parker is also subtly able to convey Annie’s inner turmoil, and thus the truth she is running away from. Parker’s performance is therefore, beautifully dynamic, her Annie remaining unequivocally layered, she is charming and tenacious, yet burdened and visibly desperate. Parker also displays incredible vocal tonality. Whilst Amelia Gabriel, the Martha to Parker’s Annie, complements her perfectly. Not only is Gabriel’s voice equally as stunning, her timid, yet reliable Martha bounces from fear to joy in an instant, Gabriel providing some seriously sensational characterisation. Her facial expressions and physical abilities are unparalleled, Gabriel truly capturing the dedicated and intelligent employee, looking for excitement and true appreciation, but too afraid to overstep her mark and lose it all. Both demonstrating just how malleable and dexterous they are as performers. Whilst the four piece band consisting of writers Jack Williams and Freya Smith, James Pugliese and Tim Harvey are wonderful performers, despite their size they do much to fill out the sound and play in a particularly stylised manner, providing a distinctive and eclectic sound.

Bottle Cap Theatre’s RIDE plays VAULT Festival until Sunday, click here to book now.


Annie (& Monticello/Yates): Amy Parker

Martha (& Yates/Celine/Fred): Amelia Gabriel

Book, Music and Lyrics: Freya Smith & Jack Williams

MD/Guitar: Jack Williams

Keys: Freya Smith

Bass: James Pugliese

Drums: Tim Harvey

Director: Freya Smith

Associate Director & Dramaturg: Adam Lenson

Movement Director: Alfred Taylor-Gaunt

Production Manager: Hannah Roza Fisher

Lighting Designer: Tim Kelly

Costume: Anna Smith

Associate Producer: Naomi Chapman

PR: Michael Bodansky

Review: Zoo, Cavern (Vault Festival 2020)


Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸

If you aren’t planning on catching Lily Bevan’s Zoo at VAULT Festival this week, what are you doing? Bevan’s smash-hit play is running until Sunday and is quite simply sensational. Full of depth, heart, intelligence and comedic wonderment, it’s a must see!

Having ran previously at Assembly in Edinburgh and Theatre 503 to great critical acclaim, Zoo has now been published by Nick Hern Books and is a bittersweet, tragicomedy about friendship, courage and flamingos. Set in both Miami and Yorkshire, the narrative harmonically follows two close female friends, Bonnie, who works at Cherokee Valley Zoo and Carol who devotes her time to bat conservation in the Yorkshire Dales, the pair, despite living thousands of miles apart, care greatly for each other. Making Zoo, a timeless story of love and friendship. We watch how they navigate their passion for animals, alongside the troublesome men prevalent in their lives. Animals proving to be much easier for them to cope with, an engaging counter-balance to their pair’s mild disdain for human connection.

Zoo therefore, eloquently traverses the female experience with immaculate wit and charm, meaningfully and affectingly touching upon strong topics such as domestic abuse, divorce, single parenthood and gender discrimination/misogyny. When a hurricane heads straight for Miami, Bonnie rushes to keep her animals safe. Across the world in Yorkshire, Carol feels the repercussions. From Carol’s pantomathic knowledge of bats and fear that cavers will disturb them, to Bonnie’s resistance in leaving her animals alone in the storm, Bevan dutifully captures absolute passion, love, loyalty, commitment and solicitude, as well as a creating dialogue about humanity’s relationship to the natural world. Demonstrating the lengths people will go to in order to save what they love and depicting how split-decisions in a crisis can shape one’s destiny. Meaning Zoo is not only a tender tale of sisterhood set to the back drop of animal facts and raucous comedy, but a turbulent play about change, both in the climate sense as the storms hit much harder than expected and in the female characters, Carol for instance is forced to find friendship in those around her and reform a relationship with her son, she is therefore, tentatively rejoining the human world with help from Bonnie. Opening up an intriguing discourse on purpose, legacy, spirituality and the concept of a life well lived.

However, Zoo has even more going for it than its clever, complex and hilarious writing. Bevan and Hamish MacDougall’s vibrant direction brings to life both Carol’s bountiful Yorkshire and Bonnie’s cherished Cherokee Valley Zoo. Bonnie therefore resides in Miami on the left, whilst Carol remains on the right in Yorkshire, the pair meeting in the middle when reminiscing about their first meeting at Chester Zoo or Carol’s recent trip to visit Bonnie. This physical representation of their locative distance being wonderfully envisioned by designer Erica Greenshields. Cherokee is brought to life by a neatly painted zoo sign and a series of cages moved around by Bonnie and to be used to safely house the animals, with precautionate sand bags surrounding the perimeter of the stage. Whilst Yorkshire is bare and less colourful, a reflection of the dark caves Carol spends her time studying bats in, the prevalent zoo sign later flipping to reveal a sign for Yorkshire instead, demonstrating the focus switching to Carol. Furthermore, the bench centre stage upon which we see Bonnie and Carol meet for the first time, is later and strikingly used by Carol alone, as she debates her next cause of action. Symbiotically, Tom Clutterbuck’s lighting and Mike Winship’s sound do much to artfully complement and embellish the locative nature of the work and its direction. Regarding performances, Bevan is a comedic tour de force, her Bonnie is impassioned, witty, instantaneously likeable and good-natured. Bevan is not only expressive and vivacious, her delivery is also smart and committed, Bevan knows exactly when to play to her audience. Whilst Lorna Beckett’s Carol is tough, determined and resilient, despite the harder, more reserved nature of the character, Beckett toys with the part and takes every opportunity for comedic relief, she like Bevan, is an effortless and smart storyteller.

To conclude, we cannot reccomend Zoo enough! CLICK HERE TO BOOK. Or HERE to buy a copy of the play text.


Performed by Lily Bevan (Bonnie Young) and Lorna Beckett (Carol Alsop)

Co-directed by Hamish MacDougall and Lily Bevan

Assistant Producer Alice Robinson

Production Assistant Sophia Tuffin

Designer Erica Greenshields

Sound Design by Mike Winship

Lighting Design by Tom Clutterbuck

Technical Stage Manager Eleanor Theodorou

Review: L I M B O, Cavern (Vault Festival 2020)


Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

Produced by Causas Comuns, Sara Carinhas directs an intimately human combination of stories, dextrously woven together. These searing, autobiographical snapshots are phenomenally set to music and dance for a transformative and theatrical affect.

Presenting a whimsical blur of narratives, the piece sensationally uses physical theatre moments and shadow work with transitions and songs, to play with the boundary between fiction and reality. Layering narrative upon narrative to provide an intelligible, provocative and bittersweet exegesis on the human experience. Touching on universal themes such as: love, friendship, ageing, solitude, existentialism, war, humanity vs nature, fascism, identity, immigration and more, L I M B O is a fast-paced piece of art bolstering a strong ensemble of international performers with excellent storytelling abilities, able to take us eerily from joy and hope to utter despair, in a single look or movement. Subtly referencing well-known Hollywood-ised stories such as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes and L.Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the intended blur of fiction vs reality is truly threaded in. As the stories are remade by others and now them, Causas Comuns lead us to question do they still mean what they initially did?

As an internationally-focussed piece, the work also plays a lot with nationality and language. For instance, there is a beautiful section where Pierre Ensergueix euphorically talks about a childhood long ago in French, with Carinhas proceeding to translate it line by line into English. Whilst Filomena Cautela enchantingly flits through a series of different international accents with complete ease. The actors often reverting from English to (usually) their native language within sections of their storytelling, beautifully toying with the idea of universality, as, though there are parts the monolingual amongst us can’t necessarily understand, the emotion and sentiment shines through. Language being only one way to communicate. Hence the highly physical and musical nature of the piece.

As aforementioned the show also encapsulates some wonderful shadow work, providing phenomenal aesthetic intrigue and beauty, particularly from António Bollaño and Pierre Ensergueix, a testament to their physical performative abilities. Whilst Nádia Yracema is wonderfully endearing and expressive, her delivery is brimming with unadulterated clarity. Equally, Marco Nanetti is a powerful and succinct actor with a certain charm about him. Alongside them, Filomena Cautela, as aforementioned is fantastically malleable and articulate, demonstrating her boundless energy throughout. Finally Director and performer Sara Carinhas is suitably smart and quick-witted. Culminating in a clever, confounding and complex piece.

Catch  L I M B O today only at VAULT festival. Click here to book now.


Director: Sara Carinhas

Cast: António Bollaño, Filomena Cautela, Marco Nanetti, Nádia Yracema, Pierre Ensergueix, Sara Carinhas

Production: Causas Comuns

Review: Omelette, Cavern (Vault Festival)


Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

Omelette is a bizarre, yet absolutely charming love story full of wit and intelligence.

Set in a climate-conscious London, the piece follows Mia and Mo, who fall hard and fast for each other, after unexpectedly meeting in a shared Uber one night. The couple consolidate their affection for each other and hit the big milestones, whilst doing their bit for the planet. They attend all the marches, move in together, turn off the heating, stay indoors and even in a surreal twist of events, eat their goldfish, (waste not, want not). But as they begin to buckle under the pressure of neutralising their carbon footprint and the climate continues to collapse, their passionate love affair bitterly crumbles around them, much like the planet. Anna Spearpoint thus, writes a beautifully thematic love story, Mia and Mo’s all in, cult-like approach to becoming, in totality, eco-friendly, fantastically mirrors their intensely tempestuous relationship that seemingly forms over night. A wonderful examination of the prevalent extremism demonstrated by some climate activists, using the absurdity of the couple to subtly suggest that we don’t all have to be perfect all of the time to make a difference. Spearpoint phenomenally using the rise and fall of the relationship to highlight a hope that we can undo things, a hope that she breaks just as the relationship falls apart, demonstrating how futile individual efforts can seem, as well as the way in which this pressure to be perfect can affect everything, from relationships to how we act regarding climate change. The piece ultimately becoming a rallying cry to work together, to not necessarily be perfect, but to offset as much as we can, by planting trees for instance. Spearpoint’s writing is therefore hugely relevant and engaging, her comedic and emotional intelligence being wonderfully flexed here.

Tash Hyman’s direction is likewise, severely dexterous and does much to stage climate anxiety and the intensity of the aforementioned marches that the pair pledge to attend. Her decisions, mixed with Alice Boyd’s intricate Sound Design and Rajiv Pattani’s sharp, yet aesthetically stunning Lighting create an intense, fast-paced piece with swift and cutting scene changes that bring a certain riotous sense of anticipation and building pressure. Perfect for the climate anxiety the piece intends to convey. Whilst the circular nature of Seren Noel’s design, the audience sitting on all sides, not only hones in on this built-up, pressurised atmosphere, but cleverly engenders this sense of the couple going no where. Both figuratively and literally. As they take the decision to stay indoors in order to avoid doing anything to harm the environment, they remain on a circular disc centre stage, trapped. Their eco-efforts are the same, despite seemingly doing more, they are getting no where in terms of the bigger picture. Finally, a spiral at the centre of the disc they reside on, is revealed and this enacts the centre of their fixation on absurdly going to extremes to do everything they possibly can and therefore disregarding all rationality. Making Omelette a succinctly layered and intelligible piece. The couple’s movement around the disc combined with conversation, providing an exciting discourse on the Climate Action strikes, veganism, privilege when it comes to being able to afford to not work and go on the marches, love and more. Whilst Anna Spearpoint and Kwami Odoom’s performances are simply brilliant. They are both equally as vibrant, demonstrating themselves to be comedically smart and emotive actors. Their performances are a joy to watch.

Long Distance Theatre’s Omelette runs at VAULT festival until 23rd February, click here to book now.


Mia: Anna Spearpoint

Mo: Kwami Odoom


Creative Team

Writer: Anna Spearpoint

Director: Tash Hyman

Dramaturg: Tommo Fowler

Designer: Seren Noel

Sound Designer: Alice Boyd

Lighting Designer: Rajiv Pattani

Producer: Tom Bevan

Review: Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine), Pit (Vault Festival 2020)


Martini Rating: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

Is it possible to write an entire show about a single song? More specifically about a rock anthem? And more specifically than that, about Mr Brightside, The Killers biggest hit, so adored that it hasn’t left the UK charts in 16 years. Shepard Tone say unequivocally yes because that’s exactly what they’ve done, How did it end up like this? It was only a hit, it was only a hit.

Combining karaoke, clowning, projections, interviews, videos, live instruments, lip-syncing and more. Performers Tim and Hannah navigate the universality of a tune that became ‘the song’ of the noughties. Known for uniting people whether that be on a night out, in a pub, or beyond. Using unadulterated silliness, music and storytelling to truly connect with and unify their audience, Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) is therefore, a damn good time and has a lot going for it. From the nostalgic factor, all but one person in the room knowing the song – connecting it to one memory or more and needing no coercion to sing it triumphantly, to the engendered, uniquely un-manipulatory audience participation promoting total investment. We laugh endlessly, we answer a call from Destiny, we help Tim and Hannah out of a literal cage, we close and open our eager eyes, we sing, we clap, we dance. It’s just fun! What more could you want from a night out?

Whilst the narrative is an episodic investigation into the song, traversing it’s history and the music video, to the subsequent memes, viral videos and tangible experiences that ensued. Sewn together by an overarching plot through which Tim and Hannah (and their audience), recreate a viral video filmed in an Irish bar, where the community are singing Mr Brightside for their recently departed friend. With one man enigmatically standing on the L-shaped bar as he and his friend used to. In each scene we learn more about, and are then reminded of the bar, crowded with people, all with drinks in-hand, singing this song for a lost friend, and are led to wonder who they are and if they all know each other… So not only is the piece a tender reimagining of a real instance, but a heartwarming reminder of genuine human connection. Much inline with the unifying nature of this show and the song that inspired it, the audience are brought together by the phenomenon that is Mr Brightside, like the people in the bar were brought together in their grief, symbiotically celebrating a life with this song. How’s that for universality?

In conjunction with this, is the main investigation. Beyond the facets of memes and viral videos, the duo are led to Rotherham, ‘the north’ of all places, in pursuit of a karaoke artist known as Brampton Flowers, who they’ve watched online. Of course, hilarity ensues as they try to infiltrate the community and their curiosity grows. Who is she, why does she always sing the same song and what inspires her to dress up week-on-week? The dazzling, (some would say), costumes wittily paying homage to her dressing up and the original music video itself, (yes there is a touch of apple throwing!) This, entwined with the Irish man’s wake, conducts a bitter-sweetness in the way a single song ties these incredible people and stories together.

The work is also particularly tech-heavy, though this can be clunky at times, the relatability of the projected ‘Vlog content’ from Rotherham, or displayed facebook conversations/stalking sessions and layers of endless memes are completely worth it. We are also total suckers for puns and you can be sure that this show contains plenty of cleverly-timed gags, the perfect homage to the meme-community spawned from Mr Brightside. Whilst the vastitude of instruments played remind us, not only of how talented the pair are – referring to the endless covers of the song that can be found online, but also of how this is a piece ultimately about music and that music has an unimaginably powerful way of bringing people together. In a show about unity, an EU flag fading into the distance didn’t go awry, making a sharp, fleeting and perhaps too soon jab at Brexit. Nonetheless, Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) is a much needed antidote to the February Blues, (if that’s a thing, it’s a thing now!)

Click here to book your tickets and don’t forget to sing your heart out.