AYT: THEATRE REVIEW: My Mother Medea, Unicorn Theatre

Originally published on A Younger Theatre

My Mother Medea flips the ancient tragedy of Medea on its head by removing the focus from the tragic heroine and placing it on her doomed children, while transporting them to 2016.

The show launches itself with a punchy opening as the two teenagers declare themselves refugees. At once, we are clearly bang in the middle of the current migrant crisis and post-Brexit tensions, and Eriopis is not afraid to confront us with their foreignness, their otherness and their refusal (more so than their inability) to fit in.

Natalie Pryce’s set design places Eriopis and Polyxenos in their new classroom; we the audience are the class they must face, sat at schoolroom tables and chairs complete with doodled exercise books and pencilled graffiti. Read More »

AYT: COMEDY REVIEW: Minor Delays, Soho Theatre

Originally published on A Younger Theatre

Minor Delays - Soho TheatreMinor Delays was one of the toasts of the Edinburgh Fringe last year, with stars a-plenty and a bright future predicted for this sketch comedy trio. Now the show has transferred to the Soho Theatre, and it’s certainly a slick, fine-tuned piece. Yet while the performances are proficient and engaging, the subject matter doesn’t always match up.

Harry Michell, Abi Tedder and Joe Barnes are all accomplished character actors and their performances revel in the silliness of situations, accents and facial expressions. In one of the best running jokes – a smugly precocious seven-year-old – the comedy is elicited far more from Michell’s characterisation of the unbearable Graham than from the punchline. Indeed, falling back on the word c**t to provoke a laugh is a disappointing end to some very funny set-ups.

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AYT: THEATRE REVIEW: The Rolling Stone, Orange Tree Theatre

Originally published on A Younger Theatre

Chris Urch’s Bruntwood award-winning second play is an example of an excellent script translated into a stunning performance by truly fine acting – no gimmicks, no flashy lighting design or intricate set, nothing to hide behind. The Rolling Stone, focusing on Uganda’s anti-gay laws, is a riveting family drama that seizes its audience immediately with the pressures and fear of this very real situation.

The play’s title itself emerges as a symbol of dread; it takes its name from the Kampala newspaper that, for a few months in 2010, published the names and photos of local men thought to be gay, resulting in threats, broken families, banishments and lynch-mob killings. It’s a fate that gay 18-year-old Dembe (Fiston Barek) is desperate to avoid – yet he is equally, desperately in love with Sam, who is half-Ugandan but has been raised in Northern Ireland.Read More »

AYT: THEATRE REVIEW: The Bogus Woman, Omnibus

Originally published on A Younger Theatre

This production of The Bogus Woman was first seen at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, and audiences around the country have now had the opportunity to see the show as part of the theatre’s recent foray into touring their works. Kay Adshead’s one-woman show is set in the mid-1990s, and was first performed 15 years ago, but it is all too relevant now as the migrant ‘crisis’ in Europe continues to dominate the headlines.

Bogus Woman - Omnibus - Theatre by the Lake
Krissi Bohn in The Bogus Woman

Krissi Bohn stars as the unnamed woman fleeing her country after the slaughter of her family, only to be greeted by callous treatment, accusations of lying and a wall of red tape. Alongside the central character, Bohn plays over 50 other roles as the people she meets along the way: guards at the detention centre, fellow refugees, friendly neighbours, not-so-friendly nurses – and many more. It’s an incredible feat of acting as Bohn shifts from character to character with absolute ease. Read More »

AYT: THEATRE REVIEW: Medea, Gate Theatre

Originally published on A Younger Theatre
Medea - Gate Theatre
Bobby Smalldridge as Jasper (c) Ikin Yum

In the last year or so, London has welcomed a flurry of Greek drama to its stages; while the Almeida Theatre most notably offered its Greeks season, other venues have seen revivals ofElectra (Old Vic and the Gate Theatre), Medea (National Theatre), Antigone (Barbican and Theatre Royal Stratford East), Oresteia (Shakespeare’s Globe) – the list continues. Further afield, National Theatre Wales staged Homer’s Iliad, while Oedipus arrived at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. Whatever the reason, producers and directors are returning to these fundamental tales of love, revenge, desire and death all over again.

Kate Mulvany and Anne-Louise Sacks’s take on Medea shifts the focus sharply away from the engineers of these stories to the innocent victims, depicting Medea’s children in the last few hours of this particular tragic tale.
Leon and Jasper are locked in their room while their parents “sort out marriage stuff”. Read More »