The finalists of The Offies 2018

The finalists of the The Offies 2018 have been announced and as ever, there’s much of interest there, in the choices made and the breadth of Off West End theatre celebrated. Play-wise, I’m delighted at the love for The Revlon Girl and An Octoroon here, nice to see the Bunker’s Eyes Closed Ears Covered rewarded too, plus Will Pinchin’s work in Frankenstein.
 
With the musicals, I’m not down with the love for Promises Promises, an ill-judged revival that added nothing to the conversation (and even less in these #MeToo times) and I’m disappointed that none of the boys of Yank! were recognised. The rest of the Southwark Playhouse’s spectacular year does get the appropriate plaudits though, with Superhero, The Life and Working all getting multiple nominations.
 
And lastly, at times it can seem like all you have to do is sing in your bathroom and you get an Offie nomination 😉 so it is interesting to see how the numbers break down, albeit somewhat vaguely. These 80 or so finalists have apparently been whittled down from over 350 nominations from over 190 shows – there’s clearly just a lot of Offies love to share. Should you wish to join in said sharing at the IRL award ceremony on Sunday 4th March at The Albany, Deptford, you can buy tickets here.

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DVD Review: The Queen’s Sister

 “You will not menace the House of Windsor”

Lucy Cohu has the dubious pleasure of being one of the few women I would probably turn for,  she radiates an old-school glamour and sensuality that I find near-irresistable and I’ve loved the few stage performances of hers I have been able to catch (Speaking in Tongues, Broken Glass and A Delicate Balance). So I was quite happy to take in the Channel 4 television movie The Queen’s Sister, in which she took the lead role of Princess Margaret, in the name of the Jubilee Weekend đŸ˜‰

It’s a semi-fictionalised account of her life by Craig Warner (although knowing so little of the reality, I couldn’t have told you what was real and what wasn’t) which focuses on her struggles against the establishment as she followed a life of largely wanton hedonism and leaving a trail of paramours behind her. Whether her previously married lover whom she was forbidden from wedding, the long-suffering husband prone to infidelity, the young pop singer who offers a faint hope of redemption, her relentless partying, fondness of always having a drink in her hand and general spoiltness consistently makes life difficult for herself.
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Review: Office Party, Pleasance

“What happens at the office party, stays at the office party”

Immersive theatre experiences can be extremely variable in content, style and quality but they all rely on an audience that is willing in interact in one way or another and make the most of their time. Office Party, taking place in and around the Pleasance theatre in North London, is no exception with its hosting of Product Solutions’ Christmas party to which we are all invited as employees of this organisation. And basically you get back what you put in: it is the kind of experience that rewards full-blooded participation – if you stay on the sidelines, then you honestly won’t have half as much fun than if you throw yourself right into the middle of things.

Upon arrival, one is allocated into a staff team: executives, creatives, domestic services amongst others and then ushered into a bar. From there, the staff teams peeled off into their respective groupings in various rooms around the complex to get the party started. After a bit of team bonding, you then enter the party proper in the main hall where a disco has been set up, stages at either end for the entertainment and, you’ve guessed it, another bar and then the party starts. There are party games where teams compete against each other to pass balloons and eat cream doughnuts without hands, there’s some fun entertainment from the heads of departments which spills out into little mini dramas which reverberate throughout the evening and also cabaret turns from the likes of show creators Ursula Martinez and Christopher Green amongst others. Continue reading “Review: Office Party, Pleasance”