Review: Eggs / Grip, Tristan Bates Theatre

A contrasting pair of one-hour shows offer different experiences at the Tristan Bates Theatre, with ebullient two-hander Eggs and the striking ensemble-led Grip

“I’m not talking scientifically
I’m talking emotionally”

There’s all manner of different eggs in Florence Keith Roach’s Eggs, including some you wouldn’t necessarily talk to your mum about. Which is fine, since this is a play about female friendship and how it responds to crisis points. Girl 1 and Girl 2 were pals at uni but as they approach the end of their twenties on wildly divergent career paths, their friendship seems more a thing of a habit than something offering genuine comfort in times of need. Continue reading “Review: Eggs / Grip, Tristan Bates Theatre”

Review: The End of History, Tristan Bates

“Sod the League of Nations”

At the heart of it, Iain Hollingshead (book and lyrics) and Timothy Muller’s (music) new musical The End of History has an interesting conceit – exploring the history of the 20th century (at least, from 1919 to 1989) through the experiences of a GCSE history class over the two years of their course. Moody teenagers as zealous nation states, geopolitical relations as schoolyard battles, there’s potential here. 

It is potential that isn’t quite realised though, due to the huge scale of the ambition here. There’s the individual stories of 7 students each with their own individual struggles competing for room alongside the historical parallels being drawn at key moments, plus their teacher keeps stepping into the spotlight to pull focus with her own trials and general dissatisfaction at being a teacher to disinterested kids. Continue reading “Review: The End of History, Tristan Bates”

Review: Soho Cinders, Union Theatre

“Why don’t handsome princes
Practice what they preach”

Though there’s nothing ostensibly Christmassy about Stiles + Drewe’s Cinderella remake Soho Cinders, it was still a little odd to see the show debut at the Soho Theatre in the height of summer in 2012. This revival at the Union Theatre is a little more festively timed and through Will Keith’s direction and Joanne McShane’s choreography, provides a level of entertainment to rival even the best of pantomimes.

The book, by Drewe and Elliot Davis, puts a gay spin on the story – fresh-faced escort Robbie is our Cinderella, closeted bisexual London mayoral candidate James Prince his Prince Charming, and older gay man (and client) Lord Bellingham just one of the flies in the ointments of their happy ever after. But though we’re in the world of contemporary London politics, there’s also a pair of ‘ugly’ sisters and a ball that everyone wants to attend to ensure some of that Cinderella magic sticks. Continue reading “Review: Soho Cinders, Union Theatre”