Review: Atomic 50: Time Travels in Tin

First of all, I should declare that I am a ‘Legend of the Forest’. This means that at various events throughout the year that Waltham Forest is the London Borough of Culture, I rock up in bright pink gear and help out. When I heard there was going to be an immersive experience as part of the festivities I was delighted, Then I found out it was for parents and children only (no adults allowed without an accompanying child) I was determined to volunteer to find out what Atomic 50 was all about.

What it’s all about is tin. Tin in it’s many forms. Making things with tin, making a case for tin as an environmental alternative to plastic, making children’s imagination run wild when it comes to all things tin.

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Review: Dinner is Coming

Immersive Dinner theatre can be hit and miss. Sometimes great fun, sometimes a disaster. Regular readers will remember I had considerable issues with the staging, content and overall design of a previous Vaults production Divine Proportions.

So it was with a little trepidation that I approached Dinner is Coming. I worried that there would not be enough immersive elements surrounding the food and drink to make it a worthy night out. I needn’t have.

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Review: Dismantle This Room

Dismantle This Room is – in essence – an escape room. You solve puzzles and make decisions as you go through to get through a series of rooms built onto the stage at the Royal Court. However, there is a strong element of self-examination and social justice woven into the experience throughout that give this an added edge.

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Let the Justin Trudeau scandal be a lesson: seemingly pristine leaders will always let us down

Must our politicians disappoint? That is the question that is keeping some of us on the liberal left up at night.

The latest let down is Justin Trudeau. He of the bilingual social media, refugee welcoming press stunts and (somewhat performative) feminism. While Trudeau was never as left wing as many of us economically, his leadership style on social issues did seem like a breath of fresh air. He appeared to be willing to take action that went against the narrative of the day, making genuinely tough decisions on issues like immigration where the easy option would have been to turn people away.

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No wonder polling shows a second referendum would yield a Remain vote. We are in a mess

There’s no other way to say it: Brexit is a mess right now. So it’s not a great shock that the public would prefer to remain in the EU rather than accept Theresa May’s deal or a no-deal Brexit, according to a recent poll.

This pro-EU stance is likely to be bolstered on Saturday with a mass demonstration in favour of a people’s vote. The upcoming march will be a long cry from the soggy, bedraggled mess that was the Brexit Betrayal march. Not least because those who called for this one might even bother to take part.

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PoliticsEmma Burnell
Review: Downstate

Was this timely? Was it necessary? Was it important? These are the questions I’m contemplating after watching this play.

It was moving certainly. Thought-provoking for sure. It opened up a different part of our modern conversation about abuse, victims and consent. About predators and perpetrators. About humans and monsters.

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Review: The Sensemaker and Anchor

This double-bill of dance pieces both star an impressive and athletic Elsa Couvreur – often centre stage without even music.

The Sensemaker is the tale of a woman’s struggle with a Kafka-esque bureaucracy. This play is in part commentary on the arbitrary nature of dealing with faceless machines, telephones and surveillance; part tale on the nature of the hoops we are increasingly forced to jump through as power dynamics in so many areas of our lives widen.

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Review: Feel

Good fringe theatre goes one of two ways. Either it’s so out there that it shocks you, or it’s small, personal, and deeply touching. In Feel, the latter approach is delivered in spades.

Feel is the story of two couples: one a seemingly uncomplicated meeting over the years while waiting for delayed trains; the other a failed attempt at a one night stand that lingers into a relationship.

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Review: Equus

Equus is a breathtaking, startling, and gripping play delivered brilliantly by a compelling cast.

Introduced to a tableau of boy and horse by world-weary psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Zubin Varla), from the off, I was struck by the beautiful physicality of Ira Mandela Siobhan as Nugget. His movement – not quite dance, not quite not-dance embodied the pride, beauty and power we associate with horses.

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Chris Williamson has (finally) been suspended from Labour - but that's not enough

“Bringing the Party into disrepute” is a complex, catch-all phrase. Hard to truly define, butyou know it when you see it. And in Chris Williamson MP we have seen it for quite some time.

This week matters came to a head. In the space of 48 hours we have seen Williamson attempt to host an event in Parliament with a woman who has been suspended from the Labour Party under investigation for antisemitism before telling an event in Sheffield that the Party has been“too apologetic” about the same topic.

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PoliticsEmma Burnell
Review: Medea

This one woman (and two backing musicians) show is a tour de force. The story may be old as time but the modern twist of basically turning it into a concept album breathes new life into this ‘woman scorned’ tale. Katrina Quinn commands the stage and respect as Medea  – a  woman at first fulfilling the duties of her sex, but later given to violent revenge.

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