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Liberty, Shakespeare's Globe, London (Rated 1/ 5 )

Set us free from this grim tale

Inside Reviews

My Brilliant Divorce, Opera House, Manchester (Rated 3/ 5 )

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Divorce hurts – no doubt about that – but Geraldine Aron's one-woman comedy, My Brilliant Divorce produces gales of laughter.

You write the reviews: Born in the Gardens, Festival Theatre, Malvern (Rated 3/ 5 )

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Maud (Stephanie Cole) lives with her middle-aged son, Maurice (Allan Corduner), in a mock-Tudor house in Bristol. White-haired Maud now talks, in authentic Bristol dialect, to a small TV with the sound off, as if confiding to friends. The two share a taste for exotic cocktails and badly defrosted TV dinners.

Deca Dance 2008, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh (Rated 3/ 5 )

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dance doesn't often do audience participation. One of the biggest surprises in this show came when the Batsheva Dance Company brought a dozen people up on stage, dancing to smoochy Dean Martin numbers. But this wasn't teasing: the mood was affectionate, dance as something welcoming.

You Write The Reviews: Fragments, Young Vic, London (Rated 4/ 5 )

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The theatre is full. Two ushers stand in front of the empty stage. The chattering stops, and the lights go out. Two men come on stage: Khalifa Natour plays A, a depressed blind violinist, and Marcello Magni is B, an angry disabled man in a broken wheelchair. B sees the advantages of them both living together and tempts A with the corned beef and potatoes he cooks. A relates how he lost "his woman", who made him crawl on all fours and left him when he stood up: "I have always been unhappy." "Why don't you let yourself die?" B asks. "I am not unhappy enough," A responds. We see ourselves in what follows: violent, vulnerable and unable to recognise and therefore satisfy our many human needs.

The Bogus Woman, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (Rated 4/ 5 )

Monday, 1 September 2008

Theatre by the Lake's newly enlarged 100-seat traverse studio offers, for those in search of darker drama to fit the mood of the Lakes, something more substantial than the plays in its main house. Here, Martin McDonagh's savagely comic The Lonesome West and Pinter's enigmatic The Caretaker frame a production of Kay Adshead's provocative and painful The Bogus Woman.

365, Playhouse, Edinburgh
Hedda, Gate, London
Romeo and Juliet, Middle Temple Hall, London

Sunday, 31 August 2008

This examination of teenage lives as they break out into the adult world is an object lesson in the creative use of the stage

Bal� de Rua, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh
Holdin' Fast, Zoo Southside, Edinburgh
The Weepers, The Zoo, Edinburgh

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Three hundred years of Brazilian history are transformed into a display of testosterone-soaked glee

Fragments, Young Vic, London (Rated 4/ 5 )

Friday, 29 August 2008

Dead funny – and life-affirming

Waves, Cottesloe, NT, London (Rated 5/ 5 )

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Katie Mitchell's Waves made waves – and not just because it's a controversial and remarkable theatre piece – when it first surfaced two years ago.

More reviews:

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The Music Man (Festival Theatre, Chichester)
Rachel Kavanaugh’s revival of the American musical, complete with 76 trombones and starring Brian Conley as a small-town con man, is ridiculously enjoyable. (01243 781 312) to 30 Aug

The Female of the Species (Vaudeville Theatre, London)
Joanna Murray-Smith’s play about a feminist scribbler is inspired by the time Germaine Greer was, briefly, held hostage by a devotee. Eileen Atkins stars. (0870-890 0511) to 4 Oct

Into the Hoods (Novello Theatre, London)
There are flashes of awesome choreography in Kate Prince’s floor-moving production of this hip-hop musical. (08444 825 170) to 30 Aug

The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre, London)
Jo Stone-Fewings takes flight in Maria Aitken’s exhilarating version of John Buchan’s rip-roaring chase thriller. (08700 602 313) to 7 Feb

The Railway Children, (National Railway Museum, York)
York Theatre Royal’s adaptation of E Nesbit’s much-loved classicis performed on a rail track, with a real steam engine. (01904 621 261) to 23 Aug