Telling stories with imagination.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Between the three of us (me, Heather & Will) we see at least five different shows a week so in the spirit of celebrating all the great art out there (not just the stuff we make) we have decided to have a weekly round-up of great things that we want to share with the world.

I'll kick off with Out of Joint's production of The Big Fellah - running at the Lyric Hammersmith til Oct 16th and then on tour til mid November.
A great new play about Irish Americans in New York and their involvement with the IRA spanning 3 decades. This got the big thumbs up from Metta particularly for creating such compassionately drawn characters (for those of you who didn't know 'metta' is a Buddhist word meaning compassion) - we don't normally expect to sympathise with 'terrorists' but through the course of the play you not only sympathise but actively want them to prevail. Matt Trueman put it brilliantly (as ever) is his review of the show when he wrote that the play manages to 'humanise those that we're used to demonising.' So catch it at the Lyric before it goes back out on tour.

Or You Could Kiss Me
Photograph Simon Annand
At the other end of the theatrical spectrum is the beautiful new show from Handspring Theatre (of War Horse fame) - Or You Could Kiss Me - a slow and dreamlike piece about love and memory, played out with (almost) life-size puppets. Touching and gentle, it breaks a lot of the rules of puppetry (and we're always into a bit of meta-theatrical puppetry here at metta) and the puppets themselves are gorgeous. It runs in the Cottesloe and they've just released more tickets so it's booking til Nov 18th.

Finally - it's not high art (and I'm sure the production team would acknowledge that) but musical comedy Departure Lounge at the new Waterloo East Theatre (until Oct 31st) is well worth a look if you fancy a bit of fun. It's basically the Inbetweeners in musical form - so lots of banter and general silliness but it's also peppered with genuinely touching moments of male friendship (not a subject often explored through the genre of musical theatre), fantastic performances and it's also beautifully designed and lit (by metta's William Reynolds, so of course I'm biased.)

So three very different shows - though perhaps if you were looking for a theme - all very compassionately drawn characters and all (albeit in very different ways) exploring male relationships.

p.s Also must must must recommend Theatre Delicatessen's brilliant Theatre Souk (yes I did direct one of the scenes in .Dash's Chaika Casino so I have a small vested interest) - I got to wax a man's chest (right over his nipple!) for £4 - doesn't sound like theatre I know - but it's amazing (in fact I still have the waxing strip up on my notice-board. Gross, but cool). Also The Lab Theatre Collective's one-man-show Matador is incredible - Neil Connolly is surely destined for greatness.

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