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The last in the series of ‘seeing famous people in real life’ plays was seeing Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

It was challenging from the offset – the entire play is set on a remote Irish island and has the thick Irish accents to match. I’m normally quite good with accents, but this took me till the third scene before I didn’t have to concentrate on the words.

While it is meant to be a hysterically funny satire, I found the humor not black enough to be funny but too heavy to be funny either – the writing has to be very clever to make entertainment out of tuberculosis, domestic violence and unreliable egg delivery men.

But there was no shortage of laughs, I think there was a healthy scattering if Daniel Radcliffe fans in the audience who would have laughed at anything he said.

The outstanding performer of the night had to be Sarah Greene who played Helen McCormick, the violently tough village slut. She was sparky, funny and really stole the show. I also really liked the set – essentially three sections on a stage sized lazy susan.

Although it wasn’t really my sort of play I think the reason I felt so let down by it was because the previous two in the series were so mind blowingly amazing.

Then again, for £11 it was still a good night out.

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I have always been slightly put off the the overproduced bigness of musicals. Yes they are loud, impressive and manage to rhyme almost every line; but they are not the most authentic of theatre experiences.

Once totally changed this for me. Set in an Irish pub, with all the players on the stage the entire time – there were none of the brightly coloured spinning sets I was dreading.

It is a subtle and never completed love story between a recently dumped Irish musician and a new in town Czech immigrant. There were no barricades, wilderbeast or green witches but it hit all the right notes of tension, drama and love. In a way I think it is more suited to those who normally enjoy plays rather than the usual musical groupies.

I would recommend getting there early, the cast starts playing Irish jigs on the stage before the start time. And make sure to get down to the stage at half time to enjoy the unique experience of the set turning into a working bar.

Taming of the Shrew

 

Due to a slight technical issue I am actually writing this post on Sunday. Which means that I can predict the future and tell you all about the play I am going to see tonight and the actor I fell in love with. Confused? Me to.

I was lucky enough to be given tickets to Taming of the Shrew at the Hampstead theatre for my birthday. Or, more specifically I was given the tickets and told that I was being taken to a play I would really identify with (I subsequently punched the gift giver in the arm).

The play was the best Shakespeare performance I had ever seen. It was fast, funny, and outrageous. You know the actors are talented with they can make you laugh even when you don’t fully comprehend the words. The guys (all guys) preforming it were the Propeller Shakespeare company & they were the definition of slick.

Every word was effortless and every move was as exciting as opening night (this was the last show). The costumes were a brilliant mix which looked slightly like a charity shop threw up over them – which lead to a Shrew in punk, mousey sister in flapper and the men veering wildly between Russell Brand and 1970’s librarian.

I had totally forgotten how violent this play was, and it was testament to the talented players that I was laughing and applauding not calling a domestic violence helpline. That Shakespeare dude was seriously messed up in the head.

Oh and the falling in love? The actor in the blue trousers & marching band jacket had me swooning in my seat. He had the face the moves and the talented tongue (by this I mean he delivered a speedy monologue, get your mind out of the gutter).  So, nameless actor in the blue trousers – comment below and I will have your babies.

Postcard by runawaykiwi - bow ties are cool

One of the first things I booked through YPlan is the Edinburgh Fringe preview of “I Need a Doctor, an unauthorised Whosical adventure”, i.e. a Dr Who musical. If you hadn’t gathered by now, I am a bit of a dork. Actually, scratch that, I am a massive dork. So for me a Dr Who musical sounds like a fantastic night out.

It was in the smaller theatre at the Pleasance in Islington, which was actually quite lovely because it guaranteed that everyone in the audience was a genuine Whovian. The plot sounded promising; a super fan creates a Who musical and uses actual Who stars to put it on. Only slight problem is that all the big stars had better things to do, oh and also the pesky BBC copyright laws.

So instead it was a delightful comedy of errors, where the script was re-written and all the characters were played by two actors.

What made this such a unique show was the shared Dr Who passion. It was like seeing an end of year school show where everyone mocks the teachers – an endless inside joke.

It was a fantastic Whogasm of a show that all dorks must see.