Staying Alive: Review from Female Arts

Another fab review, this time from Female Arts.

5-stars– Female Arts

Nott delivers a nuanced performance as Mary…an impassioned declaration of her raw, aching soul that would move even the most stoic of people.

I suspected Staying Alive would be a good play, but upon watching it I realised how complete it is – the structure, the performances and direction, the emotionally-true characters…Proof that given enough time, talent and perseverance, theatre that really says something about the human condition can be made.


Read the review in full, here.


Buy your tickets now.



Staying Alive: Review from Remote Goat

Remote Goat reviewed Staying Alive, and it’s a corker!


5-stars– Remote Goat


An unexpectedly funny look at bereavement new play Staying Alive, currently showing at the Pleasance Islington, defies its inescapably grim subject matter.

…highly original, nuanced and enlightening…deeply observed social comedy…

compelling from start to finish

Read the review in full, here.

Book your tickets now.


Staying Alive: Review from Exeunt Magazine

The 2nd review for Staying Alive is in!

It’s so painfully familiar and human…an elegant exploration of how friendships can break down and change under the weight of tragedy

Rachel Notts’ restrained performance as Mary gives the play its heart…Alexander Pankhurst and Eleanor Burke also do great work as Jack and Jenn…Brendan Jones puts in a really strong performance as Nathan

  • Exeunt Magazine (read the full review here)

Buy tickets now!


Reviews of ‘Character’ – WAFF 2014

“an odd-couple comedy…plenty of laughs” – What’s Peen Seen

Read the full review here.


“a classic odd couple double act” – Public Reviews

Read the full review here.


“played with great energy and conviction…a fantastic chemistry on stage…laugh-out-loud funny…a stark reminder of what is so fun and exciting about fringe theatre” – Remote Goat

Read the full review here.


“a funny and moving story” – Loose Lips

Read the full review here.



WAFF Double Bill Reviews so far

I’m thrilled with the reviews we’ve had so far for our double bill of London Pride and Audience with the Ghost Finder.  Rehearsals were brilliant fun and we were really pleased with the work, but you just never know quite how it’s going to feel for an audience.  You can have a looky look here and here to see what Stage to Page and The Public Reviews thought of the show.

Have you seen the production yet?  Let us know your brain thoughts on here, or facebook/twitter!

Tickets are still available for Weds 15th and Thurs 16th May via TicketWeb.

– Ellie

LOST Theatre: 5 Minute Festival

On Tuesday 13th November my sister and I went to see our good friend Daisy T-G perform her fantastic poem ‘Eye of a Snail’ at LOST Theatre’s 5 Minute Festival. This week-long festival sees 40 theatre/performance companies perform a piece that cannot last longer than 5 minutes. A total of ten pieces are performed each night Monday-Thursday and on each night a panel of three judges selects two pieces to go through to Saturday night’s final.

It’s a fantastic way to showcase a variety of talent, many of the pieces were short plays that had a cast and director – some pieces were clever, some hilarious, some, well, seriously weird. Variety was certainly what we got. Daisy’s piece was unusual in that it wasn’t a piece of theatre but her performance poetry was certainly theatrical enough to match up. ‘Eye of a Snail’ is a witty, charming and heartfelt piece that darts and drifts through the mind of the poet from the here and now back to the classroom as a 7 year-old and many places in between. Daisy’s electric performance is captivating but you don’t need to take my word for it, you can watch the video (filmed by LOST Theatre) and see for yourself.

There were a couple of other notable pieces from the evening (Eye of a Snail was my favourite, but then I am biased). I particularly enjoyed ‘Side Dish’, a great short piece of abstract theatre, with a fun nonsensical feel was described as ‘a harmonic play exploring the potential of personal growth via a restaurant menu’. I also enjoyed ‘Yesterday’s Shirt’ a funny little piece performed by a guy who looked a lot like Rob Brydon and ‘None of the Above’ which was 5 minutes of craziness based around two guys practicing for his driving theory test when the questions start to become ‘choose your own adventure book’ questions and the adventure starts to become real.

Inventive, bizarre and often well directed and performed this night of short pieces of theatre was well put together and very enjoyable. This was LOST Theatre’s 5th year of running the 5 Minute Festival and I do hope they continue it next year as I am very much looking forward to going!

You can see all of the pieces that were performed on all 4 nights here.


The Con is On! A Blackshaw trip to see Max and Ivan are Con Artists at the Soho Theatre (18th October)

Max and Ivan are… Con Artists!

These guys, Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez, just go from strength to strength. I’ve seen a lot of their stuff over the years (which by my count is about 6 now) and they never ever disappoint. Their latest Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Max and Ivan are Con Artists’ had a great reception in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the Fringe this year but I did get to see ‘Con Artists’ at the Leicester Square theatre (a usual haunt for Max and Ivan) as an Edinburgh preview with some of the Blackshaw crowd and it was so fantastic that we thought we’d go to see it at the Soho Theatre when they came back to London. It’s worth mentioning at this point that Blackshaw’s very own New Writing Night manager, Lizzie Cooper, was responsible for the smooth running of the show in her position of stage manager. The crew don’t often get a mention so I’d like to take the opportunity to say, good job, Lizzie!

It was a full house at the Soho Theatre on the night we attended ‘Con Artists’ but I get the feeling that full house is starting to be the norm for Max and Ivan and if you go to see them perform, you’ll quickly see why. The show, directed by Jessica Ransom, is a hilarious heist movie parody. Cockney ex-con Jim is getting his band back together for one final con. His band of merry men (and women) include a mad architect who (literally) cleans his teeth using a pint of beer and then drinks the remains (ergh!), Graham, a super-camp cat burglar who works in HR and Lavinia, a posh bird who also happens to be a hacker of such inimitable talent that she has ‘completed the internet on it’s hardest setting’.

Fast-paced jokes coming from Max and Ivan’s equal skills for verbal and physical comedy kept us roaring with laughter from start to finish. The two comedians played a vast array of characters of both sexes and from a wide variety of nationalities, many of whom would be on the stage at the same time and talking all at once. A particularly fantastic phone call between all 7 of the main characters left me gasping for breath in amazement (and amusement) as they both switched characters as swiftly as every other word. Some of my other favourite moments included a fantastic scene where Ivan (as Graham) manoeuvres his way gymnastically around a series of lasers (provided by Max and a couple of laser pens), a fantastic audience-participation improv section that relies entirely on the audience member coming up with information to keep the scene moving, and Max rolling along the floor to give the illusion that Ivan’s roller-skating Russian Oligarch really IS roller skating, yep that’s right everyone, that’s some REAL theatre for you. The simplicity of their set and props gave way for the complexity of their humour, characters and storyline to come through. They often come out of character to bicker like an old married couple and that’s always as hilarious (and rehearsed) as the rest of the tightly put together show. Hurrah for Max and Ivan and their super dooper show, I can’t wait for next year’s Edinburgh offering.