Review: The Teind, London Horror Festival at Old Red Lion

ONEOHONE’s The Teind takes the London Horror Festival into the world of long-form interactive theatre to great effect

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One of the more inventive entries into the London Horror Festival was ONEOHONE’s The Teind, a one-on-one interactive horror story stretching out over three weeks. Over Whatsapp, text messages, phone calls, Twitter, blogs and even face-to-face meetings, you’re drawn into a strange and slightly surreal world of darkly-tinged fairytale.

As a choose-your-own-adventure, The Teind is entirely individualised (there’s at least eight different endings) and so I won’t be giving anything away about the story, that will be for you to discover when next the show emerges. But there’s still lots to talk about in Asia Osborne and Eleanor Rushton’s creation, not least the amount of invention it contains. Continue reading “Review: The Teind, London Horror Festival at Old Red Lion”

Review: Tiger, VAULT Festival

“It’s a good idea, some people might find it funny”

Grief does funny things to people. Different things too. Some retreat into themselves, trapped in a fug of isolation they can’t see a way out of. Others go out of their way to show the world that everything is fine, going so far as to dress up in a tiger suit, even if they’re dying on the inside. Joe Eyre’s Tiger, directed by Will Maynard, brings the two together with some cheesecake, some yoga, a whole lotta David Bowie and a brand of neatly intelligent comedy.

Comedian Alice is the one experiencing the first kind of grief. Utterly poleaxed by the death of a loved one, she’s completely withdrawn from the outside world and even from her doctor boyfriend Oli, whose patience is being stretched to breaking point after six long months. The hunt for a flatmate brings a man dressed as a tiger to their front door replete with a suite of knock knock jokes and a chink of light in the darkness of Alice’s depression.  Continue reading “Review: Tiger, VAULT Festival”

Review: French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre

“If I’m left alone with her for a minute, I shudder to think what might happen”

You wait years for a production of a rarely produced Rattigan comedy and sure enough, two come along at once. Kenneth Branagh has revived Harlequinade in the West End as part of his takeover of the Garrick but nipping in first was Paul Miller, putting on French Without Tears at Richmond’s Orange Tree. As with Harlequinade, one can see why these plays haven’t been produced more often and certainly more recently, they’re definitely old-fashioned in many ways but with the care they receive here, enlightening too.

French Without Tears was actually Rattigan’s first major hit, set at a private language school where five bright young things are crash-learning French in order to meet the requirements for entering the diplomatic service. But the only thing on their mind is matters of the heart as the boys find their head completely and utterly turned by femme-fatale-in-the-making Diana and this putative tussle between the sexes is literally about it as the boys find solace in each other’s company as they struggle to control their urges in the face of flirtatious women. Continue reading “Review: French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre”