Review: Brexodus! The Musical, The Other Palace Studio

“What the hell do we do now?”

Part of the problem that faces writers trying to satirise Brexit is that the daily influx of tragic, comic and tragicomic headlines are more outlandish than they could surely have ever imagined. A glimpse at the day’s stories shows our estimable foreign secretary thinking it OK to tell EU leaders to “go whistle”, the PM apparently keen on cross-party working, people waking up to the devastating impact of leaving the European atomic energy community, Euratom, without a carefully negotiated replacement – really, who needs satire.

Which leaves Brexodus! The Musical in a bit of a pickle as it seeks to mine its own vein of humour through a revue-like (and politically even-handed) skip through the key events of the whole Brexit process. Librettist David Shirreff works his cast hard, some of them covering more than 10 roles throughout the show, which means that it can take a little too long to work out who someone is, even in their brief time onstage. Two men in suits are David Cameron and George Osbourne, blink and suddenly they’re David Davis and Liam Fox, though it takes substantially longer to work out that this is what has happened. Continue reading “Review: Brexodus! The Musical, The Other Palace Studio”

Review: Sheltered, Tabard Theatre

“This is the only reason I look forward to Christmas Day”

Those looking for a little counterintuitive Christmas theatre programming could do worse than head over to Turnham Green where a middle class Christmas Day dinner descends into a cross between Abigail’s Party and The Hunger Games. Greg A Smith’s Sheltered is a spikily amusing play about “the homeless and the heartless” and delivers its twists and turns with skill in Stuart Watson’s production for Against the Grain at the Tabard Theatre.

From the outset, it’s clear that this isn’t going to be your traditional Christmas Day as would-be YouTube celebrity Jenna sets up a hidden camera in anticipation of some major pranking, and her parents Tamsin and Harry welcome in their special guest – a homeless guy called Rory, the fifth such person they’ve invited in in what has become an annual tradition, goodwill to all men indeed. As the goose roasts, the parsnips get honeyed and the party games come out, the atmosphere becomes increasingly charged and we soon find out why. Continue reading “Review: Sheltered, Tabard Theatre”