LIFT Festival is here – and it’s scattering some incredible shows all over London that sometimes also sell out incredibly quickly. Creation (Pictures for Dorian) is on all week at Southbank Centre and you can/should very much still get tickets to see the handiwork of Gob Squad, who’ve created a multi-generational exploration of ageing and beauty. The line-up also includes immersive ghost train (!!!) Phobiarama, new Punchdrunk kids’ show Small Wonders, and These Rooms, a dance theatre exploration of British violence in Dublin during the Easter Rising that’s taking over Shoreditch Town Hall. Check out LIFT’s full line-up here.
Exeunt’s writer Sally Hales was a big fan of Translations at the National Theatre: “it turns out talky plays about contemporary identity politics filtered through a historical moment can fill the cavernous Olivier”. Read her review here. Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking is also essential viewing: Frey Kwa Hawking’s review writes that “It’s sweeping in the breadth of its subjects – family, poverty, inter-generational guilt, the experience of the Caribbean diaspora in this country – and yet she has such a level of detail and care for her characters’ histories that we’re never in any doubt that what we see is the briefest of glimpses, a breath’s worth of their lives.”
A Monster Calls looks entirely intriguing – Sally Cookson is adapting the novel about an ancient and terrifying beast that visits a small boy, in a kind of extended allegory for grief and terminal illness – the movie version was an overblown, dark special effects masterpiece, so it’ll be interesting to see how the monster plays in Cookson’s more lo-fi aesthetic. You could also head to the Tobacco Factory next week for Three Sisters (more info above). Or to the Wardrobe Theatre for Engine Brake by the Plasticine Men, an exploration of the hyper-commercialised car industry which Rosemary Waugh’s Exeunt review called “achingly realistic (and often pretty funny because of this)”.
The wonderful Maxine Peake is currently playing Winnie in Happy Days at the Royal Exchange, while enveloped in a slowly-revolving heap of mud: this sounds great. Next week, Breach Theatre’s meta-theatrical devised piece The Drill is coming to HOME Manchester – Nabilah Said’s review described it as “a series of interesting thought experiments about the point of rehearsing for an emergency”. Also, there’s something mysterious happening at the Lowry. What? We know not. Hush Hush.
Hidden Door Festival has just come to a close – read Andrew Edwards’ write-up here: “The pictures I’d seen had left me unprepared for the scale, for the details on the ceiling, for the winding corridors and the patches of darkness, the roughed floorboards and exposed brickwork.”
Children’s show Baba Yaga also opened in Edinburgh last week, and is currently on tour around Scotland – and it sounds completely enchanting. It’s a collaboration between Christine Johnston, Rosemary Myers, and Shona Reppe – who created the haunting, magical interactive show Huff (Exeunt’s illustrated review here).
Exeunt Recommends is a fortnightly series highlighting the shows and festivals our writers are excited about. For more tips, browse through our recent reviews.