I tend to see a lot of the bigger, flashier West End shows but since moving to London I’ve found an appreciation for smaller off West End Productions so each month I want to highlight some of them for you.
THE WASP – Jermyn Street Theatre (31st July – 12th August) £25/22
The Wasp is an electric thriller asking how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences and what lengths we are willing to go to overcome them. Why do hurt people hurt people? Can we transcend and forgive others for the misguided wrongs done to us in childhood? Heather and Carla haven’t seen each other since school. Their lives have taken very different paths – Carla lives a hand-to-mouth existence, while Heather has a high-flying career, a husband and a beautiful home. And yet, here they are in a cafe having tea and making awkward conversation. That is, until Heather presents Carla with an unexpected proposition.
CATASTROPHISTS – White Bear Theatre (8th – 26th August) £15/12
Raf and Harry have well-paid jobs, a lovely semi in leafy Barnes and a brand new second residence in the heart of Wiltshire. In the neighbouring field, Claudia and Peter have a chewed up vegetable patch, a carbon-neutral yurt complex and an absolute conviction that the apocalypse is imminent. Raf and Harry invite Claudia and Peter over for an apology meal after a misguided midnight call of nature in the field. But pleasantries soon switch to politics and the pulled pork is replaced by pulling punches when the hosts start testing the commune members’ commitment to their cause. As the night descends into all-out anarchy, the consequences prove to be apocalyptic. In an uncertain age where the threat of global disaster continues to linger, ‘Catastrophists’ is a darkly comic play all about class, cooking and communes – and whether any of us are quite as civilised as we like to think we are.
PAGEANT – London Irish Centre, Camden Fringe (10th – 25th August) £15/14
Pageant is a fabulous musical comedy about the world of beauty pageants – where six hopeful contestants battle to win the coveted title of ‘Miss Glamouresse’. But this is no ordinary pageant: all of the ‘girls’ are played by men. With catchy songs, outrageous costumes and hilarious dialogue, the contestants compete in rounds including talent, spokesperson, ball gowns and swimsuits. Finally, their fate rests with a panel of judges selected from the audience. Who will it be?