THE WEDDING at Bristol Old Vic

★★★★★ Physical theatre performed this well is rarely seen and when combined with breath-taking originality, theatrical verve and laugh aloud wit, the production delivers a stunning assault on the senses. Gecko Theatre’s artistic director Amit Lehav believes in allowing productions time to grow and his shows have a long gestation period.

RIGOLETTO at Bristol Hippodrome

★★★☆☆ In prospect Rigoletto offers so much: sex, debauchery, murder, love and satire on the ruling classes explored in the working out of a curse. The story in its mechanics is full of delicious ironies, mistaken identities, malice and deceit . . . This is a solid production with a strong cast of voices and a top class orchestra

IMPERIUM Pt. 2 – THE DICTATOR at the Swan, Stratford

★★★★☆ With Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy and the first three hours of Mike Poulton’s dramatisation digested, today I saw the final part. And because of the plays’ narrative strength, with Gregory Doran directing a sterling cast, I now feel quite bereft, separated from the ancient world.

KING LEAR RETOLD at the North Wall, Oxford

★★★★☆ An empty stage against a backdrop of black curtains. A single chair. Debs Newbold doesn’t rely on any props or staging to set her scene. She comes onstage and simply starts to address the audience. The house lights don’t fall. Instead Newbold looks at us, meets eyes . . .

AIR PLAY at the Oxford Playhouse

★★★★★ Enter a world of visual feasts, surreal absurdity and hilarious clowning. For this is the world of Acrobuffos, husband and wife team, Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, who create and perform their shows all over the world. In Air Play, we see two childlike siblings at play using ordinary objects which transform into the extraordinary.

MONSTER at the Ustinov Studio, Bath

★★★★☆ Brought to the Ustinov by Worklight Theatre, Monster is a highly inventive one-man show by writer and actor Joe Sellman-Leava. In the space of just an hour, and with few props other than a pair of red chairs, he explores the idea that we all have the potential for violence.


The mini festival showcases new and original work from the likes of Amy Mason, Hannah Sullivan, The Invisible Circus and Toby Thompson amongst many other exciting and inspiring theatre-makers, with the aim that Bristol Old Vic Ferment can support the future life of these works into full-blown productions.