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Julie Tomlin’s theatre news: Heretic Voices; Frankenstein; Tracey Tracey

19 January, 2018 — By Julie Tomlin

THE three monologues that made the cut in a writing competition that attracted 1,136 entries to be performed at the Arcola Theatre are certainly examples of strong, compelling writing.

Together they make up Heretic Voices, which is on until January 20. Each is intriguing and absorbing in its own right, opening up the thoughts and feelings of a university don, a youth growing up in Croydon and a teenage girl’s solo adventure to the North Pole to scatter her father’s ashes.

Annie Fox’s Woman Caught Unaware is a gripping, often painful account of a university don’s response to an experience of body shaming online, cleverly delivered in lecture form. Directed by Jessica Edwards and starring Amanda Boxer it stands out on account of the stylish way it tackles head-on society’s perceptions of the ageing female body. Perhaps the only disappointment was that the next two monologues, although great stories, didn’t seem particularly “heretic”.

Sonya Hale’s Dean McBride takes us to a Croydon housing estate with an evocative tale of first love amid family chaos that skilfully evokes the the south London landscape and slang, and the painful, complex and contra­dictory emotions experienced by Dean. Unfortunately Ted Reilly failed to convince throughout.

Tatty Hennessy also brings a unique voice in A Hundred Words for Snow, a magical tale of a teenage girl’s account of her Arctic adventure performed by Lauren Samuels with great wit.

Definitely worth seeing. More details: 020 7503 1646.

• Opening soon: Tower Theatre Company’s Frankenstein at Theatro Technis from January 23-27. More details: 020 7387 6617.

• Tracey Tracey, a character comedy from Nicola Cross about a woman celebrating her birthday alone, is on January 18 for one night only at the Hen and Chickens Theatre. More details: 020 7704 2001.

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