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Lyn's Picks 31 May

Lyn's Picks 31 May

Lyn's Picks 31 May cover photo on Stagedoor

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (Wilton’s Music Hall)

It’s two nights only for Silent Uproar’s terrific show written by the excellent Jon Brittain and Matthew Floyd Jones from Frisky and Mannish. It is precisely what it says on the tin, a bouncy, shiny and uplifting show about feeling deeply depressed that focuses on Sally, a teenager who is certain she is going to change the world. Then on her 16th birthday she senses a shadow – she flunks out of her A-levels and becomes a charity fundraiser or “chugger” (“the most depressing job in the world”). Eventually she gets help, sees a doctor and joins a support group. She gets better, and then the depression comes back again. It’s both hugely enjoyable and brutally honest. If you loved Every Brilliant Thing then this is definitely for you.

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (Theatre Royal, Stratford East)

Welcome back to the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the theatre founded by Joan Littlewood, and which retains a radical place in the British theatre ecology and which has provided support and career development for the widest range of artists throughout its history. Its delayed 2021 season takes to the stage with artistic director Nadia Fall directing a play by rising star Dipo Baruwa-Etti. Examining trauma and a quest for justice The Sun, the Moon and the Stars begins in Hamlet mode as a young woman, Femi, is visited by her brother’s ghost. Look out next month too for Extinct, a verbatim piece about climate emergency and those involved in the Extinction Rebellion community, written by April de Angelis and directed by the great Kirsty Housley.

Hushabye Mountain (on-line via Hope Mill, Manchester)

Your online treat this week comes courtesy of Manchester’s wonderful Hope Mill theatre, and what’s more it has an all-star cast led by Jodie Prenger and Layton Williams. Jonathan Harvey’s 1999 play takes its title from the song in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, deals with Aids, grief and rage and features Judy Garland, Mary Poppins and the Virgin Mary. Could you ask for more? Few writers have quite Harvey’s gift for mining emotional truths and few are as unafraid of hurtling full tilt towards sentimentality but stopping just before the audience gets a fatal sugar rush. Nick Bagnall revives a play that I recall as both hugely enjoyable and heart-breaking.

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Written by

Lyn Gardner

New tips and reviews every week. If you're looking for innovative theatre, you've come to the right place.
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