Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Tender Napalm; Emmeline; Sleeping Beauty; Little Scratch; Punchy!

Thursday, 28th October

Punchy! at Courtyard Theatre

Punchy! The Musical offers the sounds of the 1950s

THE 10th anniversary revival of Philip Ridley’s seminal play Tender Napalm is at the King’s Head Theatre until Nov 20. Two lovers. A desert Island. Sea serpents. UFOs. Tsunamis. Unicorns. Atomic bombs. What is this thing called love? This brutal yet tender two-hander (starring Jaz Hutchins and Adeline Waby) explores the heights and the depths of a romantic relationship through a series of narrative threads, ranging from the fantastical to the hallucinatory.

Emmeline by Beatrice Hyde is at the Cockpit Theatre from Nov 3-14. We follow the journey of the inspirational leader of the suffrage movement on her life’s mission to achieve the vote for women. Delving into the dynamics of the Pankhurst family, the play explores the tensions that arose between Emmeline and her daughter Sylvia on militant tactics and social values, emblematic of the conflicts that divided the movement. Should the cause come first, no matter the personal cost? A story about the courage and sacrifice of the suffragettes, their struggle exaltation, and undying determination to succeed.

• Let’s All Dance is delighted to return to the Lilian Baylis Studio with Sleeping Beauty for the whole family. Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score and gorgeous costumes bring this glittering ballet to life. This shortened classic introduces children to the wonder and magic of live dance. Meanwhile, award-winning choreographer Jasmin Vardimon returns to Sadler’s Wells Theatre with her adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Pinocchio. Based on the original book by Collodi and performed by Vardimon’s multi-talented dancers, Pinocchio combines physical theatre, quirky characterisation, innovative technologies, text and dance to examine the idea of what it means to be human. October 29-30.

Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson, adapted for the stage by Miriam Battye and directed by Katie Mitchell, is Downstairs at Hampstead Theatre from Nov 5-Dec 11. Set over the course of 24 hours, the charged narrative records in precise detail a woman’s impressions of a deceptively ordinary day – the daily commute, office politics and a constant barrage of texts on WhatsApp. As the day goes on, she gradually starts to unveil a trauma that is consuming her. Little Scratch explores how the human mind internalises, distracts, and survives the darkest moments.

• New musical Punchy! brings the soulful sounds of 1950s Islington to The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton from Nov 2-21. Drawing upon the real-life stories of everyday, working-class people and the composer’s mother’s childhood in 1950s north London, Punchy! The Musical follows one particular lost soul in post-war London, as he tries to overcome the crimes of his past. Jack Terroni’s soundtrack will be played by an onstage band; a contemporary mix of soul, rock and pop music.

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