Travis Alabanza on Sound of the Underground: ‘Who can make a show about money fun? Only drag performers’

Published in Evening Standard on January 18, 2023

Travis Alabanza is taking over: this month, the writer and performer leads a group of London’s underground cabaret legends as they go above ground – all the way to the main stage of the Royal Court theatre.

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Review: WARHOLCAPOTE, Rob Roth

Published in The TLS on January 6, 2023

In 1948 a young Andy Warhol read Truman Capote’s first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, and became obsessed with the writer. On moving to New York a few years later, he started sending fan letters to Capote, hanging around outside his house until they got talking, and after that phoned him every day. His first show in the city was called Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote.

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Review: Betty!, Manchester Royal Exchange

Published in The Telegraph on December 9, 2022

Consider this a spectacular finale to a trilogy about Yorkshire women, from the pen of Maxine Peake: first she immortalised cyclist Beryl Burton, then Hull fishwife Lillian Bilocca, and now Dewsbury’s Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker in the House of Commons.

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Review: The Glass Menagerie, Manchester Royal Exchange

Published in The Independent on September 8, 2022

At last, Atri Banerjee’s production of Tennessee Williams’s play sees the light: it was due to be staged in spring 2020. While the cast and team have re-assembled, Banerjee and designer Rosanna Vize completely reworked their plans, to take into account what we’ve all been through since then.

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Three Theaters, Three Plays, One Cast, All at Once

Published in The New York Times on June 24, 2022

SHEFFIELD, England — Visitors to Tudor Square in the center of this northern English city might spot some unusual figures there this week: a woman sprinting through in a neon boilersuit, or a tutu, or a man running with a box of scissors. And if they look like they’re in a hurry to get somewhere, that’s because they are. These are actors, and they have an entrance to make — on a different stage from the one they just left.

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Inês De Castro: The macabre tale of the ‘skeleton queen’

Published in BBC Culture on April 20, 2022

It’s a tale as old as time – two lovers unjustly torn apart. But while the story of King Pedro I and his queen Inês De Castro has shades of Romeo and Juliet in its set up, it ends up somewhere altogether more macabre – imagine if Shakespeare’s tale swerved into horror movie territory in the final act. 

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Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Leeds Playhouse

Published in The Independent April 7, 2022

It seems wild that the UK hasn’t been treated to a major, full-scale production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch since its West End iteration closed early in 2000 – especially given the subsequent cult status of the 2001 film version.

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Review: She Loves Me, Sheffield Crucible

Published in The Telegraph December 17, 2021

What a treat this is: a delicious romcom, staged with real wit and elan, so that it feels genuinely both romantic and very funny – not something revivals of old musicals always manage to pull off.

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Critic under the spotlight: the 12-hour play showcasing everyday jobs

Published in The Stage October 27, 2021

The theatre critic’s job is largely conducted in darkness and silence: we watch other people perform from the gloom of the stalls, and then write about it. But last Saturday, the spotlight – and the microphone – was quite literally turned on me, as I was grilled about my job in front of an audience on stage at Leeds Playhouse.

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