This year I’ve been really enjoying a lot of fringe theatre with The Bunker in London Bridge becoming one of my favourite venues. After a successful spring season, The Bunker are playing host to a double bill of two brilliant 1 hour plays until the 9th June.
Don’t Panic, it’s Challenge Anneka
Tickets and more information: https://www.bunkertheatre.com/whats-on/dont-panic-its-challenge-anneka/book-now
After growing up loving the TV show Challenge Anneka, the show follows Holly who hires host Anneka Rice to help her overcome her anxiety. The entire show is co-devised by performer Sophie Winter and director Ben Hadley and is inspired by real life stories from those who suffer from anxiety. The show poses the question, is anxiety something that can be fixed? As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I was so glad a show like this appeared on my radar. Shows like this will help break the taboo as well as reassuring those like myself that they’re going to be okay. I sat through the show feeling like I was looking at myself in a mirror.
The entire piece is a work of art. Sophie Winter plays Holly and Anneka on stage as well as a whole wealth of characters (except for one particular special guest) on screen. To further enhance the atmosphere and surroundings, there is a television set which shows footage of the other characters Winter plays and the scene settings. The interactions between the characters on stage and on screen are expertly timed and didn’t feel even a second out of sync. I wholeheartedly loved this play and, not only am I glad to see it, but I’m just as glad shows like this exist.
Tickets and more information: https://www.bunkertheatre.com/whats-on/conquest/about
Katie Caden’s play Conquest follows Alice and Jo who meet in a pharmacy after Alice has been sexually assaulted. The two girls bond and Jo introduces Alice to a world of radical feminism by enlisting Alice into the world’s first revenge cupcake company, Conquest. Throughout the 60 minute run time, the play explores themes and produces commentary on taboo subjects like sexual assault, periods, consent & consent education. Katie Caden’s writing doesn’t shy away from being honest yet witty about what some may see as topics of conversation that may feel awkward or scary to discuss. However, a play like this is vitally needed to show that female experiences aren’t something to be shoved into the background, they should be centre stage, especially in a time of the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns. Colette Eaton and Lucy Walker-Evans are excellent as Jo and Alice with great chemistry between the pair of them. Not only do they play Jo & Alice but they manage to change into various other characters, often role sharing, really smoothly. After a successful run at The Vaults festival earlier this year, I hope this isn’t the last we see of Conquest. I should note, this is the first play to be produced by brand new production company Pear Shaped, whose aim is to produce and make female led theatre, which is certainly needed and I can’t wait to see what they deliver next.
Until next time,