'Something Very Far Away' - Unicorn Theatre

6. June 2012 Penny Francis

Brecht believed in the suppression of dishonest illusion and the involvement of the spectators in performance. He was part of a zeitgeist which brought the puppeteers onto the stage in an attempt to denude the puppets of their ‘magic’ life, to show the mechanics of their artificiality.

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'Talk to the Hand' - Nina Conti

25. May 2012 Jeremy Bidgood

Nina Conti and her simian alter-ego, Monk, are no newcomers to the UK comedy scene but they never fail to amaze and delight. Ventriloquists may be a rare phenomenon in the twenty-first century but even if they were as common as ‘man with microphone does observational humour’ Conti would undoubtedly still be one of the scene’s brightest stars.

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'The Odyssey' - The Paper Cinema

18. May 2012 Mark Whitaker

The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey proved to be one of the hot tickets of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival (the night I went was sold out with a waiting list).

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'Swamp Juice' - Bunk Puppets

5. May 2012 Matt Jackson

Entering into Bunk Puppet's Swamp Juice set at the Soho Theatre, looked more like someone had hung their old toys to dry on a clothes line above, while the battered ones still laid lifeless below on the ground.

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'Swallows and Amazons' - The Children’s Touring Partnership

20. April 2012 Eleanor Margolies

In Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel Swallows and Amazons, the four Walker children (the youngest just seven years old), sail to a Lake District island and camp there alone.

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'The Lonely One' - Dotted Line Theatre

30. March 2012 Isobel Smith

The Lonely One is an intense tale, expertly told.

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'Me & the Sea' - Touched Theatre

25. March 2012 Matt Jackson

To be honest, I wasn't surprised Darren East was the front man for last Sunday's performance of Me & the Sea. His personality is the perfect fit for such a well-rounded show.

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'The Fantasist' - Theatre Témoin and Cie Traversière

1. March 2012 Eleanor Margolies

This impressive devised piece provides plenty of food for thought. Louise is a painter whose ecstatic experience of creativity and heightened sensation tips into nightmare.

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