Chris Hislop

Chris was the theatre editor of One Stop Arts from 2012-2013, and has moonlighted as a theatre director, producer, reviewer, sound designer, playwright, facilitator and actor. His reviewing work in Edinburgh was nominated for the Allen Wright Award 2009, and his directing/producing work has been critically acclaimed in London, Brighton and Edinburgh.
Onwards, Upwards and Sideways at Mimetic 2013

Mimetic's mantra of supporting the stranger side of performance is given a test in The Mostly Everything People's mixed bill Onwards, Upwards and Sideways. A couple of pieces impress, but this may just have meandered too far into the strange. At Mimetic 2013.

Tuesday 30th July 2013 Read more...
A bit odd: Reduced to Clear Cabaret at Mimetic 2013

Mimetic 2013 celebrates the darker side of performance art and cabaret, and The Late Night Shop's Reduced to Clear Cabaret epitomises this with their bold burlesque/clowning show that mixes traditional forms and styles with some modern twists and spice. Not every experiment succeeds, but then again, the overall effect is rather enjoyable.

Wednesday 24th July 2013 Read more...
This one again? Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre

Noël Coward's romantic-comedy-cum-relationship-drama takes a(nother) star-studded turn on the West End with Jonathan Kent at the helm and Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor as his Elyot and Amanda, and all is as it should be – great acting, lovely design and a pleasant production. At the Gielgud Theatre.

Thursday 11th July 2013 Read more...
Bold, original and a ripping yarn: RIP at the King's Head Theatre

Sonnie Beckett's new musical slashes expectations by not being the grim Victorian horror thriller its Jack-the-Ripper subject matter suggests, presenting instead a song cycle on forgotten victims and analysing history earnestly and truthfully. The result is original, impressive and destined for great things. At the King's Head Theatre.

Wednesday 3rd July 2013 Read more...
A little bit of Francophilia: A Family Affair at the Drayton Theatre

Modern European writing rarely gets a chance to be imported into the London theatre scene, which makes the efforts of companies such as Exchange Theatre such a joy: their latest, A Family Affair, has survived translation from the French well, and this production has all of the elements for a pleasant repas. At the Drayton Theatre.

Monday 1st July 2013 Read more...
Stars in their eyes: Princess Mononoke at the New Diorama Theatre

Yep, you read correctly: someone has tried to stage Hayao Miyazaki's seminal 1997 film. Nope, it's not a full-scale West End production – it's a small, new production company out of Leamington Spa. But don't let any of the above worry you – Whole Hog Theatre have shouldered the responsibility not to let down hordes of fans and achieved something truly incredible. At the New Diorama Theatre.

Thursday 20th June 2013 Read more...
Fizzling: Playing With Fire at the Drayton Theatre

Strindberg's one-act play Playing with Fire is performed in a brand new translation and adaptation by Anna Ostergren, who also directs at the Drayton Theatre. Sadly, Strindberg's "comedy" is reduced to meandering torpitude here – a rather poor production, good efforts from some of the cast, but mostly just dull.

Thursday 13th June 2013 Read more...
Better old: Happy New at Trafalgar Studios

After a successful Off West End run (and a year and a bit later), Brendan Cowell's Happy New "premieres" at Trafalgar Studios – but something's been lost in transfer.

Monday 10th June 2013 Read more...
Stronger than the message: Belarus Free Theatre's Trash Cuisine at the Young Vic

I had the pleasure of seeing Belarus Free Theatre do their thing last year, so expected their new piece this year to hold few surprises: politics, nudity, angrily-shouted Belarusian, and so on. How wrong I was. At the Young Vic.

Friday 7th June 2013 Read more...
Angsty poetic marvel: Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall at Soho Theatre

Brad Birch's exceptionally long-titled full-length professional debut showcases an excitingly original voice – flawed, but still very striking. Add to that the professional stage debut from an equally exciting performer, and there're two solid reasons to head down to the Soho Theatre.

Tuesday 4th June 2013 Read more...
Perfectly complemented: Bye Bye World at Battersea Arts Centre

After successful runs at various Fringe Festivals, Gehring and Ketelaars brought their critically acclaimed show Bye Bye World to Battersea Arts Centre for two nights only, as well as presenting their new scratch piece. If this piece and the snippet of their next is anything to go by, these are two performers you certainly shouldn’t miss the next time they grace London.

Monday 3rd June 2013 Read more...
Down on Lucha: Tanzi Libre at Southwark Playhouse

It's certainly novel for Southwark Playhouse to open their new space in Borough/Elephant and Castle with Claire Luckham's Trafford Tanzi, which features live wresting, but the resulting show is all flash and no substance, with a number of weak elements not quite making up for the excitement generated by setting a musical/play in a luchador ring. 

Thursday 23rd May 2013 Read more...
As subtle as a sledgehammer: Prometheus Bound at the White Bear Theatre Club

Fire Under the Horizon's production of Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound has a little too much of the sound and fury and not enough substance. Performances are overwrought, design is far too surface, and the overall effect is one of great effort to no effect. A shame – there are some good people involved here, but I really can't recommend this. At the White Bear Theatre Club.

Friday 17th May 2013 Read more...
Some radiance still to be found: These Shining Lives at the Park Theatre

The opening of a new London theatre is always exciting, and the new Park Theatre (aptly named, as it's next to Finsbury Park station) is certainly positioned to be a new power-house, with excellent local connections and an exciting first season. However, season opener These Shining Lives, while excellently performed, doesn't excite as much as the space.

Friday 17th May 2013 Read more...
The sublime and the ridiculous: Fuga Per Canonem at the Last Refuge

Teatro Entre Escombros have done it again: following on from last year's London run of oddball tragicomedy The Mole and the Worm, they return with the story of a siren, with some reference to Joyce, Greek tragedy and trumpets. It's not as polished as previous work, but the spark underneath is as original and madcap as ever. At the Last Refuge.

Wednesday 15th May 2013 Read more...
Making sensations: Jacob Epstein at the National Portrait Gallery

Jacob Epstein is rare among sculptors in that his work can be divided into two camps: on the one hand, his bronzes of the rich and famous; and on the other his more experimental work, often monumental and fascinating, which was often regarded as "controversial". The National Portrait Gallery, most tellingly, has chosen to display a collection of busts which only hint at his wider output.

Tuesday 14th May 2013 Read more...
Searing: The Match Box at the Tricycle Theatre

Following its premiere at the Liverpool Everyman in 2012, Frank McGuinness' new play heads to London to play at the Tricycle Theatre – and it deserves its transfer. This searing production is a delight, although more subtle direction might have led to a more powerful production.

Thursday 9th May 2013 Read more...
Anything but wrong: The Play That Goes Wrong at Trafalgar Studios

We loved The Play That Goes Wrong when it played at the Old Red Lion, and I'm pleased to report that the transfer to Trafalgar Studios has not dented this wonderful new Noises-Off-esque farce – if anything, it's enhanced it.

Thursday 9th May 2013 Read more...
Spellbinding: Souvenir, part of The Generation Game at the Yard Theatre

And so on to the second of the Yard's first week of new work offered through their festival The Generation Game: Bush Moukarzel's wonderful and elegaic Proustian one-man show Souvenir pastiches À la recherche du temps perdu by deconstructing memory in a collection of beautiful and haunting images. Simply spectacular.

Tuesday 7th May 2013 Read more...
Pretty phantasms: Ghost at the New Wimbledon Theatre

I missed the critically derided, yet much loved musical version of the iconic Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore supernatural romance Ghost when it was on the West End, but luckily the flocking audiences have convinced the producers that a tour is in order – currently at the New Wimbledon Theatre, but probably shortly at a Theatre Royal near you.

Tuesday 7th May 2013 Read more...
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