Theatre

No Gypsy Child of Mine

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Written by Caroline David

"Roll up, roll up, the Olympic circus is coming to town," begins this timely play based on real events, written by Caroline David and directed by Sita Ramamurthy. The circus analogy is used to great effect throughout the next 80 minutes.

Kirsty is the wistful young "Gypsy" traveller almost marooned between two worlds, the past and the present, settled or traveller, living on a site that is due to be "redeveloped" for the London 2012 Olympics.

Edinburgh Festival Round Up

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The dramatisation of interviews with people caught up in political events played an increasing part in shows at this year's Edinburgh Festival.

The most prominent of these focus on the military. The play Deep Cut, from Cardiff's Sherman Cymru, centres on interviews with the parents of Cheryl James. James was one of a number of soldiers the military claimed had committed suicide at the barracks. In response to her death other soldiers at Deepcut "were hysterical. A few of them refused to wear the uniform again." They were quickly dispersed and the evidence was ignored. But the families campaigned to expose the military cover-up.

The Good Soul of Szechuan

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Director: Richard Jones; Young Vic, London until 28 June

Three gods are travelling through China, looking for a good person - so far, without success. In Szechuan province the kind-hearted prostitute Shen Te takes them in for the night. In return they give her over $1,000. She buys a little tobacco shop, but unemployed and homeless people at once begin arriving and taking advantage of her generosity. So gentle, loving Shen Te disguises herself as a fictitious male cousin, ruthless and hard-hearted Shui Ta, who protects her by turning out the hangers-on.

Black Watch

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Director: John Tiffany; Barbican, London; 20 to 26 June

The National Theatre of Scotland's Iraq War drama Black Watch is moving to the Barbican. It has been garlanded with awards since it opened at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2006. There are a variety of reasons why the play, which was written by Gregory Burke and directed by John Tiffany, has become such a hit.

Theatre: March's highlights

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A glance at some upcoming intriguing and challenging plays


The Living Unknown Soldier
Arcola, Dalston, London
Until 15 March

Based on Le Soldat Inconnu Vivant by Jean-Yves Le Naour, this is the true story of a soldier found in France in 1918 wandering on a station platform with no knowledge of his identity or the country he has been defending. As news spreads, families flock to look at him hoping to find missing fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

Sofie's choice

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A glance at some upcoming plays to intrigue and challenge you


An Ideal Husband
Royal Exchange, Manchester
Until 26 January

A chance to see what Oscar Wilde thought of sex and politics, human frailty and social hypocrisy when we are, as ever, concerned with good conduct in public and private!

Sofie's Choice

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A round-up of plays to come

Tales from the Underground brings together plays by two of America's award winning black writers: Birth of the Blues by Ben Caldwell and The Dutchman by legendary writer and activist Amira Baraka (LeRoi Jones).

The Dutchman won the Off Broadway award for the best American play of 1963-64. It presents a dramatic confrontation between a sadistic white woman, Lula, and a naive black college student, Clay, who is trying to live and survive in a white controlled society.

Victory Street

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by Rebecca Manley (based on original novel by Richard McSween)

Opening somewhat eerily as the ensemble go slowly around the stage moving props from one side to the other, with two televisions buzzing, I was worried that this adaptation of Richard MacSween's book might suffer from a lack of sensitivity that stylised theatre sometimes falls into. It was the combination of ensemble pieces like these and the interaction between the characters throughout the play that, in fact, contributed towards making the performance unique.

Edinburgh Fringe

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Round-up

Nearly half of the politically themed theatre at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe was about war. Performers dressed as US soldiers handed out leaflets urging people to come to Melancholia, an anti-war play from the Los Angeles Latino Theatre Company.

Aaron Garcia, its assistant director, explained, "A large proportion of troops fighting in Iraq are the Latino or African American poor who are little more than mercenaries misled into the forces on the promise of an education or a job."

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