Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold is a production that smacks heavily of the dreaded GCSE devised drama piece. Many elements of the play could easily appear on a checklist of theatrical clichés to avoid. Fairytale with a dark twist? Check. Vaguely controversial and socially prevalent issue used as the obvious 'theme'? Check. One or two physical theatre gimmicks thrown in to give the piece 'experimental' kudos? Check, check, check.In fairness, the show is put on by a young group of actors. Yet while I admire their mettle, this still doesn't make the performance any more enjoyable to watch. Scenes are drawn-out and stagnant, in which lame dialogue runs – or limps - around in circles. Underdeveloped stock characters that could be lifted from any bog-standard children's book (evil witch, plucky joker, brassy queen, stoic knight) are woefully two-dimensional and I find it impossible to care about any of them. The plot is lazy and convoluted. During the first three quarters of the play we follow chirpy, nasal little girl (predictably clad in dungarees) as she goes on a big adventure to find dead wizards who might be able to save her brother. Who is either dying at the hands of a witch with a medication fetish, or that nasty 'Creature' he has been fighting in secret for reasons undisclosed.These events are eventually revealed to be a metaphor; a fantasy in a young girl's head that she has devised as a way of coping with a similar tragedy she must face in the real world. The metaphor doesn't entirely hold up. Although the genuinely touching ending, combined with inventive set design and some gloriously gruesome masks, saved the performance from my total condemnation, I have to conclude that there is too much foolishness to be endured, and not nearly enough gold.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

'I know a story told right from the heart...' The forest is dangerous and in order to help her brother, Daisy must confront her biggest fears. Darkly magical coming of age story about organ donation, death and the imagination.

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