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Doctor Who Time Fracture

Doctor Who – Time Fracture


Unit HQ

Doctor Who Time Fracture

Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Unit HQ

Reviewed – 16th June 2021



“If this site, lacks the in-your-face flash of Disneyworld, it more than makes up for it in the energy and commitment of its large and diverse cast”


Dedicated Whovians are in for a treat. The BBC has found a site, allegedly hidden around 1942 but only recently rediscovered, that offers an exciting adventure travelling through time and space with at least some of your favourite characters from the iconic television show. I say “at least some” because this elaborately staged production not only leads the audience through a series of well designed sets, but divides them into small groups, and smaller sets, for exclusive mini adventures. The audience is reunited twice — for a much appreciated break during the middle of the show (complete with your drink of choice and live music) — and at the end of the show for the apocalyptic breakdown and grand finale. If this site, cleverly concealed in a quiet mews just down the road from Bond Street tube, lacks the in-your-face flash of Disneyworld, it more than makes up for it in the energy and commitment of its large and diverse cast. Both “alien” and “human.”

I’d like to tell you more, but the Doctor threatened me (very nicely, of course) with a total mindwipe if I said anything about the plot. “The first rule of Time Fracture is….” — so I hope, prospective intrepid time traveller, that you’ll forgive me.

I can say that for me (and my companion) this was a great way to spend an evening in London. Social distancing seems less noticeable when the audience is constantly on the move and involved in the action. There was plenty of recognizable timey-wimey stuff going on for Doctor Who fans, and if it was a bit shouty-wouty — well, there was a lot going on all over the place, and with different groups of people. The actors managed this remarkably well, considering that they were costumed from head to foot (often unrecognizably so) in small spaces on the hottest and most humid evening in London this year. They also had to be very deft with the improvised conversations, and to deal with audience members who tried to change the plot on them, or claimed to be at least one thousand years old. In some ways Doctor Who: Time Fracture will feel a bit like the haunted house exhibits for Hallow’een. In this show, however, the sets and costumes are way more cool, and yes, scarier in at least one instance. No, I’m not going to tell you. Spoilers!

Doctor Who: Time Fracture would be a good choice of event for a blind date or even a first date. You won’t be able to talk to each other with all the noise and excitement going on, but by the end of the evening, you will know if your prospective is Time Lord material — or just a mere mortal destined to be jettisoned straight back into the universe’s dating pool.



Reviewed by Dominica Plummer

Photography by Mark Senior


Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Unit HQ until April 2022


Reviewed this year by Dominica:
Public Domain | ★★★★ | Online | January 2021
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice | ★★★ | Online | February 2021
Adventurous | ★★½ | Online | March 2021
Tarantula | ★★★★ | Online | April 2021
Stags | ★★★★ | Network Theatre | May 2021
Overflow | ★★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | May 2021
L’Egisto | ★★★ | Cockpit Theatre | June 2021


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The Three Musketeers – 3 Stars


The Three Musketeers

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Reviewed – 8th August 2018


“the rip-roaring finale in the church brought the audience to its feet in an explosion of cheers and applause”


This is Iris Theatre’s 10th season in the gardens of St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. They produce two shows over the course of the summer – a Shakespeare and a family show – and this year’s swashbuckling adventure from 17th century France is a perfect confection for a family night out in London on a summer’s evening. The action takes place in three different playing arenas in the gardens themselves, and also moves into the church. Although moving between locations couldn’t help but slow things down a bit, the delight of the different mise-en-scènes more than made up for it, and the rip-roaring finale in the church brought the audience to its feet in an explosion of cheers and applause.

Dumas’ original novel is a behemoth of a book, and credit must go to Daniel Winder, Iris Theatre’s Artistic Director, for distilling it into a largely comprehensible two hour play. The younger children in the audience would certainly have found elements of the story confusing, in particular differentiating between the the national conflict – England vs France – and the French religious conflict – Catholic vs Huguenot – but the pursuit of the Queen’s diamonds was a good thread for them to follow, with excellent visual cues to help them through the more labyrinthine plot developments. Paul-Ryan Carberry’s sure-handed direction steered a steady course throughout, using elements of slapstick and pantomime with a deft touch to balance the darker themes and more baroque plot twists. In addition, Winder’s decision to turn d’Artagnan into a woman worked brilliantly, and the young female musketeer was a fantastic counterpoint to the magnificently malevolent Milady, played with immense hauteur and brio by Ailsa Joy.

Working in the open air in the middle of Central London is immensely challenging for an actor, and the predominantly young cast attacked the task with relish, and they were aided too by Adam Welsh’s excellent sound design. Inevitably, many of the performances were painted with pretty broad strokes – open air theatre is rarely the place to go for subtlety and nuance – but there was a terrific ensemble spirit, and some excellent multi-role work too, particularly from the charismatic Stephan Boyce (Planchet/Treville/Rochefort/Lord Winter) and the splendidly entertaining Elliot Liburd (Porthos/King of France).

Finally, special mention must go to Roger Bartlett, the production’s fight director. No evening spent in the company of the musketeers would be complete without some serious sword play, and Iris Theatre did not disappoint in this regard. There is something rather wonderful about hearing the church clock striking and seeing the garden’s white roses glowing in the dusk, whilst watching a mighty clash of swords, and knowing that 21st century London nightlife continues all around. A unique treat; there to be savoured.


Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw

Photography by Nick Rutter


The Three Musketeers

St Paul’s Church until 2nd September



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