(Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/6.)

1: Fake It ’Til You Make It

It was only some time into their relationship that performance-maker Bryony Kimmings discovered that her boyfriend, Tim Grayburn, suffered from severe depression. They both perform in this two-hander, a cunningly constructed and emotionally open account of where they went from there. Full of both humour and honesty, it’s an engaging show about a hidden problem which goes far beyond issue-based theatre.

North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford Thu & Fri

2: The Encounter

Simon McBurney’s extraordinary solo show has an almost hallucinatory quality as it takes us deep inside the Amazonian rainforest and into the ancient art of storytelling itself. What could be seen as an over-familiar tale of a white, privileged man discovering himself and a different way of living and dealing with time, becomes something more profound and disturbing.

Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts, Brighton, Wed to 15 May

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/may/06/five-best-new-plays

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