Reviews of Menagerie’s work are available here:

Swimming by Jane Upton: Edinburgh Festival Fringe (30 July- 25 August 2014)

***** Edinburgh Evening News 

**** The Stage

**** Public Reviews


“there is a core of truth in what the play shows us that is likely to linger in your thoughts afterwards” Theatre Guide London

“Jane Upton’s three-hander contains some deft observations about young people whose sense of possibilities can seem almost infinite one minute and non-existent in the next. Upton – whose first play Bones was highly acclaimed on the Fringe in 2011 – captures a sense of fragile relationships and emotional vulnerability, and there are strong performances from Jack Bence, Jessica Madsen and Grace Watts.” The Scotsman

“Grace Watts and Jessica Madsen really bring the slightly cliched roles of ‘emo’ girl Milly and posh girl Lucy to life but it is Jack Bence’s sensitive performance as troubled Jack which really makes this show one to watch. The actor, who plays nasty bully Grayson on BBC3?s Bad Education, here reveals the heart behind Jack’s bad boy, foul-mouthed exterior. It’s a startling performance.” The Stage

“a feisty reflection on what it is to be young that skips from manners, meaning, prospects and living life for show (#justsaying). Jessica Madsen is a disconcertingly convincing spoilt rich kid who maybe suffers more than she lets on. Grace Watts does emo looking for approval with aplomb. And Jack Bence is particularly noteworthy as a pretty dislikeable character who somehow elicits a grudging sympathy.” Edinburgh Evening News

“Swimming, a new play by Jane Upton, is a lovely story about three young adults working in a beach café on the Isle of Wight. Jack Bence’s authentically blue-collar performance anchors the play, as he embodies both the desires and fears of so many young adults who may dream of more for their life than their small town beginnings portend. Jessica Madsen and Grace Watts provide two different looks at people in pursuit of their dreams, portraying both the courage and distress of leaving the ease and uneasiness of one’s hometown. Upton has created a delightful new play that could be a favorite for student and young adult theatre groups to produce for years to come.” Huffington Post

“A fantastic show – well performed, with a great chemistry between the 3 performers who all give a real sense of what it is to be young and somewhat lost.” To Do List.Org


Egusi Soup National Tour (20 Feb- 5 April 2014)

***** Everything Theatre

**** What’s On Stage

**** Afridiziak
4.5/5 The Public Reviews

“Lorna Gayle’s Mrs Anyia inhabits [the set] with just the right sort of authority; she may once have been just a girl from a village, but she was always just that bit sharper and cannier than the others.” What’s On Stage

“Onitiri is especially good as the American career débâcle comes to light, while Nabirye’s relationship with Seun Shote’s puppyish Dele rings true.” What’s On Stage

“very funny dialogue is cracked with pace and timing by a superb cast” InSuffolk

“an inclusive and genuinely funny piece of work with sharply observed dialogue and engaging characters which any audience will enjoy.” InSuffolk

“brilliant natural family dynamic” Afridiziak

“genius writing and comedic timing…guaranteed to have people from all walks laughing out loud up and down the country.” Afridiziak

“this piece confidently treads the line between almost farcical humour and depths of emotion leaving us more than satisfied with what we are served with”  The Public Reviews 

“Unmissable… this is one of the best plays I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this year” Everything Theatre

“This is charming, funny, and heart-warming theatre.” Everything Theatre

“If you ever wondered how to capture the African diasporic experience in one evening, ask play writer Janice Okoh. Her play “Egusi soup” is an emotionally charged, funny, and beautiful play that depicts the inner struggles of an African family as they are about to go back to Nigeria.” Gateway for Africa

“Janice Okoh has created a well-rounded and solidly structured piece that shines a light on lives that rarely make it to the British stage” Civilian Theatre

Hotbed Double-Bill at Theatre503

**** Everything Theatre **** The  Public Reviews

“the evening is a mini theatrical treat; sometimes good things come in small packages” British Theatre Guide

“Three quick-paced witty scripts directed and delivered with energy and style.” Everything Theatre

“A dizzying trio of comical, moving and sometimes disconcerting pieces” Westend Wilma

“fast and furious” What’s On Stage

“Jasmine Hyde and Mark Oosterveen are a fantastic theatrical match with palpable chemistry” British Theatre Guide

“this Hotbed Festival Double Bill makes for a night of theatre that is fast paced, innovative, and inspiring” One Stop Arts

For Why Can’t We Live Together? by Steve Waters

 “a beautifully simple script that exposes the fragility of love and marriage” British Theatre Guide

“The writing is crisp and witty and the timing is impeccable in this fast-paced show.”UK Theatrenet

For Somniloquy by Craig Baxter

“Eerily beautiful and oddly poetic” Time Out

“A brilliantly twisty piece. It’s funny, it’s thought-provoking and it’s worth the price of admission alone.” What’s On Stage

For How to Begin by Hisham Matar

“a vulnerable, anxious monologue delivered beautifully by Oosterveen” Everything Theatre

“a joy and thrillingly refreshing” Reviews Gate

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Hotbed 2013 Reviews

Local Secrets

Cambridge News

Everything Theatre

Public Reviews

Matthew Linley blog


Egusi Soup 2012


Stand By Your Van

For a full list of reviews, follow the link: SBYV Reviews


Let Newton Be!,EF9I,30PKPL,15HXY,1


Four For Jericho

(Fringe Review 2011) Click HERE

(The Public Review 2011) Click HERE

(Festival Reviews 2011) Click HERE

(Stage Edinburgh 2011) Click HERE



Click here to read Kirsten Shepherd-Barr’s article Darwin on Stage which talks about an earlier version of the play.




Out Of Your Knowledge

For a full review, click here: Out Of Your Knowledge – British Theatre Guide


Syringa Tree


Two Into War

For a full list of reviews, click here: Two Into War – Reviews



For a full list of reviews, click here: Gaugleprixtown