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Three To See 25 Apr-1 May: Funny Stuff, Festival Stuff, Lots Of Theatre, More…

By | Published on Friday 21 April 2023


Julia Masli: Choosh! | Soho Theatre | 26-29 Apr (pictured)
Yay, let’s start with some funny stuff, because I feel like starting with some funny stuff. This one’s a show that we loved a lot when we saw it up in Edinburgh in the summer of 2022, and, handily, we also interviewed Julia Masli ahead of the Fringe about it. So read that Q&A here, and head to the venue website here to find out more and book your tickets. Because trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

The Circle | Orange Tree Theatre | 29 Apr-17 Jun
Some classic stuff for you now with this staging of Somerset Maugham’s well loved 1921 comedy of manners ‘The Circle’ – which takes a look at the later life of a society beauty who in her youth abandoned her stuffy husband for a glamorous lord – and which features a cast of familiar favourites headed by Jane Asher. See this page here for more. Oh, and also, you can see the previously tipped ‘You Bury Me’ digitally via the Orange Tree this week too, click here.

August In England | Bush Theatre | 28 Apr-10 Jun
Another one with a familiar face in it now – for this is a one man show written and performed by Lenny Henry. So, of course you can expect it to be funny, but also sad, as it deals with serious themes: it’s a play that explores the life and experiences of a man affected by the Windrush scandal, who is faced with deportation from his beloved West Bromwich to a country he has no memory of. Read about it here.


A Festival Of Korean Dance | The Place | until 11 May (pictured)
And now for some Festival-ish stuff. By which I mean not everything in this section is a literal festival, but there are festival connections. This one is an actual festival, though. And it’s a touring festival, which means there are also events up in Salford and Warwick and down in Brighton, but for London purposes, the events are on at The Place, and I can’t choose between them so go and see them all, please. Listings here.

Pop Up Festival of New Plays | Arcola Theatre | 25 Apr-5 May
And here’s another actual festival, over at the Arcola, of brand new plays from around the world, which are all being given a script-in-hand reading. Expect work from Japan, South Africa, Canada, the USA, Kenya and Australia, exploring a diverse range of themes, touching on such topics as the killing of George Floyd and gangs in Singapore. A different play each night, read about them all here.

Blanket Ban | Southwark Playhouse | 25 Apr-20 May
Yeah, this is the one that’s not actually a festival but I put it in this section because this is a show that had a highly successful run up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer, and scored a very impressed write-up from one of our own reviewers. It’s about abortion in Malta – or, rather, the lack of it – and interrogates the country’s restrictions on the freedom of women, and its ramifications. Find out more here.


PlayAI | Riverside Studios | 28-29 Apr
To be honest, all the theatre I’m recommending this week is intriguing, but I had to break up the sections somehow, didn’t I? Anyway, I suppose this one stands out in some ways because it’s a staging of a theatrical project written by ChatGPT. You might know exactly what that is, but for those that don’t: it’s an AI chatbot thing that can answer questions, and have human-like conversations, and help you with creative projects. Take a look here to find out more.

War & Culture | New Diorama Theatre | 26 Apr-12 May
“In 2022, NDT submitted various freedom of information requests regarding government interference in cultural organisations and arts funding. We did not specify that any information would be used in a show. There are also things we know, but we can’t tell you how we know them. This isn’t a joke, although the show will be funny. Late night. Short run. No press invited”. So, yes. This definitely belongs in a section called ‘intriguing’. More here.

Unnatural Cycles: A Ghost Story | Camden People’s Theatre | 27-29 Apr (pictured)
And yes, I am genuinely intrigued by this exploration of infertility, faith and the shouldering of intergenerational trauma. “There’s a growing dark cloud above the Rosenberg house. Two women – one dead, one alive – need to reconcile their differences to remove it and let in new life…” For more information and to book your tickets head to the venue website right about here.


The Retreat | Finborough Theatre | 25 Apr-13 May
And now for some more great theatre, which, as established, is probably all quite intriguing. This one’s about a Hebrew school teacher who really wants to be a screenwriter, and who crosses paths with two independent filmmakers on the lookout for a good project, and who see potential in Rachel’s “ambitious but unwieldy script”. For lots more info about the show’s content and to book tickets, see this page here.

The Trauma Show | Battersea Arts Centre | 26-29 Apr
“Demi is obsessed with trauma, childhood trauma, naming it, analysing it, healing from it, and getting-on-stage-to-perform-it. That last one might be a trauma response but you can decide that. Having entered her 30s, Demi expected to be more whole, more healed, to not still feel like a child”. A show exploring adverse childhood experiences and the impact they have on adult lives. See the venue website here.

We Need New Names | Brixton House | 28 Apr-6 May (pictured)
A fab sounding new adaption by Mufaro Makubika of ‘We Need New Names’, the 2013 debut novel from Zimbabwean Booker-shortlisted writer NoViolet Bulawayo. It’s is a coming of age story about a ten year old girl growing up in Zimbabwe, and her later experiences as a teenager in the Midwest United States, after moving to live with her aunt. Directed by Monique Touko, see the venue website here for info and to book.


Harvey Parker Trust: Love In Mind | Southbank Centre | 30 Apr music
Final section of the week, and this mixed bag consists of two music-y events and one for the kids. First up is a concert to mark the launch of the Harvey Parker Trust, which has been set up by Harvey Parker’s mother Amanda Parker to champion the mental health wellbeing of young creative people. Performers include the likes of Clean Bandit and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Head to the venue website here to book tickets.

Finding Puck | ArtsDepot | 29 Apr
“Puck should count his blessings! He lives in a beautiful wood in a community of kind spirits. There are fairies, elves and nymphs and other wonderfully ethereal creatures. Including him! But there’s one thing that bothers Puck. Of all the beings in the forest, he is the only one that looks like him”. This is the rather good sounding family show, suitable for age six and up. Head to the venue website here to find out more.

Tosca | King’s Head Theatre | 29 Apr-27 May (pictured)
And finally, a reimagined production of ‘Tosca’ that’s set in a cabaret club in Soho and promises to “strip away the pomp, ritual and grandeur of Rome, leaving the audience face-to-face with assault, murder, torture and a power hungry criminal determined to destroy two innocent lives”. It’s an LGBT version that sees a gay couple caught up in rival gang warfare, and explores the issue of gendered violence. More here.

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