Comedy Festivals Spoken Word Theatre ThisWeek In London

Three To See 30 Jul-5 Aug: Festival Events, Camden Fringe Events, More Shows We’d Like To See This Week

By | Published on Friday 26 July 2019


Cassandra, Sandra | Omnibus Theatre | 30 Jul
Hurrah, festivals are happening all over London, and although we are admittedly slightly distracted by that very big one up in Scotland, we’re still excited about such events happening down here in the capital. Let’s start with this one, a reading from the Out Of The Wings festival, which explores theatre from the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world. It’s about Alex, who returns home to Santiago to clear his recently deceased mother’s flat, and who is desperate to get the job done quickly and go back to the US, but who ends up confronting old memories, and learning about the kindness of strangers. More about this event here, and more about the strand here.

The Mikvah Project | Orange Tree Theatre | 3-10 Aug
“Eitan is 17. Avi is 35. Eitan loves Arsenal. Avi loves his wife. Eitan goes to college. Avi is trying for a child. They are in completely different places in their lives.Yet, every Friday, Eitan and Avi meet at the Mikvah to take part in the Jewish ritual of submerging in the water. As they chat about life in the synagogue, football, the nature of marriage and desire they form an unexpected bond that threatens to disrupt life outside the Mikvah.” This fab play is being staged in rep alongside four others as part of Orange Tree Theatre’s Directors’ Festival 2019, and is directed by Georgia Green. See this page here for more info about the show, and this link here for a festival overview.

This Is Black | The Bunker Theatre | 5-24 Aug (pictured)
As with the Directors’ Festival above, This Is Black is a festival of four excellent sounding plays, written by black writers, but because they’re staged slightly differently – as two alternating double bills – I thought I would just talk about the whole thing. Double bill 1 consists of ‘All The Shit I Can’t Say To My Dad’ by Abraham Adeyemi and ‘Blue Beneath My Skin’ Macadie Amoroso, while double bill 2 comprises ‘Pyneapple’ by Chantelle Alle and Melissa Saint and ‘Teleportation’ by Ronke Adekoluejo. There’s also an accompanying exhibition, curated by Sophia Tassew and featuring work by Amaal Mohamed, Sharon Adebisi and Taja Boodie. Info right about here.


David Mills: A More Dynamite Future | The Albany | 30 Jul
Hurrah, and not only are there the Festival events we have detailed above to look forward to, here’s a whole section devoted to the delightful festival that is Camden Fringe. Our first choice is David Mills, who we have always enjoyed seeing up at the old edfringe, so it’s great to see him on as part of the rather more youthful camfringe. “Focus people! Shit’s about to get real. Comedy for a world in crisis from a comic who’s not kidding around. A wander through our terrifying 24-hour reality television cartoon dystopia with an eye on the amazing a frightening future that awaits us.” Details here.

When It Happens | The Actors’ Centre | 30 Jul-3 Aug
“A surreal and outrageous comedy following the lives of three women on what they thought would be a normal day of micro-aggressions and self-doubt. Then it happens… At 2.16pm, a strange phenomenon occurs and each woman experiences a transformation, breaking free from the roles they’ve been forced to play and starting a rebellion against everything and everyone who put them there in the first place.” I am very intrigued by the sound of this. Head right this way to sort out your tickets if you are too.

Socially (Un)acceptable | Etcetera Theatre | 29 Jul-1 Aug
And so to our final choice in this section (but certainly not our last Camden Fringe recommendation for 2019) which is this spoken word piece focusing on the rather heavy and serious issue of rape and sexual assault. Don’t let that stop you though, because this is such a high quality, and has won much acclaim for its series of autobiographical vignettes and stories about “socially acceptable” sexual assault. This show comes from Australia, but at a time when the number of rape cases prosecuted in England and Wales has fallen to an extraordinary low, it’s an issue we need to be thinking about. More here.


Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night | Arcola Theatre | 1-3 Aug
You could argue, and quite strongly, actually, that this could very easily have been included in the first section about festival shows, because this is part of Grimeborn, Arcola’s festival of opera. But I tend to think of it as a season rather than festival, and that’s why it ended up here on this occasion. Anyway, this sounds right up my street, and hopefully also yours: Aaron Copland‘s song-cycle ‘Twelve Poems by Emily Dickinson’ and Dominick Argento’s ‘Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night’, featuring soprano Sarah Minns. All the info is here.

The Colours | Soho Theatre | 30 Jul-17 Aug
“Five people lie on a Welsh beach, moving through fantasy, memory and reality as they process the most profound yet ordinary of experiences: nearing the end of life. As they describe moments from their lives, dig into their present experience and reflect on what the future has in store, we are taken on a rollercoaster ride of the human imagination… and transported all the way to the brink; as far as the eye can see.” An amazing sounding piece of work on difficult themes from Harriet Madeley. See the venue website here for details.

Still No Idea | The Bunker Theatre | 1-2 Aug (pictured)
In ‘Still No Idea’ – described as part-verbatim theatre, part-confession, part-comedy sketch show with a bit of singing and dancing thrown in – Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence explore attitudes to disability, ten + years on from their first show ‘No Idea’. “Lisa and Rachael want to make a show, but there’s a problem: they don’t have any ideas. So who do they turn to? The Great British Public of course! They make a pact. They’ll go onto the streets, interview people, and whatever story the public come up with – that will be the show. No backing out, no changing what they don’t like. Deal.” More here.

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