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Three To See 9-15 Jul: Fringe Previews, Funny Stuff, Classics and More…

By | Published on Friday 5 July 2024

FRINGE PREVIEWS

Never Get To Heaven In An Empty Shell | Seven Dials Playhouse | 15-20 July
Edinburgh Fringe previews have been happening in London for some time now. They don’t always declare their previewness, but I happen to know that these shows are going to be on at edfringe before long. And I thought that this week, it was time to talk about some of them. First up is this semi-autobiographical tragicomedy from Claudia Fielding, focusing on an encounter with a ghost at Angel Station. For more info, see this page here.

Michael Brunstrom: Copernicus Now | Etcetera Theatre | 16 Jul
Next up from comedian Michael Brunstrom is a performance that was nominated for the Best Show Award at this year’s Leicester Comedy Festival. It’s described as “a joyful and surreal caper about hope, creativity and Renaissance-era astronomy”, so it’s not surprising that you can expect “lyrical absurdism, complex maths made ridiculous, songs and dream sequences, and a live model of the solar system”. Click here.

James Rowland Dies At The End Of The Show | New Diorama | 11 Jul (pictured)
Over to the New Diorama Theatre, where, frankly, there are loads of great looking Edinburgh-bound shows with upcoming dates, so check out the venue listings for them. This was the one that leapt out at me the most, though, because James Rowland is an all time TW favourite on the back of his exemplary work at edfringe and also a recipient of one of our Editors’ Awards. Expect superb things. More here.


MORE FRINGE PREVIEWS

Character Flaw | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 10 Jul
And you know, because it’s early July and I am really starting to feel the whole Fringe thing, I thought we’d have a second section of shows that I know will be turning up in Edinburgh next month. Let’s head first to the Hen & Chickens Theatre for ‘Character Flaw’, which caught my eye because of its ADHD themes, and the promise of something that combines hysterical anecdotes with heartbreaking moments. Details here.

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical | King’s Head Theatre | 9-21 Jul
This one’s been to the Fringe before, multiple times, as well as completing successful runs in London, and has so many five star reviews to its name you just won’t believe it. Musical fans, this show “lifts the lid on awful auditions, debilitating dance routines, mid-performance mishaps, backstage backstabbing, superfans and harsh critics – plus those magical moments that make it all worthwhile”. You will find all the info here.

Shake It Up | The Other Palace | 9-13 Jul (pictured)
One final Edinburgh bound delectation for you (though I honestly can’t guarantee that more previews won’t sneak their way into subsequent tip sections) and it’s for a show that brilliantly mixes up two of my favourite things, Shakespeare and improv. Brand new Shakespeare-style plays, newly created in front of your eyes, perhaps based on your very own suggestions. Live music, laughter and song! What more could you ask for? Click here.


CLASSIC THEMES

The Massive Tragedy Of Madame Bovary | Greenwich Theatre | 9-11 Jul
Right, onto three shows connected by the fact that they reference some classic stuff, in this case Flaubert’s ‘Madame Bovary’. As far as I recall, the book felt perhaps satirical but definitely not a bundle of laughs, however this show clearly aims to be very funny, even while exhorting audiences to “laugh and cry in equal measure as Emma Bovary chooses the wrong husband”. Read more about it here.

Animal Farm and 1984 – A George Orwell Double Bill | The Golden Goose Theatre | 9-20 Jul
Well, here’s a nice double bill for Orwell fans. Or perhaps fourteen year olds who are currently studying the books at school. Either way, it’s corking source material to base a show on, and this adaptation of ‘Animal Farm’ (by Paul Stebbings) is a London Pub Theatre Award winner. You can see one or both, find out more here.

I Am Lysistrata | Park Theatre | 11-13 Jul (pictured)
This is a radical modern reimagining of the very old comedy by Aristophanes and it sounds fabulous: devised with playwright Carmen Nasr, it’s by a company of ten women actors from countries like Ukraine, Syria and Zimbabwe, who now seek sanctuary in London. The result is a moving and funny piece about sisterhood, solidarity, losing homes and making new ones. For all the info, see this page here.


FUNNY STUFF

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation | Wilton’s Music Hall | 12 Jul
Well, you saw how excited I got about combining improv with Shakespeare and, frankly, I am no less excited by the thought of a troupe improvving a whole comical crime drama for me. And this lot have form for doing this rather well, including up at the Fringe. In fact, I bet they’ll be there again this year, which means, as predicted, there were more previews to come. Gonna go check. Yes, yes they will. Anyway, book here.

Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand Up Hour | Soho Theatre | 15-27 Jul
“A well-respected journeyman and bonafide legend on the Upstate New York regional comedy scene, Jack Tucker is the ultimate comedian’s comedian. If the joke doesn’t land, it’s not because it isn’t funny – you just didn’t get it. Nothing can stop him… Except himself”. Zach Zucker returns to Soho Theatre with his award winning alter-ego, and you’d better get a move on and book because tickets are selling quickly.

The Grindles: Fancy Rat | Soho Theatre | 10 Jul (pictured)
Yay, we are staying at the Soho Theatre for a very good reason and that reason is the London Clown Festival. There are loads of great clowny events this week and I want you to consider going to see all of them – see full listings here – but especially this one, because it’s the work of Marny Godden and Tom Turner, who won my heart with their performances in a different guise up at edfringes long gone. Click here now.


MORE GREAT STUFF

Dr Adam Perchard And Richard Thomas: Interview With The Vamp | Soho Theatre | 10-13 Jul
And on to the final section, beginning with another visit to Soho Theatre. They’re not paying me, honest, they just have loads of good stuff on. This one offers an epic queer song cycle that promises to be hilarious, macabre and touching, from the highly talented duo whose names you’ve already read. Expect “dazzling original music, vocal fireworks and rampant repartee”, and find more info here.

Housemates Returns: Before I Go | Brixton House | 15-27 Jul (pictured)
“Ajani can talk. He can host parties, talk to girls, charm any living being. However, he finds it hard to express himself to the people he cares about the most. When he dies and gets stuck in Limbo, he is given an ultimatum: Learn how to ‘properly’ communicate or remain here forever”. This piece by Tobi King Bakare, previously part of the venue’s 2023 Housemates Festival, sounds amazing. Info here.

The Bakery Is Closed Again | Bread & Roses Theatre | 15-17 Jul
And so to the very last tipped show for this week, which is about the spaces around us that are being lost, stolen and mishandled, inspired by an attempted wild camping ban on Dartmoor, as well as the destruction of community areas and wild landscapes. It’s an abstract sort of a show, presented via the media of stylised movement, original music and new writing, and produced by the ReBels Young Company. Find out more here.



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