Art & Events Children's Shows Comedy Festivals Musicals Spoken Word Theatre ThisWeek In London

Three To See and Stream 26 Apr-2 May: Theatre shows, family shows, funny shows, festivals

By | Published on Friday 22 April 2022

THREE SHOWS STARTING THIS WEEK

Orlando | Jermyn Street Theatre | 28 Apr-28 May (pictured)
OK, let’s kick off today’s proceedings with a look at three fairly long running shows that go up this week, starting with a story you’ll no doubt be more than aware of: Virginia Wolf’s 1920 work ‘Orlando’, adapted for the stage by Pulitzer/Tony nominee Sarah Ruhl and brought to life at Jermyn Street Theatre. “Growing up as an Elizabethan pageboy and skating on the frozen Thames, Orlando never imagines he’ll travel to Turkey. Or get married in the reign of Queen Victoria. Or live long enough to answer the telephone. He definitely isn’t expecting to wake up as a woman one day. But if you stick around for five centuries, life is bound to get interesting…” Read more about the show here.

Five Characters In Search Of A Good Night’s Sleep | Southwark Playhouse | 27 Apr-21 May
On to ‘Five Characters In Search Of A Good Night’s Sleep’ at the Southwark Playhouse, which – obviously – jumped out at me on account of the fact that I’m someone who desperately needs a good night’s sleep. “Five insomniacs try to make it through the night. From dusk to dawn, they struggle with a crisis in their lives which they must resolve by morning. Increasingly conscious of their shortening futures and lengthening pasts, they fill their nights with distracting activities, desperate sleep techniques, evaluations of their lives, delusions, fears, panics and utter foolishness as they prepare to face the day”. More here.

House Of Ife | Bush Theatre | 29 Apr-11 Jun
“‘See that’s the problem with this family innit, we never wanna talk real about Ife’. In the wake of the sudden death of their eldest son, Ife, one family is forced to confront the traumas they’ve long tried to bury. As the sun beats down on their North London flat, and the head of the family arrives from Ethiopia for the funeral, tensions rise, cultures clash and past betrayals are unearthed”. This Bush commission from Ethiopian-British writer Beru Tessema, directed by the venue’s artistic director Lynette Linton, promises to be “a tense and captivating story of what it means to belong, and what happens when a family’s secrets shake its foundations”. For more information and to book tickets head to the venue website right about here.


THREE SHORT STOPS

A Place To Fall To Pieces | The Space | 28-30 Apr
And now for three short runs in ye old London town this week, all of which are theatrical, and one of which (this one) will also be available to view via the good old internet, for those of you unable to make it to the venue. This is also a show we have tipped before – and we’ve also run a Q&A with its creators, sisters Isobel and Anna Hughes – when the show was on as part of the online element of the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here’s another chance to see it in person or online, and that can only be a good thing. The show is a blend of original music, storytelling and spoken word dealing with themes of migration and displacement, and what it means to belong, through folklore and old stories. For more info and to book, see this page here.

The Audition Process | The Space | 26-27 Apr
“Drama school isn’t made for people who aren’t white. Being black in drama school is like being a monkey in a zoo”. We stay at The Space for this very necessary sounding play by Lucie Lutte, who has based the piece on real life incidents that she herself faced and witnessed. “‘We are done with playing the Game. If your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough’. Drama school isn’t always about the glitz and glamour. There’s a dark and corrupted side to everything. When Lewis and Fatima embark on this unpredictable world of auditioning for drama school, they meet others just like them. Others from all walks of life, ethnicities and cultures. What was meant to be a normal audition turns into a day they will never forget”. Head to this page here to book yourself in.

Shewolves | Poplar Union | 1 May (pictured)
As someone who deals with a fourteen year old on a daily basis, and has a bit of experience of how challenging being a teenager can be, this funny show about forging friendships and the “underestimated smartness of teens” absolutely caught my eye. “Ever thought you should run the world, even though you’re ‘only fourteen and a girl’? Priya and Lou have. And they’re ready to bite back against any adult who doubts them. Armed with a backpack full of Pop-tarts and a hunger to tackle climate change, they embark on a covert expedition into the wild. But when the wilderness closes in around them, can Lou and Priya overcome their differences to make their voices heard?” Click here.


THREE FAMILY SHOWS

The Emperor’s New Clothes | Polka Theatre | 28 Apr-22 May (pictured)
And now, time for us to think about the small people in our lives, and plan to take them to see some lovely shows in the London area. All the grown ups will probably be aware of this classic Hans Christian Anderson tale about the silly emperor and his nude-suit. This new adaptation from Hiccup Theatre looks like it will offer a highly entertaining version of the story, and a great introduction to it for anyone who is not yet aware of it. “We bring you the greatest fake news story ever told! The Emperor likes nothing more than a fashion parade and you are all invited to ohh and ahh at his latest eye-popping outfit. Meet the vain Emperor, the pandering advisors who offer uncritical support, and the crowd who fail to tell the truth, preferring lies to be told instead”. Click here.

Pinocchio | Little Angel Theatre | 29 Apr-26 Jun
Another children’s show inspired by a classic tale, and this time it’s Pinocchio. Not sure the story is quite the kids’ favourite it used to be – I’ve known a fair few small people who found the film a bit too scary – but this staging sounds rather more magical than scary, so I think you and your small people can head over to the Little Angel Theatre for the show with no qualms. It features puppetry, shadows, illusion and original music, but also an element of improvisation, which means that no two performances will ever be quite the same. “Watch as Pinocchio is carved on stage, paint brushes come to life as foxes and the shadow of two saws transform into a giant fish”. More here.

Mischief & Mystery in Moomin Valley | Jacksons Lane | 30 Apr-1 May
“Pack your imagination and join us on an unforgettable journey to Moominvalley, where everyone is welcome, nature thrives and adventures are plentiful. Join in the snowball fight, toast marshmallows and go sea-swimming as we explore nature, the value of friendship and the acceptance of difference together”. Yes, it’s yet another play based on a classic, I’m not sure why I didn’t make that element part of the tip section theme, to be honest. I didn’t though, so let’s just forget that, put it behind us and move on. Inspired by Tove Jansson’s much loved novel, and created in consultation with the writer’s niece, it’s a show that features interactive storytelling, original music, puppetry, and what’s described as “an ingenious pop-up book set”, which sounds fun. Find out more here.


THREE FUNNY SHOWS

Seann Walsh: Work In Progress | Pleasance Theatre | 26 Apr
On to some funny stuff for you all, and let’s start with one of the many work in progress shows I’ve been seeing stacked up at lots of comedy focused venues of late. I don’t honestly have much to say, really, about why I selected Seann Walsh’s work in progress shows except that a) he’s really good at stand up and b) I recently watched his comedy special ‘Kiss’ on YouTube (well, part of it – I got called away before I managed to reach the end) and it was really good, not to mention really interesting, being able to hear about that notorious tabloid furore from his perspective. So of course I’d like to know what’s coming next from him, even at the work in progress stage. For not much info, frankly, but to book tickets, head to this page here.

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy | Woolwich Works | 29 Apr
Regular readers may have deduced that ‘Bring Your Own Baby Comedy’ is one we have a bit of a soft spot for, because we’ve talked about it quite a lot. I think it’s probably because I really wish that it (or something similar) had existed (and I’d known about it) when I had a small babe in arms and was struggling to get out and do things that were fun for me. Of course, I also had a screamer that would have possibly just ruined it for everyone, but you know, that doesn’t rule it out for the rest of you. Anyway, yes, people with little babies, here’s an opportunity to avail yourself of grown up, hilarious entertainment, while not abandoning your nine month old baby in the park. Carers with babby lambs aged under fifteen months, this is the show for you. Head to the venue website here for more info and to sort tickets.

An Evening With The Good Enough Mums Club | Pleasance Theatre | 30 Apr (pictured)
Slightly keeping with a theme, here, as this is definitely one that mothers will be interested in – though this one’s a bit late at night for babies – and you can expect hilarity and song from this concert performance of a new musical set for a full production in 2023. “Toddle through the highs, lows and sleep deprivation of motherhood. From peeing on sticks to drooping tits we share the love and dispel the myths with enough wipes on hand to mop the tears and clean away the snotty laughter. Five women thrown together by motherhood, overcome their isolation, loneliness, judgment and perfectionism to discover that they’re stronger as a group than as individuals, and that sometimes, being good enough is best”. See more here.


THREE FESTIVAL EVENTS (ALMOST)

Come What May Festival | Park Theatre | 2-28 May (pictured)
I’ll confess that although I called this a festival section, there are actually only two festivals in it. I just wanted to have a festival section, you see, but I only had two I wanted to talk about. Anyway, forgive me any dissemblance, and make sure you check out the Come What May Festival at Park Theatre, a four week line-up developed in response to the cancellation of the Vault Festival offering a wide range of shows from a diverse mix of creators covering a diverse mix of themes. A number of TW favourites (though I won’t mention any names) are appearing in some of the twelve shows on offer, and it really sounds like there is probably something for everyone, with comical stuff, dramatic stuff, spoken word and cabaret. Take a look at the full schedule here and make up your mind about which to see.

Peckham Fringe | Theatre Peckham | 2 May-5 Jun
Another fabulously mixed selection for you here, with the excellent Peckham Fringe offering five weeks of fab shows of all genres, with lots of fresh and new material set to be staged. The festival involves twenty seven visiting companies, and they explore a wealth of themes and topics with works looking at the likes of a dystopian future; autoimmune disorders; LGBT issues; the reign of slum landlords in London and the history of black voices. As well as fully formed offerings there’s a new writing scratch night, and as well as the theatrical stuff, there’s comedy, children’s shows and a black musical theatre night… I really can’t do justice to all of it here, so please head this way to look through the long list of events and book tickets for loads of them.

Illicit Signals Bletchley | Crypt | 2-28 May
“Step back in time to 1940s Bletchley Park, a world of espionage, code breaking and secrets. It was here that men and women, both young and old, cracked German codes and unveiled war winning secrets, but these men and women kept secrets of their own, both from each other and the public. Follow in the footsteps of real life cryptologists as Bletchley Park goes through its most pivotal moment. Crack codes and decipher messages to uncover their private lives and make the tough decision of whether to keep their secrets or spill the beans”. Yes, this one’s the one that’s not a festival. But it is a rather exciting interactive and immersive event that combines historical drama with code-breaking fun. Head this way to book tickets.



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