THURSDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2014
EDITION 11: MARK THOMAS, PETE THE TEMP, MIMETIC FESTIVAL, PETE FIRMAN AND JOHNNY & THE BAPTISTS
It's your weekly guide to culture in the capital. Chris Cooke and Tom Bragg are joined by Mark Thomas to discuss his Kurdish Red Crescent Benefit extravaganza at the Bloomsbury Theatre on Sunday evening and his most recent Edinburgh show 'Cuckooed', which comes to London's Tricycle Theatre next month. We also find out more about the Mimetic Festival and talk to Pete Firman ahead of his London show this weekend. Plus there's a poem from Pete The Temp and a song from Johnny & The Baptists.

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SONDRA LEE: GO SEE
The late Norris Church Mailer, despite being better known as the wife of Norman Mailer, was in her own right a talented writer, and 'Go See', her only full length play, premieres this month at London's King's Head Theatre. A play about two strangers meeting and getting to know each other in New York, it explores personal, sexual and cultural identity against the backdrop of the big city.

The director who has brought the play to London is Sondra Lee, renowned Broadway star of the fifties and sixties, active member of the Actors Studio in New York, and writer of truly memorable memoirs. I sent some questions, to find out more about the playwright, the play, and why Sondra decided to bring it to the UK. You can read the interview here.

'Go See' is on at King's Head Theatre until 29 Nov. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.
FRIDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2014 >>
COMEDY: CON FU SE w/ Phil Kay + Lewis Schaffer | BL_NK | 21 Nov
A free new comedy night with on-site sliders and beers (both non free), this edition of CON FU SE holds in store headliners in the shape of thinking man's quipster Lewis Schaffer and "manic" comic enthusiast Phil Kay, and back-up from Spencer Jones, Faye Treacy, Sarah Cassidy, Ali Brice and Mr Susie. Details here.

MUSIC: Toddla T + Mike Skinner + Lil Silva | XOYO | 21 Nov
DJ and lord of the dance Toddla T leads a commanding list of live acts featuring lyricist Mike Skinner on his ex-Streets solo thing, and young production gun Lil Silva. Details and tickets here.

OPERA: The Gospel According To The Other Mary | London Coliseum | 21 Nov - 5 Dec (pictured)
Directed by Peter Sellars (the living, American Peter Sellars, as opposed to, you know, Peter Sellers) and drawing partly from the Bible, and partly from a group of 20th century writers, contemporary opera great John Adams' grandiose-looking new creation - says Sellars - "sets the Passion story in the eternal present, in the tradition of sacred art"; flipping the script on the Resurrection of ol Jesus by showing it from the POV of Mary Magdalene and Martha, and mirroring the events of the Passion in modern-day headlines. Details and tickets here.
SATURDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2014 >>


FILM: Björk Biophilia Live + Beastliness | ICA | 22 Nov
Representing the mid-point of the ICA's superlative 'Ada & After: Women Do Science [Fiction]' weekend of screenings and talks, this two-film itinerary starts off with a showing of Björk's big, visionary stage movie 'Biophilia Live', this paired with a Q&A with Björkian pop contemporaries Leila Moss and Jemma Desai. That's all followed by a playback of Deborah Kelly's disorientating and 'horizonless' sci-fi animation 'Beastliness'. Details and tickets here.

MAGIC/COMEDY: Pete Firman - Trickster | Leicester Square Theatre | 22 Nov
Ka-boom! Skilled slight-of-hand tricks and wink-wink physical whimsy mystically combine in this magic display from reliable comic wizard Pete Firman, several of whose secrets are revealed in this interview he did with TW London earlier in the year. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Mother Goose | Hackney Empire | 22 Nov - 4 Jan 2015 (pictured)
Oh, go on. Go and watch the 'mother' (ha ahaha ahahaha ha) of pantos aka the Hackney Empire's big and mighty Christmas show, as stars old stage hand Clive Rowe as titular 'Mother Goose', a mannish-looking dame who acquires a magic goose with a 44-carat egg-laying habit. Details and tickets here.
SUNDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: Kurdish Red Crescent Benefit w/ Mark Thomas + Tim Key + Josie Long | Bloomsbury Theatre | 23 Nov
The very good and 'frequently on TV' likes of Tim Key, Josie Long, Andy Zaltzman and Nadia Kamil all take space on this Mark Thomas-curated bill in aid of the Kurdish Red Crescent, a charity working to assist those fleeing the attacks of IS and Assad on the Syrian/Turkish border. Details and tickets here, and for the full lowdown check out Mark Thomas on this week's ThisWeek London Podcast).

THEATRE/MUSICAL: Symphony | Soho Theatre | until 30 Nov
A "winning combination" (said us via ThreeWeeks circa this year's Edinburgh Fringe) of harmonic sing-songs and acted stories of love, loss and dreams (all dedicated to Londoners, by the way); Nabokov's award-winning 'Symphony' is the creation of all-star young writers Ella Hickson (the RSC's 'Wendy & Peter), Nick Payne (the Royal Court's Olivier-nominated 'Constellations'), and Tom Wells of 'Jumpers For Goalposts' fame. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Walaa | St Martin In The Fields Church | 23 Nov (pictured)
Richard Shannon directs 'Walaa' (or 'loyalty') a play by Ahmed Masoud that looks at the knock-on effects of the civil war in Syria; and, by drawing from real stories, how the brutal conflict is dividing both individuals, families, and the population at large. A post-play debate will take place, chaired by BBC Foreign Affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge, and featuring Masoud, Shannon, and Amnesty International's Kristyan Benedict. Details and tickets here.
MONDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2014 >>
CABARET: The Rat Pack Live | Arts Theatre | 24 Nov
A slicked-back homage to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and the cool cats of the swingin Rat Pack, this 5/5-rated show finds a thirteen-strong band and cast of five vocalists recreating classic 1950s hits like 'Mac The Knife', 'Mr Bo Jangles' and 'New York, New York'. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY/FILM: Simon Munnery's Fylm School | Soho Theatre | 24 Nov (pictured)
Whimsical 'fylm' fan nonpareil Simon Munnery invites VIP guests (in this case ventriloquist Nina Conti and Australian comic Sam Simmons) to co-star in (and co-create) a DIY film shoot featuring hand-made sets, silly skits and "drawings of varying quality", screened live from the back of the theatre. Details and tickets here.

FILM: Duke Mitchell Film Club presents... Very Early Christmas Special | Phoenix Artist Club | 24 Nov
Left-of-centre film society the Duke Mitchell Film Club hosts this pre-Christmas Christmas bonanza, the focal point of which is a showing of rare sci-fi movie 'Night Visitors', the story of a family visited by a parade of characters bearing weird Xmas tidings. A quiz and a game of Trailer Trash (aka a dig into a Christmassy box of unusual archive trailers) will follow. Details and tickets here.
TUESDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2014 >>


DANCE: Don Quixote | Royal Opera House | 25 Nov - 22 Jan 2015
Cuban dancer and now seasoned choreographer Carlos Acosta gives his high-spirited take on Petipa's knight-and-squire's tale 'Don Quixote' a curtain call, this after it first ran at the Royal Opera House last year. Acosta shares the part of virtuoso suitor Basilio with Steven McRae and Matthew Golding. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Saxon Court | Southwark Playhouse | until 13 Dec

Daniel Anderson's acid Christmas-time satire, made by Made By Brick, follows small-time businesswoman who, following a chain of office crises, goes on an 'Apprentice'-style mission to fire someone at the staff Xmas party. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Theatre Uncut 2014 | Soho Theatre | 25-30 Nov
Five leading playwrights (not least 'Spine' scribe Clara Brennan, award-winning dramatist Inua Ellams, and acclaimed 'Pests' writer Vivienne Franzmann) interpret topical political headlines in a chain of inter-linking short works on the theme of 'Knowledge Is Power, Knowledge Is Change', with each performance followed by a Q&A on the issues raised by the plays. Details and tickets here.
WEDNESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY/PHYSICAL: Marion Deprez Is Gorgeous | The Vaults | 25-29 Nov
Pro clown Marion Deprez flips the notion of 'beauty' on its head (and then, as her next trick, flips herself on her head), proving via her carefree physical antics that the difference between a real woman, and an ideal one. This show is part of 2014's glittering Mimetic Festival. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: AMP Collected w/ Låpsley + Dornik | ICA | 26 Nov

Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac hosts AMP Collected, a new series of showcase-type events at the ICA featuring live sets by fresh artists hand-picked from her radio playlist. XL-signed electronic singer Låpsley (real name Holly Fletcher) and high-shine R&B talent (and ex-Jessie Ware Backing vocalist) Dornik. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Visitors | Bush Theatre | 26 Nov - 10 Jan 2015
Award-winning actress Linda Bassett plays Edie, a vivacious old lady with Alzheimer's, in Barney Norris' many-faceted play about living and dying, which is directed in close, intimate style by Alice Hamilton. Edie's loving husband can't afford to stop working to look after her, nor can her worrisome son cover the costs of a care home, and so they hire blue-haired carer Kate to help. Details and tickets here.
THURSDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2014 >>
COMEDY: Lou Sanders In Another Great Show Again | Soho Theatre | 27-29 Nov (pictured)
'A genderless riot from a little old force-to-be-reckoned-with', yells the billing for this show from comic host-with-the-most-boasts, the charmingly odd, 'bubbly' and un-fussy Lou Sanders. 'Sleaze: turned down. Clothed: fully', the poster dutifully adds. Details and tickets here.

FILM: Argentine Film Festival | various locations | 27-30 Nov
Feting the best and freshest of Argentina's new films; this year's AFF features bigger-budget pictures like footballing animation 'Metegol' (Juan José Campanella's first film since 2009's acclaimed 'The Secrets In Their Eyes') and Natalia Meta sexy and stylised 1980s-set thriller 'Death in Buenos Aires'; and smaller (if not any less great) films like Matías Lucchesi's coming-of-age road movie 'Natural Science' is a moving, dance doc 'Living Stars', and photographer-come-filmmaker Alejandra Grinschpun's glimpse of life on the fringes, the intimate 'Street Years'. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: The Proper Ornaments + Virginia Wing | 100 Club | 27 Nov

Velveteen psych band The Proper Ornaments represent their latest LP 'Wooden Head' with a stop-off at iconic Oxford St dive 100 Club, with slinky avant-pop clique Virginia Wing as support. Details and tickets here.
 
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