THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2014
GUS MILLER: A CHRISTMAS CAROL
I told you to expect more Christmassy Q&As as we progress towards the 25 Dec, and here is the latest, focusing on Neil Bartlett's adaptation of Charles Dickens' immortal story 'A Christmas Carol', soon to be staged at Old Red Lion theatre by Metal Rabbit Productions.

It sounds like an intriguing version, using only Dickens' words and Victorian Christmas carols, while a cast of six take on all the roles. I love Dickens, and I love 'A Christmas Carol', so I sent a few quick questions over to director Gus Miller. You can read the interview here.

'A Christmas Carol' by Neil Bartlett is on from 10 Dec to 3 Jan at Old Red Lion theatre. See the venue website for more info and tickets.



THE BIRTHDAY GIRLS
If you are a comedy aficionado, you've probably heard of Birthday Girls, given the recent critical acclaim accorded to them up at that old Edinburgh Festival; you might also be aware that they are formed from the ashes of the also rather successful Ladygarden.

The trio are all set to give us a pre-Christmas comic treat by heading to Soho Theatre for a short run of their successfully road-tested 2014 show 'Party Vibes'. After their very quick chat with the podcast team last week, I sent some questions over to Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan and, in one voice, they answered them. You can read the interview here.

Birthday Girls perform 'Party Vibes' from 9-13 Dec at Soho Theatre, see this page here for more info and tickets.
FRIDAY 5 DECEMBER 2014 >>
COMEDY: Adam Kay & The Amateur Transplants - Going For A #1 At Christmas | The Tabernacle | 5 Dec
Former doctor and now-musical-comic Adam Kay conducts his band The Amateur Transplants in an all singing, all glad-tidings-bringing Christmas show with a dark side to it, as (as was discussed in Kay's ThisWeek London chat circa last Xmas) is his wont. Details and tickets here.

EXHIBITION: Bolt | GRAD | 6 Dec - 28 Feb 2015 (pictured)
The Gallery For Russian Arts & Design hosts this exhibition digging in to Dmitri Shostakovich's anarchic ballet 'Bolt', a black industrial satire full of all kinds of shady behaviour, which was hit with a Soviet government ban shortly after its debut in 1931. The original show, which featured real hammers and machine-inspired acrobatics, is reanimated here via a lively free-entry display of weird and witty scenery and costumes. Details here.

MUSIC: Metronomy | Alexandra Palace | 5 Dec
Modular pop oddballs Metronomy cap a storming year - which shoved off with the springtime release of the band's fourth LP 'Love Letters' - with this over-sized show at London's Ally Pally. Support is from Australian songwriter and 'Avant Gardener' Courtney Barnett and linear synth man NZCA Lines. Details and tickets here.
SATURDAY 6 DECEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: Live At The Chapel w/ Adam Buxton + Alex Horne | Union Chapel | 6 Dec
This especially fine edition of The Invisible Dot's always very fine LATC night is headlined by inventive tech geek Adam Buxton, MC'd by top brass host Alex Horne, and gives featured spots to prize-winning weirdo John Kearns, lord of grump Nish Kumar, plus Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White as the 'Sexy American Girl Cousins'. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY/KIDS: Phil Ellis - Funz & Gamez | Soho Theatre | 6 Dec - 4 Jan 2015 (pictured)
Like, hate or tolerate the word 'bonkers', it's at its most apt if applied to this Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards Panel Prize-winning family fun n game show from comic and king-of-giggles Phil Ellis; which arrives fitted with all the right trimmings (whimsical characters, prizes, a dog named Bonzo) for a silly good time. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Myths | Blue Elephant Theatre | Until 6 Dec
Last chance to catch this arch contemporary twist (as was recently featured on the ThisWeek London Podcast) on the various 'Myths' of Ancient Greece; as theatre creatives Hammer & Tongs invite us mortals to dodge snakes with Medusa's stylists, drink protein shakes with the goddess of war, and peak into the dinner party tiffs on Mount Olympus. Details and tickets here.
SUNDAY 7 DECEMBER 2014 >>


CABARET: The Curiosity Cabaret - Episode 1 | The Old Operating Theatre | 7 Dec
Staged - amidst all the scary-looking tools, anatomical drawings and pickled 'things' - in the 50-seater Old Operating Theatre, the world's first history of medicine cabaret (that I can think of) starts with an eye-popping talk by King's College scholar Dr Anna Maerker, and ticks on in the company of the night's host and ringmaster Dr Clive, and a menagerie of acts like uke-playing burleque man Desmond 'not Des' O'Connor and his 'Once Bitten' co-star Zoie Kennedy, and next-wave storyteller Rachel Rose Reid. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Rise Of The Idiots w/ Romesh Ranganathan + Phil Wang | The Exhibit, Balham | 7 Dec
Chiselled ex-E4 presenter Joe Dommett MCs the evening's entertainment at the next Rise Of The Idiots; which features headliner-on-high (and noted grinch and cynic) Romesh Ranganathan mixing it in with the likes of comic climber and 'Anti-Hero' Phil Wang, and peppy comedian Jenny Collier. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Obama-ology | Finborough Theatre | until 16 Dec (pictured)
As America's divisive President nears the end of his final term, this timely work from States-based playwright Aurin Squire follows a college grad who takes a job on the 2008 Obama campaign. Not only that, it also looks into the lives of the black minority of East Cleveland, whose hopes are lifted by the young canvasser. Details and tickets here.
MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2014 >>
COMEDY: Karl & Joz's Over The Top Xmas Love-In w/ Bridget Christie + Tim Key + Josie Long + Sara Pascoe | Bloomsbury Theatre | 8 Dec
Karl (Schultz) and Joz (Norris), basically the Ant & Dec of alternative comedy, co-present this kissy-wissy Christmas benefit featuring festive mini sets by Bridget Christie, Sara Pascoe, Tim Key, John Kearns, Brian Gittins, Josie Long AND Liam Williams. All takings from the show will go to Karl's Homeless & Unemployed Charity at the Salvation Army in Barking. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Nick Helm - Merry Christmas Motherfuckers | Soho Theatre | 8-20 Dec
Bearded man-megaphone and acquired taste Nick Helm shoves his mother-lovin Xmas show right in your face - BAM. It's billed as one part songbook of Christmassy soft-rock standards, and all the other parts a Santa's sack of gags, guts and gifts. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Ultimate Painting | The Lexington | 8 Dec (pictured)
An actually quite cool superband for a change, Ultimate Painting is Jack Cooper of art-rock band Mazes and James Hoare of art-rock bands Veronica Falls and also, The Proper Ornaments. Far out. So all in all that equates to a highly accomplished art-rock show, no doubt, from the simpatico pair, who released their first collaborative LP as UP, also titled 'Ultimate Painting', back in October. Oh, and support comes from Primitive Parts and Grimm Grimm, who are both just as good. Details and tickets here.
TUESDAY 9 DECEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: Birthday Girls - Party Vibes | Soho Theatre | 9-13 Dec (pictured)
Offbeat sketch cheerleaders (and jewels of this ThisWeek London Podcast and also interviewed here) Birthday Girls bring the 'Party Vibes' in this, their 'present' (present? Birthday? Never mind) headline show, a parade of weird characters, try-hard dancing and general liveliness. It's directed by Tom Parry off of Pappy's, if that makes any difference. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Crying Duck presents... The Meaning Of Christmas w/ Sunil Patel + Chris Betts + Nic & Amy | COG Artspace | 9 Dec
Crying Duck asked a crew of London's top alternative comedians - not least Sunil Patel, Chris Betts, Chris Cantrill and Nic & Amy - what exactly Christmas means to them; and tonight, all will be revealed via a marketing presentation, some ill-fated carols, an 'abridged office party' and, naturally, the odd joke. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/COMEDY: It's So Nice | Institut Francais | 9 Dec
A light-hearted bilingual show scripted by and starring actresses Lula Béry & Barbara Sylvain, 'It's So Nice' riffs on the ambivalent, high-stakes relationship of queenly sixteenth century icons Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. Details and tickets here.
WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: Mostly Comedy w/ Doggett & Ephgrave + Joey Page | Leicester Square Theatre | 10 Dec
"Sparky" small-town absurdists Doggett & Ephgrave host this grab bag of stand-up, skits and sing-alongs from honorary 'Mostly' co-stars like the "spaced out" Joey Page, Dave Gorman-approved musical comic Jay Foreman, and livewire clown Holly Burn. Details and tickets here.

MUSICAL: City Of Angels | Donmar Warehouse | 10 Dec - 7 Feb 2015 (pictured)
Donmar AD Josie Rourke directs this revival of the now 20 year old 'City Of Angels', a noirish Hollywood story with a suave jazz score by Cy Coleman, witty lyrics by David Zippel and a book by comic screenwriter writer Larry Gelbart. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/KIDS: The Gruffalo's Child | Artsdepot | 10 Dec - 4 Jan 2014
Featuring all the traits of an ideal children's show, Tall Stories' roaring musical offshoot of the hairy, scary Gruffalo franchise follows the cuddly beast's child as she sneaks into the woods one wild and windy night, risking a meeting with the fabled Big Bad Mouse. Details and tickets here.
THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER 2014 >>
EXHIBITION/PHOTOGRAPHY: Skinhead - An Archive | Ditto Press | 11 Dec
Coinciding with Ditto's latest publication, a book tracing the lineage of the skinhead in art and society, this good-looking display of photography and 'printed material' features reactionary designs by menswear creative Martine Rose, DJs from NTS Radio, and free drinks. And the event itself, is free. Details here.

MUSIC: Little Simz + M.O | XOYO | 11 Dec (pictured)
20 year old Islington rap prodigy Little Simz, who's tipped by many (not least Jay-Z, via his Life + Times blog) to 'break big' in 2015, highlights her first EP 'EDGE', and litter of past mixtapes, with this headline show presented by Wireless Festival. Cool girl trio M.O and hip hop pairing OCD (aka Moosh & Twist) also play live. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: The Knight Of The Burning Pestle | Sam Wannamaker Playhouse | 11 Dec - 11 Jan 2015
Jacobean satirist Francis Beaumont's 'several plays within a play', which is back in a puff of wig powder following a spirited first whip-crack at the candle-lit Wannamaker earlier this year, features Phil 'Parklife' Daniels and Pauline McLynn as a stage-heckling grocer and his wife. Details and tickets here.
 
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