THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER 2014
DANNY WAINWRIGHT: A FAMILY 'CHRISTMAS CAROL'
If you are looking for a theatrical treat for the whole family over Christmas then this show might be just the thing: a comical adaptation of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', aimed at entertainment lovers of all ages.

As a fan of 'A Christmas Carol', Dickens, and indeed, Christmas in general, I wasn't likely to pass up the chance to find out more about this one, especially as I have a nearly-eight-year-old girl to occupy over the holidays. I quizzed director Danny Wainwright, artistic director of Let Them Call It Mischief, the producing company behind the show. You can read the interview here.

'A Christmas Carol' is on at Pleasance Islington until 4 January. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.
FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2014 >>
CABARET: The Night Before Winterval | Roundhouse | 12-20 Dec Dusty Limits' strictly non-Christmassy cabaret affair is hosted by anti-drag dame David Hoyle, and features special new bits by twisted mime The Ungewinster, the Kalki Hula Girl, Tom Baker and funny burlesque starlet Fancy Chance. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: This Is Your Trial | Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre | 12 Dec An experimental new pretext for a night's improvised entertainment, this family-friendly edition of 'This Is Your Trial' finds comedians Tim FitzHigham, John Hastings, Thom Tuck and Mark Dolan challenged to each hastily fabricate a defence strategy for a 'guilty' member of the audience. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Golem | Young Vic | until 17 Jan 2015 (pictured) Dark-minded theatre-makers 1927 - who made tidal waves with their last play, 'The Animals & Children Took To The Streets'; once again combine original animation, performance and a live score with this show that pits man against machine, posing the very modern question of whether or not men control technology, and vice versa. Details and tickets here.
SATURDAY 13 DECEMBER 2014 >>


DANCE/MUSIC: Vuong 10 | Rich Mix | 13 Dec Choreographers Nina Kov and Catarine Carvalho's 'Vuong 10', which was originally chosen by Wayne McGregor for his 'Randomworks' showcase, examines the 'yearning for physical affinity in a digital age' via the interactions of two dancers. The performance has a live score by Polar Bear's Leafcutter John and violinist Max Baillie. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Just Jam Live w/ Omar Souleyman + JME + Big Narstie + General Levi | Barbican | 13 Dec (pictured)
Online channel and live-streaming hype-machine Just Jam hosts Syrian pop idol Omar Souleyman, grime stars JME, Big Narstie, Mumdance and Novelist, ragga MC General Levi and glitchy dance types Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and Brian Degraw (Gang Gang Dance) for a 'do-over' of an identical event that was cancelled earlier this year. All acts will play sets in typical Just Jam style (only up-scaled onto giant screens for HD viewing), with wobbly camerawork and bright green-screen visuals, which will be specially commissioned by a range of digital artists. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/KIDS: Nigel & Louise's Basement Grotto | Shoreditch Town Hall | until 24 Dec
A non-sickly and slightly odd Christmas grotto dreamt up by Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari (of acclaimed 'Boy Who Climbed Out Of His Face'-makers Shunt), this special Santa's den is only enterable by a magic portal linking straight to the North Pole. The family-friendly experience will repeating itself four times a day between 10.30am and 5.30pm, all the way to Xmas Eve; whilst Friday and Saturday nights are designed for adults only, and hosted by the likes of theatre shock tactician Christopher Brett-Bailey and Rob Salmon. Details and tickets here.
SUNDAY 14 DECEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: The Free Association + People People + Panthercannon | COG ARTSpace | 14 Dec (pictured) Relatively newly-improvised improv all-stars The Free Association - a hybrid team featuring comics from Austentatious, Showstoppers and Lazy Susan, and both of Max & Ivan - headline their own night at COG Arts' flagship space, also inviting along up and coming guests in the shape of Ruth Bratt, Andrew Pugsley and David Reed's dangerously spontaneous Panthercannon, and People People. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: McNeil & Pamphilon Go 8 Bit! Xmas Special! | Backyard Bar | 14 Dec
Leading 'geek comedians' (and stars of the ThisWeek London Podcast) Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon gift-wrap this Christmas-themed iteration of their tried and tested '8 Bit!' gaming gig, which features festive forfeits c/o 'Punishment Twat' Will Hartley, and next level video-game challengers Alexis Dubus, Nish Kumar, Bec Hill, Matt Highton, Ellie Gibson, Lord Fear and Treguard off of 'Knightmare Live!'. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Buke & Gase | Southbank Centre, Purcell Room | 14 Dec
Playing a cut-and-paste pop amalgam of handmade instruments the 'buke' (a smaller-than-usual six string guitar) and the 'gase', a cannibalised bass guitar, NYC musicians Aron Sanchez and Arone Dyer give a nod to 2010's 'Riposte', 2013's 'General Dome' and to future sonic doings, too. Details and tickets here.
MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 2014 >>
CABARET: Slightly Fat Features - Variety Soup | Leicester Square Theatre | 15-29 Dec A daft and noisy variety jolly from smash-hit man-gang Slightly Fat Features, this show is a hotchpotch of circus and physical skills, musical mash-ups and choreographed chaos. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY/KIDS: The Santa Claus Science Experiment | Bloomsbury Theatre | 15-21 Dec
Imagine if Santa was arrested by MI5, and the elves tried to save Christmas by having a go at recreating his holly jolly, roly poly magic with a bit of help from... a team of scientists? Well imagine no longer, at least not if you go and watch this neat idea for an alternative family panto scripted by inimitable entertainer (and shining star of the ThisWeek London Podcast) Tiernan Douieb and CBBC's Big Howard, aka Howard Read; which does exactly that. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Brain Of Brittain | New Diorama Theatre | 15 Dec (pictured)
Get inside the oversized mind of brainy comic playwright Jon Brittain, maker of acclaimed 'camp odyssey' 'Margaret Thatcher Queen Of Soho', via this showcase of his six "least worst" short plays, banner titled 'Funny Funny Funny Little Bit Poignant The End', which he's even deigned to direct. Amongst the plays on display are sex satire 'Everybody's Doing It', 'Star Trek' re-imagining 'To Boldly Go' and 'poignant bit' 'Shadows', which follows a man's repeated attempts to have a conversation with his daughter. Details and tickets here.
TUESDAY 16 DECEMBER 2014 >>


CABARET: Apocalypse Meow - Crisis Is Born | Southbank, Centre, Purcell Room | 16-29 Dec World-acclaimed 'kamikaze cabaret' star Melissa Madden Gray, alias Meow Meow, sings up a (snow) storm of cat-astrophically Christmassy cheer; with able assistance from a live band. Details and tickets here.

DANCE: Rambert Dance Company - New Choreography | The Place | 16-17 Dec
Take a break from all the tacky Xmas schmaltz with this programme of fairly sophisticated-looking works choreographed and danced by the cast of the Ballet Rambert. It includes Shobana Jeyasingh's mathematical-rhythms-meets-classical-Indian piece 'Terra Incognita'; the "world's first brass band work" 'Dark Arteries'; Ashley Page's 'Subterrain - which is scored by Aphex Twin and 'Anna Nichole Smith' opera composer Mark-Anthony Turnage - and Mark Baldwin's cosmic new short in three movements, 'The Strange Charm Of Mother Nature'. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Wiley | The Garage | 16 Dec
The one and only Wiley, original grime MC extraordinaire, rolls the dice on his tenth LP 'Snakes & Ladders', a game of slick, icy beats and his trademark arctic flow. Details and tickets here.
WEDNESDAY 17 DECEMBER 2014 >>


COMEDY: Barry From Watford's Bingo Bonanza | 100 Club | 17 Dec Minty biscuit fanatic Barry From Watford, the trite OAP alias of comedian Alex Lowe, hosts this special game of bingo featuring 'comic crooner' Frank Sanazi, award-winning 'Mrs Overall meets Beyonce'-style act Tina T'urner Tea Lady and, improbably, the real Boris Johnson. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Sheeps Festive Bash | The Invisible Dot | 17-21 Dec
Lamb-dressed-as-lamb-standard sketch crew Sheeps' Liam Williams, Daran Johnson and Alistair Roberts present this moveable feast of song, skit and celebration, which takes place over five themed nights ('variety', 'character', 'double acts/musical', 'stand-up' and last but not least, 'finale'), featuring friends-of-Sheeps like David Elms, Mae Martin, Josie Long, Kieran Hodgson, Oyster Eyes, Twins, Beard, Ivo Graham and MANY MORE. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/KIDS: Lionboy | Tricycle Theatre | 17 Dec - 10 Jan 2015
Live rhythms and circus tricks 'become one' in this story of a boy living in the future, who can talk to cats; and who teams with a floating big-top to save his parents when they're kidnapped. 'Lionboy' is the latest show from Complicite, award-winning makers of last year's 'The Master And Margarita'. Details and tickets here.
THURSDAY 18 DECEMBER 2014 >>
COMEDY/FILM: Heroes Grand Finale - The Secret Santa-Geddon | Grotto Of Comedy, Throgmorton St | 18 Dec
Okay, so whilst yes, we have already kind of tipped Bob Slayer's 'Grotto Of Comedy' residency to-do at large, we haven't pointed specifically to its grand finale. The event centres on the premiere of 'Santageddon The Movie', which was written and filmed on-site at the Grotto by Matt Highton and Stuart Laws, and stars Nick Helm, John Kearns, Gemma Whelan, Joz Norris, Pat Cahill, Beck Hill and... Bob Slayer! Aside from that, there'll be a heavenly host of secret comics performing live on the night. Who exactly? Only Santa knows. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: End Of The Road Christmas Special w/ Stealing Sheep | Oslo | 18 Dec
Psych-folk trio Stealing Sheep (and their Mythopoeia Procession) headline this off-site spin-off of discerning Dorset fest End Of The Road, which will find the band celebrating Christmas (and themselves) with a live spectacle featuring The Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band, 'galaxies and tapestries' and other cool visual aids. And support on the night is from young psych-pop savant Kiran Leonard. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: The Sound Of Silence | Apiary Studios | 18-19 Dec
The unusually-capitalised AnOtherPlace Theatre Company present one of them 'site-specific promenade events', this time based on Jean Cocteau's 'The Sound Of Silence', which follows an exasperated woman waiting for her lover. A room inside the Apiary Studios will serve as the self-contained apartment in which the play takes place, whilst another will act as a 1920s Parisian jazz bar; so places are limited by the size of the space. Details and tickets here.
 
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