THURSDAY 15 OCTOBER 2015


KEN MCCLYMONT: PLAYGROUND
The latest production to go up at the Old Red Lion theatre reunites acclaimed artist and director Ken McClymont with hit-making playwright Peter Hamilton, following the staging earlier in the year of previous collaboration 'Bridlington'.

Given that 'Bridlington' was so successful, I was eager to hear more about the follow up, 'Playground', so put some questions to the show's director, ahead of its London run. And you can read the interview here.

'Playground' is on at Old Red Lion theatre until 7 Nov. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.




TANIA AZEVEDO: HELLO AGAIN
If you're a fan of musical theatre, you may be aware of the work of acclaimed US creator Michael John LaChiusa, and you will no doubt also have heard of Play Pen Productions, whose work in the UK is equally acclaimed, not least by the likes of us.

Bringing the two together seems like a huge recipe for success, so I was keen to find out more about this show from performer and director Tania Azevedo. And you can read the interview here.

'Hello Again' is on at the Hope Theatre from 20 Oct - 7 Nov. See the venue website here for info and to book tickets.



HANNA GILLGREN AND HEIDI RUSTGAARD: H2DANCE'S STAGING AGES
I was really attracted to the idea of this physical piece as soon as I read about it, as it's the work of acclaimed pairing H2dance, aka Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard, and interestingly, features performers with a wide age range, the youngest being just nine years old.

To find out more about 'Staging Ages', and how it came together, I put some questions to Hanna and Heidi, ahead of their London dates. And you can read the interview here.

'Staging Ages' is on at The Place from 16-17 Oct. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.
FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER 2015 >>
Plague Of Idiots | The Comedy Room | 16 Oct (pictured)
A little bird has told me to expect great things from this quintet of clowns. An international troupe (hailing from  Italy, France, England, Switzerland and Australia), they are becoming renowned for their bizarre, riotous, ridiculous, yet very clever performances, and I am desperate to see them before I become very much older. You should see them soon too, because let's face it, you're no spring chicken either. See this page here for more info and to book.

West Africa - Word, Symbol, Song | British Library | 16 Oct-16 Feb

The 'wordy' culture of the whole of West Africa (seventeen nations) seems like an awfully big subject for one exhibition to cover but it looks like the British Library are going to have a go, and I am definitely keen to take a look at the result: manuscripts, sound recordings, books, photos and textiles offer an insight into the area's literary culture and oral traditions. See this page here for more info and tickety stuff.

Xanadu | Southwark Playhouse | 16 Oct-21 Nov

This should be great fun, despite the fact that it's based on that terrible Olivia Newton John film of the same name. No, I don't mean terrible, do I? I mean cult, which is different. In any case, this is the stage musical, not the film, and it's never been terrible, it gathered awards and nominations galore when it first opened on Broadway in 2007 in fact. For info on this 2015 version, see the venue website here.
SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2015 >>


Mr Tiger Goes Wild | Canada Water Culture Space | 17 Oct (pictured)
Yay, here's a bright and orangey one for the kids, to compensate for all those grey October skies, and to keep them occupied on Saturday afternoon. Goblin Theatre present a cheery, musical, tigery treat, with a great story - adapted from the book by Peter Brown - with the theme of always being yourself. For children aged three and up. See this page here for info.

Live At The Chapel With Freeze | Union Chapel | 17 Oct
Yet another stellar line up makes its collective way to Islington's Union Chapel for what I almost guarantee (I never actually guarantee anything) will be a superb night of comedy that will have you spouting superlatives until at least Monday morning. Freeze, the 'ritualistic double act' comprising the fabulously talented pairing of Tim Key and Tom Basden are at the helm, while Doc Brown, Cardinal Burns, Sara Pascoe and MC Pappy's are also on board. See this page here for all the gen.

Walking Stories | various locations | 17-31 Oct
This is part of the super festival that is Dance Umbrella, but it's not something that you turn up to watch, it's something you turn up to get involved with; you're given an mp3 player and headphones, and you watch, listen, and follow instructions which will take you on a journey with your fellow participants. The events are to take place in four different London parks - take a look at this page here, for more details of what it all entails, and how to book.
SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER 2015 >>


Anil Desai - Impressions of a Hindude | Camden Comedy Club | 18 Oct
If you haven't yet witnessed a performance by critically acclaimed comedian and impressionist Anil Desai, then it's frankly about time that you did. Didn't you even hear about his amazing '52 impressions in 5 minutes' routine? Where have you been for the last six years? More info on this show from right about here.

Deborah Frances-White - A Friend Of A Friend Of Dorothy | Camden Comedy Club | 18 Oct (pictured)
Oh, now, see, look what I did there. I recommended two acts appearing in the same venue on the same night. It feels wrong, yet oh so right, because you will be able to see both of the shows! And your second treat of the night is the brilliant Deborah Frances-White, who here performs the show she had a recent successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe with. Look here for more info.

Of Riders and Running Horses | various locations | 15-18 Oct
This looks all kinds of amazing and I've made the huge mistake of recommending the last performance. Never mind, hopefully you will read this ahead of the start of the run, so that you can choose which of the three performances you'd like to attend. I think all I have to do to sell this dance piece to you is tell you that it's performed at night, on a rooftop. See. You're sold, aren't you? Part of the afore-praised Dance Umbrella festival. See this page here for info.
MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 2015 >>
Ahir Shah | Soho Theatre | 19-24 Oct (pictured)
Extremely talented young man Ahir Shah heads to Soho Theatre for a run of his fourth hour-long show 'Distant', in which the comedian covers a diverse range of topics - World War One, cigarettes, vegetarianism, Islamism, capitalism, politics, climate change, love, and pirates - and which achieved much critical acclaim and played to packed houses during the Edinburgh Fringe in August. See this page here for all the info.

The Horne Section's Question Session | Soho Theatre | 19 Oct
Meanwhile, in the same venue (oops, I did it again) you can also see the beauteous Horne Section's Question Session, which offers a quizzy twist on the normal format. We're Alex Horne and Horne Section mad here at TW towers, and with good reason. If you're already a fan, you will love it, and if you're not already a fan, then you need to be. See this page here. Now.

Crouch End Comedy Festival | various venues | 19-25 Oct
Oh no, look what else I did. Three comedy tips on one day. I'll tell you what, tomorrow, it'll be another genre completely. All theatre. I promise. Anyway, you won't want to miss all that's on offer at the Crouch End Comedy Festival, so I could hardly have ignored it. It starts today, and includes pretty much everyone working in comedy today that I have heard of. Well, maybe not quite. But there's a fantastic range on board - the likes of Phil Nichol, Roisin Conaty, Ria Lina, Kevin Eldon, Andrew Maxwell... Oh, I'm tired of looking now, there are so many. Have a look for yourself, here.
TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2015 >>


Shooting With Light | New Diorama | 20-24 Oct
Acclaimed Total Theatre Award nominees Idle Motion return to the New Diorama with their show about Gerda Taro, front-line photojournalist whose career was unfairly eclipsed by the work of her lover and fellow photographer Robert Capa. You can find out more from this Q&A we did with the company's Grace Chapman ahead of their spring run of the show.  For info on the upcoming performances see this page here.

Clarion | Arcola Theatre | 20 Oct - 4 Nov

This is another show returning to the London stage following a successful run earlier in the year. This award nominated play, back for four weeks only, is a dark comedy by former journo Mark Jagasia, set at "Britain's worst newspaper", and dealing with the topics of free speech, nationalism and the state of the British media. More info from the venue website here.

Police Cops | Camden People's Theatre | 20-22 Oct

That title puts me in mind of 'Police Squad', and like the Leslie Neilsen TV show, this is very much a comedy take on the police drama genre, albeit in a completely different style: this clownish take on a high octane blockbuster movie offers highly charged, action packed physical comedy, from a skilful, award winning troupe. See this page here for info and tickets.
WEDNESDAY 21 OCTOBER 2015 >>


Outtatime | Albany Deptford | 21 Oct
If you know anything about me, and you probably don't, then you won't know that I have always been mildly fanatical about any media (book, film, TV, whatever) with the theme of time travel. So, I was bound to pick up on this show, a celebration of the 'Back To The Future' trilogy from Superfan, who previously brought you 'Ghostbusters' tribute show 'Who You Gonna Call'. It might be a bit niche therefore, but I reckon anyone could enjoy it. Get your info and tickets from here.

Sarai | Arcola Theatre | 21 Oct - 7 Nov (pictured)

This one-woman show, performed by Karlina Grace-Paseda and written by award winning playwright Paul Anthony Morris, sounds brilliant. Sarai has been promised that she will found a new nation, but must contend with famine, disease, persecution and civil war in the course of this no-doubt compelling psychological drama. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.

Nathan Cassidy - Back To The Future Trilogy (Abridged!) | Leicester Square Theatre | 21 Oct
So, er, yes. You might be wondering a) why there is more than one 'Back To The Future' related event on tonight, and b) why I have chosen to tip two of them. Well, as I said, I am a bit of a fanatic, so that explains point B. As for A... well, you know that Facebook meme, where people are always trying to con you into thinking that TODAY is the DAY in the future that Marty McFly visited but it actually never is? Well, 21 Oct 2015 really IS that day. And this show by Nathan Cassidy is going to be excellent, because he is very good. Get your tickets here.
THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER 2015 >>
Spencer Jones is The Herbert in Proper Job | Soho Theatre | 21-31 Oct
The fabulous Spencer Jones brought this show to Edinburgh this summer to much critical acclaim, and now it's London's chance to see this talented purveyor of prop-heavy comedy in action. "A show about failing, failure, how to fail and why you sometimes have to fail to win". Which includes lots of hilariously goofy mucking about. Don't miss it. Get your info and tickets here.

Heidi O'Loughlin - A Woman Talking | Soho Theatre | 22 - 24 Oct

Award nominated New Zealander Heidi O'Loughlin has already taken this shows to the Melbourne and Edinburgh festivals, so she should be pretty slick at it by now, and it sounds really interesting, focusing as it does on her ancestors and Tahitian heritage - kind of sounds like an episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are', but, you know, funny. See this page to book your tickets.

Soweto Kinch | 606 Club | 22 Oct

One of my favourite award winning music people (not least because I am an ardent fan of saxophony) plays a special gig at the lovely 606 jazz club today. Like the blurb on the venue website says, his music kind of defies categorisation a bit, given that it combines the be-bop influenced saxophone with all that nice hip hoppy stuff. You might have to book a dinner table, though, to ensure you get in. See this website here for details.
 
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