THURSDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2015


JEN KIRKMAN: FEELING FINE
Multi-talented, multitasking US comedian Jen Kirkman wings her way over to the UK this month to complete a short but sweet run at London's Soho Theatre. If you haven't come across her before, let me fill you in: she's an acclaimed stand-up star who makes regular appearances on US TV screens, as well as being a seasoned scriptwriter and best-selling author.

Almost as soon as I heard she was planning a visit to our neck of the woods, I put some questions to Jen, to find out more about the upcoming live dates, and her career in general. And you can read the interview here.

Jen Kirkman is on at Soho Theatre from 16-21 Nov. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.




ANDREW MAXWELL: YO CONTRAIRE
We've always been fans of Andrew Maxwell, here at TW Towers. In fact, back in 2006, at the Edinburgh Festival, we gave him an award for his brilliant 'Full Mooners'. And obviously, it's not just us lot who thinks he rocks. He's got years worth of TV jobs and high profile appearances under his belt, and his live work always receives a great critical response.

As we'd expect, the show that he's bringing to Soho Theatre this month won much acclaim up at the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year, and it's been a while since we chatted... so I put some quick questions to the veteran stand-up, ahead of his London dates. And you can read the interview here.

Andrew Maxwell performs 'Yo Contraire' at Soho Theatre from 17-21 Nov, see this page here for more info and to book.




RACHEAL OFORI: PORTRAIT
This summer in Edinburgh, one of our reviewers was very impressed by the work - and potential - of Racheal Ofori, whose solo show 'Portrait' was staged as part of the Festival Fringe. Since then, the show has been on tour, and next week will finish with three performances as part of the Radar 2015 at the Bush Theatre.

Having heard such good things, I was keen to find out more about the actress and her work, so I put some questions to Racheal, ahead of the upcoming dates. And you can read the interview here.

'Portrait' is on as part of Radar 2015 at Bush Theatre from 16-18 Nov, see this page here for links to more info and to book.




STEPHEN SHARKEY: TEN YEARS OF THE MINIATURISTS
This week a venerable London arts institution celebrates its tenth birthday. The Miniaturists, as you may be aware, stage regular collections of small but perfectly formed theatrical pieces over at Arcola Theatre, and if you haven't been yet, you've been missing a treat.

So, as they've spent a full decade of producing the work of established and up and coming playwrights with the help of established and up and coming performers, I thought it was about time we had a chat. I put some questions to co-founder Stephen Sharkey. And you can read the interview here.

Miniaturists 54, the tenth birthday bash, is on at Arcola Theatre on 15 Nov. For more info and to book, check this page here.  But remember, Miniaturists is a regular event, so make sure you check the website or follow them on Twitter for info about future editions.




JAMES FRITZ: FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS
'Four Minutes Twelve Seconds' has already had a very successful run at Hampstead Theatre, selling out houses and garnering an Olivier Award nomination. Now this provocative and topical play, which takes as its theme the sometimes harmful consequences that the use of the internet can bring about, heads over to Trafalgar Studios for a run in London's west end.

Ahead of the upcoming dates, I put some question to the show's up and coming playwright, James Fritz. And you can read the interview here.

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds is on at Trafalgar Studios from 10-30 Nov. See this page here for more info and to book.

FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2015 >>
Mulled Wine Festival | Covent Garden Piazza | 12-14 Nov
You know, I am not generally hugely comfortable with the idea of Christmassy things happening in early November, but you know, booze is involved, so of course I'm down with this. Plus, you could argue, I suppose, that mulled wine is a winter thing, not a Christmas thing, so it's all good. This actually starts on the 12 Nov, but I thought this seemed like more of a Friday night after work sort of thing to do. Get more info from this page here.

Staying Alive | Pleasance Theatre Islington | 10-29 Nov
This deals with some very sad subject matter, and given how hard it is to deal with a heart-rending loss, and how much difficulty people often have in knowing how to deal with their friends or loved ones who have experienced it, I can't help thinking this kind of exploration is important. Developed in conjunction with bereavement charity SLOW, Kat Roberts' piece deals with the death of a child, and looks at how, in the wake of great tragedy, we find ways to survive. More info from the venue website here.

London Jazz Festival | various venues | 13-22 Nov
Another festival now, and this time it's jazz, which is almost as good as mulled wine, I suppose, though possibly not quite. This long running and highly regarded festival returns with 300+ gigs to choose from, though, it may be a bit fewer than that now because I hear quite a lot of events have already sold out. On this, the first night, I'd struggle to choose between Saleena Jones and Lizzie Emeh, but there are loads of others, so have a look here and see what takes your fancy.
SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2015 >>


Back II Live | Hoxton Hall | 14 Nov (pictured)
Ooooh, this looks good. Hosted by OneNess Sankara and promising you "a magical night of soul-stimulating creativity," this magazine-styled contemporary and cutting edge variety show features a broad range of different stuff, including music, spoken word, comedy, storytelling and interviews. Get your tickets here.

Handmade In Britain 15 | Chelsea Old Town Hall | 13-15 Nov
Mmmmmmmmm, The Contemporary Crafts and Design Fair. A three day showcase of the craft and design of more than one hundred artists, all staged at a time when you are (come on, admit it) desperately wondering what to get that significant person for Christmas. Go and enjoy all that beautiful stuff - jewellery, ceramics, wood, glass, furniture, textiles, sculpture, fashion, metal, lighting.. there will surely be something for everyone that likes beautiful things. More info and tickety stuff here.

Crafternoon Cabaret Club | The Book Club | 14 Nov
Yayyyyyyyy, and talking of craft, here's an event that will fall into what I would describe as "utterly perfect for me" - performance, and craft, combined into one delicious event. Crafternoon Cabaret Club offers what is probably already pretty well summed up by its title and my previous sentence: a craft activity and a cabaret act, on a weekend afternoon. See this site here for more info and to book.
SUNDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2015 >>


Miniaturists 54 | Arcola Theatre | 15 Nov
Now, it may be the case that I very recently tipped a previous Miniaturists event, but I also have to tip this one, by law, because this particular edition marks this venerable institution's tenth birthday, and that, dear readers, is more than worth celebrating. And just in case you missed my last tip, and Miniaturists in general, it's an evening of great quality short plays, from both established and up and coming playwrights. On this occasion writers include Poppy Corbett, Stephen Jeffreys, Owen McCafferty, John O'Donovan, and recent TW interviewee James Fritz. See this page here for info and to book.

Stick Man | Leicester Square Theatre | 7 Nov-3 Jan (pictured)
My daughter was a bit smaller, she and I absolutely loved Julia Donaldson's 'Stick Man', and I bet she would still love this show even though she's these days consuming novels rather than picture books at high speed. We saw Scamp Theatre's production a few years ago, and it was a slick and professional adaptation, so I think it's fair to assume it will still be great. Quite nice and Christmassy, really, so you might want to wait a bit; on the other hand, you might want to get in there before it gets all festively busy. Info and tickets here.

Family Jazz Allstars | ArtsDepot | 15 Nov
And now, another family show (well, it is Sunday, after all), only this time it's music. I am a big fan of music shows aimed at all ages, because let's face it, kids like music too, but you don't necessarily want to take them to a night time gig because, well, it will probably clash with bedtime. Described as a "fun filled family concert" and led by singer Juliet Kelly, it's suitable for children aged 5-11. Take a look at the venue website here for more info and booking details.
MONDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2015 >>
Jen Kirkman | Soho Theatre | 16-21 Nov (pictured)
Rather successful US comedian Jen Kirkman head's to London's Soho Theatre for a short run this month, so while you can, grab the opportunity to see this acclaimed stand-up, comedy writer, and best-selling book scribe. And if you want to read a very interesting article in which she talks about her career, her books and this show, see our recent Caro Meets Q&A right about here. Meanwhile, if you want to go right ahead and book tickets, you should head to this page on the venue website.

Christian Rizzo - D'après Une Histoire Vraie | Sadler's Wells | 16-17 Nov
This sounds like a very interesting dance piece, and I think that because it's inspired by memories of a folk dance in Istanbul, and explores the connection between dance and communities and how movement brings people together. But also because it's the work of French multidisciplinary artist Christian Rizzo, whose projects usually integrate dance with design, fashion and visual art, though it sounds like this particular show will be a bit more minimalist than his usual output. See this page here for more info and to book.

Laugh Out Loud for Lively Minds | The Comedy Store | 16 Nov

Monday nights in November can be so dark and grim. Here's a way to have fun and also make you feel like you're doing some good in the world. An impressive line up of some TW favourites - the likes of Sarah Pascoe, Tom Allen, Aisling Bea and Brett Goldstein - perform in aid of Lively Minds, an award winning charity working to improve the lives of deprived children in Ghana and Uganda. Informations and ticket bookery here.
TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2015 >>


Evening At The Talk House | National Theatre | 17 Nov-23 Jan
Whooo, I am so looking forward to this, the premiere of the latest play from esteemed US playwright and actor Wallace Shawn. And not only has he written this, he's also appearing in it. And at events surrounding the staging of the show. So this is so good on so many levels, I don't quite know what to do with myself, other than just getting on and booking a ticket. More info and all that, right here.

Loyiso Gola | Soho Theatre | 17-21 Nov (pictured)
When one of our reviewers first witnessed a performance by Loyiso Gola, she was very struck by his natural comedic talent, declaring him to be "one of those people who seems effortlessly funny - it's as if hilarity is his default state" and awarding him a glowing four star review. Not that he needs our endorsement - the South African is known around the world for his award nominated political satire, so hurry up and catch him while you can. Info and tickets here.

The Pitmen Painters | Jack Studio | 17-28 Nov
Bromley Little Theatre's production of Lee Hall's heart-warming 2007 play, based on the true story of the Ashington Group, a small artistic society comprised mostly of miners, who became celebrated by the British art establishment back in the thirties and forties. It all began when a group of pitmen from Ashington Colliery hired a professor to teach them an art appreciation class, and this is the story. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.
WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2015 >>


The Divided Laing | Arcola Theatre | 18 Nov-12 Dec (pictured)
Patrick Marmion's play about RD Laing is presented in celebration of the fifty year anniversary of the radical psychiatrist's founding his experimental asylum at Kingsley Hall in Bromley by Bow. "With his personal life going down the pan and his mental state heading the same way, Ronnie takes an acid trip to the future" - a provocative comedy with a rather surreal synopsis, starring Alan Cox. See this page here for more info and to book.

Finnish Christmas Fair | Finnish Church Rotherhithe | 18-22 Nov
Yes, yes, I know we've said on previous occasions that it's too soon to start Christmas in November. But to be honest, I am coming round to the idea that you really do need to start your present shopping before the start of December, and also, this looks ace. Live music, Finnish food to eat right away, Finnish food to take home, and all manner of other Finnish, gift-appropriate fare - sweets, chocolate, Moomin stuff, home and cookware, and toys. See this page here for more info.

Claustrophobia | The Hope Theatre | 17 Nov-5 Dec
This is one of those plays that I first heard of when covering the Edinburgh Festival, this one back in 2014. Written by successful novelist Jason Hewitt, this minimalist psychological thriller charmed one of our especially discerning reviewers with its great script and compelling performances. For more info about the play, and to book tickets, take a look at this page on the venue website.
THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2015 >>
Sarah Dowling and Kath Duggan: Us Then | Trinity Laban | 19-20 Nov (pictured)
These two met while working with immersive theatre outfit Punchdrunk, and share a desire to combine theatrical realism with the possibly slightly less realistic genre of dance. Focusing on just two characters, the show takes its inspiration from Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot', and I have a very good feeling about it. More info from this page here.

China National Peking Opera - The Warrior Women Of Yang | Sadler's Wells | 19-22 Nov
A rare opportunity here in the UK to sample the colourful, exciting, idiosyncratic art-form that is Peking Opera, so I heartily recommend you make the most of it. 'The Warrior Women Of Yang' sounds amazing - a tale of courage, patriotism and family loyalty featuring mime, acrobatics and stage combat. See this page here for info and to book.

Ben Hur | Tricycle Theatre | 19 Nov-9 Jan

Patrick Barlow's extremely daft adaptation of epic novel 'Ben Hur', featuring a cast of just four, gets a timely staging at Tricycle Theatre. I say timely because this is exactly the kind of silly fluff I need to get me through the dark winter nights, and I have a feeling you all might also benefit from a dose. A no-doubt enriching experience whether you are a fan of the film or not... Details and tickets from here.
 
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