THURSDAY 28 JANUARY 2016


DANIEL FOXSMITH: WEALD
The latest show to head to the Finborough Theatre is 'Weald', a play set in a world of horses (a livery) which focuses on two men with a shared history. At the heart of the piece is an exploration of what it means to be a man, and the pressure on men to remain strong, no matter what the circumstances are.

To find out more about the play, and the creative force behind it, I put some questions to playwright Daniel Foxsmith. And you can read the interview here.

'Weald' is on at the Finborough Theatre from 2-27 Feb. See the venue website here, for more info and to book your tickets.



TEZ ILYAS: TEZ TALKS
Up and coming comedian Tez Ilyas charmed the Edinburgh Festival comedy goers in the summer with his show, 'Tez Talks', which draws on his experiences as a British Muslim. Given all the praise I've heard for this set, I think it's safe to say it will be worth seeing.

To find out more about the show, I put a few quick questions to Tez, ahead of his upcoming run at the Soho Theatre. Read his answers here.

Tez Ilyas performs 'Tez Talks' at Soho Theatre from 3-6 Feb. See this page here for for more info and to book.


FRIDAY 29 JANUARY 2016 >>

Underground | Vault Festival | 27-31 Jan
This sounds good, and it seems like a great venue to stage it. On as part of the really brilliant Vault Festival, it's a 'site responsive' comedy drama about two people who get stuck on the underground following an awkward first date, which explores the notion of loneliness in a crowd. It's by Isla van Tricht, who was also responsible for a couple of cracking pieces we discovered at the recent Edinburgh Festival. See this page for all the info.

Bob Slayer – Fat Jockey | Blundabus, Hackney Road | 29 Jan (pictured)
You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I alerted you to the fact that Bob Slayer's Blundabus had a number of Hackney Road dates coming up. You may also remember that I said I would remind you when Bob's own show 'Fat Jockey', was coming up. Well, it's today. So don't say I didn't tell you twice. Because I did. See this page here to find out more.

The Return | Barbican | 27-31 Jan
One for all you circus lovers out there, and probably one for all you people who avoid circus too, because Australian troupe Circa are the kind of innovative and inventive company that are changing the way people think about this stuff with their genre defying shows. Part of that old London International Mime Festival that I keep going on about. See this page here for more info and to book.


SATURDAY 30 JANUARY 2016 >>

The Reincarnation Of Trim Tab Jim | Union Chapel | 30 Jan
James Mannion's acclaimed political rock opera started life at the Brighton Festival and now gets a London showcase at Union Chapel. Focusing on musician Trim Tab Jim, it sees the titular character attempting to persuade the angel of death to give him a second chance at life. I'd like to see this go on to big things. See this page here for all the info.

Baby | Vault Festival | 27 Jan-6 Feb (pictured)
This looks kind of scary, yet intriguing, and I am not quite sure what to make of it. So I am going to let their blurb do the work: "BABY is a 1985 American adventure fantasy film; what your lover calls you; your mother calls you. An iconoclastic, terrifying performance on the problem of human agency. Text-based, post-dramatic, political satire that is mostly as described; an audience with a polar bear; a victim of climate change, forced migration and globalisation". And even though I am not altogether clear what to expect, I still really want to see it. See the Vault Festival website here for more info.

Rabbit Hole | Hampstead Theatre | 29 Jan-5 Mar
Hampstead Theatre clearly has a loyal and regular audience, because it's not often I manage to tip something there before it's completely sold out. So I was thrilled to see there are still tickets left for this, and what's more, it looks good (it's a Pulitzer Prize winning drama!), and includes in the cast the excellent Claire Skinner, well known for things like 'Outnumbered', and fellow familiar TV face Tom Goodman Hill. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


SUNDAY 31 JANUARY 2016 >>

Florilegium – Music At The Court Of Frederick The Great | King's Place | 31 Jan
One for all you Baroque fans, now. According to the blurb, back in the early 18th century, Frederick The Great of Prussia assembled a shed-load of brilliant musicians at his crib, and made them play with him every night. Period performance ensemble Florilegium present music written by some of those aforementioned musicians. See this page here for more info.

Mrs H And The Sing Along Band | Vault Festival | 31 Jan
I am recommending lots of Vault Festival stuff this week, because I am a big fan of Vault Festival – pretty much everything is really appealing, and to be honest, I have struggled to make decisions about what to recommend, because I basically want to recommend everything. But I thought, as it's a Sunday, that I should go for this one, a family show to keep the little ones entertained. Click this link for more info.

Jane Eyre | Rosemary Branch Theatre | 29 Jan-14 Feb (pictured)
Charlotte B's most famous novel was the first really grown up book I ever read (I suspect I might not be alone in that) and I really loved it, even though it was all dark and full of grimness, and I was still quite young. This is an already-acclaimed production of the story, directed, adapted, and designed by Bryony J. Thompson, and featuring original music by James Young, so you can count on it to be a very affecting performance. See the venue website here for more info.


MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Light | Battersea Arts Centre | 1-13 Feb
Renowned ensemble Theatre Ad Infinitum – they of 'Translunar Paradise'  and 'Ballad of the Burning Star' fame – revive their critically acclaimed show 2015 show 'Light' at BAC as part of the line up of the London International Mime Festival. In this tale of love, betrayal and technological power, inspired by the revelations of Edward Snowden, the company use physical theatre, darkness and torchlight to conjure an Orwellian vision of the future. See this page here for more info and to book.

Lazy Susan - Double Act | Soho Theatre | 1-3 Feb (pictured)
I love Lazy Susan, they are a great double act. And what's more, 'Double Act' is the name of the show, leaving you in no doubt as to what to expect. The only problem is that on the occasions that I have wanted to find out more about them via the internet, I have been plagued by search returns focusing mainly on rotating household table plates and/or trays. But never mind; they're Edinburgh Comedy Award newcomer nominees, so what more do you need to find out, exactly? Head over this way to book your tickets.

Poetry London Spring Launch | King's Place | 1 Feb
If you are interested in poetry (I am) then this might be the sort of thing that will appeal to you. It's the launch of Poetry London's Spring 2016 issue, and features appearances from prize winning poets David Harsent and Liz Berry. See this page here to find out more and to book tickets.


TUESDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Weald | Finborough Theatre | 2-27 Feb (pictured)
The work of up and coming playright Daniel Foxsmith, 'Weald' is an exploration of male emotions set on a remote livery yard in rural England; Jim returns home after eight years away, and must rebuild his relationship with Sam, despite the presence of old wounds. Sounds tense, and potentially poignant. See the venue website here for more info.

This Was The World And I Was King | Jack Studio | 2-20 Feb
The producers of this show, Hookhitch Theatre, are a very reliable lot, and this piece in particular scored a 5/5 review from one of our writers when it was on at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a couple of years ago. Utilising folk music and puppets, it focuses on children in wartime, the strength of their imaginations, and the bitter-sweet remembrance of childhood. See this page here for all the info.

Feast | Battersea Arts Centre | 2-6 Feb
And believe it or not, Clout Theatre's 'Feast' also achieved 5/5 TW approval up in Edinburgh, slightly more recently though, as it was staged up there last summer. An impressively mind-boggling exploration and exposition of the excesses of consumerism, via the use of physical theatre, clowning, and multimedia. Grotesque, disturbing, and, I imagine, completely compelling. See the venue website here to book.


WEDNESDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Stay Awake, Jake | Vault Festival | 3-7 Feb
Yet another tip from the ongoing Vault Festival (expect many more as it continues) and this sounds great; it's a new musical focusing, as you might expect, on a character named Jake who is driving through the night from London to Carlisle. The reason for his journey becomes clear as the show progresses, exploring themes of guilt, hope and change. See this page here for more info.

All Genius All Idiot | Jackson's Lane | 3-6 Feb
Described as "quirky and outrageous", this show from physical theatre troupe Svalbard offers a mixture of live music, theatre, comedy and various elements of circus – Chinese pole, aerial rope, hand balance and acrobatics – in a piece that highlights the more animalistic behaviour of the human race. See this page here for more info and to book.

Tez Ilyas - Tez Talks | Soho Theatre | 3-6 Feb (pictured)
Up and coming comedian Tez Ilyas made a pretty big impact with his first hour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the summer of 2015, receiving critical plaudits for this set, which is informed by his Muslim background, and is, by all accounts, hilarious. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


THURSDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Tony Law – Frillemorphosis | Leicester Square Theatre | 4-6 Feb (pictured)
The always fabulous Tony Law makes his way to Leicester Square theatre for a few nights of his customarily quality absurdity. We have been kind of in love with him for years now, partly because he's an Edinburgh stalwart, and so are we, but mainly because he's brilliant. Don't miss your chance to see this acclaimed show. Info and ticketry right about here.

We Can Make You Happy | Vault Festival | 3-7 Feb
This is a show we liked when it was on at the Edinburgh Festival, so much so that one of our writers gave it a glowing review. And in fact, we liked the idea of it so much we did a nice Q&A with its creators, which you can read here. So, now that you have all the info you need to persuade you to go and see this, here is where you can book your tickets.

Pat Cahill - Panjandrum | Soho Theatre | 4-6 Feb
Today is very much an edfringe inspired day. Pat Cahill is someone else who came to our attention via the Edinburgh Festival, where our reviewers spotted his potential in his earliest performances. This is the show he did last summer, which seems to have a wartime in-a-bunker feel to it. For more info, and to book, see this page on the venue website here.
 
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