THURSDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2016


TOM STUART: I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS
'I Am Not Myself These Days' is a one man show written and performed by Tom Stuart, adapted from Josh Kilmer-Purcell's memoir of the same name. We first came across it last year when it was staged at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it garnered much acclaim, and was declared to be "profoundly affecting" by our impressed reviewer.

The play tells an incredible tale of someone dealing with extraordinary circumstances, so naturally I was intrigued by the idea of it. I put some question to Tom, ahead of his London previews. Read the results here.

Tom Stuart performs 'I Am Not Myself These Days' at Stratford Circus Arts Centre from 18-19 Feb, then at Shoreditch Town Hall from 1-12 Mar. See this page here for the February previews, and this page here for the March performances.



ROB AUTON: THE WATER SHOW
Some artists are quite hard to categorise, and although you'll find Rob Auton's shows listed in 'comedy' and sometimes spoken word, I am not altogether sure the term 'comedian' quite fits. As he says: "I am a writer and performer of some of what I write".

He is, however, very funny, and very talented – our review of his 2013 show is a testament to that – and I am very interested in his work. I put some questions to Rob, to find out more about what he does, and about 'The Water Show', which he performs at Soho Theatre next week. Click here to read what he said.

Rob Auton performs 'The Water Show' at Soho Theatre 15-17 Feb. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.


FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Hamlet Peckham | The Bussey Building | 1-27 Feb (pictured)
You might recall Shakespeare Peckham's 'Othello Peckham', back in 2013, and if you saw that, you will no doubt be happy to hear that the group have returned to The Bussey Building with 'Hamlet Peckham', an intimate and alternative production of the play that features three different actors (two women and one man) in the title role. For more info and to book your tickets see this page here.

In Tents And Purposes | Vault Festival | 10-14 Feb
Yes, yes, I admit I chose this because of the title because I am an enormous fan of foolish wordplay. But, you know, then I read a bit more about the show and realised that it sounds very intriguing. Enticing, in fact. It follows the path of two friends over the course of a decade, and takes a look at just how much our lives are shaped by the choices we make. And it's funny. See this page here for all the info.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch | Sadler's Wells | 11-14 Feb
Renowned and influential choreographer Pina Bausch died back in 2009, and the piece set to be performed at Sadler's Wells this week, 'como el musguito en la piedra' was the last thing she created before her demise, while on tour in Chile. The piece uses the music of Chilean composers and draws on the country's politics and culture. Sounds fabulous. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Mini Vault: The Assembly Of Animals | Vault Festival | 13-14 Feb
Yes, yes, it's back to the Vault Festival, for something to occupy your bored youngsters (as well as your non-bored youngsters who are very good at occupying themselves, I am sure they'll be welcome too). This is described as a "performed sculpture", and involves puppets and scientific demonstrations. I think it sounds pretty fascinating, and I am sure you will enjoy it just as much as the children. See this page here for all the info.

Stephen K Amos | Hackney Empire | 13 Feb (pictured)
The venerable Stephen K Amos heads to Hackney Empire following sell out tours down under with this show, 'The Laughter Master', and there's not a great deal more to add – expect good things from the funny, feel-good comedy veteran. See this page here for info and to book.

A Steady Rain | Arcola Theatre | 10 Feb-5 Mar
This play by established US TV writer Keith Huff achieved huge success when it debuted on Broadway back in 2009 starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, so the source material can definitely be trusted. Plus, this production of it looks very promising, and has a very solid cast. It's about the relationship between two Chicago police men, and how they are affected when a domestic disturbance call takes a turn for the worse. See the venue website here for all the info and to book.


SUNDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

The Giant Storytelling Bed | Southbank Centre | 13-21 Feb
There's an awful lot of culture for kids being staged over there at the Southbank Centre this week, because the Imagine Children's Festival kicks off on 10 Feb. And obviously, it's no coincidence that it's half term week. You are going to need all this stuff, if you are in charge of a child for the next ten days. I am totally enticed by the idea of a Giant Storytelling Bed, but that might be because I am a very, very tired old person. But I am pretty sure young ones will be entirely entranced too. See this page here for more info and to book (but hurry, it looks like tickets are going quickly).

A Pony For Your Thoughts | Vault Festival | 13-14 Feb
Another festival, another kids' show. Sorry, singletons, I'll make sure you get yours soon. That said, I reckon grown-ups would love this one anyway, because it's the work of the utterly brilliant Trygve Wakenshaw, and will therefore be beyond fabulous. No pressure, Trygve. For more info about the show, see this page here.

A Series Of Unfortunate Break-Ups | Camden Comedy Club | 14 Feb
Yes, I have been studiously avoiding the whole Valentines thing in today's tips – see, singletons, I do look out for you – but I can't help thinking that this one off performance of this comedy play about "love, loss and Harry Styles" is probably timed to coincide with the whole sorry Hallmark affair. But, you know, this play looks good, despite the subject matter, and much better than attempting to squeeze you and your sweetie into some crowded restaurant for a substandard meal and an awkward conversation everyone else can hear. See the venue website here for more info.


MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Rob Auton – The Water Show | Soho Theatre | 15-17 Feb (pictured)
If you haven't yet seen the delightful Rob Auton in action, you probably should, not least because he made one of our reviewers cry once, and that's got to be indicative of something. Seriously, though, it was indicative of his performance skills. Really. Read this review here if you don't believe me. And then go to this page here and book your tickets.

zazU – A Fête Worse Than Death | Soho Theatre | 15-17 Feb
This is another show that got a stamp of approval from one of our writers, so it's not just being on at the Soho Theatre this week that they have in common. And to be honest, even if they hadn't got said stamp of approval from the TW team, I'd probably still recommend them, because, as you all surely know by know, we're suckers for terrible plays on words. He he. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Sing A Long With Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory | Southbank Centre | 15 Feb
This is another event from the excellent and packed-with-stuff Imagine Children's Festival, and it's one I don't want to miss, because I know all the words to all the songs/poems from Roald Dahl books (my daughter tested my knowledge following a reading gap of a few decades and I got pretty close to one hundred percent). That said, this is for children, not me, so I should probably send my beloved child along instead. Sob. All the info on this one is right about here.


TUESDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Flamenco Festival London | Sadler's Wells | 16-28 Feb
Oooooh, I love Flamenco, it's one of my most favourite things in the world ever. There are times when it makes me feel like moving to Spain. But now I won't have to because Sadler's Wells have a fabulous series of Flamenco performances for me to choose from over the course of the next week or so. Amongst the talented folks involved are guitarist Vicente Amigo, singer Esperanza Fernández, and dancer Sara Baras. Step this way to see the line up of events.

Four Play | Theatre503 | 16 Feb-12 Mar
There's so much good stuff on at Theatre503, and I'm expecting this to be no exception. As the name might hint a little, it's a contemporary comedy about twenty first century sex and commitment, focusing on two couples, one of which has hit a bit of a rut in in their physical relationship. For more info and to book, see this page here.

Play Dough | The Albany | 16 Feb (pictured)
Well, it continues to be half term, so here's another one for the young things. This isn't actually a show involving that squishy modelling stuff, though, so don't be misled – it's actually a bit more interesting than that – it's about cash: an interactive, playful show focusing the value of money, for kids aged 7+. No doubt it will be educational, but definitely fun. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

The Patriotic Traitor | Park Theatre | 17 Feb-19 Mar
A study of the relationship between Philippe Petain and Charles de Gaulle: one for the history buffs among you, perhaps, especially if you have more than a passing interest in war stuff. That said, it promises to be a pretty compelling viewing for anyone, and has a talented cast which includes that Tom Conti off the telly, etc, and my old friend James. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Adam Buxton | Bush Theatre | 17 Feb
The Bush Theatre hosts five nights of comedy offered up by talent agency PBJ, and I wanted to recommend almost all of them but decided to restrict myself to two. The other you will find in tomorrow's picks, so this is the first one, and it's that lovely and funny Adam Buxton, who has been a TW favourite for a very long time now. To book your tickets head for this page here.

100 Club Presents with Nish Kumar and Kevin Eldon | 100 Club | 17 Feb (pictured)
And another comedy tip, this time at the 100 club, and featuring a number of different comedians, all of whom are, like the aforementioned Adam Buxton, TW favourites: Nish Kumar and Kevin Eldon, yes, as suggested by the title, but you also get the mighty Nick Helm and the super Tom Allen. See this link here to book your tickets.


THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

I Am Not Myself These Days | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 18-19 Feb (pictured)
Tom Stuart performs this this brilliant one man show himself, having adapted the story from Josh Kilmer-Purcell's book of the same name: a tragicomic memoir of the writer's life in New York, where he worked as an ad agency art director by day and a drag queen by night, all while carrying on a relationship with a crack addict. The show achieved much acclaim in Edinburgh last summer, not least from us. Only on for two dates in Feb, but it returns to London in March. See this page here for more info about the Stratford previews and this link here for info about the Shoreditch Town Hall shows.

Sarah Kendall Et Al | Bush Theatre | 18 Feb
You may remember that yesterday I selected Adam Buxton from that PBJ Management line up at the Bush Theatre. Here is my second choice from that line up, and it's a real goodie. Not only do you get the most excellent Sarah Kendall, you also get the incredible Sofie Hagen, the fabulous Jen Brister, and the delightful Mae Martin. If I were playing a game of Fantasy Comedy Line-Up (I presume that doesn't actually exist), there's a fair chance this lot would be exactly who I would pick. Info and tickets from here.

Cosmic Jives | The Albany | 18-20 Feb
And yes, because it really still is half term (does it feel as though it's been going on for months?) here is another show to alleviate the fractiousness of the younger element. This is for older children and teens (the age recommendation is 9+) and is the premiere of a new play from Rebecca Manley, all about girls, science, how girls are discouraged from pursuing science, astrophysics, the Matilda effect and rubber chickens. Sounds like a great show for anyone, but especially aspiring scientists. See the venue website here for info and to book.
 
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