THURSDAY 17 MARCH 2016
IT'S THE TW:GUIDE TO CONVERGENCE 2016
London's Convergence festival is well underway with four more days of shows, concerts, talks and exhibitions still to choose from.

To find out more and read up on all our recommendations from this year's programme, make sure you check out the TW:Guide to all the proceedings online.

Click here to access the TW:Guide to Convergence 2016.


CECILIA ISTRIA-DORLAND: TWELFTH NIGHT
I suspect quite a few companies are honouring The Bard with productions of Shakespeare plays during 2016, in light of the celebrations taking place to mark the four centuries that have passed since his demise. But here is one that truly stood out for me, Scena Mundi's new staging of 'Twelfth Night'.

When I read that the group plan to give the play "a fashion make-over",  and that it would be performed in a lovely church, I immediately wanted to see it. And also decided to speak to company founder and director Cecilia Istria-Dorland. Read the interview here.

Scena Mundi's 'Twelfth Night' is on at The French Protestant Church from 22 Mar-9 Apr. See this page here to book your tickets.



STUART SLADE: BU21
The next show to open over at the fantastic Theatre503 is a new play from acclaimed 'Cans' writer Stuart Slade, a highly topical piece about the fallout from a horrifying terrorist incident, and what happens to those attempting to live with its aftermath.

It's heavy going subject matter but one which, I've no doubt, the playwright will handle with an extremely deft touch. To find out more about 'BU21', and get an update on what he's been up to of late, I spoke to Stuart ahead of the upcoming run. Read the interview here.

'BU21' is on at Theatre503 from 15 Mar-9 Apr. See the venue website here for more info and to book.



HAL CHAMBERS: LEAPER, A FISH TALE
Sometimes you come across a show that has an incredibly important message, and 'Leaper, A Fish Tale' definitely falls into that category. It's aimed at children and families, but it tackles the very serious topic of the decline of the world's fish population, whilst still offering a visually beautiful and entertaining piece.

To find out more about the play, the creative team behind it, and the issues at stake, I spoke to Tucked In Productions' Hal Chambers, director. Read the interview here.

'Leaper, A Fish Tale' is on at the Lyric Hammersmith on 19 Mar, at Greenwich Theatre from 28-29 Mar, and at Little Angel Theatre from 8-10 Apr. See the production website here for more info.



GREG WOHEAD: COMEBACK SPECIAL
I was intrigued by the sound of acclaimed theatre-maker Greg Wohead's latest show as soon as I heard about it – his own take on an iconic TV special by Elvis Presley – so was interested to find out more about the show and what motivated him to perform this kind of piece.

So, as you might expect, I put some questions to Greg, ahead of his upcoming run at Shoreditch Town Hall. Read the interview here.

'Comeback Special' is on at Shoreditch Town Hall from 22-26 Mar. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


FRIDAY 18 MARCH 2016 >>

Bartabas & Andres Marin – Golgota | Sadler's Wells | 14-21 Mar
Okay, I know you are going to think I only picked this because it has horses in it, but honestly, it looks amazing. And, you know, it's only got blooming horses in it. Plus flamenco, which is nearly always brilliant. And it's been created by renowned artists, inspired by the theatricality of sacred rituals. If you like physical stuff (and horses) this is surely not one to miss. See this page here for all the info and to book.

Deirdre O'Kane 1Dee | Soho Theatre | 18-19 Mar (pictured)
Acclaimed Irish comedian Deirdre O'Kane returns to stand up following a bit of a hiatus, during which, apparently, she's had babies, made a movie in Vietnam, and of course, appeared in highly successful TV show 'Moone Boy'. In '1Dee', she addresses the onset of middle age and what it's like to be a work-at-home-mum. I have some experience in that area and I'm not sure I could make that funny, but I bet she can make it hilarious. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Company Of Elders – Art Of Age | Lilian Baylis Studio | 18-19 Mar
Another physical thing now (yes, I know, movement fans, two in one set of tips), and one brought to you by the older generation (and no horses, as far as I can tell). Sadler's Wells' internationally renowned age-60-plus dance collective Company Of Elders presents a mixed bill featuring Featuring choreography by Seeta Patel, Mafalda Deville and Jade Shaw, whose backgrounds are bharatanatyam, contemporary and parkour respectively. Sounds like fantastic and diverse entertainment. See this page here for all the info.


SATURDAY 19 MARCH 2016 >>

Leaper, A Fish Tale | Lyric Hammersmith | 19 Mar
One for your delightful offspring this, as it's the weekend, from acclaimed theatre company Tucked In; a lovely piece aimed at four to eight year olds, blending puppetry and music, which will entertain, but also impart and explore a serious message about the disappearance of fish from our rivers and seas. See this page here to book your tickets. If you can't make it today, though, don't despair, you can also see it at Greenwich Theatre at the end of the month, and at Islington'sLittle Angel Theatre in April.

The Noise Next Door - Noise In The Hood | Leicester Square Theatre | 19 Mar (pictured)
Right, that's enough stuff for the kids. I declare 19 Mar 2016 to be comedy night (if you are a grown up), and my first humour-led suggestion for your delectation will be this lot, veteran, highly regarded improv comedy troupe The Noise Next Door. I've lost count of the number of extremely impressed reviews we've published about these guys over the last few years so I'm not even going to bother thinking about those, and just tell you to go see the show. Go on, book your tickets right about here.

The Saturday Night Show | The Invisible Dot | 19 Mar
Yes, yes, I know we tipped Invisible Dot's Saturday show last week too, but it's such a good line up this week as well, I couldn't resist including it again this week. This time you can expect turns from a whole load of bright and brilliant young things – Jack Barry, Kieran Hodgson, David Elms and Baker Terry. See this page here for all the info on this and future line-ups.


SUNDAY 20 MARCH 2016 >>

Write On | Jack Studio | 20 Mar
I love nights like this one, which consists of seven new short plays written by playwrights who have taken part in Jack Studio's writers' workshop led by literary manager David Bottomley. It's a great way to experience the new work of new writers, and promises to be thought-provoking, heart-warming and humorous. See this page here for more info.

The Rules Of Inflation | Theatre N16 | 20-24 Mar (pictured)
No, I wasn't attracted to this because of the picture with pretty balloons in it. Really I wasn't. Go on then, I was, but actually, once I read the blurb I thought this sounded fascinating. It's immersive performance art theatre in which no two shows will be the same, and which explores political issues by examining the rules of our childhood games. See this page here to book your tickets.

Concert To Calais | The Dublin Castle | 20 Mar
Legendary Camden music venue The Dublin Castle hosts the first night of this charity tour, which features Reg Meuross, Jess Vincent, Sascha Osborn and Tania Humbleton plus guest speaker Owen Jones. The entry fee is a donation to the cause – supplies such as blankets, food and clothing. Scroll down this page here for more details.


MONDAY 21 MARCH 2016 >>

Pop-Up Opera – I Capuleti e i Montecchi | The Vaults | 21 Mar
The very excellent Pop-Up Opera bring this intimate production of Bellini's take on 'Romeo and Juliet' to The Vaults for one night only as the opener to the company's 2016 tour. The classic piece is sung in Italian with English captions, hankies at the ready for this famous tale of star crossed love and bloody family rivalries. See this page here for all the info.

Diary Of A Dating Addict | Soho Theatre | 21-23 Mar (pictured)
You might remember (because you are such loyal readers) that back in July we interviewed Maddy Anholt about her show 'Diary Of A Dating Addict', because it was previewing in London ahead of a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Well, following that acclaimed run up in the Scottish Capital, she's bringing the show back to London. So if you haven't seen it yet, don't miss your chance now. See this page here to book your tickets, and this page here to read the Q&A we did last summer.

Austen Empowered | Hen & Chickens | 21 Mar
As someone who has probably watched a few too many costume dramas of late, my ears were bound to prick up at the sound of Jane Austen's oeuvre getting a comic remix. This is described as a "hilarious romp around the parlour" and also promises absurdity, romance and murky secrets. Hurrah. Head over to this link here.


TUESDAY 22 MARCH 2016 >>

Dreams At The End Of The World | Etcetera Theatre | 22-27 Mar
US journalist and writer Nathaniel Eaton's acclaimed 1998 monologue gets an airing at the Etcetera theatre this week, courtesy of director Johannes Aasa and actor Richard Zetterberg. It's based on a true story, and tells the alternately comic and tragic tale of a journey through Morocco: expect to hear of robberies, rituals, hustlers and hash-filled sex parlours. See this page here to book.

Comeback Special | Shoreditch Town Hall | 22-26 Mar
You might remember Greg Wohead's acclaimed previous show examining our collective interest in violence and gore, 'The Ted Bundy Project'; if you did, you will no doubt be pleased to hear that he's staging a new show, and this time the inspiration is another American icon, Elvis Presley. We spoke to him about this upcoming run, so you can read our interview with him here, and then, when you've read that, head this way to book your tickets.

This Last Tempest | Battersea Arts Centre | 22-24 Mar
'The Tempest', but not as you know it: Shakespeare's stormy play, but a radical adaptation that's described as being part theatre, part gig, and a "visual spectacle that immerses you in atmospheric sound". To be honest, I am not quite sure what to expect, but it's certainly piqued my interest. See this page here to see if it piques yours.


WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH 2016 >>

Contained | The Albany | 23-24 Mar
This show from England's largest professional learning-disabled theatre company combines live performance, music, dance, photography and film to address the small moments in life that teach us about ourselves and the world we live in, through nine separate stories of family, love, and loss. See the venue website here for more info.

Twelfth Night | The French Protestant Church | 22 Mar-9 Apr
This sounds like a very interesting new production of Twelfth Night. In fact, it interested us so much, we spoke to the director of it. Scena Mundi will stage the Shakespeare favourite at Soho's French Protestant Church and give it a modern, visual style. See this page here for our Q&A, and this page here to book tickets.

Sleeping Trees Comedy Banquet | Dogstar | 23 Mar (pictured)Whooo hooo! We love Sleeping Trees and now they've begun their own regular comedy night at Dogstar. Each month they'll be joined by four fabulous acts and this time the line up – which includes some established TW favourites – comprises Rhys James, Lazy Susan, Jordan Brookes and David McIvor. See this page here for info, this page to book.


THURSDAY 24 MARCH 2016 >>

Don't Sleep There Are Snakes | Park Theatre | 22 Mar-23 Apr
Acclaimed ensemble Simple8 – which you may remember from such productions as 'The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari' and 'The Four Stages Of Cruelty – present this new play based on Daniel Everett's book about the language and culture of the Pirahã people of the Amazon rainforests. The author, sent into the jungle to learn about this indigenous tribe, but also convert them to christianity, dicovers things which make him question pretty much everything. See this page here for all the info.

Blake - Remixed By Testament | Canada Water Culture Space | 24 Mar (pictured)
In a show that met with much positive criticism up at the old edfringe last year, renowned beatboxer and rapper Testament mashes the poetry of William Blake with his own hip hop, to form a theatrical piece exploring coming of age themes. See this page here for more info.

Pierre Novellie Is Anxious Peter | Soho Theatre | 24-26 Mar
And, talking of successful Edinburgh shows, here's another, Pierre Novellie's much enjoyed 'Anxious Peter'. This up and coming, award-nominated and award-winning young comedian promises the "combination of early medieval Norse history and observational comedy the masses have been praying for", and I for one say "thank god". See the venue website here for more info and to book.
 
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