THURSDAY 24 MARCH 2016


ALEX SUTTON: A FLEA IN HER EAR
George Feydeau's highly successful 1907 farce 'A Flea In Her Ear' is probably regarded as his greatest work, so I was pleased to hear that a production of the play is to be staged at London's Tabard Theatre. What I didn't immediately realise is that this is a brand new adaptation, and that it will feature a rather small cast taking on a lot of different roles.

To find out more about the play, the playwright, this new adaptation and the inspiration behind it, I put some questions to the director and creative force behind it, experienced theatre, film and opera creative Alex Sutton. Read the interview here.

'A Flea In Her Ear' is on at the Tabard Theatre from 29 Mar-3 Apr. See this page here for more info and to book your tickets.



CLEMENTINE LOVELL: I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI
Opera is regarded as intimidating – or even with loathing – by many people, and it's a perception that touring opera outfit Pop Up Opera exist to work against. Their reputation for brilliant boutique productions of comedy opera has won them loving audiences and much critical acclaim in recent years.

I was interested to hear that the group has taken a slightly different direction this season, and are presently in the midst of a tour of Bellini's 'I Capuleti e I Montecchi'. To find out more about why they've moved on to a tragedy, about the opera itself, and about how Pop-Up Opera came to exist, I spoke to company founder Clementine Lovell, who plays a lead role in the production. Read the interview here.

'I Capuleti e I Montecchi' is on at Carousel on 30 Mar, Stour Space on 31 Mar, as a Cancerkin fundraising event at Royal Free Hospital on 6 April, at the Asylum in Peckham on 10 Apr, at St Peter's De Beauvoir Church on 12 Apr, Thames Tunnel Shaft from 20-21 Apr, and London Museum of Water and Steam on 28 Apr, with more dates still to be announced. See this page here for a full list of UK tour dates.



SARAH PUNSHON: WE'RE STUCK?
As someone who has always thought "I'm bad at maths", I have often wished I'd got a better start on it. I rather envy the older children and pre-teens who stand to benefit from 'We're Stuck', an exciting show for young people, specifically designed to teach them not to be afraid of the trial and error process of the discipline.

The show is on at Shoreditch Town Hall over the Easter holidays, which is very handy for all you London based parents out there. I spoke to the director of the piece, Sarah Punshon, to find out more about what happens in it, and what inspired her to create it. Read the interview here.

'We're Stuck!' is on at Shoreditch Town Hall from 25 Mar-1 Apr (not 27, 28 Mar). See this page here to book your tickets.



FUNMBI OMOTAYO: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT
One of our Edinburgh reviewers went to see Funmbi Omotayo's show 'Legal Immigrant' when he performed it at the Fringe last summer, and was completely charmed by his warm, honest and laid-back style. Luckily for you Londoners, he's set for a short stint with the same show at Soho Theatre.

To find out more about the content of the show, and his career thus far, I put a few quick questions to Funmbi, ahead of his upcoming dates. Read the interview here.

Funmbi Omotayo performs 'Legal Immigrant' at Soho Theatre from 1-2 April, see the venue website here for details and to book. For other UK tour dates, see this page here.


FRIDAY 25 MARCH 2016 >>

The Best Of Both Worlds – A Busker's Opera | Camden People's Theatre | 25 Mar (pictured)
This show is part of the excellent and ongoing Sprint festival over at Camden People's Theatre and it sounds really interesting: a pair of expats, American and French, taking a look at UK values; the perceived and real differences between US and French socioeconomic models, and where our GB system falls in relation to that. See this page here for more info and to book.

My First Ballet | Peacock Theatre | 24 Mar-2 Apr
You know, when it comes to children's entertainment, there's loads of theatre and puppetry and even physical theatre, but I honestly don't come across much in the way of classical dance, so it's good to know about this established programme of gentle introductions to the artform that is ballet, for children as young as three. This time it's 'Sleeping Beauty'. See this page here for more details.

Beacons | Park Theatre | 22 Mar-16 Apr
Aw, I love lighthouses, and the listing for this show has a gorgeous picture of Beachy Head lighthouse in it. But that's not why I picked this show, oh no, though to be fair, anything with a near-the-sea theme does call out to me. This new play deals with the intertwining lives of three very different people, and features that lovely Tessa Peake-Jones of 'Only Fools And Horses' fame. See the venue website here for more info.


SATURDAY 26 MARCH 2016 >>

Chocolate Market | Duke Of York Square | 26 Mar
Okay, so it's Easter Sunday tomorrow, and so it's only right and proper to have an entire day of tips dedicated to chocolate. Maybe. Because even if you are not a Christian, it's a great way to justify eating a bucket of the sweet stuff, especially if you gave it up earlier in the year as part of some post-Christmas health drive. So, here's a goodie, artisan type chocolatry (no, not a word) as well as the usual fine food market. See this page here for info.

Chocolate Sensations | Kew Gardens | 19 Mar-10 Apr
Or, you could head over to Kew for their season of chocolate related events to help entertain the kids (if you have them), and this might be the slightly healthier option, as you can book into an informative workshop and do an Easter trail and what have you, rather than just buying chocolate, going home and then eating it. Though to be fair, I suppose you could buy your artisan chocolate from the chocolate market to give to your loved ones, and not touch a morsel yourself. Anyway, I digress. See this page here for info on Kew's Easter activities.

We're Stuck! | Shoreditch Town Hall | 25 Mar-1 Apr (pictured)
Okay, so this doesn't really have anything to do with chocolate. At all. However, like chocolate, it's a tasty treat that will go down well with the kids. But, unlike chocolate, it will help them learn how to handle maths stuff. Don't make the ridiculous mistake of think that means it will be boring, though – look: "Join us on a special tour into the heart of a top secret research institute, where cutting edge scientists need your help tackling some extremely tricky problems. But beware: there may be unexpected dangers". Interactive, engaging, fun for 8-11 year olds. See the venue website here to book your tickets.


SUNDAY 27 MARCH 2016 >>

Easter 1916 | Pentameters Theatre | 15 Mar-3 Apr
A timely production of 'Easter 1916', a play which won much acclaim when it was first staged at London's King's Head theatre; the piece documents the events of the 1916 uprising in Dublin, almost exactly one hundred years ago. They're quite a way through their run of this, make sure you see it before it ends in early April. Scroll this page here for info and call  020 7435 3648 to book.

Austentatious | Leicester Square Theatre | 27 Mar (pictured)
This isn't the first time I have recommended 'Austentatious' and it probably won't be the last, although to save me the trouble, I suppose you could all just try and remember that they are back at Leicester Square Theatre once a month at the moment. If you haven't seen / heard of them yet, that's entirely scandalous, and it's about time you saw this acclaimed troupe of Austen-inspired improvvers. Immediately click this link here to book tickets for this or one of their other performances.

Bug | Found111 | 24 Mar-7 May
A staging of US playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts' acclaimed psychological horror piece 'Bug', featuring Kate Fleetwood and James Norton off the telly, and films, and stuff. The play is about a lonely waitress who is hiding out from an abusive relationship in a seedy motel room, seeking comfort in drink and drugs, when a stranger turns up; the result is dark and sometimes comic depiction of two people on the edge. See this page here for info and to book.


MONDAY 28 MARCH 2016 >>

James Hamilton Is So Lonely | Etcetera Theatre | 28 Mar
I declare 28 March as a day for comedy-viewing, and I am starting with a recommendation for Casual Violence's James Hamilton, who presents his critically acclaimed debut solo hour, which won praise and full audiences when he performed it at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer. More info and ticket bookery right about here.

WIP Monday | Aces and Eights | 28 March
It's Work-In-Progress Monday over at the Aces and Eights in Tuffnell Park, and tonight two extremely talented acts are giving their new material a road-test. Up and coming purveyor of "coordinated chaos done very well" Mat Ewins, and Phil Ellis of highly acclaimed 'Funz and Gamez' fame. Follow this link here for more info.

Pappy's Presents – Secret Dudes Society | 28 Mar (pictured)
And so to our final comic tip, and this time yet another brilliant and established act make their way to Soho Theatre to host a comedy club night featuring a fine line up of guests – John Kearns, Aisling Bea and Elis James. And obviously, you get the endlessly excellent Pappy's too, so it's just one big fat huge win-win situation. See this page here for all the info and to book.


TUESDAY 29 MARCH 2016 >>

Balm In Gilead | Arcola Theatre | 30 Mar-2 Apr
The late great Lanford Wilson's acclaimed 1965 play focusing on characters from the seedy underworld of New York, set in a greasy spoon frequented by thieves, drug addicts and prostitutes. Sounds like it's the work of a great creative team, so I think this will be a staging of this piece that's very much worth catching. See the venue website here for more details.

New – 2016 | The Gate | 29 Mar-2 Apr
New 2016 is the banner for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama's collection of four new plays from four talented writers, including the very excellent Dafydd James. Tonight you can see his play, 'All That I am' at 6pm or Ali Taylor's 'Conspiracy' at 8pm. The strand boasts a host of excellent production partners – Royal Court, Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru – so take a look here for more info on all of the pieces.

The Broke N Beat Collective | Battersea Arts Centre | 29-30 Mar (pictured)
Like New 2016, The Broke N Beat Collective's shows are on as part of the upcoming London-wide A Nation's Theatre festival (more on this when we publish our upcoming feature about it). This production from 20 Stories High and Theatre-Rites offers a mash-up of theatre, hip hop and puppetry courtesy of four great talents: beat-boxer Hobbit, b-boy Ryan LoGisTic Harston, singer/rapper Elektric, and puppeteer Mohsen Nouri, and focuses on the difficulties that young people face growing up in the UK. Book your tickets here.


WEDNESDAY 30 MARCH 2016 >>

Princess Caraboo | Finborough Theatre | 30 Mar-2 Apr
I've always thought the story of Princess Caraboo was a really interesting one – a young woman who tricked regency England into thinking that she was a shipwrecked princess – and others clearly think so too, given that it's already been the inspiration for a 1994 film as well as a recently published novel. This, on the other hand is a new musical, and it sounds like it's got lots of potential. See this page here for more details and to book.

Jamie Wood – O no! | Soho Theatre | 29 Mar-2 Apr (pictured)
Our highly discerning reviewer/editor saw this show up in Edinburgh last summer and gave it a glowing five star review, though I should point out that she also declared it to be "gloriously weird", so it might not be to everyone's taste. That said she also said "It's hilarious and it's loving and it's wonderful", and she is generally right about everything so I'm going to assume she's entirely correct. Possibly not one for participation-avoiders, though. See Gemma's reviewhere, and see the venue website here to book.

A Flea In Her Ear | Tabard Theatre | 29 Mar-23 Apr
A production of Georges Feydau's classic farce makes its way to the Tabard Theatre this week, and it's what's described as a "fresh new adaptation" of the one of the French writer's most famous plays, courtesy of Sacha Bush. The staging promises to combine music, physical theatre and a contemporary feel for this renowned Belle Epoque piece. See this page here for more info and to book.


THURSDAY 31 MARCH 2016 >>

Tiff Stevenson | Leicester Square Theatre | 31 March (pictured)
You might remember, but possibly not, that we recently declared that 28 March was comedy-viewing day. But I am going to go right ahead and make 31 March another comedy-viewing day, because there's just too much good comedy going on today. Starting with the fabulous Tiff Stevenson, performing 'Mad Man', a show we recently interviewed her about. See that Q&A here, and see this page here to book your tickets for the show.

Shambles presents... | Aces and Eights | 31 March
A freaking excellent line up for this comedy night over at Aces and Eights today: Tom Basden, Birthday Girls, Mawaan Rizwan, Gabriel Ebulue, Fraser Millward, Roisin And Chiara. Not sure I need to say any more, do I? See this page here for all the details you need to attend this budget evening of mirth.

Miles Jupp in aid of Choir With No Name | Union Chapel | 31 March
This is less budget than the show directly above, but you have big names and that great feeling you experience when you get to give money to charity AND enjoy some great entertainment. Miles Jupp headlines and is joined by special guests Seann Walsh, John Hegley, Jess Robinson, Sarah Kendall and Justin Edwards, while proceeds go to Choir with No Name, an organisation that runs choirs for people who've experienced homelessness. Here's your link.
 
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