THURSDAY 21 APRIL 2016


PHIL WANG: PHILTH
Up and coming comedy talent Phil Wang heads over to Soho Theatre this week for a reprise of his 2015 Edinburgh Fringe success 'Philth'. He's won no small amount of acclaim for this and other solo shows, as well as for the work he does with his sketch troupe Daphne.

Since he started winning comedy contests back in 2010, I've been keeping an eye out for him, so, given that it's now 2016, I thought it was about time we had a quick chat... about Philth, Edinburgh, Daphne and more. Read the interview here.

Phil Wang performs 'Philth' at Soho Theatre from 25-28 Apr. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.




LAUREN HERLEY: CLOSER
Yaron Lifschitz' award-winning Australian ensemble Circa is renowned for its boundary-pushing shows which blur the lines between circus, movement, dance, and theatre. They have shows playing in more than one country at present, but the one I am interested in is 'Closer', which is being performed at the Udderbelly Festival over on the South Bank for the next couple of months.

To find out more about the show, the company, and her own career and ambitions, I spoke to one of the performers involved, rope artist Lauren Herley. Read the interview here.

'Closer' is on at Udderbelly Festival at South Bank Centre from 7 Apr-12 Jun. See this page here for more info and to book.



ALEX JUDD: BLIND MAN'S SONG
We first discovered Theatre Re's brilliant piece 'Blind Man's Song' when it premiered as part of last year's London International Mime Festival. It's been on tour and up to the Edinburgh Fringe since then, garnering rave reviews (our own included) along the way, and now settles at London's Pleasance Theatre for a three week run.

Last year, we spoke to director Guillaume Pigé about the show. This time I had a chat with Alex Judd, the man behind the very excellent music. Read the interview here.

'Blind Man's Song' is on at the Pleasance Theatre from 27 Apr-15 May. See this page here for info and tickets.



RAE MCKEN: THE VERVE FESTIVAL
You may remember that a wee while ago we instructed you – via a Three To See pick – to go and see 'The Taming Of The Shrew' at the Arts Theatre, because we were anticipating a great production. But of course, it's on as part of something a bit bigger – The Verve Festival.

This brand new event is motivated by concerns shared by the TW team, so I was naturally keen to find out more about it. I spoke to organiser Rae McKen, of diversity focused producing company Custom/Practice. Read the interview here.

The Verve Festival runs until 1 May at The Arts Theatre. Scroll down the venue website here for event listings.



LUCA SILVESTRINI: MAY CONTAIN FOOD
The latest show from renowned dance theatre company Protein is ‘May Contain Food’, which, as the title hints, explores our human and social responses to food. This interesting piece is highly interactive, and sounds as though it might stretch the boundaries of the genre quite a bit.

To find out more, I put some questions to group founder Luca Silvestrini, who co-created the show with collaborator Orlando Gough. Read the interview here.

'May Contain Food' is on at The Place from 21 Apr-7 May. Visit the venue website here for more info and to book.




CHRISTOPHER BLAND: THE EASTER RISING AND THEREAFTER
Christopher Bland is better known for his business career – as chairman of the BBC, BT, and the RSC – than for his recent, more creative one. But he seems to be proving that it's never too late: a couple of years ago, at the age of 75, he published a first novel (a second is out soon) and now he has turned his hand to the creation of a theatrical piece.

The result of his labours, 'The Easter Rising And Thereafter', comes to London's Jermyn Street Theatre this week. I put a few questions to him, ahead of the impending run. Read the interview here.

'Easter Rising And Thereafter' is on at Jermyn Street Theatre from 26-30 Apr. See the venue website here for more info and to book.


FRIDAY 22 APRIL 2016 >>

Shakespeare Reloaded weekender | Watermans | 22-24 Apr
More four-hundred-years-since-Shakespeare-died shenanigans over at Watermans this weekend, and it looks like a fab line up of stuff. Lots of bard-inspired events – film screenings, cabaret shows and interactive sessions – and a lot of it is free! Free, I tell you. See this page here for all the listings

May Contain Food | The Place | 21 Apr-7 May (pictured)
The brilliant Protein dance company returns with this piece about our relationship with food, choreographed by founder Luca Silvestrini with a score by Orlando Gough. Protein shows are renowned for their excellence, but also for their humour and accessibility, so even if you are a bit of a stranger to more physical art forms, I think you should give this a go. All the details are here.

For All Time | Southwark Playhouse | 22 Apr-1 May
And, yes, even more shenanigans related to the deathiversary of the bard, this time "a play about creating a play – staged above a pub Shakespeare would have known". 'For All Time' sees two men, Mr Shakespeare and John Fletcher, holed up in a room attempting to finish 'The Two Noble Kinsmen' by morning; unfortunately, they are distracted by tiredness drink, and the memory of lost loves. Go to the venue website here for more info and to book.


SATURDAY 23 APRIL 2016 >>

Blue On Blue | Tristan Bates Theatre | 19 Apr-14 May
You might already have read our q&a with the director of 'Blue On Blue', and in which case you might already have booked your tickets. If you haven't, then do consider doing so. Focusing on the story of a wounded military veteran and his relationship with his nephew, this is a powerful and poignant piece, but also has a lot of dark humour in it. Follow this link here for all the details.

Down And Out In Paris And London | New Diorama |19 Apr-14 May (pictured)
This show – a new and modern satire based on George Orwell's renowned autobiographical story as well as Polly Toynbee's 2003 book 'Hard Work' – premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer to much acclaim, and that's probably not surprising given the great source material and the fact that it's been put together by a highly capable creative team. See the venue website here for info and tickets.

Comedy Club 4 Kids | Soho Theatre | 23 Apr
Well, yes, I've recommended it before, but I am not going to stop, because the line-up is always different, so you will always get a different show. Plus, you are always looking for something interesting for your kids to do on a Saturday, aren't you? We love this show (yes, even we grown-ups) and we are never going to grow out of it. Get thee to this page here to book.


SUNDAY 24 APRIL 2016 >>

The Elves And The Shoemaker | ArtsDepot | 24 Apr (pictured)
Theatre Of Widdershins' production of this time honoured fairy tale got great reviews when it was on up at the old Ed Fest a few years ago, and I would assume it's probably only got better since then. It's a quirky retelling, focusing on master cobbler Elvis Shumaker III (yes, you see what they did there), so a nice weekend treat for your little ones. Hurry up and book here before they run out of tickets.

Probably The Best Comedy Songs In The World Ever, Maybe | Museum Of Comedy | 23-24 Apr
If you are a fan of song in your comedy, or comedy in your song, here's an evening of entertainment that ought to appeal. Pat Abernethy and Dave Marsden seemingly work their way through the history of the genre, covering songs from the likes of Tom Lehrer, The Pythons, Pete and Dud, Richard Digance,The Goons, Kenneth Williams, Noel Coward, and Flanders and Swan, as well as offering up their own unique take on the work of Elvis Presley and the Righteous Brothers. Follow this link here to get your tickets.

Kings Of War | Barbican | 22 Apr-1 May
This looks amazing, so another thing you may need to get your skates on about, if you want to ensure you get tickets. Toneelgroep Amsterdam's adaptation pulls together three monarchs as depicted by Shakespeare – Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III  – and casts them in the role of modern day political leaders. In Dutch, with surtitles. See the venue website here for more info.


MONDAY 25 APRIL 2016 >>

Emilia Galotti | The Space | 26 Apr-14 May
A rare staging of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's 1772 piece 'Emilia Galotti' from Ottisdotter Productions, who specialise in creating shows from obscure classic works which explore the role of women in society. Described as "a tale of absolute power, lust and honour", and based on the Roman myth of Verginia, it focuses on tragic and bloody events taking place on what should be Emila's wedding day. A political attack on the nobility and their unfair degree of power, it's no doubt still relevant. Go here for info and to book.

Phil Wang – Philph | Soho Theatre | 25-28 Apr
Youthful-yet-experienced comedian Phil Wang performs his third 'hour' – a show that inspired a lot of praise from critics and peers when he took it up to Edinburgh last summer. He won the Chortle Student Comedian Of The Year prize in 2010 and something similar from Comedy Central the year after that, and he's also been entrusted with a number of TV appearances of late, so I think you can expect a high degree of skilfully delivered material. See this page here for details.

This Room | Battersea Arts Centre | 25-27 Apr (pictured)
There are two vaguely similarly titled shows on at the Battersea Arts Centre this week ('This Room' and 'The Destroyed Room'), so don't get them mixed up. Though to be fair, I am going to recommend both of 'em so possibly it doesn't matter. This one, from Laura Dean, is all about obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is something people misunderstand and trivialise, so I'm keen to see a show that deals with it properly. And I think you should all see it too. Get ye to the venue website here to book your tickets.


TUESDAY 26 APRIL 2016 >>

Shit-faced Shakespeare | Leicester Square Theatre | 26 Apr-11 Jun (pictured)
I absolutely deny all rumours that the only reason I recommend this ensemble any time they appear is because I like writing the phrase "Shit-faced Shakespeare". The truth is, I do like writing the phrase "Shit-faced Shakespeare", but I also know full well that this is a highly amusing concept for a show, and I also know that they've had lots of good reviews (yes, including one from us). See the venue website here for details and tickets

Mark Thomas – Trespass | Tricycle Theatre | 25 Apr-7 May
Very excellent stand-up/activist/justice warrior Mark Thomas takes his latest set to Tricycle Theatre, and if you want to go, get your tickets booked, because it looks to me like they're selling pretty fast. "If the ramblers of the 1930's were here now, what would they do to open up the cities?" the show asks.  "How do we turn the skyscrapers and corporate squares into our playgrounds?". Head this way for info and to book.

Punching The Sky | Soho Theatre | 26-30 Apr
Everyone knows that things have got a bit tricky with regard to young people and porn, and here is a piece that appears to tackle the issue head on. Written by Lizi Patch in response to the media storm that ensued after she blogged about her own experiences with regard to her son's exposure to pornography, the piece "delves into the democratic space of the internet and shines a light on the contradictory nature of our feelings about sex, censorship and parenthood". See this page here to find out more.


WEDNESDAY 27 APRIL 2016 >>

A Kingdom For A Stage | 28 Apr-7 May | Chelsea Theatre
This sounds interesting. It's another Shakespeary thing, of course (you know, because 400), and this one comes from a fairly quirky angle. Comparing the Britain of the time of Elizabeth I to Britain in the time of Elizabeth II, the show focuses on the deceased bard himself, who, up in heaven, is excited by the recreation of the Globe theatre in London and by the four hundredth anniversary of his death. Believing that things are much nicer these days, he manages to return to the capital, and gets to see how things really are. Hie you hence to this page here for details and to book.

HMS Pinafore | Hackney Empire | 27 Apr-1 May (pictured)
This beloved old chestnut gets an airing but with a slight difference – this version is performed by an entirely male cast, so you get to see your actors doubling up as both burly sailors and dainty female visitors. It's directed by Sasha Regan, who has form with this sort of thing – this follows her award winning, all male  'Pirates Of Penzance'. You'd better forge ahead and get your tickets sorted here.

The Destroyed Room | Battersea Arts Centre | 27 Apr-14 May
Part of the previously mentioned A Nation's Theatre Festival, this, and is a play which already garnered much acclaim up in Glasgow earlier this year. Taking the form of an informal debate, juxtaposed with disturbing depictions of global events, 'The Destroyed Room' examines the gap between our relatively comfortable lives in the west, and the lives of those whose much less comfortable existence we are increasingly exposed to by our growing, intensive global media. Intrigued? Follow this link here.


THURSDAY 28 APRIL 2016 >>

Hardy Animal | Battersea Arts Centre | 28-29 Apr (pictured)
Today is official A Nation's Theatre day. All three of today's Three To Sees are on as part of the festival. And I am starting with this, 'Hardy Animal', a text and movement based piece from Laura Dannequin which examines chronic pain, the human body and its failings, telling the story of a dancer's descent into immobility. Sounds pretty poignant... but rather reflective of life. See this page here for info.

Our Last Supper | Southbank Centre | 28 Apr-3 May
This looks really interesting, the revival of an interactive piece by Reckless Sleepers. It's based on the final words of "history's famous and not-so-famous", and audience members sit at tables and are assigned seat and case numbers. Thirteen audience members (of a possible thirty nine) receive the final meal requests of death row inmates. Much food for thought, I imagine. See the venue website here for details.

Bed Time | Polka Theatre | 27 Apr-3 May
And finally, one for your pre-schoolers. This is, let's face it, an ace idea for a show, because it will encourage them to think of bed time as a fun thing – so what's not to love? Adventure theatre promise to "celebrate this very special time of day with songs, storytelling, silliness and maybe even a pillow fight!" Follow this link here for more info.
 
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