THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2016 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TONY ADIGUN: FAGIN'S TWIST
If you are into your contemporary dance, then you probably already know the name of Tony Adigun of Avant Garde Dance, the company behind – amongst other things – acclaimed triple bill 'The Black Album'.

Avant Garde's latest show has a rather interesting theme, taking an alternative look at the character of Fagin from 'Oliver Twist'. Intrigued, I spoke to Tony, to find out more. Read the interview here.

'Fagin's Twist' is on at The Place until 15 Oct. See this page here for more info and to book.



GARY MCNAIR: A GAMBLER'S GUIDE TO DYING
'A Gambler's Guide To Dying', which comes to Southwark Theatre this month, is currently on a tour of the UK following huge, award-winning success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, and performances in Australia and America in the intervening time.

It's an very interesting tale, created and told by acclaimed writer and performer Gary McNair, so I wanted to find out more. I put some questions to him, ahead of his London run. Read the interview here.

Gary McNair performs 'A Gambler's Guide To Dying' at Southwark Playhouse from 2-9 Oct, see this page here for all the details.


FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2016 >>

Josie Long – Something Better | Soho Theatre | 30 Sep-15 Oct (pictured)
The lovely and ever-excellent Josie Long is headed for the Soho Theatre with a new show 'Something Better', which is about "optimism and hopefulness and about looking for people and things to look up to. It's about wanting more from life than it might be up for giving out. It's about struggling with realising what you are, who you are and what you can't change about yourself". And that sounds almost serious, but I guarantee it will be funny, insightful and delightful. See this page here for info.

The Privilege Show | Camden People's Theatre | 30 Sep
The subject of privilege seems to me like a very important topic at the moment, and something that very much needs to be discussed, which is why I selected this show from the CPT's enduringly classy Calm Down Dear line up. This is the work of hip hop and beatbox artist Testament, who un-picks his own privileges and prejudices, spurred on by the birth of his daughter, and seeing the world through her eyes. Details here.

Adding Machine – A Musical | Finborough Theatre | 28 Sep-22 Oct
I am rather interested in seeing this, the UK premiere of Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt's award winning 2007 musical based on Elmer Rice's 1923 play of the same name. It's a rather dark yet humorous piece of musical theatre, following the path of Mr Zero, who loses his job to an adding machine after twenty five years of service, and snaps and kills his boss. See the venue website here for more info.


SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Morgan And West – Parlour Tricks | ArtsDepot | 1 Oct
Well, I've tipped them before and I'll tip them again, because I love them to death and wish they lived next door to me so I could have them round for tea on a daily basis. Though, I suppose they are based in a different era to me, given that they are time-travelling Victorian magicians, so perhaps that wouldn't work. I guess I will just have to make sure I see this show, and I recommend that you do too. See this page here for more info.

Glasgow Girls | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 20 Sep-1 Oct (pictured)
I can't believe this – this brilliant new production of 'Glasgow Girls' completely wowed our reviewer in Edinburgh this summer, and yet I somehow failed to miss the fact that it was doing a run at Stratford East, until now. If you're not aware of the play, it's about a group of teens who fight the deportation of their friend's asylum seeking family. Topical, relevant, brilliantly done. See the venue website here to book.

Hans Teeuwen – Real Rancour | Soho Theatre | 29 Sep-6 Oct
These dates are part of a UK tour (if you miss these shows he's back at Leicester Square Theatre next month) by much praised Dutch comedian Hans Teeuwen, who is known for his absurd and unpredictable performances; Bridget Christie's a fan, and calls her first time seeing him perform "an unnerving, discombobulating, exhilarating experience". I suppose that doesn't altogether sound like praise, but believe me, it is. Click here to book your tickets.


SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Getting Better Slowly | New Diorama | 2-3 Oct (pictured)
I find the subject of this show simultaneously compelling and terrifying, as it kind of focuses on one of my worst fears. Creator and performer Adam Pownall tells the story of how he suffered full body paralysis because of Guillain Barre Syndrome (you'll have heard of it if you watched 'House') and the months he spent re-learning how to walk and talk. Promises to offer a valuable insight into how people deal with sudden illness, and how recovery can dominate your life. See the venue website here for info.

Let's Fly | Little Angel Theatre | until 20 Nov
One for the kiddies, then, as it's Sunday. This is for younger children aged 2-6, and it seems to be a complement to 'Emily Rising', the venue's show for older children, which we tipped last week. "Emily has a secret; she knows how to fly and she wants you to come on an adventure with her. Hold her hand and soar over cities, float above oceans and glide across mountains. You've never seen the whole world until you've sat on top of a cloud." Sounds sweet, doesn't it? Head this way for details.

Plastic Figurines | New Diorama | 27-Sep-22 Oct
You probably know all about 'Plastic Figurines', having attentively read the Q&A we did with its writer Ella Carmen Greenhill last week, but, to sum up, it's about a young woman with an autistic brother coping with the illness of her mother. It got great reviews first time out in 2015, so you should definitely make time to see it, not least because of the way it deals with the autism issue. See this page for info and to book.


MONDAY 3 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Spine | Soho Theatre | 3-8 Oct (pictured)
Good to see it back. This play from up and comer Clara Brennan won a number of awards at the Edinburgh Festival back in 2014, so, in conjunction with all the glowing reviews, I think you could call that critically acclaimed. It's about the friendship between a wisecracking teenager and a political activist pensioner, it's both funny and heartbreaking, and it explores the very important theme of our collective political disillusionment. See the venue website here for more info.

Undead Bard | Theatre N16 | 2-13 Oct
"zombie-Shakespeare-stand-up meets 80s rock". Good god, why would anyone not want to see this? Award-winning writer and performer Robert Crighton offers up an "unholy smorgasbord of play, comedy, and music, pulling apart Shakespeare, Bardolatry, and the modern world for your pleasure", and frankly, I am very much hoping to partake. See this page here to book your tickets.

Arthur Miller's Danger Memory | Theatro Technis | 27 Sep-15 Oct
This is a double bill of two contrasting plays by the esteemed playwright, 'Clara' and 'I Can't Remember Anything'. 'Danger Memory' isn't his most well loved work, by any stretch, but the two thematically linked pieces explore in detail the problems with memory, reflecting Miller's own fears of death and dementia, and I definitely think they're worth seeing. Head this way for details.


TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Empty Beds | Arcola Theatre | 4-8 Oct
This had a serious impact on our reviewer in Edinburgh this summer, who was very impressed by playwright Julia Cranney's exploration of sisterhood and family crisis, the impact of cuts to mental health services, and the frustration and guilt that mental illness can cause. See the venue website here for details.

Tumour Has It | Camden People's Theatre | 4 Oct (pictured)
And look, it's yet another show that went down well in Edinburgh, not least with our reviewer, who called it "an honest and hilarious show with a lot of heart". You might be surprised that it's hilarious, given its subject matter – performer Karen Hobbs tells the tale of her cancer diagnosis, treatment and post-cancer life – but be assured, this is definitely an entertaining and heartfelt piece. See this page here for more info.

Mark Thomas – The Red Shed | ArtsDepot | 4 Oct
The legendary (yes, legendary) comedian and activist is on tour throughout the UK at the moment, and here's a chance to see him in London in the acclaimed show that he performed up in Edinburgh in August (I didn't plan for every tip today to be from Fringe 2016, by the way). It's the third in a trilogy, the first two being 'Bravo Figaro' and 'Cuckooed') but you don't need to have seen them to enjoy this, so head this way to book tickets.


WEDNESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Fortune | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-8 Oct
Coney director Tassos Stevens and frequent collaborator, musician Nick Ryan present this not-Coney piece that sounds very much like it reflects its title: "Tassos set out to make a show about fortune, chance and destiny. Then he heard a story that changed everything and made him realise that perhaps his fortune had been with him all along. He tells this and other stories whilst making a running bet with the universe via buckets of water. Meanwhile, Nick set out to build an instrument to capture serendipity – a sonic pendulum". Sounds intriguing. See this page for details.

Can You Hear Me Running? | Pleasance Theatre | 4-23 Oct (pictured)
Here's another that sounds intriguing, and extremely promising. It's a play based on the real life experience of Louise Breckon Richards, a performer who lost her voice to a rare condition and decided to overcome it by running the London Marathon. Not sure how the London Marathon would bring back someone's voice, but I'm keen to find out if it worked. Click this link for info.

Ahir Shah – Machines | Soho Theatre | 4-8 Oct
Very much acclaimed and on the up comedian Ahir Shah performs his latest show for your viewing pleasure and all signs point to the fact that you should not miss this opportunity. Well, some of them. Anyway, you'll love his approach to our fears for the future, and what's more, the set apparently contains "an absolutely cracking joke about lizards". See the venue website here for more info.


THURSDAY 6 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Oil | Almeida Theatre | 7-26 Nov
"What do you do when you know it's going to run out? Oil follows the lives of one woman and her daughter in an epic, hurtling crash of empire, history and family." The latest show to go up over at The Almeida is this piece about that obviously finite resource from young-shooting-star-playwright Ella Hickson, starring the also highly regarded Anne Marie Duff. What else is there to be said? See this page for all the details.

Ballet Black – Triple Bill | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 6-8 Oct (pictured)
Acclaimed International dance troupe Ballet Black present a triple bill featuring two newly devised pieces – Christopher Marney's 'To Begin, Begin' and 'Cristaux' by recent Olivier Award Winner Arthur Pita – plus Christopher Hampson's 'Storyville'. This show previously sold out performances at the Barbican, so head this way to book your tickets before they all disappear...

Domestica | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-8 Oct
This is described as a "woozy, deadpan, and extensively-annotated dismantling of high art and classical posturing that asks where exactly we might be going in this ever-louder, ever-accelerating new century", and is part of 'Lost In The Funhouse', award winning experimental/live art troupe Sleepwalk Collective's loosely linked trilogy exploring pleasure and boredom in the 21st century. For more info and to book, see this page here.
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