THURSDAY 6 OCTOBER 2016 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
BLYTHE STEWART: SKIN A CAT
You might already have seen (or heard about) 'Skin A Cat', because it had a successful run at the 2016 Vault Festival, and won much critical acclaim. If, however, you missed it, you're in luck: because the production returns this month in a new location, the brand new Southwark Street venue The Bunker.

To find out more about production, and the playwright and company behind the piece, I spoke to Blythe Stewart, director. Read the interview here.

'Skin A Cat' is on at The Bunker from 12 Oct-5 Nov, see this page here for more info.



AHIR SHAH: MACHINES
Ahir Shah "wants to believe that optimism, ambition and hope will take us to an open, tolerant, liberated future; however, after witnessing the global rise of the far-right and finding himself caught up in the Paris attacks, he's got a lot of concerns." Fortunately, his latest set 'Machines', while dealing with the aforementioned themes, also promises to be funny.

The show, which had a successful run up in Edinburgh this summer, is on at the Soho Theatre this week. I put some questions to him ahead of his London run. Read the interview here.

Ahir Shah performs 'Machines' at Soho Theatre until 8 Oct, see this page here for more info.


FRIDAY 7 OCTOBER 2016 >>

This Place We Know | various locations | 26 Sep-15 Oct
I'm a bit late to this one, but there's still lots to see, and might be of special interest to those who live near the Bush Theatre, if they haven't already noticed that it's happening. This Place We Know comprises a series of specially-commissioned short plays, which are being performed in borrowed spaces all along the (diverse and very long) Uxbridge Road, where the theatre is sited. See this page here for more info.

Acorn | Courtyard Theatre | 4-29 Oct (pictured)
This new play by Maude Dromgoole re-imagines the narrative of two mythical women, Eurydice and Persephone, and uses their stories to analyse the changing roles of women in the modern world. Promises "dark humour with lyricism, fury and wit" as well as an original score. See the venue website here for details.

This Little Life Of Mine | Park Theatre | 4-29 Oct
I picked this because it's got a very-much-London setting and I thought that would be fun for all you very-much-Londoners. And, given what I have just said, you'll probably expect themes here you can relate to, and I am pleased to inform you that you are correct – overpriced accommodation, busy lives, over-friendly baristas... and what's more, it's a musical, and it's funny. Hurrah. Head this way to book.


SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Why The Whales Came | ArtsDepot | 8 Oct
It's fast heading towards that time of year when the weather might well be rubbish of a weekend and you need stuff to entertain your children. That being the case, here's one option for you, 'Why The Whales Came', the story by Michael Morpurgo, brought to life by award-winning performer and storyteller Danyah Miller. Not for toddleplops, though, the age recommendation is 7+. See this page here for info.

History Of Ireland | Camden People's Theatre | 8 Oct
Yes, I am going to recommend yet another event in the CPT's Calm Down Dear festival, and it's another very promising sounding piece, which will challenge the stereotypical view of Ireland and instead aim to "re-write the history of Ireland by highlighting Irish women's achievements often forgotten in history books". It's a work in progress, but I doubt that will make it any less interesting, and it is of course reflected in the ticket price. Click on this link here.

I Ride In Colour And Soft Focus, No Longer Anywhere | Rich Mix | 8-9 Oct (pictured)
This latest work from acclaimed dance artist Jamila Johnson-Small – aka Last Yearz Interesting Negro – uses the idea of different voices and conversation existing in one body to create a physical, auditory, and visual narrative. There's more information about the show, which is part of London dance festival Dance Umbrella, on the venue website here.


SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER 2016 >>

The Magical World Of The Piano – Family Concerts With Noriko Ogawa | King's Place | 9 Oct
There are lots of theatrical children's shows, but it's fairly rare to find family shows with a classical music focus, and these are tailored to different age groups, which is brilliant, two performances being aimed at 2-5 year olds, and a third at those 6+. Pianist Noriko Ogawa  uses  the works of Schumann, Mozart, Elgar, Debussy and others, along with a light theatrical approach, to appeal to her younger audiences. See this page here for more info.

Tetris / O Snap / No Man is an Island | various venues | 8-22 Oct
And these are family shows too: the three different dance pieces named in the title, which are being performed in rotation at a variety of venues as part of the previously mentioned Dance Umbrella festival. They are the work of Erik Kaiel, whose choreography is described as "unorthodox, acrobatic and perfect for children (and grown-ups) who can't sit still". See this page here for the when and where.

Trident Moon | Finborough Theatre | SMT 9-19 Oct (pictured)
This new play from award-winning Canadian playwright Anusree Roy is set in India in 1947, against the backdrop of partition. Six women, three Muslim and three Hindu, are hidden inside a coal truck as it makes its way through the newly-divided Hindustan. When the truck suddenly stops, the women are forced to unite in order to survive. See the venue website here for details.


MONDAY 10 OCTOBER 2016 >>

London Horror Festival | Old Red Lion | 10-30 Oct
If you are a fan of the horror genre, you're in luck this month, for the London Horror Festival is afoot at the Old Red Lion. There are loads of different shows on over the next couple of weeks, and I can't decide which one I would like to see most. So I thought I would just post a link to the whole line up so you can make your own choice. Or choices, you're allowed to see more than one, obviously. Mwah ha ha.

Tumble Tuck | Soho Theatre | 10 Oct
This is one performance from Soho Theatre's upcoming short season of performances featuring emerging artists, Soho Rising. This seems to be about competitive swimming, exploring "what it means to be successful, in a world where medals matter." For more info on the show see this page here, and for more info on the whole strand, head to this page here.

Fraser Millward – Wasteland | Museum Of Comedy | 10 Oct (pictured)
Fraser Millward is a bit of a TW favourite, having wooed our reviewers repeatedly up at the Edinburgh Fringe with his inventive character comedy. The performer takes on more than one personality in this show, which focuses on Geoff, a 35-year-old coach driver from the East Midlands, who prides himself on his customer service, timekeeping and expensive re-upholstered interiors... See the venue website here for more info.


TUESDAY 11 OCTOBER 2016 >>

The Slave | Tristan Bates Theatre | 11-29 Oct
This is the European premiere of this 1969 play by Amiri Baraka, known at the time of writing as LeRoi Jones. The late poet and activist expressed some very controversial views which you might disagree with, but this angry and passionate play set at the height of the US civil rights movement deals with issues which are still – indeed arguably increasingly – relevant. See this page here for info.

Tanja | Camden People's Theatre | 11-13 Oct (pictured)
"Locked up. Shipped around. Sold as sex. In the black of night Tanja fled to safety on the shores of England. Another asylum seeker now held at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre; Britain's best kept secret." This is an obviously political piece, a campaigning call to arms exposing the experience of refugees faced with prejudice and abuse. There's also a post show discussion after this first performance, see the venue website here for details.

Erich McElroy's (US) Electile Dysfunction | Museum Of Comedy | 11+24 Oct
If you weren't interested in US politics previously, I bet you are now, given what's going on across the pond, so here's one show (of many, probably) that takes a look at the the imminent US election, from UK based American ex-pat Erich McElroy. Don't expect laugh-a-minute, but do expect some great observations. Click this link here for info.


WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Snakes And Giants | Greenwich Theatre | 12-15 Oct
This is a play from TW favourites The Flanagan Collective, the company behind acclaimed shows as 'Beulah' and 'Fable'. 'Snakes and Giants' fuses spoken word, dance and music to tell three narratives about love and belonging: A nation loses itself in the crowd, A defiant love breaks all bounds, A woman dances wildly on the cliff edge. Expect something rather beautiful from this delightful sounding two hander. Follow this link here to book.

Swansong | Arcola Theatre | 11-15 Oct (pictured)
And DugOut, another theatre producing company with a very firm TW stamp of approval, is behind this next show, which our reviewer up at edfringe this summer described as "rich with music, gallows humour and existential debates on the merits of humanity". Funny, sharply written, and energetic, it's apocalyptic in theme, set on a swan-shaped pedalo adrift a flooded planet. Intrigued? Head this way for more info.

Ceirw – Savage Hart | Jackson's Lane | 12-15 Oct
I'm mildly spooked by the images accompanying the show listing for this, as it features humans with deer heads, but I think the subject matter for this piece – a creation of aerial artistry, ballet and circus – is really interesting. In a story reminiscent of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', a family of deer – slaughtered heads mounted in the dining room of a 19thC aristocrat – come back to life to make said gentleman rue his hunting-lust. See the venue website here to book.


THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Bricking It | Battersea Arts Centre | 13-15 Oct (pictured)
This is the first of two recommended-cos-we-saw-it-at-the-Fringe things for today. 'Bricking It' is the work of a writing and performing daughter and her bricklayer father: in order to create this piece, the pair swapped jobs, he learned how to be a comedian, and she built the stage for his debut. Fun, but also an interesting look at how what you do affects who you are. See the venue website here for more info.

The Marked | Ovalhouse | 13-22 Oct
And this is the second, a show which our reviewer called "A marvellous journey, which ended too quickly". The excellent Theatre Temoin are the team behind this story of London's homeless, told with puppets and masks and a physical approach. It's inspired by real-life testimony, and shines an important light on the pressing problem of of homelessness. See this page here for details.

A Symphony Of Voices | The Actors' Church | 13 Oct
This concert from multi-racial nearly-25-years-old touring group Pegasus Opera Company is intended as a celebration of Black History Month, and features the likes of Gweneth Ann Rand, Anne Fridal, Ronald Samm, Byron Jackson and Waiyin Lee. Expect Puccini, Verdi, Mascagni, Gershwin and Negro Spirituals and some audience participation. For more info and to book tickets, head this way.
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