THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER 2016 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TOM MANSFIELD: PHONE HOME
When I heard about 'Phone Home' and what it sets out to accomplish, I was very intrigued and very keen to find out more. The show tackles an important theme – the refugee crisis – and it does so in an appropriately international manner: the show takes place in three different cities at the same time.

To find out more about 'Phone Home', and the creative forces behind it, I spoke to Upstart Theatre's artistic director Tom Mansfield, co-director of the piece. Read the interview here.

'Phone Home' is on at Shoreditch Town Hall from 19-20 Oct, for more info and to book see this page here for previews, and this page here for all the other dates.



ALEX HORNE: THE HORNE SECTION
We've known and loved The Horne Section for quite a long time now, as you might possibly expect, given that they, like Team TW, are Edinburgh Festival regulars. Having witnessed their live work, it's been great to hear them on the radio and see them on TV as the years have passed.

Next week, they're having a special celebration at Shoreditch Town Hall, so it seemed a very good excuse to have a chat with Mr Alex Horne himself, about The Horne Section, his TV show 'Taskmaster', and his appearances on 'Countdown' and 'Mastermind'. Read the interview here.

The Horne Section's Special Celebration night takes place at Shoreditch Town Hall on 21 October. For more info and to book, see this page here.


FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER 2016 >>

The Horne Section's Special Celebration Night | Shoreditch Town Hall | 21 Oct
You might already have read the Q&A with Alex Horne that we did because of this special evening over at Shoreditch Town Hall, and if you haven't you can read it now. And then, because you're probably already a fan, or because you are intrigued by the sound of the show, you can head this way to see if there are any tickets left.

5 Guys Chillin' | King's Head Theatre | 15 Oct-5 Nov
This acclaimed verbatim piece about the gay chill out scene has already had successful runs in London and Edinburgh, but now you have another chance to see it so don't blow it this time. Put together using more than fifty hours worth of interview material, the show explores changing attitudes towards sex, relationships and dating. See this page here for details.

Tony Law – A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome | Leicester Square Theatre (pictured)
We've been reviewing Tony Law's shows up in Edinburgh for what seems like aeons, and I was just looking through a few of the most recent ones, and there isn't a single negative one, and most of them are five stars and positively glowing. But if you are a comedy fan, you won't need our endorsement, you know he is a legend. Get thee to the venue website here to book your tickets.


SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Stick Man | ArtsDepot | 22-23 Oct
Well, looking outside as I write this, it seems as though we've descended into windy and rainy weekend territory, and it's the start of half term, so it's time to look for some indoor diversions for the kids, possibly, unless you're hardy types. Here is one suggestion: Scamp Theatre's very slick and entertaining adaptation of 'Stick Man' by Julia Donaldson. See the venue website here for more info.

Phone Home | Shoreditch Town Hall | 19-30 Oct (pictured)
This is a fascinating sounding production that is taking place in several international locations at once, and which tackles the very current and thorny issue of the refugee crisis. It's been a year in development, and created in collaboration with refugees and migrants in London, Birmingham, Munich and Athens. Click this link here for details.

Attack Of The Giant Leeches | Etcetera Theatre | 19-31 Oct
This looks like it will be lots of fun, and is, I believe, a comedic homage to the black and white 1959 b-movie of the same name. Just the sort of not-really-scary shenanigans you need to brighten up your dark October evening, and get you in the mood for Hallowe'en. Woo. See this page here for more.


SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Laughing Stock | New Diorama | 23 Oct (pictured)
This lot are a relatively new sketch troupe who've won a number of very complimentary reviews for their fledgling Edinburgh shows, so I think it's safe to say that you won't regret spending your Sunday evening taking in their latest (second) edfringe show, which heads to New Diorama for one more performance. See the venue website here for info.

The Haunting Of Exham Priory | Greenwich Theatre | 23 Oct
I love all those things that punctuate the autumn and winter to make the dreariness more bearable, by which I mean Hallowe'en, Bonfire night and Christmas. And that's why I keep recommending things that are spooky and scary. Also because there are quite a few spooky and scary things at my recommending fingertips right now, for obvious reasons. This is one of them, and it looks great, a new play based on H P Lovecraft's classic Gothic chiller 'The Rats in the Walls'.Head this way for more info.

Vegfest | Olympia London | 22-23 Oct
I have been a vegan or vegetarian for a really long time, so I am quite good at it, but I reckon I'd still find lots to occupy me here, not least because the programme of stalls, talks, demonstrations and performances aren't all about cooking, although there is, of course, cooking. Definitely a good thing for those who are new to a life without meat. And probably a good thing for dedicated meat-eaters, too, just so you can find out the answer to questions like "so, what on earth do you EAT?" Ahem. See this website here for info and to book.


MONDAY 24 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Key Change | Battersea Arts Centre | 24-26 Oct (pictured)
This portrayal of women in prison, devised by Catriona McHugh with the help of women prisoners at Low Newton, won The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award in 2015, and since completed an acclaimed run in New York. Much praised for its script, direction, and performances, as well as the valuable insight it offers. See the venue website here for more info.

Vir Das – Live In London | Soho Theatre | 24 Oct-5 Nov
"Comedy and unparalleled story-telling from his uniquely Indian perspective, Vir shares stories about growing up in India to studying in America, Indian culture to world politics, losing virginity to cancelling weddings, drug addiction to flying an Air India plane". The Bollywood actor and comedian is only going up, so make sure you see him before he gets too famous. See this link here to book.

Fairy Tales For Grown Ups – The Iron Man | Soho Theatre | 24 Oct
A lovely treat for fans of stories, and another chance to see renowned story-teller Ben Haggerty in action. Expect epic transformations, giant cockerels, tough patriarchies, trips to the underworld, sibling rivalries, and things that live in the swamp. Tickets are selling quickly, get your skates on and whizz over to this page here to book.


TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Angelic Tales New Writing Season | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 25-29 Oct
Stratford East's season of five new plays by five new writers kicks off today with 'Dagger Lane' by Duncan McInnes, in which a retired police detective battles Alzheimers whilst attempting to solve a historic crime, but there are four others to choose from (or you could see all of them), see this page here for links to each.

Black Is The Colour Of My Voice And Soul Sessions | Wilton's Music Hall | 25-29 Oct (pictured)
Apphia Campbell performs her acclaimed solo show inspired by the life of Nina Simone, which tells the tale of a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist seeking redemption after the untimely death of her father. Campbell follows this with her Soul Sessions cabaret, which celebrates the work of the aforementioned Simone. Get tickets, quickly, I wouldn't be surprised if supplies are dwindling. Head this way.

Aart | Museum Of Comedy | 25 Oct
A second Museum Of Comedy chance (I missed the first, it was on the 12 Oct) to see this edfringe 2016 success story, a comical and unique art workshop from fictional New Zealand artist Mikey. Our reviewer said this: "it's a wonderfully funny parody of artistic education, but there are moments of surprising profundity".  And she is never wrong. See the venue website here for details.


WEDNESDAY 26 OCTOBER 2016 >>

Knock Knock | Etcetera Theatre | 25 Oct-6 Nov
Written and performed by Niv Petel, 'Knock Knock' is inspired by real events and explores the impact of National Service on a mother and son living in Israel. It's the sort of subject matter that could get political, but I suspect the focus is on themes of love, family and personal sacrifice. Head this way for more info.

The Acedian Pirates | Theatre503 | 26 Oct-19 Nov
This is another play about war, written by actor and now playwright Jay Taylor, and which was shortlisted for the inaugural Theatre503 Playwriting Award in 2014, and I am expecting very good things of it. It draws influence from Greek myth, focusing on the struggles of a unit of soldiers who are desperate to return home, and challenges the humanity and logic of military occupation. See this page here for details.

Apocalypse Cruise Ship Love Affair | Above The Arts | 25-29 Oct
Oh, this is just the sort of thing we need to cheer us up in late October, so thanks, Beach Comet, for bringing this to London. It's a B Movie style musical that I guarantee will be joyously hilarious. We first saw this company up in Edinburgh, when their 'Vampire Hospital Waiting Room' went down more-than-well with our reviewer, and this follow up has won many positive reactions. Even people who don't like musicals will love this. See the venue website here for booking info.


THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER 2016 >>

The Island Nation | Arcola Theatre | 26 Oct-19 Nov
"Nila, a young Tamil woman, is trapped in rebel-held territory. Rebecca, a British aid worker, is desperate to get her out. Erik, a Norwegian politician, thinks he has a plan for peace. But nothing is certain – and nobody is safe." This revealing new drama from Christine Bacon is set in Sri Lanka in 2009, as the 26-year civil war between the government and the Tamil Tigers comes to an end. Potentially shocking, important subject matter. See this page here for info.

Bourgeois And Maurice – How To Save The World Without Really Trying | Soho Theatre | 17-29 Oct (pictured)
Let's just say this is a reminder to all to not forget about this show and see it before the end of the run, given that there are only a few performances left as of today. The much loved musical satirists present their latest hit, "digging their shellac nails deep into our post-modern, post-gender, post-Brexit world the demented duo to deliver their most hilarious, scathing and joyfully cynical show yet". Hurrah, quick, don't miss.

Farewell Tim | Pleasance Theatre | 27-28 Oct
Tim has died in a freak accident, and his friends are left behind to make funny in his honour. Our reviewer up in Edinburgh completely loved this show from narrative sketch duo The Good News, and she's that one I was talking about the other day, you know, the one who is never ever wrong. Hope I'm not giving her too much to live up to, she might start to get stressed. Anyway, trust her, and me, and book your tickets here.
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