THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2016 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
ULTIMATE DANCER: HOLY SMOKE
'Holy Smoke' sounds fascinating, a genre bending piece of choreography which has been influenced by Shamanic practices, and offers a "visceral look into the unknown with deconstructed messages of love and kindness, dreamy spells cast backwards and a pop song sung in reverse".

To find out more about the show and the brains behind it, I spoke to creator Ultimate Dancer, aka choreographer and performer Louise Ahl. Read the interview here.

'Holy Smoke' is on at the Southbank Centre from 4-5 Nov. See this page here for more info.


FRIDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Melancholy | Jacksons Lane | 4 Nov
This is another from the previously mentioned Jacksons Five strand of shows from companies who are presenting new work, or who are new to Jackson's Lane. This one is from an award winning company, Certain Dark Things, who explore the line between genius and insanity through puppetry, theatre and animation. See this page here for info and to book.

A Thread | Southbank Centre | 4 Nov (pictured)
This like an amazing piece from Jean Abreu. Part performance, part installation, it's a spectacle in which a team of contemporary dancers interact with geometric sculptures by renowned Brazilian sculptor and visual artist Elisa Bracher, The show also features intriguing sounding music from Ukrainian composer Oleg Shpudeiko aka Heinali. See the venue website here for details.

The Revolutions Weekender: A Festival Of Peace, Love And Music | V&A | 4-6 Nov
A companion event to their current 'You Say You Want A Revolution' exhibition, this is a weekend of shenanigans inspired by the sixties, to include live music, DJs, theatrical performance, special talks, tours, film screenings, a Revolutionary Reading Room and pop up poetry by Synergy Theatre Project. It's mostly free, see more info and download a programme here.


SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Strindberg's Women | Jermyn Street | 2-26 Nov
Being an angry feminist, I like anything with 'women' in the title. Or, I don't know, maybe not.  A play with 'women' in the title could be 'I Hate Women', a one person show reflecting the writer's views. Luckily, that's not what this is, it's two Strindberg plays: firstly 'The Stronger', about a wife tormented by her husband's affair, and secondly, 'The Storm', in which former lovers are reunited with angry and passionate results. See this page here for all the info.

Wild At Heart | Pentameters Theatre | 1-20 Nov
And so to another master playwright, this time Tennessee Williams, and this collection of four of his short plays: 'At Liberty', 'Mr Paradise', 'Talk To Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen' and 'Hello From Bertha'. I love short plays, and I love Tennessee Williams, so this sounds pretty heavenly. See the venue website here for details.

Dane Baptiste - Reasonable Doubts | Soho theatre | 1-5+8 Nov (pictured)
Argh, we almost missed this, just like we almost missed his run back in May, but we didn't quite, so hurrah! If didn't see him back in May, you still have time to catch the critically acclaimed, Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated Londoner performing his well-reviewed post-nomination show 'Reasonable Doubts'. Head this way to see if there are any tickets left.


SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Bits Of Me Are Falling Apart | Soho Theatre | 2 Nov-3 Dec
You may already have noticed this show that's on over at the Soho Theatre, because the fairly legendary Adrian Edmondson is the star and co-adapter of this show based on William Leith's best seller. But, you know, just in case you missed it, somehow, here I am, pointing it out, for the good of your collective health. See the venue website here, to book.

Drones, Baby, Drones | Arcola Theatre | 2-26 Nov (pictured)
"As Barack Obama prepares to leave office, this world premiere double bill probes behind the scenes of America's controversial drone wars, and asks what they will mean for our future." Two plays, 'This Tuesday' and 'The Kid', explore some worrying issues. Head this way for more info.

Magnificence | Finborough Theatre | 25 Oct-19 Nov
I absolutely thought I had already tipped this production of Howard Brenton's 1973 play right at the start of the run, and now it's ten days in. I am highly confused. But never mind, I am tipping it now, and with good reason. One, it's a great play, and two, its themes - police brutality, drug abuse, the deceptions of politicians, the social housing crisis, and whether violence can ever be justified for political ends - are still as relevant as ever. See this page here for details.


MONDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Simon Slack - The Fantasist | Soho Theatre | 7-8 Nov
Simon Slack is the comical creation of Robert Cawsey, who comedy fans may know better as one half of highly successful sketch duo Guilt & Shame, and his is a show that went down well in Edinburgh this summer. Expect a "wild journey of physical comedy, crazy dancing and puppetry". Head this way for a compelling dose of the absurd.

London Stories - Made By Migrants | 4-26 Nov
Following on from the success of London Stories in 2013, Battersea Arts Centre invite you into their building for a festival of true stories from people who have come to London from elsewhere, and made it their home. The tales are told to small groups, by the people who lived them. Can't help thinking this will be a fascinating and enlightening experience. See the venue website here for more info.

Randy Writes A Novel | Soho Theatre | 7-19 Nov (pictured)
And another show that's made its way to the Soho following a successful Edinburgh run is this solo offering from Australian celebrity puppet Randy, Sammy J's sometime partner in crime. It got a Comedy Award nomination this summer, so you know it will be good, plus it's a puppet reading excerpts from his unpublished novel, whilst getting distracted by his own hate filled ramblings... how could that possibly fail to entertain? See this page here for details.


TUESDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Feathers | Hen & Chickens | 8-27 Nov
This is a modern reworking by Eliza Power of Ovid's myth of Tereus, Procne and Philomela from the 'Metamorphoses'. Following a long estrangement, sisters Marisa and Edie are reunited, and it puts Marisa's already slightly troubled marriage to the test. As her husband's attraction to her sister grows, the siblings' dark back-story emerges. It's had great reviews for previous runs, as well as sounding very compelling. See this page here for details.

Susan Calman - The Calman Before The Storm | Soho Theatre | 8-19 Nov
Deliciously funny and wonderful human Susan Calman brings her new show to London town following a run at the old edfringe. I have really been enjoying her appearances on TV and radio of late, but I didn't manage to get to the show when it was on in the Scottish capital this summer (mainly because it kept selling out) so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will get a ticket this time. And I hope you all get one too. Head this way to book.

Last Resort | RIFT | 8-10 Nov (pictured)
Argh, this sounds like a fairly intense event, but I think it ought to be, given the issues it's exploring: "'Last Resort' is an all-inclusive package holiday in a former detention centre. It is a multi-sensory theatrical experience influenced by the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' - torture, to you and me - in the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention centre." I expect this will be pretty powerful, and definitely worth your time. See this page here for more.


WEDNESDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Simon Munnery - Standing Still | The 100 Club | 9 Nov
Comedy veteran Simon Munnery performs the show that he took to the Edinburgh Festival this summer for his thirtieth year. And yes, you read that a-right. Thirty years at Edinburgh, thirty years in comedy. I have to say I was really spooked when I heard that. It was like finding out someone I thought must be roughly my own age was actually born in 1988. Anyway, enough chat about the terrifying passage of time, click this link to book your ticket to see this legendary comedian.

Wallis Bird | The Forge | 9 Nov
Irish artist Wallis Bird is known for her strident, empowering LGBT anthems, and tonight the two-time Meteor Awards winner plays a London date in celebration of the release of her latest album 'Home', a collection of songs described as "as a 'thank you letter' to her muse and partner". For more info and to book see this page here.

It Is Easy To Be Dead | Trafalgar Studios | 9 Nov-3 Dec
This show had an acclaimed and award-nominated run at the Finborough Theatre, so it's possible you saw it already, but if you didn't now is the time. Young soldier Charles Sorley is killed in action during World War One and his parents are left with only his letters and poems to remember him by. Those words, accompanied by music and songs of the period, offer a portrait of one life cut short by the futility of war. See the venue website here for details.


THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2016 >>

Work Play | Ovalhouse | 10-12 Nov (pictured)
"The average lifetime of work involves: 2 bad bosses, 3 heavy bust-ups, 94 sick days, 705 minor disagreements and 9,024 hours of overtime. Why do we willingly become embroiled in minuscule intrigues blown up to medieval court proportions in the workplace, when all we really want to do is get paid?" This play from Nick Field promises to be hilarious, satirical and surreal, and is directed by the excellent Rebecca Atkinson-Lord. See the venue website here for more info.

Dracula | King's Head | 9-26 Nov
If you are the type who switches off when it comes to horror and dark tales, switch back on immediately, because this isn't your standard telling of the Gothic tale. Instead, it's a comedic retelling, which apparently fuses "19th century English gentry together with the modern world". That sounds almost like there might be mutants, but whatever, this will be ace fun, as many satisfied edfringe-2016-goers would testify. See this page here for details.

Fin Taylor - Whitey McWhiteface | Soho Theatre | 9-12 Nov
I was kind of worried about this show when I heard about it. I wondered if perhaps this was going to be someone talking about the sort of stuff we really ought to be hearing from people who have been on the receiving end of racism... but it seems that the focus of the show is, broadly speaking, on how white people have nothing to complain about and therefore have to find something to complain about. Which feels better. It's had lots of acclaim, see this page here for more info.
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