THURSDAY 5 JANUARY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
HELEN ARNEY, STEVE MOULD AND MATT PARKER: FESTIVAL OF THE SPOKEN NERD
We love Festival Of The Spoken Nerd, and have done for some time now, because we really, really appreciate this recent fashion for scientific comedy, and their work in particular. So we were thrilled to hear they'd be setting up for a run of dates at the Soho Theatre this January.

Keen to catch up with the trio - Helen Arney, Steve Mould and Matt Parker - I arranged to have a chat ahead of the London run. Read the interview here.

'Festival Of The Spoken Nerd' is on at Soho Theatre from 11-21 Jan, see the venue website here for more information and to book.



MARYLYNNE ANDERSON-COOPER: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WAY
'The Twentieth Century Way', the latest production to make its way to Jermyn Street Theatre, is set in 1914 and deals with real life and disturbing events surrounding a California police operation designed to entrap gay men.

It sounds pretty amazing. Two actors play a fast and furious broad range of characters, and despite its subject matter, the piece manages to exploit the humour of everyday life. To find out more, I spoke to director Marylynne Anderson-Cooper. Read the interview here.

'The Twentieth Century Way' is on at Jermyn Street Theatre from 7-28 Jan. See the venue website here for more info and to book.



JIMMY WALTERS: THE TRACKERS OF OXYRHYNCUS
'The Trackers Of Oxyrhyncus', written by acclaimed playwright Tony Harrison, was intended only to have a one off performance in Delphi back in 1988, though it later went on to be produced at the National Theatre.

This month it returns to the London stage with a run at the Finborough Theatre, 27 years after its last performance in London. To find out more about the piece, I spoke to the show's director, Jimmy Walters. Read the interview here.

'The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus' is on at Finborough Theatre from 3-28 Jan. See this page here for details.


FRIDAY 6 JANUARY 2016 >>

Me... | Little Angel Theatre | 8 Dec-29 Jan (pictured)
Well, it's officially the last day of the festive season, so how about one last treat for your little ones to take the edge off the sad removal of the Christmas decorations? This show about a fluffy baby penguin looks almost unbearably adorable so is definitely a show for the younger end (2-6) but one which I am sure parents will also coo over. See this page here for details.

A Curse Of Saints | Etcetera Theatre | 6-7 Jan
And, by complete contrast, a scary one man show for you grown-ups: "Cyprus, the late 19th century. A boy is found dead in an olive grove. As the villagers gossip about how he came to be there, and what might have killed him, a shepherd reveals his own suspicions. Since the arrival of the British, the blue-eyed 'saviours' come to colonise his motherland, he has been having visions of crooked saints, and nightmares of the evil eye. As the omens escalate, along with sightings of an Anatolian gypsy's ghost, the shepherd knows that death is nigh". Yikes, Head this way for info.

Wild Honey | Hampstead Theatre | 2 Dec-21 Jan
It's been on for a while already, but you've still time to catch Michael Frayn's acclaimed comedy of errors based on Anton Chekhov's early, unnamed play. Offers a "tale of nineteenth century Russian life replete with classic misunderstandings, irrepressible desires and nostalgia for a vanishing world". See this page here for more.


SATURDAY 7 JANUARY 2016 >>

The Nutcracker | ArtsDepot | 7 Jan
If you didn't manage to see a Nutcracker when you are legally obliged to (I believe it's between 24 and 30 Dec) then here's one to bid adieu to the season of goodwill with, and this one is very much suitable for the whole family. Tickets were going rather quickly when last I looked, however, so click here asap to book.

National Youth Orchestra Of Great Britain - Totally Teenage | Royal Festival Hall | 7 Jan
I really, really love watching young people do things really well, and here's a great opportunity for it, if you are like me. And especially if you have young and aspiring musicians in the family - what better inspiration can there be? The orchestra will perform Brett Dean's Komarov's Fall, Karol Szymanowski's Symphony No.4 (Symphonie concertante) for piano & orchestra, Op.60 and Sergey Rachmaninov's Symphony No.2. Lovely, see this page here.

The Twentieth Century Way | Jermyn Street Theatre | 6-28 Jan (pictured)
The UK premiere of a show about a very dark (and entirely true) chapter in the history of gay rights. 'The Twentieth Century Way' is set in Los Angeles in 1914, where the police department of Long Beach took on two actors to pose as homosexual men to entrap "social vagrants" into committing illegal sexual acts. Described as a "hard-hitting absurdist tragi-comedy". See the venue website here for details.


SUNDAY 8 JANUARY 2016 >>

The Tempest | Southwark Playhouse | 5-28 Jan (pictured)
If you have older children and a desire to see something as a family, this might be a good bet, as this production of the Shakespeare classic promises to be a pared-down, fast and thrilling experience, suitable for everyone of age ten and above. For more info, see the venue website here.

Angel Comedy Raw | The Camden Head | 8 Jan
As we are in a new year, I think you should all make a new year's resolution to take in as much new stuff as possible, and here's your chance to see some funny new stuff. Angel Comedy's 'Raw' nights feature experienced comedians trying out new material, and some entirely inexperienced comedians taking their first steps in a stand up career. Click this link for more.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus | Finborough Theatre | 3-28 Jan
"Egypt, 1907. Two archaeologists, Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, are searching for ancient fragments of poetry and plays, next to an old rubbish heap. Until the Greek God, Apollo, descends from the skies..." Tony Harrison's acclaimed rehashing of the satyr play, originally written for a one-off performance in Delphi, hasn't been seen in London since 1990. Take your chance to see it now, head this way for details.


MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2016 >>

Jonny And The Baptists et al | The Good Ship | 9 Jan
I declare today to be a cheer-up-Monday, you know, because it's dull January and all that, so comedy all round. Starting with the super line up over at The Good Ship tonight which is headed by long term TW favourites Jonny And The Baptists. See the venue website here for more info.

Alison Thea-Skot - It's Thea-Skot In Here (So Take Off All Your Clothes) | Soho Theatre | 9-11 Jan
If you know us at all, you'll know that we love punny titles, and we are also pretty keen on Alison Thea-Skot. This particular show was a bit of a success up at ye olde edfringe last summer, so expect some high quality character comedy. Click this link for all the details.

Richard Gadd - Monkey See Monkey Do | Soho Theatre | 9 Jan-4 Feb (pictured)
Aaaaaand talking about things that are on at the Soho Theatre and which were also a bit of a success at last year's Edinburgh Festival, here's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd with the show that got him that gong. Don't miss it, it's a brilliant, compelling, courageous show. See this page here.


TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 2016 >>

Mr Swallow - Houdini | Soho Theatre | 10 Jan-18 Feb (pictured)
You may already know this but just in case you don't: Mr Swallow is the comedic creation of the much acclaimed Nick Mohammed, and following the character's successful portrayal of Dracula, he turns his attention to the legendary Harry Houdini in what's described as "a world-first celebration of the man who brought magic and escapology to the mainstream". Rather successful at the Edinburgh Festival in 2016, head this way to book.

Oliver Reed - Wild Thing | King's Head Theatre | 10-28 Jan
And so to another biographical piece (I didn't plan this, honest), this time of the famously hedonistic actor Oliver Reed. The show has been around for a few years now, and if you haven't seen it yet, then you probably should, because it's had a good number of highly complimentary reviews. Click here for details.

Birthday Suit | Old Red Lion Theatre | 10 Jan-4 Feb
"It's Richard's birthday. The big 4-0. He's throwing a party and inviting all his colleagues. Diane is new to the firm, and, delighted to be asked, she's brought along her boyfriend, Nick, who has promised to be the spirit of party itself. There's trifle. Lots of trifle. And nibbles. There's just one problem. Nobody else is coming to Richard's party". Until a final guest turns up, and causes trouble of course, in this witty comedy from Pluck Productions. See the venue website here for info.


WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2016 >>

The Tempest | The Cockpit | 10-15 Jan
A classic, but possibly not as you know it. One of Shakespeare's finest, of course, performed using 'cue script' preparation in the style of the Bard's own actors, in an approach described by the show's creators as "seat-of-the-pants": the cast take to the stage armed only with knowledge only of their own lines and the lines immediately preceding them. Interesting, no? See the venue website here.

Just An Ordinary Lawyer | Theatro Technis | 11-28 Jan (pictured)
"He is Britain's first Black judge, a fine singer and keen cricket lover. Finding himself stranded in the Heart of Empire, Nigerian Tunji Sowande muses on Black liberation struggles worldwide. He insists he is no political aficionado, but is content to contribute through his music and songs". Expect another brilliant piece from the excellent Tayo Aluko, who you'll remember from 'Call Mr Robeson'. More info here.

Here Lies Shakespeare | Jacksons Lane | 11-15 Jan
This is a comic tragedy, exploring themes surrounding the did-he-didn't-he Shakespeare authorship debate, "freely adapted" from Mark Twain's 'Is Shakespeare Dead?', and performed by France-based puppetry troupe Les Antliaclastes. It's part of the London International Mime Festival so see their website here for other amazing-sounding shows as well as the Jacksons Lane page here regarding this particular show.


THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 2016 >>

Festival Of The Spoken Nerd | Soho Theatre | 11-21 Jan
Calling all science-based-comedy lovers (and indeed, just comedy lovers who don't mind a bit of science) for the trio behind the excellent 'Festival Of The Spoken Nerd' - Steve Mould, Helen Arney and Matt Parker - are making their way over to the Soho Theatre for a nicely chunky new year run. Fun and increased knowledge of scientific fact guaranteed, see the venue website here for more info.

Moving Words | ArtsDepot | 12 Jan (pictured)
This sounds great, an evening of new innovative contemporary and ballet works courtesy of alumni and faculty of London Studio Centre, performed by graduates and current students. It's curated by Zamira Mummery, founder of Zamira Kate Dance, and includes live music. Click here for details.

How We Think We Think | Etcetera Theatre | 12-13 Jan
"When Tom witnesses the suicide of a stranger he has had a chance encounter with on the London Underground, he makes it his mission to understand why the events unfolded as they did. He tears apart his own world view while trying to piece together the life and mind of a man he will never know". Heart to Heart Theatre explore who, why and what we are by interacting with their audiences to answer questions about how we process decision making. See this page to book.
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