THURSDAY 19 JANUARY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
JOSHUA MCTAGGART: ABIGAIL
The latest show over at The Bunker is 'Abigail' by award winning playwright Fiona Doyle, and it's being overseen by the new venue's artistic director Joshua McTaggart.

I put some questions to him, keen to know more about the play, but also get an insight into how the new space came into being, and what its aims and ideals are. Read the interview here.

'Abigail' is on at The Bunker until 4 Feb, see this page here for info and to book.


FRIDAY 20 JANUARY 2016 >>

Nothing To Say | Jacksons Lane | 20-22 Jan
"There are ghosts in the wardrobe, socks fly, umbrellas rain. You'll see playful mirrors, hear telepathic pianos and silent music. There are surprises everywhere. Leandre's house is filled with optimism, laughter and enchantment. You may never want to leave." This chance to see acclaimed Spanish clown Leandre Ribera in action is part of that much tipped London International Mime Festival I keep banging on about. Head this way to stand a chance of a ticket.

Lord Of Thrones | Wilton's Music Hall | 20-22 Jan
Anyone for a fifty hour Tolkien/George RR Martin-themed improvathon? I am challenging you to stay awake that long because I know you are strong enough to get through this, well, if you're young and energetic and don't have a day job to go to on Monday. The rest of you, don't worry: if you don't want to be there for the whole thing, no-one will think any the less of you. You can buy a ticket for two hours of it, at a cost of £10, or you hardcore types can get a full shebang pass for £65. Find all the info here.

Dollywould (Work In Progress) | Camden People's Theatre | 20-21 Jan (pictured)
TW absolute favourites Sh!t Theatre head to CPT with a new work in progress, and so I am, as ever, very excited about what the pair's brilliant brains have been coming up with lately. This time Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit take on the topic of Dolly Parton, because - and I quote - "they fucking love her". Hurrah, see the venue website here for details.


SATURDAY 21 JANUARY 2016 >>

Nathan Cassidy - The Man In The Arena | Leicester Square Theatre | 21 Jan (pictured)
Nathan Cassidy won my enduring, loving esteem when he created a number of shows about one of my life's greatest joys, the Back To The Future films (don't worry, I love my children too). This is a new show that will preview a number of times over the next few months, so it's early days, but there's no doubt in my mind that it will already be a very well prepared and fab thing. See this page here for more info.

Beautiful (Not The Carole King Musical) | Arcola Theatre | 20-22 Jan
This looks good, but is only on for three nights, so make sure you don't miss it. Featuring the music of "Sir Jon Bon Jovi", the show "takes a sideways look at the pomp and circumstance of modern jukebox musicals, and asks us to question if the art of imagination is being lost to machinery, illusion and extravagance". Head this way for details.

Symposium - Clowns and Power | Jacksons Lane | 21 Jan
Another event from the London International Mime Festival for you to get your teeth into, and this time it's a symposium (duh) so this is really one for those of you who are very into this sort of stuff, for whatever reason (you might actually be a clown, or someone who wants to be one, for example). A panel of leading practitioners take a serious look at the art form, and how its performers engage with power play. See the venue website here for more.


SUNDAY 22 JANUARY 2016 >>

Global Pillage | King's Place | 21-22 Jan
If you love Deborah Frances-White (I dare you bloody not to) and panel show fun then this podcast recording might prove just the thing to occupy you this Sunday afternoon. If you're really enthusiastic, you can also go yesterday (use your time machine), and again in March. It sounds like it will be fascinating, because the subject matter at hand is idiom, culture, customs and norms all around the world. See this page here for details.

Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Road | White Bear Theatre | 17 Jan-4 Feb
Er, yes, I must confess to being very much attracted to this on account of it's wacky name, despite being a near-lifelong vegetable eater. But you know, I wouldn't have gone through with tipping it if I didn't have it on good authority that this "exhilarating comedy". became a cult thing when it opened in LA in 2012. Head this way for info.

Richard III | Rosemary Branch Theatre | 17-29 Jan (pictured)
So, a question: have you ever seen Shakespeare's 'Richard III' retold as an anarchic comedy? No? Well, here's your opportunity. "Follow our homicidal hero" suggests the blurb, "on a blistering journey from the political wilderness to the throne and all the way to a [SPOILER ALERT] car park in Leicester." What are you waiting for? Take a look at the venue website here.


MONDAY 23 JANUARY 2016 >>

Glaucoma | The Cockpit | 23-27 Jan (pictured)
This tells the story of three girls, who, after being arrested for protesting against corruption, "meet an array of strange characters from the systems and legislations they oppose and fight to hold on to their firm beliefs, identities and humanity in their surreal, minimalist prison." It's devised and written by award-winning group CapaTaro, and looks very promising indeed. See this page here for more.

Bilal Zafar - Cakes | Soho Theatre | 23-28 Jan
And onto another award winner, New Acts of the Year 2016 prize recipient Bilal Zafar, who appears as part of the much-tipped season of Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees and winners. In this show he tells the tale of how he became a whipping boy for the far right when his Twitter handle was mistaken for the account of a muslim-only bakery. See the venue website here for details.

Katy Brand - I Was A Teenage Christian | Soho Theatre | 23-28 Jan
If you've already seen 'Cakes' then perhaps you'd like to head to Soho Theatre anyway, for another show with a religiously inspired theme, Katy Brand's 'I Was A Teenage Christian'. It's a bit different from the character comedy that Brand shot to fame with, so expect something a great deal more personal and anecdotal. Head this way for info.


TUESDAY 24 JANUARY 2016 >>

The Taming Of The Shrew | The Cockpit | 23-27 Jan
Not your conservative production of 'The Taming Of The Shrew', this (though to be fair, they rarely are these days), set at the height of rave culture, 1989. it's kind-of back by popular demand, having completed a sell out run at Camden Fringe in 2016 and achieved some very positive responses, so you can expect a quality experience. Head this way for all the info.

Chris Gethard - Career Suicide | Soho Theatre | 23 Jan-4 Feb
US based comedian actor and writer made quite the splash with this show up at the Edinburgh Festival this summer, so don't be deterred by that downbeat title. Even though it does actually focus on suicide, depression and alcoholism. Really, though, our totally discerning reviewer gave this four stars, and recommends it for everyone. So no hesitations, click here.

Only Bones | Soho Theatre | 23 Jan-4 Feb (pictured)
And on at the same venue, but a complete contrast, 'Only Bones' is part of that almost sickeningly frequently TW-tipped London International Mime Festival. The show is described as micro-physical theatre, and sees Lecoq trained practitioner Thomas Monckton performing in a space just one metre square. It's had highly successful runs elsewhere, Edfringe included, so make sure it's on your list. See the venue website here for details.


WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY 2016 >>

Years Of Sunlight | Theatre503 | 25 Jan-18 Feb
Described as "a haunting cry for those left feeling shipwrecked from their old communities and abandoned by the post-industrial political system", 'Years Of Sunlight' sees central character Paul, haunted by memories of the past, returning to Liverpool's overspill estate town Skelmersdale to beg his mother to leave. See this page here for more.

5 Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist | Camden People's Theatre | 25-26 Jan
This new solo show sounds interesting, and rather evocative of contemporary times. The play is about Sam, his encounters with people with people on Craigslist (obv) and the fact that he is worried about the way he sabotages all his potential connections with people. Promises to be kinda bleak, but also hilarious. See the venue website here for details.

Phil Mann - Nothingism | Vault Festival | 25-29 Jan (pictured)
Hurrah, Vault Festival is starting and this is my first pick, from surreal character comedian Phil Mann. In this show he deals with 'nothingism' - a bad new craze that's sweeping the nation, and has ruined everything we hold dear, apparently. I think it's probably about the state of modern society, because let's face it, everything looks like it's turning to crap. Only kidding, culture's still good, not least because of all those Vault Festival shows we have to look forward to. Click here for info.


THURSDAY 26 JANUARY 2016 >>

Mme Bovary's Communist After Party | Vault Festival | 26 Jan (pictured)
Hurrah for more shizzle from the Vault Festival, and I reeaaaaaallly want to see this interestingly-monikered piece, which is only on once, so don't miss your chance. Actor Elena Procopiu explores both her heritage and her relationship with her mother in this play about Ana, whose family came to London as refugees from Romania in the eighties. See this page here for details.

Cholera Street / Ağır Roman | Arcola Theatre | 26-28 Jan
"In the wild and lawless slums of old Istanbul live the residents of Cholera Street. Who knew the well loved mechanic Salih, son of a respectable barber, could land himself in so much trouble?" Something else with an international flavour to it, adapted from Metin Kaçan's bestselling novel and subsequent acclaimed film. Click here for more.

Chill Pill | Canada Water Culture Space | 26 Jan
Chill Pill nights have been a regular feature at The Albany in Deptford for some time, but now they're expanding to appear at Canada Water Culture Space, which seems to me like a development worth marking. If you are a poetry aficionado, then this should definitely be one for your diary, because you can expect an excellent and diverse line up of spoken word from this leading collective. Head this way for info.
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