THURSDAY 26 JANUARY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TANYA HOLT: CAUTIONARY TALES FOR DAUGHTERS
I was immediately intrigued by the sound of 'Cautionary Tales For Daughters', not least because I'm the mother of girls. It's a song-cycle that deals with a lot of the issues facing young women as they approach maturity, particularly in light of the growth in recent years of the internet and social media.

To find out more about the show, I spoke to creator and performer Tanya Holt. Read the interview here.

'Cautionary Tales For Daughters' is on at Jermyn Street Theatre from 30 Jan-11 Feb. See the venue website here for details.



SH!T THEATRE: LETTERS TO WINDSOR HOUSE
It's no secret that we are super-fans of Sh!t Theatre, aka the pairing of Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, and even gave them an award that time. So of course we were delighted to see that they'd be doing a run at Soho Theatre of their latest fringe hit, 'Letters To Windsor House', which has been much praised for its take on the housing crisis.

I wanted to find out more about Louise and Rebecca, and I wanted to find out more about the show, so I made time for a quick chat. Read the interview here.

'Letters To Windsor House' is on at Soho Theatre from 31 Jan-11 Feb, see all the info on the venue website here.



PIA FURTADO: DIRTY GREAT LOVE STORY
'Dirty Great Love Story' first came to our attention when it made a big spash at the Edinburgh Festival in 2012, garnering oodles of great reviews and a Fringe First. Back then, and in subsequent tours, it starred its two writers, Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna, but now it's back with a new cast at London's Arts Theatre.

Pia Furtado directed the initial show as well as this new production. To find out more, I put some questions to her ahead of the two month run. Read the interview here.

'Dirty Great Love Story' is on at The Arts Theatre until 18 March. See this page here to book your tickets.


FRIDAY 27 JANUARY 2016 >>

Ashes | Jacksons Lane | 27-29 Jan (pictured)
Another fab-looking offering on as part of this year's London International Mime Festival, this one presented by Plexus Polaire and inspired by the true events detailed in best selling Norwegian novel 'Before I Burn'. It's about a a village targeted by an arsonist in a month long campaign of fire-starting, and features life sized puppets and video projection. See the venue website here for more info.

Guitar Multiverse | Vault Festival | 27 Jan
Declan Zapala performed this show up at the Edinburgh Festival this summer, where our appreciative reviewer handed it five stars, and it's not the first time we've seen and adored his work. And it's not just we TW folk who love him, he's generated a great deal of critical acclaim from other quarters, and also won the Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award for Best Music Show. Only one night, though, don't miss it, especially if you are an aficionado of the guitar! See the Vault Festival website here for details.

Listen To The Reed: Rumi Through Words And Music | Tara Theatre | 27 Jan
"13th century Sufi mystic, Jalal al-din Rumi, has a message for all of us. In 'Listen to the Reed' we go in search of that message through both his achingly beautiful poetry and music from East and West for oud, oboe and cello". Sounds a-amazing. And this performance from Ismena Collective at the new Tara Theatre is only on once, too, so, oh, I don't know, use your time-turner again to see both. Head this way to book.


SATURDAY 28 JANUARY 2016 >>

Space Play | Vault Festival | 25-29 Jan
Today, because I am such a Vault Festival fan, I am going to devote all the tips to it. ALL OF THEM. But don't worry, I'll give it a rest and allow everyone else a go over the next few days. My first choice is 'Space Play': " Michael finds himself 400km up; a stranded astronaut, spinning around the earth on a solitary orbit. The crew are dead, the space craft is falling apart and our hero begins to suspect not everything is at it seems" - expect black comedy and a stunning set, head this way for more.

Fran & Leni | Vault Festival | 25-29 Jan
This is the work of Old Trunk, the theatre producing team that have given birth to a host of brilliant shows, most notably 'Pramkicker', so you know you are on to a good thing with this. It tells the tale of two girls who meet in a North London comprehensive in 1976 and after years of friendship create a punk band, in a play which explores escape from the traditional norms of femininity that bind women, and the freedom of expression they find in movements like punk. See this page here for details.

Lost Voice Guy - Disability For Dunces Volume 2 | Vault Festival | 27-28 Jan (pictured)
BBC New Comedy Award winner Lost Voice Guy - aka Lee Ridley - answers all the daft questions that people ask him on account of his being disabled. Questions like: Can you really not talk? Have you considered an exorcism? Are you just in it for the parking? Have you ever tried talking, just to see what happens? How do you have sex? Highly acclaimed and very brilliant. Click this link here.


SUNDAY 29 JANUARY 2016 >>

We Wanted To Be The Sky | New Diorama | 29-30 Jan
A new performance by and about teenagers, created by Camden Youth Theatre, and young-people's-stuff expert Roisin Feeny, supported a whole bunch of creative and charitable outfits. It's all about the future, and who is in control of it. "They know it's on them, the decisions they make now will determine everything. They are completely and utterly responsible and in control. All you have to do it watch". See this page here for details.

Cautionary Kate | King's Head Theatre | 29-30 Jan
This is another one of those shows that met with quite a bit of success up in Edinburgh in 2016, garnering a number of complimentary reviews. I'm sure it's one many can relate to, because it focuses on a woman with a hangover, who shuts herself away with her imaginary friends, leading to a surreal journey into the deepest corners of the titular character's mind. Expect funnies with a dark lining. See the venue website here.

Word/Play - Alistair McGowan: Erik Satie's-faction | King's Place | 29 Jan (pictured)
This is part of the lovely Lucy Parham's Word/Play strand, but in fact, this is another show that was on at the Fringe last summer, and it's a perfect fit. Alistair McGowan departs from his usual impressions and plays some of the Satie's well known piano pieces interspersed with readings from the composer's articles and poems. Our reviewer really enjoyed it. Book your tickets here.


MONDAY 30 JANUARY 2016 >>

Suzi Ruffell - Common | Soho Theatre | 30 Jan-4 Feb (pictured)
Today I thought we would have a Suzi/e theme and my first choice is serious talent Suzi Ruffell, who very much won the heart of our reviewer when performing this particular show - in which she explores her family and working class roots - at the old edfringe in the summer of 2016. If you haven't seen her perform yet, you're missing a treat. Book your tickets here.

Susie Yousseff - Check Youseff Before You Wreck Yousseff | Soho Theatre | 30 Jan
My second Susie of the day is also on at Soho Theatre, but this one hails from the other side of the world, where she's achieved a lot of success as a comedian, actor, writer and improviser, with a number of TV, stage and radio appearances under her belt. She's also had successful runs at the Edinburgh, Melbourne and Sydney festivals and is a regular at Sydney Comedy Store. One night only though! See this page here.

Cautionary Tales For Daughters | Jermyn Street Theatre | 30 Jan-11 Feb
Yes, okay, I ran out of Suzies. Or Susies. Or whatever the collective term is. Instead I have a Tanya for your delectation, specifically the hugely clever Tanya Holt, creator of this acclaimed song-cycle which incorporates serious concerns with humour and music, telling tales of "the hapless, feckless and foolish" for the benefit of us all. See the venue website here for details.


TUESDAY 31 JANUARY 2016 >>

Letters To Windsor House | Soho Theatre | 31 Jan-11 Feb
Hurrah, today is my birthday, and I really do deserve the fabulous treat of seeing Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole - aka Sh!t Theatre - perform this highly critically acclaimed piece about the housing crisis. Our review team at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer were completely wowed by this, and so was everyone else in town, by the sound of it, so don't miss your chance to see it in this very handy central London location, click here to book.

Control | Battersea Arts Centre | 31 Jan-4 Feb
Hmmm, starting to wonder if the artistic community conspired to sicken me with treats on my special day. This is a multimedia documentary: "a new work devised from an ongoing global set of interviews with people who have unique insight and perspective on how we might affect positive change and shape the future. 'Control' is a beautiful weaving of what it means to be human today; our experiences, our fears and our intrinsic connection to one another". For more info see the venue website here.

#Hashtag Lightie | Arcola Theatre | 31 Jan-4 Feb (pictured)
Oh, I wish I could make it to all of these, not least because they are all about really important, contemporary stuff, and this last one is no exception. It's the story of a mixed race YouTuber who finds herself at the centre of a social media storm after one of her videos goes viral, and explores ideas about what it means to be mixed race in the UK today. Promises to be hilarious and heart-warming as well as broaching the pertinent issues. Head this way for details.


WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

I Am A Tree by Jamie Wood | Ovalhouse | 1-2 Feb (pictured)
"When I am still for any length of time, someone finds me and tells me about their life.  My girlfriend says this makes me like a tree that all dogs want to piss up. Slow man tree". This is an early, work-in-progress performance of this new show by Jamie Wood, who delighted us (and you too, possibly) with his "gloriously weird" (that's what our reviewer said) show 'O No!' when he performed it in Edinburgh a couple of Fringes ago. See this page here for info.

Throwback | Jacksons Lane | 1-4 Feb
This show has also done well at the old edfringe, but in slightly more recent history, summer 2016. Young circus company Silver Lining specialise in aerial and acrobatic work, and use it in 'Throwback' to explore collective memory, nostalgia and things you can't forget. On as part of - yes, you guessed it - London International Mime Festival. It really is full of good stuff. Head this way for details.

Nightlight | Tara Theatre | 1-5 Feb
This is about two teenage asylum seekers looking for places to hide from the threat of deportation, who find themselves spending a night together in an abandoned factory. They share their stories, their food, and their hopes for the future, but then a third person arrives, someone who might threaten their safety. Obviously topical, and I think this might be a good thing to take older teens to, given the youth of the protagonists. See the venue website here for more.


THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Jan Lee / Denis Santacana Dance / Hanna Wroblewski | The Place | 2 Feb
I've been attempting to do tips for some shows that are on as part of this year's Resolution dance fest for some time now, but every time I come to actually write about them, I discover that they are already sold out. Finally, a miracle, this one isn't, and not because it won't be as brilliant as the other things I wanted to tip. Expect some exciting performances from excellent practitioners, see this page right here.

Rose Matafeo Is Finally Dead | Soho Theatre | 2-4 Feb
If you love comedy, and I am pretty sure a good portion of our readers do, then you really must make time to see Rose Matafeo in action because she is just so blooming good. This show has a great, strong theme: "Unhappy with the fact she won't be around for the best celebration of her life, Rose is giving herself the send-off she deserves while she's still on earth". As our reviewer said up in Edinburgh this summer, just try to make sure you don't die laughing. Here's the link.

We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary | The Albany | 31 Jan-11 Feb (pictured)
Set in the early eighties against a backdrop of unemployment and the dawn of the AIDS crisis, this is the story of best friends, who, disenchanted by the gay disco scene of the time, create their own underground club, a sanctuary free of racism and homophobia. An exploration of friendship and the importance of queer spaces, which I think looks very promising. See the venue website here for details.
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