THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TW:TALKS @ THE VAULT FESTIVAL WITH MEGAN FORD
The latest series of the TW:TALKS podcast continues, as we talk to people appearing at this year's Vault Festival. This week, Megan Ford, who is performing her show 'Feminasty' in the vaults this weekend.

We find out about her journey from playwriting and theatre to comedy and cabaret, while discussing the themes of her show, recent world events, and how the latter are influencing her new work.

Click here to tune in to the latest edition of TW:TALKS.

'Feminasty' is on from 17-18 Feb at the Vault Festival - info here.


RUSSELL LUCAS: THE UNDERSTUDY
'The Understudy' by Theresa Rebeck is the latest show in Canal Cafe Theatre's ongoing American season, and I am really keen to see it, for a number of reasons, but not least because it's set in the world of theatre and tackles some interesting and pertinent themes about our relationship with the performing arts.

I spoke to director Russell Lucas to find out more about the play, and a bit about Russell himself. Read the interview here.

'The Understudy' is on at Canal Cafe Theatre from 21 Feb-11 Mar, see this page here for details.



SONYA HALE: GLORY WHISPERS
'Glory Whispers', a domestic thriller about addiction, loss, and leaving prison, is part of the upcoming Homecomings season at Theatre503. It's a small festival staged by Synergy Theatre Project, of plays by prisoners and ex-prisoners on the subject of "getting out and getting home".

To find out more about Homecomings, Synergy Theatre and 'Glory Whispers', I spoke to playwright Sonya Hale. Read the interview here.

'Glory Whispers' is on at Theatre503 from 21 Feb-4 Mar. See the venue website here for more info. 


FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

The Castle Builder | Camden People's Theatre | 17 Feb
TW and Kid Carpet go back a long way (well, in the sense that we have been liking his stuff for ages, we can't claim to be mates, or anything) so when we saw that he was creating this music theatre hybrid show in collaboration with Vic Llewellyn to perform up in Edinburgh last summer, we immediately pricked up our ears. It's back at the CPT as part of The Sick Of The Fringe season of events, see this page here for details.

Good Dog | Watford Palace Theatre | 14-18 Feb
I'm expecting great things from this one man play, written by the multi talented Arinzé Kene, and performed by promising newcomer Anton Cross, which "chronicles growing up in a multi-cultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control". It was written in response to the 2011 shooting in Tottenham of Mark Duggan, and examines what might have provoked and led up to those summer riots. See the venue website here for more.

Megan Ford - Feminasty | 17-18 Feb
As you might guess from the title, Megan Ford makes no bones about being an angry feminist, but it doesn't bother me, because frankly, I am one too. The show focuses on the horrible media and the perpetuation of rape culture, and the comedian promises to "take down the patriarchy" with her bare hands and some wigs. I am totally up for that, and I bet you are too. Head this way for info.


SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Knock2Bag at Rich Mix | Rich Mix | 18 Feb
A fab line up for Knock2Bag's February date at Rich Mix, featuring a number of TW favourites: Reginald D Hunter, Tom Allen, Adam Hess, Fern Brady, Princes of Main and stand-up rapper Joe Jacobs. Hosted by the really excellent Jayde Adams. Can you afford to miss this? Think not, see this page here for info.

Black | Conway Hall | 18 Feb (pictured)
Part of the previously tipped Sick Of The Fringe season, 'Black' is the work of another TW beyond-fave Le Gateau Chocolat; a confessional show in which he details his life, hopes, fears and battle with depression. This is a new and updated version of the show, re-staged with the Psappha New Music Ensemble, head this way for info.

A Haunting | Vault Festival | 15-19 Feb
"A disturbingly believable tale of online gaming and growing up. An uncomfortably honest and provocative play which takes a chilling look at the darkest corners of the internet". I am always worrying about the darkest corners of the internet, so this really jumped out at me, plus, it's already had a positive critical response. Hurrah. See the festival website here for details.


SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Cabaret Of Dangerous Ideas | Camden People's Theatre | 19 Feb
Another element of the previously mentioned 'The Sick Of The Fringe' strand: "Be part of London's very first Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. Join fiery Glaswegian MC Susan Morrison and our panel of academic speakers for debate, discussion and discourse about some of today's most provocative health research". See this page here for more.

The Jest - Sketches From The Vault | Vault Festival | 19 Feb
A one off show from Leicester Square Theatre Sketch Off champions The Jest, and that's all I really know about this particular event. Fortunately, however, I also know that they are a highly talented outfit that have won much critical acclaim, and therefore this should be a good night, head this way for details.

The Tin Soldier | ArtsDepot | 15-19 Feb (pictured)
And, yes, I completely forgot it was half term and therefore forgot to do lots of kids' show recommendations this week. Not sure recommending one show on the very last day will make up for it, but it's the best I can do. On the upside, this, based on the Hans Christan Anderson story 'The Steadfast Tin Soldier', looks very fab. See the venue website here for info.


MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Alfie Brown - Scissor | Soho Theatre | 20-25 Feb
"Critically acclaimed Brown, known for being satirical, grotesque and fucked returns. He'll be exploring alcohol, the Middle East and something hideous about our socialised collective sexual repression". I suspect he's a bit like Marmite, but we love him, and that's that, and you should all go with our opinion on this matter. See this page here for more.

The Cherry Orchard | Arcola Theatre | 15 Feb-25 Mar
It's been on for a few days already but there's still lots of time to see Arcola's production of Trevor Griffiths' acclaimed English version of Anton Chekhov's beloved masterpiece. The venue's talented artistic director Mehmet Ergen is at the helm for this one, so it's in great hands. Head this way for details.

Trumpets And Raspberries | Chickenshed | 7 Feb-4 Mar (pictured)
And this has been on for even longer than 'The Cherry Orchard', but you've still got a number of chances to see this staging of the Dario Fo's customarily hilarious and satirical physical comedy. Stars the excellent Rob Crouch, and has received some very positive criticism, see the venue website here for info.


TUESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

The Understudy | Canal Cafe Theatre | 21 Feb-11 Mar
It's a UK premiere for this show about not really being in a show from playwright, novelist and US TV writer Theresa Rebeck, who offers an interesting and pertinent examination of the state of contemporary theatre and the relationship between theatre and film. For more info and to book see this page here.

Max And Ivan - Our Story | Soho Theatre | 20 Feb-4 Mar
You probably know by now that we are Max and Ivan fans, and that we have been following their career with interest. This latest show is the one they took to Edinburgh this summer, and, as you can tell from the title, in this show, they play their own actual selves, telling a story of how the duo met. For details, see the venue website here.

Homecomings - Glory Whispers | Theatre503 | 21 Feb-4 Mar (pictured)
This is part of Theatre503's Homecomings season, which sees the staging new plays by prisoners and ex-prisoners about getting out and going home. 'Glory Whispers' is described as a "tense domestic domestic thriller", and deals with a family reunion overshadowed by the spectre of addiction. Click here for more.


WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Chigger Foot Boys | Tara Theatre | 22 Feb-11 Mar
"Based on true events in the lives of Jamaicans who fought in World War One and set amid the banter in a rum bar near Kingston Harbour, four young men tell their stories of death and glory as the end of the British Empire looms". Tickets are going quickly for this very promising production that offers "an intoxicating cocktail of love, duty, death and dominoes", so don't hang about, get your tickets here.

Denmarked | Battersea Arts Centre | 22 Feb-11 Mar
Making a return to Battersea Arts Centre, this combination of hip-hop and theatre, created by the excellent Conrad Murray and directed by the brilliant Ria Parry, offers personal heartfelt tales from the council estate: of that first and significant arrest, of dodgy mates, of dinner with a social worker, and of the Christmas dad went to prison. An exploration of how life's events shape us, it's truthful and raw, yet with an injection of humour. See this page here for info.

Helen Duff - When The Going Gets Duff | Vault Festival | 22-26 Feb (pictured)
The fabulously fabulous clownster Helen Duff is one of those we came into contact with up via her appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe (you can read the interview we did with her last summer if you click this link right here). We love her, so will expect the best (and much silliness) from her Vault Festival contribution. For all the details head this way.


THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Princess Suffragette | Vault Festival | 22-26 Feb (pictured)
Despite her prominence as a suffragette and for her campaigning against British imperialism, I don't know much about Sophia Duleep Singh, and I'd hazard a guess I'm not the only one; so here's a great opportunity to learn more about her, as well as important moments in Indian and British history. Expect a variety of performance styles, and an eclectic soundtrack, see this page here.

Cul De Sac | Jacksons Lane | 23-24 Feb
As you may have anticipated, given that it's Jacksons Lane, this is a physical piece involving juggling, dance and acrobatics and dance, as performers performers Gemma Palomar and José Triguero "take us through a cycle of love, irritation, pain, euphoria, caresses and carelessness as they journey beyond the stereotypical male-female relationship". See the venue website here for more.

Lizzie | Greenwich Theatre | 22 Feb-12 Mar
Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks.... I read all about Lizzie Borden as a child (I was at least 10, by the way, before you judge my parents for letting a tot read about murder) and was rather fascinated by the mysterious case. Seems like a slightly odd subject for a musical, perhaps, but I have seen odder, plus, though this is the UK premiere, it's been around for a while in the US and has won considerable praise. Click here for details.
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