THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
JOE SELLMAN-LEAVA: LABELS
When Joe Sellman-Leava performed 'Labels' up at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015, our reviewer was fairly blown away by it, giving it a glowing 5/5 review. The show was universally admired in Fringe-land, winning a number of awards and receiving much critical praise.

So, when I discovered that Joe would be performing it at the Vault Festival this month, I was keen to talk to him, about the play, his career and the company that he is co-director of, Worklight Theatre. Read the interview here.

'Labels' is on at Vault Festival from 1-5 Mar, see this page here for all the details.


FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Tony Law - A Law Unto His-elf What Welcome | Soho Theatre | 24-25 Feb
The brilliantly talented, much beloved award winner Tony Law, a long term TW favourite, heads to Soho Theatre with his latest show, which, says the blurb, sees the comedian come "closer than ever to nonsense nirvana", and you know what? I can believe it. See this page here for more.

Carry On Jaywick | Vault Festival | 22-26 Feb (pictured)
Over now to Vault Festival for a look at this fascinating sounding piece of verbatim theatre from critically acclaimed producers Kuleshov. It's the work of Dan Murphy, who has created a 'reality play' using the actual words of actual residents of the town currently ranked as the UK's most deprived. Click this link for details.

The End Of Dance | Vault Festival | 22-26 Feb
And I thought we'd stay at Vault Festival, because this also caught my eye: "In 2017, the Government will make dance illegal. Colin, Joan and Nigella, your local MPs, are here to fight back. This is a non-dance dance-theatre piece about protest, about questions like 'what do we do now?' This is a piece about MPs being forced underground to talk about dance, and about what happens when no one is allowed to dance anymore..." Intriguing, yes? Head this way.


SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Big Howard's LOL-tastic Yukfest For Kids And Well Trained Adults | Canada Water Culture Space | 25 Feb
The brilliant Big Howard, who you may have seen on TV, or at Comedy Club 4 Kids, or of course, at one of his very excellent live shows, promises an hour of fun, to feature "stand-up, interactive digital animation, sound effects, jokes and lots, and lots and lots of clever nonsense". A nice weekend treat for your 5+ year olds, see this page here for all the info.

Jewish Book Week | King's Place and JW3 | 25 Feb-4 Mar (pictured)
Today it's the start of Jewish Book Week and there were so many great events that I didn't like to single out one for extra attention. Instead, I'd like you to click here to see the range of what's happening and choose your own. Some things are sold out already, though, so I would urge you to get a move on.

Tom Bell - 6 Seasons And A Live Show | Vault Festival | 25 Feb
This is my absolute dream of a show, an improvised comedy show in the style of a comic con chat show: three guest performers will be interviewed, each the former star of a fictional, cult TV show which will be created on the night using audience suggestions. And, as you'll have gathered, because you can read, it's hosted by the brilliant Tom Bell. See the festival website here for more.


SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Dare To Dream | Arcola Theatre | 26 Feb
I dare say that you've heard me express my love for collections of short plays on myriad previous occasions, and Dare To Dream is just such an event, so, hurrah. Multi-national company Changing Face present six new pieces which "dare us to overcome our boundaries, barriers and borders". See this link here for more info.

Loren O'Brien - Okie Dokie | Vault Festival | 22-26 Feb (pictured)
We did a Q&A with Loren O'Brien a while back because of all of the things she's been doing at Vault Festival this month and last, and we told you about this solo show then, but I thought I would just remind you today that you only have one night left to see it. Hurry along to this page here for more info and to book your tickets.

War & War | Pleasance Theatre | 26 Feb-5 Mar
This is one of three new works which have been devised by graduating students of the Acting Collaborative and Devised Theatre course at Central, and directed by Complicite associates. 'War & War' tells the story of Korin, an archivist on an escape mission from 1990s Hungary, but you could (and probably should) also check out the other two plays: 'Maktub', based on Paul Coelho's 'The Alchemist' and 'Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty', an eye witness account of growing up in Congo in the seventies. All three shows are listed here.


MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

Homecomings - The Political History of Crack and Smack | Theatre503 | 27 Feb
This performance is part of Synergy's previously mentioned Homcomings strand focusing on new plays by prisoners and ex-prisoners about getting out and going home. This one is about Neil and Mandy, whose paths first cross on the night of the Manchester uprising in 1981".Little do they know how this event will shape their future lives". See this page here for more.

Jamali Maddix - Chickens Come Home To Roost | Soho Theatre | 27 Feb-4 Mar (pictured)
The blurb on the Soho Theatre website calls Jamali Maddix a "rising star" and I am not about to dispute that, not least because of his award win and TV appearances, but mainly because the reviews of this debut hour suggest that he's a very promising act. See the venue website here for details.

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy | Up The Creek Comedy Club | 27 Feb
I wish they'd done events like this when I had a little baby, though to be fair, mine was such screamer I'm not sure I'd have been welcome anywhere. But let's put my dark parenting history behind us and look at the positives here: this is such a lovely idea for the parents of tiny tots (though it's not exclusive, you are allowed to attend without displaying a child) and they do have to be tiny - under twelve months. There's a fab line up for this show, and for their many others staged around London. See this page here for this particular show and this website here for more info on all events.


TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2016 >>

A Place Called Happiness | The Albany | 28 Feb - 2 Mar (pictured)
According to my sources, Debs Gatenby spent a year thinking about happiness, and it really brought her down. And this appears to be the result, her response to what she views as society's obsession with this elusive and intangible thing. Promises to be real, funny, engaging and a little bit sad. Click this link here for more.

Handbagged | Jack Studio | 28 Feb-11 Mar
A new production of Moira Buffini's 2013 play 'Handbagged', her imagined account of what might have passed between Queen Elizabeth II and prime minister Margaret Thatcher during their weekly meetings. Expect talk of biscuits, apartheid, crockery, the miners' strike, pets, wets and jam. See the venue website here for details.

Art Sung - Alma Mahler | Wilton's Music Hall | 28 Feb
This is a dramatised multi-media recital focusing on the stormy and passionate life of Alma, young widow of celebrated composer Gustav Mahler, telling the story of how she was forced by her husband to give up composing, and of her life in the Golden Age of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. Her songs are featured alongside those of Mahler, Zemlinsky, Pfitzner, Wagner, Schumann and Beethoven. Head this way for info.


WEDNESDAY 1 MARCH 2016 >>

Celebration Florida | The Albany | 1-3 Mar (pictured)
I've tipped this show before, but in the TW universe, tipping the same show twice is entirely allowed, especially when comes from someone who is always coming up with really interesting projects. Anyway, glad to see that it's back. Described as " a show for anyone who has ever missed anyone or anything", it's formatted in a rather unique way, in that the performers will step onstage knowing virtually nothing, and receive instruction from creator Greg Wohead via headphones. See this page here for more.

Wanna Dance With Somebody! Or, A Guide To Managing Social Anxiety Using Theoretical Physics | Camden People's Theatre | 1-2 Mar
"Josh is good at dancing, but not at people. On the other hand he did once read 'A Brief History of Time' by Stephen Hawking so he reckons he'll probably be alright". This new show, described by its creators Running Dog Theatre as part physics lecture, part dance lesson and school disco, is about anxiety and coping mechanisms, and mixes storytelling with live music and physical comedy. I think it sounds lovely. See the venue website here for info.

Langston Hughes - Dreams Deferred | Wilton's Music Hall | 1 Mar
As I expect you'll have already guessed if you've read this far, this is a celebration of the work of iconic American twentieth century poet and social activist Langston Hughes. Another acclaimed poet, Kayo Chingonyi, will read at the event, appearing alongside novelist and critic Diran Adebayo, East London Dance and Kinetica Bloco. Should be a powerful exploration of his work and legacy. Click here for details.


THURSDAY 2 MARCH 2016 >>

Matador(a) | Camden People's Theatre | 2-4 Mar (pictured)
How did we manage to choose three one-word event titles on the same day? There was no method in't, I warrant thee. Anyway, enough Shakespeare themed excuses from me, let's talk of 'Matador(a)', presented by Adam Foster and Susan Kempster: "Framed by the pomp and ceremony of bullfighting and inspired by a catalogue of entertainers who have died during performance, the piece is a darkly funny meditation on empathy, death and snails". Sounds very interesting, and there's a free glass of sangria for over-eighteens. See the venue website here for info.

Labels | Vault Festival | 1-5 Mar
This show from Worklight Theatre, created and performed by the very talented Joe Sellman-Leava, has won a number of awards and received much, much, critical acclaim, including from our own reviewer. The show uses comedy, spoken word and storytelling to tell a story of growing up mixed race in the UK, as well as tackling politics and the refugee crisis. See the Vault Festival page here for info.

Swifties | Theatre N16 | 28 Feb-11 Mar
Do you like Taylor Swift? Yes? No? Well, forget the pressure I just put you under to make your mind up about this, because I doubt it will prove relevant to your enjoyment of this play. It's about Taylor Swift, but not about Taylor Swift, in the sense that the real protagonists are Luton residents Yasmin and Nina, the singing star's biggest fans. It's in fact a rather contemporary adaptation of Genet's 'The Maids', which explores the potentially destructive effects on ordinary people of celebrity fetishism, poverty and social media. Head this way for details.
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