THURSDAY 13 APRIL 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
NICK CASSENBAUM: BUBBLE SCHMEISIS
The very quirky and clever show 'Bubble Schmeisis' made rather a splash up at the Edinburgh Festival last summer, not least with our own reviewer, who pronounced it to be "Effortlessly charming and infectiously funny"; and now, Londoners, it's set for a short run in your neck of the woods. Hurrah.

The creative force behind the show is the diversely talented Nick Cassenbaum. To find out more about it, I put some questions to him ahead of his run at BAC. Read the interview here.

'Bubble Schmeisis' is on at Battersea Arts Centre from 21-22 Apr, see this page here for info and to book.


FRIDAY 14 APRIL 2016 >>

The Rat Pack Presents... Richard Todd - Sellotape | Camden Comedy Club | 14 Apr
"'Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.' Hear hear Dostoevsky! Like a piece of forsaken sellotape stuck on a wall, the neurotic ditherer Todd clings to nothing but his place on the earth, slowly coming undone." He's a highly engaging comedian and storyteller, I can't imagine what your excuses could be for missing this. See the venue website here for more.

Family Weekend | Sadler's Wells | 14-15 Apr
Of course, if you have kids, that might be a reason to not go to a comedy show, and instead choose something family friendly. Like, say, this Family Weekend at Sadler's Wells. The venue's foyers will be hosting a variety of free activities to complement award winning dance company Aracaladanza's performance 'Vuelos', which is inspired by da Vinci's ambition to make men fly. See this page here to book tickets for the show, and this one here for details of the activities.

Kill Climate Deniers | Camden People's Theatre | 13-15 Apr (pictured)
Before you start thinking we are espousing violence, this is not an instructive lecture but a political satire taking a look at what happens when a two party democracy comes up against global crisis. It's set in Australia, sound-tracked with some banging house and techno, and tells the story of an attack by eco-terrorists on the country's seat of government. Click this link here for all the info.


SATURDAY 15 APRIL 2016 >>

Patrick Turpin - Itty Bitty Little Titty Piece | The Bill Murray | 15 Apr (pictured)
It's so often the case that there's nothing fun for grown-ups to do in the middle of the afternoon (though please don't ask me to prove this), so it's good to see shows on courtesy of Angel Comedy at this sort of time. And on this occasion it's the rather brilliant and clever up-and-comer going by the name of Patrick Turpin. Click here for details.

The Plague | Arcola Theatre | 4 Apr-6 May
This has been on for quite a few days now so should be well, well, well into its stride, and, of course, might have been entirely perfect on day one. But, contrived justifications for this tardy tipping aside, it's a great opportunity to see a significant piece based on Albert Camus' postwar novel 'La Peste', which I suspect is extremely relevant to the times we find ourselves in. Head this way for info.

Men & Girls Dance | The Place | 13-22 Apr
"Men & Girls Dance brings together two very different groups of performers: men who dance professionally and girls who dance for fun." It's a piece that celebrates the right of adults and children to be together and dance together, co-commissioned by The Place and created by the acclaimed creative outfit Fevered Sleep. See the venue website here for more.


SUNDAY 16 APRIL 2016 >>

Lakavu | The Hope Theatre | 16-17+23-24 Apr
This monologue charts the story of Simon, a young, gay Australian aid worker whose life is turned upside down when he comes across an orphaned baby girl in Papua New Guinea, and promises a journey of discovery through an unknown territory, interspersed with the telling of local legends. Sounds fab. See this page here for all the info.

Ready Or Not | Arcola Theatre | 11-29 Apr
"Why would a retired teacher take a young Muslim man hostage in her living room?" This political thriller from prize-winning playwright Naylah Ahmed sees an innocent encounter develop into a more dangerous situation, and explores regret, loss, fear and paranoia in the face of a reality distorted by the fashion for 'alternative facts'. See the venue website here for details.

Joe Wells - I Hope I Die Before I Start Voting Conservative | The Bill Murray | 16 Apr (pictured)
I have to say that I often feel close to death and have never, ever considered actually voting Conservative, and I am also quite old now, so I think there's probably hope for everyone else too. Anyway, here's another afternoon treat over at The Bill Murray, this time courtesy of the excellent and politically inclined Joe Wells. Click this link here for more.


MONDAY 17 APRIL 2016 >>

The Lost Gospel Of Pontius Pilate | Tristan Bates Theatre | 17-19 Apr (pictured)
"It's the year 36AD and Pontius Pilate, former Roman Governor of Judea, has been recalled to Rome to account for his political excesses. But the story Pilate has to tell is not the one Rome expects. It's a story of intrigue, intelligence and betrayal across the Middle East. At its heart is Pilate's encounter with a strange little rabbi from Nazareth called Jesus." Another excellent sounding pick from First, the festival of solo performance going on over at Tristan Bates Theatre, see this page here for details.

Jessica Fostekew - Silence Of The Nans | The Bill Murray | 17 Apr
Fabulous TW favourite Jessica Fostekew offers up a work in progress for your delectation, and even though it's a work in progress it will still be fabulous. Plus, to be honest, even if I had never heard of Jessica Fostekew, I would still have picked this show for a tip because look at that title. Look at it. 'Silence Of The Nans'. Arf. See the Angel Comedy website here for more.

Videk's Shirt | Little Angel Theatre | 17 Apr
One for pre-schoolers, this, and it sounds very sweet: intimate, interactive, with puppets and live music, based on a traditional and well loved Slovenian children's story. One day the wind blows away Vlidek's raggedy shirt, leaving him cold and exposed, so he enlists the help of his animal friends, who help him to find out how wool is made, and how it can be made into new clothes. Click here for info.


TUESDAY 18 APRIL 2016 >>

Laugh Out London | The Antelope SW17 | 18 Apr
It's a cracking line up for Laugh Out London at The Antelope in Tooting, so even if Tooting isn't on your doorstep, you ought to make the effort to get there. And that line up, for your information, is as follows: Tony Law, John Kearns, Lou Sanders, and Jayde Adams, hosted by Jordan Brookes. Yes, I said cracking and I meant cracking. See this page here for info and ticket link.

Taival | Jacksons Lane | 18 Apr
Part of Sirkus, Jacksons Lane's Finnish circus showcase, this appears to offer a very contemporary take on the genre, incorporating elements of dance, circus and visual theatre and effective use of light and sound. The piece presents a portrait of the human body, and explores themes of manipulation, control, beauty and pain, which sounds both challenging and engaging. Click here for details.

Cuncrete | Soho Theatre | 18-22 Apr (pictured)
A very, very interesting show, this, which we first heard about up at the old edfringe last summer. Rachael Clarke and The Great White Males present this punk, drag king gig-cum-musical featuring original songs, "grotesque posturing, sharp suits and wet cement", which has a searing critique of alpha (toxic?) masculinity and the connected unpleasantness of capitalism at its heart. Head this way for more.


WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL 2016 >>

Ayesha Hazarika - The State Of The Nation | Soho Theatre | 18-22 Apr
You're probably entirely aware of Ayesha Hazarika, who began her career as a stand-up but took a slightly odd sideways step (though she appears to consider it a "natural diversion") into politics, becoming a special adviser to the Labour Party working for Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband. She's since stepped back and made a return to stand up, as well as doing things like writing for the FT, Guardian, Evening Standard, New Statesman and Grazia. And here she is, at Soho Theatre, for your delectation. Click here.

The MacBeths | Pleasance Theatre | 18-30 Apr
This sounds fun. Well, if any take on the Shakespeare tragedy could ever really be regarded as "fun". Rather than, say, "gruesome". Anyway, this will be different, if nothing else, as it's presented as an immersive experience, wherein the viewer assumes the (albeit passive) role of a guest at The MacBeths' dinner party. Expect comedy, tragedy, food, drink and karaoke. Head this way for details.

Life By The Throat | theatre503 | 18-22 Apr (pictured)
We absolutely loved this show when we saw it in Edinburgh last summer, and I assure you we weren't the only ones to rave about it. Writer and performer Eve Steele assumes the role of lifelong thief James Joseph Patrick Keogh, in a show based on interviews with, and the experiences of, bank robbers, thieves and addicts; the result is a poignant exploration of what individuals do to survive in an environment of poverty and violence, and the way in which our circumstances shape us. See this page here for info.


THURSDAY 20 APRIL 2016 >>

Refugee Boy | Chickenshed | 19 Apr-13 May (pictured)
Based on Benjamin Zephaniah's YA novel of the same name, and adapted for the stage by Lemn Sissay, 'Refugee Boy' tells the story of a 14 year old called Alem, who is forced to run away from his home, which is affected by civil war in the disputed region between Ethiopia and Eritrea: he's a child of parents from both regions, which makes the situation even more complicated for him. He heads to nineties London, where he has to fit in and grow up alone, without his family, in a country very different from the one he was born in. A timely production, and great for teens. See this page here for info.

So Many Reasons | Ovalhouse | 20-21 Apr
"Melissa is 26. She has finally started to put her degree to use, she is paying back that loan, and she discovers she's pregnant. Suddenly faced with the reality of bringing a baby girl into the world, Melissa reflects on her relationship with her own mother, and on how much - or how little - the world has changed for women". That very talented Racheal Ofori returns with this work in development, an exploration of generational shifts in our attitudes to sexuality, body image, relationships and aspirations. Click here for more.

Faslane | Camden People's Theatre | 20-22 Apr
This was a big hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, garnering awards as well as myriad positive reviews, so you can feel assured that this isn't a gamble. It takes an interesting form, being a kind of performance lecture, through which creator Jenna Watts explores what happens "when the personal and political collide", through interviewing other individuals and from her own perspective: her family have been working at the home of the UK's nuclear missile programme Trident all her life, while her friends were protesting at the gates. See the venue website here for details.
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