THURSDAY 18 MAY 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
BELLA HEESOM: MY WORLD HAS EXPLODED A LITTLE BIT
We first discovered 'My World Has Exploded A Little Bit' at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where our reviewer loved it, so it was no surprise to us that it went on to garner further critical acclaim and support. Following a run at the Vault Festival earlier in the year, the show is now heading out on tour, starting at London's Ovalhouse.

To find out more about the show, and the inspiration behind it, I spoke to creator Bella Heesom. Read the interview here.

'My World Has Exploded A Little Bit' is on at Ovalhouse from 23-27 May, see this page here for all the details, and click here for UK tour dates to tell your non-London-based friends about.



AMY GWILLIAM: MUMMY
I didn't mean mid-May to have a parental bereavement theme, but somehow it happened, what with this and Bella Heesom's show. What both featured shows also have in common is the deft, light and often hilarious treatment the subject is given by their talented creators.

'Mummy' is the brainchild of Amy Gwilliam, who draws on her own experience of losing her mother at a young age in her depiction of Elizabeth, a celebrated Egyptologist who is confronted by the ghosts of her past. I spoke to Ms Gwilliam, to find out more about the show, and about Amy herself. Read the interview here.

'Mummy' is on at The Crazy Coqs from 23-25 May, see the venue website here for info.


FRIDAY 19 MAY 2016 >>

Goose - Hydroberserker | Soho Theatre | 16-20 May (pictured)
I'm not quite sure if our regular readers are quite aware of how much we love Goose, though if you also read our Edinburgh Festival focused coverage every summer, you might have picked up the hint. 'Hydroberserker' was on at last year's festival, and won a fairly glowing review from our discerning reviewer who described it as a "bombastic, fully sensory and ultimately romantic sketch show that will split your sides and pull at your heart strings". So you can't say no to that, can you? And quick, I forgot it was on and now it's half way through its all too short run. See this page here for more.

Dyl | Old Red Lion Theatre | 9 May-3 Jun
This has been on for a bit now, so should be well into its stride, so in some ways it's probably a good thing that we neglected to tip it earlier. It's a sad but interesting sounding comedy: "400 miles from home, James has started a new career as a rigger - two weeks onshore, two weeks offshore - existing between two very different spaces; and his daughter Dyl is with him in neither of them. As James focuses on finding the answers from within himself, he risks losing the very relationships that can keep him on track." Head this way for details.

Nathan Cassidy - Watch This. Love Me. It's Deep | Camden Comedy Club | 19 May
We're always up for checking out things by Nathan Cassidy, because he does great stuff, so why even question it? This one, a combination of comedy and a real life love story, seems more like theatre than stand up: aged 15, Nathan met the love of his life in a swimming pool; here he tells the tale of that love, presumably with inevitably comedic results. Click here for info.


SATURDAY 20 MAY 2016 >>

Big Wow Small Wonder | Canada Water Culture Space | 20 May
"Justin is the smallest boy in the whole town. So small that he can swim with goldfish. So small his sister takes him to school in her lunchbox. So small the class bully wants to catch him and keep him as his new pet." Hurrah, it's Saturday, time to take your little ones to something nice, so perhaps this one - a show full of humour, poetry and original music? Click here for details.

Rapunzel and the Tower Of Doom | The Cockpit | 20 May
And, if you are looking for a family show this weekend, here's another option, from the always good Theatre Of Widdershins. Rapunzel, as you can imagine, is having a very, very bad hair day in a show which promises to tell the traditional tale with "plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights" . Head ye this directionwards for info.

Black Cat Cabaret | Underbelly Festival | 20 May-22 Sep (pictured)
Right, put the kids to bed now, it's time for the grown ups to go out and have some fun. And I'd recommend this, the first in a new season of shows from Black Cat Cabaret, returning to Southbank for a fourth year. One of our utter all time cabaret heroes Dusty Limits hosts it, and we interviewed him about Black Cat and other things not that long ago, you can read it here, if you like. Expect Belle Epoque style excellence, go this way to book.


SUNDAY 21 MAY 2016 >>

Full Circle | Theatre N16 | 21-24 May (pictured)
This piece from Black Sheep Theatre, written by Madelaine Cunningham, brings together four notorious heroines of Greek mythology: Phaedra, Helen, Medea, and Clytemnestra. Torn away from their usual roles in their relative tragedies, they fight in purgatory for their own salvation, as the piece explores gender politics and what it means to be a woman. See the venue website here for info.

Knightmare Live | Underbelly Festival | 21 May-11 Jun
There's a chance you've already taken in the Knightmare Live experience, given its successful runs at the old edfringe and at Underbelly Festival here in London last summer. But the brilliant thing is that it doesn't matter whether you have been or not, because you can always go again. The acclaimed comedy take on the cult TV classic offers a different show every time, so there's no reason to hold back. See this page here for details.

The 6 Vitelloni |  Old Red Lion Theatre | 21-22 May
"Vitelloni are parasites who live at the borders of society. They don't work, they don't produce. Sometimes, unfortunately, they procreate. With no money, they survive by what they manage to take from women they seduce and friends who they deceive by using their charm." This scratch night of theatrical inspired by influential filmmaker Federico Fellini (and presumably his film 'I Vitelloni') sounds intriguing, head this way to find out more.


MONDAY 22 MAY 2016 >>

I Am Beast | Greenwich Theatre | 22 May (pictured)
"What happens when the wildest parts of our imagination take control? After the death of her mother, Ellie escapes to a flickering world of comic book superheroes and bewitching strangers. But as the walls of her new world begin to crumble, Ellie must finally face the truth behind her fantasies." The very brilliant company Sparkle and Dark, who may have blown your socks off (mine never came back) with previous production 'Killing Roger', are back on tour with this award winning piece, see this link here.

A Lie Of The Mind | Southwark Playhouse | 4-27 May
There's less than a week left to see this production of Sam Shepard's 'A Lie Of The Mind', which has a great cast including highly established stage/screen actors Gethin Anthony, Alexandra Dowling, Kate Fahy and up and coming Downton type Michael Fox, who has been singled out for his strong performance in this. The show has had a number of highly positive reviews, so see the venue website here for more.

Comedy In The Dark | Underbelly Festival | 1 May-3 Jul
A pretty unique experience (unless you've been before) and definitely a very apt occasion to adapt a hackneyed phrase: "It's the most fun you can have with the lights switched off". This acclaimed comedy night always has great line ups and of course this week's is no exception:  Paul Foot, Twayna Mayne, Joey Page, and Paul Sinha are on the bill, head this way for details.


TUESDAY 23 MAY 2016 >>

Amici In Rep | Lyric Hammersmith | 23-27 May (pictured)
The Lyric's resident dance troupe, the venerable, acclaimed and integrated Amici Dance Theatre Company reprise two of their excellent shows in rep: '35 Amici Drive', first staged in 2015 as the group's thirty-fifth anniversary show, which is about a group's fight against the destruction of their homes; and 'Tightrope', their thirtieth anniversary show, about a circus company struggling to survive. See this page here for all the details.

Digs | Camden People's Theatre | 23-24 May
Theatre With Legs, aka Jess Murrain and Lucy Bairstow, have devised this piece focusing on generation rent, the housing crisis and human behaviour in the public and private space. Expect something funny yet pertinent, as the duo explore the topics of shared living, love and loneliness. For information and to book, see this page right about here.

Mummy | The Crazy Coqs | 23-25 May
"I suppose it's the way we do it in Britain. Women don't gather and weep for days; we don't anoint the dead and bind them in swaddling; we don't sit around a fire roasting rabbits or dance until we're on the floor. We buy a sympathy card and send it. Or take round lasagna. I f**king hate lasagna." Amy Gwilliam performs this acclaimed self-penned piece, the subject matter of which was inspired by the untimely death of her mother, TV comedy director Liddy Oldroyd. Click here for more.


WEDNESDAY 24 MAY 2016 >>

Spring Reign | The Albany | 24 May
"In the besieged city of Aleppo, Salah and Aisha have lost control of their lives and are falling headlong into an uncertain future. The Syria they hoped to change is gone. In its place there is only violence and destruction. How will they survive as they fall further away from hope, from what they know and from what they used to be?" Important, timely, a story based on real life accounts from  refugees, aid workers, activists, and journalists. Click here for more info.

My World Has Exploded A Little Bit | Ovalhouse | 23-27 May
Our reviewer up in Edinburgh last summer loved this show, a play about bereavement and coping with the death of a loved one from writer and performer Bella Heesom. It's funny and energetic, despite the profound and heartbreaking themes, and I am one hundred percent sure you will love it. Of course, you might already have seen it, at edfringe or Vault Festival earlier in the year, but if so, you know how good it is, so tell all your friends to go as well. See the venue website here for more.

The Mikado | Richmond Theatre | 23-27 May (pictured)
Following on from her productions of 'H.M.S. Pinafore' and 'The Pirates of Penzance', acclaimed and award winning director Sasha Regan returns with another all male Gilbert & Sullivan. This time it's 'The Mikado' benefiting from her light touch and the humour that emerges from the device of "mucking about with gender", as it's known round these parts. Head this way for all the details and to book.


THURSDAY 25 MAY 2016 >>

Regional Room - Sebastian HW / Charlotte Blackburn | ArtsDepot | 25 May
ArtsDepot's festival of ideas Regional Room focuses on two nights of new work by established and emerging artists based outside of London. This evening you can see Sebastian HW's 'Chokolatul', an interactive theatre show involving cooking, cabaret and performance art, and dealing with the primary theme of growing up mixed race in the UK, plus Charlotte Blackburn's work in progress about "a proppa lady's night out". See the venue website here for details.

The Last Word | The Roundhouse | 25 May-10 June
And more festival stuff now, specifically over at Roundhouse, where the venue's Last Word series of events - "where spoken word, theatre and gigs collide" - kicks off today. Proceedings begin with the Roundhouse poetry slam, but don't go thinking that's all that's on. Click here for a great long list of fabulous workshops and performances involving the likes of Francesca Beard, Sabrina Mahfouz, Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, Caleb Femi, Testament, Jack Rooke and Tongue Fu.

Chummy | White Bear Theatre | 23 May-10 Jun (pictured)
"Private investigator Jackie Striker is hired by an anonymous serial killer for the biggest case of her life. Paid to stop him murdering, Jackie must face the consequences of counselling the mysterious 'Chummy' on a dark journey that will push her to her limits." A rather interesting sounding piece of dark and cinematic neo-noir thrilleryness, that promises to be quite the theatrical experience. See this page here for info.
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