THURSDAY 8 JUNE 2017 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
  Hello there. What with all the political excitement yesterday, your weekly TW bulletin is arriving a little later than normal!

Though if you are interested in continuing with the politics, our sister publication CMU is talking music and politics - and the Grime 4 Corbyn movement - at M.I.A's Meltdown festival at the Royal Festival Hell tomorrow. It's free and will be fascinating.

But back to this week's TW Weekly - once again you'll find our weekly guide to great cultural events happening in London this week, plus with the Edinburgh Festival looming, we have two more interviews with great Fringe performers.

If you are Edinburgh Festival bound this August, don't forget to click here to tell us about your show and click here to find out about great advertising packages. Friends and colleagues who want all our Fringe updates should click here.

Have a great week,

Caro Moses
Editor, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh and ThisWeek London
ANGELA BARNES: FORTITUDE
You may be aware of her from her appearances on TV and radio, or from her live work in Edinburgh and elsewhere, but if you aren't, then it's high time you got to know Angela Barnes, who helpfully returns to the Fringe this year with her new show 'Fortitude'.

I was keen to find out more about that, and about her career in general, so made time for a quick chat. Read the interview here.

Angela Barnes performs at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 at Pleasance Courtyard from 2-27 Aug.
URZILA CARLSON: FIRST EDITION
UK comedy fans might be forgiven for not yet being aware of the work of Urzila Carlson, given that you are more likely to see her performing on a trip to the southern hemisphere. The good news is that she’s coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time this year.

I spoke to her to find out more, about the show, 'First Edition', and about her career thus far. Read the interview here.

Urzila performs 'First Edition' at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 at Assembly George Square Studios from 2-27 Aug.
KIRSTIN CHÁVEZ: CARMEN - FIRE AND FATE
I was really interested to hear about renowned opera singer Kirstin Chávez' take on Bizet's 'Carmen', which has a short run at The Cervantes Theatre this month. It's definitely a different beast from the original opera, being a one woman show featuring flamenco dancing, but will no doubt reflect the performer's experience and understanding of the famous role.

I arranged to have a quick chat, to find out more about Carmen, this adaptation, and Kristin herself. Read the interview here.

'Carmen - Fire And Fate' is on at The Cervantes Theatre from 12-17 Jun. See this page here for more.



SLIGHTLY FAT FEATURES: VARIETYSOUP
We first came across Slightly Fat Features, a seven-strong variety troupe, up at the Edinburgh Festival back in 2013 and were most impressed by their infectiously entertaining and comedic offerings.

When I heard they were headed for a date with the Udderbelly Festival, I decided it was time to find out more about this talented group of performers. Read the interview here.

Slightly Fat Features perform in 'VarietySoup' on 11 June 2017 at Underbelly festival, see this page here to book your tickets.



BENJI SPERRING: HOLY CRAP
If you're aware of the hugely successful likes of 'A Slice Of Saturday Night' and 'Big Sin City', then you are aware of critically acclaimed musical-makers The Heather Brothers. Their latest creation, which tells the comedic tale of a televangelist who turns to screening pornography, starts a run at the King's Head Theatre this week.

To find out more about it, I spoke to director Benji Sperring. Read the interview here.

'Holy Crap' is on at King's Head Theatre from 7 Jun-8 Jul, see the venue website here for information and to book.


FRIDAY 9 JUNE 2016 >>

Held | Tristan Bates Theatre | 6-17 Jun
"When young offender Jamie is thrown into the harsh reality of an adult prison, he soon falls prey to the rules and control of the older hardened prisoners, in a world where nothing is free, as passions heighten within their confined surroundings. Fynn is desperate for a way out, not only from prison but struggling to breathe against the strangling ties which threaten to destroy him". A hard hitting exploration of what happens when these two lives come together, expect strong language, and scenes of sex and drug use. Click here for more.

Hurricane Katie | The Museum Of Comedy | 9 Jun
It's rather wet and windy as I write this in the first week of June (come on, summer, please) so it seems appropriate to recommend a performer - Katie Pritchard - who claims to be "blowing over the patio furniture of comedy lowing over the patio furniture of comedy, partially damaging the garden fence of genre and dropping a large, sturdy branch onto the car bonnet of musicality". Expect jokes, music, poems, dancing and facts from this up and coming comedian. All the details here.

Zoe Lyons - Little Misfit | Soho Theatre | 8-10 Jun (pictured)
And another comedy recommendation, this time the always-excellent oft-on-our-screens-lately Zoe Lyons, who brings her most recent hour - a great success at last year's edfringe - for a short run at Soho Theatre. The show is about her early life as a self-confessed misfit, but also the realisation that in fact, she no longer has any desire to fit in. For info and to book, see the venue website here.


SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2016 >>

Felicity Ward - 50% More Likely To Die | Underbelly Festival | 10 Jun (pictured)
Following the success of 'What If There Is No Toilet', her 2015 show focusing on anxiety and mental illness, the ever excellent Australian import Felicity Ward reprises the topic of mental health with '50% More Likely To Die'. It may seem like an unlikely theme, but don't make any assumptions: this woman is always hilarious and this show met with a resounding thumbs up from our reviewer when she saw it at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here for all the info.

CMU and Meltdown present Where Next For Music? | Royal Festival Hall | 10 Jun
In the interests of being transparent in this post-truth era, I will offer full disclosure, even before you've managed to work it out for yourself: CMU is part of our UnLimited family, and therefore, yes, we are kinda tipping our own event. But it's cooool because it's free, and will be extremely interesting, especially for those of you who work in the business of music. There are three different sessions, all in the afternoon, click here for more info about each of them.

The Last Ones | Jermyn Street Theatre | 7 Jun-1 Jul
You probably know all about this play already because you will have read the nice Q&A we did last week with the director of the show Anthony Biggs. Sorry, what was that? You'd like to read it again? No problem, see this page here. Or, to just cut to the chase and book your tickets for the UK premiere of this portrayal of a family and a country in the grip of revolution by renowned nineteenth century Russian writer Maxim Gorky, head right this way.


SUNDAY 11 JUNE 2016 >>

Slightly Fat Features in Variety Soup | Underbelly Festival | 11 Jun
Roll up, roll up, for riotous comedy cabaret fun courtesy of award-winning troupe Slightly Fat Features, who we first saw and loved up at the Edinburgh Festival back in 2013. Expect a wide variety of hilarious antics, physical mayhem, tiger taming, and bullet catching... plus original live music. Click this link here for more.

Landmines | Ovalhouse | 6-24 Jun
"When a peaceful politician is slain on the streets of Vida's hometown, she's deeply affected. The atrocity triggers a journey of descent in which Vida risks self-destruction in a bid to confront the rise in bigotry and fascism. Just as she feels most alone, she discovers there are others who feel the same as her - and now the deadly potential of their combined potency is about to be unleashed". The play's by Phil Davies (who wrote 'Firebird' that was on at Hampstead Theatre) and the production is by the BRIT school's Bridge Company of recent graduates. See this page here for more.

Trash | Theatre N16 | 11-12 Jun (pictured)
The story of three girls who awake in a darkened room, each having lost their memory, and with no recollection of the past. Exploring the notion that emotional damage inflicted in youth shapes you, and the idea that people must overcome past trauma in order to move on to a better existence, 'Trash' sees its protagonists attempting to discover who they are, and how they are connected. See the venue website here for info.


MONDAY 12 JUNE 2016 >>

Carmen - Fire and Fate | The Cervantes Theatre | 12-17 Jun
World-renowned opera singer Kirstin Chavez performs her own re-working of Bizet's classic opera, a one-woman adaptation that explores and expands on a character that the performer has played many times. I think you can expect a passionate and intimate portrayal, extraordinary singing and beautiful dancing, and it might just be the perfect show for people who think they might like opera but aren't too sure. See this page here for all the info.

Lions and Tigers and Ben Target | The Bill Murray | 12 Jun
A TW-favourite, Ben Target, because he always makes us laugh with his eccentric, colourful, physical and unpredictable comedy. Plus, you don't have to take our word for it, he's won the of the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year gong, and also scored a nomination Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer, as well as just generally being highly acclaimed by all the important people, like me. Click here for more info.

The Ugly One | The Park Theatre | 1-24 Jun (pictured)
"Lette thought he was an average guy finally about to move up in the world. But he wasn't average at all. He was ugly. Very ugly, in the eyes of... well, everyone. And he wasn't going anywhere. So he decided to make a change. To his face. But when the bandages came off he discovered that he might now possibly be too beautiful". This production of acclaimed German playwright Marius Van Mayenburg's 2007 comedy about relentless capitalism and our modern obsession with the superficial is part way through the run, so it should be well into its stride. For details see the venue website here.


TUESDAY 13 JUNE 2016 >>

Misanthrope | Drayton Arms Theatre | 13 Jun-8 Jul
Exchange Theatre return to the Drayton Arms Theatre for their yearly Bastille Festival, which celebrates French Theatre with performances in both English and French.  It looks like this is probably the flagship event, a production of Moliere's most well known work, 1666 comedy of manners 'The Misanthrope', which promises to find "unanticipated echoes in the world today" in light of our times of 'alternative facts' and 'fake news' .To book tickets for this and for other shows, see this link here.

And The Little One Said... | Underbelly Festival | 13-18 Jun (pictured)
A solo circus piece, this one, written and performed by the award-winning Jess Love, who you may previously have witnessed via La Soiree, Circa, or Black Cat Cabaret. Expect dark clowning, dirty acrobatics and surreal sideshow feats delivered with pathos, humour, beauty and heart-warming playfulness. Sounds unmissable, so you know, don't miss it: head this way for details.

Sarah Sky and 7 Other Guys/Submission | The Space | 13-15 Jun
This double bill from Liver and Lung Productions offers a duo of plays with highly contemporary themes. In 'Sarah, Sky & 7 Other Guys', we see the two named protagonists embarking on a journey of sordid sexual encounters and hilariously painful events as they attempt to find what they want, while 'Submission' focuses on Sameer, a young British Pakistani, who is engaged in a struggle to reconcile sexual desires with his Islamic roots and values. For more info, see the venue website here.


WEDNESDAY 14 JUNE 2016 >>

Give Me Your Skin | Battersea Arts Centre | 14-17 Jun
This sounds interesting, a participatory show where "parlour games meet feminism in a quest to resist masculinity at its most toxic". It's written and performed by queer theatre makers Tom and Oonagh, and promises to be a playful and intimate show which explores an alternative view of gender and seeks to find ways to liberate boys and men from the constraints of patriarchy. For more info see the venue website here.

Aisha | Hen & Chickens | 13-24 Jun
Aisha is a fourteen year old girl who is forced by her parents to marry a 51-year-old man, sold in exchange for an expensive dowry, an act justified by cultural and religious traditions. And her story doesn't get any better, because her new husband is sadistic, abusive, and forbids her to have contact with the outside world. New young writer and director AJ is the creative force behind this play, which is heavily influenced by contemporary spoken word, and deals with a serious issue that's probably more prevalent in the UK than you'd think: the Home Office estimates that between 5,000 and 8,000 young people a year are at risk of being forced, under-aged, into marriage. See this page here for more.

I know You Of Old | The Hope Theatre | 13 Jun-1 Jul (pictured)
Aw, I love 'Much Ado About Nothing', it's so full of great lines, and exchanges, and Beatrice and Benedict sparring away. So my interest was piqued to say the least when I saw that title and realised that this show must be an alternative take on one of my favourite Shakespeares. Using only Shakespeare's original text, David Fairs has re-orchestrated it into a new, parallel dark comedy, and I think we can regard that as fairly promising. See the venue website here for details.


THURSDAY 15 JUNE 2016 >>

Hir | Bush Theatre | 15 Jun-22 Jul
"Isaac gets home from serving in the marines to find war has broken out back home. Fed up with domestic patriarchy, his mother Paige has stopped washing, cleaning and caring for their ailing father, who recently suffered a stroke. Ally to their mother's new regime is Isaac's sibling Max. Only last time Isaac checked, Max was Maxine". A subversive comedy in which masculinity and femininity become weapons with which to defeat the old order, from the very excellent Taylor Mac. See this page here for more.

These Trees Are Made Of Blood | Arcola Theatre | 14 Jun-15 Jul (pictured)
Over to Arcola now for an immersive theatrical experience, a political musical cabaret set in the heart of Argentina's Dirty War. Back following a sold out premiere back in 2015, this re-worked production featuring original live music, magic and movement follows the story of a mother's quest to challenge the authorities and find her missing daughter. Click here for details.

Groomed | Soho Theatre | 13 Jun-1 Jul
Creator and performer Patrick Sandford tells three extraordinary stories, of a Japanese soldier, the inventor of the saxaphone, and his own past self, as he relives the shocking experience of being abused by a teacher when he was nine years old. This play won much acclaim and three awards at last year's Brighton Festival, expect something honest, bold, gripping and provocative. See this page here for info.
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