THURSDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
ARI ELDJÁRN: PARDON MY ICELANDIC
One of the stand-up comedy acts that really came to the fore at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe was newcomer Ari Eldjárn, who garnered much critical acclaim for his witty and astute debut hour. Of course, he's only a newcomer from our British perspective, being a very well established performer in his native Iceland.

I spoke to Ari to find out more about his upcoming Soho Theatre show, how he got into comedy, and his hopes for the future. Read the interview here.

Ari Eldjárn: performs 'Pardon My Icelandic' at Soho Theatre from 5-7 Oct. See this page here for info and to book.



ANDREW THOMPSON: IN EVENT OF MOONE DISASTER
The latest winner of Theatre503's international playwriting award gets its premiere this month, helmed by the venue's artistic director Lisa Spirling. 'In Event Of Moone Disaster' is an intriguing-sounding piece with a space travel theme, which tells the stories of three generations of one family.

To find out more about the play, I spoke to the playwright behind it, Andrew Thompson. Read the interview here.

'In Event Of Moone Disaster' is on at Theatre503 from 4-28 Oct. See the venue website here for details and to book tickets.




OLI FORSYTH: KINGS
If you're a fan of fringe theatre (and I'm presuming that a good proportion of readers are) then you've probably come across the work of Smoke & Oakum Theatre, whose past productions include the likes of 'Happy Dave', 'Cornermen', and 'The Cow Play'. Their latest production 'Kings' debuted at Vault Festival earlier this year, and shortly begins a longer run at the New Diorama.

The play is by Smoke & Oakum Theatre's founder, Oli Forsyth, who also directs. I put some questions to him, to find out more about the show, and the company. Read the interview here.

'Kings' by Smoke & Oakum runs at New Diorama Theatre from 3-21 Oct. See the venue website here for more information


FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2017 >>

Ashley Haden - We Are Still All C*nts | Museum Of Comedy | 29 Sep
We saw this show in Edinburgh this summer, and our reviewer gave it a resounding thumbs up, albeit with a warning about the rather dark and potentially-offensive nature of the material. If you like the idea of something "deeply distasteful yet liberatingly transgressive", however, then Ashley Haden may be the act for you. See this page here for all the info.

Dave Chawner - C'est La Vegan | Leicester Square Theatre | 29 Sep (pictured)
People who don't like the idea of being vegan really don't have to ostentatiously avoid this show, because whatever he talks about, Dave Chawner is a clever and funny performer. I say that because I am fed up of people complaining about "preachy vegans" when I have never once met a preachy vegan, but have met plenty of preachy carnivores who seem offended by the very existence of strict vegetarians. Anyway, see this show, it will be excellent. Click here.

Gin For Breakfast | Tristan Bates Theatre | 26 Sep-21 Oct
A new play by Jess Moore, produced by Guise Productions, a company created with the specific aim of tackling psychological issues. It's about Jen and Robbie, friends since childhood, now grown-up and not anywhere close to where they imagined they would be. Can save themselves, and each other? For details and to book, head right this way.


SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 >>

Bookstory | Little Angel Theatre | 27 Sep-1 Oct (pictured)
"It's a story, about some books. In a library. But these are no ordinary books and this is no ordinary library. It's Brian's library: a wonderful, magical place where the books like to flutter their pages and let their shelves go...Then one day Brian changes and the library goes...quiet. What's going on? The books had better stiffen their spines: to get to the bottom of this mystery they may have to check themselves out". Hurrah, a highly entertaining show for children about reading and libraries. Exactly what you need on a late September Saturday, click here for info.

Lucky Stiff | Union Theatre | 27 Sep-21 Oct
A production of 'Lucky Stiff', the first ever 1988 collaboration between Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on Michael Butterworth's 1983 novel 'The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo', which I think was probably last on in London in the late nineties. But I might be wrong. Anyway, I am sure this will be good, see the venue website here for all the details.

Ahir Shah - Control | Soho Theatre | 26 Sep-7 Oct
Ahir Shah was nominated for the big comedy award up in Edinburgh this summer, so if you like to keep up with what all the comedy up and comers are up to (yes, too much 'up' in this sentence) then you should definitely make a point of seeing this highly praised show. In it he focuses on current global socio-political turmoil, freedom, fascism, history, hope, and resistance. Head this way to book your tickets.


SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER 2017 >>

Beowulf | Unicorn Theatre | 1 Oct-5 Nov (pictured)
"Beowulf, all-conquering monster-slayer, rock star, hero, looks back over a life and sees what? Bravery? Violence? Victory? Is there only one way to be a leader? Or is another world possible...?" A new adaptation of the epic poem, written by Chris Thorpe and set to an immersive metal and electro-infused live soundtrack. Sounds promising, huh? See the venue website here for info.

Tortoise & Rabbit | The Albany | 1 Oct
One for the families with young children out there, as it's Sunday, a show with the classic theme of Tortoise versus Hare. The company behind this show promise a "fresh twist", however, in an interactive, multi-sensory retelling featuring original music, puppetry, and bubbles... For all the details, see this page here.

The Sandman | Greenwich Theatre | 1 Oct
This sounds cool, a contemporary ballet inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale of Ole Lukøje with original score by composer Tim Mountain. It tells the story of a woman desperate to find good dreams for her ailing husband, and the bizarre beings she meets while attempting to locate them. Head this way for info and to book.


MONDAY 2 OCTOBER 2017 >>

Twist | Soho Theatre | 2-4 Oct
"His home is dust. His friends are few. His hands are as rough as the seas he has crossed. Humanising the anonymous plight of our generation, we follow one refugee's desperate journey, buffeted between borders and bad company". A radical adaptation of Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' which brings the story very much into the now, re-imagining the eponymous hero as a migrant in search of sanctuary. See this page here for more info.

We Are Bronte | Greenwich Theatre | 2 Oct (pictured)
I've tipped this before and I will tip it again, if there's another opportunity. Initially I was attracted to it because I know a lot about the Brontes and really like funny things, but it's not just about me, this show has won oodles of praise from arts critics and other people whose opinions count just as much. Click here for details.

Goodbear | Soho Theatre | 2-5 + 7 Oct
And back to Soho for a date with a duo who have, like the show above, garnered much acclaim, and could pretty much definitely be regarded as TW favourites, even though we haven't known them for very long in the grand scheme of things. If you like really funny sketch comedy performed by highly talented individuals with a great rapport, head this way to book your tickets.


TUESDAY 3 OCTOBER 2017 >>

Glue | Ovalhouse | 3-7 Oct (pictured)
Poet, playwright and performer Louise Wallwein presents this comedic live art performance comprising of poetry and dialogue, through which she tells her own story of meeting her birth mother, thirty years after being put up for adoption at the age of nine. An important reflection on the effects of growing up in care, and themes of family and identity, see this page here for info.

Kings | New Diorama | 3-21 Oct
"Bess and Hannah are waiting. Sleeping rough on the streets of London they're hoping for help to arrive and for life to change, but they've been waiting for a long time. Until, that is, they meet Caz, a young woman who's not content to sit quietly, she's far more interested in taking what she needs. As Bess and Hannah get drawn further into this new way of thinking they discover a power in their position that opens up a world of change". This had an acclaimed and award winning run at the Vault Festival earlier in the year, now's your chance to catch it if you missed it then. Details here.

31 Hours | The Bunker Theatre | 3-28 Oct
A play about four men who have to clean up after rail suicides, which, sounds grim, but it promises to be full of humour and humanity, and to tackle the very troubling issue of the high suicide rate in young men. The title, disturbingly, is a reference to the frequency with which said rail suicides occur - every 31 hours. Click here for more.


WEDNESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2017 >>

A Nazi Comparison | Waterloo East Theatre | 3-29 Oct
"Clare, A young woman at university happens upon an English translation of a play written by Hitler's favourite playwright and it upsets her entire world view. She can't help but see strong parallels in how the media was manipulated then, and now. Filled with anxiety that the world she lives in is not as noble as everyone is led to believe, she digs deeper, and deeper and deeper". An intriguing sounding thriller about what happens when a quest for truth ends in danger and extremism. See this page here for more info.

The Merchant Of Venice | The Cockpit | 3-7 Oct
Earlier this year we recommended a production of 'The Tempest' at The Cockpit which was staged in a rather novel - no, scratch that, old fashioned - manner: the actors performing prepared using only a 'cue-script' detailing their own lines, and the one line that precedes it, rather than all the lines, and the whole picture. Just like in the olden days. Now you can 'The Merchant Of Venice' given the same treatment. See the venue website here for details.

In Event of Moone Disaster | Theatre503 | 3-28 Oct (pictured)
The first show to be directed by the venue's artistic director Lisa Spirling since she took up the post last year, 'In Event Of Moone Disaster' by Andrew Thompson is also the latest winner of Theatre503's international playwriting award, chosen from 1629 entries. The focus is women and space and I am oh-so-keen to see it. I bet I am not the only one, head this way to book your tickets.


THURSDAY 5 OCTOBER 2017 >>

Ivan | Tara Theatre | 5-6 Oct
A one-man physical comedy, created and performed by Zimbabwe-born actor Scott Sparrow, 'Ivan' tells the story of the tragic life of failed dancer Ivan Popczieski, who, banished from his village along with his badly behaved tutu named Tootoo, makes his way to a refuge for lost dancers, unbalanced tight rope walkers and tone deaf musicians. Sounds intriguing to say the least. See this page right here for info.

I Am Turpin | Theatre N16 | 2-7 Oct
As you may well have gleaned from the title of this one, it's about legendary highwayman Dick Turpin, though the focus seems to be on another character rather than the criminal himself: Gaoler Abigail, unaware of his notoriety, visits his cell in prison each day, bringing him his meals and letters, and a strange and uneasy friendship comes about. See the venue website here for more.

Free To Stay | The Albany | 5-6 Oct (pictured)
"Imagine a world without nationality, where you're free of labels, utterly transient, without ID documents and don't belong to the ruling order of any country. Now imagine that same scenario today; no choice about where you live, nowhere to raise a family, no chance of an education, a job, or seeing a doctor when you're ill. No recognition that you even exist. What if you were one of the 10 million people around the world for whom this is a reality everyday?" A new play exploring the nature of community and the idea of life without nationality. Click here for details.
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