THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
MARTIN OELBERMANN: THE LITTLE PRINCE
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 'The Little Prince' is probably one of the most famous, most translated books in history, and I confess to wondering, when I heard about this show, to what extent a stage adaptation can do it justice.

Well, having heard more, I think that the star of this one man play - actor Martin Oelbermann - and his creative colleagues might just be a team who will do it rather well. I spoke to Martin (who, JK-fans, recently appeared in 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'), ahead of the upcoming run. Read the interview here.

'The Little Prince' is on at The Playground Theatre from 15 Dec-7 Jan. See venue website here for more information and to book.



NIALL RANSOME: FCUK'D
The latest show over at The Bunker is 'FCUK'D', a one man show written entirely in verse, which tells the story of a teenage boy forced to care for his younger brother, who decides to flee his home to escape scrutiny from the authorities.

I was intrigued from the moment I heard about the play, so made time to find out more about the show from playwright and director Niall Ransome. Read the interview here.

'FCUK'D' is on at The Bunker until 30 Dec. For more information and to book tickets, see this page here.


FRIDAY 15 DECEMBER 2017 >>

Mr Mineshaft | Camden People's Theatre | 15-16 Dec (pictured)
An exploration of the life and work of black composer Julius Eastman, telling the story of his success, how his career was limited, and his fall into drug addiction and vagrancy. He was a virtuoso musician, composer, singer and dancer, but because of his frustration at the lack of opportunities given to him, as a black gay man, his personal life suffered and his physical and emotional health declined. A really sad story, but definitely one worth taking notice of. See this page here for more info.

Milton Jones Is Out There | Shepherd's Bush Empire | 15-16 Dec
"Talking about his life so far - the ups, the downs and why buying his own see-saw was the best decision he ever made - it's one not to miss". You all know Milton Jones, and you already - probably - know whether you like his style or not, so I am not going to nag you - you decide for yourself when you are good and ready - but I will sleep well tonight, knowing that I have let you know that these dates are upcoming, and that I gave you this direct link so that you could go book your tickets right away.

Bananaman | Southwark Playhouse | 15 Dec-20 Jan
One for families, or people about my age for whom this will be a childhood TV flashback nostalgia extravaganza. This new musical is, as you might expect, about the above mentioned slightly useless fruit-scoffing superhero resident of 29 Acacia Road, and I really hope it's as entertaining as I remember finding the TV version back in the eighties. Small ones may not have heard of Bananaman yet, but fingers crossed, this will be a great introduction. Click here for details.


SATURDAY 16 DECEMBER 2017 >>

Nine Lessons And Carols For Godless People | Conway Hall | 16, 19, 20, 22 Dec
Hurrah, Robin Ince has revived his brilliant Christmas variety nights: expect science, comedy, music and long lines of really high quality guests - the likes of Josie Long, Grace Petrie, Michael Legge, Matt Parker, Helen Keen, Steve Backshall, Simon Singh, Kat Arney and John Luke Roberts. I don't really have room to mention everyone, so that's a sample, but really, so much good, take a look here, for line-ups and booking links.

Mark Thomas - A Show That Gambles On The Future | Leicester Square Theatre | 16-17 Dec
We already mentioned this show when it was on at Leicester Square Theatre for a longer run in October, but you might have missed that. Maybe you were laid up the whole time with a really bad dose of flu. Or maybe you were sent overseas for a lengthy work trip. Or maybe you were completing an autumn tour of the UK. Whatever your reasons, you now have the chance to make it, so head this way and book your tickets.

Tobacco Road | Pleasance Theatre | 16-19 Dec (pictured)
It's a work in progress but you can expect something pretty good, not least because this is the work of a highly acclaimed company. If you don't remember their name (er, Incognito) you might remember their brilliant production of 'All Quiet On The Western Front', which was on at the edfringe in 2016, and scored very highly with our reviewer. This new play follows the lives of a group of gang members living in 1920s London. See the venue website here for details.


SUNDAY 17 DECEMBER 2017 >>

BMT & Friends | The Albany | 15-22 Dec
You remember 'Bromance', right? It's a really amazing circus show, you might well have seen it over the last couple of years, and we recommended it again a couple of weeks ago. Well, if you remember that, you'll probably also remember that it's by Barely Methodical Troupe. This show is their special end of year celebration featuring a range of talented physical performers, and you'd be fools to miss it. Fools, I say. Head this way for all the info.

White Fang | The Park Theatre | 13 Dec-13 Jan (pictured)
"1898. Canada. After the massacre of her tribe, a child is rescued by an old huntsman. Torn from centuries of tradition, struggling to find her path in the world, she soon discovers hope in the friendship of an abandoned wolf - swiftly learning the customs of her ancestors, becoming skilled in the ways of the wild. But when the time comes, will these skills be enough to survive?" Brilliant team behind this one, so there's basically no chance of this being not good. See this page here for details.

The Little Prince | The Playground Theatre | 15 Dec-7 Jan
Martin Oelbermann performs this adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic tale, the story of a pilot who crashes his plane in the Sahara desert, and meets the Little Prince, who has left his home - Asteroid B 612 - and is on a a journey across the universe. "Stranded in the desert, caught between life and death, the pilot and the little prince discover the secret of friendship". See the venue website here for more.


MONDAY 18 DECEMBER 2017 >>

The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase | Jack Studio | 13 Dec-6 Jan
"It is 1832. Wolves roam England, terrorising the countryside in greater numbers than ever before. At the Willoughby Estate, in the grip of a cruel winter, Bonnie and her orphaned cousin Sylvia are left in the care of the equally chilling governess Miss Slighcarp, whose mysterious plans place the future of Willoughby Chase at risk". An adaptation of the children's classic novel by Joan Aitken, from a team with great previous form. See this page here for more info.

The Tin Drum | Shoreditch Town Hall | 6-23 Dec (pictured)
This one's been on for a while already, and falls into the category of those which I thought I had already tipped. Brain like a sieve, me. But anyway, the rather good Kneehigh are behind this production of Gunter Grass' surreal tale, retelling it as a musical satire which is "part baroque opera, part psychedelic white-out, part epic poem". Click here for details.

MR James - Ghost Stories For Christmas | Old Red Lion Theatre | 18 Dec
Well, I bet you thought there'd be no more ghost stories now that Hallowe'en is well out of the way, but you'd be dead wrong, because look at this. It's a one man show featuring two haunting tales: 'Lost Hearts', one of the author's earliest works, with a highly memorable villain, predatory scholar Mr Abney; and 'A Warning To The Curious', in which a young archaeologist is haunted and hunted by the guardian of an ancient treasure. Spooky. See the venue website here for more.


TUESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2017 >>

The Book Of Darkness And Light | Camden People's Theatre | 19-20 Dec (pictured)
You know how in yesterday's tips we pointed out that you might be surprised to find a spooky show on at this time of year, given that October and November are peak-spook time? And how we had spooky one to recommend anyway? Well, here's another! Yesterday's was one performer and two stories, this one is two performers and three stories: expect spine-tingling tales accompanied by haunting live music. Beautifully creepy. See this page here for details.

The Ramshackle House | Stratford Circus | 4-24 Dec
Last week we ran a Q&A with Vicki Amedume of Upswing, the creator of this show, so it may already on your radar, but I thought it was worth a reminder, especially as this really lovely show is running all the way up to Christmas Eve and may well be the holiday child-treat you are looking for. Read last week's article right about here, and head this way for more info and tickets.

Sleeping Trees & The Chocolate Factory - Christmas Special | Battersea Arts Centre | 19-23 Dec
"Join Willy Wonka, the Umpa Lumpas and various fatigued Grandparents in a version of the story nearly as offensive as Tim Burton's film re-make. So if you're struggling to think of Christmas present ideas this year, what better gift for a loved one than tickets to the hottest show in town. Seriously, the central heating in the venue is broken and the temperature throughout is unbearable". The ludicrously talented Sleeping Trees - who, by the way are also appearing in 'Scrooge And The Seven Dwarves' over at Theatre503 this month - bring a seasonal twist to their version of everyone's favourite story about children and a chocolate factory. Click here for more.


WEDNESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2017 >>

Puss In Boots | Hoxton Hall | 15-28 Dec
"As Colin is left facing a future on the streets of Hoxton, he receives news of his inheritance, his father's old tabby cat, affectionately known as 'Puss'. How will Colin ever win the heart of Princess Alice? Will Queen Doris believe that Colin is 'the one' for her daughter? Will Igor the Ogre's henchman scupper Puss's plans for his master?" Yes, my friends, be assured that we will not rest in our pursuit of bringing you pantomime recommendations in a steady stream up until Christmas. See this page here for details.

Our Man In Havana | Pleasance Theatre | 20-23 Dec (pictured)
Not the most Christmassy show to tip on 20 December, but they can't all be Christmassy, especially as not everyone actually celebrates Christmas or even enjoys it. And, even if it's not what you call festive, this will be amazingly good fun for you and whoever you choose to take with you. Based on the novel of the same name, it's a fast paced physical farce set in a Cold War world of suspicion, suspense and silliness, and it's got a highly acclaimed run at the old edfringe behind it. Head this way for info.

What The Moon Saw | The Place | 20-22 Dec
Lovely looking children's shows are abundant in December, and here's one of them: Jack, all alone in the world and afraid of the dark, opens his curtains and sees the familiar and friendly moon, who takes him on an adventure across the world which will ultimately teach him to leave behind his fears. The story is told through dance, circus and music, and promises to be entertaining for the whole family. Book your tickets here.


THURSDAY 21 DECEMBER 2017 >>

Sing-A-Long-A-Muppets Christmas Carol | Camden People's Theatre | 21-22 Dec (pictured)
Hurrah for Sh!t Theatre and their annual wonderful Sing-A-Long-A-Muppets Christmas Carol. I love Sh!t Theatre, and I love The Muppets Christmas Carol (well, all Christmas Carols, really, if we are honest) so this is just heaven. Of course, the chances of it being sold out by the time you read this are very high, but there's always tomorrow. Try your luck here.

Misalliance | Orange Tree Theatre | 7 Dec-6 Jan
"Hypatia Tarleton, uneasily engaged to bright yet immature aristocrat Bentley Summerhays, longs for adventure to drop out of the sky. And with a sudden crash of glass, it does. Enter Lina Szczepanowska, Polish acrobat and daredevil pilot whose independent spirit galvanises the household". George Bernard Shaw's 1909 play about class and feminism in its first major revival for thirty years. Expect good things. See this page here.

Rapunzel | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 27 Nov-13 Jan
And finally, because it's the sort of thing you absolutely need on a date like 21 Dec, we have another in a long line of panto tips. There are so many in London, and I'd like to see them all, though I am not sure it's actually humanly possible. One of those I'd like to see is this one, because, well, I have heard from a number of sources that this is an absolute cracker. For more information and to book, head right this way.
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