THURSDAY 21 DECEMBER 2017 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
BEN HORSLEN: A CHRISTMAS CAROL
You might, if you're fortunate, have caught a performance of the brilliant Antic Disposition's 'A Christmas Carol' in a previous year, as this is, I believe, the fourth time they've staged the seasonal tale at Middle Temple Hall, selling out seasons in 2012, 2014 and 2015. If you haven't, then perhaps this could be your lucky year.

To celebrate the return of the Yuletide classic, and to find out a bit more about the show's approach, I arranged to have a chat with Antic Disposition co-founder Ben Horslen. Read the interview here.

'A Christmas Carol' is on at Middle Temple Hall from 22-30 Dec. Book your tickets here.
This is the final TW Weekly bulletin of 2017, and with that in mind here are some Three To See tips for the Christmas and New Year period in London. We'll be back with your usual weekly helping of recommended shows in January.

THREE TO SEE OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR - FAMILY SHOWS >>

Ongals - Babbling Comedy | Soho Theatre | until 6 Jan (pictured)

A brilliantly fun show that children will love, and that grown up fans of circus and goonery will also adore, so it seems to me like a fairly perfect thing to go see at Christmas as a family. This troupe of romper-wearing Koreans won a fistful of very positive reviews at the old edfringe in the summer of 2017, with this blend of physical comedy, beatboxing and tricks. See this page here for more information and to book.

Comedy Club for Kids - Christmas Cracker! | Greenwich Theatre | 23 Dec
You might be already aware of how keen we have been for some years now on the output of Comedy Club for Kids, in which case it will be no surprise that we'd really like to go and see this festive edition. It's got a cracking line-up, with fab regular host Tiernan Douieb accompanied the excellent Howard Read and the magical Bec Hill. Hurrah, head this way quickly to book your tickets.

Kika's Birthday | Orange Tree Theatre | 20 Dec-6 Jan
"Kika, a little French mouse, is going to be 5 years old! Her family has planned a birthday surprise, with friends, songs and a grasshopper band. But who is that with his twitchy tail and shining eyes watching them closely? It's the Bright Orange Cat. Will he join the party, make some new friends and share some birthday cake, or does he have something else in mind?" Acclaimed storyteller Danyah Miller tells this enchanting story for little ones, see the venue website here for details.

THREE TO SEE OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR - COMEDY >>

The Harry and Chris Show 2 | Leicester Square Theatre | 29 Dec

"When many shows are about how depressing the world is at the moment, it was nice to finish on a song with a positive message, which some were still singing as they left the venue." Is what our reviewer wrote about this show when he saw it in Edinburgh in the summer. And that sentiment made me feel as though this show would be just the sort to take in between Christmas and New Year. To the uninitiated: expect fairly unique and funny music stylings of a comedy-jazz-rap nature. Head this way to book tickets. Quickly, they'll be going fast.

A Very Serious Christmas - The Improvised Panto | Rosemary Branch Theatre | 28 Dec
After a run at the Baron's Court Theatre in the days running up to Christmas, the Very Serious People improv troupe take their improvised pantomime shenanigans to slightly more northerly climes with this one night stand at The Rosemary Branch. Very probably the kind of high energy hilarity that will help ping you out of that self-inflicted post food-and-alcohol stupor you might well find yourself in by the 28 Dec. See this page here to book.

Shelf Word Xmas | White Bear Theatre | 22 Dec
This one's to get you grinning ahead of Christmas Day, just in case you've got a shift of hard kitchen labour and difficult relatives planned. Perhaps plan better next year, but this time maybe head to the White Bear Theatre for a night of funnies helmed by the excellent and award-nominated Elf Lyons, and also featuring the talents of Flora Anderson, Kemah Breon Bob and Amelia Stubberfield, and possibly more, if the promises of the blurb are to be believed. See this page here for details.



THREE TO SEE OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR - THEATRE >>

Stop You're Killing Me | White Bear Theatre | 28-30 Dec + 2-6 Jan
And so to our final selection of tips to accompany your Yuletide celebrations, and this time it's all on the theatrical side, though, as you might expect, it's mostly light-hearted fare: starting with this, from Hambledon Productions, a film-noir-ish detective spoof, which looks set to serve up a healthy melange of witty gags, puns and slapstick. See the venue website here for more information.

Hound of The Baskervilles | Jermyn Street Theatre | until 13 Jan (pictured)
Well, there's a chance you may already have seen this one, as it started its run pretty early in December, but I thought I would save it for Christmas week because it looked like such good fun. Obviously, you know the basic premise of the Sherlock Holmes story, and here they're very much playing it for laughs; and according to a number of sources who did in fact see the play earlier in the month, doing it very well. For all the details, see this page here.

Hanna | Arcola Theatre | 3-20 Jan
"Being a young mum is supposed to be hard - but for Hanna, the only thing she's ever been brilliant at is raising her beloved daughter Ellie.Until a DNA test reveals staggering news. Ellie is not Hanna's child. And now her 'real' parents want to meet." Yes, I appreciate that this doesn't necessarily sound like it would be "light-hearted" (see first tip) but this play from Offie-nominated playwright Sam Potter, while tackling some serious themes, promises to be funny as well. Head this way to book.

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