THURSDAY 18 JANUARY 2018 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
JEREMY STOCKWELL: KEN
Opening this month at The Bunker Theatre is a play featuring the character of, and paying tribute to, late great theatrical dynamo Ken Campbell. The piece was written by award winning writer and director Terry Johnson, inspired by their own friendship, and, following an initial run a couple of years ago, returns to the London stage in the year marking the tenth anniversary of Campbell's death.

The multi-skilled Jeremy Stockwell is the performer tasked with bringing the extraordinary character of Ken to life. I spoke to him, to find out more. Read the interview here.

‘Ken' is on at The Bunker Theatre from 24 Jan-24 Feb. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


FRIDAY 19 JANUARY 2018 >>

Perhaps Perhaps Quizas | Jacksons Lane | 19-21 Jan (pictured)
Part of the previously mentioned London International Mime Festival, Gabriela Muñoz's wordless show promises to be hilarious as well as heart-wrenching as it deals with themes of loneliness, hope, jealousy, and the desire for romance. Will our heroine get lucky tonight? Or will real connection prove elusive in this busy digital age? See the venue website here for info.

The Gentle Art Of Punishment | Camden People's Theatre | 18-20 Jan
More from the Calm Down Dear festival over at CPT now (because there is so much good stuff on I can't stop wishing I could see every last bit of it). This one explores how women relate to each other as friends, lovers, daughters and mothers, and is for "anyone who has ever had a crush on their therapist, thinks Drew Barrymore is under-appreciated in her dramatic roles, enjoys watching 90s re-runs, and thinks it's perfectly suitable to wear Doc Martens in the summertime". More here.

Juan Vesuvius - I Am Your Deejay | Soho Theatre | 18-20 Jan
This is one of those acts we first came into contact with at the ye olde Edinburgh Fringe, and it's one we can wholeheartedly recommend. This much praised and awarded comedy creation, DJ Juan Vesuvius, takes his audience through a history of nineties house, in a show that won much acclaim in the summer of 2017. For all the details and to book your tickets, head right this way.


SATURDAY 20 JANUARY 2018 >>

Darren Harriot - Defiant | Soho Theatre | 19-27 Jan (pictured)
This is the show that won Darren Harriot a shower of highly positive reviews as well as a nomination for the Edinburgh Comedy Award's Best Newcomer gong, when he debuted at the Festival Fringe in the summer of 2017. Expect high quality material on a range of subjects from international politics to personally inspired anecdotes about his time as a bouncer. Head this way to book tickets.

The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk | Wilton's Music Hall | 17 Jan-10 Feb
"Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella are immortalised as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history." Another show that inspired much acclaim in Edinburgh last year, Emma Rice's exploration of the marriage and times of Marc and Bella Chagall also won the Carol Tambor Best Of Edinburgh Award. More here.

The War Has Not Yet Started | Southwark playhouse | 17 Jan-10 Feb
A surreal black comedy courtesy of Moscow-based stage and screenwriter Mikhail Durnenkov, translated by Noah Birksted-Breen and directed by Michael Fentiman. Twelve "modern fables" explore the fears and the strangenesses that make up our daily lives through themes including sexual gamesmanship, lying politicians, lying journalists and finding ‘the one'. See the venue website here for all the details.


SUNDAY 21 JANUARY 2018 >>

The Doctor Is In | Camden People's Theatre | 21 Jan (pictured)
Back over to CPT's Calm Down Dear festival now for yet more innovative feminist performance, this time from Dr Hannah Ballou, who welcomes you to her theatrical clinic to "diagnose and treat your feminist complaints via her trademark mashup of stand up and live art." And if that doesn't pique your interest, I am not sure we can be friends. For more information and to book tickets, see this page here.

Sleepyhead | Little Angel Theatre | until 4 Feb
This has been on for a while, so you may already have taken your little darlings to see it, but you know, there are an awful lot of shows on over the winter/festive weeks aimed at children so I think there's a chance you might have missed this one. Also, it's the right time for a show for those little ones. It's the bleurghy latter half of January and everything is cold and boring. Hurrah for this show for your teeny tots aged 2-5, see this page here for details.

Go Noah Go! | Little Angel Theatre | until 4 Feb
The thing is, though, I don't want to leave out the slightly older crowd, because they're even more likely to be bored and cold this weekend. So here's another show that you may not have yet seen, at the same venue, for your 5-10s. I'd really like to see this myself, because it's a Caribbean themed adaptation by John Agard, and features puppetry, masks, stories and acapella songs. Click here.


MONDAY 22 JANUARY 2018 >>

Adam Riches - Inane Chicanery | Soho Theatre | 22 Jan - 3 Feb
You know that thing we sometimes end up doing where we tip three shows in one day at the same venue? And admittedly, it's usually Soho Theatre? Well, yet again, they've started three class acts on the same day, so here they all are, starting with TW-super-fave Adam Riches. Can you even call yourself a fan of character comedy if you haven't seen this man perform at least ten times? Improve your fan-resume right now, info here.

Alex Edelman - Just For Us | Soho Theatre | 22 Jan-3 Feb
The last act and this one have something in common, both being recipients of Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Adam Riches won the main prize back in... 2011? And Alex Edelman won the newcomer gong in 2014. You may also have seen him on that Live At The BBC strand. And this show, ‘Just For Us' is about gorillas who can do sign language and tribalism. I think that's all the info you need, head this way to book.

Chris Washington - Dream Big | Soho Theatre | 22-24 Jan
And another Edinburgh Comedy Award connection here, for lo, Chris Washington was nominated for the newcomer prize at the most recent Fringe. I didn't actually intend that for today's theme, or indeed the theme of white male comedians, but sometimes these things, like it or not, just come together. Anyway, last but not least is this up and coming northerner (it's a factor, I like northerners, because I am a northerner) who has recently supported Jason Manford and Tom Stade on tour. All the details are here.


TUESDAY 23 JANUARY 2018 >>

Enticement Machine | Camden People's Theatre | 23 Jan (pictured)
Yes, and yay, the Calm Down Dear festival of innovative feminist schizzle is still a-ongoing over at the Camden People's Theatre, and this is our latest pick from it: a performance from Vanessa Macaulay exploring and interrogating the hyper-sexualisation of the black female body in pop culture, which draws on make-up tutorials, music videos and twerking to create a parody that exposes the expectations placed on them. See this page here for more.

Daphne - The Best Of Daphne | Soho Theatre | 22-27 Jan
You probably know of Daphne - aka Phil Wang, Jason Forbes and George Fouracres - and may have seen their award winning sketch work in the past. You have perhaps seen both the shows that these ‘best bits' are taken from. But you know, they are the best bits, so even if you have already seen them, they're probably worth seeing again. And if you haven't seen anything yet? Take it from us, these guys are good. Get ye hence to book your tickets.

SLAM Soaps | Arcola Theatre | 23-27 Jan
"Five writers have ten minutes each to impress you. They'll present the opening section of their next big thing. You'll cast a vote for your favourite. They'll need to entertain your socks off, finish with a bang and leave the drum line of EastEnders ringing in your ears. Because only TWO of them will make it through to the following night. Until the grand finale on Saturday 27 January: where those who made it the furthest will go head to head." Wow, this sounds fun, doesn't it? Click here for more.


WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY 2018 >>

Ken | The Bunker Theatre | 24 Jan-24 Feb
"1978, London. A 23 year old aspiring playwright in a rundown flat-share off the North End Road is wrestling with his masterpiece for the Royal Court. The house phone rings, the young man answers... a call for the person who used to occupy his room, recently moved to Amsterdam. But even once this information is imparted, the man at the other end doesn't hang up. He's called Ken.  And he's about to change the young man's life forever." A theatrical tribute to the legendary Ken Campbell, see this page here for more.

Collective Rage | Southwark Playhouse | 17 Jan-10 Feb (pictured)
The UK premiere of this piece from US playwright Jen Silverman, which focuses on five very different women, all named Betty, all from New York, who "meet, fall in love, rehearse, revel and rage, they realise that they've been stuck reading the same scripts for far too long". Expect something absurd, funny and uncompromising, influenced by cabaret and female drag, see the venue website here for details.

Psychopomp | Camden People's Theatre | 24 Jan
Back to CPT for more of that Calm Down Dear goodness, this time an utterly intriguing sounding work in progress that you will want to see even if you're the sort of person who'd normally rather wait until it's no longer a work in progress. This is a sci-fi feminist epic inspired by vaporwave (an electronic music/meme microgenre, if you're not sure) and gaming culture and consisting of found text, art animation, dance and an original soundtrack. Head this way for all the info.


THURSDAY 25 JANUARY 2018 >>

The Handan Dream | Hackney Empire | 25-27 Jan (pictured)
A production of one of China's most famous and beloved dramas, Tang Xianzu's ‘The Handan Dream', which tells the story of the dejected Lu, who has failed to pass his important, potentially life-changing exams, and who falls asleep one evening and dreams of a life well lived. It's performed in Mandarin with English surtitles, and promises to be visually arresting as well as dramatically compelling, see the venue website here for more.

Syd and Sylvia | Camden People's Theatre | 25 Jan
"Eastbourne, 1987.  Infamous club owner/compere Syd and his long-suffering singer/entertainer wife Sylvia, have been performing the same old routines at their Working Men's club for 15 years. However, after taking up an evening class in Women's Studies, Sylvia has been taking liberties with some of the material, much to the disapproval of her abusive husband..." Another treat from Calm Down Dear, dealing with some really interesting themes, such as the idea (or fact) that society treats male anger as ‘to-be-taken-seriously' but female anger as a joke or so-called hysteria. Click here for info.

The Words Are Coming Now | Theatre503 | 25-27 Jan
A series of pieces from Theatre503 Writers - Richard Bean, Chris Bush, Fergus Church, April de Angelis, Amy Bethan Evans, Kevin Forde, Dipika Guha, Patrick Russell, Elise Van Lil and Deidan Williams - on an important and very topical theme: the issues are consent, power and the new normal, in a world where a tangible shift in sexual politics seems (fingers crossed) to be occurring. Each performance to be followed by a post-show discussion, see this page here for details.
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