THURSDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2018 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
LEWIS DUNN AND CHARLES DEANE: ANY SUGGESTIONS, DOCTOR?
I love improv, and have done since my teenage years, so I am always interested when I hear about new troupes, especially ones doing extra interesting things with the format. 'Any Suggestions, Doctor?' is one of those, offering improv with a Time Lord theme, and they've won many fans up at the Edinburgh Festival in recent years.

Lately, however, they've ventured London-wards to give us a taste of their intergalactic wares, and have two dates upcoming at the Museum of Comedy. To find out more about the shows, and the troupe, I arranged a quick chat with two of the players, Lewis Dunn, who also produces, and Charles Deane, who also directs. Read the interview here.

'Any Suggestions, Doctor?' is on at the Museum Of Comedy from 10-11 Feb, see the venue website here for more information and to book.


FRIDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

Boys Don't | Greenwich Theatre | 9 Feb
A brilliant show for pre-teens, this one. It's spoken word, featuring performances by leading poets and performers - the likes of Justin Coe, Hadiru Mahdi, Tanaka Mhishi and Steve Tasane - in rep, and deals with the issue of male emotions: boys are under pressure to suppress their feelings, but here we hear about real life experiences in which they express them. This is important stuff. See this page here for more about it.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch — Viktor | Sadler's Wells | 8-11 Feb
A chance to see the late Pina Bausch's 1985 creation 'Viktor', inspired by - and indeed, commissioned by - the city of Rome, which was to be the first of a number of such travelogue pieces, produced in response to various locations around the world. It's a fairly dark and visceral thing (there's a corpse couple getting married, you know) and, set to folk, waltzes, and dance music from across the ages, it's an experience worth seeking out. Head this way for details.

An Act Of Kindness | Vault Festival | 7-11 Feb (pictured)
Two strangers meet at a bus stop. Martin, a successful young professional, leads a wildly different life to Leila, a daydreaming waitress at a greasy spoon. Living amidst the chaos of London, both struggle with what is expected of them as a man, as a woman, and where they fit into society". We loved this when we saw it in Edinburgh in the summer. Don't miss your chance to see it at Vault, click here.


SATURDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

The Throne | King's Head Theatre | 10+17 Feb
The year is 2006 and The Queen is on a school visit to open the new Science Block at Dudley Goring Comprehensive School. Derek Jones, the school's Head of Science, is not only an unreconstructed socialist and staunch Republican but also disillusioned and disappointed with life. In a fit of pique he decides to use the temporary 'facilities' which have been specially installed in the staff room for the Queen's own personal use. His timing is, as ever, terrible and he is caught in the portaloo by the Queen herself". I think this is a reading rather than a full performance of this new play, but I think it sounds promising. Details here.

The Dead Show | Waterloo East Theatre | 7-11 Feb (pictured)
The excellent John Luke Roberts returns with a show described as a follow up of sorts” to his 2015 show 'Stdad Up', in which he addressed his grief by performing as his recently deceased father, described by our reviewer as not your average dead dad show”. It sounds as though 'The Dead Show' will take a very different approach, taking a look at how memory keeps people alive, and Roberts sees it as the start of a lifetime project, something he will return to and update as the years progress. On as part of Vault Festival, but at Waterloo east, see this page here for more.

How To Be A Kid | Orange Tree Theatre | until 3 Mar
We've actually kinda already tipped this, because a while ago we tipped Paines Plough's Roundabout season at Orange Tree Theatre and this is part of that. But I wanted to give this an extra shout out because we totally love it, and it's the sort of brilliant show that is absolutely as entertaining for adults as it is for children. It's won huge acclaim, and I don't want you all to miss out on it. Head this way for more information and to book your tickets.


SUNDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

When You Fall Down | The Hope Theatre | 11-12 Feb
One for aficionados of the golden age of Hollywood perhaps: James Dangerfield's bioplay about slapstick and stunt-purveying star of silent movies Buster Keaton. It covers eleven years in his life, beginning with his first ever film making experience in 1917, ending with his signing by MGM just over a decade later, dealing throughout with his personal life as well as his professional failures and successes. For info and to book tickets, see this page, right about here.

Three Comic Operas | King's Head Theatre | 11-12 Feb
A trio of comic operas which, as the blurb points out, will be lovely for opera lovers, but would, I expect, prove to be an ideal introduction for any interested novices out there. And they are: Offenbach's 'Le 66', performed for the first time in the UK with an English Libretto; Peter Reynolds' 'Sands of Time'; the shortest opera on earth at 3 min 34; and new comic opera commission by John Whittaker, 'The Proposal' based on the excellent (I love it because I once acted in a staging of it) short by Chekhov. Head this way for more.

Be Prepared | Vault Festival | 7-11 Feb
Tom's a mess. Mr Chambers keeps phoning asking for a Funeral Director. Tom is not a Funeral Director. This is how getting one digit wrong can change a person's life, forever. Conversations become confused. Memories start to intertwine and unravel, and two strangers unwittingly help each other to un-forget and connect to the people they loved". Another fab show over at Vault Festival, a hugely acclaimed one man piece from writer and performer Ian Bonar, and today is your last chance to see it. Details here.


MONDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

Victim | Soho Theatre | 12 Feb
Louise Beresford won much acclaim for her multi-faceted performance in this one person show when it was on in Edinburgh last summer, whilst the writer of the play, Martin Murphy, previously received resounding plaudits for his earlier work, 'Villain'. So, it's an award winning, very well reviewed show, and it's only on at the Soho Theatre for one night, so quickly, head this way to book your tickets.

Leaf | Greenwich Theatre | 12 Feb (pictured)
A leaf is born...It grows and glows in the sunshine and the rain... Then the wind blows and it becomes colder... The leaf changes colour... In the snow, the leaf falls... But when spring comes, a new leaf grows...” A lovely and heart-warming play from Tam Tam Theatre for your wee tiny tots who aren't older than three, it tells the life story of one special leaf, and then invites the kiddies on stage to play amongst the leaves at the end. Very charming, see this page for more.

Waiting For Guido | The Cockpit | 12 Feb
This threatens to be an innovative, comic, theatrical, experimental, extravaganza”, and features the talents of Trevor Lock, Geoff Steel and Johnathon Richardson, Avital Hannah and Robert White, so I am kind of already sold, even though I don't think I quite understand what form the show will take or what exactly it's about. Tell you what, go to this page here, and read about it for yourself.


TUESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

Hear Me Raw | Arcola Theatre | 12-24 Feb
We interviewed the creator and star of 'Hear Me Raw', Daniella Isaacs, when she did a short run of the show at Soho Theatre in the autumn. And we were pleased to discover she's back with a longer run at Arcola, because that means we can instruct readers who missed it in October to make sure and see it now. Right now. Head this way to book your tickets, and if you feel so inclined, click here to read that Q&A about the play.

The Tempest | Jack Studio | 13 Feb-3 Mar
Suspended in time on an enchanted island, Duke Prospero lives in exile, comforted by his daughter Miranda and served by his sprite Ariel and Caliban, his slave. With nothing to do Prospero becomes obsessed by revenge. When storms wash up new travellers to these shores, vengeance at last seems within reach. But with the arrival of strangers Miranda discovers temptations of the flesh, and Caliban plots to murder his master". Well, you've no doubt seen it before, possibly many times. But it's a fab story, that's why we still stage it, and I reckon this all female re-imagining will be a great version of it. See the venue website here for details.

May Contain Food, May Contain You | The Albany | 13 Feb
A kind-of-new show from Luca Silvestrini's Protein Dance, a 'refashioned' version of 2016 production 'May Contain Food': it's been adapted into a duet for dancers Sonya Cullingford and Matthew Winston, who both appeared in the original show show a couple of years back. Silvestrini's choreography is renowned, and famously accessible, the sort that all you dance lovers should force your dance-sceptic friends to see so that they change their minds. And, incidentally, we interviewed him about the original version a while ago, should you like to read the article. See the venue website here for more.


WEDNESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

The Polar Bear Goes Up | Jacksons Lane | 13-17 Feb
Well, it's Valentine's Day, but I think I'll do my best to just ignore it, because it's quite depressing and/or annoying for some people, isn't it? So, let's go see this lovely show for little children aged 2-5 who don't care whether someone sends them flowers today or not. They will, I am sure, far more appreciate this delicious, non-verbal, deaf-friendly show show that sees a pair of huggable polar bears climbing trees, jumping on clouds, and racing into space. See this page here for more.

Glisten | Greenwich Theatre | 14 Feb
This one is for even tinier children than the previous tipped event, as it's aimed at total babby-lambs up to the age of 18 months, and, as you might expect, it's an experience rather than narrative tale. It's interactive, immersive, and takes its audience on a shiny journey exploring a world of reflective materials, accompanied by an evocative soundscape. Sounds really relaxing, but I'm not sure they'll let me in on my own. All the details are here.

Juliet And Romeo | Battersea Arts Centre | 14-24 Feb (pictured)
They didn't die in a tragic misunderstanding but instead grew up and lived happily ever after. Well at least they lived. Now they're 40ish, at least one of them is in the grips of a midlife crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves and haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love. They have decided to confront their current struggles by putting on a performance - about themselves. Their therapist told them it was a terrible idea". Yeah, I bet you thought I was kowtowing to Valentine's Day, picking this, didn't you? Well, I'm not, this is not about romance. See this page here for all the info.


THURSDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2018 >>

Noisy Holiday | Battersea Arts Centre | 15-17 Feb
We've recommended quite a few children's shows this week and the childless among you might be wondering why. Nothing to worry about, it's just half term, the children are on holiday and the parents are desperate for peace, and/or the chance to culturally enlighten their child. This particular show is from one of my all time favourite creatives, Kid Carpet, who presents a fun story all about going on a holiday which ends up being rather noisy, and who will entertain you adults as much as he'll entertain your kids. See the venue website here for info.

Lloyd Griffith - in:undated | Soho Theatre | 15-17 Feb (pictured)
I heard a lot of good things about this show from Lloyd Griffith when he performed it at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, but sadly didn't get to see it. From what I gathered, it's very much about a break-up - a real and personal one - but I don't think anyone needs to expect to be depressed by it because it will be delivered by a funny and engaging stand up who will make you laugh and smile, and maybe even put an upbeat spin on heartbreak. If that's possible. Head this way for details.

Gold Coast | Theatre503 | 13-17 Feb
Joe's a soldier who can't fight. A lover who can't love. He's carrying a terrible secret that's threatening to tear his life apart. It's 2003 and Joe's returned from Iraq. His wife Roz knows something is wrong. She struggles to help him. Thousands of miles away, years later, his teenage daughter Lisa is fighting her own demons. Can Joe come to terms with his past to save his daughter's future?” This play by Louise Gooding explores damage to three generations of one family caused by wars in the gulf region. See this page here for more.
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