MONDAY 2 JULY 2018 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
Welcome to a new week and another TW Weekly, complete with the latest festival previews from TW:Edinburgh, more Fringe tips from TW:DIY, and show recommendations for the cultural week ahead from TW:London.

If you're performing at the Edinburgh Festival this year, click here for details on how to get on our radar, click here to stand out of the crowds by advertising in the ThreeWeeks magazine, and click here to join our review team.
BRYONY TWYDLE: FLAMINGO
Bryony Twydle this year brings her debut solo hour to the Festival, but she isn't by any means a stranger to it. Long term Fringe addicts will probably recognise her as a member of sketch troupes Simply The Jest and The Jest, and so - all things considered - we can probably characterise her as something of an old hand.

Anyway, what Bryony specialises in is character work, and this summer she will be dishing up a delicious mixture of intriguing personalities. I spoke to her to find out more about this show, her past Edinburgh experiences and what hopes she has for the future. Read the interview here.

Bryony Twydle performs 'Flamingo' at Edinburgh Festival 2018 at Underbelly from 1-27 Aug.
JD HENSHAW FROM SWEET VENUES
TW:DIY is a new educational programme from the TW team that will be offering tips and advice to future talent in theatre, comedy and culture at large. To kick things off we're talking to people who work at the Edinburgh Festival each year to get their perspectives and top tips.

This includes the people who run the numerous venues that pop up each year at the Edinburgh Fringe. Our first venue director is JD Henshaw who runs Sweet Venues. His company now runs year-round spaces in Brighton, has a partnership with Dundee Rep and produces theatre across the country, though for a month each year the spotlight still falls on Sweet Venues in Edinburgh. Read the interview here.
JUSTINA KEHINDE: UMUADA
Over at King's Head Theatre this week begins the venue's festival of new work, Playmill, and amongst the shows being staged is one that really leapt out at me: 'UMUADA', by Justina Kehinde, someone I've been more aware of through her work as a poet.

To find out more about the show, and Justina herself, I arranged a chat ahead of opening night. Read the interview here.

'UMUADA' is on as part of the Playmill festival of new writing at King's Head Theatre from 10-14 Jul, see this page here for information and to book.


TUESDAY 3 JULY 2018 >>

Wirework | Tristan Bates Theatre | 3-7 Jul
A British premiere for this play, first performed in South Africa in 2009, about the relationship and artistic collaboration between a black man and a white woman. "Set in the isolated landscape of the South African Karoo and inspired by images from pictures and postcards, their world becomes dominated by form and colour. In her struggle to find the 'light', Helen looks towards Mecca as Koos faces the reality of apartheid prejudice and survival". See this page here for more.

Carnival Queen | Theatre503 | 3-6 Jul (pictured)
This is part of Mountview Academy's annual Catalyst Festival, a fab looking one woman show from multi-tasker Tiannah Viechweg: "Enter the world of carnival, where masked figures weave the extraordinary tale of Claudia Jones, the woman who brought the spirit of Caribbean carnival to the UK. Blurring the lines of time, politics and race, Carnival Queen celebrates the life of this extraordinary woman and the origins of carnival in the UK". See the venue website here for details.

Flesh and Bone | Soho Theatre | 3-21 Jul
"Feast your eyes upon the depravity, triumphs and utter hilarity of the underprivileged in a vivid and fast-paced ride through a working class estate which fuses Shakespeare-inspired lyricism with cockney accents. Award-winning Unpolished Theatre will thrust you into their stories, hold you by the scruff of the neck, and make you listen". You'll know all about this one because of that Q&A we did about it last week, but you know, I just thought I would remind you... see this page here to book tickets.


WEDNESDAY 4 JULY 2018 >>

Christopher Bliss - Writing Songs | Soho Theatre | 3-7 Jul
Rob Carter's excellent comic creation Christopher Bliss heads to Soho Theatre, and if he's something you haven't yet encountered, then maybe it's time you did...? "Christopher Bliss writes two to three novels a day. He's fairly well known amongst his family and friends, and he's pretty sure he's the best writer in his village". Head this way to book your tickets.

The Economy Of Ecology | New Diorama | 4 Jul
"Travelling on a crowded plane, Steve feels dislocated and alone. In a world of touch screens and social robots, he has lost the ability to make meaningful bonds with other people. In a forest thousands of miles away, a sapling pokes its head through the leafy forest floor. Beneath the soil, its roots begin to scramble for the one thing that guarantees its survival - a connection". The last of our Incoming Festival picks, see the venue website here for more.

Beautiful Thing | Thamesmead | 3-7 Jul
Jonathan Harvey's well regarded 1993 piece about gay teens gets an airing, and is performed in the original South Thamesmead locations that the play, and the 1996 film adaptation, are set in. It sounds fab: "The new dance-theatre production, capturing the urban realism and fairytale fantasy of Harvey's script, will feature stunning digital projections by NOVAK, new music by Roma Yagnik and a community chorus". Click here for details.


THURSDAY 5 JULY 2018 >>

The One | Soho Theatre | 5 Jul-25 Aug
"Harry and Jo are up all night drawing the battle lines of their relationship with sex, violence and Wotsits. A viciously funny and daring play, The One invites you into the world of a couple trapped in a destructive and violent cycle of love and lust". A return for Vicky Jones' award-winning 2013 play, featuring a cast of rather familiar faces, from the team behind 'Fleabag' and 'Touch'. So yes, as you can imagine, tickets are going quickly. Attempt to get yours here.

Other People's Teeth | Old Red Lion Theatre | 4-5 Jul
Definitely definitely definitely Edfringe preview season now in London, and lots of reasons to take them in. Perhaps you are not going to Edinburgh. Perhaps you are, but don't think you'll have time to see everything you'd like to see. Anyway, this looks interesting - a romantic crime thriller: "A hitwoman is trying to reconcile these two aspects of her life. Just starting out in a new profession, she craves the respect of her experienced partner in crime. But when she meets someone who she thinks might be the one, will everything have to change?" Click here for more.

Short & Curly - Young At Start | Pleasance Theatre | 5 Jul (pictured)
And talking of Edinburgh Fringe previews, for yes we were, here's another, from one of our favourites. "The sketches are well written and excellently executed, and the pair create characters who are all entertaining to watch", said one of our reviewers of this excellent double act. "extremely entertaining and very funny", she added. "endless comic energy" said another. "the skits work to hilarious effect" said a third. All good reasons to head this way for all the details.


FRIDAY 6 JULY 2018 >>

Fat Jewels | The Hope Theatre | 3-21 Jul (pictured)
"A South Yorkshire council estate. Pat's having strange dreams. He can't shake them. He's gone round to Danny's for a chat and some healthy advice. Lonely and dangerous, Danny insists that what Pat needs is a therapy programme of Danny's own making, involving cricket bats and trips to the zoo..". A surreal tragi-comedy from Joseph Skelton about a pair of "lonely repressed and marginalised individuals"; an important topic, people who feel disenfranchised and disempowered, and what it can lead to. See the venue website here for more.

The Play About My Dad | Jermyn Street Theatre | 27 Jun-21 Jul
This production of this acclaimed play by US creative Boo Killebrew has been running for a few days and I did mean to tell you about it earlier so I am not really sure what happened. Anyway, it's a really interesting piece, in which the playwright takes a look at her own father: his family, his job as an emergency room surgeon, his community of Gulfport, Mississippi, and how it was all devastated by Hurricane Katrina. See this page here for all the info.

A New And Better You | The Yard Theatre | 26 Jun-14 Jul
Another one that's been on for a while and which I meant to talk about earlier. What's gone wrong with my brain this last couple of weeks? Well, I suppose it could be the hot weather and the extra busy-ness generated by that upcoming edfringe. Anyway, have a look at this, a show about the culture of self-improvement that's exploded thanks to the internet and rise of social media. Timely, a pertinent issue, and promising. Details right about here.


SATURDAY 7 JULY 2018 >>

Circulate | The Albany | 7 Jul-25 Aug (pictured)
Five events taking place over the course of four weekends to mark the end of 'Circulate': a three year, London based project staging free outdoor arts events all over the capital. 'Steli' sees people come together to build a giant sculptural structure from brightly coloured sticks, 'Belly Of The Whale' is a performance from the brilliant Ockham's Razor, 'Conseqüències' is an award-winning acrobatic dance-piece exploring the relationship between reality and fiction, 'D-Construction' is a brilliant sounding hip-hop dance performance set around a metal scaffold structure, and 'Exo' is a fascinating looking collaboration between dancers and JCB Diggers. More here.

(Even) Hotter | Old Red Lion Theatre | 7 Jul
"This is a show about blushing, sweating, pinkness and pleasure. The moments when our bodies give us away. About being embarrassed and embarrassing. About your body and being able to love it and laugh at it". We saw a first instalment of this at the Edinburgh Fringe last August and our reviewer thought it was a "frequently funny, endearingly frank show" and praised the heartfelt and often hilarious performances of Mary Higgins and Ell Potter, who give voice to the experiences of a broad range female and non-binary members of the public, aged from 13 to 97. This second show also heads to the Scottish capital this summer, but catch it before it does, details here.

The Lampoons - House On Haunted Hill | Pleasance Theatre | 7 Jul
And yet more of stuff that will end up at the old edfringe next month: "Join these four professional idiots in a hilarious reimagining of a Hollywood classic. An eccentric millionaire offers four strangers $10,000 if they last the night at his haunted house party. Tasty! Portuguese ghost cats. Killer pickles. And Vincent Price's rogue moustache. If you find a more haunted house, we'll double it!" Go on, I've a feeling you won't regret it, because it sounds lovely and silly. see this page here.


SUNDAY 8 JULY 2018 >>

Miniaturists 69 | Arcola Theatre | 8 Jul
I often recommend Miniaturists' regular collections of short and perfectly formed plays written by both established and new/up and coming writers. On this occasion you can witness the work of Poppy Burton-Morgan, Stewart Pringle, David K. Barnes and Eve Leigh, and I pretty much guarantee you will love it. For all the info and to book, hie thee hence to this page here.

Athena Kugblenu - Follow The Leader | Museum Of Comedy | 8 Jul (pictured)
"The world's never had more knowledge, yet never more stupidity. Athena can't help but notice consistencies between the universe and herself. How can she blame people for choosing Trump when she's choosing the wrong men? Clearly we haven't realised she constantly makes mistakes so we don't have to. Join Athena for a tour of world's most pressing catastrophes which pale compared to what happened when she fixed her own washing machine". The brilliant Athena Kugblenu presents a preview of her edfringe show, see the venue website here for more.

Sleeping Beauty In The Wood | Little Angel Theatre | 8 Jun-29 Jul
And finally, as it be Sunday, one for the littler people in your life, namely any four to nine year olds you might have hanging around this weekend. As you will probably have guessed, this tells the story of a king and queen who long for a baby, but once they finally have one, a meddling uninvited guest turns up at the christening to cause trouble. See this page here for details.


MONDAY 9 JULY 2018 >>

Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White Are Getting Big | Soho Theatre | 9-12 Jul (pictured)
"Best friends and fierce rivals Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White try out a brand new hour of character comedy, martial arts and electric tap. If you like watching two horny girls try their best, buy a couple of tickets ffs". Not sure I have much to add to that. Except that our reviewers have seen this pair in action up in Edinburgh - though not as a double act, in separate shows - and I can't help thinking that together they must be the perfect storm. See the venue website here for all the info.

Immaculate Correction | King's Head Theatre | 9-13 Jul
"'Sex is bad. Dirty, filthy, ugly, yucky, slutty, wrong. Sex is wrong. You shouldn't do it until you're married, that's what Ms McGee says'. Glasgow 2005. Catholic school girl Stacey is sick of being the odd one out. Mum says she's 'an immaculate conception...brought by the angels'. Her best friend Kelly has had loads of sex. Boys are mean, and now her dreams of escape and X Factor stardom have been shat on. 'Immaculate Correction' is a dark comic exploration about working class Scotland, religion and what happens when your only access to sex education is porn". Interesting and pertinent topic for this play that's on as part of King's Head Theatre's Playmill festival of new writing. See this page here for more.

Vivalicious | Museum Of Comedy | 9, 10, 24+ 25 Jul
The rather good Viv Groskop previews the show she's taking to Edinburgh this summer: "In this age of therapy and reinvention, Viv's latest work-in-progress is about being the very best version of yourself. And, really, when is it time to accept you're just never going to be that person?" It's a good question. I think I might have given up some time ago. See the venue website here for details.
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