MONDAY 29 OCTOBER 2018 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
WINNIE IMARA AND TAMSIN NEWLANDS: HEARD
If you're a regular reader of TW London, you may, during the last week or two, have noticed that we're rather enthusiastic about the No Direction Home festival exploring displacement, migration and refuge, which is taking place at Camden People's Theatre at the moment.

One of the many shows on as part of the strand that jumped out at us was 'Heard', which focuses on the experiences of two women trapped in a detention centre.

To find out more about the show, and the team behind it, I spoke to writers and performers Winnie Imara and Tamsin Newlands. Read the interview here.

'Heard' is on at Camden People's Theatre as part of the No Direction Home festival. See the venue website here for more information and to book.




STEVE LAMBERT: THE JOURNEY
There's a lot of creative focus on issues of migration, immigration, and those seeking refuge at the moment - many plays, and even a whole festival, choosing to take a look at these themes.

One of those companies tackling this often thorny topic is TW favourite Badac Theatre, who head to London's Draper Hall this week with 'The Journey'.

To find out more about the play, I arranged for a catch up with director Steve Lambert. Read the interview here.

'The Journey' is on at Draper Hall from 2-3 Nov. Head to this page here to book your tickets.


TUESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2018 >>

The Full Bronte | The Space | 30 Oct-3 Nov

It's been quite a while since we first saw this show at the Edinburgh Fringe and our reviewer described it as a "wonderfully raucous journey though the life and work of the Brontës". It's actually even longer ago than I thought it was when I began writing that sentence, because obviously in order to find the words for the latter half of it I had to look up the relevant review and discovered that we published it in 2013 which is aaaages ago. So, given the hiatus, I'm extra glad to see this "wonderful juxtaposition of vulgar humour and high culture" back. More here.

Placebo | The Place | 30 Oct-10 Nov (pictured)

"A room full of expectation, suggestion and infectious rhythm. What is fake and what is real? Is the movement the medicine?" In 'Placebo' the very excellent Clod Ensemble look at the placebo effect. "By playing with themes such as expectation, suggestion, pleasure and pain, the performers ask: do we have the power to make ourselves feel better?" See this page here for information and to book your tickets.

Black Ice | Theatre503 | 30 Oct-3 Nov

A rather interesting sounding piece from London based writer and performance poet Atlanta Green: "a poetic journey of two cell mates as they explore friendship, addiction, motherhood and murder, as old secrets and inner demons are brought to light. The prestigious ex trophy wife Rhonda meets slick-mouthed, ex cocaine-obsessed Claudia resulting in a hilarious yet heart warming story". See the venue website here for all the details.


WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2018>>

Unassailable Us | Omnibus Theatre | 31 Oct

"Rachel Birch-Lawson and Khyle Eccles have been a couple for 10 years. Unassailable Us is their anniversary gift to each other. Despite the fact that they both felt there was no way they could make a show about being together, they found that that was exactly what they seemed to be doing. And along the way they've realised that the story isn't just theirs - it belongs to anyone who has been in a long-term relationship that has flourished, struggled; changed and grown". This sounds intriguing. Info here.

The Exorcism | Battersea Arts Centre | 30 Oct-3 Nov

The fabulously talented Ross Sutherland (who you'll probably remember from shows like 'Stand By For Tape Back-Up') presents this brand new ghost story. "The Vatican believes that the best way to understand a haunting is to approach it like a work of art. A haunted house, therefore, is basically a temporary gallery, full of terrible demonic art installations. The role of the exorcist is simple: we must be the most vicious art critic imaginable..." Head this way for more.

The Funeral Director | Southwark Playhouse | 31 Oct-24 Nov (pictured)

The latest Papatango New Writing Prize winning play, by the brilliant Iman Qureshi, and it tackles some really interesting themes: "Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn't always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future. Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend's funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of Ayesha's community and faith, has profound consequences. Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is - no matter the cost". Details here.


THURSDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2018 >>

Sweet Like Chocolate Boy | Jack Studio Theatre | 30 Oct-17 Nov (pictured)

Award-winning theatre-maker Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu is the creative behind this intriguing sounding show. "Mars is a street-smart, enthusiastic, lyrically-saturated man on-the-edge about to propose to the girl of his dreams in present-day London. Bounty is a very quiet boy in a very loud Borough paddling through the 90s with this new politically charged Black identity swirling around him. As the worlds of Mars and Bounty collide, can they find their place in these times or will they get chewed, swallowed and digested by it?" Info right about here.

Chekhov's First Play | Battersea Arts Centre | 31 Oct-10 Nov

As the blurb points out, this is not your ordinary Chekhov play. "During the turmoil of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Maria Chekhov, Anton's sister, placed many of her late brother's manuscripts and papers in a safety deposit box in Moscow. In 1921 Soviet scholars opened the box and discovered a play. The title page was missing. The play they found has too many characters, too many themes, too much action. All in all, it's generally dismissed as unstageable. Like life". See the venue website here for details.

Mirabel | Ovalhouse | 31 Oct-17 Nov

"Eight-year-old Mirabel wakes up after the end of the world to find herself alone, except for her old faithful Bear. Everyone else appears to be gone. And so, Mirabel and Bear set out on a journey across the new desert to find an adult to take care of everything. On the way, they'll acquire a ragged gang of fellow travellers, including a visionary red-eyed dog, and an injured pilot who insists he's not the grown-up they're looking for". Sounds a bit like it might be for kids, but it's not, it's for people over the age of fourteen, a sad strange fairytale from the excellent Chris Goode about "what happens when you refuse to accept that you're lost". See this page here for more.


FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2018 >>

No Direction Home - Some Day Dominion | Camden People's Theatre | 2 Nov (pictured)

Kitty Fedorec - "Dance artist and perpetual teenage-goth" - presents this compelling sounding piece described as a mixture of live art, dance, ritual and gig, and which promises to use " found movement, nostalgia, story telling, phonomancy and live music from gender-fucked tribute The Misters of Circe to create a protective pocket goth world, beyond borders". Part of the much-mentioned No Direction Home season at CPT, for more info see the venue website here.

Brexit | King's Head Theatre | 30 Oct-17 Nov

We've seen a number of quality plays by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky up at the Edinburgh Festival in the last few years, and here's another, on in London, so obviously I am excited. And it's about Brexit too, which is nice of them, considering it's one of my personal hobby horses. "A new Tory PM must unite his party's warring factions with his masterful plan for a final Brexit deal. Just... what was it again?" Book your tickets here.

Bury The Dead | Finborough Theatre | 30 Oct-24 Nov

"When six dead soldiers stand up in their graves and refuse to be buried, the military are at a loss for what to do. The captains and generals attempt to persuade the men to lie down quietly but quickly discover it's difficult to negotiate with men who have nothing left to lose". Irwin Shaw's 1936 play hasn't been produced in the UK for eighty years, and gets its showing here as the last of Finborough Theatre's GREATWAR100 series. See this page here for all the details.


SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2018 >>

No Direction Home - The Cocoa Butter Club | Camden People's Theatre | 3 Nov (pictured)

Burlesque, spoken word, live music, drag, and a platform for performers of colour to exhibit culturally expressive work. "Welcome to The Cocoa Butter Club an exhilarating spectacle of all things Cabaret and beyond. A spirited soiree celebrating performers of colour and their stories. We are turning the heat up and inviting you to join a movement of culture, history and empowerment. What does it look like to be displaced and who can we tell?" Excellent, see this page here for more.

Adrift | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 3 Nov

"Two children are in a boat. One is rowing. One is fishing. Their talk is light-hearted: of catching a fish, a fish so big it will capsize the boat; of whales who will pull the boat; of mermaids who sing haunting melodies; and of land. A land with thick grass, green leaves, endless blue skies. A beautiful land. A safe land. Above all... a safe land". Great looking show for young audiences, aged eight plus. Details on the venue website here.

The Greater Game | Waterloo East Theatre | 30 Oct-25 Nov

This one is based on the book 'They Took The Lead' by Stephen Jenkins, and is tells the true story of the forty men men from Clapton Orient who signed up together to fight in the Great War. The action focuses in particular on the relationship between two life long friends, Richard MacFadden and William Jonas, who met at the age of seven, and ultimately end up fighting at the Battle Of The Somme. For info, see this page here.


SUNDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2018 >>

Exodus | Finborough Theatre | 4-20 Nov SMT (pictured)

"On the eve of the last factory in town closing, four neighbours hatch a plan that is literally pie in the sky... Mary, Ray, Mike and Timmy gather in an allotment, decide to build a plane, and take off down the high street. Past the butchers, past the curry house and above the Chapel in search of a life free from politics and the grind". Intriguing and funny sounding premiere from acclaimed new Welsh theatre company Motherlode. Find all the info here.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything | Bush Theatre | 31 Oct-24 Nov

Our reviewer saw this show - best described as gig-theatre, I think - up at the good old edfringe in 2017 and gave it top marks - or five out of five as we call it - and warned potential theatre-goers to "prepare to leave the theatre reeling". It follows the lives of two children growing up in very different circumstances, but who ultimately find themselves facing the same end - as an asteroid hurtles towards the earth. See this page here for all the details.

Billy Bishop Goes To War | Jermyn Street Theatre | 31 Oct-24 Nov

"Canada 1914. Billy Bishop signs up to fight in Europe and is soon in a military training camp. But one day, he spots a single-seater plane circling overhead. Overcoming intense prejudice and astonishing danger, Billy becomes the most successful fighter pilot of his generation". The much praised and most performed play in Canadian Theatre gets a UK airing, see the venue website here for more.


MONDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2018 >>

No Direction Home - Beyond The Blue | Camden People's Theatre | 5 Nov

"Toyland is at war. Refusing to succumb to the reign of the Evil Queen and her army, four toys embark on a quest for a new home. From a sea-monster border-guard to a Samaritan Ice-Penguin, the toys meet smugglers and strange creatures on their journey as they search for a place of peace and belonging". A new play for adults - but written by children - in response to the refugee crisis, part of the much tipped No Direction Home season at CPT. All the details are here.

Mistero Buffo | Arcola Theatre | 5-17 Nov (pictured)

Perennial favourite Dario Fo spent rather a long time creating Mistero Buffo, and the result was one of the most controversial - and entertaining - plays of the post war period. The always brilliant Rhum and Clay created this particular staging, and it had a hugely successful and award-winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Now it's back in London and on at a venue near you for two weeks only. Head this way for info.

A Midsummer Night's Dream | Orange Tree Theatre | 5-24 Nov

Oh, not more Shakespeare, I hear you say. Well, this isn't any old production of Shakespeare, so there. It's by Flute Theatre, who create productions especially for people with ASC and other educational needs, so the show is aimed at people with autism and their families. It's interactive, allowing participants to take centre stage alongside the performers, to play sensory games to unravel the story of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. See this page here for more.
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