MONDAY 22 APRIL 2019 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
CLAIRE GAYDON: SEE-THROUGH
You may have already seen Claire Gaydon's solo show 'See Through', because it's already had a very successful visit to the Edinburgh Fringe, and a recent run at Vault Festival. If you haven't, definitely carry on reading, because this is a really interesting show that I think you'll want to learn more about.

The show focuses on the life of a YouTuber, and deals with some of the issues faced by those who choose to make a career on the video sharing platform. To find out more about the show and what inspired it, I spoke to Claire ahead of her imminent run at Camden People's Theatre. Read the interview here.

'See-Through' is on at Camden People's Theatre from 23-27 Apr, see the venue website here for more information and to book.



ADAM NICHOLS: TWELFTH NIGHT
I'm pretty sure most of you will have seen a production of 'Twelfth Night' at some point, and some of you may have seen many, but here's one production of the Shakespeare classic that I reckon you should make time for, not least because it's set on a cruise liner in the roaring twenties.

It's the work of the excellent St Alban's based OVO theatre company, currently on tour, and bringing the play to London's Rose Playhouse this week. I spoke to director Adam Nichols to find out more. Read the interview here.

'Twelfth Night' is performed at The Rose Playhouse from 23 Apr-3 May, head right this way for info and to book.


THREE OPENING THIS WEEK>>

Out Of Water | Orange Tree Theatre | 27 Apr-1 Jun (pictured)
"Claire and her wife Kit have moved from the confines of London to the wide open coasts of South Shields. To be nearer family, to be nearer the sea, to put down roots. To have a baby. Claire's new job at the local school is a step up, and she wants to make a real difference, but she soon discovers that she has as much to learn from her students as they have from her". This sounds interesting. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

Heroes | Drayton Arms Theatre | 29 Apr-11 May 
A coming of age story set to the sounds of Bowie, 'Heroes' has already made an impact with runs in London, at the Edinburgh Fringe and Brighton Fringe: "The humdrum lives of Joe & Billie are changed forever after witnessing David Bowie performing 'Starman' for the first time on 'Top Of The Pops'. Determined to attend Bowie's upcoming London gig, the friends leave home on what becomes a journey of self discovery where the lines between hero worship and friendship become blurred..." More here.

Mark Thomas - Check Up | Battersea Arts Centre | 24 Apr-4 May 
Whoop, it's Mark Thomas, back with a show about the NHS: "Mark Thomas is 54, the NHS is 70, UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100, what will they both look like? Based on a series of interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS and residencies in hospitals and surgeries, Thomas working with director Nicolas Kent, uses his own demise to explore the state we're in. What's going right, what's going wrong and how does it get better?" I think we'd all like to know the answers to those questions. Head this way for details.


THREE CLASSIC STAGINGS>>

Miss Julie/Creditors | Jermyn Street Theatre | 25 Apr-1 Jun (pictured)
Okay, so it's kinda four, not three classic stagings, as this one is actually two. And I will make this clear now as I do not wish to deceive you (or more importantly, be accused of deceiving you): this is not a double bill, I just listed it like this because I wanted you to know about both of these plays, which are playing in repertory and and are made by the same team with overlapping casts. You can, though, get a combined ticket for the two plays. They are, as you very probably already know, both by August Strindberg, but you may not know that both shows are new versions created by Howard Brenton. See this page here for 'Miss Julie' and this page here for 'Creditors'. 

Uncle Vanya | The Hope Theatre | 23 Apr-11 May 
"Uncle Vanya's learned brother-in-law returns to the family estate with his new young wife, Yelena. This is enough to break the fragile surface tension, the thin layer of delusion, which thus far has contained the more toxic realities of family life. Drink flows, and soon father, daughter, uncle and all become embroiled in a passionate crescendo of domestic unrest - opening wounds, breaking hearts and putting the future of the whole estate in peril". A promising abridged version of Anton Chekhov's classic piece, see the venue website here for more.

Jane Clegg | Finborough Theatre | 23 Apr-18 May 

And now for a neglected classic by St John Ervine, not staged in London since 1944, which was compared to Ibsen's 'A Doll's House' following its first early-twentieth century performances. "London, 1913. Travelling salesman Henry Clegg has taken his wife, Jane, for granted for most of their marriage, as she endures his dishonesty, infidelity and neglect, as well as his demanding mother. But when Henry is accused of embezzling money from his firm and his latest affair is revealed, Jane realises she must finally escape her life of domestic abuse for herself and her children...only to find that for women without money and connections breaking free isn't so easy". Head this way for info.


THREE CONTEMPORARY PIECES>>

The Amber Trap | Theatre503 | 24 Apr-18 May 

And so we move on from classics to some work from rather more contemporary writers, beginning with this intriguing sounding play from up-and-comer Tabitha Mortiboy, directed by the rather good Hannah Hauer-King, and produced by all-female theatre company Damsel Productions  "Katie and her girlfriend Hope work at their local corner shop, where the days pass in quiet, comfortable rhythms. But when new employee Michael arrives, the sands start to shift and the air begins to thicken". See the venue website here for all the details.

The Half God Of Rainfall | Kiln Theatre | 25 Apr-17 May (pictured)
"We risk war. This is the consequence. Battle. Shield. Spear and sword. Conflict amongst the Gods. This must be avoided. When Demi, the half Nigerian-mortal, half Greek-God, is angry, rain clouds gather. When he cries, rivers burst their banks. The first time Demi takes a shot on the local basketball court, the deities of the land awaken. As he unknowingly sparks Zeus' wrath, his mother Modupe takes matters into her mortal hands and the consequences change their lives forever". This one is by the excellent and award winning Inua Ellams, and stars the rather good Rakie Ayola, see this page here for info.

Status | Battersea Arts Centre | 23 Apr-11 May 
A show that we first came into contact with up at the 2018 edfringe, which won much acclaim then, and since, created by a partnership - Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin - that we first came into contact with at a previous edfringe, quite some years previously. We were wowed back then, and I am pretty sure you will be wowed this week when you go to see this. "We all have a nationality. Or almost all of us. 'Status' is a show about someone who doesn't want his any more. About running away from the national story you're given. About who is responsible for that story and what might happen to it if you give it up". More here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Neck Or Nothing | Pleasance Theatre | 23 Apr-4 May

"Neck Or Nothing is the story of Jens, a self taught inventor, who sets out to create one of the most important technological advancements in history. A giant suit to fight bears". Fledgling Theatre Company present their latest show, which is inspired by the cult documentary 'Project Grizzly' and explores themes of PTSD, and mental health. "When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself". See the venue website here for more.

Eggs | Tristan Bates Theatre | 29 Apr-4 May (pictured)
I think we first heard about this show when it was on at the Edinburgh Fringe and then Vault Festival a few years ago, and we interviewed its writer, Florence Keith Roach about it. Here's a new and well received production of it, from Wake Up Theatre. "'Eggs' follows two women leading very different lives. The only thing uniting them is their struggle against society's expectations. This is a story about young women trying to figure out who they are, how to exist and who to be. In the end, it is friendship, however flawed, which rescues these women from utter alienation". Head this way for all the details.

Set In Stains | Drayton Arms Theatre | 23-27 Apr 
"In the wake of a series of violent crimes, a displaced Janet checks in to a hotel room where she makes preparations to say goodbye to a loved one. As she released from the burdensome role of caregiver and prepares for a new beginning, she is confronted by reporters, vigilante justice and... guilt". A show from Nuu Theatre, who like to work with young and emerging theatre people on devised and new work. This play is by Ruby Holder and is the group's first production since a recent rebrand. See this page here for information.


THREE EVEN SHORTER RUNS>>

Devil's Choice | Playground Theatre | 25-28 Apr
 
Yes, yes yes, even shorter runs for you. You have even less time to see this lot in this section. So quickly, get your skates on, seriously. You know, don't panic, but definitely get a move on. Here's your first even shorter run, and it sounds rather intriguing. "What would you do if you could live your life over again? When a retired performer begins to regret lost chances, the devil appears offering one hell of an opportunity. The only question is the price. Unimpressed with her offer, he begins to seduce her towards a far more interesting proposition". Details right about here.

Fighter | Stratford Circus | 25-27 Apr (pictured)

"Single mum Lee is a fighter. She's used to fighting the world, alone. No one's in her corner, she's down but not out - yet. Then she steps into Tommy's Gym and everything changes: plunged into the world of boxing, Lee's fight really begins". The really very excellent TW favourite Libby Liburd heads to Stratford Circus with her latest piece inspired by the achievements of the pioneering female boxers, who were not allowed to compete until 1996. See the venue website here for more.

Diary Of An Expat | Tristan Bates Theatre | 24-27 Apr

Remember that previously mentioned A Piece Of The Continent strand over at Tristan Bates Theatre? Well this acclaimed piece from Cecilia Gragnani, Jvan Sica & Loredana de Michelis is a part of that, and is definitely topical: "When she arrived in the UK from Italy nine years ago, with a suitcase full of hopes, dreams and bags of pasta, Cecilia's mission began: trying to become British whilst remaining deeply Italian. She started her exciting life abroad with thrilling adventures, a successful career and a vibrant urban lifestyle... kind of. Now, after numerous dubious jobs and weird encounters, Cecilia finds herself alone among the chaos of multi-ethnic, glamorous London whilst navigating the ever-present uncertainty of Brexit". Info here.


THREE EVEN EVEN SHORTER RUNS>>

Outsider | The Bunker Theatre | 28-29 Apr 

Yes, I know you aren't going to believe me, but we have three even shorter runs for you. If it weren't for the fact that they are each running for two nights, they'd be pretty much one night stands. But it makes it extra vital for you not to delay, and make sure you get your tickets sorted ASAP. We're starting over at The Bunker Theatre with this, a debut collection of three different plays put together by new writing company Scotch Bonnet: 'Woman in the Wall' and 'Salt' by Felix O'Brien, plus 'Home Comforts' by Francis Elvans. See the venue website here for more.

Ellen Terry | Tara Theatre | 26-27 Apr 
"Ellen Terry was not only one of the greatest actresses of the 19th century, she was also one of the most remarkable women of her time". And she really did lead an extraordinary life, defying the moral codes of the period in which she lived, marrying three times and giving birth to children out of wedlock, and pursuing the acting career that saw her end up playing opposite Sir Henry Irving in all of Shakespeare's greatest roles. She is brought back to life by the talented Eileen Page, see this page here for details.

Empty Room | Camden People's Theatre | 28-29 Apr (pictured)
This sounds like a fascinating blend of live song, intertwined monologues and a violin concerto from Miriam Gould: "Empty Room is about a family held together by music. Onstage a jazz singer talks about her daughter and sings about her lover. Backstage a sax player rants about art and addiction and coping with fatherhood in between. And in a classroom, an idealistic teenager (over)shares her passion for Dmitri Shostakovich and the importance of music in times of trouble. In different places and times, they speak about truth, art, love and trauma". Head this way for info.
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