MONDAY 9 DECEMBER 2019 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
LUCY JANE ATKINSON: HANSEL AND GRETEL
Of late, in our Three To See tips, we've been recommending lots of festive family treats, and the only reason 'Hansel And Gretel' at Chiswick Playhouse didn't make it into one of those was because we knew we'd be running this Q&A with its director Lucy Jane Atkinson.

In this musical production the well loved story is given a very modern feel, bringing in themes of climate change and saving the future. I spoke to Lucy to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Hansel And Gretel' is on at Chiswick Playhouse until 4 Jan. See the venue website here for all the details.



WINSOME PINNOCK: ONE UNDER
Coming to the Arcola Theatre this week, following a tour of the UK, is a new production of Winsome Pinnock's acclaimed 2005 play presented by the excellent Graeae Theatre.

This staging uses a slightly different version of the script, newly rewritten by Pinnock especially for the production. I was keen to find out more about the show, and about this esteemed playwright, so I arranged a quick chat.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Graeae's 'One Under' by Winsome Pinnock is on at The Arcola Theatre from 10-21 Dec. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


THREE RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Snowflake | Kiln Theatre | 10 Dec-25 Jan
This sounds festive, doesn't it? Though that word has taken on a rather different sense in recent times, and this show reflects both that and the Christmas time of year. "Andy's 43. He loves nostalgic TV and pints down the pub. His daughter Maya is 21. She left home three years ago and hasn't spoken to him since. This Christmas, Andy knows she's coming back - Maya knows she's not. 'Snowflake' is an epic story about generational conflict, fathers and daughters, and whether we're living in the best or worst of times..." More info here.

Blood Orange | Old Red Lion | 10 Dec-4 Jan (pictured)
"It's Christmas eve in Swansea A&E and Amy has just vomited all over a doctor's shoes. Amy is not a patient at the hospital. She's a junior doctor. She is hoping to secure a transfer to Great Ormond Street Hospital. She can handle the long hours, the over-time and even the shame of vomiting on her colleague, but when assigned to a young boy with cancer, Amy inds herself confronted by childhood memories she thought she had long put to rest and the pressure begins to take its toll". This sounds intense, but also promises to be infused with wit and dark comedy. Details right about here.

The Invisible Man | Jack Studio | 11 Dec-4 Jan
An adaptation by Derek Webb of HG Wells's classic novel that promises to be "fun-filled and fast-paced", and is presented by a well-proven team. "A mysterious man arrives at the local inn of a sleepy Sussex village, wrapped in bandages and wearing a false nose. Beneath the bandages is Griffin, a scientist desperate to reverse the twisted experiment that has rendered him invisible. This strange visitor soon sets the locals' tongues wagging, and when a spate of baffling burglaries occur, suspicions are aroused. Before long Griffin is on the run with a trail of villagers and police in pursuit, all desperate to do the impossible - to catch an invisible man". Click here.


THREE COMICAL TREATS>>

Gethin Alderman Is: Sublime | Canal Cafe Theatre | 12 Dec
"When the performer asks the audience in the preamble about what food allergies they have you might feel a bit uneasy. If so, you are in the right frame of mind for this unhinged, effervescent and entertaining show", wrote our reviewer of this show when it appeared at the 2019 edfringe, concluding: "Beneath the absurdity is a warm-hearted and mischievous performer - most evident in his interactions with the audience. It's a show which requires the audience to participate playfully and wholeheartedly; if they do so they will be rewarded with a classic 'only at the Fringe' experience". Yet now, you can experience it at a venue near you. Click here.

Some Night (In King's Cross) | 2Northdown | 11 Dec
This looks like it will be a very good night, and a bit of a bargain, because of all the TW faves that are in the line up. Look, I'll run you through it. First up, talented all-rounder and TV face Tom Davis, next, that Ivo Graham, panel-show botherer and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee in 2019, then we have the excellent and fast-rising Rosie Jones, who you may well have seen in action at recent Edinburgh Fringes, and finally, another up and comer, Catherine Bohart, who very much won our collective TW hearts with her last two edfringe shows. Tickets for this must surely be racing away so head this way now if you want one.

Tim Key: Chrimbo Bimbo | Arcola Theatre | 12-21 Dec (pictured)
Hurrah, a veteran excellence-purveyor of long term TW fave standing is doing a Christmas show again, and that makes me happy. "Tim Key will be tethering his long-suffering reindeer outside the famous Arcola Theatre and nipping in to empty his festive sack all over the floor/audience/place. There'll be poems of course, stinkin' sprouts, probably mulled wine, cloves, and other yule garbage. All-new title, poster, venue and jumper; poems have all been dug back out of Key's trusty Christmas chest and Key's tinsel is in tatters. Classic Christmas Fayre. Also, big questions over budget so reindeer may end up being a normal deer or cow". Click here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Getting Over Everest | The Hope Theatre | 10-21 Dec
"Getting dumped is like a mountain, full of setbacks and revenge cock...wait, what? Defined by her relationship status, Libby knows little else. When Rob Everest unexpectedly decides to cut ties, she spirals into an unannounced depression as she tries to find her feet outside of a ten year relationship. With the support of her friend Steph and the man from the bar, outspoken and explicit Libby attempts to find out who she is and what life has to offer". A compelling sounding monologue, written and performed by Nastasha Santos. See the venue website here for more.

The Undefinable | Camden People's Theatre | 10-21 Dec (pictured)
This sounds rather interesting, a piece of "live radio gig theatre" celebrating the unusual and underrepresented qualities of love, commissioned by Camden People's Theatre and supported by Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre. "Two dudes. Well, kind of dudes. A garage studio. A late night broadcast. Time slips between noughties love-pop, 70s folk fever and eighteenth century French philosophy. The dudes slip between instruments. Everything gets tangled. Our kind of love is tangled and slippery. Love in the in-between. Love that doesn't have language yet. This is The Undefinable". Head this way for all the details.

Art Is The Best Medicine | Fiumano Clase | 13-20 Dec
Here's something a bit different for you, seeing as live performance tends to dominate the tips: a rather alluring free exhibition, curated by Annie McGrath, and featuring the work of a number of UK comedians including Vic Reeves, Lolly Adefope, Joe Lycett, Harry Hill, Jenny Éclair, Tim Key, Jessica Hynes, Jordan Brookes, Mae Martin, Pierre Novellie, Rose Matafeo, Spencer Jones, Dane Baptiste, Elf Lyons, Mawaan Rizwan and Katy Wix. There's a wide variety of media used - drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, embroidery - and a third of the money raised from sales is to go to Mental Health UK. See this page here for info.


THREE SHOWS FOR CHILDREN>>

Black Beauty | Southbank Centre | 14 Dec-5 Jan
This is already a really well reviewed show, so you can expect high quality from this re-telling of the classic tale of 'Black Beauty', which is performed using a blend of storytelling, music and puppetry. "From the cosy horsebox they call home, Andy and Andy take the bit firmly between their teeth and tell the classic tale of Black Beauty as you've never seen it before.Saddle up, jump on and gallop headlong into a story where loneliness gives way to hope, friends become heroes, and courage saves the day". Find more information about the show on the venue website here.

Can't Wait For Christmas | Orange Tree Theatre | 14-29 Dec
Another enchanting-sounding and Christmassy show, this time over at the Orange Tree Theatre. "Jessie's dad has got her a lovely little present. It's all wrapped up, and tied with a beautiful bow. She can't wait to open it, but she isn't allowed to until Christmas day. Jessie shakes it and sniffs it and tries to sneak a peek, but Dad puts it just out of her reach and keeps a close eye on it. To keep her amused, he has laid a secret advent trail for her to follow. Jessie discovers a fun-filled journey filled with magical surprises that capture her imagination". Head this way for all the details.

Five Little Christmas Monkeys | The Park Theatre | 16-21 Dec (pictured)
And finally, one with monkeys, featuring dub reggae and funky rapping! "Join Sue the Zoo Keeper as she struggles to get mischievous Little Monkey to bed and discovers that numbers are all around us. Keep an eye out as unexpected household objects transform into the doctor, warning "NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!" Learn to love counting during a riot of music, numbers and clowning in a madcap monkey puppet zoo!" All the info is right about here.
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