MONDAY 16 DECEMBER 2019 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TANIA AMSEL: BLOOD ORANGE
Currently showing at the Old Red Lion Theatre is a new one-woman play focusing on junior doctors and their work in A&E over the holiday season.

It's a show which, you might possibly have noticed, we recently recommended in our Three To See tips.

I was intrigued by this very heart-felt sounding piece, which is performed by its writer Tania Amsel. So I arranged a brief chat to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Blood Orange' is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre until 4 Jan, see the venue website here for more information and to book.


THREE CHRISTMAS TREATS>>

Circus 1903 | Southbank Centre | 19 Dec-5 Jan
Well, we are really on the road to Christmas now aren't we? And right now, if you are anything like me, you might just be thinking "oops, it's nearly Christmas and I haven't organised going to see any Christmas shows yet". Luckily, though I don't remember to book my own tickets for things, I do remember to tell you lot to book yours. Anyway, here's a show definitely aimed at the Christmas market, and one that's suitable for everyone older than three: a turn-of-the-century circus featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high-wire performers and more. See this page here for more.

A Christmas Carol | Middle Temple Hall | 21-30 Dec
And now to a show that we have clearly recommended before, because it's been on in previous years, and it's a production of 'A Christmas Carol', and those hardly ever get away from us here at Scrooge-lovin' TW Towers. And of course we have no qualms about recommending it again, because it's quite seriously the most quintessential Christmas experience we can think of: a telling of a well loved seasonal tale, with original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas, performed in a hugely atmospheric venue. Suitable for ages six and up, and I imagine tickets will be flying away, so don't delay. Info on Antic Disposition's website here.

Storystock Presents: The Elves And The Shoemaker and Other Stories | King's Place | 21 Dec (pictured)
And talking of tickets flying away, in this day of Storystock events, this is one of only a couple that have any tickets left, so if you think this sounds like a lovely Christmas treat for your young offspring, get your skates on. "Beasts and breadcrumbs, wolves and witches, frogs and fairies all join the fun in a stunning new adaptation of Grimm's most magical tales. Head into the woods with Hansel and Gretel, help the little elves to make beautiful shoes, watch a slimy frog become a prince, and meet the princess who's champion of hide-and-seek!" Details here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Doubt | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 18-19 Dec
And now for a few short stops of shows that aren't particularly Christmassy, but nonetheless generate many compelling reasons to attend. And we start with a show which, like many shows we've been recommending lately, has previously had a run up at the old edfringe, and did rather a good job of it, eliciting a fair amount of praise. What's it all about, you may wonder? Well, wonder no more, read this: "a dark comedy about living with OCD, loving the Good Friday Agreement, putting up with 24 hour news consumption and recovering from the embarrassment of being caught mid-nap". Click here.

Shhh | Tristan Bates Theatre | 19-21 Dec (pictured)
"Comedian Hannah Ballou is sick of handing over her money directly to a babysitter. Shhh is an experiment that merges showtime with bedtime; Ballou brings her child to the theatre, attempts to put her to sleep just before curtain, rolls her on stage and crosses her fingers that she stays asleep. The comedy targets the marginalisation of parents in the performing arts and the goddamn patriarchy in general, but don't laugh too loudly, please, or things could get ugly". Yes, as a mother, this intrigues me. But I think I would also be intrigued if I weren't a mother, which is why I'm recommending this to all of you, not just my fellow mothers. Details right about here.

The Bullpen Comedy | 2Northdown | 18 Dec
Those of you needing a laugh, and those of you perhaps finding it very hard to laugh, in the aftermath of 12 Dec and the general pre-Brexit political landscape, might be pleased to hear that this next tip is for a lovely comedy show full of very funny people, who all want to entertain you beautifully. On the other hand, you might just be someone who likes comedy, and always likes comedy, and are pleased to hear about this line up: it includes the fabulous Rosie Jones, recent Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Nominee Sophie Duker, another newcomer nominee (in 2017) Kwame Asante, up and coming impressionist Josh Berry, and the fantastic Robin Allender. More here.


THREE UP AND RUNNING SHOWS>>

I Wanna Be Yours | Bush Theatre | 4 Dec-18 Jan
And now, onto three shows that I intended to tip earlier in their respective runs, but was prevented, by various different methods that I won't go into here. First up, a debut play from Zia Ahmed that promises to be funny, tender and lyrical. "Ella is from Yorkshire. Haseeb is from London. They order a pizza. House red for Ella. Hot chocolate for Haseeb. People and playlists. Christmas and Eid. Travelcards and Megabuses. London to Leeds. Love is more than just a game for two. Especially when there's an elephant in the room". Details here.

Potted Panto | Southwark Playhouse | 5 Dec-11 Jan
The team that brought you other Potted stuff return for another festive run, with their previously staged 'Potted Panto', which condenses seven classic pantomimes into one eighty minute laugh fest. "In a madcap ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime, our dastardly double act dash from rubbing Aladdin's lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington's London and making sure that Cinderella gets to the ball. It's all unmissable fun, whether you're six or 106″. Head this way for more.

The Signalman | Old Red Lion | 10 Dec-4 Jan (pictured)
"A signalman is haunted by a mysterious figure standing at the mouth of a train tunnel. He's sure it's a warning - but what is it warning against?" You know we love a bit of 'A Christmas Carol' here at TW Towers, I'm sure, but you may not be aware that it's merely a facet of our overall love for Charles Dickens in general, and so this Christmas, I am quite pleased to be able to recommend a show based on a different work of his. According to the blurb this adaptation by Martin Malcolm "remains faithful to the original text but also incorporates other aspects of Dickens's writing, including the introduction of Joe the crossing sweeper, who listens as the signalman's tale unfolds". Which all sounds good. Info here.
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