MONDAY 27 JANUARY 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
JODIE IRVINE: GOBBY
You may be aware that the Vault Festival begins this week. We certainly are, as we've been eagerly looking through all the events that are coming up. And, with that in mind, we thought we'd make sure that we interview a Vault Fest person this week.

The choice of who we should chat to was easy. 'Gobby', written and performed by Jodie Irvine, caught our eye when it was on at the Edinburgh Fringe and we are so glad it's now headed for another run here in London. I spoke to Jodie to find out more about the show and her career to date.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Gobby' is on at Vault Festival from 4-9 Feb, see the festival's website here for more info and to book.



HARRY DARELL: FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT
Headed for a run at the Bridewell Theatre this week is a new play from Henry Darell, which is inspired by the real life experiences of Christopher Hitchens. It deals with the divide between those who observe and comment on issues from afar, and those who are dealing with the reality.

Henry is directing the play as well as having written it. I spoke to him to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'For The Sake Of Argument' is on at the Bridewell Theatre from 28 Jan-8 Feb. See the venue website here for details.


THREE VAULT FESTIVAL SHOWS>>

Frankie Foxstone a.k.a The Profit: Walking Tour | Vault Festival | 28 Jan-2 Feb (pictured)
Hurrah hurrah hurrah, for it's that time of year again. Vault Festival is upon us and I could not be more delighted. The only problem - and it is a massive, massive problem - is the absolute tooth-pulling type pain it caused me to choose just three shows from the large number on offer over the next week. Anyway, I did it, and I apologise to all those I wanted to tip and didn't, I am sure you know who you are. We are starting with this, Amy Gwilliam's edfringe hit led by "unapologetically ruthless young property developer" Frankie Foxtone. More here.

Push | Vault Festival | 28 Jan-2 Feb
There are at least three winners of our yearly edfest-related ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards gracing the listings of Vault Festival this week, and the company behind 'Push', Popelei, is one of those, back in 2014. The other two are a) comedian Simon Caine, who won his award in 2019, and b) Gaël Le Cornec of 'Frida Kahlo: Viva la Vida!', awarded in 2016. So see those as well as 'Push', which is "A mischievous look at the existential crisis of motherhood". See this page here for info.

The Wild Unfeeling World | Vault Festival | 28 Jan-1 Feb
This one is courtesy of another favourite that we first heard about up at edfringe, Fringe First winning writer and storyteller Casey Jay Andrews. The show offers a "tender, furious and fragile reimagining of 'Moby Dick', a suburban fable of bad luck, reckless choices and irrational hope, a surreal and lyrical story about the times when we leap, where sometimes we soar, and sometimes we drown". You might be wondering how it's suburban: well, the whale's been reinvented as a woman on the brink of destruction. Head this way for details.


THREE OTHER FESTIVAL SHOWS>>

Nigel Ng: Culture Shocked | Soho Theatre | 3-19 Feb (pictured)
The CAN Festival starts at the very end of our TW week, so I've only got one recommendation from it this time, and that's for the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominated Nigel Ng, who performs his much acclaimed show 'Culture Shocked', about his life as a Malaysian immigrant, at Soho Theatre this week. "Can he retain his cultural identity under the seduction of the Western world? Or will he succumb to it and start enjoying the bland food served at Wagamama?" See this page here for more. Oh, and if you didn't know, CAN is the acronym for Chinese Arts Now, see this page here to find out what's coming up in the Festival.

Optraken | The Peacock Theatre | 29 Jan-1 Feb
The London International Mime Festival is coming to an end, but we have two last tips from it for you. First is this, 'Optraken', by French contemporary circus company Galactik Ensemble: "Five daredevil acrobats, all graduates of the famous circus school at Rosny sous Bois, try to survive a set that seems to be going out of its way to hurt them. Firecrackers explode, sandbags drop from the flies, walls shift and move and nothing stays still for long". For more information and to book see his page here.

Cold Blood | Barbican | 29 Jan-1 Feb
"In this wonderfully whimsical production, the story of seven surprising deaths takes audiences into an array of scenarios that touch on the fleeting fragility of life. Watch as performers and crew conjure visuals onstage or simply succumb to the beautifully detailed kaleidoscopic vistas appearing on film. From the razzamatazz of a Fred and Ginger-style dance number to a floating figure in outer space, from a ravaged war-torn cityscape to the recreation of an iconic Boléro ballet". This show from Jaco Van Dormael and Michèle Anne De Mey is our final tip for the London International Mime Festival (sob). Details here.


THREE SHOWS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Autoreverse | Battersea Arts Centre | 3-22 Feb
"Florencia has an old box full of cassette tapes from her family home in Chile. As she starts listening to them in her room in London, she travels back in time and space, to when her family fled Argentina's dictatorship and started recording audio letters to stay in touch with their loved ones". A story spanning four decades, written by Florencia Cordeu and directed by Omar Elerian, which promises to be "a moving and uplifting audio-visual experience that asks what it means to remember: as an individual, as a family, and as a country". More here.

The Bee In Me | Unicorn Theatre | 31 Jan-1 Mar (pictured)
Now we have one for children, this time the older ones aged eight to twelve. A German play writeen by Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham and directed by Rachel Bagshaw, 'The Bee In Me' is about a day in the life of a ten year old who imagines being a bee completing levels in a computer game. "One ordinary child living an ordinary life. Every day the same: parents still asleep, late again for school, can't find their clean trousers. But today is different. Today is a game. Today they have wings..." Head to the venue website here for details.

Tube | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 28 Jan-28 Feb
"'Tube' follows two strangers who find themselves alone in an empty carriage when the train stops in a tunnel and doesn't move again. It explores their relationship in this less than ideal situation, as they find comfort and strain in each other". This piece by Joe Kerry was work-shopped with support from the Southwark Playhouse and went on to win the Stockwell Playhouse Bursary Prize For Writing, so that should sell it to you discerning theatre goers. Find out all about it here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Dawta | Old Red Lion Theatre | 3-5 Feb (pictured)
Right, onto a first trio of short runs, starting with 'Dawta', which is on as part of the Old Red Lion's Where Are We Now? season of work by emerging artists. This is a one-woman musical featuring ten songs and seven characters produced and performed by Dionne Draper, directed by Hanna Lune, and featuring a musical underscore developed with cellist Emily Burridge and keyboard player Anders Olinder. It's about Sarah, adopted by a white family as a baby, who is on a mission to meet her Jamaican birth mother. Info here.

Chronic | Old Red Lion Theatre | 3-5 Feb
And a second choice from Where Are We Now?, another musical, this time a piece about chronic illness from Catherine Bensley. "One day in 2018, Catherine woke up with persistent numbness in her hands and feet. As the months passed, the pain grew, and doctors provided no answers.Catherine reflects on her ongoing journey through an invisible chronic illness, facing head-on the gender bias she experienced throughout her treatment. Join her as she celebrates moments of unexpected happiness and overwhelming support from family and friends, and questions how far we've really come since the Freudian days of medical misogyny". All the details right about here.

Raskolnikova | Tristan Bates Theatre | 3-5 Feb
And now we head over to Tristan Bates Theatre for 'Raskolnikova', which is on as part of the venue's Latin American season, and is by internationally renowned touring group Teatro Nómada. "Is murder still an unthinkable crime if committed for the greater good of humanity? Raskolnikova, a young revolutionary suffering in poverty, sets out to answer this moral dilemma. The play sees fragments of her deteriorating psyche embodied by four chorus members. Raskolnikova explores language, culture and morality in a way that brings this classic Russian story into the 21st century". More here.


THREE MORE SHORT RUNS>>

Lord Of The Game Of The Ring Of Thrones | Museum Of Comedy | 31 Jan
Hurrah, on to our second set of short runs, and I must confess that the fact that this entertaining show is set to be performed on my birthday played a small part in my choosing to add it to this week's tip sheet. And to be honest, having had my birthday darkened and devalued by the whole Brexit shenanigans, I need reasons to be cheerful. And here it is. It's exactly what you would probably expect from a show with this kind of title - an improv troupe will improvise you an epic adventure. And they are actually not doing it just once but the dates are a bit sporadic (though roughly monthly, I think), so take a look yourself when you click on this link to find out more.

The Wright Brothers | Pleasance Theatre | 3-8 Feb
"Imani is on a journey to find a date for her sister's wedding, although she's not been interested in meeting anyone since her last relationship ended. However with only three weeks until the wedding, the pressure from friends and family is on! Enter three brothers with very different characteristics: money, looks and personality - which one will win her over?" A fun sounding show written by Tyrone-Lee Davis and Kieran Shekoni of 'Ty And Ky Show' fame, starring Paigey Cakey as Imani. See the venue website here for info.

The Death Show | Camden People's Theatre | 30 Jan-1 Feb (pictured)
And for our last tip of the day, we head over to Camden People's Theatre for something with a slightly grim title but that promises to be great: Lucy Nicholls and Antonia Beck present a funny, surreal, reflective and honest show about death. "Climb aboard the coffin and embark on a journey of discovery, as we journey into the unknown on a quest to understand society's fear of death and why we struggle to accept our own mortality. This entertaining, playful and poignant show is as much about contemplating death as it is about reflecting on the importance of living life to the full". See this page here for details.
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