MONDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
MAEV MAC COILLE + ERICA MILLER: TELL IT SLANT
Opening at The Hope Theatre this week is 'Tell It Slant', a "gender-switching, romantic black-comedy about fake news in a crisis". Written by Maev Mac Coille and directed by Erica Miller, it's produced through their own theatre company The Merry Spinsters.

The play is set in a press office on the day a crisis hits, and follows two staff members who are thrown together to deal with an onslaught of eager journalists. I spoke to Maev and Erica to find out more about the show and their company.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Tell It Slant' is on at The Hope Theatre from 25 Feb-14 March. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


THREE VAULT FESTIVAL SHOWS>>

If This Is Normal | Vault Festival | 25-28 Feb (pictured)
If you read our Edinburgh Festival output, you might recall that in the summer of 2019 we ran a Q&A with Lucy Danser, writer of 'If This Is Normal'. If you don't recall, or if you do, but would like to have another look, that interview is here. The play is a comedy drama set in North London about three friends who meet in primary school and form a very strong bond with each other. A decade later, as they negotiate the world as teenagers, a situation arises that tests that bond, forcing them to interrogate their own beliefs and work out where their loyalties lie. Details here.

Killing It | Vault Festival | 25-26 Feb
"A young man goes missing at sea. His girlfriend does what the traditions of her culture demand and turns her loss into a stand-up show. His mother takes comfort from her YouTube audience and her son's best friend. His grandmother is not paying attention because she is busy plotting the assassination of the US president". Written by Josephine Starte, and long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize, 'Killing It' is described as a "comitragedy about the pressure to make grief useful", and I am quite intrigued. Head this way if you are too.

Zoo | Vault Festival | 25 Feb-1 Mar
This play from Lily Bevan has successful runs in Edinburgh and at Theatre503 behind it, and this run at Vault marks its publication. "A play about 'climate change' both in the weather and in the discussion of the female experience, our relationships to the natural world, and perceptions of a life well lived. What do you do when you've always liked animals more than people and suddenly those animals are under threat? How do the decisions we make in a crisis shape our destiny?" For more information and to book tickets see the festival website here.


THREE RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Not I, Catastrophe And Rockaby | Jack Studio Theatre | 25 Feb-7 Mar
"A disembodied mouth suspended in mid-air spews out dialogue at ferocious pace... An autocratic director and his assistant put the finishing touches to their final scene... A woman recounts her past, driven by the motion of her rocking chair..." After staging Beckett's 'Footfalls' and 'Play' at the venue in 2019, Angel Theatre Company return to Jack Studio Theatre with three more of the writer's short plays. See this page here for more info.

Return To Heaven | Wilton's Music Hall | 28 Feb-14 Mar
The rather good Mark Bruce Company head to Wilton's this week with a "cinematic love story" told via the medium of dance. "Presenting a hallucinatory nightmare of unleashed demons, sinister scientists and supernatural forces, two adventurers tumble into a waking dream of a land beyond time and death. Imagine the world of Indiana Jones as viewed through the lens of David Lynch, set to a soundtrack ranging from Penderecki to Lanegan". See the venue website here for details.

The Special Relationship | Soho Theatre | 26 Feb-21 Mar (pictured)
"In America, foreign nationals can be deported after serving prison sentences. Some of them are British. Caught in the transatlantic tango between Trump and May and proudly presented by a gun-toting immigration officer, these are their true stories of double punishment and separation from their loved ones". A play from Hassan Abdulrazzak that promises to be darkly comical but also powerful. Head this way to book your tickets.


THREE FUNNY SHOWS>>

So Many Reasons | Soho Theatre | 2-7 Mar (pictured)
"Melissa is having a bit of a crisis. This bold, funny and honest hour explores the reasons why; starting with her mum, God and sex... Told by a first generation British-Ghanaian woman on the hunt for an orgasm. Exploring cultural and generational shifts, religion and sexuality, this brave new show asks what happens when we realise mums don't always know best". A one woman show, written and performed by the talented Racheal Ofori. Details here.

Harvey Greenfield Is Running Late | Museum Of Comedy | 27-29 Feb
As you probably know, we here at TW Towers are quite devoted to the old edfringe, and first hear about quite a few of the shows we recommend here when we are up in Scotland in August. Today we have two such shows for you: this one's a piece of one man comedy theatre from Paul Richards that asks the question of whether it's possible to please everyone, all of the time, and what it might cost your family and your own health. And apparently coming to the conclusion that "it's sometimes healthy to, every now and then, just sit in a shed and play Subbuteo by yourself, eating biscuits and listening to Meat Loaf". More here.

Harriet Dyer: The Dinosaur Show | The Bill Murray | 27 Feb
A second show that did time up in Edinburgh this summer and a stand up set with a rather interesting hook, especially if you are someone with a penchant for dinosaurs, as, as it says in the title, this is a show about said long extinct beasts, though it does touch on wider themes. Which is something I know because in August we interviewed the very brilliant Harriet Dyer about this very show, and about all the other stuff she does. Read that Q&A here, and see the show listing here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Second Person Narrative | Arcola Theatre | 2-6 Mar
This is another selection from the much previously mentioned Creative Disruption strand featuring work by Arcola Theatre's community companies. This one, presented by Arcola Participation's Women's Company, is a production of Jemma Kennedy's 2015 play. "You're born a girl. You grow up. You grow old. You die. But who is in control of your story? Can you actually choose your destiny? And how do you forge your own identity along the way?" Info here.

Natasha Brown: Power X Resistance | The Bunker Theatre | 2-7 Mar
"Tash is a simple girl. Except she's not. She's Black. She's a woman. She's Queer. And in the world of university and 'identity politics', that's anything but simple. It's powerful. When it's time for student elections, Tash ticks all the boxes to take her to the top...apart from one - she's not that great at speaking her mind. Luckily, there's a controversial rapper who knows all about that". Week Five of The Bunker Theatre's Takeover thingy, and this time the flagship event is Natasha Brown's funny and provocative solo show but there are also loads of great and helpful sessions on things like producing and dramaturgy. Take a look here.

The Spine | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 25-26 Feb (pictured)
A fascinating sounding show that shines a light on what happens to young men as they work their way up the football ladder: "Kyle, Liam and Hakeem dream of football, fame and fortune - after spending most of their teenage years being the spine of the team, the premier league is now at their fingertips. But as they all reach for that golden contract, the cracks begin to appear as years of institutional racism and hyper-masculinity begin to take their toll. Will the boys be strong enough to stick together, or will they elbow their way to the top?" Info here.


THREE MORE SHORT RUNS>>

Frills & Spills | Camden People's Theatre | 27-29 Feb (pictured)
We first came across the work of the outfit behind this - Stumble Trip Theatre - when they performed a different show at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2018, and our reviewer really loved it, calling it charming and heart-warming. This is a different show, obviously, but you can definitely expect further high quality antics from this Lecoq-trained pair. "You're invited to the fancy, farcical and frivolous world of Frills and Spills. They're here to delight, to excite and to cleanse your soul of its daily dirt darling". Amen to that, see this page here.

Feel More | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 25-28 Feb
"Six new characters living their lives in the modern world we live in. Six new stories about searching for fulfilment, searching for love, searching to get lost and searching to be found again. Six out of 8.7 million. Because sometimes, to follow your heart you have to first bare your soul". The critically acclaimed Proforca Theatre Company bring back their much praised production of 'Feel More'. See the venue website here for more.

Christmas All Over | Tristan Bates Theatre | 2-4 Mar
God I miss Christmas. I dare say I won't be missing it so much once the spring kicks in a bit, but right now, with all these windy and rainy days I have been witnessing, I really wish there were a bit more sparkle going on. And yes, that's why this caught my eye. And it sounds lovely. "On Christmas Eve, Grace, a single mother, hurries to wrap presents for her young daughter, Natalie, before she wakes. Later, we meet adult Natalie, as she brings her first girlfriend, Rosie, over for a Christmas dinner. As we dance through time with Grace and Natalie: Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future, we glimpse their memories and the beauty of family and holiday traditions". Details here.
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