MONDAY 2 MARCH 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
TOM COOK: CORPSE!
Headed to the Park Theatre this week is a production of Gerald Moon's play 'Corpse!', a comedy thriller set in London in the thirties, which won much critical acclaim when it was first staged back in the mid-eighties.

Starring in the production is actor Tom York, whose work you may have witnessed on screen in recent years, in particular in his role as Sam Carne in BBC series 'Poldark'. I arranged a quick chat to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Tom York performs in 'Corpse!' at The Park Theatre from 4-28 Mar. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


THREE AT SPRINT FESTIVAL>>

Plastica Galactica | Camden People's Theatre | 5 Mar
Hurrah for Sprint Festival, CPT's annual festival of new work, which kicks off this week. To celebrate we're devoting a whole section to it. Let's get started with 'Plastica Galactica' by Emma Gannon and Bryony Harris, who perform on a stage full of plastic collected from beach cleans as they take a look at what plastic is doing to our water: choking sea life, clogging the oceans and lasting forever. "Expect copious amounts of trash, DIY theatre and two eco girls in a plastic world". See this page here.

My Jerusalem | Camden People's Theatre | 5 Mar
"A solo performance derived from a song. A politically-charged tale of a drunken one-night stand, infused with stories of growing up in the turmoil of 1980s Israel. A nuanced exploration of the politics of division, from internal checkpoints and separation walls to gender norms". As the blurb points out, this sounds rather timely: "A work about Raz's ethnicity, gender, racism, and the underlying fear that perpetuates it. Can we surmount divisions imposed by occupation? Can we go beyond the blame game and really see each other's all too vulnerable humanity?". Details here.

An Evening With The Mantis From Atlantis | Camden People's Theatre | 7-8 Mar (pictured)
There's always loads of quirky sounding stuff at Sprint, and this definitely seems as though it would fit into that category. Also, it sounds brilliant, and is by the talented Nina Bowers. "Spend an evening with The Mantis from Atlantis. Born in the depths of our oceans and rejected into the dark void of space, The Mantis from Atlantis is trying figure out how to live between extremes. Dive into the blue, splash around, lose yourself as gravity slips away! This astrological outsider wants to share the secrets of the deep through song, dance, poetry and existential dread. Float away with them through a poetic creation myth, an aquatic alien cabaret - but which way is up, when there's nothing but blue?" Info here.


THREE AT VAULT FESTIVAL>>

Sky In The Pie | Vault Festival | 6-8 Mar
And another hurrah, for lo, Vault Festival continues, and this week we start with a family show by The Feathers of Daedalus Circus, based on poetry by Roger McGough. "A day so ordinary. Or one quite extraordinary? For what day is ever ordinary in the eyes of a daydreamer? Setting off for her first day at school she meets the girl who became a book, and the boy who was born to bugle. She finds a domesticated donkey, a sound collector and a blue macaw in a drawer. At home she eagerly awaits a well deserved dinner, but there is a sky in the pie. Mother's done it again!" See the festival website here for more.

In Our Bones | Vault Festival | 3-5 Mar
"We wander the sunset plains, like nomads awaiting the rains". This sounds brilliant, and should appeal especially to music fans: it's a gig-theatre piece featuring four musicians, who are joined onstage by an artist who paints 'live' throughout the performance. Using a poem by Don Paterson to create a song cycle, these collaborators focus on migration, landscape, roots, heritage and home in a call to action in the face of our ecological crisis. For all the details, see this page here.

Isma Almas: About A Buoy - Adventures In Adoption | Vault Festival | 4-6 Mar (pictured)
Isma Almas performed this powerful yet funny show at the most recent Edinburgh Festival Fringe and won acclaim for it, so it's great she will be performing it at Vault for the benefit of London audiences. The set focuses on Isma's own personal experiences of the adoption processes, but on also on broader issues and topics this leads her into; to find out more about the content of the show, and about the comedian herself, you could do worse than read the Q&A we did with her when we were covering edfringe last summer. Then head this way to book your tickets.


THREE STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Once Upon A Mattress | Upstairs At The Gatehouse | 5-29 Mar
"So begins Once Upon a Mattress, a magical musical comedy journey into the world of Hans Christian Anderson's beloved story of the princess and the pea. But this isn't your usual fairy tale, and princess Winnifred isn't your usual fairy-tale princess. The Kingdom in which she seeks her prince seethes with a very adult problem, which won't end until a very stubborn Queen Aggravain allows her son to marry Alas, he is his mother's prince, and is any princess really good enough?" A rare revival of this 1959 musical by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer, see this page here for more.

Daughter | Battersea Arts Centre | 3-28 Mar (pictured)
Another show that we first heard about up in Scotland, back in 2018, and one that won the hearts of the edfringe crowd and the glowing praise of Edinburgh critics. Our own reviewer gave it a five star write up, and here's a bit of what she said: "There is a deadly silence when the play finishes; we don't know whether to clap or cry. The powerful and honest portrayals of love, violence and toxic masculinity make this an absorbing and exceptional piece of theatre". See the venue website here for all the details.

Nuclear War, Buried & Graceland | Old Red Lion Theatre | 3-21 Mar
This one is another show from the previously mentioned Old Red Lion Theatre's Where Are We Now spring season, and puts together three different pieces: 'Nuclear War' by Simon Stephens, 'Buried' by David Spencer and 'Graceland' by Max Saunders-Singer, the first a revival of an already acclaimed work, the others brand new. It's a collaborative effort from multiple creative collectives, and there's quite a lot of information about it all here, if you'd like to have a read through it all before booking your tickets.


THREE MORE STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Can I Help You? | Omnibus Theatre | 3-21 Mar
"An off-duty English policeman is about to throw himself off Beachy Head when he is met by a woman carrying a laundry bag and a cat box. Over the course of one night, two disparate characters learn what it truly means to be touched by the magic of hope". The late Philip Osment's final play, a "magical realist examination of the role race and gender have to play in mental health and suicide", directed by Jim Pope. See the venue website here for more.

Not Quite Jerusalem | Finborough Theatre | 3-28 Mar (pictured)
The Finborough celebrate their fortieth anniversary with a production of a play written the year the theatre opened, Paul Kember's award-winning 1980 comedy-drama 'Not Quite Jerusalem'. "It's 1979, and Mike, Carrie, Pete and Dave have fled grim, divided England for the sunshine, sex, beer and bagels of a Israeli kibbutz. Only to find that what was supposed to be a working holiday is more like hard labour in 100-degree temperatures. Only Cambridge drop-out Mike seems able to articulate what it means to be young, conflicted, English, and a very long way from home. Until, that is, he meets no-nonsense kibbutznik Gila". All the details are right about here.

Drip Drip Drip | Pleasance Theatre | 3-21 Mar
"Encountered on a ward round: Daniel, a refugee from Eritrea, now a trainee nurse; Rahmiya, a Muslim doctor; and David, an elderly white cancer patient. Just another dysfunctional NHS 'family'. But drip by drip David's far-right ideology seeps out, poisoning Daniel and Rahmiya's sense of belonging..." This sounds like a timely topic for discussion, and Pipeline Theatre promise a piece that "dissects care and cruelty with dark humour, busting taboos while offering its love-letter to the NHS". See this page here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Virelogne | Drayton Arms Theatre | 3-7 Mar
"It's 1870 and Virelogne, a town in Northern France, has been taken over by the Prussians. They are eating at the tables of the family homes they have invaded, and lording over the lives and fortunes of the citizens. How should the townspeople react? Well, what can they do but act the friend. It is perfectly permissable to act politely to the Prussian officer at home, provided you show him little friendliness in public..." Orange Moon present a new adaptation of work by Guy de Maupassant. See the venue website here for all the details.

Rachel Fairburn | 2Northdown | 9 Mar (pictured)
"Rachel's decided to do an hour of her favourite material. No new bits, no trying ideas. Just an hour of hilarious stand up". Another act that we found out we loved up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe one summer: reviewers have enjoyed her fairly fearless tendency to speak her mind, her "razor sharp tongue", her "scathing opinions" and the plentiful gags she dishes out. Head this way, expecting good things...

Medusa | Cockpit Theatre | 2-6 Mar
Fusion Theatre present this fab looking show incorporating  live music, dance, spoken word, multimedia and visual art. "Do you dare to meet Medusa's gaze? The God, the mortal, the erotic power that disables men, the fearsome image that wards off evil, the dangerous monster to be destroyed: Medusa. Now sharing her own legend, Medusa is once again a power player in this feminist retelling, arresting us in her gaze". All the info is right about here.
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