MONDAY 9 MARCH 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
STEPHEN LAUGHTON: ONE JEWISH BOY
If you think this play's title - 'One Jewish Boy' - sounds familiar, that's probably because you heard about it when it was staged at London's Old Red Lion Theatre at the very end of 2018. If you missed it that time around, the good news is that it's headed to Trafalgar Studios this week.

It's a love story, but also tackles the very pressing topic of the recent rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate crimes, an issue thrown into even greater relief when its writer Stephen Laughton was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse when the play was first staged.

I spoke to him to find out more about the play and the themes it explores.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'One Jewish Boy' is on at Trafalgar Studios from 10 Mar-4 Apr. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


THREE FROM VAULT FESTIVAL>>

Freedom Hi 自由閪 | Vault Festival | 10-15 Mar
You're all very lucky things, you know, living in London where Vault Festival is still happening, right now. It won't last forever though, as I am sure you are aware, so make some time this week to see something, even if it's not one of the brilliant things we are about to recommend. Speaking of which, here's the first, a compilation of new writing and performance art from Papergang Theatre by UK based Hong Kong and British East Asian artists, which explores the nature of the fight for freedom, and draws on experiences of protest and watching traumatic events unfold through digital platforms. More here.

Bin Juice | Vault Festival | 10-15 Mar
"Francine and Marla, employees of a hazardous waste removal company, are on the hunt for a new apprentice. Having just escaped a life of misfortune, Belinda walks through the door, ready for her interview.  The process is absurd, but it's not a problem for the hopeful applicant who, unbeknownst to her future employees, is overqualified..." This play by Cat Kolubayev sounds intriguing, and had a successful test run as part of Flux Theatre's Emerge night at The Bunker in 2019. For information and to book see this page here.

Sugar Coat | Vault Festival | 10-15 Mar
This comes from a team who have Fringe First winning, and more importantly (ahem) TW Editors' Award winning personnel on it, so I am all ears. "A new gig theatre show about love, loss and lubrication. Based on a true story and pop-punk feminism. Sugar Coat follows the coming of age story of a young woman spanning across eight years of sexual highs and lows, from 90s shag bracelets to 21st century non-monogamous relationships". Head this way to find out all the details.


THREE FROM SPRINT FESTIVAL>>

Surge | Camden People's Theatre | 10 Mar (pictured)
My word, you're not just lucky because of Vault Festival, you're lucky because of Sprint Festival too! And this week I had real trouble only recommending three shows on at CPT in the coming seven days because there are more than three things I would like to see. Anyway, here's one of them, the rather good sounding 'Surge': "With a rise in reports of police injustice and brutality across the world, stereotypes are often almost immediately placed on people and those classed as 'Other' due to their race, class, religion, sexuality etc. in the UK causing prejudice and discrimination. This is about changing your perception, stripping you of what you may think you know to be true and reminding you of humanity and the potential you have as humans to change perceptions". Details here.

Lionman | Camden People's Theatre | 13 Mar
"Leonard is a writer. For a commercial greeting cards company. But Leonard wants more than that: Leonard wants to write films, Leonard wants to be famous and, most importantly, Leonard wants the girl next door. As he works daily for his dreary job and nightly on his beloved script Leonard grapples with love, work pressures, an increasing discomfort with masculinity and his own irrepressible imagination. As his prospects of success fade away and his state of mind spirals out of his control, will Leonard find his voice in a finished script or will the line between reality and fantasy become too blurred?" This promises to be "darkly comic" and we are all about dark and comical. Head this way.

A Beautiful Way To Be Crazy | Camden People's Theatre | 14 Mar
It seems to me that there's an increasing amount of gig-theatre experiences to be had out there on the ye olde London art-scene these days, so if you're into that kind of thing you are in luck. Not least because there's more than one gig-theatre piece on as part of Sprint this month. This, by award-winning poet Genevieve Carver and live band members Tim Knowles, Brian Bestall and Ruth Nicholson, is one of them, and explores the business of being a woman in music. It's a melange of spoken word, live music, and verbatim audio from interviews with industry practitioners, and you can read more about it here.


THREE STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Delivery | Chiswick Playhouse | 10 Mar-4 Apr
"Father to be, Joe, waits for the birth of his first child. He sees his wife Angela as his soul mate, but he's not sure if he's ready, responsible, or worthy enough to be a father. As he waits, their courtship, his failure at school, his success in the army and his trauma in a modern day war unfolds, as well as meeting a talking fruit fly, sheep and a slug. Delivery, is a tragic comic story of one man's journey to the brink". A show about a former paratrooper trying to put the trauma of war behind him, and begin the process of becoming a loving father, which had a successful, shorter run in the autumn: good to see it back for more dates. Info right about here.

Waiting For The Ship To Sail | Chickenshed Theatre | 12-28 Mar
Chickenshed presents an artistic response to questions of global migration, and investigates the notion of national and personal identity. "We find ourselves in a world where the building of walls - both in reality and figuratively - places ever more barriers between people who have more in common than it might at first appear. This powerful new musical and dance production will offer new perspectives on the forces driving both individual and mass migration, as well as telling the story of families directly affected". See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

Gulliver's Travels | Unicorn Theatre | 14 Mar-3 May
One now for those of you with primary aged children to entertain, a perfect family outing in the run up to Easter and beyond, though if you want to go this week, make sure you head straight over to book because it looks like tickets are going very quickly. The story needs very little introduction, of course, but it looks like it will be a quite modern and of-the-times staging of it, as it uses video camera, intricate table-top sets and projection alongside the live performance to explore the time honoured tale of Gulliver's run ins with the tiny people of Lilliput, the giants of Brobdingnag, and the mysterious Houyhnhnms. Head this way to read all about it, and get your tickets sorted.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Chicken Burger N Chips | Jack Studio Theatre | 10-14 Mar
Corey Bovell brings 'Chicken Burger N Chips' to the Jack Studio Theatre, following dates in other London venues, including a sold out run at Camden Fringe. "During the summer holidays of 2009 Corey dreams of nothing but to hang around with his friends while ordering as much Morley's as possible. Until Jodie comes along and makes Corey realise the changes that are happening within his beloved Lewisham Borough. Making Corey, for the first time, think about what path his future takes". Details here.

Punkt Presents Penelope | The Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 10-14 Mar
"When Odysseus (famous for his appearances in the Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses, and several blockbuster movies) goes to war, Penelope sits at home and weaves for twenty years. Little is known of that time - there's something about a squadron of suitors - but now Punkt comes along to reveal what the loneliest woman in Classical history dreamed about". A show about a character I am interested in, which promises to be "whimsical, witty, and irreverent". So you know, I like the sound of that. More here.

Boar | Soho Theatre | 11-14 Mar (pictured)
Here's a show we decided we loved a lot when it was on up at the old edfringe in 2019, which didn't come as much of a surprise, because we'd also loved 'Wolf', by the same creator, Lewis Doherty, whom we frankly regard with awe. "Bringing to life numerous characters and settings seemingly all at once, it's easy to forget that you're just watching one man as you visualise characters talking to one another, ignoring the fact that this isn't technically possible", wrote our reviewer last summer. "Quick thinking and always ready to play off the audience, there seems to be nothing Doherty can't do. I am already anticipating whatever follow up he brings next year, which is sure to be just as much of a hit". Why would you want to miss this? Head this way.


THREE COMICAL TREATS>>

Kieran Boyd: Crashing The Party | Soho Theatre | 16 Mar
Now, by calling this section comical treats I'm not implying there's a lack of humour in other shows recommended in other categories this week. These ones just stood out as most obviously designed to be funny. Like this one, from Kieran Boyd, because he's a comedian, so comedy is what you would expect. If you are not sure where you know him from, it's from WitTank: "A lot of people wake up at 30 and wonder what they did with their 20s. Kieran knows exactly what he did with them - threw them all into an incredibly fun, occasionally successful, frequently reckless and often disapproved-of sketch group". More here.

Hysterical Women | The Bill Murray | 10 Mar

And now: an absolutely fabulous line up at Hysterical Women, and loads of them would fall happily into the category of 'TW Favourites'. It's headlined by Rosie Jones, an act you'll have seen recommended here before and possibly also interviewed I think. I will check. Right, I have now checked, and yes, we did a Q&A a couple of years ago, and that is here if you'd like to read it. But she's also joined by a load of other fab women: Laura Davis, Hatty Preston, Helena Langdon, Jenny Kassner and of course super host Cally Beaton. See the Angel Comedy website here to find out the details.

Pricks | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 12 Mar (pictured)

"I've had over 70,000 pricks... of the medical kind. This is my chance to set the record straight about type one diabetics like me. Despite what people say, I'm not bankrupting the NHS. And I can eat cake - a whole bloody cake - if I want to. Join me as I learn to cope with the ups and downs of dealing with a lot of pricks". A funny theatrical piece from Jade Byrne that combines storytelling, poetry and an original soundscape, and sounds like it might be a bit informative and educational as well as warm and engaging. See this page here for info.
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