MONDAY 12 OCTOBER 2020 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
MARIA OSHODI: EYE SAY, EYE SAY, EYE SAY!
Readers may well be aware of the Bloomsbury Festival, which happens this month and features a range of digital, live and socially-distanced events taking place over the course of ten days.

One show taking place as part of it really piqued our interest: 'Eye Say, Eye Say, Eye Say!' is a live-streaming comedy night from a collective of visually impaired performers, staged by the excellent Extant.

To find out more about it, and the company, and how things are going in the light of COVID-19, I spoke to Artistic Director and CEO Maria Oshodi.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Eye Say, Eye Say, Eye Say!', taking place as part of the Bloomsbury Festival, will be livestreamed from William Goodenough College on 17 Oct. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.



SUZANN MCLEAN: YOUNG, GIFTED & BLACK
Theatre Peckham's second Young Gifted & Black season began last week, but you still have plenty of time to find out what's going on and then get involved because it continues on until 7 Nov.

Suzann McLean is the Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham. I spoke to her to find out more about what to expect from the Young, Gifted & Black season, but also about the impact of COVID-19 on the venue's operations, and the challenges it will face in the coming months.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Theatre Peckham's Young, Gifted & Black season runs until 7 Nov. All events are listed here.
As the COVID-19 shutdown extends, we are currently tipping the best in digital culture from from across the UK - including online shows from many of our favourite performers and companies who we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.

PLUS as real world socially distanced shows slowly return in London we'll be tipping some of those as well here in the TW Weekly each Monday morning. Whether you are in London, Edinburgh or anywhere else for that matter, there'll be something for you!


THREE LIVE IN LONDON SHOWS>>

Dante's In-Furlough | The Vaults | 15 Oct-30 Dec
More and more shows seem to be happening in real life now, though they are - of course - limited in terms of audience numbers, like this show, which will be playing to audiences of just eight people (though there are lots of performances). "Travel down into the many circles of Hell and navigate your way to the wedding of the millennium. Join your demonic guide and prove yourself worthy of a seat at Devil's table; you'll need to lie, sin and cheat your way there". Info here.

Pippin | Garden Theatre at The Eagle | until 17 Oct
I thought I had already told you all about this open air show, but apparently not! And now it's not far from the end of the run, but there are a few dates left and a number of tickets still unbooked, so you do still have time, musical fans. For anyone not aware of it, 'Pippin' is a 1972 musical by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O Hirson, which focuses on the story of a mediaeval prince and his search for meaning and adventure. Make a booking right about here.

Sara Barron & Friends | 21 Soho | 14 Oct (pictured: Sara Barron)
TW favourite Sara Barron hosts a line up of acts that we know and love and mostly first met at some point up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And that line up is as follows: Fern Brady, Thanyia Moore, Rosie Jones and Funmbi Omotayo. As at all the venues, capacity is limited (so don't delay booking a ticket) and other restrictions are in place: don't forget your mask, and bear in mind that the bar will stop serving drinks at 10pm in line with government guidelines. More info and booking here.


THREE MORE LIVE IN LONDON SHOWS>>

Strip Light Night | Camden Comedy Club | 15 Oct
Yes, you read that right. A second section devoted to actual real life shows that you can go to in old London town. Quite a lot of comedy clubs are holding their regular comedy nights for smaller, more distanced audiences, and it's great to see that option available even if it doesn't work for everyone. One such regular night is 'Strip Light Night', which this week features another line up with loads of TW favourites in it: Esther Manito, Tom Ward, Stuart Laws and Colin Hoult. See this page here for details.

Inua Ellams: An Evening With An Immigrant | Bridge Theatre | until 7 Nov
We've definitely recommended this show before, but not this socially-distanced run, which started last week, I think, and continues on into November. "Inua tells his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home". See this page here for more.

In Bad Taste | The Space | 15-17 Oct (pictured)
"Violet hates her boss. And capitalism. Mostly capitalism though (at least that is what she tells her best friends when she ropes them into creating her new utopia). Fuelled by an onslaught of sexism, homophobia and unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a woman, the group set about chewing the fat of people who have done them wrong. It's time to spark some sort of cannibalism-meets-feminism revolution". A rather interesting sounding show at the Space offering both in-person and at-home options: click here to book tickets to attend and here to stream it at home.


THREE ONLINE EXPERIENCES>>

The Mermaid's Tongue | Swamp Motel | 13 Oct-6 November (pictured)
I called this section 'experiences' because all of these things are kind of theatrical but presented in ways that don't conform to conventional theatrical formats. This first one is an internet-based detective game, accessed via a web browser and video conferencing, created by award-winning immersive storytellers Swamp Motel. "Your help is needed to track down an ancient lost artefact. Thrown into a murky underworld, you'll have to hack into CCTV, outbid a high-end art dealer, and decipher messages from beyond the grave". Info and tickets here.

A Brief History Of Struggle | Paines Plough - The Place I Call Home | daily from 19 Oct
The venerable Paines Plough present The Place I Call Home, a two week festival of new theatre comprising events to be delivered via "Instagram, Zoom, email, WhatsApp, phone and good old-fashioned post". The event we have picked, 'A Brief History Of Struggle', takes place over the course of six days, with instalments delivered through WhatsApp. See this page here for more info and to book, and this page here for an overview of the festival.

Chokka by Luke Barnes | 20 Stories High
Luke Barnes' play 'Chokka' was originally supposed to premiere onstage in the summer of 2020, but I am sure you are all more than familiar with the reasons why that might not, in the end, have happened. The project changed shape and it's now a four part audio play available as a podcast. It features "original beats, flowing melodies, mind and heart stretching poetry", and tells the story of sixteen year old Jem "as they come to terms with the world around them, trying to fit in into a community in which they feel 'other', and discovering what happens when love punches them in the gut". Click here for info and to link to the podcast.


THREE THEATRICAL ONLINE THINGS>>

Apollo 13: The Dark Side Of The Moon | Original Theatre Online | until 31 Dec
As you may perhaps expect from the title of this section, these online shows have a more traditionally theatrical format. Well, kind of. This one, at least, falls easily into that category. "Stranded 205,000 miles from Earth in a crippled spacecraft, astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert fight a desperate battle to survive. 77 hours into their mission they lose all communications with Earth as they pass around the dark side of the Moon". More here.

Globaleyes | Chickenshed | until 30 Nov
Now, let us move on to a piece of dance theatre which "deals with issues around globalisation, taking the subjects of ... human rights, poverty, slave labour, and the exploitation of power and environmental problems, and encouraging us to reconsider the importance of community in today's ever changing world". 'Globaleyes' was first performed back in 2002 and at edfringe in 2005, but this re-imagined version was staged in 2013. Read more about it here.

The Head Wrap Diaries | Uchenna Dance | 16-22 Oct (pictured)
"Meet stylists Linda and Riyah who will take you on a hair journey that will have you laughing out loud, thinking about your own (and everyone else's!) hair while you learn a thing or two about afro hair, straight from the hairdresser's chair. Blending club styles house, waacking and vogue with African and contemporary dance, with a good dose of humour and a sizzling soundtrack of sounds, 'The Head Wrap Diaries' explores femininity, beauty, culture, sisterhood and most importantly HAIR!" More dance theatre for you, from the excellent Uchenna Dance. More info here (scroll down).


THREE MORE ONLINE SHOWS>>


The Yes Queens | Battersea Arts Centre | 18 Oct
Three more online accessible shows of disparate genres: I reckon you'll all be glad to hear that this one is comedy because as the days get darker and colder I expect you are all looking for things to make you smile. And oh, boy, will this make you smile - a livestreaming female-led improvised comedy night performed by a really, really awesome team: Ruth Bratt, Pippa Evans, Maria Peters, Monica Gaga and Susan Harrison. One night only, get your tickets right here.

Truth To Power Cafe | Conway Hall + Bloomsbury Festival | 16 Oct (pictured, image by Kate Holmes)
"Jeremy Goldstein's 'Truth To Power Café' is a profound reflection on loss, hope and resistance told through memoir, image, poetry, music, and live and spontaneous testimony from participants with stories to tell in response to the question 'who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?'" An acclaimed performance event, staged digitally by Conway Hall as part of the Bloomsbury Festival. See the venue website here to find out more.

Shetland Springs | Traverse Online Festival | 19-26 Oct
And finally, a musical treat from a Scottish venue we are very much familiar with because of our work on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This digitally delivered gig is part of the Traverse Theatre's much mentioned online festival and brings together Catriona Macdonald and Margaret Robertson, two leading contemporary Shetland fiddle players, for a celebration of this traditional instrument. And it sounds like they'll be playing traditional tunes as well as their own compositions. See this page here.
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