MONDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
JACK MCNAMARA: LOVE DOWN THE LINE
During this pandemic year, I've been really impressed by how companies like Nottingham's New Perspectives Theatre Company have been finding great new ways to reach audiences in lockdown.

When I heard about their latest project, 'Love Down The Line', which sees short plays being delivered by phone, I was more intrigued than ever.

To find out more about this project, to catch up with what the company have been up to in the last few months, and to find out what the future might hold, I spoke to Jack McNamara, Artistic Director.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Love Down The Line' takes place on 13+14 February. Book here.
With full-on COVID restrictions still in place, this week we are tipping the best in digital culture from across the UK - including online shows from performers and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE COMEDY SHOWS>>

Esther Manito - #notallmen | Leicester Comedy Festival | 13 Feb (pictured)
I know I keep saying this, but I keep saying it for a reason: we all need a laugh right now, so I feel it's rather important that you all make an attempt to tune into some online comedy this week. Luckily there's lots to choose from, especially when the Leicester Comedy Festival is happening online. We're starting with the brilliant Esther Manito and her rather intriguingly named show '#notallmen', which apparently "takes you back to the 90s: lad mags, calling landlines, the vast amount of cock n ball graffiti, and trying to imagine what she should/could ever hope for from a future spouse!?!?!?! Nuts mag didn't quite sell it". See this page here for more.

Lucont's Louche Lockdown Lounge | 12 Feb
And now for a show from a very much long term TW favourite, first loved, of course, up at the old edfringe: it's the latest edition of Marcel Lucont's 'Louche Lockdown Lounge'. "France's greatest misanthrope and lover" presents an hour-long special, in which he will be reciting supremely erotic poetry, singing gloriously bawdy chansons and answering your love questions. Don't forget to make a contribution via Paypal (link on event page) before tuning in. Click here for more info and to watch.

Comedians Telling Erotic Stories | Leicester Comedy Festival | 12 Feb
"Light some candles, pop the prosecco and dust off the satin sheets to join Rachel Fairburn and her line up of filthy comedy guests for a night of online matchmaking, cocktails and some very sexy stories". Yes, we are back at the Leicester Comedy Festival for an event with a fab sounding line up: Shappi Khorsandi, Lou Sanders and Will Duggan plus host Rachel Fairburn, as mentioned above. Lots of TW faves featured there. Head this way for info. Oh, and don't forget there are loads of other interesting events available to view via the festival - take a look at the full line up here.


THREE MUSICAL SHOWS>>

Gatsby - A Musical | Cadogan Hall | 12-14 Feb
We have a whole section here for those of you who like a serving of music in your entertainment, starting with this West-End-talent-studded, socially-distanced concert recording of the award winning 'Gatsby' musical, available to stream via Cadogan Hall this week. "When Daisy Buchanan revisits Jay Gatsby's mansion seven years after leaving that world behind, she is trying to confront her past by reliving the dream she shared with Gatsby. But where is he?" Read more about it here.

Hansel and Gretel | Scottish Opera: On Screen | from 10 Feb
"Banished from home by their exasperated parents, Hansel and Gretel plunge deep into the forest, ready for whatever adventures might come their way. But not everything is as it seems in this enchanted wood and the pair will need their wits about them if they're to escape the clutches of the Christmas-crazed Witch who lurks there. As they venture through an eerie world of magic, fireflies and fairies they find that if they hang onto hope, even the darkest moments can be overcome". An opera aimed at the whole family by Engelbert Humperdinck (the 19th/20th century German composer, not the other one, obv). It's directed by Daisy Evans and features Kitty Whately and Rhian Lois. See this page here.

A Place To Fall To Pieces | The Space | 12-13 Feb (pictured)
Folk/spoken word duo Isobel and Anna Hughes are the talent behind this merging of folk music and tales, spoken word, original composition and text, "a lyrical journey, through memory and magic and earth, to seek the indelible mark our country leaves on us and where the permanence of home truly lies". Sounds fab, doesn't it? "You are on an island. And it is sinking. It is not a metaphor, nor is it a dream. It is the end. But how can you drown, when you haven't a place to lay your bones? And when you don't know where it is, how can anyone bring you home?" Info and booking here.


THREE INTERESTING INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES>>

Sherlock In Homes 2 - Murder On Ice | Sharp Teeth Theatre/Wardrobe Theatre | 13 Feb-10 Apr
"Calling all budding detectives! Your crime-solving expertise is required at a remote exploration outpost deep in Antarctica, for there has been a murder so dastardly it will make your blood run cold. Can you solve the mystery of famous explorer Albert Ross's icy death? Prepare to travel to the barren landscape of Antarctica, where you play detective. You'll interrogate the suspects and attempt to unmask a murder with your fellow audience members". A no-doubt much-welcomed follow up to Sharp Teeth Theatre's earlier online interactive hit 'Murder At The Circus'. Fab for all you whodunnit fans out there. See this page here.

Project Perfect Stranger/PlagueRound Game Show | ZU-UK | 10-14 + 20 Feb
This is a very interesting project. Though I am not sure I will be able to satisfactorily explain it in the relatively short space I have here, but: this is in two parts, the first being (as title above suggests) 'Project Perfect Stranger', in which participants engage via WhatsApp with people they don't know, to complete, over the course of five days, a series of "playful provocations and collaborative tasks". That happens this week. Next week, there's the follow up, 'PlagueRound Game Show', which brings together the 'Perfect Stranger' participants to be contestants in a live game show. Read and understand more about it here.

The House Of Cenci | Parabolic Theatre | from 15 Feb (pictured)
"After 400 years the secrets of a family tragedy are emerging. Hidden in the depths of the House Of Cenci, the truth waits to be set free. Digitally explore the castle ruins to uncover the events of a harrowing tale. Delve into each room and solve puzzles to unlock the mysteries lurking behind closed doors". Another intriguing entertainment choice for you here, driven by an "interactive online game in the form of a classic-style text adventure", which you go through at your own pace. But to progress from one act to the next, you will need information that can only be found by interacting with characters played by actors live over Zoom, in sessions which will take place at fixed times. All the details and more explanation, right about here.


THREE MORE ONLINE SHOWS>>


May Contain Food | Protein Dance/King's Place | 12-21 Feb (pictured)
A real favourite of ours, Luca Silvestrini's Protein Dance, meaning it's not the first time we have recommended that you take in the brilliant 'May Contain Food'. But, of course, on previous occasions it's been live performances we've been encouraging you to attend, whereas this time you can take it in from your own home. I often say that Silvestrini's productions are the kind that easily convert people who don't think they like dance, and I will reiterate it here. If you don't think of yourself as a dance fan, take this lockdown opportunity to experiment with your genre preferences. Read all about it here.

All In Your Head | Camden People's Theatre | 14 Feb
"She returns to the centre, leaning in close to the camera. She smiles a small smile and nods more assuredly than before. She's made a decision. She turns and heads to the door. She opens it and goes to leave. Black". This live online theatre piece is a one woman show based on real women's accounts of coercive control and domestic violence, which seems like a very pertinent topic to be broaching at this point, given the fact that levels of domestic abuse have increased significantly during this pandemic year. It will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from women's organisations and survivors of domestic abuse. Info here.

Good Grief | Platform Presents | 15 Feb-15 Apr
"After the tragic loss of a woman they loved, two friends navigate the five stages of grief and all the absurdity, hilarity and pain that that entails". This recorded comedy drama by Lorien Haynes becomes available as of this week and stars two faces that you may well be familiar with - Sian Clifford, who you will remember from her sterling work as sister Claire in 'Fleabag', and Nikesh Patel, who appeared in Hulu's 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' and other TV stuff. It's described by director Natalie Abrahami as a hybrid of theatre and film, which fuses the intimacy of filmed close-ups with the immediacy of live performance. All the info is here.
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