MONDAY 5 JULY 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
HANNAH KHALIL: BITTERENDERS
Coming up this week via stream.theatre is a staging of Hannah Khalil's 'Bitterenders', a play set in Jerusalem looking at the lives of Palestinians and Israeli settlers forced to live closely together.

Helmed by Maxine Peake in her directorial debut, the play will be livestreamed from Arcola Theatre before being made available on demand, and ticket proceeds will be donated to Medical Aid For Palestinians.

To find out more about the play, and the creative brain behind it, I spoke to playwright Hannah Khalil.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Bitterenders' by Hannah Khalil will be streamed live via stream.theatre from the Arcola Theatre on 9 July, and will be available on demand from 10-17 Jul. More info and booking links here.



LAURA LINDOW: PAUSE
My interest was very much piqued when I heard about 'Pause', a play being performed at the Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, but also livestreamed to audiences at home.

It's set in a video shop (remember those?) in Scotland in the 1990s, and looks like it will take those of us who do remember on a bit of a nostalgia trip back to that decade courtesy of 90s film references and trivia.

Though of course, there's more to it than that, as it touches on a number of different themes through its narrative. To find out more about the play, I spoke to writer Laura Lindow.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Pause' will be performed at Newcastle's Alphabetti Theatre from 6-17 Jul, and every performance will be live streamed to audiences at home. See this page here for info and to book your viewing.



CIAN BINCHY: PERFORMANCE MAKING DIPLOMA FOR LEARNING DISABLED AND AUTISTIC ADULTS
Just last week I was alerted to the fact that there's an important deadline coming up: it's the closing date this week for applications for the Performance Making Diploma For Learning Disabled And Autistic Adults programme from learning disabled theatre company Access All Areas and the Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama.

It's a brilliant two year course for neurodivergent people who are looking to make a career in the performing arts, and I thought it would be great to find out more about it.

One successful graduate of the course is Cian Binchy, whose work we've seen up in Edinburgh, with Access All Areas, and on the telly. I spoke to him to find out more about both the course and his career progression.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

For more details about the Performance Making Diploma for Learning Disabled and Autistic Adults course, and to download application forms, head to this page here. The closing date for applications is 9 July.
Some COVID restrictions remain in force in the UK, although some socially-distanced shows are possible, so we are tipping plenty of them along with some online experiences, many featuring performers and companies we first enjoyed at the Edinburgh Fringe.


THREE LONDON FESTIVALS>>

SWK Fest | Southwark Playhouse | 5-17 Jul (pictured)
SWK Fest is Southwark Playhouse's festival of shows that should have been staged in recent times but had to be cancelled because of this COVID thing that's been happening. My original plan was to choose just one event from the line up, but when it came to it I couldn't decide because there's loads of great looking stuff, and they only get one night each. Luckily, if you also can't decide, there's great news: discounts apply when booking tickets for two shows or for three shows. Though, if you only have time to see one, I am sure you will also get your money's worth - there are enough shows and themes going on that there is surely something for everyone. Take a look at what's going on right about here.

96 Festival | Omnibus Theatre | 5-11 Jul
And another festival! Which is what you may well be expecting given that this tips section is entitled 'Three London Festivals'. And this time we're talking about the return of the 96 Festival over at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, a celebration of queer theatre, comedy, cabaret, music, art and activism, conceived in remembrance and celebration of the iconic Pride party on Clapham Common in 1996. The programme features shows like 'Shutters', a lesbian rock opera; 'V&V', the award winning play about Virginia Wolf and Vita Sackville-West; and appearances by TW favourite Elf Lyons. To see all the events taking place, see the festival listings page on the venue website here.

International Youth Arts Festival | Kingston | until 11 Jul
This one will actually have already started by the time you read this, and it's my fault because I meant to talk about it last week, and I somehow got confused about the dates, probably because I am old now. But, we are only a couple of days late so there's lots still to go, so let's talk about that a bit: this ten day festival focuses on the work of artists under the age of 27, with performances at Kingston's Rose Theatre, outside at the market place, and online. There's stuff like 'Hotel Paradiso' from Lost In Translation, who told us about that show in the recent Q&A we did; 'Jigsaw', a gig theatre piece exploring a woman's experience of caring for non-verbal autistic brothers; and lots of other live and digital events. See this page here for info, links and booking.


THREE THEATRICAL THINGS>>

Playmill: The Octopus | King's Head Theatre 12-15 July (pictured)
"Annabel wakes up with a mouth full of half eaten dumplings. She stumbles the short distance from her bed to the floor and opens her laptop. She's certain there was something she was meant to be doing. Finding a job? Apologising for something? It doesn't seem to matter anymore. Only the video. If she could just show you the octopus, if you could just see it for yourself, then you'd understand". Writer and director Gabriel Jones is the creative brain behind this one woman play starring Anna Chessher about a woman whose bizarre obsession threatens to consume her life. "What am I sorry about? Well I guess I'm most sorry that you're all such perverts". See this page here for more.

Wolves Are Coming For You | Jack Studio | 6-17 Jul
Over to Jack Studio now for a staging of Joel Horwood's 2017 play 'Wolves Are Coming For You', a celebration of storytelling and community that explores "just how much wild we're comfortable with", produced by the venue's inhouse team and starring Grace Cookey-Gam and Brigid Lohrey. "Someone has seen a wolf. Where did it come from? How many are there? Someone must be able to do something about them. Otherwise, how will our children get to school? And how will we all get to line-dancing in the village hall?" For more information and to book your socially distanced seats see the venue website right about here.

Black Is The Color Of My Voice | stream.theatre | 8-18 Jul
And now here's something for you to take in at home, which you may well appreciate if the thundery damp weather continues. This is a show our team first discovered and loved up at the old edfringe one year, and I've probably been tipping it any time it's been performed since then. This time, as aforementioned, it's available to you digitally via the medium of stream.theatre. It's a solo performance from Apphia Campbell and is inspired by the life of Nina Simone: it follows the path of a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist who seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father, reflecting on a journey from a young piano prodigy to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the civil rights movement. This performance was recorded at Wilton's Music Hall just last month, arrange to view it here.


THREE OTHER INTERESTING THINGS>>

Ethical Matters: A Brief History Of Censorship From The Ancients To Fake News | Conway Hall | 12 Jul
Another online thing for you, and another great sounding talk from Conway Hall based around Eric Berkowitz's book 'Dangerous Ideas'. In it he "reveals why and how humanity has, from the beginning, sought to silence itself. From the egregious to the absurd, Berkowitz takes the reader on an unruly yet captivating ride through history, highlighting the use of censorship to reinforce class, race and gender privilege, and guard against offence; examining these trends as part of a phenomenon that has shaped Western culture across centuries. The first cultural history of its kind, 'Dangerous Ideas' offers an energetic deep dive into censorship and the suppression of free speech throughout the ages; illustrating the travails of the people, famous and obscure, who played central roles in the formation of our right to express ourselves". More here.

The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show | Underbelly Festival | 11 Jul (pictured)
Yay, it's time for something for the kids, and as often is the case when I go recommending children's shows, I reckon it will be the kind of offering that accompanying parents will find rather entertaining too. This is another show that's won acclaim up at edfringe, and stars award winning TW fave Jarred Christmas alongside world champion beatboxer and UK Loopstation Champion Hobbit. "A sensational interactive show, where the worlds of comedy and beatboxing collide with electrifying results. Pick-up beatboxing tips to impress your friends, make mind-blowing music, and laugh through your pantaloons!" Read more and book on the Underbelly Festival website here.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation | Museum Of Comedy | 9 Jul
And now for another comical experience, and yes, another edfringe hit, this time of the improvisational kind, from a troupe of much acclaimed improvisers with a brilliant theme. "No one knows who the killer is, not even the cast! The improvised comedy murder mystery is back! Delve into a world of comedy and crime and put these improvisers through their paces. 'Crime Scene Improvisation' creates a 100% brand-new who-dunnit every show to solve an outlandish murder invented by the audience. Someone's kicked the bucket. But who, what and how? The choice is yours, the problem is theirs". Head this way for info and to book.
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