MONDAY 12 JULY 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
EDMUND DEHN: LEAR ALONE
The burgeoning of digitally delivered culture during lockdown, while the result of necessity, has led to some incredibly interesting projects and a host of fantastic theatrical works to take in at home.

The latest such project to catch my eye was 'Lear Alone' - from And Tomorrow Theatre Company - a Shakespearean adaptation set to grace screens in five instalments, with the first being released yesterday. It's presented in partnership with homelessness charity Crisis.

It's a one man drama starring veteran actor, and company co-founder, Edmund Dehn. I spoke to him to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

The first episode of 'Lear Alone' was released yesterday and the subsequent four episodes will be released once a week on Sunday. All episodes will remain online and free to view until 31 Aug via And Tomorrow Theatre Company's YouTube channel here.



CHARLIE GEORGE: CULTURAL COMEDY TOURS
I was really excited when I heard about some fab events coming up at UCL's Grant Museum Of Zoology, courtesy of Cultural Comedy Tours, because I am very fond of museums and I am very fond of comedy.

This month two comedians are set to take audiences on socially distanced tours at the museum, and I would love to be there!

First up is Charlie George, who'll be leading tours twice this week, with an early and a late event on 16 Jul.

To find out more about the tours, and about Charlie herself, I arranged a quick chat.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Charlie George Is Your Tour Guide' takes place at The Grant Museum, UCL, on 16 Jul, Katie Pritchard Is Your Tour Guide follows on 23 Jul. Book your tickets for both here.
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 OUTDOOR THINGS>>

Love's Labour's Lost | Open Bar Theatre | from 13 Jul
Well, Londoners, having looked at the forecast I am really hopeful that there are good weather times a-coming. Whether or not they are in time for the opening of this particular outdoor show, I can't guarantee, so let's keep our fingers tightly crossed, but also dig out the waterproofs, just in case. Because which of you would not be interested in the chance to take in a Shakespeare play in the comfort of your local beer garden? Open Bar Theatre will be presenting this bardy classic in a number of pub gardens around London and Greater London in the near future. But also, readers who dwell outside the capital, they will be heading to other locations in England before long too, which is lovely. The company will also begin a second production, of 'As You Like It', a bit later in the month. Check here for locations and to book.

The Game Of Love And Chance | Arcola Theatre | 14 Jul-7 Aug (pictured)
Over now to Arcola Outside for another show on as part of the venue's festival of outdoor art and performance, Today I'm Wiser, and it's a staging of eighteenth century writer Pierre de Mariveaux's classic romantic comedy about sex and class. "Lady Sylvia might be 58th in line to the throne, but she's not been so lucky in love. That all looks set to change with the arrival of sweetheart son-of-a-billionaire Dorante. There's just the small matter of his charming chauffeur - a man her royal family would never accept. Let the game begin…" For more information and to book your tickets, head to the venue website here.

Terrible Thames | Tower Bridge Quay | from 17 Jul
Not sure to what extent a thing that's happening on a boat can be regarded as happening 'outside', because it's a boat with a roof on it. But it's outside of any building and it's on the water, so it's certainly a more al fresco experience than a standard auditorium. Anyway, enough of me justifying why or how this tip belongs in this section, let's talk about this event: If your kids' summer holidays haven't begun yet, they are definitely incoming, so I'm sure you'll have an eye out for some entertaining treats for them. I suspect this will be fun for most kids, but especially the kind who love history, and of course the kind who read the 'Horrible Histories' books. Expect some grim and fascinating stories about the history of London's river. All the info you need is on this website here.


THREE DIGITAL THINGS>>

Dumfries And Galloway Arts Festival | 16-25 Jul
I love Dumfries and Galloway, especially the coast, it's completely beautiful and if you've never been to the area, I can recommend a visit. And I would really love to be in the area for this festival. Luckily for me, and other people, if you're not quite in that area, the festival, like many of this year's festivals, has a digital component. There's a really varied take-in-at-home line-up with different genres to choose from: there's music, spoken word, theatrical films, and other less categorisable (no, you're right, that's not really a word) events. Oh, and one of them is 'Distance Remaining', which we gave its own tip back in April. For more information and to see the full line up, see this page here.

Dorian - A Rock Musical | stream.theatre | 16 Jul-12 Aug (pictured)
One for fans of both Wilde and musicals, methinks. Well, maybe more the musical fans as this gives Dorian Gray an interesting twist: "Oscar Wilde's classic tale is given a glam, epic, modern twist with a newly composed score that sears through the action, propelled by influences from Bowie to Brecht. A rock star, trapped in eternal adolescence, wants to change the course of his life and discover love. But, can you find love when you have sold your soul to the Devil? Whilst sitting for the eccentric society painter, Basil Hallward, Dorian is discovered by the influential Lord Henry and is soon under the spell of this dangerous, charismatic music impresario. Dorian, the secret child of love and death, is suddenly thrust into a confusing world where love dare not speak its name". For more info and to book see this page here.

My Jerusalem | Avital Raz/Applecart Arts | 19 Jul-7 Aug
"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. 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?" A solo performance from Jerusalem-born singer-songwriter Avital Raz, who has released seven albums during a twenty year career as a musician. Read more here.


THREE THEATRICAL THINGS>>

Playmill: Badgers Can't Be Friends | King's Head Theatre | 19-21 Jul
"When a headteacher forces Mr Dennis to distance himself from a friendless, lonely pupil, he hits back at the failing education system. But his outlandish (and grotesque) video creates unimaginable consequences for himself, his partner, his pupils and their parents. Will his efforts bring people together or drive them further apart? Who is he really fighting for? And can he find the weird smell in his kitchen?" You might have seen this one before, because it had a sold out run in 2018, but - if not - the fact that it had a sold out run should maybe convince you that you really ought to see it this time. Yeah, you probably should, head right this way to book tickets.

Necessary Work | Matchstick Piehouse | 19 Jul-13 Aug
A first play from William Thacker, co-screenwriter of 'England Is Mine', and it sounds rather interesting: "Prime Minister Tobias Quantick is tired of Downing Street. Overworked and unpopular, the slick centrist has dashed the hopes of a generation. So when Tobias discovers an algorithm for perfect governance, the choice is clear. Be the most disappointing PM in history, or put a super computer in charge of everything. But when the algorithm takes a dark new twist, Tobias must decide if the truth is really worth it". Book tickets here.

Cake | Theatre Peckham | 13 Jul-7 Aug (pictured)
This new play from babirye bukilwa - actor, poet and Women's Prize For Playwriting 2020 finalist - is part of a trilogy of plays and is "a psychological drama which unapologetically queers the existing complexities of family, roots and belonging; where power and duty dance in equal measure". The play, completed during the pandemic, looks at themes of love, self worth and performativity in relationships. "How do queer, black femmes achieve legitimacy when their soil is hostile? What happens to their roots? Who deserves solace on a sinking island where performativity is currency?" More here.


THREE MORE GREAT THINGS>>

Out Of The Wings Festival | Omnibus Theatre | 13-17 Jul
The Out Of The Wings Festival, if you haven't come across it before, is a collection of staged readings of English translations of works from the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, featuring work by writers from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Brazil and Peru, some of whom are leading writers, some of whom are just emerging. Lots of different ideas and themes are covered, with plays focused on things like sex and gender, adolescent life, the value of love, discrimination, and the rehabilitation of prisoners. It's all taking place at the Omnibus Theatre, but the festival has its own website, which you can find right about here.

Luke Wright: The Ballad Seller | Bethnal Green Working Men's Club | 14 Jul (pictured, image by Andrew Florides)
"Back in Georgian times we got our news from poetry. Before papers, broadcasts or the internet, ballad sellers would hawk their doggerel on street corners for a penny. Scandalous affairs, grisly crimes and colourful characters were brought to life in rhyming verse long before the first tabloid was printed. Now Luke Wright has rewritten the very best of these stories for the modern ear. Expect scandal, excess, and beautiful flawed humanity". Hurrah, a long term TW favourite is heading to Bethnal Green Working Men's Club for a performance of 'The Ballad Seller', which is great for our London readers, book your tickets here. If you're not London based, don't despair, Mr Wright is making appearances all over the country in the next few months, see his full list of upcoming dates here.

Je Regrette | Wilton's Music Hall | 14 Jul
Yay, more TW favourites, the marvellous Sarah Louise Young and the excellent Michael Roulston, though you need to get a move on booking your tickets because availability is already limited. Not surprising, of course, because it's a fab show from a very talented duo. "Funny, tragic and compelling, 'Je Regrette!' is the story of La Poule Plombée, a French singer tortured by jealousy, and unrequited love. Propped up by her hen-pecked pianist Mumu, she weaves her darkly comic tale with beautiful original music and stunning vocals". For more information and to book see the venue website here.
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