MONDAY 19 JULY 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
SUDHA BHUCHAR: FINAL FAREWELL AND EVENING CONVERSATIONS
Sudha Bhuchar will be a familiar name to our readers, given the acclaim and recognition she's achieved in her career thus far; as an actor; a playwright; as the founder of her own company Bhuchar Boulevard; and as co-founder, with Kristine Landon-Smith, of Tamasha.

Despite the pandemic and lockdown she has been quite busy lately, writing 'Final Farewell', an audiowalk currently being presented via Tara Theatre, and preparing to perform her own play 'Evening Conversations' at Jermyn Street Theatre later this month.

I spoke to Sudha to find out more about her projects, her past, and the future.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Final Farewell' takes place via Tara Theatre until 31 Jul, see the venue website here for info and to book.

Sudha performs 'Evening Conversations' as part of a double bill with 'Life Laundry' at Jermyn Street Theatre on 28 Jul, see this page here.



BASIL BRUSH: THE STAGE IN THE PARK
I'm very much interested in stuff we can take in outside this summer, as I know many people still feel nervous about being part of an indoor crowd. So I was keen to have a look at what to expect from The Stage In The Park, which will be operating from 23 Jul-8 Aug in Watford's Cassiobury Park.

As it turns out there are lots of TW favourites set to perform: the likes of Showstoppers, Comedy Club 4 Kids, Adam Kay and 'This Is Your Trial', featuring two former TW Editors' Award winners, Tim FitzHigham and Andrew Maxwell.

Another star of the line-up, one that's entertained almost every living generation, is Basil Brush. He's doing two shows, one for families and one for adults. I spoke to him to find out more about the shows and his future plans.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Basil appears in 'Basil Brush's Family Fun Show' and 'Basil Brush Unleashed' at Watford's Stage In The Park on 24 Jul. Stage In The Park takes place from 23 Jul-8 Aug, see listings for all events here.
Most remaining COVID restrictions in England lift today allowing the return of full capacity shows, however there are still plenty of online productions for those who are still looking for home-based culture. We're tipping a selection of both.


THREE ONLINE THINGS>>

PNOC.io | Chronic Insanity / CPT | 23 Jul-6 Aug (pictured)
Things may be fully re-opening this week as COVID restrictions lift, but there are still plenty of online offerings for those of you still not too keen about rejoining the crowds. First, another digitally produced, interactive experience from the extremely prolific Chronic Insanity, this time based on the story of Pinocchio. Here's what to expect: "The audience finds themselves at their new job, a User Experience Tester for Stromboli, the world's most exciting internet company. After initiation, you are shown a top-secret research project and asked to deliver a series of tests. However, things are not as they seem. As the tests progress you begin to uncover more about what the company is really testing for, having to decide whether you want to help them achieve their goals or whether you want to sabotage them while you have the chance". Find out more here.

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope | stream.theatre | 22 Jul-1 Aug
Another show that was recently performed and recorded at Wilton's Music Hall (we've tipped a couple recently), and will now be streamed via stream.theatre from 22-25 Jul, and then be available on demand from 26 Jul-1 Aug. Pretty sure many of you will be aware of this theatrical piece from Mark Farelly, not least because of the critical acclaim it has generated. As the title makes only too clear, it's all about Questin Crisp, and depicts him in two different phases of his life - firstly during the late sixties when he was living in Soho, and secondly in New York in the nineties - while exploring the idea of allowing your true self to flourish. "Life will be more difficult if you try to become yourself. But avoiding this difficulty renders life meaningless. So discover who you are. And be it. Like mad!" Click here.

Suspiciously Cheap Comedy | Pleasance | 25 Jul
This one is actually a real live event taking place in a real life venue with real life audience members, but I have my suspicions that this new material night will have sold out of in-person tickets before I have even had the chance to get this recommendation out to you, so I am officially tipping the livestream, which goes out via excellent streaming comedy service NextUp. However, I might be completely wrong about that, so if you're even vaguely interested in turning up on the night, see this page here to arrange tickets. If they've sold out, head to this page here to arrange to view online - either via a one off booking or by signing up for membership. Sorry, what's that? You want to know the line up? Well, there's Tarot, Gein's Family Giftshop, Goose, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and others to be announced.


THREE FESTIVAL THINGS>>


i-d-e-n-t-i-t-i-e-s | Dulwich Park | 24-25 Jul
Yay for summery festival events, especially ones in parks, and at the moment, the weather forecast is promising. 'i-d-e-n-t-i-t-i-e-s' is a Latin American festival celebrating the area's culture with a focus on independent cinema, dance, music and cuisine. There's a competition featuring short films and audience-voted awards, and a tie-up with Femme Frontera, a Mexican touring festival of films that challenge accepted narratives about gender roles, LGBTQ, immigrants and other communities. As well as the pop up cinema, there is a dance workshop, children's activities, live music and regional food stalls. Read more about the festival here.

The Last Word | Roundhouse | 24-31 Jul
I pondered picking a single event from The Last Word fest, but then I looked through the line up and couldn't decide what I wanted to see most. I expect it's a thing that might happen to you too, when you go and look at what's on offer, so prepare yourself for a bit of agonising or alternatively going to see loads of it. There's the poetry slam final, Inua Ellams performing 'Search Party', 2018 slam winner Rakaya Fetuga's 'Unbraided', Yomi Sode talking to Hannah Azieb Pool for his interview series First Five, the letters live stream, and loads of other good stuff. Head this way to look at it all.

Hotel Paradiso | Underbelly Festival | 24 Jul-5 Aug (pictured)
"Check into the quirkily ineffective Hotel Paradiso and meet Madame, the charming staff and the bankers who are scheming to repossess the hotel. As the tenants introduce us to their beloved home, we witness their battle. Will they manage to stay open or will they be forced to move on? And who is the mysterious writer of love letters to Madame? Spectacular circus skills blend seamlessly with physical comedy and theatrical storytelling in this colourful, loud and hilarious show". The fabulous Lost In Translation (who you'll remember from this Q&A just a few weeks ago) are the company behind this fab family friendly show. Read more about it here.


THREE THEATRICAL THINGS>>

Every Seven Years | Jack Studio | 20-24 Jul
Right, onto some in-person theatre, and an intriguing new play told in seven year intervals, reflecting the fact that our bodies sort of completely regenerate over a seven year period. "Polly and Marcus have been best friends since they were fourteen. They might even be soulmates. But life continues to push and pull them together and apart. They stumble through the social chaos of their teenage years, the freedom of their twenties, the responsibilities of their thirties, and the midlife crises of their forties, navigating their relationships with each other, the outside world, and their own changing bodies". Read more about the play and the company behind it right about here.

Crisis? What Crisis? | New Diorama Theatre | 20 Jul-21 Aug (pictured)
"It's 1979. Jim Callaghan's Labour government has a working majority of zero. Parliament is deadlocked. The workers are on strike. Your advice will change the country forever. You and your fellow parliamentary advisers are gathered in a neglected office building, away from the press. Your job is to avert disaster". This is an already critically acclaimed immersive and interactive show from Parabolic Theatre, and we interviewed its director Owen Kingston when it was first staged back in 2019. So read that Q&A to find out lots more about the play and the company behind it, and head to the venue website here to book yourself in.

Two Victorian Farce | Bread and Roses Theatre | 23-24 Jul
Fantastic. I can't tell you how much I love a bit of theatrical victoriana, and that doesn't mean I am stuck in the past, it means I have an appreciation of the classic as well as the modern, cutting edge and progressive. Anyway, I reckon this double bill of 'The Area Belle' and 'The Duel In The Dark' promises much. "A Pandora's box of frisky, foolish, fun and fan-brandishing characters who are all in a pickle endeavouring to appease their own desires. Materialising pepper boxes, shrinking soldiers and fluffed up feathery tailcoats and wives in disguise as men. An homage of frolics from a long lost genre and era which promises to tickle your fancy brought to you by an all-female cast". Yay, click here.


THREE MORE FAB SHOWS>>


Protein Dance - En Route | Woolwich Common | 27-31 Jul
Here's another outdoorsy show for you, and this one involves quite a bit of walking, so don't say you weren't warned. But I am one hundred percent sure that the trek (it's not really a trek, I am totally exaggerating) will be absolutely worth it because you will be in the company of the marvellous Protein Dance. The company do say to avoid bare legs and sandals, and wear appropriate clothing, and to bring a little chair if you don't want to sit on the grass, so although it's not a really trek, you do need to be realistic about your attire. Anyway, it sounds great - enjoy a "journey of discovery through different worlds, moving through the streets, green and iconic public spaces of Woolwich". Info and booking here.

Fourplay | Golden Goose Theatre | 21-24 Jul
Something a bit more sedate and less physically taxing (the furthest thing removed from a trek) for you now, a staging at the new Golden Goose Theatre in Camberwell of Colin Smith's 2000 play 'Fourplay', which you can absolutely sit down to and absorb in peaceful quietude. Well, unless you happen to be laughing: "David and Caroline invite Helen and Edward round for supper, hoping for an evening full of laughter and stimulating conversation. As the evening progresses, hidden secrets and mutual recriminations start to emerge, in this caustically funny sharply observed piece". Book here.

Two Super Super Hot Men | Camden People's Theatre | 20-21 Jul
"Alan and Ron are sweaty. Really sweaty. The heat is rising in their studio and the milk has gone off. But life goes on, right? As they continue to soundtrack climate documentaries, it becomes harder and harder to describe what's going on. Alan is growing leaves and there's sand in the kettle. Can they escape to a new future? Can they create it?" Comedy theatre duo Alan and Ron, aka award-winning theatre makers Alice Boyd and Rosa Garland, present this show about "(dis)connection with nature, and the power of imagination in a time of climate crisis". Part of Camden People's Theatre's summer season, more info and booking link right here.
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