|MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2021||THISWEEKCULTURE.COM|
|ANNIE LOWRY THOMAS: AFTER PARTY
Camden People's Theatre's annual Sprint festival of new work returns this week, and there are loads of great shows to see.
A show that very much caught my eye, which you can see early on in the proceedings, is 'After Party', a play about parties, politics and nostalgia with an appropriate party music element.
To find out more about the show, I spoke to writer and performer Annie Lowry Thomas.
CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.
'After Party' is on as part of Sprint 2021 at Camden People's Theatre, on 14 Sep. See this page here for info and to book.
GEORGE RICHMOND-SCOTT: SMALL CHANGE
Coming up this week at Clapham's Omnibus Theatre is a revival of Peter Gill's acclaimed play 'Small Change', courtesy of up and coming new company Both Barrels Theatre.
The production has been brought together by a fab team, and it's great to see this work back on stage again in London.
To find out more about the production and the company, I had a chat with OFFIE-nominated George Richmond-Scott, director of the play and founder of Both Barrels Theatre.
CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.
'Small Change' is on at the Omnibus Theatre from 14 Sep-2 Oct. Visit the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.
|Shows to see in person in London - and online anywhere - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.|
THREE FROM SPRINT FESTIVAL>>
We Were Promised Honey | Camden People's Theatre | 18 Sep
This week sees the return of Camden People's Theatre's Sprint Festival, their annual celebration of the new and unusual, and there are loads of great events to choose from, so we thought we would have a full section of them this week. We begin with 'We Were Promised Honey', a work in progress about the future: "And at some point in the future an audience member will start to cry. At some point an audience member will decide the show has not been worth the money that they paid and will leave just as it's about to get good. In the future an audience member will get up and open a window to see if that's the sound of rain outside. And at some point somebody will think that they should call their ex, just to see if it still hurts to hear their voice. And at some point, we will all stop what we're doing and get up. And watch as the sun emits a solar blast so powerful that it obliterates the world". Click here.
High Steaks | Camden People's Theatre | 15 Sep
"Have you heard of labiaplasty? Considering that girls as young as nine years old are requesting and receiving it (ON THE NHS) due to the pressures of porn and miseducation of schools, you SHOULD know about labiaplasty. Come and rebel with ELOINA as she hangs beef steaks from her labia, butchers them up and sizzles them on a hot plate for the audience. Prepare to raise a massive, f*ck off, middle finger to butchering your body for the aesthetics of a partner, patriarchy, porn! PS: You will not be forced to eat the steaks... or her labia..." This sounds quite full on, so I appreciate some may find the subject uncomfortable, but it's definitely dealing with an important topic in a rather eye-catching way. See the venue website here for more information and to book.
Don't Leave Me This Way | Camden People's Theatre | 17 Sep (pictured)
I'm intrigued by this one, an exploration of cultural belonging and the loss of identity from Anglo-German performance duo Zoo Indigo. "In 2019, Zoo Indigo embarked on an odyssey across Europe; searching for cultural identity along the shores of the Danube in Budapest; crossing the Irish Sea retracing ancestral footsteps to the docks of Dún Laoghaire. Emerging from the shadow of Brexit, they listened for echoes of cultural belonging in the streets of Berlin. Collecting stories, folk dances and lyrics along the way, their journey now brings them to their final call: Auditioning for a motherland". For all the details, head to this page here.
THREE OTHER FESTIVALS>>
A Festival Of Korean Dance | The Place | 17-24 Sep (pictured)
And it's not just Sprint offering up festival fare this week, there are all sorts of festival shenanigans going on. Let's start with something for dance fans and this small but beautifully formed offering of Korean Dance. There's 'WAY' from acclaimed choreographer Sung Im Her, which explores "the human need for individuality and the longing to be part of something bigger than oneself"; an online panel discussion about the future of international touring; and a double bill from up and coming Korean dance troupe Company SIGA: 'Zero' takes a look at the what bodies can do when pushed and 'Equilibrium' is "inspired by the chaos and restored order that humans experience throughout their lifetime". Links to all events here.
Greenwich Comedy Festival | National Maritime Museum | 15-19 Sep
It's sometimes the case - because of the way we operate our mentioning-it-the-week-before tipping system - that very popular stuff gets sold out before we can even think about recommending it, and I am pretty sure that's happened before with the Greenwich Comedy Festival. This time, it's come pretty close to happening, because many of the shows are in fact already sold out - but if you haven't booked yet, you're in luck, because there are still a fair number with tickets available. So you are still in with a chance of seeing the likes of Milton Jones, Phil Wang, Ed Byrne, Nina Conti and Kiri Pritchard McLean, and more, so check here for availability.
Queer East Film Festival | Various Locations | 15-26 Sep
And now that you've sorted out your comedy viewing, time to think about film, and specifically the Queer East Film Festival, which "showcases rarely-seen queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia and seeks to amplify the voices of Asian communities in the UK". The films are to be screened in a number of London locations, and there are plenty of them, focusing on lots of different themes falling into the remit of the festival. Some are classics, some are celebrating significant anniversaries, and there are newer works too - and, as well as feature length stuff, there are short films and documentaries. To read about all of it, see this page here.
THREE FUNNY THINGS>>
Cracking Comedy In Aid Of Women And Children First | Leicester Square Theatre | 20 Sep
Yay, more funny stuff and more fine acts for your delectation at an event happening in aid of Women And Children First, an organisation that runs projects supporting women and children in the world's poorest communities. So, a worthy cause and a fabulous line up of many familiar faces, that includes a selection of TW favourites and the sort of people you're accustomed to seeing on your telly: Ed Gamble, Shaparak Khorsandi, Angelos Epithemiou, Suzi Ruffell, Flo & Joan, and Abigoliah Schamaun. It looks like the tickets are going pretty quickly, though there are quite a few still left as I type this, so hurry this way to book yours.
The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Quiz | London Wonderground | 15 Sep (pictured)
I'm someone who likes to think, and occasionally drink, too, so I have always found this pair appealing, therefore I'd love to be at this upcoming event at London Wonderground. Here's what to expect: "You'll learn a lot and you'll laugh a lot as answers to life's most important and unusual questions appear at the bottom of your glass. The hilarious, award-winning drinks experts host history's greatest ever pub quiz packed with loads of funny, fascinating facts and FIVE free discerning drinks for every audience member". Head this way for more information and to book.
Stand-Up Comedy At Conway Hall | 18 Sep
It was so good to see Conway Hall continuing to run events online throughout the locked down period, and it's even better to be able to recommend events happening there live in person again. It's another fine comedy night (as you'd expect, given that this is a 'funny' section) with a line up of great performers, most of whom have won extremely enthusiastic praise from our edfringe review team in the past. Phrases like "somebody who knows their craft inside out" and "an absolute gem" spring to mind. So who are they? Jimmy McGhie, Mary Bourke, Imran Yusuf and Sean Collins. Head this way for more info and to book your tickets.
THREE ONLINE THINGS>>
Comedy For The Curious | 19 Sep
Right, for those of you still avoiding crowds; or who are not close enough to central London; or, of course, who are simply not feeling like leaving the house at all this week for whatever reason; here are some tips for stuff you can watch while lying on the sofa in your sweatpants. No having to dress up in respectable clothes and put up with public transport. Fab. So we're starting with a definite TW favourite (you know this, surely, because we've been talking about it pretty much every other week lately), 'Comedy For The Curious'. I'm sure you're all familiar with the format - a comedy show in which different acts examine the same interesting subject - and this week is the second instalment of two shows on the topic of confidence. Read more and book tickets here.
The System | Original Theatre Online | until 5 Dec
You may remember that a few weeks ago we ran a Q&A with Emily Head about her solo show 'The System', which was being broadcast via a single shot livestream on 27 Aug. You can now see her critically acclaimed performance on demand via Original Theatre Online until 5 Dec, which is great news for anyone who loves a sharp psychological thriller. "He's dead. He died. Now he's a dead person. He no longer lives. Paul's dead. And no one seems to care. Murdered at his own birthday party. As, one by one, the murder suspects give their accounts of that night a dark truth begins to reveal itself. A truth so powerful it could change everything... and everyone". Click here.
My Night With Reg | stream.theatre | 16 Sep-23 Oct (pictured)
If you have been out and about watching things of late, you might well have already seen 'My Night With Reg' at The Turbine Theatre, which has recently finished its live run. If not, it's going almost straight into this online run, so you have more chances to see it. Old people like me may well remember that, when this play was first performed a long time ago, it won an Olivier Award, and this revival has won much acclaim too, so it's definitely worth tuning in. "Set in Guy's London flat, old friends and new gather to party through the night. This is the summer of 1985 and, for Guy and his circle, the world is about to change forever, thanks to the mounting AIDS crisis". More here.
THREE THEATRE SHOWS>>
The Grand | King's Head Theatre | 14-18 Sep
So, from online theatrical treats to theatrical treats taking place live and in the capital, starting over at the King's Head Theatre with 'The Grand', a new play from David Hendon directed by Paula Chitty. It sounds like a really interesting premise, the action taking place in the same place, but in different, significant time frames. "Ordinary people, unusual choices, extraordinary events. It's the 11th September, in room 119 of The Grand Hotel Brighton. Ordinary people, make unusual choices against the backdrop of extraordinary wartime events in 1943, 1982 and 2001". See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.
Not Quite Jerusalem | Finborough Theatre | 14 Sep
"It's 1979, and Mike, Carrie, Pete and Dave have fled grim, divided England for the sunshine, sex, beer and bagels of a Israeli kibbutz. Only to find that what was supposed to be a working holiday is more like hard labour in 100-degree temperatures. Pete and Dave soon alienate themselves with their foul-mouthed, high-spirited behaviour. Carrie desperately tries to fit in, but cannot relate to either her fellow-countrymen or the Israelis. Only Cambridge drop-out Mike seems able to articulate what it means to be young, conflicted, English, and a very long way from home. Until, that is, he meets no-nonsense kibbutznik Gila..." An acclaimed revival that briefly charmed audiences back in 2020, just before lockdown hit. Great to see it back, see this page here.
Raise Your Hand If You Want Dad To Die | Theatre503 | 17-18 Sep (pictured)
This dark comedy sounds like it raises some interesting questions, and I am very interested by it. "In the midst of more NHS privatisation, a new experimental service is introduced - Death Swapping. What initially seems to be a way for families to intervene and save loved ones soon turns into a nightmare, as political and social influences create a spiral of outlandish mayhem. A family is propelled into hilarious chaos when a new medical procedure sees them having to decide whether their father should swap places with their soon-to-be-dead mother. From debates and revelations to 'Rock Paper Scissors' (they've got to decide who dies somehow), final hours have never looked so lively". Click here to find out more.
THREE MORE LONDON SHOWS>>
St John Passion | St Bartholomew-the-Great | 17 Sep
This last section is a bit of a mixed bag genre wise, with shows falling into three different genres, only united by the fact that they are all happening in London. But I wasn't going to leave them out, just because they didn't fit into a different section. Anyway, this one's classical music from a newly established ensemble, Figure, whose aim is to introduce new generations of musicians to the classical scene. Their first performance is of Bach's 'St John Passion', which is exciting as far as I am concerned because I really do love choral stuff, plus, it's in a fabulous venue. For more information see this page here.
This Island's Mine | Watermans Arts Centre | 19 Sep
And now over to Watermans Art Centre for a show for children, specifically the older ones aged seven and over, set in the world of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', and exploring themes of colonialism, identity and place. "Ariel was always here. Caliban was born here. And Stephano has just arrived. They all claim 'this island's mine'. But do any of them have that right? And what happens if they can't agree? Filled with magic, music and mayhem, this show encourages young people to ask: Where do I belong? Where is my home? Is it truly mine?" For all the details and to book see the venue website here.
Curious | Soho Theatre | 16 Sep-16 Oct (pictured)
And finally, one more theatre piece, and it's a veritable goodie, written and performed by Jasmine Lee-Jones, an Evening Standard Award winner in 2019, who also won the Critics' Circle Award For Most Promising Playwright. "Jaz is in her second year at drama school. Jaz is tired of performing. Hence her conundrum. But when she stumbles across a piece of forgotten history - her life is changed forever... What does it mean to find yourself? Especially when it seems the world you live in is diametrically set against you doing just that? Set against the sprawling backdrop of urban London across centuries, 'Curious' is a frank, funny and moving excavation of the lives of two actresses who are young, black, queer and trying to find out who they are". Click here.