MONDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
MARYHEE YOON: TOKYO ROSE
You may well be aware of 'Tokyo Rose', a new musical about real life events that won acclaim - and an award - and enjoyed a sell out run, at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

Since then, it has been newly expanded into a two act show, and is currently on a UK tour, imminently calling at London's Southwark Playhouse.

To find out more about the show and the creatives behind it, I spoke to Maryhee Yoon, co-writer.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Tokyo Rose' is on at Southwark Playhouse from 23 Sep-16 Oct, see this page here for info and to book.

The show is on a UK tour, and is also calling at Curve Theatre Leicester, The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford, Corn Exchange in Newbury, and Birmingham Hippodrome.
 See this page here for booking links.



ADRIAN BERRY: LUMINOSA
North London venue Jacksons Lane is reopening this week with 'Luminosa', a collaboration with critically acclaimed circus group Lost In Translation.

The venue has - of course - been through lockdown, but also a big renovation over the last eighteen months, so it will be exciting for regular audiences to get back into the building.

To find out more about 'Luminosa' - which tours the UK throughout the next two months - I spoke to Adrian Berry, Jacksons Lane's Artistic Director, and co-director of the show.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Luminosa' is on at Jacksons Lane from 21-29 Sep, see this page here for information and to book. The show continues to tour throughout the autumn, calling at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing, Circus City in Bristol, Lighthouse in Poole, Oxford Playhouse, The Lowry in Salford, Derby Theatre, The Drama Studio at The University of Sheffield, and Barnsley Civic. Find a full list of tour dates here.
Shows to see in person in London - and online anywhere - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE SHOWS FROM SPRINT>>

For A Palestinian | Camden People's Theatre | 22 Sep
As we mentioned last week, Camden People's Theatre's Sprint festival of new and interesting stuff is very much up and running, and there's so much that's good going on there, we thought we'd devote another whole section to it. And we begin with 'For A Palestinian' from writer Bilal Hasna, of whom I am primed to expect great things. "Bilal has always been obsessed with love stories. In this one-person show, he tells you his favourite - the true story of Palestinian poet and translator Wa'el Zuaiter. Join Bilal as he ventures through the orange groves of Jaffa, the piazzas in Rome, and the shisha bars of Edgware Road, piecing together this untold story, and asking what it means to be a Palestinian in the West". More here.

The Fourteenth Stop | Camden People's Theatre | 26 Sep (pictured)
Here's one you can enjoy as a family, as this show is suitable for all ages. Originally commissioned by Upstart Theatre as part of DARE Festival 2021, it's the work of Speaks Of Rivers, a black female-led physical theatre company who create original work featuring movement, puppetry, spoken word, music and dance for young audiences. "Join ten-year-old Taaliyah on an interactive adventure as she rides London's longest night bus route, transforming the sleepy streets into a wonderland with her vibrant imagination. It's a long journey, full of unexpected and exciting challenges, but she's determined not to fall asleep - because Taaliyah knows that with a little help and a lot of courage she can overcome anything the world throws at her". Click here.

The Shape Of Things To Come: Coded Conscience | Camden People's Theatre | 25 Sep
'The Shape Of Things To Come' strand juxtaposes interesting works in progress alongside new short pieces, and there are double and triple show offers to be had if you are seeing more than one. This particular work in progress definitely caught my eye, an interactive piece exploring artificial intelligence and human nature, which you will be able to participate in via a smartphone. "Welcome to RightCare Intelligence. You are about to take part in a series of tests with our human research department. Your generous participation will provide data that we will use to train our artificial intelligence. This technology will become the state-of-the-art carers that will look after us all in our old age. On behalf of RightCare Intelligence, and the entire human race, thank you for your contribution". For info and booking head right this way.


THREE SHOWS FROM CLAPHAM FRINGE>>

Jenanistan | Bread & Roses Theatre | 22 Sep (pictured)
So, we've spent some time north of the river considering festival options, so now it's time to head south to Bread & Roses Theatre and their Clapham Fringe for yet more quality offerings. Another work in progress, this one, but I bet it won't feel like it is, not least because it's from the award winning and critically acclaimed stand up Jenan Younis. "You've heard of Syrians but have you heard of Assyrians? Navigate a show that tells you what it's like to be from an ethnicity rarer than an unfiltered Kardashian family photo, that takes in tales including being trolled for calling out Stacey Dooley's Iraq documentary, rejecting terms like 'person of colour', and growing up as the only beige kid in a middle class Surrey school whilst teetering on the edge of assimilation and integration". All the details here.

#fit | Bread & Roses Theatre | 23 Sep
Okay, so that's comedy lovers sorted, but what about those of you who enjoy musicals that are also funny? Is that you? Well read on. This sounds fun - a dark-sounding musical comedy with contemporary themes from Red Jay Theatre, created by Sam Wells and Joe Wiltshire Smith. "Leanne is a famous international influencer… in her mind. Even with her two dedicated followers, mum and dad, life isn't getting any easier. Until one bad day, a chance meeting with an idol, the worst news imaginable, Leanne knows she can't fit in anymore. A surreal black comedy musical about identity, fame and conformity". For more information head to this page here.

Auto-Engrain | Bread & Roses Theatre | 26-27 Sep
"Kate finally decides it's high time she laid it all out in therapy! Exploring how a simple thing like an ex can be embedded into the mind so everything becomes automatically engrained as normal… but it isn't normal, is it? Kate thought so, until now". A final pick from the Clapham Fringe line up, which sees a woman sharing her experiences of a past relationship, and how it has stayed with her into the present. It's a semi-autobiographical piece from writer and performer Helena Collins O'Connor which promises to be blunt and a bit harrowing, but to also contain humorous elements. I feel pretty sure the idea of former partners lingering around in your brain is something most people can relate to. If that's you (or not, to be honest) head this way to find out more.


THREE SHOWS TO TAKE IN AT HOME>>

In Other Words | 27 Sep-10 Oct
And on to some stuff for culture lovers who'd like something to take in digitally at home. And the fact that theatres are still doing this stuff, despite there being loads of live performances these days, makes me think there are quite a lot of you. Let's begin with Matthew Seager's 'In Other Words', a love story that explores the effects of Alzheimers, which has been adapted into a specially filmed version following an acclaimed theatrical run, and is released to coincide with World Alzheimers Month. "Join Arthur and Jane, at the beginning, as they tell us their story. Connected by the music of Frank Sinatra, this intimate, humorous and deeply moving love story explores the effects of Alzheimer's disease and the transformative power of music in our lives". More here.

The Glad Game | on demand via Nottingham Playhouse | from 24 Sep (pictured)
And now one via Nottingham Playhouse, written and performed by Phoebe Frances Brown. "Phoebe is an actor. From her childhood impressions of Dolly Parton to grown up roles at the National Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and New York Theatre Workshop, acting has defined who and what she is. In November 2018, Phoebe was diagnosed with an incurable tumour in the area of her brain that controls speech, language and memory. In this specially made-for-screen version of 'The Glad Game', filmed across Nottingham Playhouse, Phoebe shares the story of finding herself in the bleakest of times, of discovering gladness in the saddest of moments, and about how who and what you love can pull you through". Click here to book.

Look No Hands | stream.theatre | 27 Sep-7 Nov
You may remember a few weeks ago we ran a Q&A with Lila Clements about her show 'Look No Hands', which was at that time poised for a run at London's Pleasance Theatre, followed by a digital edfringe stint. From this week, you can see it online via stream.theatre, which is great news for anyone who has managed to miss it thus far. It's a piece inspired by real life experiences that tells the story of Vee, a cyclist who is injured in an accident during her daily commute, and, suffering from amnesia, has to piece together what happened to her. It explores the female cycling experience, and the phenomenon known as post traumatic growth, and was made in partnership with female cycling club Velociposse. For more information and to book your viewing, see this page here.


THREE LONDON SHORT RUNS>>

Tiger Lady | Greenwich Theatre | 27 Sep (pictured)
Three London-based runs for you, but they are all pretty short so make sure you get a move on and get the dates in your diary/book tickets. Let's start with 'Tiger Lady' at Greenwich Theatre, from the rather good Dead Rabbits. "Welcome ladies and gentleman to a true tale of excitement, danger and claws! Mabel Stark - the queen of the circus in the time of the greatest show on Earth - was the only woman to step into the ring with seven tigers! The crowd loved her! The men loved her! The tigers loved her! Hear our tale of America's most ferocious big cats' tamer and you will see that the scars on her body were not as deep as the scars on her heart…" Click here.

The Co-op | Jack Studio Theatre | 21-25 Sep
"Welcome to The Co-op. The dysfunctional acting agency, run by three nobodies, that you'll never want to leave. After Jimmy and Caza watch their best friend leave the agency, it all seems to be over. But can exciting and talented Charlie be the answer to their woes? Or will the secrets beneath The Co-op be revealed?" This well received play, described as a love letter to theatre and film, and using popular music and film genres, has already had successful runs at a number of London theatres - namely Waterloo East, the White Bear, Bread & Roses Theatre and the OSO Arts Centre - but if you haven't previously managed to catch it, now's your chance. Info here.

Bonsai Baby | Theatre503 | 22-23 Sep
A debut play from writer and director Lucy Hayes, 'Bonsai Baby' offers an irreverent and comical look at "the gap between self care and self love", and sounds really interesting. "After a lifetime of drinking, Ruby's mum has been given 24 hours to live. But Ruby's got a therapist and a self-help book and she's doing fine. Really good actually. She's off social media, pumping whale music, and thinks the ICU is the perfect place to practise mindfulness. That is until a man jumps out at her in an alley, her estranged twin sister returns, and she finds herself flirting at a salsa class instead of by her mum's bedside…" More here.


THREE LONDON RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Anything Is Possible If You Think About It Hard Enough | Southwark Playhouse | 22 Sep-9 Oct
And finally, some slightly longer runs, so you've got a bit longer to see them - though frankly, I am recommending them for this week, so I expect you to consider actually seeing them this week! This one is about a very sombre topic, but promises to find hope and humour in unexpected places. "Alex and Rupert aren't a conventional match but a caffeinated meeting on the underground ignites a spark. Skip forward to them fighting over baby names, nursery colours and ways to save money. All the signs of a normal family in waiting. Then Alex goes into labour, their baby is born still and their world implodes. What follows is a window into how a couple find the strength to move forward, the will to stay together, and the determination to keep the memory of their child alive". See the venue website here.

Love Genius and a Walk | Theatro Technis | 22 Sep-17 Oct
"Gustav Mahler, world-renowned composer and conductor, wishes his wife to be his muse. Alma desires a closeness he cannot give, as he believes it would distract him from completing his work. Mahler turns to renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud for guidance, however both men find they may not truly understand women. Meanwhile, a modern couple's life mirrors Alma and Mahler's, except here she is the striving artist while her commercially oriented husband confounds her with his own thoughts on art". We tipped a previous, well received production of this play by New Yorker Gay Walley, and now it returns with a new director for a run at Theatro Technis. Don't miss it this time, if you missed it the last time - it's a really fascinating piece. Click here.

Red | Polka Theatre | 25 Sep-31 Oct (pictured)
The last tip for this week is something for the kids, and it's Polka Theatre's first show back at the venue since its recent renovations, and it all sounds rather exciting and adventure filled. Yay. 'Red' is inspired by 'Little Red Riding Hood' and tells the story of a voyage through woods and swampland, taking in the venue's new spaces. "The wolves have seized power from Queen Sukotai and Alpha Wolf now sits on the throne. What will happen now and where is Red? We urgently need your help to find Red and end this conflict, restoring peace to the land". Gosh, I want to go. It's probably better suited to children six plus though, see the venue website here to find out more.
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