MONDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2021 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
ROB DRUMMER: HOW TO SAVE THE PLANET WHEN YOU’RE A YOUNG CARER AND BROKE
I was immediately interested in the latest show from Boundless Theatre, a mobile and sustainably made new production exploring themes of being a young carer, class and climate change action, which tours a number of London venues this month.

The play, written by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Nessah Muthy, responds directly to conversations with Boundless Theatre's advisory group and community of 15 to 25 year olds, and this work - in common with all of the company's output - is very much for and about that youthful demographic.

To find out more about the show, and the company, I spoke to artistic director Rob Drummer.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'How To Save The Planet When You're A Young Carer And Broke' tours London venues throughout the month, calling at Bermondsey Campus Community Centre on 9 Nov, Theatre Peckham from 10-11 Nov, Hackney Showroom on 13 Nov, Somerstown Community Centre on 17 Nov, Fitzrovia Youth In Action on 18 Nov, and Roundhouse 19-20 Nov. Click on the venue links to book tickets.



DANIEL NICHOLAS: EUGENE
When I first heard about 'Eugene' - when it had a short run at the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe - I was immediately intrigued by the idea of it and made sure it got a mention in our Three To See recommendations that week.

The idea of a slightly futuristic and comedic TED-talk-ish, technology-enhanced theatre piece certainly appealed. So, of course, I was delighted to discover that it's on tour and heading for Camden People's Theatre this week, and immediately resolved to find out more about it.

The creative force behind 'Eugene' is Daniel Nicholas, who wrote and also performs the show. I spoke to him about what to expect from it, and to get some background on Daniel himself.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Eugene' is on at Camden People's Theatre on 9 Nov. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.



POLLY CREED: HUMANE
Earlier in the year, in our Three To See and Stream recommendations, we ran a tip for 'Humane', an audio drama from True Name Theatre about women involved in The Battle Of Brightlingsea, a series of protests that took place in the coastal Essex town in the mid-1990s.

The release of the audio version of the play was, of course, a result of the strictures of lockdown, but - now that venues are open again - the stage play is headed for a live in-person run at London's Pleasance Theatre.

To find out more about the show, I spoke to writer Polly Creed.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Humane' is on at Pleasance Theatre from 3-21 Nov, see the venue website here for more information and to book.
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 FOR CHILDREN>>

Cinderella - The Awesome Truth | Polka Theatre | 12 Nov-30 Jan (pictured)
When children's shows that start a run in November are carrying on until January, I always worry that if I tell you about it now, it's one less production to tip when we are closer to Christmas and you are looking for festive-treats. But, you know, Cinderella isn't just for Christmas, and you may well want a cheery treat right now, this week, as we progress further into wintry times. Though, full disclosure, this is definitely not a traditional rendering of the popular children's tale: it's about Cindy and Ella - "the REAL ugly sisters" - who meet a Prince who isn't so charming and a fairy godmother who's not what she seems. Book your tickets here.

There May Be A Castle | Little Angel Theatre | 13 Nov-23 Jan
"On a frozen Christmas Eve, Mouse Mallory and family are on their way across the snow-white valley to their Grandpa's house. But they never arrive. Instead, Mouse makes friends with a dinosaur that can change size, a glamorous but sarcastic horse and a tone-deaf minstrel who never stops singing! Together, they embark upon an extraordinary quest in search of a castle - but will they find it before the dangerous pink knight catches up with them?" Another long running one, based on the book by Piers Torday, adapted by Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane. Head this way for more information and to sort out your tickets.

Anansi The Trickster | Rosemary Branch Theatre | 13-14 Nov
This one is only a short run, so you have to see it this week, and I reckon you will want to, because it's a puppet show with live traditional West African music and spoken word for children aged four plus and their families. And, of course, the story focuses on famous African Caribbean folktale character, Anansi. This is on as part of a special strand, I think, alongside another event, the 'Curious Puppets Festival', which is for older audiences, adults and young people aged twelve plus, and that looks rather good too. Anyway, head to the venue website here for all the details.


THREE CLASSICS>>

Little Women The Musical | Park Theatre | 11 Nov-19 Dec
Yes, three classics, though, just like the last time we did a 'classics' tip section, these shows don't really offer what you'd call a traditional staging. To be fair, this show does stick to the original story laid out in Louisa May Alcott's novel. It is, however, the 2005 musical by Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein and Allan Knee, so it is a little bit different. This is another show you could take the family to, actually, if your small ones aren't too small (ie eight plus) and are capable of sitting still for a couple of hours or more. Anyway, it looks lovely, read more about it here.

The Wife Of Willesden | Kiln Theatre | 11 Nov-24 Dec (pictured)
"A proper local legend. Married five times. Mother. Lover. Aunt. Friend. Alvita will tell her life story to anyone in the pub - there's no shame in her game. The question is: are you ready to hear it? Because this woman's got the gift of the gab: she can rewrite mistakes into triumphs, turn pain into parables, and her love life's an epic poem. They call her The Wife Of Willesden..." This one is an interesting looking adaptation, by critically acclaimed author Zadie Smith, of Chaucer's 'Wife Of Bath'. Take a look at the venue website here for more info and to book.

Juliet & Romeo | Chelsea Theatre | 10 Nov-4 Dec
Another adaptation, this one of a Shakespeare classic, and the proof of its being a significant re-imagining is there in the title. This production, from Intermission Youth Theatre, is set in present day London - "where the streets are tense with the global pandemic and the BLM movement" - and mixes the bard's original verse with contemporary urban dialogue. And - as hinted by the show's heading - it gives Juliet's lines to Romeo, and Romeo's to Juliet. More info and booking link on the venue website here.


THREE FUNNY SHOWS>>

Coronavirus - A Great British Farce | Canal Cafe Theatre | 13 Nov
"Joe's stuck in a tiny flat trying to make sense of the pandemic. One day, whilst watching a government briefing on TV, he decides to answer back. This sets off a surreal conversation with... Boris? Or maybe it's his friend on Facebook? Or... maybe it's his fridge." We tipped this show when it was on at the Camden Fringe, not really knowing much about it, but very much expecting it to be very good. Anyway, now we know for sure that it's very good so we are tipping it again. "Joe went a little bit mad during lockdown - just like you did - and it's hilariously cathartic to watch". Click here.

Straight White Men | Southwark Playhouse | 10 Nov-4 Dec (pictured)
Another funny play, and one that has important and serious themes at its heart, despite the hilarity: Korean American playwright Young Jean Lee's script investigates straight white male identity and the traditional father/son narrative. It also has a really interesting genesis that you can read about here. "As Ed, a widower, prepares to celebrate Christmas, he calls his three grown sons back to the family home. Games are played, Chinese food is ordered, and brotherly pranks and trashtalk distract them from the on-going issue that threatens to ruin the festivities: when identity matters and privilege is a problem, what is a straight white man to do?" Click here to book.

Love Dance | Chiswick Playhouse | 10-27 Nov
A romantic comedy from writer Andy Walker and director Lesley Manning, whose last project together, 'Delivery', was completing a successful and acclaimed run in early 2020 when lockdown forced it to close early. This show is about accomplished surgeon Rose, whose biological clock is ticking, and whose past relationships have been disastrous: she therefore wants to have a baby but doesn't want a long-term companion in her life. Enter Adam, who is immature and disorganised but willing to help her find a suitable candidate to impregnate her then leave. I think we can all see where that's going. Promises to be heartwarming and uplifting, book here.


THREE DIGITAL SHOWS>>

You In My House | Voila Europe | 15-21 Nov (pictured)
YAY, it's time for Voila Europe 2021, though only one day of it falls into this week's coverage, so I can't do a whole section dedicated to it yet, but you should look out for that in next week's bulletin. This time, however, I thought we'd talk about this digital offering that's on as part of this fab festival. It's a mobile-specific audio performance in English or Czech for two spectators in an apartment, and it was created by Jiří Austerlitz for the National Theatre Drama Prague. "Just two people in an apartment - and a Voice. Who is the visitor and who is the host? Do you really know the place you live in? Or do you rather come for a visit?" Read more about it here.

Into Battle | via stream.theatre | until 31 Jan
'Into Battle' was on fairly recently at Greenwich Theatre, so some of you may well have seen it, but for those who missed it, can't go out, or can't reach London, now's your chance to see it online. Here's what it's all about: "1910. Balliol College. Dangerous rifts are appearing between the 'have' and the 'have-nots'. Of the fifty-three freshers who went up some four years earlier, eighteen had been to Eton. In an increasingly personalised and bitter feud, will social influence and wealth prevail over those dedicated to improving the lives of the poor and hungry on the back streets of Oxford? And when facing far greater adversary will vicious personal differences be put aside in the face of a common enemy?" More here.

One Man Poe | on demand via The Space | 13 Nov
You'll remember how we tipped lots of shows that were on as part of the London Horror Festival last month? And how a number of them were online? Well, spooky-time may have given way to post-firework intermittent gloom until Christmas time (why yes, I am fun at parties, thanks for asking) but you still have time to see this show, which was on as part of the Horror-Fest, and which is available on demand until 13 Nov. The show sees Stephen Smith bringing to life some of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous gothic tales - 'The Tell-Tale Heart', 'The Pit And The Pendulum', 'The Black Cat' and 'The Raven'. Sort out your viewing here.


THREE COMEDY SHOWS>>

Rob Newman's Philosophy Show | Soho Theatre | 15-20 Nov (pictured)
And, speaking of the intermittent gloom of November, there are so many happy ways of alleviating that gloom, like sitting in your warm house reading a lovely book, and going out for nice walks when it's crisp and frosty. Or, and hear me out here, making a point of seeing some fabulous comedy. Here's a show that should definitely make it onto your 'to consider' list, excellent stand-up veteran Rob Newman heads to Soho Theatre to "weave Nietzsche's sunglasses, James Bond in Toxteth, electric spiders and singing Neanderthals into an hilarious tour-de-force that offers new hopes for a changing world". Book here.

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy | Vaudeville Theatre | 15 Nov
We've tipped 'Bring Your Own Baby Comedy' shows before, and there's a good reason: it's because comedy fans who have to hang out with people aged under fifteen months all day deserve a chance to be entertained by a line up of quality performers while they do that. New parents can expect a totally baby-friendly environment where it's fine to feed and/or change while you watch, and at this week's show you can expect to see Jen Brister, Wendy Wason, Alyssa Kyria and Carly Smallman. Take it from me, they are all fab. Click here for details.

Travis Jay | Bloomsbury Theatre | 12 Nov
I suspect lots of our readership will have first heard of Travis Jay when he made his edfringe debut in 2019 with 'Funny, Petty, Cool', but he's been around longer than that, being nominated for Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year in 2016, performing alongside Dave Chappelle, performing at The Palladium, etc. More recently he's been writing for 'Spitting Image', and appearing on things like 'Black, British And Funny' and 'Drunk History'. Anyway, he's a great act, and he's coming to a theatre near you (if you're in London) so head this way to find out more.


THREE THEATRE SHOWS>>

Innocence | Bread & Roses Theatre | 9-13 Nov
Right, back to some theatrical things now. And these are all quite short runs, so don't lie back thinking you've got ages to think about it before deciding to see these and buying your tickets, because all these shows will be finished by next week. They are all definitely worth your consideration, though, so, you know, consider them all. We begin at the Bread & Roses Theatre with a show from Angel Theatre Company, written and directed by Artistic Director John Patterson, and engaging with rather emotive, adult themes: the play examines the impact of an allegation of grooming on both the accuser and the accused. For information and to book tickets, see this page here.

Boy Out The City | Turbine Theatre | 9-13 Nov
"Follow Dec as he moves out of the Big Smoke to a sleepy Oxfordshire village and struggles to adapt to life alone in the pandemic. Through countless sleepless nights, we delve into Dec's past, as he attempts to lay old ghosts to rest. From his school days in Coventry, to discovering his sexuality in the 90s, to becoming ill, to falling in love and escaping to the countryside, this is the story of a man in search of identity, while baking copious amounts of banana bread". Mmm, banana bread. Oh, and this sounds rather good, doesn't it? More info here.

Sorry Fi Disturb Yuh | Camden People's Theatre | 11-13 Nov (pictured)
Written and performed by spoken word artist Russeni Fisher, 'Sorry Fi Disturb Yuh' tells the story of two friends who are on a night out in London, and certain elements of life in the capital - homelessness, crime - spill into the proceedings. It's an exploration of depression, grief and masculinity, but also a celebration of friendship and brotherhood. "The drinks have truly settled in the system, best friend leaves like the music faded. Waved goodbye, can't wait for us to do it again! Go on a bender until we is numb in the head and wobble at the knees". Read more about it here.


THREE SHORT STOPS>>

Good Grief | New Diorama Theatre | 14-15 Nov
To finish this week, three more short runs. In fact, they are even shorter than the last three, so do get your skates on. This one, from award-winning physical comedy group Ugly Bucket, sees the company processing the death of a friend through clowning, personal testimony and a techno soundtrack. "A dying man's last wish: for his friends to create a show about death. Will it be subtle? Will it be sophisticated? Probably not, but it's his funeral. Literally". It's a show that should have been on at the cancelled 2020 edfringe, but it's now on tour, and as well as playing these dates in London is also calling in such locations as Halifax, Manchester, Wigan, Cardiff, Lancaster and Rotherham - see the dates here. To book for the New Diorama dates, click here.

Bobby & Amy | ArtsDepot | 12 November (pictured)
"It's the late nineties. Take That, Tamagotchis, Dip Dabs and Pog Swaps. When thirteen year old Bobby and Amy meet, hundreds of cows dot across the fields and the sun always shines. But when the cows begin to burn, Bobby and Amy's sleepy Cotswold town is changed forever". A dark comedy set in the late nineties, during the foot and mouth disease crisis that devastated farming communities and separated families. Making me feel quite old that it's now 'history'. Anyway, this is another show that's on tour, this one following its very successful run at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe. The company calls at a number of locations following its date at Artsdepot, including Harlow, Tonbridge, Folkestone, Colchester and Swindon. Click here for the Artsdepot listing, and here for a full list of tour dates.

McNicol Ballet Collective: Awakenings | Bloomsbury Theatre | 13-14 Nov
Finally, one for London-based dance fans, and a debut programme of world premiere ballets by choreographer Andrew McNicol. The show consists of four pieces, the first of which is a reimagined version of Stravinsky's 'The Firebird'. There's also 'Of Silence', which is "an exploration of hope, connection and belonging performed to and inspired by the music of Latvian composer Peteris Vasks"; and 'In Ecstasy', a "choreographic and musical response to the progressive, eccentric composer Alexander Scriabin". Lastly, there's 'Bates Beats', which is "an energetic, exuberant work set to a pulsating soundtrack by American composer Mason Bates". For more information and to book, see this page here.
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