MONDAY 3 JANUARY 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
ASYA SOSIS: THE RUBBER MERCHANTS
I was intrigued when I found out about 'The Rubber Merchants', a 1970s play I hadn't previously heard of, which is by Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin and is being staged by Gamayun Theatre at the Old Red Lion this month.

It's a comedic, absurdist-inspired piece with sobering themes, and this production brings the play into the present, setting the latter part of the action in contemporary times.

To find out more about 'The Rubber Merchants' I spoke to the show's director, Gamayun Theatre founder Asya Sosis.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Rubber Merchants' is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11-29 Jan. See 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 THINGS TO CATCH ONLINE>>

While The Sun Shines livestream | Orange Tree Theatre | 6-7 Jan (pictured)
Don't know about you but I have probably spent quite a lot of time lolling around on my sofa the past couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean I don't want to do that a bit more, with the lolling experience rather improved by the addition of some quality streaming culture. And speaking of which, here's some quality streaming culture for you, courtesy of excellent Rattigan revival 'While The Sun Shines' at Orange Tree Theatre. And there's more good news: the actual live in person dates for this show have been extended so you could go along to the venue for it this week too. See this page here for the livestream, and this page here for in-person tickets.

Into The Night | on demand via Original Theatre Online | 6-30Jan
You may recall that in mid December we interviewed veteran performer Susan Penhaligon about 'Into The Night', a play about the Penlee lifeboat disaster, ahead of a planned livestream of it on the 18 Dec. If you weren't able to tune in on that date, you may well welcome a reminder that a recording of the show will be available on demand for a big chunk of January. Important that the story be told, and remembered, I think. Read more about the show in our Q&A here, and book your viewing here.

Comedy For The Curious: Cats V Dogs | online | 9 Jan
"An age old battle of opinion mixed with scientific evidence... yes, it's 'Cats vs Dogs'! Which fluffy companion will come out on top? Is your mind made up or will the evidence sway you to see things in a way you've never seen them before?! Let's find out shall we...?" Yes, yes, you won't be surprised to see us directing you, yet again, to the fabulous Robyn Perkins-led 'Comedy For The Curious', which this week features guest comedians Erich McElroy and Jack Berry. I already have pretty strong opinions on cats and dogs, let's see what this lot can do to affect them. Click here for info and to book.


THREE IN PERSON COMEDY SHOWS>>

Banana Cabaret | The Bedford | 7+8 Jan
While I am sure many of you are like me and don't mind sticking to the sofa a bit, some of you will no doubt be keen to get out there this January, and I expect you may well feel the need for something laughy, to dispel any post-Christmas blues. So let's talk about comedy. And so to an ongoing favourite, the Banana Cabaret at the Bedford, which has for many years now been hosting line ups of the brightest and best comedians on the circuit. This week you can look forward to the company of Jessica Fostekew, Rob Rouse, Radu Isac and Windsor. For more details head right this way.

Newsrevue | Canal Cafe Theatre | 6 Jan (and ongoing)
Surely most, if not all, of our readers are well aware of 'Newsrevue', the rather long running year round show skewering contemporary current affairs, or - according to the blurb - "all-kicking, idol-burning comedy, with brand new content injected into the show weekly by a crack team of writers and cast alike". Well, because it's on all the time, really, we don't mention it every week, because that would probably get a bit repetitive. But as it's the first edition of 2022, I thought we'd celebrate its virtues this week, and advise you to make sure and see it more than once in the coming year. Head this way to book.

The Improverts | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 6-8 Jan (pictured)
And to another long running thing: we've been friends with The Improverts since the nineties when we took in their improv comedy at the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh. Of course, this isn't the same troupe we knew back then, the baton has been passed down to successive new generations of performers as the years have passed by. It's clear there's something cool about that baton, though, as the high quality of work continues. Which is why it's nice to see them appearing down in ye old London towne. Head to this page here to find out more.


THREE MORE FAB EVENTS>>

Liz Kingsman: One-Woman Show | Soho Theatre | 5-15 Jan (pictured)
This show would have been just as at home in the previous section, as it's a comedic work, but it's also incredibly fab, so it clearly fits in this bit too. I think the word for this is probably 'meta' - a one woman show that parodies one-woman shows, in particular the likes of 'Fleabag', and it's had such a positive critical response that you'd be mad not to want to go and see it when you have the chance. "A bold, irreverent, raw, moving and triumphant celebration of adjectives, this blurb will nail down nothing". Ha. See the venue website here for more.

Escape | Etcetera Theatre | 9 Jan
"Emma has been in a relationship with Gary for a long time and doesn't see the warning signs that her relationship isn't normal. Will her family and friends be able to get through to her. A play about isolation, control and having the courage to leave". Something with rather dark themes here, but it's still an important topic that needs to be broached, given that domestic abuse and coercive control is still a problem, that's increased, even, during pandemic times. For more information on this play from Claire Dean, and to book tickets, head to this page here.

Rainbow Umbrella Film Festival | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 6-9 Jan
And finally, a short film festival for those of you who love film, taking place at the lovely Hen & Chickens Theatre. It's a festival run by film-makers aiming to celebrate all aspects of independent LGBT film and to "encourage actors and film-makers from the LGBT community to have a platform to express their hopes, fears, desires and experiences and share them with new audiences. From first time film-makers with little or no budget to the films with more experience and financial clout, they are all welcome under our umbrella!" There are a number events showcasing short as well as feature length films - take a look at the listings here for each day's offerings.
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