MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
SHAUN LOWTHIAN: THE WUNDERKAMMER
As you know, because we keep telling you about it, there are lots of venues hosting shows that should have been on at the Vault Festival this year, had it not been for its sad cancellation.

One such show is 'The Wunderkammer', brought to you by acclaimed and award winning improv troupe Do Not Adjust Your Stage, which heads to Camden People's Theatre for three dates this week.

It's quite an unusual improv show, really, as it features a TED talk style element... but I'll let our interviewee explain all that for you.

To find out more about the show, and the creative team behind it, I spoke to DNAYS member Shaun Lowthian.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Wunderkammer' is on at Camden People's Theatre from 3-5 Mar. For more info and to book see the venue website here.



PRAVIN WILKINS: MORENO
Coming up this week at London's Theatre503 is the staging of 'Moreno', a new play by US based playwright, poet and fiction writer Pravin Wilkins.

The play was the winner of Theatre503's International Playwriting Award in 2020, chosen from 1719 scripts sent in from 45 different countries, and it tells the story of a group of NFL players who must decide where they stand on the issues of racial injustice and police brutality, in the wake of high profile protests by Colin Kaepernick.

I really wanted to find out more about the play and its inspiration, so I arranged a chat with the playwright, Pravin Wilkins, ahead of opening night.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Moreno' is on at Theatre503 from 1-26 Mar. For more information and to book tickets, see the venue website here.


TW TEAMS UP WITH SOUND + VISION FOR COMEDY CONFERENCE

ThisWeek Culture is teaming up with the Sound + Vision festival and conference in Cambridge this April to curate and host a day of conversations and panels all about the business of comedy in 2022.

We'll be joined by brilliant people from across the comedy community to discuss how you go about pursuing a comedy career today - plus we'll put the spotlight on the key trends, developments and debates in the sector.

Topics set to be covered include:
- Pursuing A Career In Comedy In 2022
- Podcasts, Patreon, YouTube, TikTok And Beyond - Making Comedy Online
- Comedy And Livestreaming - What Next?
- The Future Of The Edinburgh Fringe

Sound & Vision is a multi-venue festival and conference taking place in various venues across Cambridge from Thursday 21 Apr to Saturday 23 Apr. The festival will feature over 70 acts - both new and established - from the worlds of music and comedy, while the conference programme will put the spotlight on the music, comedy and creative industries.

CLICK HERE to find out more about the TW curated comedy confernece.

CLICK HERE to get tickets for Sound + Vision 2022.
Shows to see in person in London - and online anywhere - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE SHOULD HAVE BEEN VAULT SHOWS>>

The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much | Omnibus Theatre | 2-4 Mar
You'll have noticed over the last few weeks that we've been tipping the occasional show that was supposed to be on at the sadly cancelled Vault Festival. Well, there are quite a few of those, so this week I thought we'd dedicate a whole tips section to them. First stop is Omnibus Theatre - which has been hosting quite a few such shows - for 'The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much', which is "an intercontinental, inter-genre, cinematic caper of accusations, accidents, and accents", a fast paced whodunnit in the style of Wes Anderson meets Hitchcock meets Spaghetti Western. More here.

Naughty | Camden People's Theatre | 1-2 Mar
Over to Camden People's Theatre for a show that looks at a topic that's... well, not dear to my heart, but that certainly causes me quite a lot of concern. It's good to see it being addressed. "'Naughty' is an electric, one-woman comedy exploring sexualisation of young girls and infantilisation of women. A power game between the patriarchy and a six year old girl in pink crocs. Pushing the boundaries of the male gaze, 'Naughty' confronts the disturbing image of innocence and youth as sexy". Head to the venue website here to do booking things.

Agatha | Pleasance Theatre | 1-5 Mar (pictured)
"Jo has a decision to make. She's struggling to make it on her own. Mum's no help. Stuck in the car, she needs someone to tell her what to do; what she wants; why she's here. Agatha is dead and living her dream life running a blues bar. Her husband has no idea where she is. She had promised she'd be buried with him, but got herself cremated. Death is the divorce she always wanted". A gig-show that combines music, spoken word and dialogue, and tells the stories of three generations of women. For all the details take a look at this page here.


THREE CHILDREN'S SHOWS>>

Josephine | Polka Theatre | 3-5 Mar (pictured)
The weather's been lovely, actually, over the weekend - despite the time of year and the preponderance of storms lately - so perhaps you got to spend lots of time out and about doing energetic things with the kids? Well, sorry to break it to you, but this week looks generally a bit rainier and overcast, so maybe some kind of indoor activity like a nice show might be preferable? And here's a good one for older children aged eight and over - a play about iconic dancer, actor, activist, campaigner and spy Josephine Baker, featuring a Harlem Renaissance-inspired score, Charleston dancing, and depictions of other historical figures. Read more here.

Baby Bear | Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre | 2-5 Mar
"Baby Bear is happy in her cosy cave and doesn't want to venture into the scary world outside. But she is too curious about the sights, sounds and smells outside to stay indoors". A show for younger children which promises a "mesmerising soundtrack" as well as a visually arresting and interactive spectacle. There are two versions of this show, one that's aimed at those aged eighteen months to three years, which sounds like it's lively and energetic, and another for those aged under eighteen months, which should be slightly calmer. For more information and to book for either show, see the listings here.

Margo and Mr Whatsit | Half Moon Theatre | 5 Mar
Another very engaging sounding show for children aged four and up, another that's interactive, about competing imaginary friends. "Sophia's imaginary friend is Mr Whatsit. No matter where Sophia finds herself living, he's always there with a joke to tell and a game to play. But when Sophia moves into her new foster home, Mr Whatsit finds himself unimagined! Now Sophia has a new imaginary friend - the glamourous, grown-up Margo. Can Mr Whatsit keep him from being unimagined for good?" Click here.


THREE THINGS TO ACCESS ONLINE>>

My Car Plays Tapes | The Space | 1-5 Mar
This one is on at The Space, and if you know anything about the way shows at that venue have been operating lately, you'll know that for most of their live in-person shows, they've been offering a chance to also see it digitally. So, you have a number of opportunities to go along to the venue for this, as well as being able to access it online. 'My Car Plays Tapes' is by John Osborne, who you may well know from his first hit show 'John Peel's Shed', and from subsequent endeavours such as co-writing 'After Hours'. This one, which won glowing reviews at last year's edfringe, is about "minimum wage jobs, getting older and being reunited with your old cassette collection". Click here.

Sessions | Soho Theatre On Demand Film Festival | 4-13 Mar (pictured)
You will all surely know about the Soho Theatre On Demand Film Festival, because we have made a number of recommendations for on demand stuff available via it. This is the last one in the season, I think, which is a shame, but hopefully it will be back another time. Anyway, what is the latest on-demand work? It's 'Sessions', by Ifeyinwa Frederick, described as "a raw, funny, bittersweet deep-dive into the complexities of masculinity, depression and therapy", and it focuses on Tunde, who is about to turn 30 and thinks now is the time to become a proper adult. He therefore starts therapy "because he hasn't been able to get to the gym for weeks and a recent one-night stand ended in tears - his". More here.

Get On The Internet | Omnibus Theatre | 1-5 Mar
This isn't just one show, it's a whole series of events - a festival, in fact - many of which are purely online events, some of which are hybrid events happening online but also at the Omnibus Theatre. It's been curated by Varjack-Lowry - aka artists Paula Varjack and Chuck Blue Lowry - and has a line up boasting appearances from lots of fabulous performers and creators, including the likes of Louise Orwin, Silvia Mercuriali, Fast Familiar, Ira Brand, The Demolition Project and Sue Mayo. There are five days of events for you to choose from, and you could definitely choose more than one, so head to this page here to browse the full programme.


THREE THEATRICAL SHORT STOPS>>

I, Elizabeth | ArtsDepot | 5 Mar (pictured)
Right, three theatrical shows that won't be around for long, so you very much need to get your skates on and make a date with them soon. First up is 'I, Elizabeth' at ArtsDepot, which sees Rebecca Vaughn using the legendary monarch's own words to explore her struggles in balancing womanhood with sovereignty. "1568: At a vital but volatile crossroads in history a young queen steps from the shadows to reveal her thoughts on marriage, succession, religion and war. But time is against her... Elizabeth I: Queen at 25, political phoenix and famously unmarried - but who was the woman beneath the crown?" More here.

The Fallen Follie | The Golden Goose Theatre | 3-5 Mar
"Mae Williams has made it to the top of 'The Ziegfeld Follies', the most famous show in New York, but with the Great Depression around the corner, how will she survive the storm? 'The Fallen Follie' is a new show, diving into the glamorous world of the roaring 20s. Sit back and let the original score guide you through the highs and lows of Mae's journey to stardom!" A new show from Velvet Smoke Productions - an emerging and promising theatre company - which features original music from Sam Elwin, who appears in the play alongside the group's co-founder Sian Duggan. For more info and to book tickets, head to this page here.

Helter Skelter | The Cockpit | 3-5 Mar
Brrr, what The Manson Family got up to is scary and horrible, but it's also a very compelling story if you have the stomach for it: "1967. Susan Atkins, an adolescent girl from a troubled home, escapes her past by hitchhiking to LA. Whilst there she finds Charlie, the charismatic and mercurial leader of a 'Family' of misfits and outcasts. Together they make their way out into the Californian desert, creating a utopia that's isolated from the society that rejected them. However, a sinister philosophy starts to emerge, and Susan finds herself in a downward spiral, coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence and an act that cannot be undone". Click here.


THREE MORE THEATRE SHOWS>>

Frankenstein | Greenwich Theatre | 1-5 Mar
More theatre! And actually, this one is also a fairly short run. But they're doing a couple of matinees so it seems longer - you have seven performances to choose from. This is one that I reckon might make a good family outing if you have teenagers, especially the kind who like horror tales. For this, as you'll know if you read the header, is a staging of Mary Shelley's groundbreaking gothic masterpiece, delivered by the media of ensemble storytelling, puppetry and live music. It's a revival of a production staged by Blackeyed Theatre back in 2016, and it got a great response back then so you can expect something good in 2022. Click here.

Bacon | The Finborough Theatre | 1-26 Mar
"London, present day. It's Year Ten's first day back at school. Mark is new and too scared to make friends. Darren is out-of-control and too scary to make friends. The two need each other but neither of them would ever admit it. Worlds apart, but more similar than they realise, the pair form a complex and manipulative relationship that leads them blindly into a dangerous experiment that alters the course of both their lives". This play by Sophie Swithinbank was first developed at Soho Theatre, won the venue's Tony Craze Award and is currently in development for a TV adaptation, so I think you can assume this will be pretty good. Promises to be both funny and unflinching. Read more here.

Shedding A Skin | Soho Theatre | 2-26 Mar (pictured)
'Shedding A Skin' had a very successful run in 2021 and that's probably why it's back to delight more audiences. So if you didn't catch it then, you should catch it now. "Sometimes you crack. Sometimes you didn't mean to yell that. Sometimes you have to lay low until you've figured it out. And sometimes, sometimes you have to hibernate until you've healed. This is a new day... 'Shedding a Skin' is a story for our times. A play about finding kindness in unexpected places. A play about connecting with what our elders can teach us - new skin honouring old skin. A play about joy, healing and protest. And having a good belly laugh". Click here.


THREE MORE INTERESTING EVENTS>>

Frankie Thompson: Catts WIP | Soho Theatre | 3-5 March
Okay, last section, something of a miscellaneous group but two of them fall into the category of comedic, for goodness knows, we all need laughs, and it's the theatre that's really been dominating things lately. So let's head down to the good old Soho Theatre for Frankie Thompson's one woman adaptation of 'Cats The Musical'. "Two fingers up at Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tom Hooper in a tragic love song to absurdism and cat culture. Not. A. Musical. Work. In. Progress". Book your tickets here.

The Improvised Shakespeare Show | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 7 Mar
More funnies for you, hopefully, with our next option, which involves Shakespeare style improv from a critically acclaimed troupe. They perform quite often at Hen & Chickens, I think, so if you can't make this one then there'll be others in the future for you to search up. Here's what they say about themselves: "Shakespeare hasn't written anything new for an age, so we thought we'd give him a hand. Using his language, your audience suggestions and our overactive imaginations, we create a brand new Shakespeare play live on stage! Join ShakeItUp Theatre for an evening of improvised Bard-based Bedlam. Every show is a classic Shakespeare would have been proud to write... (probably)". Read more here.

Nordic Exposure | Jacksons Lane | 5 Mar-1 May (pictured)
Now this is a whole season, or festival, of events taking place at Jacksons Lane over the next couple of months, so you should take advantage of all the fair warning and book ahead. 'Nordic Exposure' comprises circus, theatre and family shows, all drawn from Nordic countries - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The shows address all manner of themes and topics from toxic masculinity to couples counselling, and promise to provide "an insight into peculiarly Nordic humour, sensibilities and views of the world". A full list of all events taking place can be found here.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

Plus each summer we also cover the biggest cultural event in the world: The Edinburgh Festival.


© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send London press releases to [email protected]

Send Edinburgh press releases to
[email protected]

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here

[email protected] | [email protected]