MONDAY 14 MARCH 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
BRUCE ALEXANDER AND SAM ALEXANDER: THE RED
A few years back at the last pre-pandemic Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, one of our reviewers went to see a show called 'The Red' - a play about alcoholism, addiction and a relationship between father and son - and gave it a five-star review.

It praised the script, brilliantly written by Marcus Brigstocke, and the excellent and subtle performances of its stars, real life father and son Bruce Alexander and Sam Alexander.

I was really pleased when I heard that the show would be streaming digitally to audiences via Original Theatre Online this spring, and immediately thought it would be great to find out more about the play and the actors who are performing in it. 

I spoke to both Bruce and Sam, about the play, what it was like working together, and their plans for the future.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Red' is online via Original Theatre Online from 16 Mar-16 Jun, see this page here for more information and to book.



JONATHON CREWE AND WAN YUAN TEO: UNDER THE RADAR
Coming up this week at London's Old Red Lion Theatre is the opening of 'Under The Radar', a play by writer and filmmaker Jonathon Crewe, the idea for which was sparked by the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall in 2017, who was killed by Danish entrepreneur Peter Madsen after he invited her to interview him on his submarine.

The play explores the issues of misogyny, consent, unconscious bias and violence and - when first staged back in 2019 - earned highly positive critical responses for both its performers and behind the scenes creatives. And now it's back in 2021 for a longer run. 

To find out more about the play and the talent behind it, I spoke to writer and director Jonathon Crewe and producer Wan Yuan Teo. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Under The Radar' is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 15 Mar-2 Apr. For more information and to book tickets see the venue website here.



MATT STEINBERG AND BILLIE: BAREFACED
You may well be aware of the work of Outside Edge, the theatre company and participatory arts charity focused on improving the lives of people affected by any form of addiction, including their families, carers and champions.

Along with many companies - as you'll know, because we have been talking about it a lot - their plans to stage work at this year's Vault Festival had to be changed following its unfortunate cancellation. 

Which means Outside Edge will be staging their latest production - 'Barefoot' by Jane Bodie - at the Chelsea Theatre this week.

To find out more about the play and the company, I spoke to one of the performers, Billie, and Artistic Director Matt Steinberg.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Barefaced' is on at Chelsea Theatre from 18-19 Mar, see this page here for information and to book tickets.


THE SOUND + VISION COMEDY CONFERENCE WITH TW CULTURE

Don't forget, 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 conference.

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 FUNNY SHOWS>>

Steve And Tobias Versus Death | Pleasance Theatre | 15-19 Mar
I've been feeling quite serious lately, I think, and a lot of the stuff we've been recommending has probably been on the serious side too. So I thought we'd start this week with some shows that promise to be humorous, as we could probably all cope with a little levity. We're starting with 'Steve And Tobias Versus Death' at the Pleasance Theatre, which is a "a comedy about two brothers trapped in their living room during a zombie apocalypse". Another show that should have been on at Vault Festival, which tells "the nightmare story of an absentee father, a bed-ridden mother, and a zombie apocalypse bursting through the door". More here.

Clybourne Park | Park Theatre | 16 Mar-23 Apr (pictured)
"In 1959, Russ and Bev are moving to the suburbs after the tragic death of their son and have sold their house to the neighbourhood's first black family. Decades later, the roles are reversed when a young white couple buys the lot in what is now a predominantly black neighbourhood, signalling a new wave of gentrification. In both instances, a community showdown takes place - are the same issues festering beneath the floorboards fifty years on?" A new production of this multi award winning play by Bruce Norris, which - quite honestly - doesn't sound from the above synopsis like it would be a comedy, but I assure you it is. If you don't believe me, head right this way and read the selected review quotes they have there, telling you how funny it is.

Jermaine Fowler | Soho Theatre | 21-26 Mar
So, you may well have heard of Jermaine Fowler, given his success as an actor and comedian in the US. But I feel as though at least some of you won't have done, because you're not all going to be always keeping an eye on US stuff, and he hasn't done stand up in the UK before now. FYI, he's in a number of high profile films - 'Coming 2 America' for one - and TV programmes like 'Bojack Horseman', and he's done spots on that James Corden show and that Stephen Colbert show. Anyway, he's a great comedy act and you'd be a fool not to take advantage of this London run. Head this way to book tickets.


THREE THEATRE RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Pass The Hat | Stone Nest | 15 Mar-8 Apr
And now, time for some chunky theatrical runs for your delectation. See them this week or book in advance for later in the run. Or wait and book next week, it's up to you. Anyway, you've got lots of opportunities to see all of them. Let's start at Stone Nest with HUNCHtheatre's 'Pass The Hat', a new one-man show starring Oliver Bennet, inspired by busker memoir 'Farewell Leicester Square' by Henry Hollis, and directed by Belarus Free Theatre co-founder Vladimir Shcherban. The show explores the passion behind performance while exploring a family history that includes a busker arrested over 500 times, gangsters from Soho and even the royal family. Read more about it here.

The Fever Syndrome | Hampstead Theatre | 19 Mar-23 Apr (pictured)
Actually, don't wait another week to book your tickets for this one, I'd say, Hampstead Theatre shows sell out so quickly and this one's by the excellent Alexis Zegerman, so you definitely don't want to miss it: "Professor Richard Myers, the great IVF innovator, is virtually a secular saint because of the thousands of babies he has created throughout his career. Now, his family gather to see him receive a lifetime achievement award. This fractious group are more accustomed to debate than empathy, so it's not long before the family home in the Upper West Side of Manhattan is once again alive with dispute". Head to the venue website here to find out more.

The Marriage Of Alice B Toklas By Gertrude Stein | Jermyn Street Theatre | 17 Mar-16 Apr
"Everyone's invited to the wedding of the century. Picasso's arrived with one of his wives and two of his mistresses. Hemingway is here too, with his wife and his favourite matador. And at the top table: the brides, literary superstars, Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, presiding over a banquet of conversation about art, genius, sex, fame and love". Four actors take on more than thirty characters in this farce by acclaimed US playwright Edward Einhorn - yes, the play isn't actually by Gertrude Stein, of course, it's kind of a 'play about a play' sort of thing. Einhorn also directs. See more here.


THREE DIGITAL SPACE SHOWS>>

The Plunge | The Space | 15-19 Mar (pictured)
Yes, three whole things from The Space. And yes, although I have titled this 'Digital Space Shows', this first one is actually a show that's on in the flesh and you can absolutely go and see it in-person should you so wish. Indeed, I recommend that you do. However, if you can't do that, you have the option to take in the livestream on 17 Mar. And what is this all about? Here's some info: "It is the start of the end. The Curse. The Change. The End Of The Run. The Menopause. In spring of 2021 mothers and their children volunteered to be interviewed for a university project concerning menopause and the inter-generational lack of understanding. A year later, Dirty Feet Theatre Company present 'The Plunge', a play inspired by and created using verbatim from women across the country". Click here.

Soldier Tales - on demand | The Space | until 21 Mar
This is actually one which we have tipped before, just recently, at the end of February, at which point it was another Space in-person performance that was also going out via a livestream. Now, though, you can take it in on demand until 21 Mar, so if you're going to, make sure you do it by next Monday. Oh, and if you don't remember, it's a mini-festival of new writing, featuring short military-themed pieces written by military veterans or their loved ones, which were selected via a competition run by the Soldiers' Arts Academy. Head to the venue website here to get viewing.

My Car Plays Tapes - on demand | The Space | until 21 Mar
"A new storytelling show about minimum wage jobs, getting older and being reunited with your old cassette collection, 'My Car Plays Tapes' is an hour of captivating storytelling, focussing on John's life as a support worker and a nostalgic look at what happens when you listen to old tapes from the 1990s". You may well recognise this one from a previous tip, an edfringe hit from John Osborne, who you'll probably remember from his first hit show 'John Peel's Shed', and from subsequent endeavours such as co-writing 'After Hours'. Anyway, this too is available on demand until next Monday, so make sure you see it before then. All the info right about here.


THREE INTERESTING SHORT STOPS>>

Triffids! | ArtsDepot | 19 Mar
Right, how about some interesting shows that aren't going to be around for very long, and which I think you should all consider making time for while they are? 'Triffids' is only on for one night at ArtsDepot (though the company have one remaining tour date after London, in Colchester, if any readers are Essex-dwellers) and it's a fab looking show described as a "collision of music, text and rich visual imagery that takes the audience deep into John Wyndham's classic cold war novel". It features a live soundtrack created with instruments including moog, double bass, theremin, hammered dulcimer and a cactus. Yes, a cactus. So, yes, I'm in. See the ArtsDepot website here for more information and to book.

Peter Hudler - Cello On Fire | Crazy Coqs | 20 Mar (pictured)
Another one-nighter, and another that you'd be a fool to miss, frankly. We first became aware of Peter Hudler when one of our most experienced edfringe reviewers raved about one of his shows a few years back. He quickly became a favourite, and a winner of one of our ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards. 'Cello On Fire' - aptly described as "not your standard classical recital" - features a programme of works by contemporary musicians, classical composers, and jazz and folk. When TW reviewer Louise saw it in 2019 she said that Hudler could be described as a "stunt cellist", which I think probably conveys just how adventurous and exciting a show you can expect from this virtuoso. Head this way to book.

Hold On | Jacksons Lane | 19-20 Mar
"Don a virtual reality headset and see through the eyes of an aerial artist as they take the emotional journey from backstage and out onto the stage. Feel the fragility of the moment when you look down and find yourself suspended ten metres above the ground, in front of the audience". This immersive experience promises "thrilling visuals combined with evocative scents and interactions to take you into the unique and extraordinary world of aerial circus artists" - and I couldn't be more intrigued by the idea. Based on former aerial artist Corinne Linder's life experiences, it's part of the previously tipped Nordic Exposure strand. Take a look at the venue website here to find out more.


THREE MORE FAB EVENTS>>

The Body Remembers | Brixton House | 16-26 Mar
Right, final section, and something of a mixed bag in terms of genre as it often is. And we are, this week, going to begin over at the still-quite-recently-opened Brixton House for Heather Agyepong's 'The Body Remembers'. We actually tipped this show when it was on at Battersea Arts Centre last summer, but I think it's definitely worth mentioning again. It's a solo performance exploring how trauma lives in the body, in particular for black British women across the generations. "The body is an archive. It remembers everything - even the things that the head forgets". For all the the info and to book yourself in, head to this page here.

He's Dead | Battersea Arts Centre | 16 Mar-2 Apr (pictured)
"A dark fantasy, conceptual choreography exploring the question: 'Was Tupac depressed?' Using dance, text and striking visuals, marikiscrycrycry's 'He's Dead' delves into the unspoken surrounding mental health in the black community. Underscored by a brooding hip-hop soundscape, 'He's Dead' is a complex and powerful endeavour to 'shed tears for the things that we cannot unearth' in an attempt to find clarity in what can never truly be answered". A really fascinating sounding work at BAC, that looks at how, when public figures are revealed to be flawed, they are often dehumanised and their own struggles and sadness won't be acknowledged. Read more about it here.

Artivism Festival | Theatre Deli | 19-20 Mar
Our final recommendation for the week is this short festival from Theatre Deli, a two day line up of art activism "to disrupt the status quo and move audiences". Through six specially commissioned works, the event looks at issues like racism, gender inequality, police aggression and the meat industry, exploring those themes through performance art, theatre, collaborative visual arts and dance. For specific information on all the different events, and to buy tickets, see the Theatre Deli website 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.


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