MONDAY 28 MARCH 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
DEBRA BAKER: SAD
Coming up at the Omnibus Theatre is the staging of a play that really caught my eye, because it's called 'SAD' - the title being a reference to Seasonal Affective Disorder, a problem that I have some experience of myself. 

It's the latest work by actor and writer Victoria Willing, whose work you may well have come across on both the big and small screens. 

The star of the show, though, is another familiar TV face, Debra Baker. I spoke to her to find out more about 'SAD' and about the actor herself. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'SAD' is on at Omnibus Theatre from 5-30 Apr. For more information and to book tickets, head to the venue website here.


THE SOUND + VISION COMEDY CONFERENCE: SEE YOU THERE!

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

Confirmed speakers for the Sound + Vision Comedy Conference include: Hils Jago from Amused Moose, Lola Oyewole from TikTok, John Harris from Acast, Tom Brandt and Jason Wolfe from NextUp Comedy, Kaiya Milan from The Floor, comedy PR experts Gaby Jerrard and Flick Morris, media and entertainment lawyer Raffaella De Santis, and comedians Jay Foreman, Robyn Perkins and Kate Smurthwaite.

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 COMEDY THINGS>>

April Fools Festival | OSO Arts Centre | 1-2 Apr
The sun's been out, the flowers are blooming, yay, it's spring and time for laughter. Also, hate to break it to you, but the sun is not going to be quite as keen to come out over the course of this week as it has been over the last couple of weeks, so maybe some comedy would be just the thing to keep you upbeat. Those of you within easy distance of Barnes' OSO Arts Centre are in luck, because there's a whole little comedy festival happening there. It's curated by Luke Rollason, described as a "celebration of bonkers and experimental comedy", and has a fab line up of acts taking part including a number of genuine TW faves such as John Robertson, Elf Lyons, John Luke Roberts and Colin Hoult. To pick what you are going to see, see the April Fools Festival page here.

Canary Wharf Comedy Club | East Wintergarden | 1 Apr
And on to another brilliant line up, but only for one night of course. Again, the comedians appearing at this quality stand-up show fall very much into the category of TW favourites, and are also the sort of acts you'll almost definitely already have heard of, given their stand-up success and TV appearances. There's 'Mock The Week' regular and one-liner supremo Milton Jones; Terry Alderton, who you may well have seen on the likes of 'Live At The Apollo' and his radio show 'All Crazy Now', and who, incidentally, is a past winner of one of our ThreeWeeks Edinburgh Editors' Awards; Shaparak Khorsandi, who has been all over your telly in stuff like 'QI' and 'Have I Got News For You'; and finally, the excellent and award winning Felicity Ward, who I recently saw being very clever on 'House Of Games'. Book tickets here.

Ali Brice: I Tried To Be Funny, But You Weren't Looking | The Bill Murray | 29 Mar (pictured)
This one doesn't have a line up to talk about, because it's an hour show by the brilliant Ali Brice, and it sounds great, as well as being on at one of our favourite venues, The Bill Murray. Here's a run down of what you can expect: "Ali Brice is embracing life after almost losing it. Two years on, he's admitted defeat and is back on his feet and trying again. Through therapy, friends and sausages he's enjoying the moment and celebrating the little things that life has to offer. This is a sincere and heartfelt show. Silly stories, big questions and jokes aplenty - all held together by a ridiculous man with a silly moustache". For more information and to book your tickets head to the venue website right about here.


THREE RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Project Dictator | New Diorama Theatre | 29 Mar-30 Apr
On now to some high quality theatreish fare, all longish runs in this section so you've a fair amount of time to see them if you can't get around to it this week. First up we're headed to the New Diorama Theatre for 'Project Dictator', a piece about artistic expression and censorship devised by award winning company Rhum + Clay with Hamish MacDougall. "A riotous double-act are reunited for one final show - on pain of death. Years ago they were banned, separated and 're-educated'. Now, they're back and couldn't be happier to star in a celebration of the State and its Glorious History. Their choice? To die on stage - or off it. Hahaha". Bet that's piqued your interest. To find out more head to the venue website here.

Anyone Can Whistle | Southwark Playhouse | 1 Apr-7 May
I said theatreish in the first tip of this section because this one is musical theatre, which is like theatre, obviously, but also different in an obvious way. Not that you needed to be told that, so I should probably get on with talking about this show. You may have heard of this one already, as it's an older one, first staged back in 1964, by Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. Although, you might also not in fact have heard of it because compared to other Sondheim shows, it hasn't been produced so much. Set in a fictional town where everything is controlled by the government, it's a political satire about "conformity and the ostracisation of those considered 'other' in society". For more information and to get your tickets booked, click here.

Telethon | Shoreditch Town Hall | 30 Mar-14 Apr (pictured)
"We live in an increasingly divided world, but if there is one thing that can connect us all, it's a televised charity special. Jennifer, our beloved Telethon host, dreams of uniting the nation behind a noble cause, Comic Relief-style. Special guests, prizes and oddball feats of endurance are planned, but she soon discovers that it's hard enough to unite the studio, let alone the whole country". This is an interactive and unpredictable show that explores "public morality, right and wrong, and our divisive tendencies" and promises to be darkly humorous. "Be prepared for something playful, exciting and a bit different that will leave questioning what just happened". Find out more here.


THREE MORE THEATRE SHOWS>>

Watson: The Final Problem | Chelsea Theatre | 31 Mar-9 Apr
More theatrical stuff for you now, but these fall into a slightly shorter run category. Actually, this one is on for quite a while, to be fair, but the next two are only for a few nights. Anyway, let's not get distracted by those right now because we are here to talk about 'Watson: The Final Problem', which got amazing reviews at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here's what it's all about: "It is 1894. Watson is alone. Sherlock Holmes and his beloved Mary are both gone. London seethes with false reports and rumour. It is time to set the record straight. So Watson tells his story. A tale of long buried secrets, betrayal and death, where the intrepid detectives must finally face their nemesis; Moriarty... The Napoleon Of Crime. But as Watson takes us across Europe to the Reichenbach Falls, is the game really over?" Click here.

Springboard: The Silver Bell | King's Head Theatre | 29 Mar-2 Apr
This week sees the start of the King's Head Theatre's Springboard Festival, which is a festival for shows that were due to be part of the cancelled Vault Festival, or were prevented from happening because of other pandemic related reasons. Our first pick from it is 'The Silver Bell', which spoke to me because I am a sucker for anything with even a tinge of the time travels about it. And it sounds very good. "When Mico loses the love of his life to motor neurone disease, he should begin the slow process of grieving, but instead he does the next best thing: he punches a hole in the universe and travels to parallel worlds, all in the hope of getting his husband back. Join Mico and James (and a million other Jameses) as they tell you their story of life, death and trying to find decent sausage rolls in a universe that never invented Greggs". More here.

Playing Latinx | Camden People's Theatre | 29 Mar-2 Apr (pictured)
"What does the Latinx identity mean in the UK? An actor from South America comes to London and very quickly realises he'll mostly be hired to play exotic characters, so he adapts. He moves, speaks and writes like a Latinx person should. And he starts getting hired. What lies behind the facade? What does his real accent sound like? Does he even know anymore? Who is the adoption of the Latinx label more helpful for? How does that label interact with the white, BAME, queer labels, or even the my-RP-accent-is-actually-flawless label?" A fascinating sounding show from Guido Garcia Lueches that mixes spoken word poetry, stand-up comedy and music. Read more about it here.


THREE KIND-OF THEATRICAL THINGS>>

Moreno live | Theatre503 | 29 Mar
Right, on to some 'kind of' theatrical things. Well, to be fair, they are all theatre, they just have significant differences to what you might find in a standard TW theatre section. Two of these picks are theatre specific to children, and this one is in here because - although it is a theatre production - this is a streaming opportunity for you to take advantage of at home. You may well have already heard of 'Moreno', as it recently had its in-person run at Theatre503, and in fact we interviewed the writer of the piece Pravin Wilkins. If you weren't able to make it along to the theatre to see it, here's your chance to enjoy it on your own sofa. It's about 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. Read more about it here.

Wolf! | Canada Water Theatre/The Albany | 2/3 Apr
"Beneath the silvery moon, under the snowy mountains, amongst a flock of woolly sheep, Jack is bored. Bored of watching sheep. Bored of counting sheep, but most importantly...bored of SHEEP! Down in the village just a whisper of a wolf will cause a panic! Join us for a magical adventure and find out what happens when Jack cries WOLF!" This fab sounding kids' show is, of course, inspired by the fable of the boy who cried wolf, and it features original music and puppetry. It's suitable for children under five, and it's on at Canada Water Theatre on the 2 Apr and at The Albany on 3 Apr.

The Smartest Giant In Town | ArtsDepot | 2-4 Apr (pictured)
Ah, 'The Smartest Giant In Town' was one of my daughter's favourite books when she was small. Well, maybe it was one of my favourites. I think I liked doing all the different voices. Anyway, it's a sweet story exploring themes of friendship and helping those in need, and the show is aimed at children aged two to eight. "George wishes he wasn't the scruffiest giant in town. So when he sees a new shop selling giant-sized clothes, he decides it's time for a new look: smart trousers, smart shirt, stripy tie, shiny shoes. Now he's the smartest giant in town... until he bumps into some animals who desperately need his help - and his clothes!" More here.


THREE MORE INTERESTING EVENTS>>

Matt Chorley: Who Is In Charge Here? | Bloomsbury Theatre | 30 Mar-1 Apr
The final section, as is often the case, is something of a mixed bag of genres, but everything in it is a goodie. Firstly we're headed for Bloomsbury Theatre for a stand-up show from acclaimed and awarded political commentator, radio presenter, and comedian Matt Chorley, who has spent seventeen years in Westminster seeing up close how politics works - or doesn't. Following his 2019 stand-up debut, he is back with a new show "exploring who really calls the shots. Is the Prime Minister actually in charge, or at the mercy of the opposition, backbenchers, lobbyists, the media, spin doctors, his wife or the Queen?" Read more and book tickets here.

Pauline Mayers: What If I Told You | Brixton House | 4-9 Apr
This one's in the 'mixed bag' because it's dance theatre - and it sounds amazing: "Throughout Pauline's life, people have made assumptions about her based on her gender, background and race. She's defied these expectations at every turn, tearing up the narrative that society tried to impose on her. Now, Pauline is ready to tell the world her story. Carefully balancing dance and theatre, 'What If I Told You' immerses us in Pauline's world as she invites us to pause, breathe and reconsider the stories we tell about our past and the history on which we build our futures". Head to the Brixton House website here for more information and to book your tickets.

Tangle... In The Womb Of A Juggler | Jacksons Lane | 31 Mar (pictured)
"In the kingdom of Tonga there is an ancient tradition of women juggling. Almost every schoolgirl will know how to juggle". Our final tip for the day is for this really intriguing contemporary circus performance from Francesca Mari, which explores "movement in an abstract dream, freely inspired by the myths and legends of Tonga, femininity and juggling" and which was created from conversations its creator had with people when travelling through Tonga. It's inspired by the Tongan game of 'hiko', played only by women, in which tui-tui nuts are thrown into the air in a circular pattern while singing a counting song. Read more and book tickets 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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