MONDAY 9 MAY 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
JOSEPH CONOLLY AND GABRIELLA PADULA: MUCK
The Come What May festival at The Park Theatre - which you may remember appearing in our Three To See section a couple of weeks back - is now up and running, and continues until 28 May. 

There are so many great shows in the line up, but one that especially caught my eye is 'Muck', a new work focusing on the difficult relationship between an estranged brother and sister, commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre and created by FenCity Players.

FenCity Players was founded by Joseph Connolly and Gabriella Padula, who wrote the two-hander, and also perform it. I spoke to them both to find out more.   

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Muck' is on as part of the Come What May Festival at the Park Theatre from 12-14 May. For more information and to book tickets head to the venue website here.
Shows to see in person in London - and online anywhere - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE CHILDREN'S SHOWS>>

Glisten | Polka Theatre | 11-15 May
I'm feeling well disposed towards tiny tots this week, so I thought I would have a whole section dedicated to them. Hurrah. This one is for the very tiniest of tots, in fact, as it's for small ones under the age of eighteen months. I've recommended this show before, I am pretty sure - I think it might have been on at Christmas - but it's definitely worth mentioning again, as it sounds so lovely. Even the name is lovely, and I bet you can guess from it what sort of thing to expect from the show: yes, this interactive performance takes its audience "on a sparkling and shimmering immersive journey exploring the world of reflective materials wrapped up in an ambient soundscape of evocative yet laid-back music". Read more and book tickets here.

Vixen | Greenwich Theatre | 10-11 May (pictured)
This one's for older children - age seven and up - and their families, an original story by Matt Grinter, brought to you by the award winning Travelling Light. And it sounds fab: "Saffi is eleven and she lives on an estate with her Dad. After being scratched by a vixen in the raincoat man's garden she begins to transform and dreams of running away to live with her fox family. But what about her dad and the raincoat man? Soon she will have to choose who her pack really is. Expect to see beauty hidden in unremarkable places, friendships that don't follow the rules, the things that unite us and a girl aching to belong". Head to the venue website here for tickets and info.

Kinder | Little Angel Theatre | 11-14 May
"Escaping on a Kindertransport train, one small Czech-Jewish girl embarks on a mighty adventure. Crossing between the past and present, Babi travels across Europe; from bon bons in Germany to the smell of the sea in Margate, she discovers how tiny acts of kindness can change the course of a person's life". Another award winning company - Smoking Apples - present this universally suitable tale, conveyed via table top puppetry and shadow play, and delivered inside an immersive set. Promises to be joyful, moving but also poignant, as Babi "tries to assemble the parts of her broken identity, to find peace in her future". Read more about the show and sort out your tickets here.


THREE ONLINE SHOWS>>

Red Pitch online | Bush Theatre | 9-14 May
And now for some nice shows that you can see online, for those of you who aren't able to get to all the venues. And in this section there are two shows that I think we already recommended the live and in-person versions of. This is the first of those, 'Red Pitch', which was recently on at The Bush to great acclaim, and which tells a story of brotherhood and gentrification. "Red Pitch. South London. Three lifelong friends Omz, Bilal and Joey are playing football. Like they always have. Living out dreams of football stardom. Beyond their football pitch, local shops are closing, old flats are being demolished as new flats shoot up, some residents struggle to stay while others rush to leave". More here.

The Misfortune Of The English livestream | Orange Tree Theatre | 12 May (pictured)
"On the morning of 17 April 1936, a group of 27 schoolboys, led by their teacher and newly arrived in Nazi Germany, set out on the first of a seven-day walking tour of the Black Forest. By 8pm that evening, local villagers were searching for them in a blizzard". This is the second show that we previously recommended the in-person version of, and with good reason, of course. But this one, actually, is still up and running, so if you like the sound of it, and want to actually go and see it in person, there is still loads of time to do so, it's on until 28 May. But, those of you who can't make it to the theatre, there's this chance to see it livestreamed on 12 May. Also, do not despair if 12 May is no good for you - this one will also be available on demand from 31 May-3 Jun. See this page here for all the info.

Death Of England trilogy | National Theatre At Home | from 12 May
It's quite rare for us to recommend anything on at the National Theatre because our focus tends to be more on fringe stuff and smaller venues. But over the last couple of years we've definitely become fans of being able to watch theatre shows from your very own sofa, so we're willing to make an occasional exception when it's National Theatre At Home with a very nice option for you. It's the whole 'Death Of England' trilogy, which consists of 'Death Of England', a one man play starring Rafe Spall; another play 'Death Of England: Delroy', which stars Michael Balogun; and a film production, 'Death Of England: Face To Face', starring Neil Maskell and Giles Terera. The last of those is currently available to view right now, the other two will also come available from 12 May. Click here to find out more.


THREE THEATRE SHOWS>>

Twelfth Night | Oasis Farm Waterloo/Jags Sports Club | 11 May/17 May
And now for some grown up and in-person theatrical experiences for you all. And oh, we are so happy to see cycling Shakespeare purveyors The Handlebards back in London peddling (geddit?) more of their fabulous wares. This summer they are reviving their hit production of 'Twelfth Night', and giving more than a hundred performances of it all over the country, so if you are not in London there's every chance they will be stopping at a location relatively or very close to you. If that's of interest, check this page here for all their tour stops and booking links. If you're in London, you have two choices of when to see it: either at Oasis Farm Waterloo on 11 May or at Jags Sports Club in SE24 on 17 May. Click on the links for all the details.

Je T'aime Moi Non Plus | Chelsea Theatre | 12-21 May
"An English actor, a French actress and a director find themselves in a rehearsal room with Molière's works. As they start rehearsing his greatest scenes ('Tartuffe', 'Dom Juan', 'Les Femmes Savantes'...), they discover he has a lot to say about the way we feel. This is an encounter with Molière. With ourselves". One for francophiles and francophones, maybe? Though if you don't speak French this is presented with English surtitles. Anyway, this looks like a rather interesting approach to some of Moliere's greatest moments, and therefore possibly a good introduction. Might be a good one to take French-studying teens to as well. Head this way for more info and to book.

Love Child | Drayton Arms Theatre | 10-21 May (pictured)
"Joel, a neurotic down-on-his-heels actor/playwright, is opening his new adaptation of an obscure Euripides comedy. Unknown to him, there's a big-time Hollywood casting director in the house, as well as his crazy mother (who's also his agent) and his crazy aunt (who's really his mother). When one of the actors takes sleeping pills and passes out mid-performance, and the leading lady quits, Joel's relatives leap over the footlights to rescue the show". Twenty roles are played by just three actors in what's described as a "high octane farce". So I'm sold, frankly, I could really do with a laugh. See the venue website here for more.


THREE MUSICALS>>

For You I'd Wait | Turbine Theatre | 11-21 May
It's been a while since we recommended three whole musicals all at once - and we have a few crackers for you on this occasion. First up, it's 'For You I'd Wait' at Turbine Theatre, which is the first full length musical from new writing duo Golby and West, and has what's described as a "contemporary rock" score. The narrative follows the lives of six individuals around the time of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, which left 130 people dead, the majority at a rock concert by US band Eagles Of Death Metal at the Bataclan Theatre. It sounds like an interesting idea, as it explores the lives, relationships and choices of its central characters, the upheaval of the events of that night, and how their lives continued afterwards. See this page here to find out more.

Lift | Southwark Playhouse | 13 May-18 Jun
And now, let us head to Southwark Playhouse for another musical with an intriguing theme. It's conceivable you might have seen a staging of this before, if you're a musical lover, as it did a run at Soho Theatre back in 2013 (how on earth is that nearly ten years ago? Feels like yesterday!) However, given the gap, it seems entirely feasible that you might want to see it again. Or of course, for the first time, if you didn't see it back then. Anyway, this - you won't be surprised - is set in a lift in the London underground, in one man's imagination, during the one minute it takes to get to the surface. "In the 54 seconds of the lift's passage, we are taken on a much longer journey that reveals the people behind the masks they wear, the secrets they dare not speak, and the unrealised connections between them". Head to the venue website here for all the info.

But What If You Die? | Camden People's Theatre | 10-14 May (pictured)
Not sure this really describes itself as a musical, but it is a show with songs, which promises to merge "gig, memoir and philosophical enquiry". And what a great promise that is. It's a fascinating sounding work from Adam Lenson. "On March 2019 you are diagnosed with cancer. It starts from one tiny mole on your back. On day seven you have three hours of scans to see if it might have spread to other parts of your body. On day 28 you have surgery to remove some infected lymph nodes. On day 62 you begin a year-long course of chemotherapy tablets. On day minus 4,265 you sit in the office of your director of studies at university and tell him you want to change courses. You don't want to study medicine any more. On day 42 the oncologist asks why you know so much about cancer. You tell him you were nearly a doctor". Click here for more.


THREE MORE GREAT SHOWS>>

Jarman | Jack Studio | 10-14 May (pictured)
And finally, three more shows, connected only by the fact that they will be great. Actually, that's not true, the first and the third one are one-person plays, so that's another connection. And if I'd had a third of those, well, this section would have had a different header. But it didn't work out that way, so here we are. Anyway, here's another of those shows where the title might give you a bit of a clue, as yes, this is a show all about late great filmmaker Derek Jarman. And there's much to recommend it - it's an already acclaimed work written and performed by Mark Farelly, who has a lot of experience portraying real life people in solo plays (you'll remember his shows about Quentin Crisp and Frankie Howard) and it's also directed by long term absolute TW favourite and all round wonder Sarah-Louise Young. If you've not seen it yet, head to the venue website here to book tickets.

Connecting Vibes | Poplar Union | 12 May
So, this is the one that has little connection to the other two, really, because it's a dance performance, and it sounds like a rather fabulous one. Irie! Dance Theatre present traditional African dance with an accompaniment of live drumming and celebration of Caribbean language, but there's also some contemporary and hip-hop stuff. It's brought to you by Connecting Vibes, a company for young artists who are just at the start of their careers. As well as the performance, for those with an interest in actually doing dance, on the Saturday following this performance there's this: a masterclass featuring a fusion of Caribbean and urban styles accompanied by live drumming. For more information and to book, head to the venue website right about here.

The Man In The Shed | Bridge House Theatre | 10-14 May
And finally, our final tip for this week is for another rather interesting sounding and funny monologue created by Alex Donald and Tim Connery, headed to Penge's Bridge House Theatre. "Meet 'The Man In The Shed' - a man of his (own) time. Male, pale and stale - he is White Van Man writ large, or, in his words, a top bloke, and although he thinks he is totally right about everything, he is, in fact, completely confused by all around him. Told through the music of a classic album and our hero's version of 'facts', this one-man show is a darkly comic examination of a man left floundering in society's wake as it moves ever onwards. Come on a journey into the baffled psyche of one of society's more bizarre characters". Click 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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