MONDAY 27 JUNE 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
BREN GOSLING: MOMENT OF GRACE
Beginning a run at the Hope Theatre this week is 'Moment Of Grace', a play by Bren Gosling. It focuses on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and in particular the moment when Diana Princess Of Wales prompted the beginning of a change in attitudes towards those suffering from the virus, when she shook hands with an HIV positive patient.

It's a fascinating sounding play, with an interesting structure, and one which promises to deal with some really important themes. To find out more about the production, and the creative behind it, I arranged a chat with the aforementioned playwright Bren Gosling ahead of opening night.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Moment Of Grace' is on at the Hope Theatre from 28 Jun-16 Jul. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.  



MAX LEWENDEL: THE LESSON
Coming to Southwark Playhouse this week is an acclaimed production of Eugene Ionesco's absurdist one act play 'The Lesson', courtesy of Icarus Theatre Collective, who have already toured the show to the author's homeland Romania. 

It sounded to me like a really engaging staging of the piece, and of course it has already had a very positive critical response, so I was definitely interested in finding out more about it. 

I spoke to Max Lewendel, director of the play, and Artistic Director of the company behind it. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Lesson' is on at Southwark Playhouse from 29 Jun-23 Jul, see the venue website here for info and to book.
JOSH COLLINS: 9 CIRCLES
Headed to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer is '9 Circles' by US playwright Bill Cain, a fascinating-sounding piece that tells a real life story of a soldier's journey through the Iraq conflict and the US justice system.

Ahead of its time in the Scottish Capital, the show is on at London's Park Theatre for a three week run, starting this coming week.

I was keen to find out more about the play and the team behind it, so I arranged a chat with Josh Collins, who plays the central role of Private Daniel Reeves. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'9 Circles' is on in London at The Park Theatre from 29 Jun-23 Jul, then at Assembly George Square Studios from 3-29 Aug. See the edfringe listing here.
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Shows to see in person in London - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


THREE FESTIVALS>>

Fuse International Festival | various locations in Kingston | 1-10 Jul
Yay, our summer of festivals continues. And it really has been feeling summery of late, hasn't it? Definitely tangible bouts of lovely sunshine between the inevitable UK moments of rain and cold breezes. Anyway, which of these great festivals shall we visit first? How about the Fuse International Festival, Creative Youth's new moniker for the old International Youth Arts Festival, which is the UK's biggest multi-arts festival for performers under 27. There are more than fifty events from all sorts of genres including theatre, film, comedy, music and family shows, so many, in fact, that it's pretty much impossible to pick out specific performances to tip - so please, please head to Creative Youth's website here to look at the full line up.

ARGComFest | Shoreditch Town Hall | 1-3 Jul (pictured)
And now that you've decided what Fuse stuff you're going to go see, it's time for comedy fans to head over to Shoreditch Town Hall to book tickets for ARGComFest, a fabulous smorgasbord of Edinburgh previews, which should definitely appeal to those of you who never quite manage to see as much comedy as you would like when you are up at the old edfringe. The festival sees twelve comperes hosting three stages staging a sizeable 48 preview sets. That's over the course of Saturday and Sunday, and you can go on Saturday or Sunday or both days. But this year the festival also has a Friday night event featuring lots of big names. Head to the venue website here for more.

Originals Live | Original Theatre Online + Riverside Studios | 30 Jun-2 Jul
Kind of a festival, but just a very tiny one, really, as it consists of three events on three consecutive nights, but it's going to be a quite far reaching thing, as each performance is happening at Riverside Studios but is also being streamed by Original Theatre Online, so anyone from anywhere could be tuning in. The line up consists of three brand new plays, each one a winner from a recent nationwide search for scripts: there's 'Miles' by Eilidh Nurse, 'The Fall' by Drew Hewitt, and 'Tikkun Olam' by Teunkie Van Der Sluijs, and they all sound great. There's lots of info about each one and booking links here.


THREE THINGS YOU COULD ACCESS ONLINE>>

The End Of The Night | Original Theatre Online | from 4 Jul
And talking of things you can access online, here are three more things that you can access via the net! The first one's another presentation from the aforementioned Original Theatre, and a play starring Ben Caplan and Richard Clothier. "In the final days of World War II, a secret meeting takes place between a member of the World Jewish Congress and one of the most powerful Nazis in Germany - without Hitler's knowledge. Dr Felix Kersten, Himmler's trusted personal physiotherapist, uses his unique position of influence to facilitate a meeting between the architect of the Holocaust and Swedish jew Norbert Masur". Find out more here.

Thinking On Sunday: Do Right and Fear No One: Birmingham Bombings to Grenfell | Conway Hall | 3 Jul
"Inspired from a young age to help the marginalised and voiceless, Leslie Thomas QC has dedicated his career to fighting for the underdog and holding the state to account. His book 'Do Right And Fear No One' is an intimate and personal record of some of the most significant, controversial and disturbing legal cases of the last fifty years and lays bare the very heart of the law enforcement and judicial process. He presents an unforgettable account of an idealistic and outspoken lawyer's coming of age as a black man in London, and a powerful portrait of the lives of those he has fought for". Another great in-person but also Zoom event from Conway Hall, a talk with award-winning human rights/civil liberties barrister Leslie Thomas. Read more about it and book yourself in here.

Cyclops | The Space | 28 Jun-2 Jul (pictured)
As often happens lately, I am sticking this in-person event in the online section because you have an opportunity to view it digitally as well, but, of course, if you're close by, do please actually consider seeing it at the venue. Thiasos Theatre Company present a staging of Euripides' 'Cyclops' - the only surviving satyr play from ancient Greece - which tells the tale of Odysseus' defeat, on his way home from the Trojan War, of one eyed giant Polyphemus. The show features song and dance drawn from the traditions of the Aegean and Mediterranean islands and promises to be full of heroism and suspense as well as a fair degree of humour. There's also an accompanying talk on the play by Professor Edith Hall on 2 Jul. Read more and book tickets here.


THREE FUNNY SHOWS>>

Comedy At The King's Head | King's Head Theatre | 3 Jul
Hurrah, it's time for some comedy shows, and some more acts that you'll perhaps already have your eye on if you're heading up to partake of the funny treats on offer at this year's Edinburgh Festival. For yes, this comedy night at the King's Head Theatre features two acts who are doing the old edfringe in August. One of them you'll no doubt be entirely aware of - Lee Nelson creator Simon Brodkin - and the other, Bella Hull, well, you may well be aware of her too given that she's an increasingly successful up and comer who recently made her television debut on the BBC's 'Stand Up For Live Comedy'. If not, you're aware of her now. See this page here for more.

The Bike Project Comedy Fundraiser | Union Chapel | 28 Jul
Okay, and on to a charity fundraiser that's absolutely packed with the sort of comedy acts you see all over the radio and telly and your favourite podcasts etc, and most of whom you've probably seen in Edinburgh if you're a long term edfringe comedy-going veteran. There's James Acaster, Tiff Stevenson, Josh Pugh, Yuriko Kotani and Morgan Rees, an ensemble that's going to make you laugh long and hard, and the bonus is that 100% of your ticket money is going to go to the very worthy cause of supporting refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. For more information and to book, head to the venue website here.

War Of The Worlds (On A Budget) | Union Theatre | 29 Jun-2 Jul (pictured)
"Step aside HG Wells, take a break Jeff Wayne, go back to your trailer Tom Cruise, Lamphouse is tackling 'War Of The Worlds' and they're doing it.....on a budget! 'War Of The Worlds (On A Budget)' features one man, a loop pedal, a ukulele, lots of cardboard, many many hats and several absolutely terrifying (definitely not made out of paper) tripod puppets. Can our hero outrun the aliens, play 25 characters, unwind himself from the microphone cable, stop for a tea break and save the day before it's too late?" This sounds fun. And it's another show that's heading up to Edinburgh later this summer, so hardened Fringe-doers might want to try and get this one in ahead of kick-off. See this page here for more.


THREE THEATRE SHOWS>>

Rapture | Pleasance Theatre | 28 Jun-17 Jul (pictured)
And now... a dedicated theatre section! Though we are well aware that there's already been quite a bit of theatre in the preceding sets of tips. This one's just for theatre, though, so it's special. Let us begin at the Pleasance Theatre and check out 'Rapture' by Pink Sky, an emerging collective of LGBTQIA+ artists, which deals with some distressing themes, apparently, but promises to explore community, power and healing. "Rosy, Tommy and Kit are clued-up, kinky and queer as fuck - until safe spaces fracture and identities start to shift. As events in the present bring past traumas bubbling to the surface, the bonds within this chosen family must shudder and transform if they are to survive". Read more about the show and book your tickets here.

A-Typical Rainbow | Turbine Theatre | 30 Jun-7 Aug
"Boy has always seen the world differently to most people. Where most see monochrome, he sees the world in vivid and brilliant technicolour. As Boy grows up, he faces increasing pressure to conform to the black and white logic of the 'real' world, a way of thinking that doesn't make sense, and forces him to suppress his unique and beautiful view of life". I'm intrigued by the sound of this new play, the debut from autistic writer JJ Green, about the search for a kinder and more joyful world. And given guidance says twelve plus, it might be something that works as a family outing with older children? Have a look here for info and to book tickets.

The Dance Of Death | Arcola Theatre | 28 Jun-23 Jul
For the final theatrical treat in this section we're heading over to the Arcola Theatre for a staging of Strindberg's 'The Dance Of Death', adapted by Oscar winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz and directed by Arcola co-founder and AD Mehmet Ergen, and which has a rather impressive cast headed by Lindsay Duncan. "As their 30th wedding anniversary approaches, Alice and Edgar are locked in a bitter struggle. They've driven away their children and their friends. Their relationship is sustained by taunts and recriminations. When a newcomer breaks into the midst of the fray, their insular lives threaten to spin out of control". More here.


THREE MORE FAB EVENTS>>

One World: Wealth Of The Common People | Lyric Hammersmith | 27 Jun-2 Jul (pictured)
And so to the mixed bag section, which really is a properly mixed bag in genre terms this time, as we have some dance, some opera, and some immersive theatre for you. This first one is the dance option, and it's the pandemic-delayed 40th birthday celebration of Amici Dance Theatre Company, which, as you may well know, is a group that integrates disabled and non-disabled artists and performers. The show, which features over 80 disabled and non-disabled performers on stage, many specially invited from all over the world, tells the stories of refugees and displaced people. To read more about the show, head to the venue website here.

Serse | Opera Holland Park Theatre | 30 Jun
"King Serse falls in love with the voice of his brother's beloved, and tries to use his authority to force her to marry him. An exploration of power, desire and human frailty, 'Serse' features some of Handel's most striking music, including one of his most famous arias, 'Ombra Mai Fu'". Yes, this is the opera one, and it's taking place, as you've already read, at the lovely open air auditorium at Holland Park. It's by Figure, a recently-established historical performance ensemble that aims to "represent the rising generation of performers, and to expand the scope and practices of historical music". And I think this sounds rather good. Head to this page here for details and to book.

Hidden Figures: WW2 | Crypt | 1 Jul-30 Sep
And finally, our final tip of the week in our final tip section of the week. And of course it's a goodie, for it's a fab immersive experience for small groups of people that involves really getting involved and taking on characters of your own. "Share a password with our agent to break into our 1940s military bar and choose your secret wartime role. Delve into our secret storytelling maze and uncover your character's identity whilst un-ravelling the history of some of the most fantastic, unsung heroes of WWII over a free drink. Do well and we'll treat you to sabrage from our prosecco bar, fail to reach the mark and you'll still be peeling spuds as our agents jump into France..." Find out more and book here.
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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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