MONDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
PHIL BARTLETT: HOPE THEATRE AUTUMN SEASON
I always keep an eye on what's going on at The Hope Theatre, because it's a small venue staging really good stuff, and that's the kind of thing we like best to focus on. So it's likely we'll be recommending a number of shows from the venue's autumn season as we make our way through the next few weeks.

Those upcoming plays all look very promising, so I thought it would be good to find out more about them, but I was also keen to speak to the venue's Artistic Director Phil Bartlett - who took on that job in 2021 - to find out more about his role, career thus far, and aspirations for the future.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

The Hope Theatre's autumn season runs until 21 Nov. For individual show info and to book your tickets, see the venue listings here.
TW Backstage is the all-new podcast from ThisWeek Culture, all about the business of comedy, culture, theatre and Fringe.
MOST RECENT EDITION: FIXING THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
In the most recent edition of TW Backstage we look at the big talking points from last month in relation to the workings and economics of Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. What are the most pressing issues? What are the possible solutions?

ThreeWeeks' Chris Cooke chats to Charles Pamment, Artistic Director of theSpace; Ines Wurth, producer with Ines Wurth Presents; comedians Ivor Dembina and Alistair Barrie; and Richard Stamp, co-founder of Fringe Guru and reviewer with The Wee Review.

TUNE IN to this edition of TW Backstage here.
UPCOMING EDITION: YOU'VE DONE EDINBURGH, WHAT NEXT?
In the next edition of TW Backstage - out this week - we'll be looking at what Edinburgh Fringe performers and producers should do next.

If your aim in performing and producing at the Fringe was to find an audience, make industry connections and unlock future opportunities, what should you be doing in September to build on the momentum you generated during August?

When should you start planning your next Edinburgh project? And what other fringe festivals are worth checking out? We'll provide practical tips aplenty.

SIGN UP to receive future editions of TW Backstage as they land here.
Shows to see in person in London and online - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FESTIVAL THINGS>>

Multi Stories New Writing Festival | Bread & Roses Theatre | 8-10 Sep
You know, I am still kind of in mourning for the old edfringe and the somewhat younger Camden Fringe right now, even though it's been a week/more since they both ended. But, as I think I probably pointed out last week, there's lots to look forward to in London, even festival stuff. Because, of course, there's always some festival or another going on in the massive and sprawling capital metropolis. So, where to start? Well, here's an idea: a festival focusing on new writing. Produced by Multistory Productions, it takes place over three nights and features a different theme on each night. More here.

London Podcast Festival | King's Place | 8-19 Sep
And where to go next? Well, it's not exactly close by the Bread & Roses Theatre, but how about the London Podcast Festival at King's Place? Helpful workshops and how-to sessions for those of you who actually make, or would like to make, podcasts, and - of course - lots of live events from your favourite podcasting people/teams - like Danny Robins, Drunk Women Caught Redhanded, Fingers On Buzzers and No Such Thing As a Fish. Go and look at the line up yourself though - there are loads more I could have mentioned.

Joz Norris: Blink | Soho Theatre | 12-15 Sep (pictured)
In addition to the festivals happening in London right now, there are also shows from that old edfringe heading into the capital. And that's the festival connection here. If you were in Edinburgh last month you likely know that Joz Norris was there performing this very show. And, it has to be said, to much acclaim, which is, obviously, which why I am recommending that you go to see it when it opens for a short run at Soho this month. "Legendary comedian-turned-magician Joz Norris has perfected the hardest magic trick of all time - making an entire audience think and blink in unison. He's got everything under control. Nothing can possibly go wrong". Click here.


THEATRE RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

The P Word | Bush Theatre | 9 Sep-22 Oct (pictured)
And now for some theatrical treats beginning fairly chunky runs going on into October. So, plenty of time to get around to seeing them, but maybe you would like to get in there early? I reckon maybe yes, because this sounds rather compelling to stay the least: "Zafar flees homophobic persecution in Pakistan to seek asylum in the UK. Londoner Bilal (or Billy as he prefers to be known) is ground down by years of Grindr and the complexity of being a brown gay man. Their worlds are about to change forever". Head to the venue website here to find out more.

Handbagged | Kiln Theatre | 9 Sep-22 Oct
"The monarch. Her most powerful subject. Born six months apart, each had a destiny that would change the world. But when the stiff upper lip softened and the gloves came off, which one had the upper hand?" Moira Buffini's acclaimed 2010 comedy that imagines the relationship and interactions between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II is back, directed by Kiln Theatre Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham and starring Marion Bailey and Kate Fahy. And we are glad to see it. For more info and to book your tickets go to this page here.

Distinguished Villa | Finborough Theatre | 6 Sep-1 Oct
And here's another revival, though this one's a much older play, and this is the first London production since 1926 which, crikey, is not far off a hundred years ago. And it has to be said, I am as fond of seeing good oldies brought back as I am of watching new work, so this is exciting. It was the debut play of Irish writer Kate O'Brien, a bit of a hit when it was first staged despite censorship of its outspoken views, and it's described as "a humorous study of suburban manners and a serious look at the limits placed on young women in the roaring twenties". Definitely one for the diary. Click here.


QUALITY SHORT RUNS>>

And | The Place | 10 Sep (pictured)
Talking of shows that were on at the 2022 edfringe (which, we were, albeit a few tips back in the festival section) here's one from the dance/physical theatre programme that makes its way to London's The Place for just one performance. That being the case, make sure you do not miss it, because this is a highly critically acclaimed show. Created and performed by contemporary dance artist Charlotte McLean, it's "an auto-biographical performance about growing up as a woman, and explores culture, identity, nationality and politics". For more info and tickets see this page here.

Dinosaurs And All That Rubbish | ArtsDepot | 11 Sep
Oh, and, um, speaking of edfringe, again, here's another one: this time it's a children's show that won a rather favourable response from one of our ThreeWeeks reviewers this summer. The name of the play may already ring a bell for you if you're a parent or carer as it's based on a children's book of the same name by Michael Foreman, and this is a great adaptation - funny, lively and engaging while addressing the key themes of pollution and climate change. "One small step for man, one giant pile of rubbish left behind! Man's dream to reach the stars leaves the world in ruins and disturbs the sleeping dinosaurs. Will they wake up and save planet Earth?" More here.

#BlackIs | Pleasance Theatre | 9-10 Sep 
And finally, onto something that wasn't on at edfringe, so I have no reviews to go on with regard to this particular show, but I do think it looks like it will be a great piece, tackling some important stuff, so I am expecting good things. '#BlackIs', a play which has been co-created by nine young people and an all-black creative team, is based on the performers' own life experiences, and aims to elevate the the voices of young black teenagers growing up in North London. And as well as looking at important themes, it promises to be both moving and funny. Read more about it on the venue website here.


MORE THEATRE>>

Stumped | Original Theatre Online | 10 Sep (pictured)
Yay, more theatre of various kinds, and we are starting this section with an online suggestion for those of you who can't get out to London's venues or would welcome the chance to take in something at home in addition to stepping out. And this one may well have extra appeal for those of you who are cricket fans or, I suppose, are fans of renowned playwrights. Because this new play, which will be livestreamed from Lords, is about two cricket loving script-writing legends: Samuel Beckett, played by Stephen Tompkinson, and Harold Pinter, played by Andrew Lancel. It's described as a darkly comical piece and offers an insight into what the friendship between the two men may have been like. More info right about here.

None Of The Clocks Work | Theatre Peckham | 12-24 Sep
"What are you saying - that this our fault? You're saying we're bad parents?" Over to Theatre Peckham now for another interesting looking play that promises a "heartfelt and poignant story of loss, healing and what happens when unchecked generational patterns spill into the streets". It follows one family through three generations, tracking the ripples through time caused by a traumatic event, and is part of a community-led intervention aimed at creating large-scale change, aiming to address "generational trauma and the responsibility within our communities, families and social care systems for healing". More here.

Bright Half Life | King's Head Theatre | 7 Sep-1 Oct
And finally, in this section, let's head to the north of London town for 'Bright Half Life' at the King's Head Theatre, a rather good play about love and heartbreak by Pulitzer nominated writer Tanya Barfield, first staged in the US back in 2015. "What if life came with a rewind button? Jumping across time, Bright Half Life tells the four-and-a-half-decade story of Vicky and Erica, who meet, fall in love, start a family, and traverse the highs, lows, joys, and fears that come from sharing your life with someone else. Depicting queer love in the richest and most original of ways, 'Bright Half Life' is an intensely romantic and moving play about love that is complicated and ever-changing". Click here.


MIXED BAG>>

Trump L'Oeil - A Musical | Upstairs At The Gatehouse | 7 Sep-2 Oct (pictured)
And now for the last tip section of the week, a mixed bag genre wise that's literally called 'Mixed Bag', because each tip is from a definitely different genre. And, musical fans, we are starting with a musical! Though, anyone with a passing interest in US politics, surrealism and various other things may well find lots to love here too. For it's a musical exploration of Trump's rise to power, blending elements of theatre, cabaret and circus with music influenced by a variety of genres. "A tongue-in-cheek retelling of the Trump years, and an attempt to understand how we move forward". See the venue website here to find out more.

Impromptu Shakespeare | Rosemary Branch Theatre | 12-15 Sep
"Sad that Shakespeare hasn't written anything new for over 400 years? Well, hold onto your doublets, ruffs and trunk hose. The Bard is back! With story and verse improvised in the moment, enjoy a riotous new Shakespeare play every time - performed by Impromptu Shakespeare's whip smart cast". Yay, a combination of things we love, Shakespeare and improv, by an excellent troupe who've previously stormed the Edinburgh Fringe, The Bristol Shakespeare Festival and appeared on BBC Shakespeare Live. Info here.

Tales From The Shed | Chickenshed Theatre | 9 Sep-26 Oct
For our final recommendation of the week, we're headed over to the Chickenshed Theatre for something suitable for a nice family outing with young children. If you're a child-wrangler, you may well be aware of Chickenshed Theatre's 'Tales From The Shed', either because you've already been to see them or because you have read our previous recommendations. If you've been before, you'll probably want to go again of course, because this isn't a static thing, each new season sees new tales being told by established characters, and the new season begins this week. The shows happen on Fridays and Saturdays, include educational songs, movement and language games, and are suitable for little ones under six. Find out more 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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