MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
RICHARD MARSH: YIPPEE KI YAY
It's late November and all over the land people are debating whether or not 'Die Hard' is a Christmas film. Maybe. 

And those readers who are fans of the classic action movie may be quite pleased to hear that, at the same time, preparations are under way for a run at the King's Head Theatre of a very special adaptation of it. 

The excellent Richard Marsh - who you'll remember from him being a poetry slam genius and for shows like 'Dirty Great Love Story' - has created a funny, poetic retelling of the iconic film. It won much acclaim at the most recent edfringe and is to be staged again throughout the festive month.  

To find out more about the show, and the talent behind it, I arranged a quick chat with Richard ahead of the London run.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Yippee Ki Yay' is on at King's Head Theatre from 29 Nov-31 Dec. For more information and to book head to the venue website here.



GEOFF AYMER: SCROOGELICIOUS
Regular readers must surely know by now what a soft spot we have for the works of Charles Dickens - in particular 'A Christmas Carol' - for we're always talking about the staged adaptations of it that inevitably open during the winter months. 

One of this year's productions, being staged at Theatre Peckham, has been adapted by the talented Geoff Aymer, who, incidentally, also adapted the venue's 2021 Christmas show 'The Wonderful'. 

Geoff's version of the classic tale is very much set in the present and deals with contemporary issues, while retaining the heart of the original themes, and also includes music composed by Jordan Xavier.

I spoke to Geoff to find out more about the show.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Scroogelicious' is on at Theatre Peckham from 1-23 Dec. For all the details and to book tickets see the venue website here.
Shows to see in person in London and online - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FAMILY SHOWS>>

The Dinosaur Show | Southwark Playhouse | 1-31 Dec
Hurrah, three whole treaty shows in one handy tips section for you to entertain your small fry with, either imminently or later in the Christmas period. And we begin over at Southwark Playhouse with something suitable for everyone over the age of three that promises to bring prehistoric creatures to life in a show full of puppetry, fun and facts. Go on, rediscover the lost land of the dinosaurs, you know you want to. Click here.

Alice In Wonderland | Brixton House | 1-31 Dec (pictured)
This sounds like a very, very fab contemporary take on 'Alice' from award winning company Poltergeist: "After an explosive argument with Mum on a Victoria Line station, eleven-year-old Alice leaps onto the tube seconds before the doors hiss shut. Trapped on a train speeding into Nonsense, surrounded by weird and wonderful passengers, can Alice turn this train around?" Details right about here.

The Smeds And The Smoos | ArtsDepot | 5 Dec-2 Jan
Early dates look like they are selling rather quickly for this one, but there are lots of opportunities to catch this performance, so hopefully you won't have too much trouble bagging your tickets. And it was, of course, bound to be popular, given that it's an adaptation of a book by well loved picture book pair Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and it's staged by Tall Stories, who also did fab versions of 'The Gruffalo' and 'Room On The Broom'. Click here.


DARK CHRISTMAS>>

A Christmas Carol | Tabard Theatre | 4, 11, 18, 24 Dec
Well, that's enough pure jollity, I think, it's time to turn our thoughts to some darker festive entertainment. And yes, frankly, this eternal favourite - 'A Christmas Carol' - is definitely dark, even at times in the Muppet version. This one's an acclaimed one man version adapted and performed by Clive Francis, inspired by Charles Dickens' own first reading of the book back in December of 1853. Book here.

A Sherlock Carol | Marylebone Theatre | until 7 Jan
This one's a funny show, so perhaps it's stretching it a little bit to include it in a 'dark' section. But, honestly, it's a mashup of 'A Christmas Carol' (dark and ghostly, as aforementioned) and the Sherlock Holmes stories (murder, death, etc), so I think I'm justified. Acclaimed (both here and in New York) and up and running, it also sounds fabulously festive and very probably a great family outing if your kids are a bit older. More here.

Christmas Gothic | ArtsDepot | 2-3 Dec (pictured)
This one has gothic in the title, so there's no question whatsoever about its right to be included in this section - and it's from the award winning Dyad Productions, so there's another reason for it to be here. "Come in from the cold and enter the Christmas spirit as a dark, spectral woman tells haunting tales of the festive season, lighting a candle to the frailties of human nature and illuminating the icy, chilling depths of the bleak, wintry dark..." Brr. Click here.


RUNS STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Wickies: The Vanishing Men Of Eilean Mor | Park Theatre | 30 Nov-31 Dec
Some longer theatre runs for you now, and actually, this one feels like it's continuing the dark theme a bit, given it's based on the rather disturbing true story (one I was rather intrigued by as a teenager) of the disappearance of three lighthouse keepers. "The fire was out, there was half eaten food on the table, the chairs were overturned and the clock had stopped. The three men had vanished". Details here.

Lucy & Friends | The Yard Theatre | 3-17 Dec
Lucy McCormick is one of those people whose work we first enjoyed up there at the old edfringe. And when I say "we", I really mean "we" - ie whole review teams unanimous in praise of her stuff. Anyway, you can catch her in December at The Yard Theatre with 'Lucy & Friends', which may not actually feature friends but promises "pole dancing, angry puppets Judy & Judy, strip routines, and some quick reworking of social policy". More here.

Amma | Tara Theatre | 30 Nov-17 Dec (pictured)
This is really interesting, a virtual reality production from Tara Theatre that takes you "across time and space to step into one woman's memories of both the War Of Independence in Bangladesh, and rebuilding a life in 1970s and 1980s Britain". The work has been developed using the first-hand testimonies of Bangladeshi women and sees a daughter confronting the truth of her mother's life. For more info and to book, click here.


SHORT STOPS>>

Ian Smith - Talking And Shouting | 2Northdown | 29 Nov (pictured)
Just moments ago we were speaking of an edfringe favourite, and lo, here is another: Ian Smith is one of those comedy acts that has been absolutely adored by our ever changing team of edfringe reviewers, and has a plethora of four and five star reviews from them dating back to around 2012. He's an absolute class act, which is why I have no qualms about recommending that you see this show even though it's a work in progress. Click here.

Intruder/Intruz | Theatre503 | 5-6 Dec
"A young Pole moves to Scotland from Poland to pursue his dreams to become an actor. When he is about to fulfil his dreams, he is confronted with a few traumatic events, which takes its toll on the protagonist's mental health". Another Edinburgh Festival success that some of you may already have seen during its acclaimed run at edfringe 2022. If not, now's your chance! Head to the venue website here.

The Untold Fable Of Fritz | The Space | 29 Nov-3 Dec
Oooh, here's one that you can see online, we haven't had one of those for a while. It's good to see that The Space is still offering that option for those who might otherwise struggle to see its shows. Anyway, this sounds really interesting, a piece inspired by Philip Pullman's 'Clockwork' that makes use of puppetry, live music and physical theatre to tell the story of a king's quest to save his heir. More here.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

Glisten | Half Moon Theatre | 1 + 15-17 Dec
And finally, we have more great stuff for you! This one might have fit well in the first section, as it's a show for small ones, though to be fair - given that it's designed to appeal to wee babby lambs - it's probably more of a wee babby lamb show than a family show. We've tipped performances of this one a few times in the last few years because it's perfect for babies aged up to eighteen months - a sensory, sparkling, colourful experience. Info here.

To Have And To Hold | The Bread & Roses Theatre | 29 Nov-10 Dec
"It was her hair that first caught my attention. Jet black. Glossy. A touch of blue in it. Like starlings' feathers". Over to the Bread & Roses Theatre now for two interwoven monologues focusing on the relationship of a long-married couple, which examine "memory, relationships and the complicated realities of love". Head this way to find out more.

A Christmas Carol | Rose Theatre | 2 Dec-2 Jan (pictured)
Yes, I did it, I sneaked another version of 'A Christmas Carol' in at the end. Well, there are sooo many to choose from this year: definitely expect more next week. Anyway, this one over at the Rose Theatre in Kingston looks very traditionally set in Victorian times, but it's tangibly different from the original story in that the main character of Scrooge is a woman - the cruellest, wealthiest woman in town. Details 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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