MONDAY 13 MAY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
NIA AKILAH ROBINSON AND KALUNGI SSEBANDEKE: THE GREAT PRIVATION - HOW TO FLIP TEN CENTS INTO A DOLLAR
I was intrigued when I heard about the latest play to open at Theatre503, because its focus is on grave robbing in the US, and the theft and commodification of black bodies. It's a dark piece of history and one that I wasn't really aware of before reading about this play, and I am always keen to learn more about the past and the injustices perpetrated there. 

'The Great Privation: How To Flip Ten Cents Into A Dollar' is written by US playwright Nia Akilah Robinson and directed by Kalungi Ssebandeke. I put some questions to both of them, to find about more about the creatives themselves, as well as the upcoming show. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Great Privation: How To Flip Ten Cents Into A Dollar' is on at Theatre503 from 14 May-3 Jun. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FAMILY STUFF>>

Claytime | Polka Theatre | 15-19 May
A new week, a new set of shows, and I thought we might begin this time with a cluster of shows to entertain the younger element. First up is this acclaimed piece of work for little tots aged three to six, which is different every time and which invites audience participation. Expect "a place where the earth's natural material meets with children's imaginations: a world of fabulous forms, amazing animals and morphing monsters". Click here.

Prince Charming | Little Angel Theatre | 18 May-27 Jul (pictured)
"It's a lot of pressure being Prince Charming. There's all those dragons to fight and kingdoms to save, not to mention being charming all the time. It's enough to make anyone a little worried. Holed up in his bed, Prince Charming is making a list of his worries". A musical for kids of all ages that promises to be funny and engaging, as well as eminently suitable for anyone who has experienced a bit of anxiety. All the info here.

The Princess And The Pea | The Unicorn Theatre | 17 May-16 Jun
And finally, well, it's a classic, really, isn't it? Or, as you would expect for these modern times, a re-imagining of a classic. It's about a pampered princess who has staff that indulge her every whim, but one night she ventures out alone and things take a bit of a turn. It involves acrobatics, clowning and fairy-tale adventure, and is a Unicorn co-production with New Vic Theatre and circus specialists Upswing. Click here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy | Woolwich Works | 17 May
I suppose this one's also a family show, given that you can take your baby along. But here the point, obviously, is to entertain the adults in the room while the small ones sit, or sleep, or whatever, because they are not going to get the jokes. Anyway, this one's brilliant for new parents who need a bit of grown up fun without hiring a babysitter. Have at it, tired people. Head right this way.

Friend - The One With Gunther | King's Head Theatre | 14-26 May (pictured)
Another funny one for you, but this time you'll want to leave the kids at home. They're not going to know much about the TV show 'Friends' in any case, and I reckon a vague working knowledge might be advantageous. Anyway, you might already be aware of the work of the excellent Brendan Murphy, and this show, as it's an established hit. If not: it's the entirety of the 90s sitcom, retold through the eyes of Central Perk guy Gunther. Click here.

Wifi-Sexual | Greenwich Theatre | 14-18 May
This is described as an 'outrageously dark romcom' and, the more I read about it, the more I wonder if the emphasis should be very much on the dark and the rom. But the com is there, so I'm keeping in it funny stuff. It's about men falling in love with an AI identity and finding themselves in some kind of technologically advanced love triangle. Yes, you're right, I am having trouble explaining this, so look at this page here for more information and clarification.


SHORT STOPS>>

Mandem | Theatre Peckham | 14-15 May (pictured)
Hurrah, we're making another visit to the lovely Peckham Fringe. As ever, I'm going to advise you to consider all the events happening over at Theatre Peckham, but this one is my personal pick, a show about three boys who are in the process of becoming men. "Felix is trying to live up to his golden boy online persona, Jermaine is forever chasing his mum's nonexistent approval, and Idris just wants to get rich". Click here.

Elsewhere | Camden People's Theatre | 14-15 May
There were actually three shows that caught my eye over at Camden People's Theatre this week and this is the first one, 'Elsewhere', about a clever and hard working Chinese student falling apart under the weight of expectations. But I kind of also wanted to talk about 'Project Atom Boi' and 'For The Love Of Spam', which also look amazing, so have a look at the venue listings here to find all three of them.

Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera | Wilton's Music Hall | 14-15 May
I love it when people do shows that are interesting from a linguistic perspective and this is definitely one of those. First staged back in 2015, 'Song Queen' blends African storytelling tradition with contemporary dance, and incorporates a range of types of speech - Nigerian Pidgin English, Patois, Creole, Cockney, hip hop vernacular and multicultural London slang. Find out more about it here.


LONGER RUNS>>

Lady Dealer | Bush Theatre |15 May-15 Jun
OK, some longer runs, and this is one I heard about because it's won much acclaim at the old edfringe in recent years. "For Charly, every day is the same: neck some coffee, answer the phone, sell some drugs. The flat she once shared with her ex, Clo, is now the base of her growing business. And she's fine with that. She's fine! But when a power cut hits her estate and the burner phone stops buzzing she is forced to question exactly how fine she is". Info here.

The Book Of Grace | Arcola Theatre | 16 May-8 Jun (pictured)
"Grace lives with her husband Vet, a patrol officer on the Texas-Mexico border. When Vet is awarded a medal for his service, Grace invites his estranged son Buddy to join them at the ceremony. But Buddy arrives armed with resentment, an agenda and (several) hand grenades. Can Grace heal the rift and contain the threat?" Suzan-Lori Parks' 2010 play, helmed by award winning director Femi Elufowoju jr. Click here.

The Tailor Of Inverness | Finborough Theatre | 14 May-8 Jun
Another show that's known Fringe success, this, winning one of the much coveted Fringe First awards. The play is about writer and performer Matthew Zajac's Polish father, telling the true story of how he grew up on a farm in Galicia and ended up a tailor in Inverness, after being taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939 before going on to fight in North Africa and Italy with the British in the 1940s. Find more info and book your tickets here.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

Surfacing | Omnibus Theatre | 14 May-1 Jun (pictured)
Three final absolute goodies for you, and we're starting with 'Surfacing' by Papatango Prize winner Tom Powell, a thriller that looks at hallucinations, neurodivergence and the state of mental health care. "NHS therapist Luc is fine. Honest. She's definitely not overwhelmed by meeting Owen, a new client, definitely not freaked out by what she's started seeing, definitely doesn't think her reality has been punctured and something else is leaking in". More here.

The Cord | Bush Theatre | 13-25 May
"Ash and Anya were happy, just the two of them. Then the baby came. Ash has spent the first two weeks of his son's life trying to work out where he fits. As sleepless nights, relentless crying and hushed arguments take their toll, a storm starts to grow as a nightmarish chasm widens between Ash and his wife, his mother, and even his son". A highly acclaimed insight into family dynamics, see the venue website here to book.

Taking A Love Pill At The End Of The World | The Hope Theatre | 14 May-1 Jun
This one stands out a bit for promising live cooking and apocalyptic visions in a play that's set at the end of the world, and which questions what steps one might take when faced with the destruction of everything. "There's no future for Igg and Tom. Couples therapy is going nowhere. Environmental disaster is looming. Is the only option to take a pill and fall in love?" Is it? Head this way to find out.
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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