Comedy Dance & Physical Festivals Music Theatre ThisWeek In London Uncategorized

Three To See 18-24 Feb: Starting This Week, Short Runs, Even Shorter Runs, Festival Shows

By | Published on Friday 14 February 2020

THREE STARTING THIS WEEK

The Rage Of Narcissus | The Pleasance Theatre | 18 Feb-8 Mar
“When Sergio arrives in Ljubljana to give a lecture on Narcissus, the first thing he does is look for someone to have sex with. A few hours later, once Igor has come and gone, Sergio spots a bloodstain on the floor. As he begins to investigate, he gets drawn deeper into the murky world of desire, infatuation and murder. Perfect material for the new play he’s trying to write – if he can get out of Ljubljana alive”. Tangram Theatre presents Sergio Blanco’s play, translated and directed by Daniel Goldman, starring Sam Crane. See this page here for more.

Syndrome | Tristan Bates Theatre | 18-29 Feb
A new play from Tina Jay focusing on Gulf War Syndrome. “Deno, Ray, Matt and Gabe are four young British soldiers on combat duty in Saudi Arabia in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. Waiting to move to the front and facing the feared release of chemical and biological weapons, the men spend their long heated days in scheduled military preparation undergoing a ‘protective’ barrage of vaccines, sprays and pills. Mounting tension is relieved only by their friendly rivalry and humorous banter. Five years after the war the guys are reunited but are no longer the ‘lads’ of the past. Far from battling the known enemy, they are struggling against the unseen war on their own bodies”. Info here.

When It Breaks It Burns | Battersea Arts Centre | 19-29 Feb (pictured)
“In 2015, fifteen lives were changed forever when they occupied their high schools, as part of protests that happened across Brazil. Now, they occupy this space using dance, live music and performance to tell their extraordinary story”. This sounds rather interesting and very involving, allowing audience members to get very close to the action as they stand and move around the theatre space in close proximity to the show’s performers. “Let’s occupy the schools. Let’s occupy the theatres. Let’s occupy everything”. See the venue website here to book your tickets.


THREE SHORT RUNS

The Upsetters | The Bunker Theatre | 24-29 Feb
This is a whole festival, and just in case you are going to quibble about the fact that it’s not in the festival shows section, there’s a valid reason: here, I am tipping a whole, short festival, in the other section, individual events in much longer festivals. Anyway, I don’t have to justify myself to you. What I do have to day is recommend you take a look at this fab series of events celebrating writers of colour that includes appearances by the likes of Lemn Sissay and Tyrone Lewis, a range of workshops, and plays by Sidney Belony and Jimin Suh. More here.

Down There – In The Mind Of Consciousness | The Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 18-22 Feb (pictured)
“A great plague is upon us, we are living in a time where everything is being taken away from us; our housing, our loved ones and dammit even our culture. Nothing about this is new. This right here is part of our history, the documented thoughts and words of what is down there; in the mind of the conscious…” A welcome return for this Camden Fringe hit by BantuScribe, an exploration of black stereotypes and black love set in the subconscious mind of Angry Black Woman. See the venue website here for info.

Bahar Noktasi (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) | Arcola Theatre | 23-27 Feb 
Another pick from Arcola’s Creative Disruption season, this one a Turkish version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Arcola Ala Turka, one of the UK’s leading Turkish language performance collectives, and it’s performed in Turkish with English surtitles. “The supernatural madness of Shakespeare’s enduring classic is brought to life at the seaside with a cast of Turkish characters. A world of chaos ensues, a story brimming with love and lust, friendships tested and magical worlds explored”. All the details right about here.


THREE EVEN SHORTER RUNS

Madam Butterfly | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 18 Feb (pictured)
“A young woman abandoned by the man for whom she sacrificed everything. But she is stronger than anyone imagined…” the award-winning OperaUpClose, in association with the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, presents this new English version of Puccini’s opera, retold from a female, East-Asian perspective, and transposed to 1980s Japan, where traditional culture collides with a new digital age. For more information and to book tickets, head to the venue website here.

I Could Go On Singing | Southbank Centre | 24-26 Feb
This is interesting, the sort of thing I find a bit intimidating to be honest, though I guess not everyone has to be intimately involved with the interactive element. Plus, you lot are probably braver than me. Anyway, you’re probably now a bit intrigued to know exactly what happens in this, so I will fill you in: performance artist FK Alexander sings along to the final recording of Judy Garland, made four months before the stars death, while standing hand-in-hand with self-selected members of the audience. Head this way to read more about the show and the creatives involved.

Her Agency / Peak / Square One | The Place | 20 Feb
Anyone in the mood for dance? Well, I certainly am after reading about the three pieces on show in this rather good looking triple bill. WomenWonder Collective present ‘Her Agency’ an exploration of womanhood and female empowerment with a focus on mutual support in the time of social isolation. ‘peak’ by Harry Parr is an abstract work “connecting a dynamism and rhythm in the torso with a more expansive and grounded use of space”. Finally, Autin Dance Theatre’s ‘Square One’ is a solo performance combining digital media and dance theatre focusing on mental health and emotional wellbeing, physical and spiritual changes. Click here for more.


THREE FESTIVAL SHOWS

Coalesce | King’s Place | 19 Feb (pictured)
We start the festival section with a final pick from the excellent CAN Festival, which draws to a close this week. This time we’re looking forward to an evening of quality musical entertainment from classical Chinese instrumentalists Cheng Yu, Wang Xiao and Charlie Cawood, concert pianist An-Ting Chang and electronic musician DJ QuestionMark. The ensemble will blend Eastern and Western traditions to form a backdrop for a reading of the poems of Chinese poet Yu Yoyo, read live on stage by Yu’s translator AK Blakemore. See the CAN website here for details.

Notch | Vault Festival | 19-23 Feb
Over to Vault now, for ‘Notch’, a new solo show about sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin. “A.A. is moving from Eastern Europe to the promised land of Guinness and gift shops: Dublin. Everyone says she’ll do well ‘cause she owns slacks and knows how to spell. But it turns out that you don’t just grow out of working in retail. Or get on the property ladder. Or ascend the corporate ladder. Or own a ladder… without money”. Head to the festival website here for more info on the show, and to book tickets.

Rob Oldham: Worm’s Resolve | Vault Festival | 18-20 Feb
“Worm’s Resolve explores being right, being wrong and getting angry. Newspaper fonts, bows and arrows and nose piercings will also be discussed. Answers will be sought, jokes will be told and an impending sense of doom will be momentarily lifted!” We first heard about Rob Oldham when he made his edfringe debut back in 2018, and we have heard more good things about him since. You might have seen him on BBC3, or heard him on Radio 4. Anyway, I’m expecting this to be good. Find out more here.



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