Children's Shows Festivals Theatre ThisWeek In London Words & Events

Three To See 5-11 Nov: Starting This Week, Shorter Runs, More Short Runs, Festival Shows

By | Published on Friday 1 November 2019

THREE STARTING THIS WEEK

Spiderfly | Theatre503 | 6-30 Nov
“After the death of her sister is left unresolved, Esther is broken and alone. Searching for closure, she is increasingly drawn to the disturbing world of Keith. As their relationship progresses the two spin webs of trickery and deceit – but who is the spider, and who is the fly? Can either of them escape their shared past? And will they emerge unscathed?” This Bruntwood Prize-longlisted debut from John Webber is described as a “taut, thrilling play”. Head this way to find out more.

All’s Well That Ends Well | Jermyn Street Theatre | 6-30 Nov
A classic, and one that I feel there are fewer stagings of. For those who are less aware of this particular play, here’s an idea: “When his father dies, Bertram rejects his friends, abandons his mother, and flees his childhood home. But the orphaned Helena refuses to give up hope. Following in her father’s footsteps, she becomes a doctor, saves a monarch’s life, and crosses half of Europe in the passionate pursuit of her happiness”. See the venue website here for info.

Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost | Unicorn Theatre | 10 Nov-5 Jan
So, it’s official, this is our first tip for a Christmassy show – for this is Unicorn Theatre’s Christmas offering – and so here begins our inexorable march towards the season of goodwill and all that. Expect all the ‘A Christmas Carol’s I can find, and a big dollop of panto in the coming weeks. Anyway, maybe start with this one, a delicious looking treat for your older children (seven plus) and you, an adaptation of Wilde’s novel that promises to be witty, spooky, and enhanced by “spine-tingling magic, spectacular illusions and ghoulish effects”. Details here.


THREE SHORTER RUNS

Gaping Hole (Story #3) | Ovalhouse | 8-23 Nov
“In the Shawshank Redemption, wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne spends years digging a tunnel to freedom from his prison cell. He hides his work under a large picture of Rita Hayworth. On the day of his escape, Andy crawls his way towards the outside world and perfectly replaces the poster on the wall to mask his escape route. We’re so emotionally satisfied when Andy rips off his prison uniform in the rain that we forget to ask how he could possibly have replaced the poster from inside the tunnel”. Didn’t he just leave it hanging from the top two pins and scoot in under it? I don’t know, it’s a while since I saw it. Anyway, I want to see this, Rachel Mars and Greg Wohead’s “third part in a non-linear trilogy about radical narrative”. Info here.

Easy | Blue Elephant Theatre | 5-23 Nov
A new play from Amy Blakelock about a really important subject, the pressures and potential horrors inflicted on adolescents by our contemporary cocktail of social media, media ideals, teenage insecurities and infectious social anxiety. “Alice would give anything for something magical to happen to her. But she’s shy, has no idea how to contour and the last thing she loved was a roast potato. She feels ordinary. Unremarkable. Unpopular. Until Jamie from Maths messages her. Finally, something is about to happen to Alice. Something big. Something she won’t ever forget. Something she never expected. And the whole school knows”. Details right about here.

Juliet & Romeo | Wilton’s | 5-9 Nov
I tipped this when it was briefly on in February last year, but I am going to tip it again anyway, a) because I don’t just abandon things because they’ve had a bit of my attention and b) it’s still going to be great, isn’t it? “Lost Dog’s new show reveals the real story of Romeo and Juliet. It turns out they didn’t die in a tragic misunderstanding; they grew up and lived happily ever after. Well they lived at least. Now they are 40ish, at least one of them is in the grips of a mid-life crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves and haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love. They have decided to confront their current struggles by putting on a performance – about themselves”. Click here.


THREE MORE SHORT RUNS

Figs In Wigs present Little Wimmin | Pleasance Theatre | 6-9 Nov (pictured)
“Come join for the world premiere of our live art feminist adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women. Blurring the boundaries of live art, music, theatre, comedy and dance Little Wimmin will examine how we think about the past, what’s wrong with the present, and what we’re going to do about the future – if there even is one. Prepare to laugh at the traditions of theatre and poke fun at people’s obsession with ‘the classics’ as we turn the novel on its head before dismantling it entirely and transforming it into an unrecognisable cosmic catastrophe that talks about climate change, astrology and the infinite nature of the universe”. You can’t go wrong, it’s Figs In Wigs. See here.

Defective Inspector | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 5-9 Nov
This one sold out when debuting in Brighton earlier in the year, seems to be channelling the joint spirits of ‘Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place’ and ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’, and promises to be hilarious. “An eccentric ex-Detective, Richard P Cooper, attempts to stage one of his “legendary” exploits to the USA, with help from two hapless drama students. The cast of 3 just about manage to perform their way through a ridiculous series of adventures, involving three-legged dogs and assassination plots, while tensions run high between them and the show falls apart quicker than Richard’s failed novelist career”. Head this way for info.

Walking Towards Ithaca | Soho Theatre | 11-12 Nov
It may not be immediately obvious from the title, but I think this is basically about brexit, because it’s the story of a 200-mile walk across Britain in the aftermath of the decision to leave the EU. It’s the work of Campbell Edinborough that blurs the boundaries between documentary, autobiography and myth, and reflects on the “complexities of human connection and belonging in a world of anger and alienation”. Not sure quite how political is, but I think we can expect a bit of an exploration of our society in the wake of the referendum combined with some imaginative tale telling. For more information and to book tickets, see the venue website here.


THREE FESTIVAL SHOWS

Handle With Care: Yes No Black White | Camden People’s Theatre | 5-6 Nov
Another show from the previously tipped Handle With Care festival at CPT, now in its last few days. “What offends us? How? And why? Ultimately asking, how should we respond? Following the structure of a sonata and choreographed to five pieces by British composer Anna Meredith, ‘Yes No Black White’ will allow you to get to know your deepest personal offence-taking mechanisms. What pushes your buttons? Where are your limits? A cognitive, moral, and sensory attack on your psyche. You are allowed to laugh!” Head to this page here for more on this audio-visual live art piece, and here for listings of all the remaining festival events.

European Freaks | Rich Mix | 9-10 Nov
And, hurrah for another festival, the well-loved-by us Voila! Europe, at which you can see lots of shows from all over Europe, performed in a number of different languages. There is loads of fab looking stuff on, so I beg you to look at the listings here, but I selected this particular show for the tip because, well, it really interested me: “Dysfunctional humanoid robots invite you to help them create EU 2.0. With a focus group of Londoners and live-composed digital illustration and sound, each event is spontaneous and unique. This unconventional theatrical experiment puts our democracy under the microscope: will we collectively discover a way to resuscitate the dream of Europe?” Info here.

Madame Ovary | Pleasance Theatre | 8-10 Nov (pictured)
And finally, as in last week’s ‘festival tips’ section, this one isn’t on as part of a festival, but was on at the Edinburgh Fringe, which is why I include it here. And this is such a good one, you absolutely don’t want to miss it. Not least because our own reviewer absolutely loved it and gave it a five star write up. “Rosa’s performance is funny, sincere, compelling, distraught” he wrote. “She takes the audience with her on her journey, every step of the way. We feel the shocks and surprises with her. We feel the looming dread and the weight of mortality. We feel the love of her friends, and family. And, I sincerely hope, as we rise to our feet, fighting back tears, to deliver a well-earned standing ovation, that she feels some of that love reflected back”. Enough said, book tickets here.



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