Festivals Music Musicals Opera Theatre ThisWeek In London Words & Events

Three To See in London 3-9 Sep: Opening This Week, Musical Shows, Fresh From Edinburgh, Short Stops

By | Published on Friday 30 August 2019

THREE OPENING THIS WEEK

Jade City | The Bunker Theatre | 3-21 Sep
“Sas and Monty are trapped in this place, and in their heads. From the working men’s to Monty’s empty flat, their only escape comes from playing The Game; where they can be bin men hiding stolen cash under the mattress, seagulls snatching dogs on the high street, or just themselves, free at last, knocking back breakfast cocktails on a sunny beach in Jamaica. But Sas doesn’t want to play anymore. He wants to talk. About girls, his head and that summer they can’t forget”. An exploration of the lives of two men, and of growing up and growing apart. Sounds fab, see this page here.

Typical | Soho Theatre | 3-28 Sep (pictured – photo by Aly Wight)
A new play by Ryan Calais Cameron, starring Richard Blackwood, which deals with day to day issues faced by black men – “as they negotiate life, while constantly feeling like their own lives are on the line” – and challenges how black manhood has traditionally been perceived. “What is the cost of a typical night out? An ex-serviceman who has spent his life fighting for his country finds new battles in a society fighting against him”. See the venue website here for more.

How Love Is Spelt | Southwark Playhouse | 4-28 Sep
“Peta is new in town and ready for whatever London has to throw at her. She’s looking for romance, for friendship, for exciting people to lead her on big adventures. But being an independent woman in the new millennium isn’t easy, especially when there’s a constant reminder of the life you’re trying to escape. With each new encounter, Peta flirts with what might have been, but has the journey to London put enough distance between her and her past?” A revival of prize-winning playwright Chloe Moss’s 2004 play, first staged at the Bush Theatre. All the details right about here.


THREE MUSICAL SHOWS

8 Songs For A Mad King | Potemkin Theatre | 7-8 Sep
“Long established as one of the most celebrated and shocking pieces of British music theatre ever written, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ ‘8 Songs For A Mad King’ is an extravagant, disturbing and poignant portrayal of madness. Through this compelling retelling, Shadwell Opera bring their vision to this visceral monodrama that delves deep into the torrid anxiety of our contemporary society”. This is exciting because a) this will be great, but b) it’s on at the new Potemkin Theatre, winning entry of the 2019 Antepavilion architecture prize. Details here.

Don Jo | Arcola Theatre | 5-7 Sep (pictured, Grimeborn 2019 publicity shot by Idil Sukan)
And now (sob) it’s time for our final visit to Arcola’s 2019 Grimeborn Season, and it’s a performer led re-devising of a classic, from Arcola Participation’s Queer Collective, which involves the re-fashioning of the plot, characters’ genders and even the music. “In a utopic (and fabulously-costumed) nightscape, somewhere beyond time, place, and stylistic integrity, Don Giovanni’s victims seek justice. But what might ‘justice’ look like, and sound like, in a queer-reimagined world?” Head this way for info. Oh, and bye bye, Grimeborn. Actually no: au revoir.

Hidden By Clouds | Wilton’s | 9 Sep
“On a frozen January day in Reykjavik, 1988, 26-year-old Gréta Birgisdóttir was strangled to death by her husband Bragi Ólafsson. Ten years on, renowned Icelandic writer Gerður Kristný returned to the scene of the crime to interview Bragi Ólafsson and produced ‘Drápa’, a retelling of Gréta Birgisdóttir’s murder, offering her a narrative that as a victim she was until now denied”. This sounds horribly sad, but also brilliant, and sheds light on an important issue. Expect live readings and an accompanying new musical work by Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson, performed by members of the British-Icelandic group ALDAorchestra. More here.


THREE FRESH FROM EDINBURGH

The Crown Dual | Wilton’s | 3-14 Sep
Yes, yes, I know, I can hear you, edfringe aficionados, I know what you are saying. “Why didn’t you put ‘Typical’, on at Soho Theatre this week, in the section marked “fresh from Edinburgh”, given that it was on in Edinburgh? Well, the short answer is, I kinda forgot about it in the heat of the tip-sorting moment, and put it in the ‘opening this week’ section instead. But, you know, if I had put it in this section, there’d have been four to mention, and that wouldn’t have worked out at all. Anyway, before I waste all my words here, let’s talk about ‘The Crown Dual’: a right royal ‘The Crown’ inspired comedy treat written by ‘Potted Potter’ co-creator Daniel Clarkson. Info here.

The Fishermen | Trafalgar Studios | 3 Sep-12 Oct
“In a small Nigerian town Ben, Obembe and their two older brothers slip away to fish at a forbidden river. Unnoticed and carefree they continue until the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives forever”. This critically acclaimed and award winning show, based on Chigozie Obioma Booker nominated novel about brotherhood and vengeance, was on at the Festival in 2018 but returned as part of the British Council Showcase in 2019. And now, here it is, on at Trafalgar Studios, so don’t miss it, if you haven’t seen it already. Come to think of it, you might want to see it anyway, even if you have already seen it, because it is of course that good. Book here.

What Girls Are Made Of | Soho Theatre | 9-28 Sep (pictured)
And finally, another huge success from both edfringe 2018 and 2019, this autobiographical play from Cora Bisset, inspired by her short-lived brush with britpop fame, created using her own teenage diaries. “Grunge has gone global, indie kids are inheriting the earth, and a schoolgirl from Glenrothes is catapulted to a rock star lifestyle as the singer in a hot new indie band. Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur, she was living the dream. Until she wasn’t”. Details here.


THREE SHORT STOPS

The Amusical Podcast | King’s Place | 8 Sep
Hurrah, it’s time again for that there London Podcast Festival over at King’s Place, and I distinctly remember that the last time I mentioned the Podcast Festival in these tips, I tipped the whole festival and told you to go and pick your own events. And in a very real but maybe not as obvious sense, I am saying the same thing this year: look at all the events that are on this weekend, and make a choice. It’s just that if someone put a gun to my head and made me choose one to go to, it would be this one, ‘The Amusical Podcast’. I hope that’s all nice and clear. Listing for my chosen event here, link for all the events here.

It’s A Playception | The Hope Theatre | 8-9 Sep
“Elise and Sirenna have written a play. They love it. Nobody else cares about it yet. They are performing it. They have nabbed a great space. Two thousand pounds worth of a great space. They are determined, enthusiastic and completely new to all of this. But they have a strategic marketing strategy, organised pages of to-do lists and sustainable coffee in Keep Cups. All they need to do now is sell out. And write a compelling brief about their piece. And find someone to take them seriously. A play about two women writing a play about two women writing a play about two women writing a play”. This sounds fun. Find out more about it here.

The Haunted Moustache | Soho Theatre | 6-7 Sep
And here’s another one that’s fun, and funny, and wooooooooooo, supernaturally themed. “After inheriting a 100-year old moustache, David Bramwell embarks on a ten-year odyssey to discover all he can about its former owner, a Victorian freakshow host called Ambrose Oddfellow. His quest draws him into the underbelly of Brighton – its séances, spiritual churches and a seedy basement club – where he unwittingly becomes the host of a modern-day freakshow. Can he solve the mystery before his sanity gives in?” Details right about here.



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