Thursday November 26th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 3 Dec: Wild Card, Immigrant Diaries, Rapunzel


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Wild Card – Leila McMillan: This Way, That Way | Lilian Baylis Studio | 3 Dec
‘Wild Card’ is Sadler’s Wells’ series of shows featuring the work of a new generation of dance creators. This edition is curated by Leila McMillan, a Californian choreographer based in London, and features her own ‘Family Portrait’, as well as a piece from Jukstapoz, aka Christine Gouzelis and Paul Blackman. For more info and to book, have a look here.

Immigrant Diaries: Sajeela Kershi and guests | Leicester Square Theatre | 3 Dec (pictures)
Given all the anti-immigrant/refugee rhetoric I keep hearing people spout, it will be a welcome change to hear funny tales from the immigrant/refugee perspective round at Sajeela Kershi’s regular comedy storytelling show ‘Immigrant Diaries’. If you can’t make this one, never fear, there’s another in January, but you’ll be missing the chance to see actress and producer Shobu Kapoor, stand-up and actor Inder Manocha, and comedian and writer Dave Cohen. See this page here for more info and to book.

Rapunzel | Park Theatre | 3 Dec-2 Jan
‘Tis verily the season for family shows, though I hasten to add that you don’t need to be a family to go and see this. You are welcome to attend all by yourself, should you wish. I might wish it. I like going to the theatre on my own. But, enough of what I like doing, and back to Park Theatre’s annual pantomime, which this year is ‘Rapunzel’. It’s from the creative pairing of Jez Bond and Mark Cameron, and if it’s anything like their 2014 production of ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’, it’ll be a quirky and original adaptation of the well loved tale. See this page here for all the gen.

Sections: Children's Shows - Comedy - Dance & Physical - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 25th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 2 Dec: Wow! Said The Owl, Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, How To Keep An Alien


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Wow! Said The Owl | Little Angel Theatre | 2 Dec-31 Jan
In my experience shows based on well loved children’s picture books tend to turn out well, which is different from shows based on well loved grown up books, which often end very badly. Perhaps it’s because actually, there’s not that much plot to dwell on in a toddler’s picture book and so the adapting process offers a bit of a free rein and room for invention. Anyway, enough theorising on the mechanics of theatrical adaptations from me, take your pre-schoolers to see this in the run up to Christmas. Suitable for age 2-4 types, and their carers, obv. More info from right about here.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty | Sadler’s Wells | 1 Dec-24 Jan (pictured)
Back by popular demand, this critically acclaimed ballet, which has been well received all over the world, returns to Sadler’s Wells. Praised for its fresh and lively reinvention of the (potentially dull) classic, it’s described as a “gothic romance for all ages”. Ooooh, I really want to see it this time. A really special December treat. To book and find more info, see this page here.

How To Keep An Alien | Soho Theatre | 1-19 Dec
I love the sound of this critically acclaimed piece by Fringe First winner Sonya Kelly – “a story about falling in love and proving it to the government”. Funny and poignant, this autobiographical show details the story of the writer’s fight to secure an Irish visa for her Australian partner, and the no doubt annoyingly bureaucratic process that ensues. More info and tickets from the venue website here.

Sections: Children's Shows - Dance & Physical - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday November 24th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 1 Dec: Dick Whittington, The Terrible Tale Of The Twiddly Widdlies, Jackson’s Way: The Christmas Top Up Power Seminar


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Dick Whittington | Wilton’s Music Hall | 1-31 Dec (pictured)
Okay, so it’s the first December and there’s no getting away from Christmas now. If you don’t identify as a Christian (I don’t) it’s fine; just look on this as your cheery midwinter festival, as established a really long time ago by pagans who were around a long time before Jesus was ever born. Anyway, it’s another pantomime! Dick Whittington! In a great venue, and from a great team – it’s written by comedy and broadcasting veteran Roy Hudd, also on Dame duty, and directed by Debbie Flitcroft. See this page here for all the info.

The Terrible Tale Of The Twiddly Widdlies | New Diorama | 1-5 Dec
This sounds utterly grim, and a bit Grimm, really, and yet I suspect it will also be very funny. The blurb promises dark and hilarious storytelling from Clem Garritty and Ollie Jones, two members of multi-award winning comedy troupe Kill The Beast. For those of you who need an antidote to all that pagan, midwinter frivolity, here, have some darkness instead. For more information and to book tickets, have a look at this page here.

Jackson’s Way: The Christmas Top Up Power Seminar | Battersea Arts Centre | 1-12 Dec
And one for those of you who don’t care either way about Christmas, because really, this is just prize-plucking comedy, isn’t it? Will Adamson revives his Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning creation, life coach Chris John Jackson, for this festively twisted self-help spoof show. Info and tickets from right about here.

Sections: Children's Shows - Comedy - Theatre - Today In London - Words & Events | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sunday November 22nd, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 29 Nov: Christmas Fairs, Christmas at Kew, Desperate Measures


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Christmas Fairs and Markets | various locations | 29 Nov
It’s nearly, nearly, nearly December, and so of course I have begun trawling in earnest for Christmas themed events and productions (no matter how dire) of ‘A Christmas Carol’. I found three things that are only on today, so you must partake of them today. Yes, today. There’s the Hampstead Christmas Festival, there’s the Christmas Designer Market at the Museum of Childhood, and there’s Primrose Hill Christmas Fair. That’s just to start you off. Bet you can find more if you go googling a bit. Info from all the links I already linked to.

Christmas at Kew | Kew Gardens | 25 Nov-2 Jan (pictured)
Yes, yes, I know I have already recommended a similar event, but I love this kind of thing so much that I just can’t help myself. And this one carries on into January, and the other one didn’t, so, if you can’t go today, you’ve got the whole of the Christmas holidays to fit this in. Why would you want to miss the chance to wander around in the dark looking at gorgeously lit trees and illuminated fountains? And there are rides for the little ones, and everything. See this page here for all the info you need.

Desperate Measures | Jermyn Street | 24 Nov-20 Dec
Okay, so here’s one for those of you who still don’t want to think about Christmas, or indeed, don’t actually celebrate Christmas. This is a new musical, based on Shakespeare’s ‘Measure For Measure’, but set in 1960s London, with presumably the style of music to match. Sounds interesting, no? More info about the show and tickets from right about here.

Sections: Exhibitions - Festivals - Musicals - Theatre - Today In London - Words & Events | Tags: , , , , ,

Friday November 20th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 27 Nov: Kelly Kingham, Pajama Men, The Distance


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Kelly Kingham – Inside Out | Museum Of Comedy | 27 Nov (pictured)
Our Edinburgh reviewer who saw Kelly Kingham this summer loved him, and wasn’t the only critic in town wowed by his funny, touching, thought provoking show. His subject matter touches on the depressing – the realisation that one can trudge through life without ever really aspiring to happiness – but by all accounts he deals with such topics in an amusing and heart-warming manner. See this page here for more info and to book.

Pajama Men – 2 Man 3 Musketeers | Soho Theatre | 23 Nov-12 Dec
Right, so, I kinda missed the start of this run by the Pyjama Men, who’ve been plying London with their two-man-musketry for a few days now already. The surreal and hilarious duo take on this epic romance, and go through existential meltdown in the process… never expect anything less than excellent from this brilliantly talented pairing. More info and ticket purchasing opportunities right about here.

The Distance | Orange Tree Theatre | 26 Nov-19 Dec
Okay, so, just one day late with this one, which is probably a good thing, you know, it will give the show a chance to get into its stride. Not that I imagine it will need it, I expect a highly polished and professional performance, to be honest, which is why I am recommending the return of this highly acclaimed play by Deborah Bruce. It made a big impression on critics back in 2014, and although the cast has changed, it’s in the hands of the same director, so I think we can expect it to be great. Find more info and book tickets here.

Sections: Comedy - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday November 19th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 26 Nov: The Snowman, Ross Noble, The Ballad Of Robin Hood


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

The Snowman | Peacock Theatre | 25 Nov-3 Jan
You have to stop being in denial now. Yes, I know that Christmas is still a month off, but the fact is, it’s only a month off. And if you are going to have a lovely pre-seasonal show trip then you need to get it done before all the tickets run out. Anyway, it wouldn’t matter if they put this on in June, I’d still recommend it, because it’s lovely and gives you that warm lovely Christmas-in-your-belly feeling that you deserve all year round. Plus, it’s a big, fab, show, and you know you want it. Tickets and info from here.

Ross Noble – An Evening Of Improv With Special Guests | Soho Theatre | 26 Nov
On the Soho website, the blurb for this show calls Ross Noble “one of the most popular stand up comedians of our time”, and I reckon they’re probably entirely correct about that. He’s certainly been one of the most popular stand-up comedians in my house for a good decade or so. So, you surely won’t miss the opportunity to see this national treasure doing what he does best. Also on on 3 and 10 Nov. See the venue website here for more info.

The Ballad Of Robin Hood | Southwark Playhouse | 26 Nov-26 Dec (pictured)
Talking of blurbs (as I did in the previous tip), on the event page for this show, you’ll find words like rollicking and rambunctious, so that’s me sold already. Plus, I am going through a bit of a loving-historical-or-myth-based-media phase at the moment. Sorry if you aren’t going through such a phase, but I doubt you will be sorry about taking the time to go and see this – it promises “swordplay, songs, sheriffs and satire” and sounds extremely family-friendly if it’s a family with children aged 7+. More info and tickets from this page here.

Sections: Children's Shows - Comedy - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 18th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 25 Nov: Howard Barker Double Bill, The Wild At Heart, Cinderella And The Beanstalk


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Howard Barker Double Bill | Arcola Theatre | 25 Nov-19 Dec
This double bill of plays by acclaimed playwright Howard Barker features a London premiere, of dark comedy ‘The Twelfth Battle Of Isonzo’, and a welcome revival of the rather more serious ‘Judith: A Parting From The Body’. Great material to begin with, but it’s also in the hands of a very strong team, so I think it’s safe to assume that this will be a classy production. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

The Wild At Heart | HTH Arts Centre | 21 Nov-4 Dec
Well, I was immediately attracted to this show up at Hornsey Town Hall for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is a triple bill of Tennessee Williams’ short plays. Any fool knows that the US playwright was good at his job, so that’s reason one. Reason two is that he wrote lots of short plays, and we always focus on the big ones, and it’s nice to see the less well known stuff get an airing. Reason three is that I just really like collections of small plays. Reason four is that the team behind the production are making this a little bit extra special by dressing up the venue appropriately, in 1940s New Orleans style, and offering you the chance to treat yourself to themed cocktails whilst listening to live jazz and blues during the breaks. Sounds like a good night out to me. Info and how to book just here.

Cinderella and The Beanstalk | Theatre503 | 25 Nov-2 Jan (pictured)
And speaking of cocktails (which we were, a few sentences back) this show offers what it calls a “glorious cocktail of your favourite pantomimes”, so that seems as though it might be a great pre-Christmas outing for those of you who just can’t decide which panto to go to this year. But, I would urge you to go anyway, because this is the work of critically acclaimed three man troupe Sleeping Trees, and everything they do is frickin excellent. Get your tickets here now.

Sections: Children's Shows - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tuesday November 17th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 24 Nov: Chapter 2, Bound Feet Blues, Two Short Comedies by Anton Chekhov


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Chapter 2 | New Diorama | 24-28 Nov
This is the latest show from The Story Project, an outfit dedicated to developing writers along with their work. “The most talented artists will take inspiration from an element they discovered when writing for The Story Project, and then, in one room in one week, they come up with four polished, perfect and parasitically addictive half hour plays for you to peruse at your pleasure,” says the blurb on the website. Interested? Go here.

Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told In Shoes | Tristan Bates Theatre | 24 Nov-12 Dec
The topic of foot binding is an emotional and provoking one, telling us so much about how society viewed the women who were subjected to it. Malaysian writer-performer Yang-May Ooi explores female empowerment and sexual identity via the oral history of her female forbears, in what promises to be a powerful and moving solo show. See this page here for more info and to book.

Two Short Comedies by Anton Chekhov | White Bear Theatre | 24-28 Nov
Oh, I really like Chekhov’s funny short plays, and in fact once, a long time ago, performed in a clutch of them, two of which are the comedies being produced here. My delightful memories of these well written gems meant there was no way I was going to scroll past this listing when I saw it. If your experience of Chekhov shows is limited to the four biggies (you know which ones I mean) then I think it’s time you branched out. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.

Sections: Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday November 16th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 23 Nov: Rowena Haley, Licensed To Ill, Max and Ivan – The End


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Rowena Haley – My Green Astra | Etcetera Theatre | 23 Nov
I have a soft spot for northerners, because I am a northerner myself, and, marooned down here in this flat southern landscape, I yearn for the peaks and dales, the grimy mill towns and the soothing sound of a Lancashire accent. Which is why I hope to head to the Etcetera Theatre to hear the musical comedy stylings of guitar-toting Boltonian Rowena Haley, and I hope you will too. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.

Licensed To Ill | Camden People’s Theatre | 23 Nov-12 Dec
I suspect this isn’t one for the young and easily offended, given there’s a 16+ limit on it, and it doesn’t really surprise me, as this show is all about Mike D, MCA and AdRock, aka the Beastie Boys. Described as a “hiphop history tour and a playful exploration of the rules of cultural appropriation”, it’s the work of Simon Maeder and Adam el Hagar, who’ve combined rap, Dj-ing, physical comedy and puppetry to create an innovative and eclectic piece of theatre. See the venue website here for more info.

Max and Ivan – The End | Soho Theatre | 23-28 Nov
TW favourites Max and Ivan make their way to the Soho Theatre for a run of their very highly acclaimed 2015 show ‘The End’, an epic comedy sketch piece about the inhabitants of a doomed seaside town. The award nominated duo have never failed to impress our reviewers so I have no doubt they will impress you with their vivid storytelling and convincing characters. All the gen right here.

Sections: Comedy - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Saturday November 14th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 21 Nov: Hogwarts In The Snow, Meta, Jack And The Beanstalk


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Hogwarts In The Snow | Leavesden | 13 Nov – 31 Jan
The Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio tour is on all year, I know, but I thought I would mention it this week because it’s currently got its seasonal clothing on until the new year, for this special ‘Hogwarts In The Snow’ transformation. As you might expect, the sets will be all snowy and festive, with Christmas trees and decorations, replica feasts, and ‘lit’ fires. It’s fairly pricey treat, this (though no more than the cost of a big West End show), but if it’s on your ‘at some point’ agenda, I think this is probably a great time to do it. Info and tickets from here.

Meta | Jackson’s Lane | 21-24 Nov (pictured)
The title might give you a clue as to the content here: it’s a show about making shows. The company behind it is Gandini Juggling, who, back in the nineties, collaborated with choreographer Gill Clarke on a series of experimental pieces which were staged at Jackson’s lane. They return to celebrate the venue’s fortieth birthday with this new commission looking back at the creation of those performances. There will be complex juggling, text, ballet dancing, hammers, nudity, tables and a comedy sketch, and Gandini’s customary commentary on form, style and substance. Intrigued? See this page here.

Jack And The Beanstalk | Hackney Empire | 21 Nov-5 Jan
Well, looks like we are well and truly heading into panto season (definitely expect more pantomimic and Christmas themed recommendations in the coming days and weeks) and I think Hackney Empire can be trusted to provide us with a good one – last year’s ‘Mother Goose’ was immensely successful and played to huge numbers over the course of the season. This one stars Olivier Award winning veteran dame Clive Rowe, and Olivier nominee Debbie Kurup. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Sections: Children's Shows - Circus - Dance & Physical - Exhibitions - Theatre - Today In London - Words & Events | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday November 13th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 20 Nov: The Enchanted Woodland, Show Me The Money and How To Die Of A Broken Heart, Flowering Cherry


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

The Enchanted Woodland | Syon Park | 20 Nov-6 Dec (pictured)
Oh yeah. Yeah. Now this is exactly the sort of shizzle I need to get me through dark days. Delightful light displays adorning the trees and gardens of Syon Park and stopping me from being all miserable because it’s so bloody grim and dreary. What a pity this is happening in Brentford, for a short period, and not in my back garden, for the whole winter. That said, I’m prepared to make the special trip, and I expect you will be too. I have never been to this particular event, but I’ve been to very similar ones elsewhere and they were entirely satisfying, so I expect no less of this. Info and how to get tickets from right about here.

Show Me The Money and How To Die Of A Broken Heart | Battersea Arts Centre | 20-21 Nov
These two pieces are part of BAC’s Scratch strand, which, as you might expect, allows artists to test out their ideas on audiences whilst their work is in development. The themes of these two performances caught my attention – Paula Varjak’s ‘Show Me The Money’ examines the relationship those working in the creative world have with money, and the financial precariousness they often live with, while Femi Martin’s ‘How To Die Of A Broken Heart’ explores the highs and lows of loving someone with personal anecdotes and a bit of neuroscience. More info and how to book your pay-what-you-can ticket from here.

Flowering Cherry by Robert Bolt | Finborough Theatre | 17 Nov-20 Dec
Oscar winning playwright Robert Bolt’s ‘Flowering Cherry’ wasn’t overly well received, I discovered, back in 1957, but that seems mostly to have been because folks thought it was too much like ‘Death Of A Salesman’. But, you know, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad play (one could even regard it as a recommendation), and I would really like to see this revival, the first London production of it in fifty years. It’s about a man who dreams of escaping the rat race, and the effect those dreams have on his present life. See this page here for more info and to book.

Sections: Theatre - Today In London - Words & Events | Tags: , , , ,

Thursday November 12th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 19 Nov: Us Then, The Warrior Women of Yang, Ben Hur


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Sarah Dowling and Kath Duggan: Us Then | Trinity Laban | 19-20 Nov (pictured)
These two met while working with immersive theatre outfit Punchdrunk, and share a desire to combine theatrical realism with the possibly slightly less realistic genre of dance. Focusing on just two characters, the show takes its inspiration from Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting For Godot’, and I have a very good feeling about it. More info from this page here.

China National Peking Opera – The Warrior Women Of Yang | Sadler’s Wells | 19-22 Nov
A rare opportunity here in the UK to sample the colourful, exciting, idiosyncratic art-form that is Peking Opera, so I heartily recommend you make the most of it. ‘The Warrior Women Of Yang’ sounds amazing – a tale of courage, patriotism and family loyalty featuring mime, acrobatics and stage combat. See this page here for info and to book.

Ben Hur | Tricycle Theatre | 19 Nov-9 Jan
Patrick Barlow’s extremely daft adaptation of epic novel ‘Ben Hur’, featuring a cast of just four, gets a timely staging at Tricycle Theatre. I say timely because this is exactly the kind of silly fluff I need to get me through the dark winter nights, and I have a feeling you all might also benefit from a dose. A no-doubt enriching experience whether you are a fan of the film or not… Details and tickets from here.

Sections: Dance & Physical - Opera - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 11th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 18 Nov: The Divided Laing, Finnish Christmas Fair, Claustrophobia


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

The Divided Laing | Arcola Theatre | 18 Nov-12 Dec (pictured)
Patrick Marmion’s play about RD Laing is presented in celebration of the fifty year anniversary of the radical psychiatrist’s founding his experimental asylum at Kingsley Hall in Bromley by Bow. “With his personal life going down the pan and his mental state heading the same way, Ronnie takes an acid trip to the future” – a provocative comedy with a rather surreal synopsis, starring Alan Cox. See this page here for more info and to book.

Finnish Christmas Fair | Finnish Church Rotherhithe | 18-22 Nov
Yes, yes, I know we’ve said on previous occasions that it’s too soon to start Christmas in November. But to be honest, I am coming round to the idea that you really do need to start your present shopping before the start of December, and also, this looks ace. Live music, Finnish food to eat right away, Finnish food to take home, and all manner of other Finnish, gift-appropriate fare – sweets, chocolate, Moomin stuff, home and cookware, and toys. See this page here for more info.

Claustrophobia | The Hope Theatre | 17 Nov-5 Dec
This is one of those plays that I first heard of when covering the Edinburgh Festival, this one back in 2014. Written by successful novelist Jason Hewitt, this minimalist psychological thriller charmed one of our especially discerning reviewers with its great script and compelling performances. For more info about the play, and to book tickets, take a look at this page on the venue website.

Sections: Theatre - Today In London - Words & Events | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday November 10th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 17 Nov: Evening At The Talk House, Loyiso Gola, The Pitmen Painters


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Evening At The Talk House | National Theatre | 17 Nov-23 Jan
Whooo, I am so looking forward to this, the premiere of the latest play from esteemed US playwright and actor Wallace Shawn. And not only has he written this, he’s also appearing in it. And at events surrounding the staging of the show. So this is so good on so many levels, I don’t quite know what to do with myself, other than just getting on and booking a ticket. More info and all that, right here.

Loyiso Gola | Soho Theatre | 17-21 Nov (pictured)
When one of our reviewers first witnessed a performance by Loyiso Gola, she was very struck by his natural comedic talent, declaring him to be “one of those people who seems effortlessly funny – it’s as if hilarity is his default state” and awarding him a glowing four star review. Not that he needs our endorsement – the South African is known around the world for his award nominated political satire, so hurry up and catch him while you can. Info and tickets here.

The Pitmen Painters | Jack Studio | 17-28 Nov
Bromley Little Theatre’s production of Lee Hall’s heart-warming 2007 play, based on the true story of the Ashington Group, a small artistic society comprised mostly of miners, who became celebrated by the British art establishment back in the thirties and forties. It all began when a group of pitmen from Ashington Colliery hired a professor to teach them an art appreciation class, and this is the story. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.

Sections: Comedy - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday November 8th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 15 Nov: Miniaturists 54, Stick Man, Family Jazz Allstars


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Miniaturists 54 | Arcola Theatre | 15 Nov
Now, it may be the case that I very recently tipped a previous Miniaturists event, but I also have to tip this one, by law, because this particular edition marks this venerable institution’s tenth birthday, and that, dear readers, is more than worth celebrating. And just in case you missed my last tip, and Miniaturists in general, it’s an evening of great quality short plays, from both established and up and coming playwrights. On this occasion writers include Poppy Corbett, Stephen Jeffreys, Owen McCafferty, John O’Donovan, and recent TW interviewee James Fritz. See this page here for info and to book.

Stick Man | Leicester Square Theatre | 7 Nov-3 Jan (pictured)
My daughter was a bit smaller, she and I absolutely loved Julia Donaldson’s ‘Stick Man’, and I bet she would still love this show even though she’s these days consuming novels rather than picture books at high speed. We saw Scamp Theatre’s production a few years ago, and it was a slick and professional adaptation, so I think it’s fair to assume it will still be great. Quite nice and Christmassy, really, so you might want to wait a bit; on the other hand, you might want to get in there before it gets all festively busy. Info and tickets here.

Family Jazz Allstars | ArtsDepot | 15 Nov
And now, another family show (well, it is Sunday, after all), only this time it’s music. I am a big fan of music shows aimed at all ages, because let’s face it, kids like music too, but you don’t necessarily want to take them to a night time gig because, well, it will probably clash with bedtime. Described as a “fun filled family concert” and led by singer Juliet Kelly, it’s suitable for children aged 5-11. Take a look at the venue website here for more info and booking details.

Sections: Children's Shows - Music - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday November 6th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 13 Nov: Mulled Wine Festival, Staying Alive, London Jazz Festival


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Mulled Wine Festival | Covent Garden Piazza | 12-14 Nov
You know, I am not generally hugely comfortable with the idea of Christmassy things happening in early November, but you know, booze is involved, so of course I’m down with this. Plus, you could argue, I suppose, that mulled wine is a winter thing, not a Christmas thing, so it’s all good. This actually starts on the 12 Nov, but I thought this seemed like more of a Friday night after work sort of thing to do. Get more info from this page here.

Staying Alive | Pleasance Theatre Islington | 10-29 Nov
This deals with some very sad subject matter, and given how hard it is to deal with a heart-rending loss, and how much difficulty people often have in knowing how to deal with their friends or loved ones who have experienced it, I can’t help thinking this kind of exploration is important. Developed in conjunction with bereavement charity SLOW, Kat Roberts’ piece deals with the death of a child, and looks at how, in the wake of great tragedy, we find ways to survive. More info from the venue website here.

London Jazz Festival | various venues | 13-22 Nov
Another festival now, and this time it’s jazz, which is almost as good as mulled wine, I suppose, though possibly not quite. This long running and highly regarded festival returns with 300+ gigs to choose from, though, it may be a bit fewer than that now because I hear quite a lot of events have already sold out. On this, the first night, I’d struggle to choose between Saleena Jones and Lizzie Emeh, but there are loads of others, so have a look here and see what takes your fancy.

Sections: Festivals - Music - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , ,

Thursday November 5th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 12 Nov: I Want My Hat Back, Denmarked, The End Festival


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

I Want My Hat Back | National Theatre | 12 Nov-2 Jan
Jon Klassen’s witty book-for-children-that-appeals-very-much-to-parents, published in 2011 and quickly established as a modern classic, is brought to the stage for this National Theatre production. The show has been adapted by acclaimed playwright Joel Horwood and the music has been written by that nice Arthur Darvill off the telly. Today is the first day, but you’ve got lots of chances to see it as it’s on until the new year. See this page here for info and to book.

Denmarked | Battersea Arts Centre | 12-14 Nov (pictured)
This is an autobiographical performance conveyed via the media of storytelling, singing, rapping and a loop station. Conrad Murray is the star, telling stories from the council estate – rites of passage, dodgy friends, your first arrest. Sounds like it will be a heartfelt, personal show, which aims to explore just how much events in our lives change and shape us. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.

The End Festival | various venues in N8 | 12-22 Nov
Lots of different, exciting, interesting underground music acts, all squashed together in one big happy Crouch End smorgasbord. Acts lined up to play include The Wave Pictures, The Fierce and The Dead, Emma Pollock, DJ Jeanette Leach and You Are Wolf. If you haven’t heard of any of them, then maybe you should get along to N8 and discover them. Then you really will be a really hip hipster. For real. Details and ticket info here.

Sections: Children's Shows - Festivals - Music - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 4th, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 11 Nov: Stand Up In Action, Radar 2015, Trois Ruptures


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Stand Up In Action | Hammersmith Apollo | 11 Nov (pictured)
An extremely starry line up makes its way to west London for this comedy benefit gig, organised in response to the refugee crisis by familiar TV face Greg Davies. All proceeds will go to Action Aid and The UN Refugee Agency, and the likes of Jo Brand, Roisin Conaty, Russell Howard, Reg D Hunter and Dara O’Briain will appear alongside Davies, who hosts the event. Get your tickets here.

Radar 2015 | Bush Theatre | 11-26 Nov
The Bush Theatre’s new writing festival Radar kicks off today, and there are all sorts of tasty theatrical treats to choose from over the next couple of weeks. Today you can see the shows ‘Misty’ and ‘Dirty Little Secrets’, both of which look excellent, but there are plenty more double bills to look out for in subsequent days. See this page here for your guide to what’s on each day.

Trois Ruptures | Print Room | 11-18 Nov
This new-ish play – it premiered last January at the Chelsea Theatre – is a dark comedy from French playwright Rémi De Vos which depicts the disintegrating relationships of three separate couples, investigates the human condition, and brings humour out of situations that should not really be funny… it’s in French, but with English surtitles, so you don’t need to be French or fluent to enjoy it. Find more info and book tickets here.

Sections: Comedy - Festivals - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday November 3rd, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 10 Nov: Sparks, Ian Smith, Score


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Sparks | Old Red Lion | 10 Nov-5 Dec
This sounds like an interesting play from award-winning young playwright Simon Longman, which has its premiere next week at the Old Red Lion. It’s described as “a touching play about abandoned responsibilities, what we choose to remember and what we thought we’d forgotten”, and appears to involve rain in the midlands, a rucksack filled with alcohol, and, er, a fish. Intrigued…? Head this way for more info and to book tickets.

Ian Smith – Whereabouts | Museum Of Comedy | 10 Nov (pictured)
If you haven’t yet heard of Ian Smith, you should have heard of him, and not just because he has been on the telly. His brilliant stand-up has been making a serious impact on the TW team in recent years: beginning in 2012, his Edinburgh Fringe shows have garnered four consecutive 5/5 reviews from our writers, and that’s a pretty freaking rare achievement, let me tell you. See him now, quickly, before it gets too hard to get a ticket. More info here.  Oh, and if you want to read a really engaging article in which he discusses this show, and other stuff, look at the Q&A we did with him this summer.

Score | Camden People’s Theatre | 10-14 Nov
I love the idea of this show from Documental Theatre, which tells the story of two childhood friends, and their journey through the ups and downs of life, but in particular the highs and lows of heroin addiction. It’s inspired by the accounts given by parents at Bournemouth Drug Treatment Centre about how they got their kids back, and portrays the central characters not as one-dimensional ‘druggie’ stereotypes, but normal, flawed, complex individuals like everyone else. See the venue website here for more info.

Sections: Comedy - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday November 2nd, 2015 00:00

Three To See on 9 Nov: Vampire Hospital Waiting Room, Mike Wozniak, The Platypus Playpen


And today’s ThisWeek-tipped, LDN-based events are…

Vampire Hospital Waiting Room | Above The Arts | 9-21 Nov
This critically acclaimed (by us, at least) 2013 Edinburgh Festival hit (see our reviewer’s dotingly impressed assessment here) makes its gruesome way to the Arts Theatre to delight audiences with its comic B-movie styled music-infused tale. Dark yet funny; just what you need when the nights are drawing in. See the venue website here for more info.

Mike Wozniak – One Man Cat Band | Invisible Dot | 9-14 Nov (pictured)
Another Edinburgh favourite now, and in fact appearing as part of Invisible Dot’s ‘From The Fringe’ strand with his much lauded 2015 Festival offering. A you may well know, this engaging comedian specialises in vivid storytelling, and is pretty much guaranteed to provide quality entertainment. And if that doesn’t persuade you, then perhaps his facial hair will. Just take a look at that lovely moustache. See this page here for more info and to book.

The Platypus Playpen | The Harrison | 9 Nov
Well, you know, you could regard this regular Monday gig as a potentially hit and miss option – a bunch of comedians trying out their new material on you – but on the other hand, you could regard it as a great opportunity to see some really good comedians at a very reasonable price (the show is free with a collection at the end but you can pay five pounds to guarantee entry). The resident MCs – Garret Millerick, Chris Betts and Pierre Novellie – are all fabulous, and amongst the acts lining up on this occasion are some real TW favourites – Dane Baptiste and Abigoliah Schamaun, to name but two. More information here.

Sections: Comedy - Musicals - Theatre - Today In London | Tags: , , , , , ,