I've always been a fan of the oeuvre of late French playwright Jean Anouilh, so when I heard a new production of one of his less well known works was to be staged at the Omnibus Theatre this month I pricked up my ears. 

I then discovered that the director helming the production is accomplished veteran Kristine Landon-Smith, formerly AD of Tamasha Theatre, so hastened to arrange a chat to find out more. Read the interview here.

The Orchestra is on at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham from 29 Jan - 17 Feb, see this page here for more information and to book tickets.


Counting Sheep | Vault Festival | 23 Jan-17 Mar 

"Counting Sheep invites you to lose yourself in the events that changed the course of Ukrainian history forever. Sing, march, protest, dance, eat, help, recoil, fight, laugh, cry. With folk singing, found footage and revolutionary staging this 'Guerrilla Folk Opera' is an electrifying exploration of human resilience". A hugely, critically acclaimed success from the brilliant Belarus Free Theatre, brought to London as a revamped new version. Info right about here.

Fatty Fat Fat | Vault Festival | 30 Jan-3 Feb 

Given it's late January, and loads of you will have been cutting back and dieting and trying to make yourselves into a new thin person, this theatrical spoken word-infused piece from  Roundhouse Resident Artist Katie Greenall  might be just the thing you need to see, as it  celebrates radical self acceptance, body positivity and fat pride. Essential viewing, I reckon, for anyone who feels like they take up too much space in the world, and a show that promises to be "funny, frank and provocative". See the festival website here for all the info.

Queens Of Sheba (pictured)

And so to our final selection from Vault Festival and this is another show that's already won much acclaim, not least from our reviewer, who saw it at last year's Edinburgh Festival and proclaimed it worthy of a sparkling, full-marks, five-out-of-five review. "Turned away from a nightclub for being "too black", four women take to the stage with their own explosive true stories; the music and the misogyny, the dancing and the drinking, the women and the (white) men". See how four passionate Black Women battle everyday misogynoir, click this link here.


Sorry | Vault Festival | 25 Jan-15 Mar (pictured)

Yes, more Vault Festival, because I love Vault Festival and this week we're going to honour the event by having two whole sections of this week's tips devoted to it. We begin this second section of tips with some long form improv comedy from a truly crack team: Liz Kingsman, Alison Thea-Skot, Sophia Broido, Naomi Petersen, and Lola-Rose Maxwell. For each show the troupe invites a special guest for a starting chat that will inform the content of the show. See this page here for more.

Kill The Beast - Director's Cut | Vault Festival | 30 Jan-3 Feb 

"It's 1973. Welcome to the worst film never made. Thankfully, there's only one scene left to shoot. The fire has been contained, the wigs have been sterilised, and the star has been replaced after The Accident. Surely, nothing else can be waiting in the dark..."Another skilled group, the award winning Kill The Beast, return with a brand new show. Head this way for info.

Police Cops | Vault Festival | 31 Jan-1 Feb 

And yes, yet another retro pastiche (this one set in '76), and frankly, another crack team, with a show that we may well have tipped before because we loved it so much when we saw it in Edinburgh. "Straight-laced rookie Police Cop Jimmy Johnson is out to avenge his brother's death, and (with the help of his new partner) he's got to go it alone! Teamed up with a disgraced, retired renegade named Harrison, the pair begin to unearth the soily secrets that the case holds". Details here.


Christine Bovill's Paris | Wilton's | 29 Jan-2 Feb 

You might have come across the work of Christine Bovill if like us you're an Edinburgh Festival aficionado, because she's had much critical acclaim there. She's been a Spirit Of The Fringe winner in recent times, but we first discovered her talents back in 2011 when we managed to catch her performing her Piaf show. Anyway, here she is, focusing on the "Golden Age of French Song" in a show that "casts a sepia-tinged spotlight on the songs and stories of Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Barbara, Juliet Greco, Charles Aznavour and more..." Hurrah, see the venue website right here.

The Singing Mermaid | Greenwich Theatre | 2-3 Feb 
This is one for the kids, and a show that's already won much acclaim, calling in at the Greenwich theatre for a couple of days following a longer run in North London. It's a brilliant show for children, not least, probably, because it's based on the book of the same name by superhero-level children's book creators Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, but also very much because it's full of songs from the very fabulous and talented Barb Jungr. Head this way to find out more.

The Dip | The Space | 29 Jan-2 Feb (pictured)
We seem to be talking about quite a few edfringe successes in this week's tips, and that's not a bad thing at all, especially when it comes to our next recommendation, the critically acclaimed gig-comedy debut from Milk and Blood. "Meet Al. He means well, eats his greens and sometimes smokes them too. As he struggles to express his feelings for his mate Nic, the drugs take hold. With clowning, confetti cannons, harpoon Nerf guns, a 6ft tyrannical police fish and the Baba Ganoush Gestapo spitting out psychedelic rock, adrenaline and funk, THE DIP is the best bad trip of a lifetime". Go on, click this link.


Stop And Search | Arcola Theatre | 9 Jan-9 Feb 
A thing I often do is see that an interesting show is going to be on, but then realise that there's no way I'll get to see it early in the run, and what I should do is set myself some kind of handy reminder to find a time to go later in the run, but I often forget and then end up missing good things. So, to help save you from the same fate, here's some reminders that these shows that started earlier in the month will finish next month. Starting with this, a very intriguing sounding play that explores how in contemporary times we interrogate and police each other. See this page here for more.

Original Death Rabbit | Jermyn Street Theatre | 9 Jan-9 Feb (pictured)

"We all have our comfort blankets and coping mechanisms. And if yours happens to be wearing a full-sized rabbit onesie (with ears), what's the problem? You're not bothering anyone. At least, not until you're photographed at the back of a child's funeral. Dressed as a rabbit. And the photo goes viral". Originally broadcast on R4 and rewritten for the stage, Rose Heiney's play about public shaming has won much acclaim, as has star of the show TV face Kimberley Nixon. See the venue website here for info.

Outlying Islands | King's Head Theatre | 9 Jan-2 Feb 

"1939, Scotland. Two young ornithologists arrive on a remote island. They've been tasked by the Ministry to conduct a study of the bird population. With only the island's authoritarian leaseholder and his niece for company, they find themselves drawn to the wildness of the island, igniting growing tensions and repressed passions". A revival of David Grieg's acclaimed funny and political play from award winning company Atticist. And has it really been, like, seventeen years since its premiere? Blooming heck, I am really old. Info here.
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