You are probably all aware of the work of Kali Theatre, the renowned producing company that has specialised in developing and presenting new writing by South Asian women for more than twenty five years. This week they bring their latest production, 'Homing Birds', to Tara Theatre.

The play is by Rukhsana Ahmad, who co-founded Kali Theatre, though has taken a back seat in recent years. I spoke to her to find out more about the new piece, as well as about her career and her involvement with the company.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Homing Birds' is on at Tara Theatre from 26 Nov-7 Dec. See this page here for all the info and to book.

Heading to Stratford Circus Arts Centre this week (and to other London venues in the coming months) is 'Messiah', an excellent sounding new play from Bear Trap Theatre focusing on Fred Hampton, a young civil rights activist who, back in the late sixties, was killed by police officers in his Chicago home.

I was really keen to find out more about Hampton and what inspired the play's creators to make a show about him, so I arranged to speak to said show's co-writer: the award-winning Paula B Stanic.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Messiah' is on this week at Stratford Circus Arts Centre from 27-30 Nov. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

The play also calls at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre from 5-6 Dec, and at Streatham Space Project from 8-11 Jan.

Coming up at RADA Studios is a fascinating sounding reworking of Anthony Shaffer's 'Sleuth', updated by writer Sam Ra to have greater resonance with current times, and with one of the characters changed from male to female.

Starring in the play is the very much up and coming Alice McCarthy, who cut her West End teeth in 'Rotterdam' and recently appeared in 2019's 'Downton Abbey' film. I arranged a quick chat with her to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Alice McCarthy appears in 'You Game' at RADA Studios from 26 Nov-30 Nov. See this page here for details.


Snow White | Chickenshed | 27 Nov-11 Jan
We are now very much into that time of year when there are lots of children's shows aiming to be part of your Christmas treat schedule, so I thought it was time to devote a whole section to them. So hurrah. We start at Chickenshed with a "mammoth production guaranteed to fill the festive period with heartwarming cheer", and a one with a familiar theme. "Set in a colourful 1960s world where traditional roles are changing fast, what better place for a modern Snow White to 'find' herself - in all senses of the word?" See this page here for more info.

Christmas Tales At The Museum Of Comedy | 30 Nov-22 Dec
This one is actually another Chickenshed show, a festive version of their 'Tales From The Shed', but it's on at the Museum Of Comedy, which will no doubt prove handier for those who live closer to Museum Of Comedy than they do to Chickenshed. This show is for your younger children, those aged below seven, and you can expect a colourful show replete with puppets, singing and dancing, this time with, as you might expect, a sprinkling of Christmas cheer. See the venue website here for all the details.

We're Going On A Bear Hunt | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 28 Nov-24 Dec (pictured)
And finally, a definite family favourite based on the book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxbury that's been a popular bedtime read for about thirty years. This production by Little Angel Theatre is already a hit, so you can trust it will be good, and if your children love the book, then they will love this. "Join us as we go on an expedition of a lifetime - running down the grassy bank, wading through the cold river, squelching over the oozy mud, stumbling into the dark forest, then peering into a cave... What will we find?" See this page here.


Scrunch | Unicorn Theatre | 27 Nov-22 Dec
So, yes, I had four shows aimed at young people on my list of shows to tip, and so one had to go in a different section. But this is slightly different from the other three because this one isn't really for children, it's for teeny tiny babby lambs aged from six months to eighteen months. It sounds like it will be a really cosy and evocative pre-Christmas treat for accompanying adults, to be honest, not least because of the special accommodations - a Christmas lounge and highchairs, baby-changing and bottle-warming facilities - but yes, the little ones will enjoy all that crumpling, rumpling and scrunching too, I expect. Details here.

A Christmas Carol - A Fairy Story | Wilton's Music Hall | 29 Nov-4 Jan
Well, if any of you take any notice of my incessant ramblings about the glorious nature of 'A Christmas Carol' that I indulge on an annual basis, you'll know quite how excited I am feeling at the thought of Scroogy productions coming my way. We've already covered the fact (in a Q&A last week) that a 'drunk production' is available for your delectation, and now here's a delicious adaptation from Piers Torday featuring - and I don't think I have seen this happen myself before - a female Scrooge. The back story is slightly different of course, but I expect just as ghostly, and it promises to be "refreshed and relevant for the twenty-first century". All the info here.

Voldemort & the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody | King's Head Theatre | 30 Nov-11 Jan

Given that you all go to see absolutely everything we ever recommend, you've probably already seen this because it was on at King's Head Theatre in the early autumn, and we tipped it then. But we are tipping it again because it's a funny and fabulous treat if you haven't seen it, and even if you have seen it, knowing what a funny and fabulous treat it is, you may well want to go back and see it again, and take some friends. Maybe everyone in your office for a nice pre-Christmas outing. Anyway, it's fun, don't miss it. Click here, in fact.


The Greatest Play In The History Of The World | Trafalgar Studios | 26 Nov-4 Jan
You may have noticed that there are three lots of tips following this section that are all for shows that were on at edfringe. Well, actually, this show could have also belonged to that section, but I put this one in this section because it was a great Ed Fest success in 2018, not 2019, like the other shows. Anyway, this is really good, and performed by the brilliant Julie Hesmondhalgh. "A man wakes in the middle of the night to discover that the world has stopped. Through the crack in his bedroom curtains he can see no signs of life at all...other than a light in the house opposite where a woman in an over-sized Bowie T-shirt stands, looking back at him". Book here.

An Act Of God | The Vaults | 27 Nov-12 Jan
David Javerbaum's 2015 Broadway play gets a European premiere, somewhat rewritten for British audiences and its lead performer, the brilliant Zoe Lyons. "God is back... and she has a lot to say! After many millennia, and in just 90 minutes, God, assisted by her devoted angels Michael and Gabriel will answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since creation. This sinfully funny comedy delivers a new meaning to divine intervention as The "One" gives the first and last word on everything mankind has wrought on the planet". All the details here.

The Wind Of Heaven | Finborough Theatre | 26 Nov-21 Dec (pictured)

"Dilys Parry lives in Blestin, a Welsh mountain village which has no children and worships no god since a disaster snatched away all its youth. Inconsolable since her husband died in the Crimean War, Dilys is gradually re-awakened to life when a prophet-like child working in her household is called by God to serve the world. In the wake of vast social inequality and a mismanaged war, one small community rediscovers its lost faith, with startling consequences for the village, and the world beyond..." A first London production in more than seventy years for this 1945 play by Emlyn Williams. Head to the venue website here for all the info.


Fatty Fat Fat | Soho Theatre | 30 Nov
And so, on to our first lot of on-at-the-Fringe-in-the-summer selections, starting with this. "Do you ever feel like your body takes up too much space in world that doesn't want to make any room? Katie is fat. She's pretty much always been fat, and probably will be fat forever more. Join her in the 'Cha Cha Slide', munch on some crisps, and have a listen to what it's like to live in body that people can't help but have an opinion on". See the venue website here for more.

A Brief History Of The Fragile Male Ego | Pleasance Theatre | 27-29 Nov
This one is from the absolutely excellent Jordan & Skinner, and is a new show about gender politics (as you might possibly have deduced from the title. "Andrea has been giving her lecture but it's not going well. Her previous events were marred by protests and she's hoping the open minded audience at Pleasance will hear her out. Andrea wants you to realise that half the world are suffering under the weight of a great burden. If you don't wake up to this problem everything will smash. And we wouldn't want that now, would we". Info here.

Sexy Lamp | Pleasance Theatre | 28-29 Nov (pictured)

We can stay at the Pleasance Theatre for this next one, which went down rather well with one of our reviewers in the summer of 2019, who used words like "fun", "thought-provoking " and "punctuated by charming renditions on the ukulele" when writing her review, and concluded: " this is a vital piece of feminist theatre, sensitively exposing how women are manipulated and exploited - powerfully performed by a superbly talented actor". So, that sounds like a recommended show, doesn't it? Head this way to find out more.


Motherhood: A Comedy | Soho Theatre | 26 Nov
"Tara Newton-Wordsworth has two children under two (yes they were both planned, thank you for asking...) and is exploiting them for as much comedy material as possible. Having grown up on a biodynamic farm in Western Australia, she muses on marriage and raising children in the modern UK, versus growing up in the outback and being home schooled by hippies. From group pelvic floor exercises to googling how to change a nappy, Tara's debut hour delves into the hilarious (often sanity threatening) world of parenthood". Haven't seen this yet myself but I have heard she is very very good. Head this way for info.

Daniel Audritt: Better Man | Soho Theatre | 27 Nov
Here's one that one of my most trusted reviewers saw and rated pretty highly, the rather good Daniel Audritt, whose show is about modern masculinity and how he would like men to be better. Here's what my reviewer said: "The show is heavy with well-delivered, good gags and his self-deprecating geniality gets a terrific response from a lunchtime crowd. Towards the end, he tells us this is his first full-hour show. The gasp from some of the audience is instructive. However he fares in his quest to become a better man, he's already well on the path to being a bloody good comic". Details right about here.

Gobby | Pleasance Theatre | 30 Nov-1 Dec (pictured)
I think this one might have actually been from the theatre programme but it's definitely a funny piece, and one that won loads of praise in August. "Bri is not who she used to be, so she's revisiting the five parties that changed her. Gobby is a playlist of awkward encounters, starting over and growing up. A biting and heartfelt dark comedy about what it really means to be loud, this new play is a story of survival, an exploration of self-awareness and a lesson in how to throw a really good party". Head to the venue website here to find out more.


I Am Dram | Camden People's Theatre | 26-30 Nov
Lots of Pleasance and Soho tips in the previous two sections, mainly because they're both running post-Edinburgh strands, but now we head to the lovely Camden People's Theatre for this highly regarded show from Hannah Maxwell. "Amateur dramatics: the unspoken past of many a Fringe performer. From four generations of leading ladies comes one queer Londoner, sharing a story of return and reconciliation - with her hometown, cultural inheritance and secret love of musical theatre". See an interview we did with Hannah about the show here, and book your tickets on the venue website here.

Superstar | Southwark Playhouse | 26 Nov-21 Dec

Next we head over to Southwark Playhouse, where Nicola Wren is doing a nice long run of her edfringe success 'Superstar', which is all about what it's like to have a global superstar in your family. "Growing up in the shadow of a pop phenomenon is inextricably part of Wren's identity, whether she likes it or not", wrote our reviewer "and 'Superstar' is her attempt to reconcile her past with her future, to accept that she is enough in her own right. A charming actor, Wren's performance is slick and full of humour and plenty of self-awareness". More here.

Not Quite | Soho Theatre | 26 Nov (pictured)
Aaaand we are back to Soho Theatre for one last tip, this time for 'Not Quite', a fast paced physical comedy about job interviews, and how we define worth and deal with rejection. "Intent on making a good first impression, two naïve young hopefuls pursue the seemingly impossible feat of cracking the job market. With fingers crossed, strong handshakes and uncomfortable footwear, Cassie and Georgie will overcome every setback to get onto the career ladder". For all the details, head to this page here.
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