You know we love festivals and we know our readers love festivals, so it's always great to have festivals to talk about.

This week we're talking about the latest festival from Kakilang - formerly Chinese Arts Now - which launches shortly at the Barbican, and takes place at multiple London venues and online. 

It's a multi-genre spread of events, connected, of course, by its platforming of Southeast and East Asian work. To find out more about the festival and the company behind it, I spoke to Associate Artistic Director Daniel York Loh. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

The Kakilang Festival launches on the 22 Feb and continues until 22 Apr, at various London venues and online. Read about the full line up here.
Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


The Tinker | Vault Festival | 14-19 Feb
I doubt it will come as a surprise to regular readers, but once again we have more Vault Festival stuff for you to think about seeing, because you will surely be thinking about heading over there at least once this week. We're starting with 'The Tinker', which is the third Vault show this year from the excellent Part Of The Main, who also presented 'All By Myself', which we recently interviewed creator Jessica Bickel-Barlow about. Anyway, click here.

Wasteman | Vault Festival | 14-16 Feb
"A bin man swaps steel-toed boots for stilettos to chase his dream of becoming a drag queen. But can he overcome inflexible hamstrings, an anti-woke boyfriend and the cost-of-living crisis in his quest to be crowned Miss Stoke?" This show is based on the true life lockdown refuse-loading experiences of writer Joe Leather, who rather caught our attention a few years ago up at edfringe in the excellent 'Lost Musical Works Of Willy Shakes'. Details here.

St Doctor's Hospital | Vault Festival | 15-18 Feb (pictured)
And now for something from that genre close to our TW hearts - improv: and it's improv with a promising theme, as The Free Association bring their medical drama-inspired show to Vault Festival. "For the brave frontline heroes at St Doctor's Hospital, no procedure is too convoluted, no disease is too made-up, and no relationship saga is too inappropriate for the operating theatre". Hurrah, click here.


The Play With Speeches | Jack Studio | 14 Feb-4 Mar
Ok, well as we've been talking about some funny stuff over at Vault, why don't we continue the theme with a whole section of drollery? Award nominated comedy 'The Play With Speeches' from Olive & Stavros returns to Jack Studio following a sell out run back in the autumn, and you can expect "a fresh script and plenty of surprises", so that's all rather promising. Head to the venue website here for more.

Soho Rising Presents: The India Takeover | Soho Theatre | 20 Feb (pictured)
And now for something funny of the stand-up type - but also another festival event - a mixed bill of rising talent performing as part of the Soho Theatre's Soho Rising Festival, which, as you may know, focuses on "emerging companies, young people and brave new writing". As you'll have worked out from that title, you can expect a collection Indian talent, namely Joshua Bethania, Shruti Sharma, Rushali Paratey and Ashish Suri. Click here.

Same Again | White Bear Theatre | 15-18 Feb
"The pub. Bastion of British culture. Cornerstone of any community. Home to the gossipmonger. Refuge for the lost and the lonely". This new play by Fergus Burnand offers a series of comic vignettes, all taking place one afternoon in the pub as patrons set the world to right, lonely drinkers reflect on their lives, and bar staff interact and listen in. Sounds really interesting. Read more here.


Tomorrow May Be My Last | Old Red Lion Theatre | 14 Feb-6 May
It feels reasonably rare that I have enough musical tips for a whole section, so this is exciting, isn't it? We start with a show we have actually tipped before, when it was on at the Old Red Lion back in the summer of 2022, but which is returning to the venue this week for a much longer run. It's a one woman show about Janis Joplin, performed by singer-songwriter and actor Collette Cooper. More info here.

That Burning Question | King's Head Theatre | 15-18 Feb (pictured)
"She expected a cosy retirement in paradise but the elevator going upwards gets stuck. It's a Day of Wrath! Her demonic manservant and her angelic maid are at a loss to know what to do. What does Peter the Caretaker know? Does he hold the key to the plot?" A new comic opera about a female pope who passes into the afterlife, choreographed in commedia dell'arte style. Click here.

Ghost Light | Golden Goose Theatre | 14-18 Feb
Another new work, this one, and a musical that seeks to explore the damage inflicted on women who are navigating a public life. It's about Cat, a former child star trapped in a marriage which is both emotionally and financially abusive, who is attempting to leave both the marriage and showbusiness. See the venue website here for more info about the show and to book your tickets.


Age Is A Feeling | Soho Theatre | 14 Feb-11 Mar (pictured)
Some longer running theatrical treats for you now, and this one is a production that did rather well up in Edinburgh during the 2022 Festival Fringe, and certainly made an impression on our own reviewer who pronounced it to be an "extraordinary, immersive experience". The show - by Haley McGee - is an interactive piece and never the same twice. Read more about it on the venue website here.

Grenfell System Failure - Scenes From The Enquiry | The Playground Theatre | 18-25 Feb
This important production is a follow up to acclaimed 2021 play 'Grenfell: Value Engineering', and asks more questions based entirely on the words of those involved in the final phase of the Grenfell Inquiry. Following its run at The Playground Theatre it will be also staged at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill and the Marylebone Theatre. See the Playground Theatre website here for all the info.

The Beach House | Park Theatre | 15 Feb-11 Mar
"Moving out of the city to raise their baby, the old house by the sea is supposed to be a peaceful new start for Liv and Kate. But Liv, the stay-at-home mother, is a songwriter in crisis who's too distracted to write, while Kate, who's just had a baby, needs to go back to work to get some order back in her life. And then there's Liv's sister Jenny". An exploration of the fragility of female relationships, more here.


Elektra Therapy | The Space | 14-15 Feb
Some short runs now, and this one is the first show for a while we've mentioned that you can also see online. "Elektra seeks freedom from the oppression of her daily life in casual sex; a one-night stand turns into a romance as she hopes this man can save her from her fate, trapped in her own home, a petulant teenager in the body of a woman". Info here.

The Masks Of Aphra Behn | The Space | 17-18 Feb (pictured)
Another short run for Claire Louise Amias's fascinating biographical piece about Aphra Behn, which she told us all about when we did a Q&A back in November. If you don't remember, this acclaimed one woman show tells the story of Behn's time as a spy for King Charles II and how she became the first professional female writer, and features excerpts from her letters, poetry and plays. Book your tickets here.

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists | Greenwich Theatre | 15-18 Feb
And finally, an adaptation of a classic, a one person version by Neil Gore - featuring projection, political conjuring tricks, live music and song - of Robert Tressell's 1914 novel. Following a group of workers as they renovate a three storey town house, 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' highlights the ways in which workers are exploited, and the inequality of society in general. More here.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

Plus each summer we also cover the biggest cultural event in the world: The Edinburgh Festival.

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