As the mother of a daughter, 'Helen' - currently completing a run at London's Theatre503 - caught my attention as soon as I heard about it. It's an exploration of a mother/daughter relationship, with a specific focus on their shared grief. 

The play is the work of writer Maureen Lennon and is produced by new north-based theatre company Terrain. I spoke to Maureen about the play and the creative team behind the show, as well as her career and hopes for the future.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Helen' is on at Theatre503 until 27 May, see the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.
Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


Amiangelika, Angelina Gorgaeva + Anastasia Vla, Divija Melally, and Alex Groves + Ze | The Place | 20 May (pictured)
This week's tips are starting with a whole section on dance, which is relatively unusual and rather exciting. And what's even more exciting is that this first event is part of the excellent Resolution 2023, which - for those of you who don't know - is a festival of new and exciting work. Each evening event showcases the output of multiple artists and they are all worth seeing, so check the listings for the full festival here and then get more info about this particular show here.

We Touch, We Play, We Dance | Sadlers Wells | 19 May
Next up, another dance show (obv, it's a dance section), but this one is a bit different because it's aimed at tiny tots and is a piece that focuses on touch and how it's used to connect and communicate, courtesy of the brilliant Second Hand Dance. We actually did a Q&A with company founder and AD Rosie Heafford about this very show last year, so have a read of that here, and then find details on the upcoming performances here.

Dissent | Chelsea Theatre | 18 May
"An upcoming confrontation leaves a man unprepared for what he is about to experience. Forced to face his darkest depths, he is brought to his knees as he comes to reckon with the multitudes that lurk within him. What unfolds is a poignant tale of the borders between mind and body, self and other, inside and outside". A very promising solo work from dancer and choreographer Fadi Giha, on as part of London's Syrian Arts And Culture Festival. Book here.


The Bean Spillers: The Improvised Musical | King's Head Theatre | 19 May (pictured)
Next up, some funny stuff for you. Because, as I frequently point out, I personally could do with a laugh. Especially with GCSE exams starting in earnest this week and me having a GCSE exam taker to support. Anyway, here's exactly the sort of tip you would expect from improv-lovers like the TW team: yes, some improv, specifically the musical kind, over at the King's Head Theatre. Yay. Expect some uproarious stuff based on the audience's own scandalous and embarrassing experiences. More here.

Sam Morrison: Sugar Daddy | Soho Theatre | 17-20 May
There's humour with a serving of the sad stuff in this one, as 'Sugar Daddy' sees Sam Morrison telling the story of meeting his late partner at a gay bear festival, before taking the audience "on an outrageous journey of love, loss, diabetes, seagull attacks, and a few extraordinary coincidences". An acclaimed act, so don't miss your chance to see him in action - head to the venue website right about here.

A Brief List Of Everyone Who Died | Finborough Theatre | 16 May-10 Jun
A piece of comedy theatre for you now, as we head over to the Finborough Theatre for 'A Brief List Of Everyone Who Died'. Which, yes, doesn't exactly sound like something that's going to be a bundle of laughs, but it promises to be "wickedly funny" and to "tell the story of all the deaths that make up a life". And I'm sold, frankly, and I think you will be too. Head this way to find out more.


Smite | CRYPT | until 10 Jun
I mean, all the theatre we talk about here is interesting. We wouldn't be considering it for our Three To See recommendations if we didn't think it was interesting. But these three are in the 'interesting' section because they're a bit 'different' in ways that shall become clear. This one is an interactive and immersive theatre experience where you get to be a detective, and it's taking place at dedicated immersive theatre venue CRYPT. Book yourself in here.

Person Spec | Camden People's Theatre | 16-18 May (pictured)
A show in a comparatively 'normal' venue but similarly interactive and involving, for it's a job interview and the audience are the interviewing panel. "An exciting job candidate is on the precipice of a new career. But can they first become the CEOs of their own lives? You will decide. An average CV is only looked at for six seconds. We think this isn't good enough". Find out lots more info about it and book tickets, here.

Handlebards - A Midsummer Night's Dream | various locations | 22 May, 3 Jun, 8 Jun
TW favourite company Handlebards are on their latest tour of the UK, and will of course be travelling to interesting performance spaces on their bikes (it's in the name) to serve up their irreverent and acclaimed Shakespeare adaptations. They're calling at three London locations in the next month: Oasis Farm Waterloo on 22 May, The Charterhouse on 3 Jun, and The Museum Of The Order Of St John on 8 Jun. See this page here for all tour dates and to book.


Into The Melting Pot | JW3/St Anne's Church | 17/20 May (pictured)
Another touring piece for you now, and this one's a "half concert half play" from acclaimed music and theatre company The Telling. It's a historical play that tells the story of a Jewish woman forced to leave her home in Spain in 1492, but of course has obvious contemporary relevance. "This is our home! My family, my roots in Seville go back hundreds of years. Just where do they think they are sending us back to...?" Click here for the show at JW3, and here for St Anne's Church.

Shorts | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 16-20 May
More of just-the-sort-of-thing-we-like now, as we are headed to Hen & Chickens Theatre for Theatre Handmade's 'Shorts', a collection of one act plays that promise to be vibrant, funny and moving while exploring themes of "the beauty and sadness within human connection". The series features work by John Patrick Shanley, Elinor Cook, Nick Payne, Darcy Fowler, Cary Gitter and Gracie Gardner. Book tickets here.

The Misandrist | Arcola Theatre | until 10 Jun
"When 'intimidating' Rachel and eternal 'nice guy' Nick meet at a sticky-floored bar in Piccadilly, what was meant to be a one-night-stand becomes a sexual odyssey of self-discovery... and mutual destruction. As they navigate their situationship, Rachel decides it's time to TAKE BACK CONTROL". Well, this sounds... compelling, doesn't it? Find out more on what to expect and get your tickets booked here.


Around The World In Eighty Days | Richmond Theatre | 16-20 May
Yes, yes, yet more theatre. We have no shame. And why should we, when it comes to theatre we'd like to go see? The title of this one should be fairly familiar I would have thought, so you'll probably have an idea of what to expect, but you might be wrong, as this is a new adaptation telling the story "as you have never seen it before". It will be good, anyway, and probably OK for kids, I think. Check it out here.

Dismissed | Soho Theatre | 16 May-3 Jun (pictured)
"Idealistic Ashley is in her second year of teaching at one of the lowest ranked secondary schools in London. When she reports that her favourite student brought a hunting knife onto school premises, she's stunned by the sudden reaction of a bureaucratic head-teacher". A witty but hard-hitting drama by Daniel Rusteau that explores class and racism in the education system, and asks questions about the raising of young black men. More here.

Speakers Corner: The Public Shaming Of Rufus Love | The Hope Theatre | 16-27 May
And finally, a play that's got me intrigued by its relevant contemporary themes, that explores how far we will go to be on the right side of a debate: "Rufus is having an enlightening afternoon mingling with the heretics and the hystericals at Speaker's Corner. He finds himself choking on his words when one of the speakers picks him out of the crowd. A Twitter pile-on is all the more brutal when you can't log off!" All the details 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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