MONDAY 31 JULY 2023 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
The Edinburgh Festival gets under way this week! And ThreeWeeks is covering it all once again with interviews, reviews and Three To See recommendations.

We have another batch of Edinburgh Festival interviews and Threes To See in this week's bulletin. And look out for more going live every day this week on the website.

Why not follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (or X if you prefer) for alerts on all the latest content as it goes live?

We will also be back in your inbox with the bonus extra edition of the bulletin on Thursday, full of Edinburgh Festival coverage.

Meanwhile, here in the Monday edition of the bulletin we continue to cover great comedy, theatre and culture in London - with the latest Caro Meets interview and this week's London Threes To See coming up below the Edinburgh coverage.

So, let's get going...


JULIETTE BURTON: NO BRAINER
We last spoke to Juliette Burton in 2016 when she was performing her show 'Decision Time'. After a few years away from the Festival, she returns this August with a short run at the Gilded Balloon of her new show 'No Brainer'.

It's billed as "not another awareness-raising show, but a change-making show", so I was eager to find out more. And, given Juliette is a long term Fringe favourite, I also wanted to get her tips on how to get the most out of performing at Edinburgh's big summer festival.

I sent some questions her way to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Juliette Burton performs 'No Brainer' at Gilded Balloon Teviot from 2-11 Aug. See the edfringe listing here.



ANNIE LUX: THE PORTABLE DOROTHY PARKER
'The Portable Dorothy Parker' is a play by Annie Lux that shares its name with a 1940s anthology of stories and poems written by Parker, and is set as the writer, satirist and founding member of the Algonquin Round Table gets to work compiling the book.

Performed by Margot Avery and directed by Lee Costello, the play was previously presented at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, prompting follow on performances at the Phoenix Arts Club in London.

This August the show is returning to theSpace, which gives me the perfect opportunity to chat to Annie about the play, its subject, and how she went about bringing Parker to life on the stage.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Portable Dorothy Parker' is being performed at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall from 3-26 Aug. See the edfringe listing here.

ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses recommends shows to see at this year's Edinburgh Festival, in handy sets of three. Look out for more tips going live soon on the website.


DEBUT COMEDY ACTS>>

John Tothill: The Last Living Libertine | Pleasance Courtyard
You know we love the debut acts here at TW Towers, given nice new shiny people and ideas are ideally what the Fringe is all about. So let's talk about some comedy acts doing their first full edfringe shows. John Tothill is up first with his much anticipated debut hour, which – you may not be surprised to hear, given the title – is an educational show about pleasure. Click here for info and tickets.

Get Blessed! | Gilded Balloon Patter House | 2-27 Aug (pictured)
Now I reckon it's time for some character comedy, for lo, it's a brilliant way to do a comedy show and there's always lots of high quality sets of this type being performed up at the Fringe. Our debut pick is 'Get Blessed!' by Niamh Denyer, who steps into the role of Áine Reilly, a funeral celebrant who is going to teach you the art of the perfect send off. Click here for info and tickets.

Maggie Crane: Side By Side | Underbelly Bristo Square | 2-28 Aug
Finally, let's head over to Underbelly to pass the time with Maggie Crane, a New York-based US comedian, writer and actress who is in Edinburgh to give you her autobiographical account of growing up in western Massachusetts alongside her disabled brother (and best friend) Aiden. Expect something that's both funny and heartbreaking, I think. Click here for info and tickets.


MEDICS IN THE HOUSE>>

Matt Hutchinson: Hostile | Assembly George Square Studios | 2-27 Aug (pictured)
I began this section on doctor types appearing at the Fringe thinking there were probably just three, which was quite enough for my purposes. However, as it turns out, they are everywhere. I put all their names in a hat (a surgical one) and picked out this lot. First mention goes to comedian Matt Hutchinson, the son of Jamaican and English parents, who looks at how hostile Britain is, asking who is welcome here? Click here for info and tickets.

Ed Patrick: Catch Your Breath | The Stand's New Town Theatre | 10-27 Aug
NHS anaesthetist, comedian and author Ed Patrick is up next with a show about becoming a junior doctor, the pitfalls of modern medicine and the power of questioning it. Which all sounds rather serious, but I am assured that there will be plenty to laugh at, not least by the impressed critics, which is somewhat important given that this is a comedy show, of course. Click here for info and tickets.

Stefania Licari: Medico | Underbelly Bristo Square | 2-27 Aug
Another one from the comedy programme: award winning performer and NHS doctor Stefania Licari stars in an updated version of her already acclaimed one woman show 'Medico', which combines songs, stand-up and physical comedy to tell a hilarious story of medicine, immigration and being a female Italian doctor in the UK. Expect good things. Click here for info and tickets.


THREEWEEKS EDITORS' AWARD WINNERS>>

Rob Auton: The Rob Auton Show | Assembly Roxy | 2-26 Aug
What better way to celebrate the impending edfringe by talking about past winners of our extremely highly regarded ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards? They truly are the best measure of Fringe greatness. Well, you might not believe that, but believe this: Rob Auton is awesome, quirky, brilliant and performing his tenth Festival show this year. Don't miss him. Click here for info and tickets.

Klanghaus: InHaus | Summerhall | 3-27 Aug
The original Klanghaus show won an Editors' Award back in 2014 if I remember correctly, and its creators are back this year with two shows, in fact. The first is this one, an immersive music show described as "another extraordinary leap in the journey of destroying the rule book of gig-going". The other is 'Darkroom', "an intense, profoundly emotional and affecting climate chaos wake-up call" performed to an audience of one. Click here for info and tickets.

Of Moonset And The Milky Way | Assembly Roxy | 17-27 Aug (pictured)
"30 candles for 30 cakes; 900 birthday candles. It was a spectacular idea, but she never arrived. The sun gets too much credit when it sets, with its fancy colour and light. This is a celebration of the other bit, of a cold, crisp departure". The wonderful, Editors' Award winning Australian theatre maker Stuart Bowden returns with this "musical feast of ethereal melancholia". Yay. Click here for info and tickets.


ABIGAIL HOOD: SPIRAL
If you saw the play 'Monster' when it was on at Park Theatre around this time last year, then you are definitely aware of the work of Abigail Hood, who was the writer of that piece.

She is also the creator of 'Spiral', which was staged to acclaim, also at Park Theatre, in pre-pandemic times, and which begins a run at Jermyn Street Theatre this week, produced by Veritas Theatre Company. 

The play is about people who go missing and the impact it has on those around them, focusing in particular on a relationship between two people who have significant family members absent from their lives. 

As well as being the creative brain behind the play, Abigail also performs in the show. I spoke to her to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Spiral' is on at Jermyn Street Theatre from 2-19 Aug, for more info and to book tickets, head to the venue website here.
Shows to see in London in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


CAMDEN FRINGE>>

Flamenco: Orígenes | Etcetera Theatre | 2-6 Aug (pictured)
You'll no doubt be excited to hear (if you didn't know it already) that the Camden Fringe is still busily happening, and so – of course – we have another tips section this week devoted to it. When perusing lists of events happening over the next few days, this was one of the first to jump out at me, because it's a dance show that traces flamenco's roots, celebrating the different art forms that brought about its evolution. Click here.

That's Not My Name | 2Northdown | 2-3 Aug
"Is she psychotic or is she a genius? My ex psychiatrist prefers the former, my god complex prefers the latter". Well, this sounds rather interesting, promising stand-up, sketch and physical comedy and a questioning of psychiatric practice and labels. Be warned, though, it also promises "borderline chaos", along with strong language, partial nudity, explicit content and distressing themes. Read more here.

Faustine | The Cockpit | 2-5 Aug
An interesting take on Marlowe's 'Faustus', this one, interesting in the sense that here the central character is female, and is on the verge of freeing women from biological oppression. It's a darkly comic play that looks at gender bias in medical research and endometriosis, and sees Mephistophilis offering Faustine the chance to eradicate female pain in exchange for her soul. Info here.


RHYTHMICAL STUFF>>

La Cenerentola | Arcola Theatre | 1-5 Aug
We're beginning this section with another visit to Arcola's Grimeborn Festival 2023, this time to see Barefoot Opera's staging of Gioachino Rossini's 'La Cenerentola'. You may know this already, but you may also not, so I am going to tell you all that it's a telling of the story of Cinderella, so it's got a narrative you'll definitely be familiar with even if you're not yet familiar with the music. Click here for info.

Stranger Sings | Southwark Playhouse Borough | 3-26 Aug (pictured)
You may well have heard of this already, because it was previously on at The Vaults, and we definitely tipped it then, but we are so enamoured of this show that we decided we would further celebrate it now that it's beginning a run at the Southwark Playhouse. Anyway, it's a spoofy parody musical referencing 'Stranger Things' and it's won much critical acclaim. See the venue website here.

Plastic Paradiso | Greenwich Theatre | 1 Aug
The first two in this section were an opera and a musical. This third pick is a dance piece, so equally rhythmical, but it's also a show for children aged up to eleven years. It's based on the book 'The Tin Forest' by Helen Ward, and is set on a barren, plastic filled island, where a lone inhabitant makes friends with an injured bird that appears after a storm. Find out more here.


THEATRICAL TREATS>>

Storm | Southwark Playhouse Borough | 2-5 Aug
A lot of what's left now is theatre, and it's all rather good, and all on for a fairly limited amount of time, so make sure you don't miss it. First up is 'Storm' at the Southwark Playhouse, a new play by Juliet Knight that celebrates motherhood and explores how "chaos, conflict and closeness in a single parent unit can affect a mother and daughter's mental health and future". Click here.

Skin | Jack Studio | 1-5 Aug (pictured)
"In the prime of her early twenties, Sadie is diagnosed with melanoma. Her quiet life is quickly overshadowed as she learns to navigate life with a chronic illness. When medical staff are all-too-focused on the physical symptoms, Sadie turns to her sister to rediscover her sense of self beyond a diagnosis". Expect a touching, warm and amusing piece, find out more here.

The Harding Case | Drayton Arms Theatre | 1-2 Aug
Here's something fun and interactive to finish this section with, a show in which the audience gets to play detective, as they interrogate suspects and attempt to solve a crime. "The year is 2004. Four old friends gather for a meal. They are meeting for the first time in ten years. Each one has their own agenda unknown to the others. What should have been a pleasant reunion will end in murder". Info here.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

Bag Lady | Tabard Theatre | 1 Aug
And finally, the traditional mixed final section, starting with 'Bag Lady' at Tabard Theatre, which you have but one chance to see. A comedy play written and performed by Stephanie Manton, it tells the story of a teenage girl who is away at a summer army cadet camp, and involves puppetry, ventriloquism and coming of age stuff. Read more about it on the venue website here.

Transmission | Jacksons Lane | 4-18 Aug (pictured)
This one is a collection of events rather than just one show, because it's Jacksons Lane's annual circus residency programme, which sees companies and artists taking over the venue for a week to develop new work, and giving a scratch performance each Friday afternoon at the end of their time. First up is Finnish foot juggler Rosa-Maria Autio, who will perform on 4 Aug. Find out more here.

Long Long Long Live / Locusts | Old Red Lion Theatre | 2 Aug / 5 Aug
And finally, taking place around the same time as the start of the Edinburgh Fringe, are some shows that you will be able to see later in the month at that self same Edinburgh Fringe. I suppose I could have just said these are edfringe previews. Anyway, 'Long Long Long Live' is a "somewhat tragicomedy" and 'Locusts' is about gay conversion therapy, and they both sound great.
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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