MONDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2023 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
STEF O’DRISCOLL: BRASSIC FM
Fans of gig theatre are definitely in for a treat when it comes to 'Brassic FM', a collaboration from poet Zia Ahmed and Stef O'Driscoll that begins a run at the Gate Theatre this week. 

Set at the hub of a pirate radio station, it takes a look at inner city, working class lives, tackling myriad themes, but primarily the relationship between work and class. 

I was intrigued by the show and wanted to know more about what to expect from it. I spoke to co-creator and director Stef O'Driscoll.   

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Brassic FM' is on at the Gate Theatre from 4-30 Sep, see the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.



MATTHEW SEAGER: IN OTHER WORDS
You may well have heard of 'In Other Words', a play by Matthew Seager that won much acclaim when it was first produced back in 2017, and which returns to London this month for a run at Arcola Theatre before touring to a number of other UK locations. 

The play focuses on the theme of dementia and Alzheimer's, and this production is being staged during World Alzheimer's Month and is supported by The Utley Foundation's Music For Dementia campaign. 

To find out more about the play and the playwright, I spoke to Matthew - who also performs in the production - ahead of the London run. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'In Other Words' is on at Arcola Theatre from 5-30 Sep. For more information and to book tickets, head to the venue website here.
Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FAMILY DRAMAS>>

That Face | Orange Tree Theatre | 9 Sep-7 Oct
Let's be clear that these are not shows for kids. I mean, we often have a section called 'family shows' which are for kids. But these are not. These are shows for grown ups with family themes. This one is a revival of Polly Stenham's critically adored and award winning 2007 debut play, starring Niamh Cusack and directed by Josh Seymour. See the venue website here for more.

Colder Than Here | Jack Studio | 5-23 Sep
"Nobody can ignore the fact that Myra is dying but in the meantime life goes on. There are boilers to be fixed, cats to be fed and the perfect funeral to be planned. As a mother researches burial spots and biodegradable coffins, her family are finally forced to communicate with her". Another revival, this time for Laura Wade's 2005 drama. More info here.

Birthright | Finborough Theatre | 5-30 Sep (pictured)
Another revival, but for a much older play: this is the first professional UK production for 90 years of TC Murray's 1910 tragedy 'Birthright'. Set in rural Ireland, it's inspired by the bible story of Esau and Jacob: the Morrissey family have two sons, the younger of which is eminently suited to becoming a farmer; tradition however dictates that the farm must pass to the older sibling. More here.


SHORT STOPS>>

La Mouette | Drayton Arms Theatre | 10 Sep
Next up, some stuff that's only on for a short time, so - as I always say - make sure you don't miss it. There are two performances of this, but both on the same day. If you speak French, you'll have translated the title and probably have realised that this is a staging of 'The Seagull'. For this production the Chekhov classic is set in the south of France in the 1920s. Read about it here.

Casting Off | Jacksons Lane | 8-9 Sep
This is a circus performance that rather won our hearts when we first witnessed it up at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago. An intergenerational show performed by three women of different ages, it blends circus with spoken word and has a lot to say, throwing off stereotypes in a funny show about "living on the edge and talking about it; and how it's easier done than said". Info here.

Youth In Asia | Theatre503 | 6 Sep (pictured)
"Your heart pounds. Your palms sweat. You've done nothing wrong, but you still feel guilty. Like a criminal. We've all felt it, as we approach Border Control, even if we're "legal"? Haven't we? Or is it just me? And people who look like me?" A compelling piece from Kevin Shen about why people move from one place to another, and what it takes to survive in a new location. Details here.


LONGER RUNS>>

Police Cops: The Musical | Southwark Playhouse Borough | 8 Sep-14 Oct
If you are looking for something to make you laugh this month, then you should definitely get this one on the list. We've been following the work of three man comedy outfit Police Cops in recent years and their shows continue to delight. This one in particular features original songs and an expanded ensemble, and we are "here for it" as they say. Book tickets here.

Red Pitch | Bush Theatre | 7-30 Sep (pictured)
This one's making a return to the Bush Theatre (back by popular demand, presumably, given it was quite the hit) and I am pretty sure we tipped it the last time it was on, so for heaven's sake, if you missed it that time, don't miss it this time. It's about the relationship between three friends, football, and the effect of gentrification on London's communities. All the details right about here.

Dolls and Guys | Bread & Roses Theatre | 5-9 Sep
To be fair, this doesn't really belong in longer runs. It's here because I had only two longer runs to talk about in this section. So, you only have a few days to see this in fact. But make time, because I have a good feeling about this dark comedy offering a "a dystopian fairytale in which women wait to be picked by the one and live happily ever after". Head to the venue website here for info.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

At The Statue Of Venus + La Voix Humane | Arcola Theatre | 6-9 Sep
Yay, we didn't have a festival section this week for the first time in ages, but we do have a festival event, and it's this one, on as part of the much previously tipped Grimeborn Festival. It's a double bill presented by environmentally sustainable group Green Opera, focusing on women's identity in the modern world. For more information and to book tickets see this page here.

The Pigeon and The Mouse | The Space | 9-11 Sep (pictured)
"Two lovers, 'Pigeon' and 'Mouse', shelter together in an abandoned church when nuclear fallout from a civil war forces their city into quarantine. Tony and Ingrid invite their audience to join in the practice of what homo sapiens do best: use fiction and fantasy as a means to survive". Intrigued by this one, to be honest, hard to explain in just a few words what to expect. Have a look at this page here instead.

My First Time Was In A Car Park | Hope Theatre | 5-9 Sep
"Mira loses her virginity to her teacher in the car park at her school, she lives by the sea with her mum - she becomes god in the outdoors". Finally for this week, one last theatre tip, a one woman show that won much acclaim when staged at the lovely Brighton Festival. Expect a deep dive into Mira's psyche, and an exploration of the ways in which trauma manifests itself. Click 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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