MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2023 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
DEEPIKA ARWIND AND JO TYABJI: PHANTASMAGORIA
Beginning a run this week at Southwark Playhouse's Borough venue is 'Phantasmagoria', presented by Kali Theatre, written by Deepika Arwind and directed by Jo Tyabji.

It's about a celebrated student activist who is taken to an isolated location to participate in a debate with a powerful political opponent, and finds herself growing in fear and paranoia that the situation is not what it seems.

I was very intrigued by the sound of the play and wanted to find out more about it, and the creative team behind it. I spoke to Deepika and Jo, ahead of opening night.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Phantasmagoria' is on at Southwark Playhouse (Borough) from 1-25 Nov. 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.


SHOWS WITH SPOOKY THEMES>>

Lachlan Werner: Voices Of Evil | Soho Theatre | 31 Oct-4 Nov (pictured)
Well, it's nearly Hallowe'en so you know full well that we absolutely have to have a spooky section this time. I was a bit surprised by the fact that I didn't come across that many spooky shows happening in London this week to be honest, but maybe that's because we recommended the whole of Grimfest a couple of weeks back. Anyway, let's start with something funny-spooky from the brilliant Lachlan Werner. See the venue website here for more about the show.

Alex And Maggie Go Ghost Hunting | The Space | 31 Oct-4 Nov
"In a sleepy South Yorkshire town, nothing of interest really happens. Except for Alex and, on the odd occasion, his sister Maggie. For them, this town is a perfect place to go ghost hunting (and that's not because half of the residents look dead)". This looks interesting - a new play focusing on life in a northern town, that explores personal loss as well as paranormal encounters... And this one you can see online as well as in person, which is great, see this page here.

Sabbath: A Tragedy Of Witches | OSO Arts Centre | 31 Oct-5 Nov
Another new play, this time based on true testimonies from the North Berwick witch trials: "By the light of a half-moon, five women gather in secret in the shade of a ruined kirk. What transpired between them that night would set the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and soon all of Europe, alight with terror. For another was said to be among them: a dark figure, perched atop a barrel, with a black book, cloven hooves, and horns". Book yourself in here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Sasha Ellen: When Life Gives You Ellens Make Ellenade | Pleasance Theatre | 6 Nov
So now, let's segue from the spooky to the funny. Well, I know there was a funny one in the spooky tips, but here all the tips are for definitely funny shows. First up it's Sasha Ellen, who I feel sure many of you will be aware of, not least because of her work up at the old edfringe. And who could resist a title like that? Expect Sasha to answer some big questions pertaining to things like love in the modern world and the interior design skills of serial killers. Yes. Click here for more.

Suggestions Of The Unexpected | Pleasance Theatre | 4 Nov
And now onto a tip for a type of comedy that you all know we love here at TW Towers, yes, it's improv. And, as an added bonus, this one would probably have been fairly at home in the above spooky section, as it promises to be "creepy comedy by way of the 'Twilight Zone', spied in a 'Black Mirror' and guaranteed to give you 'Goosebumps'". So obviously it will be funny as well as spooky and strange in the style of some of your fave spooky and strange media. Click here.

Brenda's Got A Baby | New Diorama Theatre | 31 Oct-2 Dec (pictured)
This one's a very promising play, an "uproarious new comedy" all about black womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood and babyhood. "After an unexpected break-up and beaten down by comparison to her married little sister, Ama embarks on a frenzied journey to become a mother charging head-first into embarrassing conversations, awkward encounters and defiant decisions". For more information and to book your tickets head to the venue website here.


SOLO SHOWS>>

Luke Wright's Silver Jubilee | Pleasance Theatre | 2 Nov (pictured)
Well, you all know from experience that we're fans of one-person shows (maybe because there are quite a lot of them at the lovely edfringe), so it makes sense to have whole sections devoted to them now and then. First up is highly acclaimed festival sell-out show 'Luke Wright's Silver Jubilee', from, well, poet Luke Wright, a well loved long term favourite of ours. Expect him to delve into some heart-wrenching, confessional stuff but also make you laugh. Click here. And listen to our TW Talks chat with Luke about this show in Edinburgh back in August here.

Head Set | Jacksons Lane | 2 Nov
Here's another favourite of ours, and I'm not sure whether we first met her at the Brighton Fringe or the Edinburgh Fringe, but I know for sure that this particular show was a very tangible edfringe hit. It's 'Head Set' from Victoria Melody. "A social chameleon, Victoria has previously become a pigeon fancier, northern soul dancer, beauty queen, championship dog show handler and funeral director, all in the name of art. But what it would feel like to really share herself, divergent and messy brain included?" More here.

The Mitfords | Golden Goose Theatre | 1-11 Nov
Can't claim to be a big fan of the Mitfords, but they were an intriguing bunch, and as someone always pulled in by the promise of informative historical theatre, I'd definitely like to see this. And of course, there's also the fact that it's by the very talented Gail Louw, and is performed by another big talent, Emma Wilkinson Wright. Expect to be highly entertained while finding out more about the Mitford sisters and their mostly disparate lives. Head this way.


THEATRICAL TREATS>>

Passing | Park Theatre | 1-25 Nov (pictured)
Lots more theatrical stuff for you now, hurrah, a couple of which are nice, long-ish runs. That's the case with 'Passing', at Park Theatre, a moving family comedy-drama with its eye on the modern biracial experience and the loss of cultural heritage down the generations. "Rachel is stuck - from two different backgrounds but without one clear identity. And with her Indian grandfather's health declining and her father's rejection of his roots, time is running out". More here.

Knocking On The Wall | Finborough Theatre | 31 Oct-25 Nov
Ooh, I enjoy short plays, so this set of them was instantly appealing, and of course it has other compelling factors, like the fact that they are by late great Scottish playwright Ena Lamont Stewart. 'Knocking On The Wall' consists of three works, united by their themes, focusing on women at the edge of society, chance encounters, isolation, reconciliation and hope. Expect astute social observation and humorous delivery. Head to the venue website here for details.

My Plan For Tomorrow | The Pen Theatre | 1-4 Nov
"What exactly happens to our hopes and dreams? Maybe subsumed into apathy, eaten by addiction, twisted into half-scribbled lines. Perhaps they come true in letter and name only, leaving a hollowness unfilled. Either way, it could be a laugh to watch it all unfold". Sounds rather dark, yes, but I feel like this will be funny too. Also, just so we are clear, this is an interactive piece of theatre, so be warned, and also note, this one is the short run, so make sure you don't miss it. Click here.


YET MORE INTERESTING STUFF>>

Red Planet: Revolution | Camden People's Theatre | 31 Oct-4 Nov
Final section, and would you believe, following on from 'My Plan For Tomorrow', that this one is another interactive sort of thing? Well, yes, you probably would, given that that sort of thing isn't exactly rare these days. Anyway, this one - described as 'game theatre' - gives you the opportunity to help build your own future society. "You'll face down political opponents and deal with interplanetary threats, as you lead the people of Mars into a better tomorrow". Yay. Info here.

The Star Seekers | Polka Theatre | 1-5 Nov
These last two are small-person shows, even though half term is over, because I've always got an eye out for anything that will get the potential entertainment-consumers of tomorrow into the theatrical experience. This one's an adventure story for audiences aged three to eight, and sees its protagonists asking for help in saving their space section. "Have you ever dreamt of flying to the moon? Visiting a space station? Becoming an astronaut?" Hell yeah. Head this way.

Stories In The Dust | Half Moon Theatre | 4 Nov
"Two travellers journey across the barren and dusty world that is their home. They make up songs and tell stories, inspired by the treasures they've collected from a time gone by. One day they happen upon something extra special, a lucky find that promises to breathe life back into the empty land that surrounds them - is it a chance for change or will their hopes be dashed once again?" More classy stuff for kids aged four and older, involving puppetry, clowning and live music. See the venue website here for more.
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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