MONDAY 15 JANUARY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
ANASTASIA BUNCE: BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS
Beginning this week at Southwark Playhouse's Borough venue is 'Blood On Your Hands', an intriguing work focusing on two men of different circumstances who are working in a slaughterhouse, and which explores themes of hope, mental health and the need for human compassion. 

Written by Grace Joy Howarth, it's staged by Patch Plays, a company that specialises in staging work about animal ethics and environmental concerns. 

It's directed by the group's founder and Artistic Director Anastasia Bunce. We first spoke to Anastasia ahead of a short run of the play in 2022. I wanted to talk more about the piece and the company behind it ahead of this latest longer run at the Southwark Playhouse.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Blood On Your Hands' is on at Southwark Playhouse Borough from 17 Jan-3 Feb. 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.


FESTIVAL STUFF>>

The Endling | Camden People's Theatre | 17-18 Jan
January's going by slowly as usual, isn't it? Somehow feels like just a few days and yet also ten years since New Year's Eve. What we all need is a swift injection of high quality culture, I reckon. Let's start by picking something from Camden People's Theatre's More Than Human Festival. How about 'The Endling' by the rather good Strange Futures? It's a funny, quirky reflection on the extinction crisis. Click here.

Boy In Da Korma / The Pursuit Of Joy | Jermyn Street Theatre | 16 Jan-27 Jan (pictured)
The Footprints Festival continues over at Jermyn Street, and there are only two shows to see this week, so I thought I would just mention both of them instead of trying to choose. There is 'Boy In Da Korma' - about a half Indian, half Irish seventeen year old who thinks he's the reincarnation of Tupac - and 'The Pursuit Of Joy' - about "three strangers on the hunt for something different". Both sound great.

Home | Jacksons Lane | 17-18 Jan
Okay this isn't actually on as part of a festival, but the first thing I thought when I saw that this show is on this week at Jacksons Lane was "oooh, that was on at the Fringe last summer", so it's in my head as a festival show. Anyway, it's an acclaimed physical theatre piece offering a "heart-warming story of memory, imagination and parenthood". More here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Kieran Hodgson: Big In Scotland | Soho Theatre | 16-27 Jan (pictured)
Talking of edfringe successes, we've got a couple more for you here in the Funny Stuff section, two acts known far and wide, but ones we first met in the Scottish capital. First up the excellent Kieran Hodgson, whose shows we've been awarding four and five star reviews to for a decade. If you don't know his work yet, it's honestly time you did, especially as he's been on the telly and everything. Find out more here.

Rob Auton: The Rob Auton Show | Soho Theatre | 22-27 Jan
And we are staying at the Soho Theatre for a date with ThreeWeeks Editors' Award winner Rob Auton, who, just like Kieran Hodgson, has been on our highly impressed radar for ten years or thereabouts. Fans will be familiar with the specific topics and themes he's addressed in his shows in the past: in this one he takes a look at himself, which is interesting. Click here.

Transgression | White Bear Theatre | 16-27 Jan
Theatrical comedy now, and a funny play by Loretta Monaco about parenting in a non-traditional way: "It's the 1990s and the societal revolution to smash the nuclear family is on the horizon. It's all an uphill campaign to rattle the patriarchy until a father and son face an unthinkable quest. When the dust settles a new birth order awaits future generations". Info here.


SHORT STOPS>>

Circus Enchante | Hoxton Hall | 20-21 Jan (pictured)
These are all fairly short stops, so as ever, make sure you get along to them while they are there. This one's suitable for a nice family outing, I reckon, and yes, I have just looked at the actual details and it literally says "family friendly". It's also circus with a 1920s vibe and I am definitely all about that, and I am hopeful that you will find that alluring too. Head to this page here for info.

She Stoops To Conquer | Orange Tree On Screen | 16-19 Jan
As someone who has a been ill with a lingering malady these last few weeks, I'm quite excited by the prospect of taking in a nice piece of theatre without having to leave the house. We tipped this staging of the classic play a few weeks ago, but now you can see it online, so we're tipping it again, so if you couldn't see it then you can now. Or if you did see it then you could see it again! Head this way.

How To Eat Dog | The Space | 17-20 Jan
Over to The Space now for a "survival story", an exploration of mental illness, struggles with identity, ambition and failure. Which sounds dark, but this show also promises to be darkly comic and playful as it follows the life of Charlie, navigating love and loss "through the chaos and carnage of modern life". Oh, and you can see this one online too, which is great. Find out more here.


LONGER RUNS>>

Northanger Abbey | Orange Tree Theatre | 20 Jan-24 Feb (pictured)
Back to the Orange Tree (though to be fair, we were only there in a virtual sense earlier) for 'Northanger Abbey' by the acclaimed Zoe Cooper, inspired, of course, by the novel of the same name by the esteemed Jane Austen. I would presume most of you would have a vague idea of what story it tells, so I won't go on, but expect something full of love and humour. Click here.

Indestructible | Omnibus Theatre | 16 Jan-3 Feb
"When men behave in unacceptable ways, why do we always point to the women close to them and ask why they did nothing?" It's a good question, and one being looked at by Proteus Theatre Company in this play focused on Catherine, an artist who finds herself questioning how much she has herself enabled the culture she sees being called out via #metoo. Info here.

Leaves Of Glass | Park Theatre | 16 Jan-10 Feb
"Steven has always tried to be a good person. He works hard. He looks after his family. But, suddenly, everyone starts accusing him of things. His wife accuses him of being unfaithful. His mother accuses him of being coercive. And his brother, Barry, accuses him of… what exactly?" This staging of Philip Ridley's 2007 play is back by popular demand after being staged at Park Theatre last summer. Don't miss it, click here.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

Kindred | Jack Studio | 16-20 Jan
Final section and some more lovely stuff for you, first up over at the lovely Jack Studio, with 'Kindred', which promises to confront the hilarious and harsh realities of love: "On Saturday Matt is meant to be marrying Lois, the love of his life. But as the couple try to prepare for the happiest day of their lives, with each step towards order, fate has other plans. The week starts with a funeral instead". More here.

The Museum Of Marvellous Things | Jacksons Lane | 21 Jan (pictured)
"Discover stars in jars, catch moons like balloons, dance with Doo-Dahs in cages, sing with Noo-Nahs on stages. Because this is a museum like no other - it's made from the magic of your imagination - and you get to bring it alive". Yay, another show for your young ones, based on the book of the same name. Expect giant puppets, magical effects, interactive storytelling and more. Click here.

Dracula's Guest | Golden Goose Theatre | 16-20 Jan
One for older audiences this, adapted, produced and directed by the acclaimed James Hyland, based on the works of Bram Stoker. "An ancient creature, embittered by the burden of immortality and the intolerance of those who would decry him monster. Alone in his keep, but for the memories of centuries past. A living death that only a vampire could understand". Ooooh. Info 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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