MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
CHRIS THORPE: A FAMILY BUSINESS
Currently on a national tour - and calling at the Omnibus Theatre this week - is 'A Family Business', produced by China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz, and created by and starring award-winning writer and performer Chris Thorpe.

The play - which is one part of a trilogy from Thorpe and co-creator Rachel Chavkin - takes a look at the people making the decisions about nuclear disarmament. To find out more about it, I spoke to Chris ahead of the show's London dates.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'A Family Business' is on at Omnibus Theatre from 23-25 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.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Marcel Lucont's Whine List | King's Head Theatre | 26 Feb
Yay, lots of fun and funny stuff for you this week, so we have two whole sections bringing it to you. And who knows, there might be some funny things in the other sections too. Let's start over at the ye olde (or rather, somewhat new these days really) King's Head Theatre where TW fave Marcel Lucont is kicking off Liebenspiel's 'Late Night Week' - a "never before seen gathering of the most weird and wonderful comedy in the UK". More here.

Mat Ewins: Danger Money Game Show | The Bill Murray | 25 Feb
Oooh, what's this, another TW favourite that we first met and loved up at the Edinburgh Fringe? Well, yes. But it's looking like this whole section is full of acts like that - and possibly the next section too. I suppose it's kind of what we do. Anyway, expect comedy chaos from Mat Ewins and his game show guests, on this occasion being Sunil Patel and Helen Bauer, who are equally fab. All the info here.

Jay Lafferty: Bahookie | Pleasance Theatre | 23 Feb (pictured)
This show by Jay Lafferty is one that we saw at the most recent Edinburgh Festival, so it's still pretty fresh in our minds, and we know that it's hilarious and we loved it. I'm only sorry it's just the one date because I want so many people to see it. A "celebration of what you can achieve when you're terrified of becoming irrelevant", in which Lafferty covers "everything from ageing to internalised misogyny, celebrating the power of movement, body positivity and finding joy". Click here.


MORE FUNNY STUFF>>

Ikechukwu Ufomadu: Amusements | Soho Theatre | 26 Feb-2 Mar (pictured)
Oh, and what do you know? Here's another show that we saw and loved at the 2023 edfringe, and, what's more, we actually did a Q&A with Mr Ufomado about this very set (plus some interesting stuff about his eclectic Emmy-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning career in live performance, TV and film). You can read that right about here. Find out details and book tickets here.

Kiell Smith-Bynoe & Friends | Southwark Playhouse | 21-24 Feb
You surely all know by now that, while we love all styles and genres of comedy, we do have a bit of a soft spot for the improvised kind. And of course we have another soft spot for Kiell Smith-Bynoe, so it's been great to see him on the telly so much of late. However, it's even nicer to see him in a live improv show at Southwark Playhouse alongside other TW favourites like Emma Sidi and Brendan Murphy, to name but two. Click here.

Amy Webber: No Previous Experience | Etcetera Theatre | 22 Feb
Final tip for the funny sections, and it's over to the Etcetera Theatre for a date with the excellent and acclaimed Amy Webber, whom you'll love, especially if you're a fan of musical comedy. "Amy is an award winning comedian as heard on BBC Radio 4. Armed with her mini keyboard and an opera degree that's never been useful, she's on the hunt for a new job. You may pity her, you may love her, but you will definitely want to employ her". More here.


ONE OFFS>>

Matryoshka | Theatre503 | 22 Feb
It says it in the title, you've only got one chance to see these right now, so make sure you don't squander the opportunity. First up is 'Matryoshka' at Theatre503, and it's from a favourite company of ours, Chronic Insanity, so we're just gonna go ahead and assume it's going to be great. It's about a couple who are finally expecting a baby after trying for a long time, but it might not be the cause for celebration it initially seems… See the venue website here.

Musclebound | Camden People's Theatre | 24 Feb (pictured)
Here's another show that we saw at edfringe, and, like other shows mentioned further up, it's a funny one. It's theatre, though, which is slightly different. Anyway, it's a brilliant, frank and personal show about female sexuality, and you can read more about it in this Q&A we did with its talented creator Rosy Carrick when she performed it in Edinburgh in 2022. Very much worth hearing what she has to say there, before finding out more about it all on the venue website here.

(Le)Pain | Jacksons Lane | 21 Feb
I'm really intrigued by this - on as part of a short season, Nikki & JD Fest - and the work of JD, aka Jean Daniel Broussé. The show explores "identity, physical heroics and growing up queer in a boulangerie in the south of France", via the medium of circus, dance, storytelling, Béarnaise folklore video and karaoke. "After four generations, the family bakery is sold. After four generations, the boulangerie story ends here". More info here.


SHORT STOPS>>

The Duchess Of Padua | The Space | 20-25 Feb
OK, these aren't one-offs, but they're not on for very long either, so don't get comfy, get moving. Let's begin with this, which is Oscar Wilde's rather neglected tragedy turned into a chamber opera for four voices by Edward Lambert. It's a gothic drama that sees a young man falling in love with the wife of a cruel nobleman, with dreadful and melodramatic consequences. You can see it online, as well as in person, too. See the venue website here.

Madonna On The Rocks | Greenwich Theatre | 21-23 Feb (pictured)
"As a child, Marina had dreams. But now she has a child of her own, should she throw them in the nappy bin? Or follow them and risk becoming that nightmarish monster: a Narcissist Mother?" This is a work in progress and an intriguing one, described as "somewhere between" a cabaret, a musical, a comedy and a tragedy, focusing on the struggle to be both an artist and a parent, and it's got a great team behind it. Head to this page here.

She And I | Etcetera Theatre | 24+27 Feb
Who's up for a mystery that needs solving? And one based on a real story that happened in China? Well then, this may well be of interest. "A young Chinese girl is implicated in a murder case involving her flatmate - a hairdresser who escaped from her hometown. As the harrowing history of the hairdresser unravels, the deep connection between the two women is revealed. Now join the investigation and explore the secret story hidden behind". Click here.


LONGER RUNS>>

Cowboys and Lesbians | The Park Theatre | 21 Feb-9 Mar (pictured)
Now for some longer runs for you, all sound great, and all going on into the month of March. Which is kinda coming up weirdly quickly, given how long it took to get through January. Anyway, here's yet another show that had a highly critically acclaimed run at edfringe last summer, and it's a brilliant and funny romantic comedy focusing on two closeted teenage girls and a fantasy world of sexy cowboys. Don't miss it, see the venue website here.

Jab | Finborough Theatre | 20 Feb-16 Mar
Anyone remember COVID 19 and lockdown? Yeah, thought you might. And who knows, you may well be able to relate to this black comedy about a marriage falling apart under the stresses and strains of forced isolation. Focusing on Anne and Don, together for 29 years, it stars Kacey Ainsworth and Liam Tobin, and explores "power, gender, domestic violence, conspiracy theories, ignorance and the limits of love". Details here.

Flashbang | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 20 Feb-9 Mar
And finally for this week, a return to the Lion & Unicorn Theatre for Proforca Theatre Company's highly acclaimed 'Flashbang', a study of friendship and male mental health. "Ryan and his gang were going to be mates forever. Living their lives in the same cycle as everyone else in a little town 20 miles from anywhere important. Ryan and his gang have seen it all, done it all, lived it all. But then came the night when everything changed". Find out more and book tickets 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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