MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
JUNE CARRYL: BLUE
Beginning a run shortly at the Seven Dials Playhouse is 'BLUE', which had a hugely successful run at the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It's by US playwright and actor June Carryl, who also appears in this staging of the play, and who you've very probably seen on your screens given her large number of TV credits, most recently in 'Mindhunter' and 'Helstrom'. 

'BLUE' focuses on racism and authoritarianism in American policing, as well as exploring the personal relationship between two old friends and colleagues. 

I was interested to find out more about the play, given its important themes, but also to find out more about the creator of it and her interesting career between stage and screen. I spoke to June ahead of opening night.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'BLUE' is on at the Seven Dials Playhouse from 5-30 Mar. Find more info and book tickets via the venue website here.  
Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


YOUNG PERSON SHOWS>>

A Song For Ella Grey | Theatre Peckham | 27 Feb-2 Mar (pictured)
Normally I'd call this section children's shows, I guess, but this week we have two shows that are really for an older child/teenage audience. And that's really nice, because I do feel as though shows that cater specifically to that sort of age group aren't hugely common. Anyway, this one is based on a book by a renowned writer of novels for children and young adults - David Almond - and it's suitable for those aged thirteen and up, find out more here.

Persephone - A Tale Of The Seasons | Little Angel Theatre | 1 Mar-20 Apr
This one is kind of at the other end of the scale: there are two versions of 'Persephone', one aimed at babby lambs aged six to eighteen months, and one aimed at toddle-pops aged eighteen months to three years. As you can tell, it's a show focusing on changing seasons, offering a sensory exploration via the experiences of different animals: a rabbit, a robin, a hedgehog, a butterfly. Find both on the Little Angel Theatre listings page here.

Romeo And Juliet | Polka Theatre | 2 Mar-14 Apr
The second tip for a slightly older demographic, this one being suitable for children aged nine and up. And, of course, it's a story you know well, retold - or remixed - with rap, rhythm and harmonies, so bear in mind that the themes are kinda dark. "How much would you risk for the person you love? Forced apart by generations of hatred, young eyes meet across a South London dancefloor on a fateful night that will change their lives forever". Head to this page here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

The Funny Side Of Earlsfield | Tara Theatre | 2 Mar
Definitely time for some comedy, now, as well as shows aimed at you grown ups reading this. And I thought we would start with a line up type show featuring lots of great stand-up people. So let us head to the Tara Theatre, where this week's acts at this regular comedy night are Funmbi Omotayo, Naomi Cooper, Joseph Emslie, Suzie Preece and compere Gareth Kane. Head to the venue website here for more info and to book.

Simon Munnery's Jerusalem | Leicester Square Theatre | 1 Mar (pictured)
"Using William Blake's poem (B-side to the English national anthem) and The Fall's take on it as a springboard, Simon endeavours to serve up satire, comedy and poetry with one eye on the distant past, and the other locked laser-like on the future. As he says, it's clearly a recipe for disaster, but what's wrong with that? Something will come of it and you can call it art". A comedy legend, so doesn't really need me to sell him to you. Just click here to book.

No Direction Home | Soho Theatre | 4 Mar/15 Apr/28 May
Oooh, and here's another line up show, and it's also another regular night, this time 'No Direction Home', which is "the UK's first - and funniest - refugee comedy collective, plus their special guests". The upcoming March show features Sophie Duker and Fatiha El-Ghorri, whilst the next two shows currently have Sara Pascoe, Laura Smyth and Nabil Abdulrashid slated to appear. Click here.


SHORT STOPS>>

Land Of Lost Content | Arcola Theatre | 27 Feb-2 Mar (pictured)
Now we are into theatrical territory and we are starting with a few shows that are doing shorter runs at a venue near you. Edfringe success 'The Land Of Lost Content' is about Henry and Jake, and tells the story of their friendship and adolescence growing up in a small town. Henry moves away and, when he returns, is forced to face up to memories that he left behind. Head to the venue website here for all the details.

Cold, Dark Matters | Theatre503 | 27-28 Feb
So, that one was about small towns, this one is about rural life, and it sounds really intriguing, a dark satirical comedy that sees a newcomer to the area finding themselves in a community where all is not as it seems: "Colin has moved to Cornwall. Below his new home stands a shed. Forgotten. Unloved. Ideal for growing in...and according to one curious stranger, soon to be blown up". More London performances to come in March, but for now click here.

The Sobcentre | Jack Studio | 27 Feb-2 Mar
"Jon wakes up with a severe head injury, no memory of who he is, or where on earth he's ended up. In a bizarre new-wave clinic named The Sobcentre he listens to the strange stories of the sad people who live there attempting to understand their lives - or is he just trying to feel better about himself?" Sounds like an interesting premise, doesn't it? And yes, it's another dark comedy. Dark comedy is life. Click here.


LONGER RUNS>>

Uncle Vanya | Orange Tree Theatre | 2 Mar-13 Apr
OK, on to your longer runs opening this week, starting with this production of 'Uncle Vanya' at the Orange Tree Theatre. I wouldn't advise you to hang about when booking your tickets though, because this production is selling out pretty quickly, especially the second-week performances, but probably not surprising given this is adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and stars that James Lance off the telly as Vanya. Click here.

Gail Louw season | Playground Theatre | 27 Feb-6 Apr
Well, I've put this in the long runs section, but actually what I'm flagging here is a series of short runs, of plays all written by the renowned Gail Louw. Up first, from 27 Feb-3 Mar, is solo show 'Blonde Poison' starring Fiona Ramsay, and productions of 'Rika's Rooms' (a world premiere), 'The Girl In The Green Jumper' and 'Storming' follow. For more information on all four shows see the Playground Theatre listings here.

Scarlet Sunday | Omnibus Theatre | 28 Feb-17 Mar (pictured)
"On a scorching summer's day, art curator Yasmin arrives at an old house in the middle of nowhere in the hopes to shed light on the enigmatic life of the late great artist Ray Blackwood. There she meets Ava, the artist's daughter, who guards a haunting secret intertwined with the mysterious painting 'Scarlet Sunday'". One final interesting theatre thing for you, focusing on obsession, dark secrets and the cult of celebrity. Details 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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