MONDAY 18 MARCH 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
BEN MUSGRAVE: INDIGO GIANT
I was immediately interested when I heard about 'Indigo Giant', a play about the history of indigo cultivation in 19th Century Bengal - which was enforced by brutal British colonists - and which focuses on a newly married couple who come up against them. 

The play is on at Soho Poly this week, and will be back in London - at Theatro Technis - in early April. 

I wanted to find out more about the play and the writer behind it, so I spoke to playwright Ben Musgrave ahead of the upcoming shows. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Indigo Giant' is on at Soho Poly from 19-20 Mar before heading to Oxford Old Fire Station 22-23 Mar, and then London's Theatro Technis 4-6 Apr.


Shows to see in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


FUNNY STUFF>>

NewsRevue | Seven Dials Playhouse | 21-23 Mar
How are we doing everyone? Are some of you maybe really looking forward to an upcoming Easter break? I'll bet. But in the meantime let's leaven the is-it-spring-yet malaise with some laughy stuff. And I think it's about time that we reminded anyone who needs it about the general existence of the excellent, extremely long running 'NewsRevue', which you can see soon at Seven Dials Playhouse. Click here.

Maybe Dick | White Bear Theatre | 19-23 Mar
Pretty sure you will all have heard of 'Moby Dick'. Well here, Herman Melville's classic tale is retold, and you can expect the story of revenge and retribution to have a very comical spin - expect inventive physical and verbal comedy along with Captain Ahab's relentless pursuit of the great white whale. "All plot will be lampooned. All jokes will be harpooned". Yeah, I think I am very up for all of that. See this page here.

Hostage | Etcetera Theatre | 20 Mar (pictured)
It's been a while since we saw this excellent show from Bad Clowns up at our beloved edfringe, so I was excited to see this one turn up at the Etcetera this week, given that our reviewer praised its "delectable silliness", its fast pace, and its very clever performers. "It is the opening night of 'The Worrisome Troubles Of Timothy Potts' and its cast cannot wait. However, the playwright has escaped from prison to see his 'masterpiece'. Are you ready to be taken hostage?" More here.


HISTORICAL WOMEN>>

Mary's Daughters | The Space | 19-30 Mar
I feel rather fortunate to have a really nice theme for this section. I love women, I love history, and I love it when a plan comes together, so I'm smiling. This first show is about the rather legendary intellectual Mary Wollstonecraft and her children, the somewhat forgotten Fanny Imlay, and the probably-never-to-be-forgotten Mary Shelley. Head to the venue website here for more info and to book.

The Queen Is Mad | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 19-23 Mar (pictured)
Up next is a "musical psychodrama" inspired by the true story of Joanna La Loca, which tells a tale of power, betrayal and rage. "The elder sister of Catherine Of Aragon, Joanna came to inherit the throne of Castile in 1504 - but her father and husband conspired to usurp her power by claiming she was mad and locking her away. What if 'Joanna The Mad' wasn't crazy but furious?" Pertinent question. Head right this way.

Mad Women: The Life - And Death - Of Three Women Artists Living With Bipolar | Etcetera Theatre | 19-22 + 27-28 Mar
And the theme continues. This show focuses on three women from Latin America - Frida Khalo, Violeta Parra and Judith Marquez - and their struggles with bipolar disorder, offering a fictional portrayal of their experiences. Promising a brutally honest conversation about the status of women and the roles forced on them, it "fights the stereotypes and stigmas of what has historically meant to 'be a woman' with mental health challenges". Info here.


MORE WOMAN SHOWS>>

Fat Chance | Theatre503 | 19 Mar-20 Mar
Yes! More women! Less historical ones this time, though all of them have their own history, of course. This is a one woman play by Rachel Stockdale that explores her true life experience of weight gain, going from a size eight to a size eighteen. This play is for... "anyone who's felt like they had to shrink themselves, who's adapted to be more palatable to others, who's ever put on or lost weight and been treated differently, who had free school dinners, who feels they don't fit". Click here.

Am I Pretty When I Cry? | The Hope Theatre | 24 Mar, 26 +27 May
Serious themes here, as a young woman deals with the psychological effects of sexual assault, as well as grief for the perpetrator. "Having moved away to escape the people and memories of her small hometown, she finds herself trapped and isolated, stuck thinking over the events that occurred one summer more than six years ago, again and again". Head to the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.

Wendy Houstoun: Watch It! | Soho Theatre | 20-23 Mar (pictured)
"More stand-up than dance around, 'Watch It!' asks questions about identity, personal truth and political ideology in a ridiculous game show for one". The excellent Wendy Houstoun, who has been performing for forty-plus years, teams up with Kate Champion and Hannes Langolf for what might be her last show. "Is it possible to ask questions without being cast as a reactionary? Is self-censorship driving thought underground?" Find out more here.


MORE LOVELY STUFF>>

Foam | Finborough Theatre | 19 Mar-13 Apr
There's no theme for this section, it's just a collection of really good things. First up, 'Foam' at the Finborough, which looks at identity and right wing extremist ideology alongside the skinhead and gay scenes of 1970s and 1980s London. "1973, a public lavatory. Nicky shaves his head, watched by an older man. Publicly, Nicky is a skinhead. And a Neo-Nazi. But right now, in this place, that doesn't matter". Details here.

Tess | ArtsDepot | 20-21 Mar
I suppose this one might have fit in quite well in the womanly sections somewhere, though I suppose Tess Durbeyfield is a well known fictional, not historical, character. In any case, the excellent Ockham's Razor is behind this fab retelling, which weaves together Thomas Hardy's words with the physicality of circus to explore the themes of female relationships, sexual desire, consent, privilege and poverty. Click here.

The W.I.G Of Life | Camden People's Theatre | 19 Mar (pictured)
And finally, one last pick from Camden People's Theatre's excellent Sprint Festival, featuring new and in progress works, which comes to an end shortly. This one is really interesting - an "absurd, laugh-out-loud investigation of humanity's impact through time" - and I think you should see it, but do also check out what else you can see at the festival in the next few days - take a look at the listings 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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