MONDAY 29 APRIL 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
SONALI BHATTACHARYYA: LIBERATION SQUARES
I was immediately interested when I heard about 'Liberation Squares' because it sheds light on an important issue - the controversial government surveillance programme Prevent - while focusing on the lives of young women. And - bonus - it features live beatboxing. 

The play is the work of the talented Sonali Bhattacharyya. I spoke to her to find out more about the show, the creative team behind it and, of course, the playwright herself. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Liberation Squares' is on at Brixton House from 2-11 May. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.



PAUL F TAYLOR: HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
We here at TW Towers have long been fans of Paul F Taylor, having been first exposed to his excellent work up at edfringe, so it's safe to say that he's very much a favourite for us. 

So, when I heard that he'd be making a stop at Soho Theatre soon with his latest show, I definitely wanted to catch up. Plus, 'Head In The Clouds' has an extra hook, because in it Taylor touches on his experiences of ADHD, a topic that's very much of interest to me, and no doubt others. 

I spoke to him, ahead of his upcoming London performance. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Paul F Taylor brings 'Head In The Clouds' to Soho Theatre on 4 May. Head to 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.


KID STUFF>>

Skydiver | Polka Theatre | 1-5 May (pictured)
I think it may well have been a couple of weeks since we recommended anything for the little ones, so let's start with a few options for them. First up, 'Skydiver' at Polka Theatre for a visually compelling dance piece from Xenia Aidonopoulou, suitable for children aged three to five and their families. Prepare to "soar through the fluffy clouds where flocks of birds and butterflies flutter". Yay, click here.

The Curious Rat | Little Angel Theatre | 4-21 Jul
This next one is aimed at audiences aged three to eight years, and tells the story of a lonely city rat who lives under Waterloo Bridge and who wishes he could fly like the pigeons he sees up in the sky above him. One day he follows one of these birds into the city and adventures ensue… It's written by Chloe Stevens and Miles Mitchell and delivered via projected animation and puppetry. Find out more about it here.

Ten In The Bed | Half Moon Theatre | 4 May + dates in Jun
Finally, 'Ten In The Bed', which, "proves there's always enough room to have fun, even when the world is at its most daunting". It's suitable for ages three to eight, takes a humorous approach, and is on this weekend, but then a load more dates in June. Tickets are being held for schools parties, and tickets generally seem to be going quickly, so might be worth booking ahead for June if you can't make it in May. See the venue website here.


COMEDY>>

Hilarious At Hoxton Hall with Jen Brister | Hoxton Hall | 2 May
Right, grown ups, it's your turn! And arguably your turn for the whole of the rest of these tips, so, you know, stay tuned. Plus, in this section, ready your laughing muscles, for we are going to take in some quality funny stuff. First we're off to Hoxton Hall for a date with the excellent Jen Brister and a line up of fab fellow comedians to include Flo & Joan, Sophie Duker, Catherine Bohart, Tatty Macleod and host Katie Green. More here.

Ray Bradshaw: Doppelginger | Leicester Square Theatre | 3 May
"Ray Bradshaw is forever being told 'you look just like my mate…' It's been happening for years and he's worried about it. Either someone is cloning generic bald men or, there's a ginger bearded bald man out there who's doing a bad job of stalking Ray". In his latest show, this award winning comedian is on a quest to find the person who most looks like him. Head to the venue website here to find out more.

Bangers And Nash | The Albany | 3 May (pictured)
Another great line up show for you now and this one's at The Albany. This is a new regular night featuring BBC New Comedy Awards finalist Chantel Nash plus lots of great guests. This month's fab collection of acts comprises Rachel Fairburn, Abi Clarke, Dom Mcgovern and Khalid Raheem. They're all really good, and there's not enough room to go on about it here, so head to this page here and read more about them all.


CLASSIC STUFF>>

Twelfth Night | Regent's Park Open Air Theatre | 1 May-8 Jun (pictured)
Right, time for some classic stuff, beginning with one of my old faves (well, you know, I studied this for GCSE so it will always have a, um, special place in my heart), the bardy comedy of mistaken identity that is 'Twelfth Night'. As the blurb suggests, it's a celebration of love, and the other very attractive factor here is that it's on at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, so hugely atmospheric and this must mean it's nearly summer…? Hurrah. Click here.

Antigone | Jack Studio | 30 Apr-4 May
Something indoors now, and another classic text, this time from ancient Greek tragedy expert Sophocles. This staging, translated by Ian Johnston and adapted by Little Homma Productions, looks like it might be set in more modern times, but the story is very much the same: "In the wake of a bitter civil war, Creon refuses to bury Antigone's brother, declaring him a traitor. Her defiant act of love and rebellion triggers a thunderous wave of repercussions". More here.

King Lear | Riverside Studios | 2-12 May
And now, back to the Bard, kind of - in the sense that we won't be hearing any of his words. For this is non-verbal theatre that promises to "transcend the boundaries of Shakespeare's plays but remain quintessentially Shakespearean". It's directed by the internationally acclaimed Shu-wing Tang, features an international cast of all female performers, and features minimalistic and stylised aesthetics. Info here.


WOMAN STUFF>>

A Word For Mother | Upstairs At The Gatehouse | 1-26 May
And speaking of female performers, here's a whole section full of more stuff that's about women, or you know, has a strong female presence. 'A Word For Mother' is about three sisters reunited by their mother's unexpected death, whose bond is threatened as emotions are heightened and childhood lies revealed. Expect an interesting exploration of family dynamics, head to the venue website here.

Sappho | Southwark Playhouse Elephant | 3-25 May (pictured)
"The poet Sappho creates a new world in her own words. She breaks the rules of her society and elevates her gender. Sappho has fallen in love with a woman but her family and a civilisation on the precipice of democracy have other plans for her". A production that fuses ancient poetry with contemporary dance and promises to be a "thrilling adult fairy tale of mythic proportions that may - or may not - have happened". More here.

Glorious | Bread & Roses Theatre | 6-8 May
Actor Laura Patch - who was in one of my favourite things, 'Star Stories', back in the 00s, and lots of other great stuff like 'Mystic' and 'After Life' since - is the creator and performer of this fab new play, which won fans at the recent Leicester Comedy Festival. It's about Gloria, a woman who "could have been a star", but is now turning up late and drunk to her daughter's play. Find out more about it and book your tickets here.


SHORT STOPS>>

Run Black Girl Run | Theatre Peckham | 3-4 May (pictured)
This may be a short stop, but it's a very important one, because it's my first pick from the small-but-perfectly-formed Peckham Fringe. The show focuses on Enitan, "a vibrant, outspoken Nigerian British girl who attends a PE lesson that changes her life". Focusing on the theme of why we move and what moves us, it promises much joy, drama and movement. Find out more about it here, and the rest of the Peckham Fringe line up here.

Murmuration | Etcetera Theatre | 1 May
I'll be honest, this caught my eye because it's called 'Murmuration' and I must admit to being quite partial to one. But, having been drawn in by the notion of evening gatherings of starlings, I was pleased to discover that I was actually interested in also seeing this show, because it's about a man "isolated in a confused and data-drenched world" and features surreal comedy, animation and video. Details here.

So That You May Go Beyond The Sea | Camden People's Theatre | 2-4 May
"Meet real-life partners Joey and Gabs. This is a show about the show they never made. The true story of how a 1904 opera caused the breakdown of their relationship". So that grabbed me the moment I read it, so I imagine it will draw you in too. Joey, thinking of ending things with his Italian boyfriend, looks to his parents' interracial relationship for guidance. Head to the venue website here for info and to book.


LONGER RUNS>>

Between The Lines | New Diorama Theatre | 3 May-1 Jun (pictured)
Wow, we made it to another final-tips-section. And this time I have some longer running goodies for you. 'Between The Lines' is an exciting new show from The Big House - a charity transforming the lives of care leavers and at-risk young people through performance - that blends traditional theatre with grime, garage and rap music, and focuses on the story of a pirate radio station and freedom of expression. Details right about here.

The Government Inspector | Marylebone Theatre | 3 May-16 Jun
I bet if you are a fan of 'Ghosts', like me, you've already got your tickets for this, because it features two of the cast - Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Martha Howe-Douglas - as well as the brilliant Dan Skinner and Dan Starkey. It's also a classic and well loved Gogol comedy of course, so there's a very broad appeal thing going on here as far as I am concerned. Anyway, lots and lots of info here, take a look.

Kunstler | The White Bear Theatre | 1-18 May
And so to the final tip for this week, and we are headed over to the White Bear Theatre for it. It's another acclaimed goodie, featuring the real life character of legendary civil rights activist attorney William Kunstler, famous for defending the Chicago Seven, amongst many other things. He's played by US veteran of Broadway, TV and film Jeff McCarthy in this two hander about a confrontation between Kunstler and a brilliant young law student. All the 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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