MONDAY 6 MAY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
CHESS HAYDEN: ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS
We here at TW Towers love a dark comedy, so my interest was immediately piqued when I heard about 'Rock, Paper, Scissors', which is on at The Hope Theatre shortly.

It's about Dylan and Lucy, who are best friends and housemates, but after a tragic accident their relationship descends into chaos.

The play was written and is directed by Chess Hayden. I arranged a quick chat to find out more about the play, the cast, and her career and plans for the future.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Rock, Paper, Scissors' is on at The Hope Theatre from 7-11 May. For more information and to book tickets see the venue website here.  



EMILY WOOF: BLIZZARD
Emily Woof lit up the Edinburgh Fringe back in the nineties with a trilogy of one-woman shows, and last year returned to the Scottish capital for the first time in more than 20 years with 'Blizzard', which - entirely unsurprisingly - won a lot of acclaim. 

A lot happened in between, of course, as the writer and actress became a well known star of stage and screen before stepping back to focus more on writing - including the creation of a number of highly regarded novels - and theatre. 

The show, created by and starring Emily, and directed and dramaturged by Hamish McColl, begins a run at Soho Theatre this week. I spoke to her to find out more. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Blizzard' is on at Soho Theatre from 7-25 May, head to the venue website here for all the details and to book your tickets.



ALEX LOWE: CLINTON BAPTISTE - ROLLER GHOSTER
Pretty sure comedy aficionados out there will be very much aware of comedy character Clinton Baptiste, and you may even be old enough to remember seeing him in his first outing on 'Phoenix Nights' twenty-plus years ago.   

This week he's headed to London's Leicester Square Theatre with his latest show 'Roller Ghoster' as part of a very comprehensive tour of the UK.

It's the talented Alex Lowe who plays him, so I arranged a chat ahead of his upcoming dates in the capital. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Alex appears as Clinton Baptiste in 'Roller Ghoster' from 10-12 May at Leicester Square Theatre, see the venue website here for more information and to book. The dates are part of a very long national tour of the UK - click here for all dates and locations. 


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


FESTIVAL STUFF>>

No, But Where Are You Really From | Theatre Peckham | 10 May (pictured)
Hello again everyone, you'll be no doubt absolutely delighted to hear that we are starting this week with festival vibes, starting over at the lovely Peckham Fringe. This week's pick is by Monique Eleanor, who performs a series of poems about race, identity, grief and home, and it sounds amazing. Check out info on that here - and see all the festival listings right about here.

Re-Enchant Poetic Experiments For A New World | Cockpit Theatre | 7-12 May
Onward to the Cockpit Theatre for the return of Re-Enchant, a week long festival of performances by groundbreaking poets, with events including shows, workshops, panels and more. Expect to see the likes of Pete The Temp, Matthias Moret, Olayinka Sobitan-Solomon and John Hegley. Head to the venue website here for a full list of events and line-up information.

Bloom 2024 | Battersea Arts Centre | 9-24 May
And forward to Bloom 2024, which isn't, if I am entirely honest, a festival, rather a strand, but you know we occasionally like to play fast and loose with the absolute truth around here. Anyway, what it consists of is a series of works that have been developed at BAC over the last year, presented as double bills with Katy Baird's 'Get Off'. Find the different featured shows in the venue listings here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Brown Sauce Comedy Club | 2Northdown | 9 May
Hurrah, it's time for some funny stuff, and boy could I do with a laugh this week. I suppose I say that so often you'd be forgiven for thinking it's my permanent state of being. I mean, it probably actually is. Anyway, I've got my eye on this upcoming night at 2Northdown boasting a line-up led by Shaparak Khorsandi and featuring Sharlin Jahan, Daman Bamrah, Kiran Saggu, Vidya Divakaran and James Trickey. More here.

Gillian Cosgriff: Actually, Good | Soho Theatre | 7-18 May
As you know, we are always keen to tell you about acts that went down an absolute storm up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and yes, here is one of them, a show by Gillian Cosgriff that won lots of fans in 2023, both in Scotland and over at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Contains songs, stand-up and material about things that make you feel better. Head to the venue website here for more.

Marcel Lucont: Les Enfants Terribles - A Gameshow For Awful Children | ArtsDepot | 12 May (pictured)
This one is for children, but I thought I might as well put it in the comedy section because all you grown ups are going to enjoy this just as much as your kids. Seriously, non-parents, borrow a nephew or something, and go see the UK's favourite 'French' comedian pitting children against their adults in a family gameshow aimed at finding the most awful child. Click here.


SHOWS WITH MUSIC>>

A Song Of Songs | The Park Theatre | 9 May-15 Jun
Wow, and not only do we have a funny section this week, we have a section full of shows with musical elements, and that makes me happy. First let's head to The Park Theatre for 'A Song Of Songs', a critically acclaimed musical play featuring world music influenced by the sounds of modern European Flamenco, Klezmer and the Middle-East, which tells the story of a young woman in a loveless marriage who discovers she has a secret admirer. Click here.

Polly - The Heartbreak Opera | Pleasance Theatre | 8-11 May
"In a tacky beach resort on a storm hit island we meet jilted brides, drag king politicians, a pregnant murderess, and a pirate boyband called Blazin' Squid". An adaptation of 'Polly' - John Gay's banned sequel to 'The Beggar's Opera' - that promises to be riotous, radical and funny, as well as an "unashamed expression of female rage, of love, loss and revenge". Head to the venue website here for more info.

Now, I See | Stratford East | 10 May-1 Jun (pictured)
Described as a powerful fusion of movement, song and text, 'Now, I See' is Lanre Malaolu's second instalment of a trilogy that focuses on being a black man in contemporary Britain. Exploring themes of forgiveness and brotherhood, it's about two brothers, reunited at a remembrance celebration for their sibling, who are forced to confront their shared past. Click here.


THEATRICAL GOODIES>>

Body 115 | Jack Studio | 7-11 May (pictured)
Well, we've already had some theatre today in various sections, but yay, here's some more. I've tipped this award winning show before, written and performed by Jan Noble and directed by Justin Butcher, so you know it's going to be great. It's described as a poetic odyssey, part invocation, part rain dance, and sees a journey on the London underground become a descent into the underworld. Info here.

Cutting The Tightrope: The Divorce Of Politics From Art | Arcola Theatre | 10-18 May
"We are living through a moment of horror. Brutality abroad is justified or ignored by our own government, while new police powers suppress protest at home. There is much to talk about. But, readings, exhibitions and shows are being cancelled". A collection of short plays responding to warnings that art should not be political. Read more about what to expect right about here.

Reanicorp | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | 7-11 May
This one's intrigued me, because it explores the idea of prolonging life via AI, and whether it would be worth it. "In a time of disconnect, reconnect. In a time of loss, regain. In a time of death, rebirth. What if you didn't have to say goodbye to your loved ones just yet? Introducing Reanicorp, a company that confronts you with your grief face to face, literally". See this page here for info.


THREE MORE GREAT SHOWS>>

Stop Trying To Look At My D**k! | Canal Café Theatre | 13 May-1 Jun
Look at that, we made it to the final section, in which we will find a further selection of rather cool shows of fairly diverse genres. This one might have been at home in the musicy show section because it includes some rap music, but it's also an autobiographical black comedy inspired by a collection of letters and stories about creator Jacob Grunberger's father, who passed away when he was a child. Find out more here.

The Colour Of Dinosaurs | Polka Theatre | 11 May-9 Jun (pictured)
Oh look, here's another one that could have been in the musical section, but perhaps it's better here as this one is for children. It's about dinosaurs, obviously; it promises soaring music, catchy songs and mind-blowing science; and I think people older than the six to twelve age range it's aimed at might well enjoy it a lot. Anyway, find out lots more on the venue website right about here.

Shelley | Camden People's Theatre | 10-11 May
"When directing 'The Shining', Stanley Kubrick reportedly made Shelley Duvall film one scene 127 times. It took three weeks. By the end of it, her hands were scraped raw and her voice was hoarse. Should we be watching her? Is this acting or just a woman being genuinely tortured?" A multimedia burlesque fantasia about Shelley Duvall exploring the idea of whether the horror movie genre is as misogynistic as it seems. 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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