MONDAY 20 MAY 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
EMILY LOUIZOU: FABULOUS CREATURES
I've always had a soft spot for the ancient Greek myths and I love it when creative people use them as the inspiration or basis for contemporary work. So it's no wonder I was interested when I heard about 'Fabulous Creatures', which opens at Arcola Theatre this week. 

It's from a company we've taken an interest in before - Collide Theatre - and focuses on the female monsters that feature in Homer's 'The Odyssey', though of course there's a modern twist. 

It's a musical piece of theatre, co-written by the company's AD Emily Louizou and Quentin Beroud, with music by Irene Skylakaki. I spoke to Emily to find out more.   

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Fabulous Creatures' is on at Arcola Theatre from 22 May-15 Jun. For more information and to book tickets see the venue website here.


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


KID STUFF>>

Handa's Surprise | Polka Theatre | 22 May-23 Jun (pictured)
Right, stuff for the small ones to begin with. Partly just because I feel like it but also because the end of our tipping dates for this week fall into half term territory for most of you. Hopefully there will be some fine weather for you to enjoy the outdoors, but if not, there's 'Handa's Surprise'! It's for the younger element - two to five years - and is, of course, based on the popular story book of the same name. Info here.

A Birthday For Bear | Upstairs At The Gatehouse | 21 May-9 Jun
We're off to north London now for 'A Birthday For Bear', which is recommended for children aged three and up, and promises a story of friendship and persistence: Bear doesn't like birthdays at all, and is distinctly unimpressed by all the accoutrements associated with them - balloons, songs, parties, cards - so his friend Mouse sets out to show him how joyful a birthday can be. More information and tickets right about here.

Spot's Birthday Party | ArtsDepot | 25-29 May
Ohh, another birthday themed show, and this time it features perennially favourite story star Spot the dog. It's a new adaptation of Eric Hill's picture book of the same name, interactive and full of party games, and featuring Spot's mates Steve the monkey, Tom the crocodile and Helen the hippo. Suitable for small ones aged two years and up and their families - expect the best birthday party ever. More here.


FUNNY STUFF>>

Christopher Macarthur Boyd: Scary Times | Soho Theatre | 23-25 May
Hurrah, time for some grown up funny stuff by some funny grown ups for all you funny-loving grown ups. And don't be surprised if there are some tips here that invoke the fact that we first came across the relevant act's sterling work up at the old edfringe. And in this case, yes we did. We've acclaimed him, and so has everyone else. Quickly head to this page here to book tickets before they all run out.

Eleanor Conway: Talk Dirty To Me | Woolwich Works | 24 May (pictured)
"In a world where women in heterosexual relationships still do the bulk of housework and childcare yet orgasm the least during partnered sex - Conway asks are we really that far along in the fight for gender equality?" It's a very good question, and award winner Eleanor Conway makes a much appreciated - yes, acclaimed - and hilarious stab at discussing it. Head to the Woolwich Works website here to book.

Attention All Passengers | Golden Goose Theatre | 26-28 May
This one's a bit different than the other two, really, because they're stand-up I guess and this is a show of comedy sketches, but they seem to be very much linked by a theme: Rodney is on the Tube, travelling to work, but the train announcer has other ideas about their final destination. He and his fellow passengers travel through sketches and songs. For more information and to book, head to the venue website here.


FESTIVAL STUFF>>

The Windrush Warriors | Theatre Peckham | 24-25 May
Right, onto festival stuff, because we know how much you love all that. We'll start by making a return visit to Peckham Fringe, where there's a number of great shows you could and should see this week, but this is the one I picked out. It's a dramatic comedy about a black woman whose immigration status is being investigated, and whose friends rally round her and stage a fight back. Find out more about it here.

Futures Festival: It's The Economy, Stupid! | Pleasance Theatre | 23-25 May
Over to the Pleasance Theatre for a show plucked from their Futures Festival, a line up of works in progress curated by different Pleasance Associate Artists. This week it's the turn of Worklight Theatre, whose week is entitled 'The Future Is Booming', and this show is by the acclaimed Joe Sellman-Leava and Dylan Howells, who look at how the economy wins elections, and how their lives have been shaped by the economies they grew up in. More here.

A Festival Of Korean Dance | The Place | 22 May-1 Jun (pictured)
This festival consists of several alluring shows that are on at The Place as well as on tour, and - of course - it's all Korean. It includes work such as 'Burnt Offering' by 99Artcompany, which is based on the traditional dance 'Seungmu', and looks at how many such traditional dances have their origins in religious rites. For more information on all the events, take a look at the listings on The Place's website here.


THEATRICAL STUFF>>

Suite In Three Keys | Orange Tree Theatre | 24 May-6 Jul
This one's kinda complicated, because it's three plays by Noel Coward, all set in a luxury Swiss hotel suite in the 1960s. One is a full length play, 'A Song At Twilight', and the other two are shorts being presented as a double bill. So you see them separately, and they are scheduled on different days, so make sure you know what you are booking for. But also, it is possible on some days to see all three, so you could. Anyway, great writer, great cast, great director, click here.

The Girl In The Green Room | Jack Studio | 21-15 May
"A young writer dives into a never before seen bookshop for shelter on his way home one autumn evening. Despite nobody answering his calls he has the distinct feeling that he is not alone. When he discovers a secret room hidden behind an old mahogany bookcase things take a turn for the weird…" A critically acclaimed one man show telling an alluring ghost story inspired by Walter De La Mare's 'The Green Room'. More here.

Poisoned Beds | Barons Court Theatre | 21-25 May (pictured)
This one ticks a few boxes for me because of the historical nature of it, a women's rights element, and the fact that it's a one person play written by great writers. Set in 1918, it's about Elizabeth Wells, who is planning a concert to celebrate women's suffrage at the end of the Great War, but it's also about the death of the Victorian oyster industry, which is intriguing. It's also funny as well as poignant, so what are you waiting for? Click here.


MORE GREAT STUFF>>

Porridge Boy | Greenwich Theatre | 23-26 May (pictured)
Anyone fancy a musical? Then you're in luck because there's actually more than one show with music in this week's final section. First let's head over to Greenwich Theatre for 'Porridge Boy', which is a new show written and directed by singer-songwriter Brendan Shelly that's set in Ireland in 1979. The boy of the title is trying to stop his family being ripped apart by grief. Expect wit and warmth, more info here.

Emerging Artists Showcase | Etcetera Theatre | 22 May
You know how much we like new and emerging stuff here at TW Towers - it's kind of how we ended up doing this stuff, and the reason why we are so enthusiastic about events like the old edfringe that are jam packed with new work and original ideas. Anyway, here's a night full of work by new and emerging artists: two shows (one at 6pm, one at 8pm), each showcasing different work and people. Find out more here.

Piece Of Me | Camden People's Theatre | 21 May-1 Jun
This is a "cross arts performance" and - as promised in tip one of this section - there's a musical element to this. It's created by Claire Gaydon - whose work we've appreciated in the past - and who is heading to Camden People's Theatre supported by her childhood pop group... It's a Britney-inspired show that looks at the ethics of surveillance and the cult of celebrity. Find out more about it on the venue website 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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