MONDAY 3 JUNE 2024 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
CHLOE CHRISTIAN AND OLIVIA DOWD: GRILLS
We're always excited about festival stuff as you know, so here at TW Towers we've been awaiting the start of Camden People's Theatre's next one, The Camden Roar. And when I heard about the festival's headlining show 'Grills', I definitely wanted to find out more. 

The show looks back at events of the 1980s and the history of a local organisation, the Camden Lesbian Centre & Black Lesbian Group, how it was forced to close, and how its work faded from memory. It's a look at how queer spaces continue to be lost, and the joys and frustrations of queer community. 

The show is presented by Mirrorball, led by Chloe Christian and Olivia Dowd. I spoke to them to find out more about the show and the creatives behind it.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Grills' is on as part of The Camden Roar festival at Camden People's Theatre from 4-22 Jun. More information on the venue website here.


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


FESTIVAL STUFF>>

Just A Minute | Omnibus Theatre | 8-9 Jun (pictured)
Yay! Festivals! Two whole festival sections this week, because there's so much festivally stuff going on. And, as it's Pride month, let's start over at the Omnibus Theatre, and the return - for its ninth year - of the venue's 96 Festival, a "spectacular celebration of queerness and theatre". My first pick is 'Just A Minute', a comedy written and performed by Conor Murray that had an acclaimed run at the Dublin Fringe Festival. More here.

Drawing On The Bottle | Camden People's Theatre | 7-8 Jun
Woohoo! Camden People's Theatre do lots of festivals and we are very much here for all of them. This month it's the turn of The Camden Roar, a festival of creativity celebrating the borough, headlined by 'Grills', the show that features in our Q&A this week. So obviously consider that, but also consider 'Drawing On The Bottle', a show about alcohol featuring drawing, music, comedy and pathos. Info on that here, all the festival listings here.

Improvised Opera | Home Community Cafe | 7-8 Jun
What glorious fest can be next, I hear you ask? Well, it's now time to head over to the wonderful Wandsworth Fringe, which begins this week, and runs until 23 Jun. As with all these festivals, we'll look at more stuff in the next couple of weeks, but our first choice here is going to be 'Improvised Opera' from Improvesarios, because we love improv and we love opera. Read about that here, but also do yourself a favour and take a look at the extensive line up here.


MORE FESTIVAL STUFF>>

05 Fest: Redacted | Roundhouse | 8 Jun
Hurrah, festivals phase two. Though to be fair one of these isn't actually on at a festival but I'll explain later. First, we're going to head over to Camden's Roundhouse for a show extracted from the excellent line up for this year's Last Word Festival, which, as you probably already know, is all about the spoken word. This particular show has an interesting premise and a promising line up, so read all about it here.

Veyil | Theatre Peckham | 6-8 Jun
We've made quite a few visits to the lovely Peckham Fringe over the last few weeks, so you're definitely aware that it's going on. Sadly, it's now nearly at an end and this will be the last pick for this time. 'Veyil' is a modern myth set at a time when our ability to "see beauty" has been stripped away, and offers a fantastical story fuelled by religion and folklore that explores our obsession with beauty. Info right about here.

The Rest Of Our Lives | Battersea Arts Centre | 7-22 Jun (pictured)
So this is the one that isn't actually on as part of a festival, but it's here because it first caught our attention up at the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of years ago and won much acclaim: "Jo is an old dancer, George an old clown. A cabaret of life and near death. Two middle-aged lives in an eclectic, spontaneous, predictable and random decline". Which sounds rather serious, but actually, this is joyful. Find out more here.


RHYTHMICAL STUFF>>

Salt | The Space | 4-8 Jun
We've actually already had some rhythmical stuff in the festival sections, so we have lots of that sort of stuff for you this week, don't we? I am really intrigued by this one, set in coastal Norfolk in the Eighteenth Century, about a young fisherman who lives with his domineering mother, and becomes enchanted by a singer with supernatural gifts. Expect sea shanties, dances, hymns and folk songs, and a very interesting story. Details here.

No Love Songs | Southwark Playhouse Elephant | 4-15 Jun
Here's another established edfringe success for you, now headed to Southwark Playhouse for a short-ish run. It's inspired by the real life experiences of Kyle Falconer of Scottish indie band The View, and of partner and co-creator Laura Wilde, and it features songs taken from Falconer's second solo album. It's about the challenges of parenthood as the couple navigate their lives together. Book here.

Yamato - The Drummers Of Japan | Peacock Theatre | 4-22 Jun (pictured)
Hurrah, we've always loved Taiko drumming (and had our first exposure to it, as you might expect, up in the Scottish capital one summer), so it was pleasing to hear that the brilliant Yamato drummers are returning to the Peacock Theatre this month with their latest high energy show. They've performed all over the world, challenging the boundaries of this centuries old tradition. Read more and sort tickets here.


SHORT STOPS>>

Ivo Graham: Carousel | Park Theatre | 4-7 Jun
Right, some relatively short runs for you now, so as ever, don't go missing it and then saying that you weren't warned that it's only on for a few days. Pretty sure you all know who Ivo Graham is, because even if you haven't seen his live stand-up you must have seen him on TV. Anyway, this isn't stand-up, it's a play, his debut theatre show, and it's about nostalgia and memories of the past. It sounds amazing, book here.

Animal Farm | Greenwich Theatre | 5-8 Jun
More theatre for you, and this time it's Van Badham's adaptation of a very established classic. It's a great book to put on stage, as I am sure you are more than aware, an engaging and satirical political fable involving human-like pigs. Also: good for a family outing with teenagers, I reckon, especially if they're studying the book, which some probably are. See the venue website here for info and to get your tickets.

Crizards: This Means War | Soho Theatre | 5-8 Jun (pictured)
Yay, comedy time, and yes, yet again, we're talking about a show that we first heard about up at the Edinburgh Fringe, where we interviewed the sketch comedy duo. It's a "wonky war epic" that's won much acclaim and is directed by Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Jordan Brookes. There's yet more rhythm here too, as Crizards "provide the soundtrack to their bulletproof patter as they stumble into a world of false memories and tall tales from the battlefield". Click here.


MORE FAB THINGS TO SEE>>

Being Mr Wickham | Jermyn Street Theatre | 5-22 Jun
Final section, and it's a collection of rather interesting theatre for you. Back in the nineties, a particular TV adaptation of 'Pride And Prejudice' captured the heart of the nation, and if you watched that, you'll maybe remember that Adrian Lukis played that cad Wickham. Well, Mr Lukis is headed to JST this week with his Wickham-based solo show, in which the total bounder tells his side of the story. All the info here.

Vegetables | A Secret Location In Clerkenwell | 8-23 Jun
Here's another intriguing one: a new and immersive, site-specific experience inspired by Julia Davis, Charlie Kaufmann and 'Black Mirror'. It's a bizarre story of genius and madness focused on a scientist who has some interesting claims to make about what she can do with vegetables, and you're invited into her underground research centre to test her groundbreaking machine. You can "apply" for tickets here.

The Good Women | The Cockpit | 5-15 Jun (pictured)
"It's the 1960s, the world is changing. Protesters take the streets, hippies celebrate free love. Not in Switzerland, where women still don't have the vote and are legally confined to kitchen and household. Bette, the star of a regional TV cooking show, and Trudy, a housewife, are about to change that". An already-acclaimed, funny and romantic play by an all-female team, inspired by a true story. 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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