It's your weekly guide to culture in the capital. Chris Cooke and Tom Bragg are joined John Hoye from the cast of Edinburgh Fringe hit 'The Curing Room', which arrives at Pleasance Islington this week. Plus we chat to Yvette Cowles about her show 'Sequins On My Balcony' and Paddy Campbell about his play 'Wet House'. Richard Tyrone Jones wraps things up with a poem.

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This month a starry cast begins a run of musical revue 'Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris' at the Charing Cross Theatre. 'Any Dream Will Do' alumnus Daniel Boys appears alongside West End veterans Gina Beck and David Burt, as well as Eve Polycarpou, familiar TV/theatre face, and one half of musical duo Martha And Eve. I love, love, love Jacques Brel, so I was immediately drawn to this production. I sent some questions over to director Andrew Keates to find out more about the show. You can read the interview here.

'Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris' is on at Charing Cross Theatre until 22 Nov. See the Charing Cross Theatre website for more info and tickets.
COMEDY: Roar With Laughter w/ Sean Lock + Ed Byrne + Stewart Lee | Hammersmith Apollo | 17 Oct (pictured)
Sporting a host of not-at-all-naff comics certain to make the most of their limited time slots, this live entertainment benefit in aid of the Zoological Society Of London features the above-named creatures, and also smiley Lucy Porter, DJ Greg Burns, him-with-the-ringlets Seann Walsh, Irishman nonpareil David O'Doherty and Phil 'The Power' Nichol. Details and tickets here.

DANCE: Shadows Of War | Sadler's Wells Theatre | 17-18 Oct
Part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet's autumnal trip to Sadler's Wells is this mixed triple-bill of works, all tied by their common theme of conflict. First is Kenneth MacMillan's Maurice Ravel-scored 'La Fin du Jour', an elegy to a decadent 1930s lifestyle lost to WW2. Dame Gillian Lynne's special recreation of Robert Helpman's 1940s Glasgow-based 'Miracle In The Gorbals' is next; and to close the programme, David Bintley contrasts Scotland's natural beauty with its bloody history in 'Flowers Of The Forest', which is set to scores by Malcolm Arnold and Benjamin Britten. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Fort G | Battersea Arts Centre | 17-18 Oct

Netherlands-hailing theatre ensemble Gehring & Ketelaars present this play based on two close-knit sisters, whose lives start to drift apart when their father dies. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Paul Foot - Hovercraft Symphony In Gammon # Major | Bloomsbury Theatre | 18 Oct
One of the real beautiful freaks of the comic scene, sylvan wit Paul Foot kicks his latest show into gear, which is apparently it's 'to do with'... erm, fish or something? Oh well, here's the synopsis: "Glistening in the wake of last night's pearl saga, premium line-caught Sally's clam fist choir socks it to the salt babes big time baybayyyy. Cutlery cage enquiries? First come, first preserved". I give up. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY/SPOKEN WORD: Nicholas Parsons - Just A Laugh A Minute | Cutty Sark Studio Theatre | 18 Oct
Radio and real life personality Nicholas Parsons sorts through the memorabilia of his showbiz life's work and play, throwing in the odd bit of mimicry to make the stories more vivid. Details and tickets here.

KIDS/THEATRE: Flat Stanley | Polka Theatre | 18 Oct - 2 Nov
Send via airmail c/o award-winning children's playwright Mike Kenny, 'Flat' Stanley Lambchop, the boy so paper-thin he can fit in the postbox, appears in a singing, dancing – and flat fingers crossed, no shredding – musical based on the book by Mike Brown. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Greg Proops - The Smartest Man In The World | Soho Theatre | 19 Oct (pictured)
Reliable hilarity now from quick-thinking master-of-improv Greg Proops, who in his modestly-titled solo show, aka the 'Proopcast', simply sits on a chair, at a table, with a microphone, and shows what sparkling conversationalist he really is. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC/FESTIVAL: Oxjam Shoreditch Takeover | various locations, Shoreditch | 19 Oct

Taking over six modishly tiny bars and 'spaces' for a good-sized programme of shows, Oxjam's Shoreditch edition (which is, clearly, a charitable event) this year presents acts such as Kieran Leonard, DJ Tayo, Courtly Love, Ben Gomori and Chris Coco. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: MilkMilkLemonade | Ovalhouse | until 25 Oct

Profiled in this recent ThisWeek interview, Joshua Conkel's 'bittersilly' Stateside hit 'MilkMilkLemonade' follows a ribbon-dancing boy, Emory, his chicken/best friend Linda, and centrally, says Ovalhouse's co-AD Rebecca Atkinson-Lord, the "messed up way we think about gender and sexuality". Details and tickets here.
COMEDY: The Hidden Gems Of The Edinburgh Fringe w/ Wil Hodgson + Mat Ewins | Prince Of Wales, Brixton | 20 Oct
Outlandish comic Wil Hodgson comes over all historical with his solo show 'You Will Be Taken From This Place', looking back on stories of strange-but-true executioners, and hangings, of old; whilst Mat Ewins plays his own incarnation of 'The Six Million Dollar Man' in a bionic spy thriller that has to be seen to be... well, still not believed. Both Fringe features play at the height of a week of Prince Of Wales-hosted 'Hidden Gems', which also includes drop-ins by Michael Brunstrom (alias The Human Loire), Richard Tyrone-Jones and Sh!t Theatre. Details and tickets here.

DANCE: TAO Dance Theatre - 6 & 7 | Sadler's Wells Theatre | 20-21 Oct

Beijing dance instructor Tao Ye's latest work, a double-bill; consists of '6', in which a cast of six dancers move in unison against a shifting backdrop of abstract light; and its natural sequel '7'; a continuation of his fascination of ritual and precision that's soundtracked by acoustic noises made by the dancers own bodies. Both numbers are also scored with commissioned music from Chinese composer Xiao He, and play under this year's Dance Umbrella festival. Details and tickets here.

FILM: Sci-Fi - Days Of Fear And Wonder | BFI Southbank | 20 Oct - 31 Dec (pictured)

Boasting an itinerary of film and TV replays the size of a small (and possibly inhospitable) planet; the BFI's super-massive new sci-fi season (basically imagine every single science fiction movie or show you've have/haven't ever seen, ever) is split very precisely into three segments; 'Tomorrow's World', 'Altered States' and 'Contact!', and starts by spooling all the way back to game-changing filmmaker Fritz Lang's 1927 genre signifier, the dystopian 'Metropolis', in all its restored-in-2010 glory. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Funny Women Players - A Journey To Enlightenment | St James Theatre | 21 Oct
Funny Women's on-side improv players (aka Emma Stroud, Annalea Doyle, Kate Heward, Lucy Frederick, Helen Goldwyn and Rebecca Darmody) make audience tips into into theatrical skits – like, there and then – paving the way towards the Holy Grail of enlightenment in aid of the Womankind Worldwide charity. And probably provoking the odd giggle on the way, too. Details and tickets here.

OPERA: 'Site Specific' Sweeney Todd | Harrington's Pie & Mash | 21 Oct - 29 Nov

With Emma Thompon and the ENO's astronomically in-demand 'Sweeney Todd' basically a no-go ticket-buying situation; this site-specific of Sondheim's 'Demon Barber'-themed thriller by Tooting Arts Club, based in an actual pie and mash eaterie (London's oldest, in fact), might be a better bet. Seats are limited, and all gone for the time being, though TAC swear more will go on sale soon. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: The Curing Room | Pleasance Theatre | 21 Oct - 9 Nov (pictured)

One of the more um... 'visually striking' features of this year's Edinburgh Fringe, David Ian Lee and director Joao de Sousa's raw, real and starkly comical 'The Curing Room' has an all-male, all-naked cast of seven, who play a band of Soviet soldiers imprisoned by the Nazis and left to starve in a cellar. Loosely based on actual events, the play follows the men as they try to stay alive at any cost. Details and tickets here, and check out this week's Podcast to find out more.

MUSIC: Agnes Obel | Shepherd's Bush Empire | 22 Oct
A beautifully crystal-clear blast of Danish larksong c/o classically-inclined pop songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel, who's on the road playing shows right now behind her acclaimed latest LP 'Avantine', and its prequel 'Philharmonics'. It's this or the MOBOs. Your choice. Details and tickets here.

OPERA: Bodycorps - The Anatomy Of Melancholy | Testbed | 22-25 Oct
Tangental opera-creatives Bodycorps present this new show dissecting modern experiences of depression. Based on genetic research by leading psychiatrists, the orchestrally-scored 'Melancholy' hones in on a young man and his family as they face the realities this most widespread of mental health problems. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Teatro Vivo - The Hunters Grimm | Deptford Lounge | 22 Oct - 8 Nov (pictured)
Known for performing 'in the open', community-focused acting chorus (and recent ThisWeek interviewees) Teatro Vivo raid the pavements of Deptford for strange but not-quite-true tales of ageing queens, rebel frog-princes and live-action foot amputations in their current promenade show 'The Hunters Grimm'. Details and tickets here.
ART: Egon Schiele - The Radical Nude | The Courtauld Gallery | 23 Oct - 18 Jan 2015 (pictured)
An in-parts explicit exhibition of skin-baring naked pics, 'The Radical Nude' celebrates the revelatory work of very late Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele, who in his brief artistic lifetime became (and is still known as) one of the most significant figures in the development of modern art. Radical, dude. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Tom Wrigglesworth - Utterly At Odds With The Universe | Leicester Square Theatre | 23 Oct
Trailed by the mighty Mr Wrigglesworth himself (in his springtime chat with ThisWeek) as "80 minutes of hilarity, then ten minutes of an emotional free fall", 'Utterly At Odds...' looks back on Tom's relationship with his grandfather, incorporating poignant tapings of the two's convos dating back to his childhood days. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: You Have To Forgive Me... | Ovalhouse | 23-25 Oct
Theatrical ideas man Brian Lobel's 'durational' one-to-one show, in which he invites a single viewer to join him in bed and stream 'Sex And The City' for 45 mins. Apparently, it's really an examination of intimacy, isolation and binge-watching, and also to a bid to trace the lasting significance of Carrie Bradshaw ten years on from the 'SATC' TV finale. Each performance will have an audience of one, and 'pay what you like' admission is only available to those that fill in, and pass, a 94-point questionnaire. Details here.
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