It’s your weekly guide to culture in the capital. Chris Cooke and Tom Bragg are joined by Steve Harper and Rogerio Correa to discuss the ‘Red Like Embers’ programme of new Brazilian playwriting at Theatre 503. Plus we find out more about the play ‘The Bus’ at Above The Stag and enjoy songs from Jay Foreman and ‘I Need A Doctor – The Whosical’.

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This week at Soho Theatre, Londoners have the chance to see Clara Brennan's Edinburgh Festival success story 'Spine', which won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel, and a Stage Award for Acting Excellence for its star Rosie Wyatt. The play, described as a "pan-generational and heart-breaking call to arms for our modern age", is a politically charged monologue, penned by an acclaimed writer with a Channel 4 Playwright Award under her belt. I spoke to Clara Brennan about the show. You can read the interview here.

'Spine' is on at Soho Theatre until 2 Nov, see this page here for info and tickets.
CABARET/COMEDY: CON FU SE w/ Mr Twonkey | BL-NK | 24 Oct (pictured)
It's 5* service (in weirdness stakes, if not the steak stakes, anyway) at cabaret chef and "bearded fantasist" Mr Twonkey's private eatery, which is only the first course of this most 'CON FU SE'-ing of line-ups. Other plats ju jour include clowning loon Cheekykita, Weirdos oddity Ali Brice, dark Canadian comic Chris Betts and trippy city-mapper Jade The Tour Guide. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: Bush Hall Presents... Tim Key | Bush Hall | 24 Oct
With wordsmith, 'Single White Slut' and hot TW London favourite Tim Key as the main draw, tonight's Bush Hall-based comic strongbox also has time for reigning Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns, Australian stand-up and unabashed 'knucklehead' Felicity Ward, and an MC as good as any in the game, in the shape of the star of Channel 4's 'Man Down', Mike Wozniak. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Nightmares On Wax + Peanut Butter Wolf | The Forum | 24 Oct
With his 'greatest hits' compilation on its way soon via Warp, Portishead/Massive Attack contemporary DJ Ease aka Nightmares On Wax headlines this extraordinarily high caliber live bill, curated by Soundcrash. His co-stars are Stones Throw Records boss Peanut Butter Wolf (who'll do an AV show, and big-shot producers DJ Food, Paul White and Teebs. Details and tickets here.

CABARET/COMEDY: Stand Up Tragedy - Tragic Horror | Hackney Attic | 25 Oct
A variety show/podcast with a downbeat (and for one time only, gory) twist, this certificate 18 iteration of Stand Up Tragedy features sad acts like surreal cabaret septet The Mechanisms, comedian and actress Sajeela Kershi, James McKay and Emily Snee. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/KIDS: That Catherine Bennett Show | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre | 25-28 Oct
A repeat feature at the SB Centre over the past year or so, it's this inspirational skit by singing, ThreeWeeks Editors' Award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings, who with her niece Taylor decides to play the 'tween machine' at its own tacky game by inventing a new kind of popstar. Catherine is into dinosaurs, bikes, pasta and friendship, not in 'bling'. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Wet House | Soho Theatre | until 16 Nov (pictured)
The unblinking first full script from Paddy Campbell - who gives a quick intro to the play via the ThisWeek London podcast - 'Wet House' is set in... well, a 'wet house', a hostel for homeless alcoholics in which drinking is permitted. Inspired by his own experiences, the story follows a young graduate who winds up working in such a place, looking at the singular circumstances of those living in, and staffing, the facility. Details and tickets here.

COMEDY: The Sunday Show w/ James Acaster + Phil Wang | The Invisible Dot | 26 Oct
The Invisible Dot's super-saver Sunday line-up has many winning attributes - not least £5 entry, cheapy pints and the stars of this particular edition, namely the highly-ThreeWeeks-rated and "very dry" James Acaster, "ready wit" Phil Wang and non-identikit sketch pairing Twins, and MC Mae Martin. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well (And Living In Paris) | Charing Cross Theatre | until 22 Nov
A big-name cast pays loving musical homage to late Belgian chanteur/actor Jacques Brel in this revue-esque 'mini play' mingling narrative and song, "from music hall to naturalism, political satire to rock concert", said director Andrew Keates in his in-depth recent interview with ThisWeek). Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: The Pearl | Greenwich Theatre | 26-27 Oct (pictured)
A stylised re-imagining of Steinbeck's novella told via dance, verse, puppetry and a softly-softly piano score; Dumbshow's critically-acclaimed 'The Pearl' dives down into the fable of a poor diver who finds the 'pearl of the world'. Details and tickets here.
COMEDY: Fall Girl | Canal Cafe Theatre | 27-29 Oct (pictured)
Written by comedian Rosie Holt, aka the 'love child of Satan and Miranda Hart' (says playwright Mark Ravenhill), 'Fall Girl' features original songs and lyrics by Tim Newns, Daniele Finley and Holt herself. What's more, Holt scores the theatrical hat-trick by starring as naive main character Hayley, who's forever getting tricked and lied to by those more 'streetwise' than she is. Details and tickets here.

FILM: Nuri Bilge Ceylan Season | BFI | 27 Oct - 27 Nov
The BFI's timely new strand is dedicated to Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the winner of this year's Palme d'Or for 'Winter Sleep', who's hailed by BFI curator Geoff Andre as "one of the most incisive observers of the male psyche working in film today". This season feting Ceylan's ten year career begins with a split-bill comprised of early short 'Cocoon', which stars his real-life parents, and 1997's 'The Small Town', a four-part tale told from the POV of a group of children, and based on his and his sister Emine's first introduction to the adult world. Details and tickets here.

FESTIVAL: Illuminations | various locations | 27 Oct - 7 Nov
Cosmic rap pack Shabazz Palaces, Franco-pop-o-naut Sébastien Tellier and Melt Yourself Down (featuring a rare PA by guest James Chance) are all listed to play live headline sets at this year's Illuminations festival, live promoter Rockfeedback's London-based series of one-off shows and music-themed film events. Taking place in various spaces all over London from 27 Oct - 7 Nov, the Illuminations 2014 programme starts off with a screening of 'Wild Combination', a film portrait of late alt-disco infiltrator Arthur Russell, and later plays host to Fugazi doc 'Instrument'; a Channel 4 'Random Acts'-curated night of short films featuring the likes of Savages and Jacques Greene; a 'from the vault'-style parade of 'shocking and sensational' music videos from MTV's '120 Minutes'; and on 31 Oct, a Halloween screening of 'Godfather Of Gore' Lucio Fulci's horror movies with live rendition of their Fabio Frizzi-written scores. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Peaking Lights | Plan B | 28 Oct
Man-and-wife psych-pop types Peaking Lights, aka Winsconsin-based coolest parents ever Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, celebrate their lean, lithe and wriggly eleven-track LP 'Cosmic Logic' with a blink-and-miss visitation on Brixton's Plan B. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE/CABARET: Dickie Beau - Camera Lucida | Barbican | 28 Oct - 8 Nov
An eerie, psychedelic ensemble piece by long-time drag and mime auteur, first-time director Dickie Beau; 'Camera Lucida' is partly inspired by the history of image-making and funereal rituals; and finds Beau and co lip-synching to archive playbacks of old, long-lost voices. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Spine | Soho Theatre | until 2 Nov
Channel 4 Screen-Writing Prize-winner Clara Brennan's greatly-acclaimed one-girl play 'Spine' stars Rosie Wyatt as Amy, a sparky teen who befriends Glenda, a strong-willed pensioner keen to save Amy from 'the Tory scrap-heap'. Check out our interview with Brennan here. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Real Estate | Shepherd's Bush Empire | 29 Oct
New Jersey-based collegiate rockers Real Estate, the indie band least likely to distress grannies (what with their wistful, linen-fresh songwriting style, and all), map their newest and so far, finest LP, 'Atlas', with a set of latest and greatest hits. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Romeo & Juliet | National Theatre, temp space | 29 Oct - 14 Oct
A short and, dare I say, snappy 60 minute edit of Shakespeare's most-loved-play-about-love designated for pre-teens aged 8-12, script-shortener Ben Power and director Bijan Sheibani's spin on 'Romeo And Juliet' finds the original story trimmed back to its bare bones, and given a contemporarily lite, exhilarating feel. Details and tickets here.

THEATRE: Who Do We Think We Are? | Southwark Playhouse | 29 Oct - 15 Nov (pictured)
This biographical first play by Sonja Linden and Visible Theatre is part-inspired by the lives and lineages of the company's older cast; who last year talked over their family histories as a starting point for rehearsals. A kaleidoscope of stories dating back to 1914, with an added live score and a dash of physical theatre, 'Who Do We Think We Are' roves all over the world and the past 100 years, from Siberian POW camp, to the green and groovy fields of Woodstock, to Nagasaki at the time of the atomic bomb blast. Details and tickets here.
COMEDY: Raising The Dead w/ Gein's Family Giftshop + Thom Tuck + Adam Larter | Aces & Eights | 30 Oct (pictured)
'NOT a human-eating robot' Alexander Bennett, via his This Is Not A Cult showcase, throws a spooky variety night (yeah, it's a bit early - and so what?) featuring Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated trio Gein's Family Giftshop (seen here identifying their ideal creepy trinkets with ThreeWeeks), vaguely unhinged This Is Not A Cult co-host Thom Tuck, Weirdos Comedy president Adam Larter and macabre character comic Milo McCabe. Details and tickets here.

DANCE/THEATRE: DV8 - John | National Theatre | 30 Oct - 13 Jan 2015
Based on over 50 frank interviews DV8 AD Lloyd Newson did with men re their sex and love lives; verbatim piece 'John' combines dance and dialogue to follow one man's story from years of crime and drug use, into 'a place unknown by most'. Containing strong lanugage and nudity only suitable for adults, 'John' follows DV8's acclaimed show 'Can We Talk About This'. Details and tickets here.

MUSIC: Red Bull Culture Clash | Earls Court | 30 Oct
JME, Skepta, Wiley and the various MCs of London grime clique Boy Better Know are going crew-to-crew with A$AP Rocky's all-American-rap A$AP Mob (aka A$APs Ferg, Nast, Ant et al); Rebel Sound's David Rodigan, Shy FX and Chase & Status; and a rock-steady roster from reggae label Stone Love Jamaica in this year's Red Bull Culture Clash, a Jamaican-PA-system-style battle in which all crews vye to make the most noise, and please/deafen the audience. There'll be games like 'The Selector' (in which rappers/DJs are assessed on their choice of tracks), and 'Sleeping With The Enemy' (in which opponents switch styles), whilst the finale is 'Armageddon', in which pretty well anything can happen, even the end of the world. Also, take-downs are mandatory. Details and tickets here.
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