When I heard about 'And Now: The World', I immediately wanted to find out more. The play sounds intriguing and very relevant to modern life, and comes from an acclaimed German playwright, plus, it's produced by a group whose approach I really admire.

So, all that being the case, I sent some questions over to Abigail Graham, artistic director of OpenWorks, and director of the piece. And you can read the interview here.

'And Now: The World' previews from 24-25 Sep at Platform Islington Arts Hub, before setting off on tour. See the venue website here for more info. The show returns to London, and heads to Hackney Showroom, from 27-31 Oct. See this page here.

The latest show to go up over at Theatre503 is the second winner of their most recent playwriting competition (the first was the much praised 'And Then Come The Nightjars', whose run ends this week). Paul Murphy's 'Valhalla' is the story of a couple who find themselves in an isolated location, seeking a cure for a global epidemic.

The show is helmed by acclaimed director Jo McInnes, whose face you might recognise courtesy of her extensive work as a performer. I sent some questions over to Jo, to find out more about the play, and why she was attracted to it. And you can read the interview here.

'Valhalla' is on at Theatre503 from 30 Sep-24 Oct. See this page here for info and tickets.

Gein's Family Giftshop made a bit of a splash with their Edfest debut 'Volume 1' and that's where we first heard about them. Since then they've returned to Edinburgh with the imaginatively titled 'Volume 2', and proved that 2014's success wasn't just a flash in the pan.

So, it was great news to hear about their upcoming run at London's Soho Theatre. I sent some questions over, to find out more about the show, the troupe, and their plans for the future. And you can read the interview here.

Gein's Family Giftshop perform 'Volume 2' at Soho Theatre from 29 Sep-3 Oct. See the venue website here for more info. 
The Birds | Leicester Square Theatre | 24 Sep-17 Oct
Ooh, this sounds scary, which is good, really, because it is, after all, supposed to be a thriller. Scripted by Conor McPherson, based on Daphne Du Maurier's novelette of the same name (which of course also inspired Hitchcock's film) this production offers a post-apocalyptic take on the story, setting it in a world where society has collapsed. See more info and book tickets here.

Doc n Roll Festival | Picturehouse Central | 25 Sep-4 Oct

This super festival of music documentaries kicks off its programme of events at the recently opened Picturehouse Central today, with the UK premiere of 'Morphine: Journey Of Dreams'. For more info on this, and all the other great films showing over the next few days, see this page here.

Roaring Trade | Park Theatre | 23 Sep-24 Oct (pictured)
Steve Thompson's 'Roaring Trade', a play set in the stressy and ambitious world of banking, won critical acclaim on its first outing. This revival comes from a very newly established young theatre company, who look as though they are preparing a lusty and energetic production. See the venue's website here for info and tickets.

Haggerston Improv festival | The ARTSpace and The Proud Archivist | 26-27 Sep
This looks fabulous, basically because it features a number of our very most favouritest improv acts in the world, like Austentatious and Abandoman and Cariad & Paul. What's even nicer is that the proceeds of this event are going to charity, so it's one of those occasions when you get to have a good time AND feel like you are doing some good in the world. See this page here for all the info and tickety stuff.

Minor Delays | Hen & Chickens | 26 Sep (pictured)
This rather good comedy troupe have recently been granted admission to the TW Hall Of Sketch Comedy Groups We Really Rate. This particularly punchlinetastic show has already received a clutch of highly positive reviews when it was up at the Edinburgh Fringe in the summer. Find more info and tickets here.

F*ck The Polar Bears | Bush Theatre | 22 Sep-24 Oct
Why would I even need to try and sell this to you? It's called 'F*ck The Polar Bears', which is a great (if slightly worrisome) title for a show. It's not just what's in a name though, this looks like a funny, dark and compelling family drama about climate change, and why we choose to ignore it. See this page here for more info and tickets.

Suzy Bennett - Gumption | Museum Of Comedy | 27 Sep (pictured)
It's a highly unfortunate thing that I have never yet managed to see Suzy Bennett perform, but I have it on extremely good and high authority - from a reasonable number of people whose opinions I have the utmost respect for - that she is definitely one to watch. But you don't need their opinion, anyway, she's a Funny Women Award winner. For info and tickets see this page here.

Horniman's Choice | Finborough Theatre | 27 Sep-13 Oct, Sundays Mondays Tuesdays
This caught my eye because of my fabulously northern roots, and because two of the plays in this quartet of shorts was penned by Harold Brighouse, the brain behind of one of my favourite old scripts, 'Hobson's Choice'. The other two are by Allan Monkhouse and Stanley Houghton, who, with Brighouse, formed the 'Manchester School' of playwrights of the early twentieth century. Well worth a look, I reckon. More info and tickets here.

Miniaturists 53 | Arcola Theatre | 27 Sep
And on to more short pieces of theatre for your delectation, this time from short-play-institution The Miniaturists. If you are not familiar with what they do, well, they stage groups of short plays, as I have kind of already told you, really. The next show features the work of Vinay Patel, Will Bourdillon, Stewart Pringle, Joe Harbot and Catherine Harvey, and you can find more info and tickets here. For even more info on The Miniaturists and what they do, see their website here.
Beth Vyse - Funny As Cancer | 28-29 Sep
'Funny As Cancer' sees Beth Vyse telling a tale of adversity, that of her own experience of breast cancer. Obviously it's pretty serious subject matter, but obviously, she's a comedian, so she will, against the odds, make it funny. Vyse took this show to Edinburgh this summer and won much praise for it, so expect a corking show. Find more info and book your tickets here.

Eventide | Arcola Theatre | 23 Sep-17 Oct
This sounds very promising - a new piece from Barney Norris, whose previous work 'Visitors' Critics' Circle and Off West End Most Promising Playwright Awards. The play, commissioned last year by Arcola Theatre, tells the story of three people, living in the countryside, whose respective worlds are disappearing; it's described as a "a love song, an elegy, a celebration". Info and tickets right about here.

Jazz in The Round | The Cockpit | 28 Sep-30 Nov (Mondays)
Hurrah for jazz, especially when it's in the round. No, it's not really the in-the-round element that's sold it to me, it's the fact that this weekly event has some super acts lined up over the next few weeks, starting with Noel Langley's Edentide Ensemble, Binker & Moses and On The Slide. See this page for more info about this and coming shows.

Dog Show | New Diorama | 29 Sep-17 Oct
We love the producing company behind 'Dog Show', and we have loved them since they very first started creating theatre, which was quite a long time ago now. Kandinsky always choose great topics to make plays about, and this one's no exception: true life happenings - the serial, deliberate poisonings of dogs in Hong Kong - are transposed to London in this part-silent film, part thriller about “what it means to be human". Info and tickets, this page here.

Volpone | Jack Studio Theatre | 29 Sep-17 Oct

Tell you what else I love? Anything set in the nineteen twenties, and with all the paraphernalia that involves. But wait, I hear you say, surely 'Volpone' is a seventeenth century work...? Well, yes, I reply, but it wouldn't be the first time a theatre company took a classic and set it in a different period, would it? Anyway, I think we can trust Scena Mundi Theatre to do a good job of this. See the venue website here for more info and tickets.

Shaolin Monks | Peacock Theatre | 29 Sep-17 Oct (pictured)
Wow, I just noticed that every show I am tipping for today has the exact same run dates. It's a sign. A sign that you should all go and see all three of them, optionally starting with this one, which I am deeply excited about, being a bit of a Monk aficionado. I confidently predict it will be an attention grabbing triumph of spectacularly choreographed Shaolin Kung Fu with perfect production values. So get your tickets here.

Nobody's Business | King's Head Theatre | 30 Sep-24 Oct
If you are a fan of the older series of 'Dr Who', you might recognise the star of this show from her three year stint as assistant Jo Grant on the programme. The piece is by experienced playwright Sylvia Freedman, and is directed by Paines Plough co-founder director John Adams. And it sounds fun. Take a look at this page here, to see what I mean, and book tickets.

Valhalla | Theatre 503 | 30 Sep-24 Oct (pictured)
We recently recommended a play called 'And Then Come The Nightjars', which was one of joint winners of Theatre503's 2015 play writing Award. Well, this is the other winning entry, and if it's as good as its predecessor, it ought to be fabulous. It's set in an isolated research centre, where a couple are trying to find a cure for a disease that's caused a global epidemic. Love, science, conflict. Sounds like a recipe for success. More info and tickets from this page here.

That's Amore | Canada Water Culture Space | 30 Sep
Well, as you might expect, 'That's Amore' is all about love, but it's not remotely, as you might possibly expect from that title, a tribute to Dean Martin... instead, it's a super-sounding piece of physical theatre exploring the many facets of romantic love, which promises to be passionate, poignant and fast-paced. Look at this page here, for more info and to book tickets.
Babyweight | Camden People's Theatre | 1 Oct
This struck a chord with me, because it's an autobiographically inspired show which explores what happens to women when they become mothers, and the impact that it can have on their careers. Victoria Bianchi shares stories from her pregnancy and life as a new mother, and questions why a woman's identity becomes so tied up with whether or not she has reproduced. Sounds fascinating. More info and tickets from this page here.

The 56 | Battersea Arts Centre | 1-7 Oct

If you're old enough to remember 1985, you probably remember the appalling disaster that befell the Valley Parade Football Ground, home to Bradford City Football club: On 11 May, during the course of a league game against Lincoln City, the stadium caught fire, and 56 fans died in the ensuing blaze. This is a powerful documentary piece, adapted from real life testimonies, which details a tragic event with sensitivity and respect. Info and tickets here.

Storyslam: Live | Southbank Centre | 1 Oct
This isn't the first Storyslam at Southbank Centre, and surely won't be the last. If you're not familiar with the concept, it sees aspiring writers performing their short stories to a panel of judges. This time, the theme is 'Shining', so hopefully it will generate some very shiny examples. See the venue website here for more info.
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