Up and coming comedian Larry Dean heads to Soho Theatre next week with the show that garnered him a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award newcomer nomination last summer, and I strongly advise you to see it if you can. I don't like using the phrase "one to watch", because it's such a cliché, but I do believe Dean is headed for big things.

That being the case, I very much wanted to find out more about him before he gets too busy and important to find time to answer my questions. I made sure to do it ahead of his upcoming live dates. And you can read the interview here.

Larry Dean performs 'Out Now!' at Soho Theatre from 12-16 Jan. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

I must confess that my ears pricked up when I heard that 'The Long Road South' is to star Imogen Stubbs, an actress I really quite idolised in my younger days, and the lovely Michael Brandon, who will, in my head, forever be Dempsey, even though that show only ran for about two years in the mid-eighties.

Of course, after I'd moved on from being star-struck, I realised that the play itself - which was first staged back in 2014 at The Hope Theatre, and next week makes its way to The King's Head - sounds really interesting. That being the case, I put some questions to the writer, Paul Minx. And you can read the interview here.

'The Long Road South' is on at the King's Head Theatre from 12-30 Jan. See this page here for more info and to book tickets.

The latest play to head to The Hope Theatre is 'In/Out (A Feeling)', written by Andrew Maddock (he of 'The Me Plays') and directed by Niall Phillips. The show explores London's sex trade and human trafficking, via the experience of two different individuals living through different situations, but with a definite connection - a feeling.

The latest play to head to The Hope Theatre is 'In/Out (A Feeling)', written by Andrew Maddock (he of 'The Me Plays') and directed by Niall Phillips. The show explores London's sex trade and human trafficking, via the experience of two different individuals living through different situations, but with a definite connection - a feeling. And you can read the interview here.

'In/Out (A Feeling)' is on at the Hope Theatre from 12-30 Jan. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.


London Short Film Festival | various venues | 8-17 Jan
I expect you are already aware of the annual London Short Film Festival, given that it's very successful, and now in its thirteenth year, so this is really just a reminder that it's on. So, for a long list of events showcasing quality cutting edge work from independent and up and coming film makers, click on this link here.

Nine Lives | Arcola Theatre | 6 Jan-30 Jan (pictured)
This West Yorkshire Playhouse production has already garnered heaps of critical acclaim during its tour of regional venues, so I think this is pretty much a safe bet. It's a monologue about a gay Zimbabwean asylum seeker who has fled the extreme homophobia of his home country and must now navigate the UK's immigration system. I reckon we can expect a beautifully scripted piece from writer Zodwa Nyoni, and a skilful performance from  Lladel Bryant in the role of Ishmael. See this page here for more info and to book.

Richard III | New Diorama | 5 Jan-6 Feb

A contemporary and physical take on the classic play from award winning theatre ensemble The Faction, in which the performers use their bodies to create all the elements they need to tell the story, including ghosts and horses. Hurry up, because the popular dates are sold out already. See the venue website here for all the info, and to get your tickets booked.


Adventure One | Camden People's Theatre | 9, 16, 17, 23 Jan
This is part of CPT's latest festival, Whose London Is It Anyway, which aims to explore the changing face of the capital. And although it might look like this is on at Camden People's Theatre, because I wrote that in the listing info above, it's actually an off-site, interactive, and even slightly mysterious event that I don't think I can quite explain in the short time I have here, so the best thing to do is follow this link to find out more info and about how to book your place. I think it sounds really exciting.

Akram Khan - Until The Lions | Roundhouse | 9-24 Jan
Award winning choreographer Akram Khan's adaptation of poet Karthika Naïr’s book 'Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata' combines Indian classical dance form kathak with more contemporary dance, and explores themes of gender, sexuality and aging. An intriguing full length production from a renowned creative - why would you want to miss it? See this page here for more info and to book.

Step Out With Swing Patrol | Wilton's Music Hall | 9 Jan
And from one kind of dance to another - and this is the kind you can join in with. I love swing, and I kind of think everyone should. Obviously, you have a right to like what you like, and if you don't like it, I suppose that's okay, but don't expect me to be happy about it. If you are open to it, though, prepare for a fun evening which will include a taster class for all abilities, followed by social dancing. For more info, see this page here.


TS Eliot's The Waste Land | South Bank Centre | 10 Jan
I once did a staged reading of 'The Waste Land' and it was completely brilliant, and I think the "cast of leading West End actors" who are to bring one of my favourite poems to life might struggle to do it as well as I and my fellow-reader did. But, you know, give them the benefit of the doubt. They will probably do okay, and I am sure you will enjoy this free performance, one of several events leading up to the announcement of who has won the £20k TS Eliot prize. See this page here for all the info.

Reptember Reloaded | New Diorama | 10 Jan-1 Feb (pictured)
Award winning ensemble The Faction seem to be stalking me at the moment (to be fair, it might be strictly more accurate to say I am stalking them, as I think by Tuesday, I will have recommended three events of theirs within a week), but they are really good, so I think it's all justified. This is a return for their popular series of short one person plays, four or five per night, on Sundays and Mondays throughout January. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Salome | Theatre N16 | 10-14 Jan
A classic text, and what Ethreal Theatre promise is a powerful production of it. What's more it's on at Theatre N16, which is one of my new favourite arts organisations. Even if it's no longer in N16 and has now moved to Balham. A great reason to go south of the river. Yes, I'm looking at you, people in N16. Get all the info from here and tickets from here.


Marcel | Shaw Theatre | 9-12 Jan
'Marcel' is the opening event for the London International Mime Festival, so it absolutely definitely ought to be good. And even if it weren't the opening event, it would still absolutely definitely be good because it's the work of two veteran mime artists, Complicite original members Jos Houben and Marcello Magni. The duo, appearing together for the first time since 2008, explore the perils of ageing through skilled physical comedy. See this page here for more info and to book.

Robert Newman - The Brain Show | Soho Theatre | 11-23 Jan

Obviously you all know who Robert Newman is - even if younger readers don't particularly remember his stadium-playing, 'comedy is the new rock and roll' heyday - and so you will know full well that he's an act well worth taking the time to see, for his intelligent, involving, thought provoking shows. This one is all about the brain, as you may have deduced from the title, and involves the donning of a specially constructed MRI hat. Yes, an MRI hat. Very promising, if you ask me. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Trygve Wakenshaw - Nautilus | Soho Theatre | 11-23 Jan (pictured)

This one is also part of the London International Mime Festival, but I had already decided to tip this show before I knew that: the TW team first came across the work of Trygve Wakenshaw up at the ye olde Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and we have ever since been fans of his physical clowning and brilliantly funny, fearless style of mime. If you are a mime fan, this is a must see, but if you are not a mime fan, then it's probably still a must-see. Yes, it's that good. See this page here for more info and tickets.


The Faction presents three solo performances of classics from Cervantes, Goethe and Kafka | Wilton's music hall | 12-15 Jan
Okay, so, you know how we've been talking a lot about The Faction this week? Well, here's the final instalment of Faction-love, and it's not unrelated to the previous one. Because you know how they are doing a mini-season of their short-ish one person performances at New Diorama? Well, they will be at Wilton's next week too, with 'Transformations', where you can take in three solo pieces, adapted from the work Cervantes, Goethe and Kafka (as probably established further up) all in one go. For more info and ticketry, see this page here.

Larry Dean: Out Now | Soho Theatre | 12-16 Jan (pictured)

The phrase 'up-and-coming' is made for people like Larry Dean, a young comedian from Scotland who has already won Scottish Comedian of the Year, and scored a nomination in the Edinburgh Comedy Award's newcomer shortlist for the show he will be performing at Soho Theatre next week. This particular set focuses on Dean's own sexuality, and his struggle, as a 'tough' Glaswegian, with coming out at the age of 23. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Botallack O'Clock | Old Red Lion Theatre | 12 Jan-6 Feb

We discovered this play a few years back, when it headed Edfringe-ward in 2012. We liked it very much then, so of course it's pleasing that the show now headed Old Red Lion-wards, in the capable directorial hands of its writer, Eddie Elks. It's about renowned post war British artist Roger Hilton, set during the latter years of his life, and promises to be an intriguing examination of the painter's creative mind. See this page here for info and to book.


This Will End Badly | Southwark Playhouse | 12 Jan-6 Feb
This play by Rob Hayes, which garnered a heap of praise-filled reviews when it was staged in Edinburgh this summer, depicts a trio of male characters in crisis. Their darkly humorous tales are brought to life by the talented Ben Whybrow, whose performance in the show has generated much critical acclaim. I think this is one of those I'll refer to as a "safe bet". For more info, and to book tickets, see the venue website here.

Give Me Your Love | Battersea Arts Centre | 12-30 Jan (pictured)

The very excellent Ridiculusmus (you may in recent times have seen their rather well received 'The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland') have a new show about post traumatic stress and the therapeutic effects of MDMA, and this is it. It's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from this company,  a warm and witty black comedy dealing with an interesting scientific issue. This is one that I'll call "not to be missed". See this page here for more info and to sort yourself some tickets.

Jekyll and Hyde | Cockpit Theatre | 12 Jan-6 Feb
Ooooh, this production had me at the tagline. "Addiction, Murder, Sex, Violence & Desire". I mean, I don't want it (well, not all of it), but you know, it tends to make for quite interesting forms of entertainment. Anyway, you know the source material, so you're probably going to expect that sort of thing; what you might not expect is lots of jazz standards and a 1930s setting, but that's what you'll get. Sounds atmospheric and exciting. I'll perhaps label this "one to watch". See this page here for all the gen.


Henry Rollins: Charmingly Obstinate | Barbican | 14+16 Jan
The former frontman of US punk band Black Flag has since the mid eighties pursued an eclectic and wide ranging career - his Wikipedia biog describes him as "musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, television and radio host, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist". No surprise, then, that this show is set to be chock-full of anecdotes from his work and travel, as well as spoken word pieces and political opinion - expect funny, high energy shenanigans. See this page here for all the details.

4000 Days | Park Theatre | 14 Jan-13 Feb

Bafta-winning impressionist and actor Alistair McGowan stars in this rather promising three hander from West End and Broadway playwright Peter Quilter. It tells the intriguing tale of a man who, following a three week coma, wakes to find that four thousand days of his memory have been erased; his partner wants to be remembered, his mother wants him to forget. See this page here for more info and to book.

In/Out (a feeling) | The Hope Theatre | 12-30 Jan
This new play from award-nominated playwright Andrew Maddock (he did 'The Me Plays' back in 2014), is an exploration of human relationships, inspired by true stories, set against the backdrop of London's sex trade. Sounds like it will probably be a fairly emotional piece, but definitely in a good and pertinent way. See the venue website here for info.
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