House Of Blakewell are Harry Blake and Alice Keedwell, composer/songwriter and actor/singer respectively, and together an award winning cabaret duo who have won acclaim at venues and festivals across the land. Last summer, when they performed their show 'We Can Make You Happy' at the Edinburgh Fringe, my colleague Chris Cooke talked to them about the show.

When I heard they were taking the show to London's Vault Festival this week, I thought perhaps you London types ought to read Chris's interview, too; so here it is, with a few extra questions at the end from me.

'We Can Make You Happy' is on at Vault Festival from 3-7 Feb. See this link here to book for all the dates and find more info.

American comedian and actress Desiree Burch has been wowing audiences with her show 'Tar Baby', a piece that we came across up in Edinburgh last summer. It's a heartfelt, funny, yet heartbreaking piece, which deals with race, racial identity, and the impact of racism.

When I discovered that Desiree would be bringing the piece to London's Vault Festival, I was keen to catch up with her, to find out more about her, as well as about this important and necessary play. Read the Q&A here.

'Tar Baby' is on at Vault Festival from 10-14 Feb. See this link here for all the info and dates.


Uncle Vanya | Almeida Theatre | 5 Feb-26 March
Well, I hate to use an ad-line turned hackneyed cliché on any day of the week, but this kind of a case of "exactly what it says on the tin" – Uncle Vanya, at The Almeida, with a host of familiar (and talented) TV faces among the cast, including Paul Rhys, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tobias Menzies and Richard Lumsden. See this page here for all the info.

Late Night Laughs | Royal Albert Hall | 5 Feb
There are probably folks out there who wouldn't really associate the Royal Albert Hall with top class comedy, but they'd be wrong in that regard, because they've hosted a lot these great 'Late Night Laughs' events of late, featuring some of my very favourite comedians (the likes of Luisa Omielan, Bec Hill and Sofie Hagen). Tonight's line-up consists of Carl Donnelly, Bobby Mair and Mae Martin, all of whom are excellent. See this page here for more info.

Wild Bill – Sonnet Of A Bardsterd | Vault Festival | 5 Feb (pictured)
I've read a few reviews of this and I think it sounds kind of eccentric but I still want to give it a go. I think we can expect a highly energetic (maybe scary) performance, in this piece that depicts the bard as a drunken imposter, a literary terrorist, descending into madness. Yes, I know. See all the info and book tickets here.


Fable | Vault Festival | 27 Jan-6 Feb
It's almost your last chance to see 'Fable', on as part of the ongoing and excellent Vault Festival, so don't miss it today. Well, ok, if you miss it today, maybe you could see it tomorrow, but that really is your last chance. This piece is from one of our favourite theatre making groups, The Flanagan Collective, and it's a piece featuring spoken word, storytelling and music, set in the highlands of Scotland. For more info and to book see this page here.

Pierre Novellie – Work In Progress | Pleasance Theatre | 6, 21 Feb
It may be a work in progress, but Pierre Novellie is one of those highly talented, award winning upcoming types, so I reckon this is definitely worth your while – a top act at a low price. To book your tickets see the venue website here.

Jeramee, Hartleby And Oooglemore | Unicorn Theatre | 6 Feb-15 March (pictured)
Something now for the little ones, as it's Saturday. This sounds completely fabulous, the sort of thing that adults want to see as much as the kids do, brought to you by an excellent team that includes TW favourite Tim Crouch. And, if you are a big person without children who wants to see this, they're doing a couple of evening performances for grown-ups. See this page here for all the info you need.


Lynn Ruth Miller – Get A Grip | Leicester Square Theatre | 7, 14, 28 Feb (pictured)
If you are a long term (chronic?) reader of our publications, you won't have escaped exposure to one of our ultimate favourites, Lynn Ruth Miller. This lady is a legend, and we love her, and her shows. People do tend to go on about how old she is (presently 82, I believe) but I'm not sure why that's even remotely relevant, unless it's just because all those decades give her lots to talk about. In any case, she is very great, and very much worth taking time out to see. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Trainspotting | King's Head Theatre | 3-27 Feb
This is an acclaimed production of the Irvine Welsh novel, which achieved great success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in particular with these highly glowing reviews from this esteemed publication. It's not for the faint-hearted though, because it's an unflinchingly shocking and immersive adaptation of a book and subsequent film which were already rather disturbing. See this page here for more info and to book.

An Elephant In The Garden | Vault Festival | 6-7 Feb
And, we're back to the Vault Festival, this time to find something to entertain the kids on this dull February day. And here's the perfect thing, a very promising adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 'An Elephant In The Garden'. Expect a beautifully performed piece that will stimulate and provoke the imaginations of a youthful audience. See the Vault website here for more info and to book.


In The Night Time (Before The Sun Rises) | Gate Theatre | 4-27 Feb
This is definitely something I can relate to – the story of a couple, awake through the night because of their small, wakeful baby, who begin to worry about how wise it is to bring a child into the world. "Amidst the constant bombardment of headlines and news reports about tragedies, destruction and global political unrest, can we really justify bringing a child into the world?" asks the play. It's a question I have asked myself. See this page here for all the info and to book.

Ursula Martinez – Free Admission | Soho Theatre | 8-20 Feb (pictured)
All I am going to say is that if you haven't yet seen Ursula Martinez in action, then it's probably about time you did. Well, okay, I'll say a bit more: she's a brilliant, clever, fearless performer, and this show "celebrates the inconsistencies and contradictions that make us human, whilst having a dig at some of the mess that is of our own making". Please don't miss it. Find out all you need to know from this page here.

Shifter | Soho Theatre | 8 Feb
Aaaaand another show at the Soho Theatre, and this one's only on the once, so now I am starting to wonder if you should see Ursula Martinez on a different night. But, never mind, it's your decision, and this should definitely be on your list for consideration, a brilliant sounding show from renowned storytellers Jan Blake and Tuup. Have a look at the venue website here.


2 Complicated and Jack And I | Baron's Court Theatre | 9-21 Feb
Punchline Theatre present a nightly double bill of two plays, one is well received romantic comedy '2 Complicated', the other is acclaimed comedy murder musical (!) 'Jack And I'. You can see just one, or you can see both at a discount. See this page here for info and to book.

Hardboiled – The Fall Of Sam Shadow | New Diorama | 9-27 Feb (pictured)
Excellent physical theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay present this co-production with The Watermill Theatre and Beth Flintoff. It's a film-noir-ish piece about a Los Angeles PA, inspired by classic movies like 'The Big Sleep' and 'Chinatown'. For more information, see the venue website here.

Pancake Day Shenanigans | various locations | 9 Feb
I know lots of people who don't really know when it's Shrove Tuesday, and lots of people whose children won't ever let them forget it. I didn't want to leave it to the chance of all our readers having children to remind them, so I thought I'd mention the fact that it is, indeed pancake day, and that there are a number of London based events happening because of that. There's the Better Bankside Pancake Day Race, the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, and the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race. Or, you could just go to Shutterbug in Shoreditch and eat lots of pancakes, maybe. Whatever you do, make sure you eat something flat today. It's the law.


Tar Baby | Vault Festival | 10-14 Feb
This acclaimed and award winning piece from comedian and actress Desiree Burch made a significant impact at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer, and tackles such thorny and important topics as slavery, racism, police brutality, and affirmative action in an entertaining, hilarious and interactive way. "Let's beat the shit out of racism" urges the poster. Yes. Let's. See this page here for all the info.

Tanyalee Davis – Actual Size | Soho Theatre | 9-13 Feb (pictured)
Acclaimed Canadian comedian Tanyalee Davis heads Soho-wards for a short run of 'Actual Size', a collection of anecdotes, tales from her eventful life and plenty of gags, as you might expect. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Macbeth – A Tale Of Sound And Fury | Hope Theatre | 2-20 Feb
I love Shakespeare, and I am pretty fond of 'Macbeth', but I must confess that I was attracted to this particular production because it's described as a "demented retelling", and that seemed quite promising. It's a three man show, immersive, with an entirely recycled set – sounds interesting, doesn't it? Find out more here.


Shazia Mirza – The Kardashians Made Me Do It | Artsdepot| 11-13 February
I am pretty sure I have recommended this show of Shazia Mirza's before, but I think it's definitely worth recommending again, because it's an acclaimed show, and we like it. We liked it so much, in fact, that we chatted to her about it a few weeks back, so have a read of that, and then head this way to book your tickets.

Tom Allen – Both Worlds | Soho Theatre | 11-13 Feb (pictured)
Ah, Tom Allen. Another very skilled comedian that we first noticed up in Edinburgh, though you may have noticed him on telly and radio of late, in such shows as '8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown' and Radio 4's 'Just A Minute'. Anyway, take it from us, he's good. Get your tickets booked right about here.

Casual Violence – Slow Fade To Bleak | Vault Festival | 10-14 Feb
Looks like it's all about the comedy, then today, this time from over there at that ongoing and rather good Vault Festival (I don't have shares in it, honest). Casual Violence are yet another act who made a major impact both on us and on the Edinburgh Festival, a troupe of comedy types that we will always have time for, no matter how dark and twisted they get. All the info is here.
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