Acclaimed New Zealand theatre makers The Playground Collective head to London's Vault Festival next week with their award winning piece, 'All Your Wants And Needs Fulfilled Forever'. It's a funny but emotionally charged piece that does some significant damage to the fourth wall during its portrayal of a young man dealing with bereavement.

To find out more about the show, and the creative force behind it, I put some questions to writer and performer Eli Kent. Read the interview here.

'All Your Wants And Needs Fulfilled Forever' is on at Vault Festival from 2-6 Mar, see this page here for info and to book tickets.

Australian comedian Nick Cody has been wowing critics at home and internationally of late. We discovered him, as we so often do discover comedians, up at the Edinburgh Fringe, where last summer he took the Festival by storm, winning praise and accolades from practically everyone.

He's presently completing a run at the Soho Theatre in London, so I asked him a few quick questions, to find out more about him, what he wants from life, and why he sports a beard. Read the interview here.

Nick Cody performs at Soho Theatre until 27 Feb. See this page here for more info


Happiness Is A Cup Of Tea | Vault Festival | 24-28 Feb
Hurrah, another great looking show over at Vault Festival, the home of some really great stuff. Though perhaps I shouldn't be cheering, really, because this particular play is the kind you can expect to be poignant, dealing as it does with themes of death, grief and loss. That said, it's also about living, and celebrating and remembering the lives of your loved ones. I think we can expect something thoughtful, powerful and touching. See this page here for info.

Scary Shit | Pleasance Theatre | 26-27 Feb (pictured)
I know I can be a bit puerile, but I promise you I didn't choose this on account of it's amusing and mildly provocative title. I chose it because it promises to be "quirky and outrageous", and I think there are times when dance theatre needs to be just that. Creator Rhiannon Faith (endorsed by the brilliant Bryony Kimmings) offers a brave and moving performance about fear, see the venue website here for more details.

The Communist Threat | Vault Festival | 26-28 Feb
This is a play that we came across in Edinburgh last summer. We loved this noir-style spy thriller, so I was really pleased to see that it was to be part of the Vault Festival. Yes, I am back at the Vault Festival. I would kind of like to move in, really. Anyway, this will, no doubt about it, be excellent. See our review here, for proof, and see this page here to book your tickets.


David O' Doherty | Hackney Empire | 27 Feb
I don't think I need to convince you to go and see David O'Doherty, do I? You all know how brilliant he is, right? And this show has a really amusing title that I didn't put at the top because I thought it was so long it would make the heading far too long. Anyway, quick, head over to this link here, to book your tickets for 'We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David Doherty' before it's too late and all the tickets are gone.

Nick Cody - Beard Game Strong | Soho Theatre | 15-27 Feb
This up-and-coming Australian export has assured me that there isn't actually much about beards in this show, so don't go if it's just because you are a fan of chinny facial hair. Please do go though, not least because I feel really guilty for not having told you about him sooner, but mainly because he is brilliant. Don't miss these last few performances, whatever you do. Book a ticket here.

The Star Seekers | Vault Festival | 27-28 Feb (pictured)
Some Vault Festival goodness now for the younger market, as it's Saturday. I was immediately attracted to this show because it's all about space and stars and the universe, and I'd like to see that myself, kids or no kids. An interactive piece from established children's show creators The Wardrobe Ensemble, I reckon this will be extremely diverting. See this page here for all the info.


Jellyfish | Vault Festival | 28 Feb
A Sunday treat for children, this one, and it looks pretty magical, the story of a mother and son whose home becomes inhabited by a gigantic glowing jellyfish. Through large scale puppetry and performance, it explores the ways that loss, trauma and mental health problems are experienced in the imagination of young children. I am especially excited about that large scale puppetry. See this page here for more info.

Sunday Buzz - Klezmerco | ArtsDepot | 28 Feb (pictured)
Hands up who loves Klezmer and Eastern European music? Yes, me too, so maybe we can all go together to ArtsDepot's Sunday Buzz event featuring Klezmerco, a seven piece band of London based musicians. And we don't have to even pay, so let's be on our way. Well, not until Sunday, obv. See this page here for details.

Mapping Beckett | The Cockpit | 28 Feb
This is a series of performed readings of the work of Beckett, being held once a month at The Cockpit. I have chosen to tip this month's event, which focuses on 1953 novel 'The Unnamable', but you know, it could have been next month, or the month after that. Keep abreast of what is happening via this link here. A must for fans of the Irish writer.


Monologue Slam | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 29 Feb
Hey, you only get a 29 Aug once every four years so I think you should all celebrate with a lovely outing to a nice cultural event, possibly preceded and/or followed by cocktails. And my first suggestion is this, the first Monologue Slam of 2016, for anyone even vaguely interested in being highly entertained by up and coming and established talent. See this page here.

Monday Night Music - Doolally Tap | Wilton's Music Hall | 29 Feb (pictured)
Ooooh, I am a complete sucker for 1920s sounds, and Doolally Tap offer - and I quote from the Wilton's website - "a heady hot jazz mix of rambunctious rags, swinging blues and gorgeous melodies" and "the spirit of prohibition-era New Orleans". They sound brilliant. Here's all the info you need, right here.

Trygve Wakenshaw - Nautilus | Soho Theatre | 29 Feb-9 Mar
Yes, yes, I know, we recommended this show back in January, when it was on as part of the London International Mime Festival. But you know what, it's so good we are just not going to let this go. Readers who haven't seen this show yet: you had better take my advice this time, or there will be trouble. Head right this way to book your tickets.


Gits and Shiggles | Half Moon Putney | 1 Mar
Wow, a great line up: The excellent James Acaster heads a bill which features the brilliant Tim FizHigham, the fabulous Eleanor Morton, and marvellous Lionel Ritchie-botherer Barry Ferns. Do I need to say anything else? Nah. Here is the link you need.

Love On The Dole | The Space | 1-5 Mar
It's an oldie, but very much a goodie, and sadly, still very relevant in these modern times. First staged in the 1930s, this adaptation of Walter Greenwood's novel, portrays the impact of government welfare cuts in the 1920s, and the rise of socialism. It's brought back to life here by Changing Face Collective, who I think we can trust to do a great job. See this page here for more info.

Immortal Tango | Peacock Theatre | 1-19 Mar (pictured)
Mmmmm, tango. I love this stuff. And so will you, I bet, even you folks who claim not to like dance. This looks like an amazingly glamorous and smouldering treat for the eyes, promising the glamour of Hollywood and sultry passion. "authentic Argentine tango performed at the very highest level". Lead me to it! Info and booking right here.


Every One | Battersea Arts Centre | 2-19 Mar
The very good Chris Goode (I must be the first person ever to have done that) directs an English premiere of 'Every One' by brilliant Edinburgh-based writer Jo Clifford, which won oodles of critical acclaim when it was first staged back in 2010. It's a poetic and beautiful peace about living, and about how we deal with losing the people closest to us. For more info and to book see the venue website here.

All Your Wants And Needs Fulfilled Forever | Vault Festival | 2-5 March
Back over to Vault Festival for this well received piece from award winning New Zealand based theatre group The Playground Collective. This one, like our first recommendation, deals with grief and the loss of a family member, so maybe you should try and take in both, actually (on different nights, obviously), because it might be interesting to compare and contrast. See this page here for all the info.

Twisted Loaf - Stale Mate | Soho Theatre | 2-5 Mar (pictured)
I don't know an enormous amount about Twisted Loaf, to be honest, but I am really keen to see them perform because their comedy sounds incredibly quirky and possibly rather dark. This show is described thus: "A hilarious hour of overblown ambition and extreme attitude from two of the daftest comedy loafers around, mixing contemporary clowning and physical characterisation". I bet you are as piqued as I am. See this link here.


Felicity Ward | Soho Theatre | 3-5 Mar (pictured)
We've been fans of Felicity Ward for a rather long time now, and this particular show went down particularly well with our reviewer in Edinburgh this summer. In it the comedian brilliantly handles difficult subject matter - anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome - yet makes it brilliantly entertaining. Exactly what I would expect from a performer of her calibre. See the venue website here for more info.

German Skerries | Orange Tree Theatre | 3 Mar-2 Apr
Apparently this is the first 'major' revival of this award-winning 1977 play from well loved writer Robert Holman, and it's in the safe hands of Up In Arms (see what I did there?), the critically acclaimed touring theatre group led by Alice Hamilton and Barney Norris. Described as an "uplifting portrait of human hope and vulnerability", it focuses on things which make us human - emotions, friendship, gatherings and departures. See this page here for all the info.

Butter | Vault Festival | 2-6 Mar
This caught my eye because it's about the relationship between women and food, and I think that's probably something that needs to be talked about and investigated, given that said relationship seems to me to be, for so many women, one way or another, completely dysfunctional. And I feel as though this could potentially be a really eye opening thing for cis-men, actually. Go on, men. Go. Buy your tickets here.
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