Fans of musical theatre, jazz and F Scott Fitzgerald are in for a treat this month, as renowned theatre producers Ruby In The Dust head back to the venue they staged their first ever production at - the Union Theatre - with their musical adaptation, 'Gatsby'.

To find out more I spoke to company founder Linnie Reedman, who wrote the book for the show, and also directs. Read the interview here.

'Gatsby' is on at the Union Theatre from 6-30 Apr. See the venue website here for more info and to book. 

I'm sure you are all very familiar with many of the works of the late great Tennessee Williams, but there haven't been very many productions of his 1969 play 'In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel', so I doubt you have seen it. You'll get the chance when it's staged - starring the brilliant Linda Marlowe - at Charing Cross Theatre this month.

To find out more about the play, how it's different from the playwright's earlier works, and why it's been a bit neglected, I spoke to the show's director, Robert Chevara. Read the interview here.

'In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel' is on at Charing Cross Theatre from 4 Apr-14 May. See this page here for more info and to book.

FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2016 >>

Altered Landscapes - Juan DelGado | Watermans | 1 Apr -29 May
This upcoming exhibition from Juan DelGado is highly topical, given the subject it tackles, dealing with themes of displacement and the experiences of travelling through unfamiliar landscapes. The artist visited Greece, Macedonia and Calais, to document the places that refugees have passed through. For more information, see this page here.

Speaking In Tongues | The Cockpit | 1-2 Apr
This sounds rather intriguing - expect a very immediate and close-up performance, aided by some interesting staging choices. The play examines nine parallel and interlocking lives, via a fragmented progression of confessionals and interrogations revealing a dark side to human nature. See the venue website here for more info and to book.

Funmbi Omotayo - Legal Immigrant | Soho Theatre 1-2 Apr
Stand-up comedian Funmbi Omotayo impressed critics and audiences at the Edinburgh Festival last summer with his laid-back delivery and charming personality, as well as his set focusing on childhood tales of growing up in two different places - Lagos and London - and becoming a fish out of water in both. Follow this link here to book your tickets.


The Magic Beanstalk | Little Angel Theatre | 2-7 Apr (pictured)
We are, of course, in the middle of the Easter holidays now, so you are no doubt looking for something you can take the kids to. The Little Angel Theatre specialises in productions for children, so it's one of my first ports of call when looking for this kind of thing. Not your average 'Beanstalk', I think - "Jack, his mum and their cow Daisy are in trouble. Their house is leaking, the phones cut off, there's no food in the fridge - and they've got NITS!" - and it looks good. More info here.

Beardyman | Electric Brixton | 2 April
That very excellent Beardyman is set to record a new live album of his trademark blend of improvvy, beat-boxy goodness with help from a dream team of musicians and freestyling MCs. And you can be there to witness this off-the-cuff masterpiece being born. See this page here to book your tickets.

Tom Stade - You're Welcome | Leicester Square Theatre | 1-2 + 7-9 Apr
Don't miss this upcoming run from very excellent Canadian comedian Tom Stade, who performs the show that won him many glowing plaudits at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. He's been living in the UK for a few years now, and in this show offers something of an outsider's view of British life. Go ahead and click on this link here to view more info and tickety links.

SUNDAY 3 APRIL 2016 >>

Danny And The Deep Blue Sea | Theatre N16 | 3-14 Apr
A production of award winning US writer John Patrick Shanley's 1983 play depicting the unlikely love story between two social misfits, set in a run down bar in the Bronx. It's one of those plays where not much seems to happen... and yet, it does. I feel rather hopeful that this will be a good production of it. See this page here to book your tickets.

Sensational Butterflies | Natural History Museum | 24 Mar-11 Sep (pictured)
This new exhibition opened at the Natural History Museum a week or so ago, and it runs until September, so there's no rush, but I thought it might be a rather nice thing for children, and they are at a loose end at the moment, what with it being the Easter holidays and everything. You get to wander amongst free flying moths and butterflies from all over the world, and get close up views through magnifiers and microscopic images. Actually, not sure I need to take the kids, sounds like a nice day out for one. Me. See the NHM website here for more info.

Bach Orchestral Suites - The Feinstein Ensemble | King's Place | 3 Apr
If you are a fan of Bach, then King's Place is definitely the place to be right now, because there's a whole weekend of Bach related concerts happening. There are about ten different events, so have a look at the list here, but I chose this one from The Feinstein Ensemble which features work by Telemann and Handel, as well as by Bach. See this page here for info and to book.

MONDAY 4 APRIL 2016 >>

The Non-Stop Connolly Show | Finborough Theatre | 4-24 April (selected dates)
Now, this is all a bit complex to explain in just one short paragraph, but I will try. This revival Margaretta D'Arcy and John Arden's epic verse piece telling the life story of Easter Rising leader James Connolly is split into different performances of the different sections on different days, and then at the end there will be two full day performances of the whole thing, throughout which you can 'come and go as you please'. Specially recommended to those with a particular interest in the subject, but a great chance for anyone to see a very special piece in full. See this page here for more info.

In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel | Charing Cross Theatre | 4 Apr-14 May
A production of one of Tennessee Williams' less well known works, which stands out from the rest of his oeuvre for its more experimental style, and which tells the tale of the difficult relationship between a world famous artist and his wife. A great creative team are on board for this revival, which stars the excellent Linda Marlowe. See the venue website here for details and to book.

John Luke Roberts - Stdad Up | Soho Theatre | 4-9 Apr (pictured)
This run of dates at the Soho Theatre follows a successful series of performances at last year's Edinburgh Festival, where John Luke Roberts won widespread praise for "dressing up as his dead father and performing one of the strangest, funniest and most emotionally exhausting shows in town". Provocative, bold, fearless and definitely worth seeing. Book your tickets right here.


Labels | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 5-30 Apr
This was a huge huge HUGE success when it appeared as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival, and here's the account of our own reviewer, who awarded full marks to this "very special show". Written and performed by Joe Sellman-Leava, who tells honest and touching tales about his mixed heritage, immigration, and growing up in rural England in the 1990s. See this page here for details and to book.

Russian Dolls | King's Head Theatre | 5-23 Apr
This new play from award winning writer Kate Lock examines the relationship of two people from different generations, and their search for a shared purpose. The result is a piece which celebrates cross-generational interconnection and self-determination while offering an insight into the lives of both the young and the old. See the venue website here for tickets and info.

The Taming Of The Shrew | The Arts Theatre | 5 Apr-3 May
Bit of a theatre day, today, then, though I didn't altogether plan it. This production of the Shakespeare classic is the flagship event of the new and upcoming Verve Festival, which aims to focus on issues of diversity and gender. In line with those aims, this is a gender-reversed version of the play, so that should make for an interesting watch. Follow this link here for details and tickets.


Gatsby | The Union Theatre | 6-30 April
If you love 'The Great Gatsby' and you are a big fan of music theatre then I guarantee you will enjoy going to see this, Ruby In The Dust's acclaimed musical adaptation of the famed F Scott Fitzgerald story. It was first staged back in 2012 but is being revived to celebrate the anniversary of the production at the Union Theatre of the company's first show. See this page here for all the info and to book.

The First Hamlet | The Cockpit | 5-30 Apr
'Hamlet', but perhaps not as you know it; I will let the blurb explain: "It's the 'Hamlet' you may never have heard of - compact, active, and the first version printed in Shakespeare's name. It vanished for two centuries, until a copy turned up in a broom cupboard, causing a sensation. Is it Shakespeare's first draft, a pirate forgery, or the play that enthralled audiences four hundred years ago? Leave your certainties at the door, as you meet Hamlet in a startling new dramatic light." Colour me intrigued. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Jack Rooke - Good Grief | Soho Theatre | 4-9 Apr (pictured)
Comedian, writer, campaigner and person (his words) Jack Rooke reprises his hugely acclaimed and award nominated debut show 'Good Grief', in which he explores how we treat bereaved people, yet manages to make that hilarious. The set draws on his own experience of loss at a young age, and is a witty, sensitive exploration of a deeply difficult subject. Follow this link for details and booking info.


In-Nocentes - National Youth Dance Company | Sadler's Wells | 7 Apr
As the title reveals, this is the work of the award-winning director/choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and the National Youth Dance Company, and to my eyes, looks extremely promising. It features forty two - yes, forty two - young dancers and is set to Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons' recomposed by Max Richter. See this page here for all the info.

Breaking Stones | Proud Gallery Chelsea | 7 Apr-5 Jun
Another mildly revealing title, perhaps, though it's not, as you might immediately assume, an exhibition of pictures of quarries and suchlike. In fact, it's a collection of photos by Terry O'Neill documenting the rise of The Rolling Stones. Definitely one for rock history aficionados, and fans of the band, but interesting for anyone, I feel. And you know, if you have a couple of grand going spare, maybe you can buy a print. If you don't, maybe you can afford the book that accompanies the exhibition. Scroll down this page here for more details.

The Brink | Orange Tree Theatre | 7-30 Apr (pictured)
This new play by award winning playwright Brad Birch has just received the 2016 Pinter Commission and is described as sharp, funny and dark, so that all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? And it's directed by Mel Hillyard, recipient of the J.P. Morgan Emerging Director Award 2015. It's about Nick, a history teacher on the edge, exploring a hidden secret that he can't get off his mind. See the venue website here for more info and to book.
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