If you are looking for some entertainment that's a little bit different this coming week, then I would recommend heading over to Shoreditch Town Hall to see Chris Dobrowolski. His latest piece, 'Antarctica', in which he talks to audiences about his work as an artist in residence down at the southern pole (I know!), promises to be a funny, informative experience.

After coming across his impressive stuff up at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago, I wanted to find out more about this new show, how Dobrowolski ended up at the bottom of the world, and what sort of things happened when he got there. Read the interview here.

See just how good Chris Dobrowolski is at pointing at pictures with a stick when he performs Antarctica at Shoreditch Town Hall from 4-6 May. See the venue website here to book your tickets.

As often happens with TW favourites, we first discovered Gabriel Bisset-Smith via the Edinburgh Festival, only it was initially through his double act, Guilt & Shame. And of course, we won't stop loving him just because he's in a solo show, not least because of the critical acclaim that's been heaped on it.

To find out more about 'Gabriel Bisset-Smith Tells The Most Original And Funny Joke In The Universe', and about his career in general, I put some questions to him, ahead of his imminent dates at Soho Theatre. Read the interview here.

Gabriel Bisset-Smith performs at Soho Theatre from 29-30 Apr. See this page here for all the details.

You can be forgiven for not having heard of Heathcote Williams' mid-sixties play 'The Local Stigmatic', because over the years it hasn't been produced anywhere near as much as it should have been; those of you who think the name sounds familiar might remember the 1990 film starring Al Pacino.

Luckily for London theatre-goers, you'll soon get the chance to see it on stage, when a new production of the play goes up next week at the Old Red Lion Theatre. I spoke to director Michael Toumey, to find out more about the play, and why he wanted to revive it. Read the interview here.

'The Local Stigmatic' is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 3-28 May. See the venue website here for info and tickets.

FRIDAY 29 APRIL 2016 >>

The 9th Annual London Improvathon | Lost Theatre | 29 Apr-1May
Hurrah, I love people pushing themselves to extremes for my entertainment, so of course I am going to recommend a fifty hour improv event, especially given all the very excellent performers involved in this: Mark Meer, Dan Starkey, Ruth Bratt, Cariad Lloyd, Sarah Louise Young, The Showstoppers, Austentatious, and many more. You can buy a ticket for the whole thing, or a ticket for a two hour time block. See this page here for all the info.

Underhill Rose | Green Note | 29 Apr
If rootsy Americana's your thing, then this trio, Underhill Rose – Eleanor Underhill, Molly Rose Reed and Salley Williamson – might be one to look out for, with their music that promises three part harmonies, salty vocals, hammer claw banjo, harmonica, guitar and double bass. Have a look at this page here to have a listen to their material and to book tickets if you like the sound of them.

Gabriel Bisset-Smith Tells The Most Original And Funny Joke In The Universe | Soho Theatre | 29-30 Apr (pictured)
If you haven't come across Gabriel Bisset-Smith as a solo performer, there's still a chance you might have experienced his work as part of the rather highly acclaimed double act Guilt & Shame, which we've seen and loved up at that old edfringe in summers gone. Be prepared for "intergalactic travel, strange sexual positions, bizarre dance routines, Kanye West and unhinged murder". Go to the venue website here for more info.


Saucy Jack And The Space Vixens | King's Head Theatre | 26 Apr-21 May
It's now something of an old chestnut, but by gum, it's a tasty roasted sweet chestnut that will warm your insides. Yes, I'm not too sure about that metaphor, either, so let's forget about that and focus on the fact that this piece has been staged by many different companies in a number of different countries over the past twenty years or so, and nobody is sick of it yet. If you haven't seen a production of this "inter-galactic disco extravaganza" yet, maybe it's about time. Follow this link here to book your tickets for this one.

The Buskers Opera | Park Theatre | 28 Apr-4 Jun
So, to contrast with that venerable piece, take this, a new musical, set in recent times, from the critically acclaimed Dougal Irvine. As you might expect from the name, this is inspired by 'The Beggar's Opera', but this takes place in London in 2012, as the city prepares itself to host the Olympics. Have a look at this page here to find out more about the show, and to book your tickets.

Portia | Theatre503 | 26 Apr-7 May (pictured)
Talking about recent times (gosh, I'm slick, aren't I?), here's a piece that very probably echoes the experience of a good many contemporary women. The central character in Lindsay Dukes' one-person performance meets an 'assertive' stranger (via the internet) who wants to tie her up and choose her underwear; can she square her desire to be dominated with her feminist beliefs? It's a very modern quandary. See the venue website here for all the details.

SUNDAY 1 MAY 2016 >>

Garrett Millerick – The Dreams Stuff Is Made From | Back Yard Bar | 1 May (pictured)
We love Garret Millerick and his angry, ranty style, so I have no qualms about recommending this particular show, even though in the show blurb, someone has added a wrong and unnecessary apostrophe to a quotation from our publication ThreeWeeks. Anyway, the content of the set sounds typical of Millerick, and very promising: "stories from the grand canyon that sits between our dreams and our achievements. Things you didn't realise were annoying, analysed in detail that you never thought was necessary". Yet again, I am sold. If you are, go here.

Might Never Happen | King's Head Theatre | 1-16 May
A new play from all-female outfit Doll's Eye Theatre, inspired by the research of Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray and Dr. Maria Garner, which explores aspects of street harassment. I'm of the opinion that we really need to talk more about this issue and the effect it has on people's lives, so I'll be interested to see what this piece has to say. Complemented by two post-show events. See the venue website here for info.

You Must Be The One To Bury Me | New Diorama | 1-2 May
"As Richard's grasp on reality crumbles, the fantasies, memories and monsters of his recent relationship materialise in his flat around him, subjecting him to an onslaught of romantic terrorism". This is on as part of the much previously mentioned A Nation's Theatre Festival, and it's only on for two days, so be careful you don't miss it. It focuses on a fact that I have long been fascinated by – how memory is so inconsistent; that we are capable of remembering events entirely differently to how they actually happened. See this page here for info.

MONDAY 2 MAY 2016 >>

Chaser + Mr Kolpert | Lion and Unicorn Theatre | 2-14 May
You don't have to go and see both these plays, but they are both on each night for the duration of the run and there's a double bill ticket offer, so you might as well. Blink Theatre present David Tushingham's translation of David Gieselmann's critically acclaimed anarchic black comedy 'Mr Kolpert', plus a new piece, 'Chaser', which focuses on voyeurism, and what isolation can do to a person. See this page here for info and to book.

Shlomo's Beatbox Adventure For Kids | Udderbelly | 2 May (pictured)
Here you go, one for the kids, as it's Bank Holiday Weekend. Although, to be fair, this is the sort of shizzle even the grown-ups can very much get down with – the brilliant and record breaking beatboxer will cause wonder and laughter with his sound effects and mouth-made-music no matter how old you are. This is tailored to a young audience, though, so don't exclude the children. Oh, and if you miss it today, he's doing the show later in the month too. Go to this page here for booking info.

Carl Donelly et al | The Good Ship | 2 May
A fab line up over at The Good ship tonight, including some serious TW favourites. As well as the headliner Carl Donelly, you get Andrew Watts, Mat Ewins,Twayna Mayne, Loyiso Gola, and Ben Van Der Velde. Very much a bargain. Get clicking on this link here for all the details.

TUESDAY 3 MAY 2016 >>

I Have Been Here Before | Jermyn Street | 3-21 May (pictured)
You may be familiar with the works of JB Priestley – at the very least, I'd expect that most of you have heard of 'An Inspector Calls' – but this is one of his less frequently produced works, despite the fact that it's one of the esteemed playwright's 'time plays', alongside with the arguably more-famous 'Time And The Conways', and 'Dangerous Corner'. I reckon this will be good, and it's a, ahem, timely revival. See this page here for details.

Cooked | Bread and Roses Theatre | 3-14 May
This sounds fun, a dark comedy about a celebrity 'chef' who can't actually cook, from the creative team at ScotchBonnet Theatre. Expect a grimy and funny exploration of celebrity culture, and how to "get even in the kitchen". See the venue website here to book your tickets.

Wilton's Strike! Dance Festival | Wilton's Music Hall | 3-5 May
This short festival of the physical premieres six new works by emerging artists, and thus represents a great chance to see the next big things (well, creatives) at the start of their careers. All the pieces explore the theme of memory, in a variety of ways. This page here offers a synopsis of each of the six creations (there are two per show), so take a look and see which take your fancy. And get a move on, tickets appear to be selling fast.


Nude | Hope Theatre | 3-25 May
This seems as though it should offer a healthy dose of lyrical loveliness, given its description as a "poem-turned-play". Taking inspiration from 'The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam', the piece explores love and destiny, asking how and why relationships happen, and speculating on whether or not fate has a hand in it. If you are as intrigued as I am, follow this link here for more info and to book.

The Diary Of A Hounslow Girl | Ovalhouse | 4-6 May (pictured)
This one woman show from Ambreen Razia offers an insight into what it's like growing up in London – with all its allurements and influences – as a member of a Muslim family with traditional values. The play was commissioned by Ovalhouse, and first performed there about a year ago, and I expect it's only grown stronger since then. Expect something sharp, funny and revealing, which will also tear down a few of those cultural stereotypes. See the venue website here for all the details.

Antarctica | Shoreditch Town Hall | 4-6 May
We came across Chris Dobrowolski a few years ago at edfringe and were very much taken by his entertaining work. Not sure exactly how to describe what he does, though our reviewer called the show he saw 'live art' and Dobrowolski says 'Antarctica' is a 'performance lecture'. Anyway, I have no doubt that this will be entirely fascinating: stories about and images from three and a half months as artist in residence with the British Antarctic Survey, delivered by a brilliant raconteur. Go here to find out more and to book.

THURSDAY 5 MAY 2016 >>

The Raunch | London Wonderground | 5 May-12 Jun
The name of the show alone suggests that there might be some fairly grown up content, so make sure you don't have anyone too young or on the sensitive side with you. But make sure you go, so that you don't miss legendary cabaret star Empress Stah's latest show, a "whip-cracking, high-flying, all-twerking, rodeo-rocking night out". Follow this link here for all the info and to book. I want a booth for nine with two bottles of bubbly. Even if I go on my own.

Devilish! | Landor Theatre | 4-29 May (pictured)
"It's 'Pinocchio' meets 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' – with jazz hands!". Frankly, they had me at "jazz hands" but the Dorian Gray reference is pretty alluring too. I find 'Pinocchio' a bit scary, but I'm willing to put that out of my mind and give this a go. It's about an angel who crash lands in Clapham and is forced to deal with life in modern day London – will he be corrupted by it? It's an upbeat comedy musical, and I am so sure we are all going to enjoy it. See the venue website here for details.

The Local Stigmatic | Old Red Lion Theatre | 3-28 May
Given that Heathcote Williams' play is a study of psychosis, fame, and our collective fascination with and resentment of celebrity, it seems as though it might be even more relevant now than when it was first staged back in the sixties. It's a provocative and shocking piece – one might even say horrifying – about a pair of sociopaths in a chance encounter with a vaguely famous actor. Don't miss your chance to see this rare revival, head this way to book your tickets.
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