If you are a fan of Judy Garland (and let's face it, a large proportion of our readership probably is) then you won't want to miss new musical 'Judy!', which, after a run (under a different title) at Southwark Playhouse a wee while ago, is set to be staged next month at The Arts Theatre.

Previous incarnations of the show met with much critical acclaim, and the structure and focus of the show seemed intriguing, so I was keen to talk to the show's creator, Ray Rackham, to find out more. Read the interview here.

'Judy!' is on at the Arts Theatre from 16 May-17 Jun. See this page here for info and to book.

FRIDAY 21 APRIL 2016 >>

JV2 | Lilian Baylis Studio | 21-22 Apr
An exciting-looking triple bill of dance pieces, two from up and coming choreographers, and one from the well established and award winning Jasmin Vardimon, whose company created JV2 with the aim of cultivating the talents of young emerging dancers via a professional development diploma. Tonight there's also a post-show discussion with this year's JV2 company led by Geoff Colman. See this page here for more.

All The Things I Lied About | Soho Theatre | 18 Apr-6 May
The brilliant Katie Bonna, co-creator of Fringe First winning show 'Dirty Great Love Story', is also the creator of a more recent Fringe hit, this ersatz TED talk exploring her past mistakes and what dire disasters to expect from the future with a view to showing how everyday lies might have led us to the "post truth era". In which no-one seems to be able to do anything about people like Trump and Farage telling bare-faced fibs to try and steer their agenda. Sigh. See the venue website here for details.

Rubber Ring | Tristan Bates Theatre | 20-22 Apr
"Jimmy's sixteen, sexually confused and stuck in Sheringham; the seaside town they forgot to bomb. When Morrissey comes to London, Jimmy flees to the city to try and find his hero and himself". Well, I love Sheringham. For a day trip, I am not sure I'd want to live there, especially if I were 16. But enough about my take on the matter, what matters is that this critically acclaimed one-hander from Norfolk playwright James McDermott is really good. Click here for info.


Sophie Willan - On Record | Soho Theatre | 21-29 Apr
Sophie Willan grew up in and out of the care system, and at the age of 23, unexpectedly took receipt of all of her personal files. It is these files which form the backbone of this show, as the up and coming comedian explores who she is via the opinions and observations of those who assessed her as she made her way towards adulthood. This did very well in Edinburgh last summer, expect high quality entertainment. See this page here for more.

Bubble Schmeisis | Battersea Arts Centre | 21-22 Apr
You may already know that we are fans of 'Bubble Schmeisis' and its clever creator Nick Cassenbaum - we recently published a very readable Q&A with him - and in which case it won't surprise you that we are keen to recommend that you take in the show on one of these upcoming dates. He's a lovely storyteller, and this offers an intimate and personal experience focused on finding a cultural identity. Click here for info.

City Of Glass | Lyric Hammersmith | 20 Apr-20 May
"When reclusive crime writer Daniel Quinn receives a mysterious call seeking a private detective in the middle of the night, he quickly and unwittingly becomes the protagonist in a thriller of his own. As the familiar territory of the noir detective genre gives way to something altogether more disturbing, Quinn becomes consumed by his mission, and begins to lose his grip on reality". A theatrical adaptation of a Paul Auster novel, being brought to the stage in a very promising sounding manner. See the venue website here for details.

SUNDAY 23 APRIL 2016 >>

Upstream Comedy | 100 Club | 23 Apr
This fabulous line up of comedy acts, MCd by the very excellent and acclaimed Jayde Adams, is headed by the totally comedy-award winning, on-TV-quite-a-bit John Kearns, and completed by the fantastic Ben Target and the fabulous Lucy Pearman. Enough glowing adjectives for you? Click ye this link here for all the details.

Spit & Polish | Lion and Unicorn Theatre | 23 Apr
And, talking of ridiculously good line ups, I've only gone and found another one. This time it's spoken word at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, and your excellent list of performers comprises the beyond brilliant Katie Bonna, artist resident at the Roundhouse Joe Beaumont Howell, community arts devotee Desree Gumbs-Carty, and Slambassadors 2015 winner Jay Hulme. Expect damn fine things, head this way for more.

Sunday Smash Up | Camden Comedy Club | 23 Apr
And look of that. Yet more lining up of a hugely dazzling nature, only this time there are only two of them, because it's the outstanding Michael Legge (pictured) and the glorious Caroline Mabey performing previews of their newly minted 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows. They'll be magnificent, which is all very well, but I may not have quite enough superlatives left for tomorrow's tips. Anyway, see this page here for info.

MONDAY 24 APRIL 2016 >>

Sari - The Whole Five Yards | Tristan Bates Theatre | 24 Apr
"Bhanu is getting ready to go to her 40th "surprise" wedding anniversary party. She has the most seemingly perfect life... that is, until the truth slips out. She begins to unravel. When the truth is out, there is nowhere to hide...". Another offering from First, the Festival of Solo Performance going on over at Tristan Bates Theatre, this one a play about a 62-year-old woman intent on reclaiming her life. Click here for more.

Kiri Pritchard-McLean | The Good Ship | 24 Apr (pictured)
Another toppy-tip-top line up for Monday night over at The Good Ship, headed by the very talented Kiri Pritchard-McLean, but also featuring a host of other excellent acts - Sindhu Vu, Joe Jacobs, Alexander Bennett, Glen Moore and your usual fab host Ben van der Velde. See this page here for all the details.

Unrestricted View Film Festival | Hen & Chickens | 24-30 Apr
This small film fest is back for a second year and will be screening so much good stuff I wasn't able to choose just one event to single out, but at the same time couldn't fit a recommendation for everything into the tipping schedule. So I thought I would do it all in one go. Lots and lots of filmic wholesomeness for you to digest, follow this link here for a guide to everything that's on.

TUESDAY 25 APRIL 2016 >>

Eurohouse | Ovalhouse | 25-29 Apr
This award nominated piece sees two performers - one Greek and one French - dancing, shouting, crying and singing as they agree and disagree about life in the 'Eurohouse'. The excellent and innovative Fellswoop Theatre are behind this production, which is on tour following a well received run at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer, and probably has added interest given our current status within the European Union and that we are now looking at it with one foot out of the door. See the venue website here for more.

Drawn In | Tristan Bates Theatre | 25-26 Apr
In this "show-with-no-words", an office drone gets sucked through his computer screen into a locked room, and doesn't know how to get out, though he does have a pen, a board, and a cryptic set of instructions, and can make anything he draws into something real. Another piece of solo work from TBT's First Festival, and it sounds incredibly interesting. See this page here for details.

The Lounge | Soho Theatre | 25 Apr-20 May
"In a care home lounge somewhere off the A1, 97 year old Marsha Hewitt begins the last day of her life. But she cannot go quietly. As the radiators burn and Jeremy Kyle blares, rivalries, relatives and murderous impulses jostle for space on the Axminster carpet. By teatime, a riot is brewing". The brilliant and award winning Inspector Sands explore the themes of how we age, and how we cope (or fail to cope) with it. For more info, click this link here.


Luke Wright - The Toll | Bethnal Green Working Men's Club | 26 Apr (pictured)
Long, long, long, term TW favourite Luke Wright is on a national tour performing poems from his new book 'The Toll', which, he says, covers a range of topics - politics, family, duty, heartache, and the toll life takes on you, though don't make the mistake of thinking it will be all tears and misery - I bet he'll make you laugh out loud, too, even given those themes. Book your tickets here.

Ross & Rachel | Battersea Arts Centre | 25 Apr-13 May
This is another of those things I happened upon when covering the Edinburgh Fringe, back in 2015, if I remember correctly, but it's gone on to bigger things since then. Don't be swayed by the title into thinking that this is some kind of lightweight sitcom themed thing, though it does have a light touch. What it offers is a long hard look at the myths of modern love, through the heartbreaking story of what happens when the couple that was always meant to be together gets together. Click here for more.

Divine Chaos Of Starry Things | White Bear Theatre | 25 Apr-20 May
"Paris 1871: A revolt takes control of a global city. In the final days, working class women - from seamstresses to teachers to sex workers - choose to take up arms, desperate to defend the freedoms they have won. Their attempt fails and these female revolutionaries are exiled to remote New Caledonia". Paul Mason's play, based on the memoirs of 19th century feminist Louise Michel, takes a look at what happens when a people experience the transformation of their lives via the power of mass action. See the venue website here for details.


CTRL+ALT+DELETE | Tristan Bates Theatre | 27-28 Apr (pictured)
You know how much we enjoy one person shows, right? Well, if you didn't, you must surely have guessed it given how many picks we've had in recent Three To See choices from the solo performance fest at Tristan Bates Theatre. And yes, here it is, another. It's an award-nominated piece, which tackles important stuff - control and abuse, both in a domestic setting and the public sphere. See the venue website here for more.

Giants - Edinburgh Preview | The Bill Murray | 27 Apr
I may already have pointed out to you at some time or other that we can be a bit picky about Edinburgh previews, especially during the spring and early summer when London is increasingly rife (yes, rife!) with them. But here's one I am entirely happy to give a try, because they are fabulously new and fresh and yet acclaimed and up and coming sketchsters. Don't hesitate, I'm not going to, head this way for info.

Motionhouse - Scattered | The Peacock Theatre | 26-29 Apr
"Using ingenious choreography to interact with their digital environment, seven performers tumble down waterfalls, dive through waves and freeze on glaciers in a thrilling blend of film and live performance which explores our relationship with water". Ah, I'm sold. The brilliant Motionhouse return to The Peacock Theatre with their signature blend of dance and acrobatics: this is bound to be an exhilarating experience, see this page here for details.
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