When I heard first about 'The Claim' - which goes up over at Shoreditch Town Hall imminently - I was immediately drawn to the idea of the show and the events surrounding it. Its focus is the story of a refugee, desperately trying to explain why he must stay in the UK, and I was keen to find out more about the creative team behind it, and their approach to the piece.

To that end, I arranged to have a chat with writer Tim Cowbury. Read the interview here.

'The Claim' is on at Shoreditch Town Hall from 16-26 Jan. See the venue website here for more information and to book.


Mathieu Geffré Dance - Act | The Space | 12 Jan
It's the start of the Resolution dance festival over at The Space, and it appears that this is the event kicking things off. Award winning choreographer Mathieu Geffré performs this solo piece exploring the essence of his choreographic research, sharing his process with his audience, and connecting images from various myths about the origins of the world to his own creative journey. For more information about this show, see this page here, and for a line up of all festival events, see this page here.

Rainbow Umbrella Film Festival | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 12-14 Jan (pictured)
The latest little Film Festival over at Hen & Chickens Theatre is an LGBT one (yes, you might just have got that from the name) and will include networking events as well as screenings. It begins with an opening night double bill of 'Cas', a comedy drama from the Netherlands, and 'Disorientated', or 'Orientierungslos', which focuses on two female students on a camping trip who discover that their perceptions of friendship differ significantly. See this listings page here for links to all the events.

The Mitfords | Greenwich Theatre | 12-14 Jan
"Diana was married to Oswald Mosley and a lifelong fascist. Unity was a great close friend of Hitler's. Jessica, was a dyed-in-the-wool communist. Deborah became Duchess of Devonshire. Nancy was a well-loved novelist". I must confess to always having been very curious about this set of interesting sisters and their respective places in twentieth century history. So, yes, I'd rather like to see this one-woman show, written by Gail Louw and performed by Heather Long. Details here.


Twilight - Los Angeles 1992 | Gate Theatre | 11 Jan-3 Feb
"When the policemen accused of assaulting young, black taxi driver Rodney King were acquitted, deadly riots broke out across LA, laying bare the recurring pattern of racial oppression and police brutality in America". Writer Anna Deavere Smith interviewed hundreds of people to create this acclaimed (and early) piece of verbatim theatre, which premiered back in 1994. Here's a chance to see it performed, head this way for info.

Santa Madera | Shoreditch Town Hall | 12-14 Jan (pictured)
Argentinian Juan Ignacio Tula and Swiss-born Stefan Kinsman present their second show together, using the cyr wheel to great effect to create a piece inspired by indigenous South American rituals, and evoking what's described as "the violence of combatants in a pagan power game". Expect a compelling and possibly even spectacular performance. Details here.

Lobster | Theatre503 | 9-20 Jan
A comical but also heart-breaking tale about love and compatibility in contemporary times, with a focus on  the universal pressures on the millennial generation. This comes from a new feminist company, Snapper Theatre, whose focus is on "telling stories that are not often told and finding new ways of telling them". See the venue website here for more.


Statements | King's Head Theatre | 14-15 Jan
I tipped this previously, and now it's returning after a successful premiere, and I am tipping it again because I think it's an important topic probably not addressed as well and as much as it could be in culture and media. It tackles Asperger's and Downs Syndrome, and offers an exploration of the world of special educational needs and the lives of those of those affected by them. Click here for info.

Luca Cupani - It's Me | The Bill Murray | 14 Jan (pictured)
This is the show Luca Cupani performed in Edinburgh last summer, I believe, and I heard good things about it, even if I didn't manage to see it myself. So I am recommending it to you. If you haven't come across this talented chap before, then I should possibly tell you that he's a past winner of the 'So You Think You're Funny' competition, and has much critical acclaim to his credit. See the venue website here for more.

100 Ways The Fire Starts | Theatre503 | 14-15 Jan
"Bella and Leon are having a party, Apocalypse themed. The world is supposed to end tonight. But as the games get more dangerous, fires start, gun men storm the building, and they begin to question what is real and what is not". This play exploring our fetishisation of apocalyptic themes and the use of them in popular culture was first produced at Theatre503's Rapid Write Response, then developed into a full-length production as part of the National Theatre's Playwright's Development Programme. Head this way for details.


Calm Down Dear - Big Bang #1 | Camden People's Theatre | 15 Jan (pictured)
The Calm Down Dear festival at Camden People's Theatre today, so it seems apt to begin with a, er bang, by tipping 'Big Bang #1' (because trust me, there'll be more from Calm Down Dear coming up). The Big Bangs, as you may know already, are CPT's collections of work in progress pieces, and this one, of course, has the feminist theme of the festival running through it. See the venue website here for details.

Cry, Blueberry | The Cockpit | 15-19 Jan
This one man play, written and performed by Richard Canal, focuses on Isaac Solomon Loew, a Jewish Mississippian performing as Blueberry, the happy-go-lucky Pierrot, on vaudevillian Broadway. The show sees him entering his dressing room for the final time - having lost his job - and reflecting on the memories, mistakes and misdeeds of a lifetime. See this page here for more.

Knock Knock | Tristan Bates Theatre | 15-27 Jan
"When the play ended, the audience didn't move, didn't breathe for what felt like an age; even now, hours later, I'm still reeling". Is what our reviewer wrote after seeing this play up at the edfringe last summer. And yes, you may recognise this as something we tipped when there was a one-off performance at TheatreN16 in November. But now you have more chances to see it! Please don't miss it this time, because it really is remarkable. Information right about here.


The Claim | Shoreditch Town Hall | 16-26 Jan
"Serge stands before us. He has a performance to give. But why is he here? What is he claiming has happened to him? And what has Willy Wonka got to do with it?" A comical but searching exploration of the bureaucracy and prejudice met by those seeking refuge in the UK. For more information and to book tickets, see the venue website here.

So Many Reasons | Camden People's Theatre | 16 Jan-3 Feb
The talented Racheal Ofori, who you'll remember from her previous show 'Portrait', returns with this piece about the influence mothers have on the way we understand, from the perspective of a first generation British Ghanaian woman. The show, part of the previously trumpeted Calm Down Dear festival, promises to explore cultural and generational shifts, religion and sexuality, and what happens when we realise mums don't always know best. Click herefor details.

Enter The Dragons | Camden People's Theatre | 16-17 Jan (pictured)
And yet more (yes!) from the Calm Down Dear festival, this time "an award-winning, funny, frank and fearless show about the pressures facing women as they age". Threatens to "unashamedly subvert prevailing ideas about beauty, sex and feminism in 60 minutes of action-packed, hilarious, tightly written performance", and I can't wait. For more, head right this way.


Somber Sloughing etc | The Place | 17 Jan
Another event from the previously tipped Resolution 2018 festival of new dance. This one involves a collection of different pieces: Le Mirabellier's 'Somber Sloughing' evoking the journey of a transformation; J7s Dance Company's 'The Other Self', a depiction of the emotional and physical states one goes through in forming a new relationship and Rugged Estate's 'Occupation: RUGGED', which explores the creators reasons for doing krump (a form of street dance, if you're not sure what that is). More info here.

Still Ill | New Diorama | 16-27 Jan
"As common on neurology wards as MS, Functional Neurological Disorder looks and feels like a problem with the workings of the brain. Sufferers experience disabling symptoms that range from tremors to seizures and from blindness to paralysis, all with no physical cause". TW favourite Kandinsky bring back their acclaimed show about what it's like to be suffering from an illness with no apparent physical root. See this page here for details.

Lucy Pearman - Maid Of Cabbage | Soho Theatre | 16-20 Jan
Our reviewer loved this show when she saw it at last summer's Edinburgh Festival, and wrote a glowing review praising Ms Pearman's surreal and energetic style. The premise: appointed by Lord and Lady Wind, the titular maid is tasked with finding a perfect cabbage, and hilarity will, I guarantee it, ensue. Plus, the publicity shot makes me laugh. Book your tickets, here.


Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich | Jack Studio | 16 Jan-3 Feb
A production of Bertold Brecht's 'Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich', staged by Aequitas Theatre Company, who promise to apply the themes of the play to our contemporary global society; set in a near future, it imagines what the world might become if we continue to repeat the same mistakes. See the venue website here for information and to book.

Edward II | Greenwich Theatre | 16-27 Jan (pictured)
"The King is dead. His son, Edward II, is crowned King. His first act: to call home from banishment his lover, Gaveston". This acclaimed production from Lazarus Theatre Company of the Marlowe tragedy returns to London following its sell out 2017 run marking the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. Possibly not for the faint-of-heart, though, it's quite brutal, as you may know. See this page here for details.

Sacha Guitry Ma Fille Et Moi | Drayton Arms Theatre | 16 Jan-3 Feb
A tribute to Sacha Guitry marking the sixtieth anniversary of his death, this show is in French, but it does have English surtitles, so don't be put off if you're not a speaker. In it, an actress tells her daughter about her tempestuous relationship with the French writer, actor and director, celebrating his admiration for women and talent for mixing fiction with reality. See this page here for all the info.
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