As you're no doubt aware, the Vault Festival is a truly awesome thing, and if you've been reading the tips we've been writing over the last few weeks, you'll note that rather a lot of shows from it have ended up among our Threes To See.

One of the shows that really jumped out and demanded our attention when we perused the programme of events for this coming week was 'Ok, Bye' by RedBellyBlack, a company we've been watching interestedly for some time now. To find out more about the show, I spoke to co-creator and director, Vicki Baron. Read the interview here.

'OK, Bye' is on as part of Vault Festival from 7-11 March, see this page here for more information and to book your tickets.

Coming up at Upstairs At The Gatehouse in Highgate is a production of a new play by actor and writer Ian Grant, produced by the company he co-founded, Time Productions. It's an emotional and political sounding piece, set largely during and between the two world wars in Europe.

To find out more about the inspiration and content of the play, and something about the brains behind it, I arranged to have a word with Ian, ahead of opening night. Read the interview here.

'After The Ball' is on at Upstairs At The Gatehouse from 7-24 Mar, see this page here for info and to book.

FRIDAY 2 MARCH 2018 >>

Glass Roots | Tristan Bates Theatre | 28 Feb-24 Mar
Sadjit and Thila are the owners of a popular Indian restaurant in east London, but life takes a turn for the worse when they find themselves terrorised by racist thugs. 'Glass Roots' takes a look at what happens when you are bullied, and have no way to fight back, and addresses what happens when ignorance, racism, class and jealousy collide. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

This Is Not Culturally Significant | Vault Festival | 2-3 Mar (pictured)
We've practically covered this show to death, between London and the old Ed Fest, but it's been a while, so for old times sake, we'd like to recommend that any fringe theatre loving readers that have somehow, miraculously, managed to miss seeing this show, see it now. Because it's completely and absolutely super. And there are only two opportunities at this Vault Festival, so come on, get a move on, head this way.

Alternate Time Flows | King's Place | 2 Mar
Yes, yes, I'm a time travel addict, and that's why this jumped out at me, but obviously I am not actually expecting time travel, not least because the listing doesn't promise any, but also because this is a concert, not a pseudoscience event or whacky Back To The Future themed improv show. Now that's cleared up, I'll stop the nonsense and explain that you can expect the mighty Evelyn Glennie and the O/Modernt Quartet  for "a programme that explodes, condenses and stretches time", to include works by Janáček, Golijov and Beethoven. Info here.


Paper Scissors Stone | Vault Festival | 3 Mar (pictured)
Back to Vault Festival (hurrah) for a work in progress piece from the outrageously talented Katie Bonna, Fringe First winner, co-creator of 'Dirty Great Love Story' and creator of 'All The Things I Lied About'. This one's inspired by the Greek chorus and the golden age of musical theatre, and tells the stories, interwoven, of three generations of women from the same small market town. Threatens to "crack open" the gender conditioning we don't always see, which I like the sound of. More here.

The Time Machine | ArtsDepot | 3 Mar
"2018: In this age of uncertainty, where the shadows of tyranny, intolerance and war darken the path into tomorrow, how much time do we have left? If civilisation falls today, what will become of us? Can we change the future? Or has the end already begun?" What promises to be a new and radical adaptation of the novel by HG Wells, one that we sadly missed when it was on at the Edinburgh Festival, in a handy location for north Londoners, for one night only. See this page here for more information.

Why Forgive? Real Stories Told Live | Vault Festival | 3 Mar
I'm intrigued by the sound of this event looking at "the twists and turns of the human heart and perspectives often left unheard" through lived experience, film and written testimony. It's part of The Mulligan Collection, a series of theatre and academia exploring forgiveness and its role within society and art. See the festival website here for details, and scroll down for links to other related shows.

SUNDAY 4 MARCH 2018 >>

Checkpoint Chana | Finborough Theatre | 4-20 Mar SMT
"Poet Bev Hemmings is in the eye of a storm after she publishes a poem that the world seems to believe is anti-Semitic. She's convinced she's innocent, but everyone else - including her PA, Tamsin - wants her to apologise. A press interview is planned to begin her public rehabilitation, but Bev's dying father, erratic behaviour and tendency to drink make her public contrition a complex process". Eeek, sounds like this broaches what for many is a touchy subject: it takes a look at the line between anti-semitism and political critique of the government of Israel. Interested to see what conclusions the play comes to. More information here.

Steen Raskopoulos - Work In Progress | Vault Festival | 4 Mar (pictured)
As you'll have seen, because you are reading this, this is a work in progress, but it's a work in progress from someone pretty special, so I don't think you need to worry too much that about the potential for it to be crappy. He's the sort of act that wins awards, and nominations, and five star reviews from the likes of us. So head this way for all the details.

Love's Labours Lost | The Rose Playhouse | 27 Feb-24 Mar
I've been rather drawn to this staging of this Shakespeare play because it looks like it might have a golden-age-of-Hollywood type setting, and that pleases me greatly. I hope I am entirely correct. But, you know, even if I were entirely wrong (though I am sure I am not) it would still be a great opportunity to see a production of LLL from a well established company. Just remember that the venue can get a bit chilly, and the weather has been a bit on the cold side lately, so wrap up warmish. See this page here.

MONDAY 5 MARCH 2018 >>

Sprint 2018: Big Bang #1 | Camden People's Theatre | 5 Mar
Yay yay yay, Sprint has come around again, CPT's yearly festival of "adventurous" new performance, and kicking it off is one of the venue's Big Bang events, a collection of four works in progress: 'Not In My Name', an abstract reaction to Brexit and the current political situation; 'La Petite Bouffe', a piece about competitive eating contests, inspired by the characteristics of Marco Ferreri͛s movie 'La Grande Bouffe'; 'Sheryl Talks Obesity', a response to some of the issues faced by contemporary society; and 'Void', which explores "human need, desire, obligatory love, and the addictive nature of Tesco meal deals". Click here for more.

Superman And Me and A Festival Of Other Loves In Crisis | Canal Cafe Theatre | 5-7 + 12-14 Mar
Another festival, this time on a smaller scale, presented Little Pieces of Gold and The Canal Cafe Theatre, and focusing on the theme of the ups and downs of being in love. The format will see a nightly performance of headlining play 'Superman & Me' - which sees average couple Lois and Clark wondering what happened to their once-perfect relationship - accompanied by a selection of short plays from up and coming UK based female playwrights. See the venue website here for all the details.

Glenn Wool - Viva Forever | 2Northdown | 5-7 Mar (pictured)
Brilliant stand-up and all round edfringe legend Glenn Wool heads to 2Northdown with the show he performed up there in Edinburgh in 2017, which, as you'd expect, got a great response from the critics and everyone I know who saw it. If you've not seen him in action before, a) you are absolutely in the wrong and need to rectify the situation, and b) you will not regret it. Head this way for information and to book for the 5 Mar, see listings here for the other dates.


Stuffed | Jack Studio | 6-17 Mar
"Kim and Jack are trying for a baby. Trying pretty hard. Their friends are having kids left, right and centre. A small army of doctors offer well-meaning advice but no actual answers. And nobody's getting any younger... But the further they go, the more they start to wonder, what is this all for?" This sounds like a promising new comedy about fertility and why we make the choices we make. See the venue website here for more.

Abducting Diana | Hen & Chickens Theatre | 6-17 Mar
Theatre of Heaven and Hell present this production of Dario Fo's 1986 play ('Abducting Francesca' in the original Italian version), in which a millionaire magnate is kidnapped - but who exactly has done the kidnapping, and why exactly has it happened? Who will turn out to be in control of the situation? As with anything from Fo, I'll expect comedy and buffoonery with satirical and political bite, staged by a company with good previous form. See this page here for details.

Corpus Christi | Arcola Theatre | 5-10 Mar (pictured)
Another recommendation from the previously tipped Creative/Disruption 18 season at Arcola, this time a revival of Terrence McNally's well known passion play, first staged in New York back in 1998. As you'll have noticed, that's a whole twenty years ago (crikey, that makes me feel old), making this an anniversary production, and it's brought to you by the Arcola Queer Collective. For information and to book tickets, see this page here.


Festival Of The Spoken Nerd - You Can't Polish A Nerd | Soho Theatre | 7-16 Mar
Brilliant TW favourites of long-standing Festival Of The Spoken Nerd - aka Steve Mould, Helen Arney, and Matt Parker - head to Soho Theatre for what I guarantee will be a run of shows featuring quality scientific entertainment. You've no doubt heard of their brilliance, maybe even seen their brilliance, and if not, I feel pretty sure that this sentence will convince you of their brilliance, given how many times I've used the word brilliance in it. Details here.

The Dog Beneath The Skin | Jermyn Street Theatre | 7-31 Mar
"The sleepy village of Pressan Ambo has a secret. Ten years ago, Francis Crewe disappeared. Every year, a man is chosen by lot to go searching for Francis but none have ever come home. This year, Alan Norman is chosen and accompanied by a surprisingly intelligent dog; he sets out on a journey through 1930's pre-war Europe. A nationalist threat however is on the rise and when Alan returns home to Pressan Ambo, he finds it a very different place to how he left it". A revival of a "rediscovered classic" by WH Auden and Christopher Isherwood that sounds really rather interesting. See this page here for more.

Br'er Cotton | Theatre503 | 7-31 Mar (pictured)
By contrast, something far more modern, dealing with a very contemporary theme. This Theatre503 Playwriting Award short-listed play, set in the US, tells a story of a 14 year old boy, Ruffrino, who is struggling to find his place in a world where the random, unprovoked killing of young black men is epidemic. Losing touch with the real world and becoming engrossed in a life online, he becomes engaged in an uncompromising fight - to ensure that Black Lives Matter. See the venue website here for info.


Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow | Chickenshed | 8-31 Mar
Chickenshed present this new musical addressing an important issue - that of man-made climate change - through what promises to be an engaging central narrative. Expect theatre, new and original music and dancein a thought provoking piece aimed at a wide ranging audience: I think this definitely looks suitable for older children, so I reckon it might be a nice show to see as a family. Information right about here.

Moth Man | Old Red Lion Theatre | 8 Mar
"Lepidopterist, Dave, tries to cope with his recent breakup by transforming into a Moth. His sister, Amber, must put aside her own feelings in order to coax him from his cocoon. However, Dave and Amber will discover that not everything is as simple as Moth and Man, when a series of hidden betrayals emerge, forcing them to confront what is really happening behind the makeshift wings and all the maple syrup". This new play, showcased by Blackshaw Theatre Company, sounds rather intriguing. Only limited numbers of public tickets though, I think, as it's an industry focused performance. See this page here for more.

Returning To Haifa | Finborough Theatre | 27 Feb-24 Mar
I had planned to tip this earlier in its run, but it kept being sold out at the start (and continues to be) so I wasn't sure there was any point in mentioning it earlier if you wouldn't be able to get a ticket anyway. In any case, this would probably (and seemingly has) piqued anyone's interest, given the volatile subject matter. It's the first English language adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani's novella about two families - one Palestinian, one Israeli - living side by side. See the venue website here for details.
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