Coming to Tristan Bates Theatre this month is a short festival on the theme of war, featuring the staged readings of new plays accompanied by a number of discussions. It's produced by Kali Theatre, which, as I'm sure many will know, is a company dedicated to highlighting the work of South Asian women.

To find out more about War Plays I spoke to Helena Bell, the company's artistic director. Read the interview here.

'The War Plays' season is on at Tristan Bates Theatre from 8-19 May. See this page here for more information.

FRIDAY 4 MAY 2018 >>

Woke | Camden People's Theatre | 4-5 May
"The twin juggernauts of hiphop and feminism are on a collision course. And Testament reckons he's the guy to sort it out. A rapper and world record-holding beatboxer, he thinks he's a right-on kind of guy.  He's made theatre shows and had his poetry on Radio 4. Then his daughter is born and suddenly he's not so sure. That's why he's staying up late, lost in the dark worlds of the internet. Because that's the place people go to talk about these things. What will he discover as he starts to unpick his own prejudices?" Oooh, I want to see this. All the details are here.

World Without Us | Battersea Arts Centre | 3-12 May
The completely amazing Belgian company Ontroerend Goed are back with this London premiere of a show which meditates on how we live our lives, what we leave behind, and what would happen if humans were gone. "We could hardly imagine it: There would be no more talk about the old days, about what's possible, no more words.  It would never get this far. We'd find a solution. A world without us". See this page here for more.

Stunning Meara | St Mary's Church SW15 | 4-6 May (pictured)
Hurrah, today Wandsworth Fringe begins and there are so many things to see that I found it really hard to even begin to distil it down to a few tips. So, have a look at everything else that's on here, but definitely consider this, a very interesting sounding piece about a mixed race woman with selective mutism who meets and forges a relationship with Steve, who has Asperger's. See the festival website here for info.

SATURDAY 5 MAY 2018 >>

Natalie Haynes - Honour Among Thebes | Tara Theatre | 5 May
As it's Saturday, I thought maybe you might have time to check out a couple of different aspects of the Wandsworth Fringe today, so with that in mind decided to devote the whole day to it. Starting with this - which is also part of Tara Theatre's 'I'll Say It Again!' season of work by women artists - from novelist, stand up and R4 star Natalie Haynes, who knows exactly what I want from a show (and life, really): an appealing combination of history and comedy, see this page here for more.

Affordable Art Show | Sprout Community Arts | 4-12 May
I really like affordable art events, because I very much like the idea that art can be accessible to people who don't have huge piles of cash; though to be fair, you still need a reasonable pile of said cash. Anyway, you'll find work by fifteen local artists in a variety of media -  paintings, drawings, illustrations, photography, digital and litho prints & 3D pieces - definitely worth a look. Click here for details.

The Twins Macabre - Slay | The Arches at St Mary's Church | 4-5 May (pictured)
"Having been found guilty of hundreds of crimes, instead of being locked up two young criminals have skyrocketted to an insane level of fame and celebrity! See the tykes bring their creepiness to the world of social media, reality TV and tiny handbag dogs through twisted sketches and comedy songs". These two made quite the impression on critics up at edfringe last summer, take a look at this page here to find out more.

SUNDAY 6 MAY 2018 >>

Lippy | The Arches at St Mary's Church | 4,6+12 May
"Rachel has been in awe of funny women her whole life, and now, a quarter of a century in and feeling daunted by the 'Beach-Body ready' and 'BIC pens for Her' culture she needs to channel these strong women more than ever". Yeah, I know how that feels. And this sounds interesting - a semi-autobiographical lip-sync show exploring gender and authenticity. Part of the much mentioned Wandsworth Fringe, see the festival website here for all the info.

Luca Cupani - God Digger | The Bill Murray | 6 May
We've tipped this well-reviewed comedian here before, and he's back, with a different show from the one we tipped before. What is this new show, I hear you ask? Well, I'll let the blurb tell you: "Luca is Italian, Catholic and an observant hypochondriac: after a fairly sin-free life made of unfulfilled dreams he is now asking God for answers". See this page here for more.

Tenome - Eyes On Hand | The Cockpit | 6+9 May (pictured)
Edifice Dance Theatre present this piece focusing on a blind humanoid creature that sees through the palms of its hands, derived from Japanese urban legend. It sounds like a very interesting approach to an exploration of the importance of meaningful, physical human connection. Head this way for details.

MONDAY 7 MAY 2018 >>

James Meehan - As If I Hadn't Slept | Soho Theatre | 7 May
Another occasion when I have been inspired to tip a day's worth of stuff on at the lovely Soho Theatre, and it's a very attractive trio indeed. We're starting with this one-off from James Meehan, who you may be most aware of in his capacity as a former member of Gein's Family Gift Shop. Having not slept properly for a long time, and been diagnosed with depression, he explores those experiences with the aim of finally achieving a proper sleep. See this page here for more.

Desiree Burch - Unf*ckable | Soho Theatre | 7-12 May (pictured)
Our next act is on for more than one night, but I imagine tickets will be disappearing like hot cakes so if you want to see her, I think you probably need to move fast. Yes, we've tipped it before, but we love her and we go "oh, oh oh" every time we find out she's appearing on some panel show or other and make a point of listening/watching. So of course we'd go and see this again and again. See the venue website here to book.

One Green Bottle | Soho Theatre | 27 Apr-19 May
"Boo, Bo and Pickle have all made plans tonight. But someone has to stay home and look after Princess. People are waiting, start times are looming. No one's budging and petty bickering soon spirals into a ludicrous battle of wills and, possibly, the end of the world". This is something I meant to tip earlier in its run but somehow it slipped off the list and that's why it ended up being here on Soho Day. Don't let it slip, like I did, head this way for all the details.

TUESDAY 8 MAY 2018 >>

Rattle Snake | Soho Theatre | 8-19 May
"A story with no ending; a chance meeting with one man changes the lives of two women forever. Now they both live trying to predict the unpredictable". Back to Soho Theatre, even though we were there all day yesterday, because we want you to have all the chances to see this award winning show about women who have experienced coercive controlling domestic abuse. Important stuff, see this page here.

Kali Theatre presents War Plays | Tristan Bates Theatre | 8-19 May
The excellent Kali Theatre presents this short season of readings of seven new full length plays and accompanying events, inspired by women's experiences of conflict in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Tibet, Bangladesh and occupied France. A different play each night, so check the listing here for details of what's on when.

Nightclubbing | Camden People's Theatre | 8-12 May (pictured)
"Women to the front, LGBTQIA to the front, People of Colour to the front!" This awesome looking show sees Rachael Young and a "badass band of super-humans" embrace Afrofuturism and the cult of Grace Jones in what promises to be an explosive performance including live music, intergalactic visions, and all round revolution. Click here for details.


Secrets Of The Bluestockings | Tara Theatre | 9 May
"Since the eighteenth century, the Bluestocking Society has run a top secret female resistance movement. Join three undercover members in an all singing, all dancing cabaret - an alternative history of literary ladies, derring do, and dangerous wandering wombs..." Another pick from Tara Theatre's 'I'll Say It Again!' season, and also under the umbrella of Wandsworth Fringe, this show stars a TW favourite of longstanding, Tricity Vogue. Details here.

A Festival Of Korean Dance | The Place | 9,12+16 May (pictured)
Well, as you have surely divined from the above heading, this is a short festival of Korean dance, and it looks like we can expect quite a diversity of styles on display, from the traditional and classical to the modern and contemporary. Today you can see 'Immixture' by Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, more info about that here, but have a look at this page also, for links to the other events.

Engine Brake | New Diorama | 8-12 May
"An English man and an Indian woman create a dazzling car ad campaign together, navigating questions of growth, progress, and the dreams that connect us". Another great looking show from The Plasticine Men, who are favourites of ours. So much so that we gave them a TW Editors' Award a few years back. Actually, it's quite a few more years back than I'd realised and I feel old now, so, enough. So just go and book your tickets here, you won't regret it.

THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018 >>

Yvette | Shoreditch Town Hall | 10-12 May (pictured)
"Evie is thirteen and lives in Neasden with her Mum. She wants to tell us about something... her crush on Lewis, trying to be a woman, friends, virginity, garage remixes, hello kitty underwear... an 'Uncle' lurking in the corner of her story. She wants to make us laugh, she's pretty good at it. She wants to tell us something, but she daren't let it out". This play about stolen childhood is touring a number of different London venues this month. Check the venue website here for info, and all the dates.

213 Things About Me | Battersea Arts Centre | 9-12 May
This sounds sad, given its focus on autism and social exclusion, even though it promises to be darkly comedic. It's semi-biographical, with some basis in the life of a real person, a singer songwriter who was diagnosed with Asperger's as an adult, who created a list of the titular 213 traits, later dying by suicide. It explores important themes, and I think this is something you ought to consider seeing, see this page here for more.

Isaac Came Home From The Mountain | Theatre503 | 9 May-2 Jun
The premiere of a Bruntwood Prize long-listed play, directed by Carla Kingham. "Bobby's out of school and out of work. There's nothing going and nowhere to go. A job with Mike seems like everything he needs. A steady wage. A bit of self-respect. A chance to make good. If only it were that easy. Driven by a dogged determination to prove his worth, Bobby makes a devastating mistake and risks throwing away his new life before it's begun". See this page here for details.
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