Welcome to a new week and another TW Weekly, complete with the latest festival previews from TW:Edinburgh, more Fringe tips from TW:DIY, and show recommendations for the cultural week ahead from TW:London.

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Here we go again interviewing yet another ThreeWeeks Editors' Award winner! Our reviewers have loved everything that Ian Smith has performed at the Fringe over the years, though it was last year that we got round to handing him one of our awards.

He returns to Edinburgh this August with a new show called 'Craft' promising a few more theatrical bits and even a bit of origami. It's all slightly mysterious, but we're confident it will be another fine hour of stand-up.

Ahead of all that, I thought it would be good to have a quick catch up about Edinburghs past and present, podcasting and YouTube-ing, and - of course - the new show. Read the interview here.

Ian Smith performs 'Craft' at Edinburgh Festival 2018 at Underbelly Bristo Square from 1-26 Aug.
TW:DIY is a new educational programme from the TW team that will be offering tips and advice to future talent in theatre, comedy and culture at large. To kick things off we're talking to people who work at the Edinburgh Festival each year to get their perspectives and top tips.

This week, comedian Nick Doody who has staged shows at both the big comedy venues and on the Free Fringe, opting for the latter approach in more recent years. We find out why he prefers the Free Fringe and how performers can make free shows really work. Read the interview here.
It's Shakespeare's final play, and it's a widely admired favourite of avid theatre-goers and literary types alike. And this upcoming London production of 'The Tempest', like all the work of Iris Theatre, will be staged in a brilliant location - the exterior of St Paul's Church in Covent Garden, aka The Actors' Church.

I spoke to the show's director, Iris Theatre founder Daniel Winder, to find out more, about him, and his production. Read the interview here.

'The Tempest' is on at St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden from 20 Jun-28 Jul, see this page here for info and to book.

TUESDAY 19 JUNE 2018 >>

Jade Anouka poetry | Roundhouse | 19 Jun (pictured)
What's that I hear? Another event over at the Roundhouse, you say? Well, yes, because Last Word is still ongoing, and it's one of our favourite festivals providing such a fab concentration of brilliant spoken word. And here's an excellent purveyor of the genre, Jade Anouka, who'll perform poems from her pamphlet 'Eggs On Toast' alongside new work, accompanied by musician Grace Savage in parts. See the venue website here for more.

Roman Candle | Theatre503 | 19-23 Jun
"Twenty-two-year-old Angie is living a life she never signed up to. Caring for her mum and working a job she doesn't like. Too long she's been forgotten and ignored. But not today. Today she's going to be seen". The premiere of a monologue by Tom Fowler, created as part of Royal Court's Open Court 2016, and directed by former Royal Court trainee Grace Gummer. Head to this page here for all the information and to book.

The Croydon Avengers | Ovalhouse | 19-23 Jun
This looks interesting a show blending comic book visuals with action-packed martial arts to tell a funny, and powerful story about friendship, terrorist threats, and heroism: "A trio of masked vigilantes send Croydon's crime rate plummeting. They've run away from their war-torn homes and are just trying to help. But Regina's not happy. She orders her media empire to unmask the Avengers and get them off the streets. Are they terrorists? Criminals? Either way, she thinks they're a threat to British identity". Click here for details.


Shebeen | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 20 Jun-7 Jul
"It's a hot, humid summer in 1958. Tempers are flaring and Teddy Boys are on the march. Jamaican couple Pearl and George are helping Caribbean migrants to cut loose at their Shebeen - a forbidden party where drinks flow, music plays, food is plentiful, and carefree attitudes roam. On a night fuelled by rum, calypso and dancing, the Shebeen is under threat from the police, and as tensions build everyone is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths". Award winning writer Mufaro Makubika's play inspired by the Windrush generation, directed by Matthew Xia. See this page here for more.

Your Sexts Are Shit - Older Better | Battersea Arts Centre | 19-21 Jun (pictured)
New show from the very super Rachel Mars focused on wordy declarations of lust: "Before sexts there were hand-written letters. And loads of them were filthy. With the help of the internet, friends and two sexologists, Rachel has unearthed missives dating back centuries. Triangulating these sex and love letters of a long dead artists with contemporary sexts and a meditation on the construction of the queer female body, the show is a funny, tender and intimate hour that asks - how do we write ourselves and for whom?" All the info is right about here.

Stiff & Kitsch - Adele Is Younger Than Us | 19-21 Jun
I've reached the age where it seems like a vast majority of the people I look up to are younger than me and achieving a lot more, so I was naturally drawn to this title, and the themes of the show - "we've all been there, the shattering realisation that you're not Adele" - and I know for a fact that this is going to be good because I heard lots of good things about it when it was on at the old edfringe a couple of years back. For details and to book, head right this way.

THURSDAY 21 JUNE 2018 >>

Mercenary | Battersea Arts Centre | 21-23 Jun
This sounds really interesting: it's a collaboration between a Sri Lankan-Australian footballer-artist and an Egyptian-Italian-American musician, and it explores "the reality of what it takes to build our global World Cup Dreams". As you probably now, Qatar is poised to stage the 2022 event, and as work on huge stadiums have begun, so too has the emergence of stories of wide-scale exploitation of a diverse migrant workforce. For more information on the show, see this page here.

Luisa Omielan - Politics For Bitches | Underbelly Festival | 21 Jun
Ah, the bright and brilliant Luisa Omielan, a stand-up comedian you'll no doubt be entirely aware of because of her brilliant shows 'What Would Beyonce Do?!' and 'Am I Right Ladies?!', is performing her latest, which is headed up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe later this summer. This time - as you have no doubt already surmised - she tackles the political world: "Politics. Brexit. The world doesn't make sense right now. Luisa believes she has the right to have an opinion on something she knows absolutely nothing about. It's time to start caring!" Info here.

Likkle Rum With Grandma | Roundhouse | 21 Jun (pictured)
Back over to the Last Word Festival now, hurrah. This piece from Croydon based writer Jeremiah 'SugarJ' Brown sounds like a real emotional journey and mixes poetry, storytelling and a Jamaican grandmother's voice to explore issues of loneliness, immigration, community and what distance does to family love. "Come chill and catch a vibe as we get to know grandma, and a young man gets to understand himself," we are urged. I am more than tempted, see this page here for all the details.

FRIDAY 22 JUNE 2018 >>

Sticky | Southwark Playhouse | 22 Jun-14 Jul
"A boy is stuck to a screen. Society shuns and shames him. But shame is the glue that keeps him stuck. With messy truths leaking out of skin things get 'Sticky'. Britain's stuck under an archaic sex education system that is failing our youth who, with pornography in their pockets, are filling in the gaps themselves. In a society selling shiny perfection, and public shaming becomes the norm, can humans be brave enough to show who they truly are?" Sounds like this deals with an important issue, and is by award winning young playwright Charlotte Josephine, see this page here for more.

Session | Bernie Grant Arts Centre | 22-30 Jun (pictured)
Another show that's on as part of Lift 2018, which we have mentioned a few times in the last week or two. This one is a collaboration from young dancers and musicians blending hip-hop, Afrobeats and street dance into an "exhilarating outdoor concert-cum-dance party" celebrating community, youth, and belonging. "Tonight we come together, to look each other in the eye and dance. We have time on our side and we're making a space to call our own". More here.

BoxedIn - Clash | Battersea Arts Centre | 22 Jun
"BoxedIn is finally putting to bed the eternal question scholars have been asking since London's inception: What's better, North or South?" Part of BoxedIn's summer series of poetry, spoken word and music, this is hosted by Sean Mahoney, Yomi Sode and Amina Jama, who will oversee two teams (headed by Kareem Parkins Brown for the North and Belinda Zhawi for South) as they participate in games, trivia, music, special guests and friendly rivalry. All the details are here.

SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2018 >>

Pat Cahill - The Fisherman | Soho Theatre | 22-23 Jun
This is what one of our edfringe reviewers said about Pat Cahill: "an assured stand-up, plugging a down-beat but optimistic outlook on life through a combination of sing-along songs, anecdotes and poetry. Considering how sporadic and bizarre his topics are, Cahill pulls off the impressive feat of forming a cohesive whole". Another wrote "It's almost certainly the only Fringe show you'll come out of singing about coconuts". In any case, you can expect something quirky and hilarious. See this page here for more.

Infinite Joy | Southwark Playhouse | 23 Jun-14 Jul
This musical is playing in rep with 'Sticky', a show we recommended for yesterday, and this looks equally interesting: "A small stormy island, a tribe of teenagers and their "Mother" live in complete isolation. Cut-off from the outside world, when a piece of modern technology washes up on the rocks, it opens up a strange new world of endless possibilities. These possibilities offer infinite joy, but at what cost?" For info, see the venue website here.

Estamos Presente (We Are Present) | Roundhouse | 23 Jun (pictured)
Another spoken word treat from the Last Word Festival, this time from a bi-lingual collective of young British Latino writers who will celebrate the culture of the half a million Latinos living in the UK, and challenge the stereotypes - drugs, Shakira and football - associated with them. You can expect diverse themes, from political tragedy and magic realism to samba and telenovelas. See this page here for details.

SUNDAY 24 JUNE 2018 >>

Friends For All - Simon Mole | Roundhouse | 24 Jun
"8-year-old Lexi doesn't make friends as easily as some. If only her school would allow a non-school uniform day then she could be herself and find others like her. Inspired by Grandad's hippy stories from the swinging 60s, she decides to fight the powers that be, namely her class teacher, Mr Marsh, and the class bully, Suzy". Another choice from The Last Word, this time a family orientated show (5-11 years) from poet and rapper Simon Mole. See this page here for more.

The Story Beast - Myths Monsters & Mayhem | Pleasance Theatre | 24 Jun
And another family show! What's going on? It's just all completely kid friendly today, which is probably fair enough given that it's a Sunday. John Henry Falle (wizard) and Mandy Dassa (witch) perform "hairy, ever so slightly scary tales for kids from the multi award-nominated wizard and his arch-enemy, Mandy the Witch Who Lives Under The Sink". The Story Beast has won much acclaim in the past for shows up in Edinburgh, so I can absolutely recommend with confidence. Head this way for info.

Greenwich Fair | Greenwich Town Centre | 23-24 Jun (pictured)
And finally, yes, another event that will entertain your children, though this one is very much for grown ups too, so you don't need a child to attend. There's a wide range of street theatre, circus and dance from companies across the UK and Europe, and it pretty much all looks amazing. Take a look at this page here for a flavour of what's going on over the weekend.

MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018 >>

Signals | New Diorama Theatre | 25 Jun
"Alone on the night shift, two data analysts monitor radio waves for signs of alien contact. Every shift is the same. But tonight is different. Tonight is the night they've been waiting for". Hurrah, Incoming Festival has begun at New Diorama. This is our first pick (of a great sounding show from an award winning company) from that line up but I guarantee there will be more! See this page here for info.

Wilson Dixon - For The First Time Again | Soho Theatre | 25-30 Jun
Star of Radio 2 and much award-nominated musical comedy act Wilson Dixon heads Soho-wards to "escape his laidback country lifestyle where things are falling apart at the seams: songs about heartbreak, wheat, and farm animals are no problem for Wilson, but country music about terrorism and neoliberal monetary policy are a bit harder..." Find all the details and book your tickets here.

William Andrews - Willy | The Bill Murray | 25 Jun (pictured)
This guy has been doing comedy for a fairly long time, but you know, I am super old and therefore old enough to remember that he made his Edinburgh debut early in this century (2003 I think?) in a show in which he portrayed the character of Tony Carter. He followed that up with some sterling sketch show work and loads of acting appearances on the telly. But enough of history, Monday 25 June is what it's about. Don't miss this quality act performing the show that he's taking to the Scottish capital this summer. See this page here for more.
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