Some time ago - I think it might have been in the summer of 2017 - a show on in London called 'Aisha' caught my eye, because it tackled a particularly thorny and troubling issue. I'm glad to see it back again, this time touring a number of different venues over the December and January.

To find out more about the show, and the inspiration, I spoke to creator and director AJ. Read the interview here.

'Aisha' is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 3-8 Dec, at the King's Head Theatre from 9-10 Dec, and at Tristan Bates Theatre from 4-5 January. Click on the relevant links for info/tickets.

This Week at Camden People's Theatre, you can pay to see 'Paid Fantasist', a new theatrical piece by Rebecca Biscuit (of Sh!t Theatre fame) and Nick Field (of Field And McGlynn renown). It sounds incredibly quirky and interesting, and is inspired by a forty year old Times article, which you may be aware of: the instalment of their regular 'A Life In The Day' feature focusing on the doings of actor Tom Baker.

I was definitely intrigued by it, and put some questions to its creators, ahead of the upcoming show. Read the interview here.

'Paid Fantasist' is on at Camden People's Theatre from 27 Nov-1 Dec, see the venue website here for info and to book.


A Christmas Carol | Greenwich Theatre | 27-28 Nov

Long term readers might vaguely remember that one of us here at TW Towers (me) is basically a sucker for pretty much any version of 'A Christmas Carol', and here's a particularly appealing one: actor John O'Connor pretends to be the story's creator Charles Dickens to regale audiences with the scary yet hopeful and undeniably Christmassy tale. It's an echo of the past, as Dickens himself did this very thing, so take a step back in time. Lovely, details here.

Improvised Therapy | Theatre503 | 27-28 Nov (pictured)

"Feeling down in the dumps? Is your life slowly falling apart? Have you completely and utterly lost the will? No? Well, we have. We're Doctors Barry, Brian and Bean, and we'll be your (un)qualified therapists for the evening. This session will include: extreme paranoia, daddy issues, fake doctors, no actual medicinal help, improvised chaos, self-deprecation and lots of unfulfilled expectations". Absurdist comedy exploring life's problems and how we live with them, and it's had great reviews. Head this way for info.

Next | The Yard | 27 Nov-8 Dec

Next is The Yard's new festival, one that threatens to bring together "electrifying artists who are making the most risk-taking and soul-shaking work out there" and show you the creative output of eight artists considered to be "the next big thing". See the venue website here for more about who is appearing, and links (down the right hand side) for info about each of the different events.


Boys | New Diorama Theatre | 27 Nov-1 Dec

"The way we move. The way we talk. The way we think. We want to show you the things about boys that you never get to see. From our tenderness to our silliness, our strength to our vulnerability, from the way we walk, to the pitch of our voice, Boys is a celebration of manhood. We'll show you stories of our brothers, best friends, parents and lovers". An already acclaimed show exploring the "possibilities that make up a man", and it's accompanied by a number of post show events, see the venue website here for all the info.

Fragments Of A Complicated Mind | Theatre503 | 28 Nov-1 Dec (pictured)

Not quite sure how to sum up this show from talented multitasker Damilola DK Fashola, though the blurb has been quite helpful, I suppose in suggesting that "this new form of storytelling is a genre all on its own". What you can expect is a fast changing mixture of direct addresses, sketches, dance and poetry, and an exploration "into a black girl writer's perspective on the burdens of modernity". Details here.

Don't Forget The Birds | Battersea Arts Centre | 27 Nov-1 Dec

"A heart-lifting, true story of how prison took a mother from a daughter, and their moving journey to find each other again. Told by a real-life mother and daughter, Cheryl and Abigail Byron, trying to reconnect once the prison gates open". A based on real life story offering a realistic but funny take on on women in prison, staged by an award winning company, see this page here for more.


Little Women | The Space | 27 Nov-15 Dec

One of my childhood favourite reads makes its way to a stage near you, which is awesome, and a nice thing to take in for a pre-Christmas treat, I reckon, not least because the story begins at Christmas. "Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are up late, plotting what to get their Ma as a present and spying on their new wealthy neighbour. They bicker. They cheer. Sisters who can't live without each other. But all this is about to change". Information right about here.

A Hero Of Our Time | Arcola Theatre | 19 Nov-15 Nov

"Pechorin, a resting soldier, amuses himself in a dull town by competing with his friend Grushnitsky over the affections of the young princess Mary. As the game grows crueller and more calculating, intimate thoughts are laid unflinchingly bare. Welcome into the mind of a soldier, where bars and ballrooms become battlefields". A show from an international company that did brilliantly up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. See this page here for all the details.

Violet | Theatre503 | 29-30 Nov (pictured)

Oh, and another edfringe success, I didn't quite realise I had picked two of those for today. This is another goodie: "a story in which two souls from different worlds offer one another a new chance - at life and at laughter. Old age and the pains that come with it do not make one invisible; rather, with a bit of effort and a lot of kindness, a wealth of stories are there to be shared... even if some are repeated a few times". Head this way for more.


Ladykiller | Pleasance Theatre | 30 Nov-2 Dec

"The chambermaid considers herself to be a pretty normal person. She reads books. She goes to the cinema on a semi-regular basis. She pretended to read the party manifestos at the General Election. She's even read The Psychopath Test and she's pretty sure she's not one, so..". Just yesterday, I think, we tipped two shows with a successful edfringe history, and bam, here's another. But be aware that this blood-soaked black comedy is, well, bloody, and contains some stuff that might prove a bit tough for the more sensitive among you. See this page here for info.

Lost In Thought | Theatre503 | 30 Nov-1 Dec (pictured)

And another with an edfest connection. This new play is by Lucy Danser, whose excellent stuff we have been pleased to partake of in previous years up in the Scottish capital. It's a piece that focuses on the topics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, wasted potential and motherly love, and offers a "thought-provoking and empathetic exploration of a condition more often used as a flippant punchline than truly understood". Definitely one to make time for, see the venue website here for details.

Women Of The Mahabharata | Tara Theatre | 30 Nov

"From the queen who blinded herself to the woman who defied death, seven writers and a singer/songwriter share works-in-progress on iconic female characters from The Mahabharata - India's great epic of humanity - as part of Tara's ongoing focus on reclaiming classics". This looks great - a sharing of writings by Kamila Shamsie, Preti Taneja, Razia Iqbal, Grace Nichols, Yasmine Rana, Sohini Alam and Amrit Kaur Lohia. See this page here for more.


End The Silence | Ovalhouse | 1+3 Dec

"A storm is brewing. For many years Rebuild (a UK charity) has preyed on and abused the broken, vulnerable women it was incorporated to serve. Its survival has been predicated on the assurance of the silence of its victims. But Connie Harrington has decided to speak out". 'End The Silence' follows six women in a fight for justice and for their voices to be heard, in a play that looks at power and how it corrupts, as well as healing and restoration. More here.

Head-Rot Holiday | The Hope Theatre | 27 Nov-22 Dec

A revival of Sarah Daniels' irreverent dark comedy about women in prison: "In a secure hospital for the 'criminally insane', three women prepare for the Christmas disco. The parole board's recipe for early release: put on a dress, wear some make-up... and dance with a rapist or killer of your choice. Ruth hears voices but distracts herself with karaoke. Claudia defies the racist nurses and longs to see her children. Dee applies mascara for the first time and is paid a visit by an angel. Behind iron bars, the patients and nurses of Penwell Hospital ask: in such a topsy-turvy world, who are you to say that I'm insane?" Details right about here.

Fresh | The Place | 1 Dec (pictured)

This is the kind of thing you know we like - some bite size pieces or extracts brought together in one lovely performance, and this physical-focused one threatens to be a "fierce, go-getting performance". Expect appearances from sister duo Alleyne Dance and physical comedy types Project Gibbon, among others. Head this way for all the information, and to book your tickets.


Burke And Hare | Jermyn Street Theatre | 28 Nov-21 Dec

"1828, Edinburgh. William Burke and William Hare hit on a new money-making scheme. The first rule of business? Supply and demand. In the leading city for medical research, there's a huge demand for bodies and inconveniently few deaths. The profitable solution? Murder, of course. As the infamous pair flourish in their new careers, the more they murder, the less they care. But for how long will they get away with it?" A historical black comedy about Auld Reekie's famous corpse-dealing duo. See the venue website here for more.

Jeannie | Finborough Theatre | 27 Nov-22 Dec

And another with a Scottish connection (I didn't plan it, honest), a play described as a 1930s version of the Cinderella story, written by late Scottish writer Aimée Stuart: "It is 1936 in a "wee one-eyed" town in Scotland. Jeannie is a drudge for her mean controlling father, but dreams of a different life. When she receives a large inheritance, she seizes the opportunity to finally escape to the glamour and sophistication of European travel. During her stay in Vienna, she encounters Stanley, a washing machine inventor from Yorkshire, and then a real Viennese Count. But Jeannie is no pushover. She knows her own mind, she is a stickler for the truth, and she hates scroungers". Details here.

Return To Elm House | Battersea Arts Centre | 1-30 Dec (pictured)

This is a great one for families (which is kinda reflected in the fact that you can buy a family ticket) and is a fab-sounding immersive production. "A long time ago, on the very spot where Battersea Arts Centre now stands, a brave woman lived in Elm House. As the years ticked by, her inspiring story was long forgotten. Until now... The spirit of Elm House has awoken, bursting through Battersea Arts Centre and scattering Jeanie's lost tale behind old doors and down hidden corridors, waiting to be found". All the info is right about here.


Mawaan Rizwan - Juice | Battersea Arts Centre | 3-8 Dec (pictured)

I was very attracted, I must confess, by Mawaan Rizwan's pineapple head publicity shot, but that's definitely not the reason he's ended up on today's hit list. He had a great run up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier this year, and won some serious praise from assorted critics. "A deeply personal and skillfully physical show about love, liberation, Missy Elliot and what happens when you accidentally make your mum famous". See the venue website here for more.

The Gingerbread Man | Jacksons Lane | 1-24 Dec

"Chase after our cheeky gingerbread hero as he sets off on the biggest adventure of his life - out of the kitchen, through the town, across the fields and all the way to the river. Now if he could just avoid that sly old fox..". Hurrah, one for the kids, and it's obviously got a Christmas feel to it (you know, gingerbread), for lo, this is Jacksons Lane's Christmas show. Looks great. See this page here for details.

Nath Valvo - Show Pony | Soho Theatre | 3-8 Dec

"Nath Valvo has some big questions to ask. Should he donate sperm? Why do night markets exist? Why do people play mixed netball?" This one's got accolades coming out of his ears so I think going to see him should guarantee you a laugh or three. Winner Best Comedy Adelaide Fringe Weekly Awards 2018, nominee Best Newcomer Edinburgh Fringe 2016, nominee Best Comedy Show Perth Fringe 2016. Step this way to book tickets.
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