You may already be aware of 'Anomaly', a new play that opened at The Old Red Lion Theatre earlier this month, as it's already attracted a positive critical response. If you haven't, and if your interest is quite piqued - as mine was - by the idea of a play about the bad behaviour of a media mogul, and the impact on his family, then you're in luck.

It certainly seemed to me like a play very definitely appropriate to the post #metoo world, and I was intrigued, so I spoke to playwright Liv Warden, to find out more. Read the interview here.

'Anomaly' is on at the Old Red Lion theatre until 2 Feb, see the venue website here for more.


Backup | Southbank Centre | 21-23 Jan 
"The scene is a snowy landscape festooned with miniature trees and houses with lights twinkling and smoke puffing from chimneys. Along comes a tiny campervan containing three filmmakers on their way to capture footage of an icy landscape in a part of the world which is disappearing - the Arctic". The Mime Festival is more than half way over but there's still time to see some lovely stuff. Starting with this, from Focus & Chaliwaté, a piece bearing a message about climate change, but promising to be witty and inventive. Details here.

The Wedding | Barbican Centre | 24-26 Jan 
Next up: physical theatre company Gecko with 'The Wedding', a show that calls the titular institution into question. "From a chute they emerge giddy as newborns, clutching teddy bears expectantly. But things soon turn business-like, with doubt, regret and a creeping sense of dislocation entering the physically emotive language of the faultless nine-strong ensemble, their thrillingly tribal and rhythmic finale promising revolution and hope". More here.

Chambre Noir | Jacksons Lane | 25-27 Jan (pictured)
Finally we head over to Jacksons lane for "A wild hallucination around the hotel deathbed of Valerie Jean Solanas, convicted would-be assassin of Andy Warhol". It's the work of acclaimed company Plexus Polaire, who've been inspired by Sara Stridsberg's novel 'The Faculty of Dreams' in this creation featuring life-size puppets, broken songs, video-projections, and humour to tell the story of this infamous historical figure. All the info right about here.


Katie & Pip | Vault Festival | 23-27 Jan (pictured)
I first heard about this show when it was on at the old edfringe last summer, and was very much drawn to it then, as it tells a true story: that of the relationship between Katie, a Type 1 Diabetic teenager and Pip, her pet border collie trained by Katie to save her life on a daily basis. It won many fans for its sensitive yet unsentimental portrayal of its rather poignant subject matter, and yes, it's got an adorable doggy in it. Head right over to this link here to get booking.

I Stopped... When | Vault Festival | 23-27 Jan 
I'm intrigued by this one, a "verbatim-as-poetry" show exploring public pressures, interracial dating, and what the art we make says about us. "Three poets battle for first place in London's biggest slam poetry competition; kind-hearted Adele who learns to use her words as a shield; Wren, a shy foreign student from Singapore who gets more than he bargained for when he downloads Grinder; and Naya, a Black activist who finds herself unfavourably in the public eye when she is 'discovered' to be dating a white man". See the festival website here for info.

Opal Fruits | Vault Festival | 23-27 Jan 
"'Opal Fruits' is an unreliable solo show about the fetishisation of the feral female - about working-class women and the trouble with 90's nostalgia - spliced with stories from four generations of women who came of age on the same council estate in South London". Aaand this one had me at "unreliable solo show". But the fact that it's a "tongue-in-cheek questioning of the broader implications of faux-working-class cultural trends and a re-claiming and re-casting of the self-congratulatory, spoken-word solo show" also enticed me. See this page here for more.


Sara Barron - For Worse | Soho Theatre | 22 Jan-27 Apr 
Another act we Ed fest devotees fell for up in the Scottish Capital, and in this case, the love affair only began quite recently, and through this very show. I think we might have already quoted our reviewer on this, when we tipped a post-fringe London outing in September, but I am going to do it again, because it's great: "This is a candid and - more importantly - well written, beautifully delivered and damned funny show, with a finely judged dose of gleeful filth alongside some pointed truths about being a mother, a wife and a lover". So, umm, not sure what you are waiting for, tickets can be booked here.

Lost Voice Guy | Soho Theatre | 23-26 Jan 
Another Soho Theatre show for you, and no, it's not favouritism, I just happen to want to talk about both of these acts. The second one is Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy, and we love him as much as we love Sara Barron, so you see, we had to mention them both in this week's tips. In fact, if you look at the event page on the venue website, you'll see that they've even quoted the opinion of our esteemed Edinburgh publication. But it's not about us, it's about him, and trust us, he is fab. Hurry up and book your tickets here, though, because everyone else thinks he's fab too, so they are going very quickly.

Danielle Walker - Bush Rat | Soho Theatre | 23 Jan - 2 Feb (pictured)
Oh, and lookee here, another Soho Act. I'm sorry, it wasn't deliberate, it's just that I really wanted to tell you about this act too. Not least because she won Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2018. To be honest, I think that's probably enough to let you know this is a performer worth seeing, but just in case you're not swayed yet I'll quote this compelling bit from the blurb: "Once I was bored and my grandad gave me a magnifying glass to burn my dead dog's name onto a small wooden crucifix so we could put it on his grave". Yeah. Click this link here.


Ghost Girl // Gwei Mui 鬼妹 | Camden People's Theatre | 22 Jan-9 Feb (pictured)
"On a hot clammy muggy day in October, In a Chinese takeaway restaurant, A decision was made: A woman was going to take another woman's baby. She thought she was getting a chow mein and instead she got a baby. Six months later From the top floor of a hospital, wrapped in blankets and snuggled away, a woman called Janice and a man called Phil, took home a baby girl. Me". Jennifer Tang, born to Cantonese parents but raised by a white British family, explores what it really means to be British and Chinese, and how family, love and belonging all shape who and what we are. Info here.

In Conversation With Graham Norton | Hope Theatre | 8-26 Jan
This has been on for a while but you've got the last few days to catch it. And I should probably make it clear from the off that this monologue doesn't actually involve Graham Norton, just a photo of him. "With this photo of Graham Norton in front of him, Mark can talk openly about his concerns about sex, his sexuality, his family and his school life. Maybe life won't be so confusing if he can verbalise all his thoughts without worrying about being judged. He may even discuss the incident with the cat". Details here.

Keep. | Battersea Arts Centre | 8-31 Jan 
Another one that's been running for a while, so again, you've got a few more days to catch it, if you haven't already. Though I do appreciate that our readership are in fact fairly likely to have seen it, given that it's the latest offering from everyone's fave Daniel Kitson. "A new show about how much past the present can usefully contain. About rigor and generosity. About postcards and hair pins and a certificate from Harry Ramsdens in Blackpool. About how long it takes to stop noticing where you are. About the compromise of a full life and the burden of a full heart and how it's impossible to know where looking back will lead. About the task of being who we are without denying who we've been". See the venue website here for more.
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