If you were up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the summer you might have made it along to American creative Amanda Broomell's well regarded autobiographical one woman show 'Mandy Picks A Husband'. If you didn't, well, you're in luck, because the talented writer and performer is headed for a short run at London's Canal Cafe Theatre.

I spoke to Amanda to find out more about the show, her career and her plans for the future.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'Mandy Picks A Husband' is on at Canal Cafe Theatre from 5-8 Dec. See the venue website here for details and to book.


Jack and The Beanstalk | Theatre Peckham | 4-22 Dec
Hurrah, we're properly into December now. Last week's tips round up fell into December, yes, but there were a few days of November in there. This week is the first week of December days only. So it's time to celebrate with festive fare, starting with three lovely pantomimes suitable for a family outing. The first is over at the lovely Theatre Peckham, and it's a very contemporary sounding version of 'Jack And The Beanstalk'. Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, head this way for info and a link to book tickets.

The Fairytale Revolution | Theatre503 | 4-31 Dec (pictured)
"We all know how a panto is meant to go (oh no we don't...shhh!) The hero wins, the villain loses, someone gets married and they all live happily ever after...until now..." This sounds like it will be a little bit different from your average panto, but definitely rather good. After performing in last year's Theatre503 panto, Louise Beresford and Anna Spearpoint return to the venue with their new and high-spirited family friendly show "featuring characters you know and characters you think you know..." Details right about here.

Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers | Battersea Arts Centre | 30 Nov-31 Nov
TW favourites Sleeping Trees have already begun performing their latest panto offering, which will, as usual, be another unusual one, given the habit this lot have of mashing up different themes and stories. "Our story begins as the mischievous Goldilocks flees from the Three Bears into the deep, dark wood. As she stumbles down a rabbit hole to escape, she finds herself in Wonderland! And all is not well...Teaming up with The Three Musketeers and a whole host of fairy tale favourites (with a little help from the audience), can Goldilocks rescue Wonderland and live happily ever after before it's too late?" Expect something fab. Click here.


Pinocchio - No Strings Attached | Above The Stag Theatre | 19 Nov-11 Jan
And now, three panto picks for those of you who would rather go to something a bit more grown up, probably in the company of other grown-ups. This one is definitely what you might call adult, I think, and it shouldn't take much thought to work out that it's not Pinocchio's nose that's the problem in this particular adaptation... Expect "a glorious concoction of rude and irreverent comedy, songs, slapstick, spectacle and sweet-throwing from Above The Stag's award-winning team". Click on this link here for information and to book.

Cinderella | The Vaults | 22 Nov-12 Jan (pictured)
This one is actually okay for some children, if you call teenagers children, as it's suitable for those aged twelve plus as well as adults. This one might also feel a bit familiar to you, if you've been keeping up with our output of late, as the show's Jimmy Fairhurst recently took part in one of our Caro Meets interviews. It's a fab concept - an updated version of 'Cinderella' set in a bar, and yes, the venue features a real bar for you to really drink in whilst taking in the show. And there's music, and mayhem, and all things that are good. Whoop whoop. See this page here for more.

The Nativity Panto | King's Head Theatre | 29 Nov-11 Jan
Festive veterans Charles Court Opera return with their thirteenth boutique pantomime, and this time they're focusing on the story that began it all... yes, the nativity. Those of you scratching your heads and thinking that you're sure the Charles Court Opera pantomimes are all family friendly and wondering why I've included this in the grown up section can stop worrying. This one is, as you suspect, entirely family friendly, but I have included it here because the production has a significant number of performances that are for adults only. For more information on which dates, and all the other dates, see this page here.


Joan Of Leeds | New Diorama | 3-21 Dec (pictured)
"In a 14th Century Yorkshire convent Sister Joan is blessed with unholy visions. A seductive serpent and sinful saints exalt the earthly pleasures of forbidden sex. Her visions cause a scandal in the order but Joan's determined to spread her new carnal creed... even if it means getting a little creative". This is rather interesting, an "obscene medieval mystery play with live music, based on the miraculous true story of a nun on the run" from the award-winning Breach. "She perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust ... to the notorious peril to her soul". More here.

Little Miss Burden | The Bunker Theatre | 4-21 Dec
This sounds interesting, a coming-of-age tale featuring 90s nostalgia and Nigerian family, taking on the theme of growing up with a physical impairment: "They are the coolest, fiercest, most super talentedest girl band ever assembled: Big Sis and Little Sis are waiting for the third member of their trio to arrive. Little Miss is on her way. It just takes her a little bit longer. At thirteen, Little Miss is given a gift which cannot be returned. It's a part of her. She has to share her body and life with it. And she needs to find a way for the two of them to get along as they can't both be Player One". Details here.

One Million Tiny Plays About Britain | Jermyn Street Theatre | 4 Dec-11 Jan
"A couple peer into an estate agent's window; two sports fans have a heart-to-heart in the loo; a daughter has questions about her mother's love life; and as a father helps his son tie his football boots, he realises they are growing apart. If you keep your eyes and ears open, there are a million tiny plays happening every day". A collage of scenes that promises to "change the way you listen to the world around you, and train journeys will never be the same again". See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.


The Polar Express Storytelling Show | Bush Theatre | 9-13 Dec
So, after that brief section of shows with not-especially-related-to-Christmas themes we are back to all things festive, starting with some Christmassy choices for the young people in your life. I know loads of families for whom the watching of Polar Express marks either the start, or the height, of their Christmas season, so I suspect there'll be a few people reading this who feel a lot of affection for the film's story. If so, this should be a real treat for you, um, I mean your small ones aged two to eight: an immersive storytelling show, which you're invited to attend in pyjamas. Info here.

Captain Flinn And The Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass | 7 Dec-5 Jan
I suppose, to be fair, this show isn't strictly Christmassy, it's a show that I think could be very much a treat at any time of the year, because it's a pirate adventure, not a Christmas adventure, but it's on over Christmas, so it qualifies as a Christmas treat, so there. "Will fearless Flinn be able to outwit the pirate dinosaurs? Will pirate Pearl be brave enough to battle the dangerous dinos and will terrified Tom be back in time for tea? All aboard for a non-stop action packed theatrical experience with live music, puppetry and dastardly dinosaurs!" Details here.

The Snow Queen | Park Theatre | 4 Dec-4 Jan (pictured)
Finally, 'The Snow Queen', which again, isn't necessarily a Christmas story, but has certainly become associated with Christmas. "Join Gerda on her epic journey through the seasons to save her best friend Cei before she loses him to endless Winter. With the help of bickering flowers, overworked teachers, snowball fights, confused Princes and Princesses and Bae the talking Reindeer, they might both be ready to grow up after all". Head to the venue website here for more info and to book.


The Gift Of Presents | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-6 Dec
Sticking with the festive theme, we are, but this time it's something for the grown ups, and probably those of you who enjoy something a bit subversive yet entertaining. "Dust off your baubles, prepare your nuts to be cracked and let your christingle be tingled: welcome to 'The Gift Of Presents' - a tale of giving and receiving with your Lordess (who is genuinely with child and due any moment) and Sisters most(ly) Divine. Witness the festive period through the eyes of this trio of fools and expect something between cabaret, comedy, a carol concert and therapy. Jump, heart and soul, into their cosmic bosom - and brace yourself - it's her party and she'll cry if they want to. A slice of yule log included with every ticket". Info here.

Drunk Women Solving Crime | Leicester Square Theatre | 3 Dec
An especially festive live recording of the highly popular comedy podcast. If you're not aware of it, here's some info about what to expect from it: hosts "Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn welcome top guests from comedians to crime writers to test out their drunk detective skills. Each episode sees the boozed-up panel tackle personal crime stories, solve true crime cases, and seek justice for your listener crimes. When women sit around and drink, we try to solve the world's problems. So we're taking back the night and putting our inebriation to good use. You're welcome". Details here.

Sh!t Actually | Camden People's Theatre | 3-21 Dec (pictured)
Well I love Sh!t Theatre, aka Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, creators of gems like 'Dollywould' and their perennial favourite 'Sing-A-Long-A-Muppet Christmas Carol', and I really don't like 'Love Actually' so I am naturally interested in seeing what these TW Favourites do with it. "With live songs, queer love stories, and politics questioned by women with actual lines - come shout-along, sing-along, dance-along, cry-along, drink-along to this adults-only celebration of Christmas Actually". Click here.


The Delightful Sausage: Ginster's Paradise | Soho Theatre | 3-14 Dec (pictured)
And finally, three more shows for those of you who hate Christmas, or those of you who don't actually hate Christmas but who prefer it to happen during the twelve days of Christmas rather than early December. I hear you. So here's one from a team that we loved when we first saw them in Edinburgh with a different show back in 2017. "This is the duo's first Fringe show, and it's a belter. Keep an eye on them", wrote our reviewer of that year's offering, and of course, they have gone from strength to strength, being nominated for the big Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2019. See this page here to book (and quickly- it looks like tickets are going fast).

Lucy McCormick: Post Popular | Soho Theatre | 3 Dec-22 Feb
Another performer that went down a treat in Edinburgh, and won much praise from our own reviewer with this rather affecting show: he called it "Wild, bold, unpredictable and filthy" and continued: "It builds up with wild abandon, at times feeling so diffuse you wonder where it could possibly be going. You won't guess. In the aftermath in the Courtyard, I shared a moment of eye contact with a fellow audience member as we silently processed what we had just experienced. Heroes, it turns out, are found in the most deeply, deeply unexpected places". Intrigued? Head this way.

Bitch On Heat | Soho Theatre | 5-14 Dec
"Love latex and hate the patriarchy? Pour a drink, ditch the leash, and come revel in this twisted rehashing of the vintage sexism that drives how we live and love and fight and fuck. Absurdist lip-synch meets high-camp performance art in this pop-fuelled critique of sexual politics in the age of implied consent. Nothing is sacred as psycho-siren Leah Shelton trawls through a Pandora's box of ancient myths, porn, pop-culture, instructional records and revenge movie heroines. Welcome to the doghouse. Beware. This Bitch bites". Not sure whether to be intrigued or scared. Intrigued, I think. Head this way to form your own opinion.
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