Don't forget, this Friday ThisWeek Culture is presenting a series of comedy panels as part of the Sound + Vision festival in Cambridge - you can still buy a ticket at the special TW rate of £20 or tune in to a live NextUp Comedy stream.

We'll be joined by brilliant people from across the comedy community to discuss how you go about pursuing a comedy career today - plus we'll put the spotlight on the key trends, developments and debates in the sector.
Speakers joining us for the comedy conversations include: Hils Jago from Amused Moose, Lee Griffiths from Soho Theatre, Darrell Martin from Just The Tonic, Lola Oyewole from TikTok, John Harris from Acast, Tom Brandt and Jason Wolfe from NextUp Comedy, Kaiya Milan from The Floor, comedy PR experts Gaby Jerrard and Flick Morris, media and entertainment lawyer Raffaella De Santis, and comedy creators and performers Jay ForemanRobyn PerkinsPete Heat and Kate Smurthwaite.

Find out more about the panels HERE.
There are two ways to take part in the S+V Comedy Conference...

Tickets are still available to join us in person at the Cambridge Junction - with a small allocation of tickets currently on sale at a special discount price.

Plus the panels will also be livestreamed by NextUp Comedy on Friday 22 Apr - and will then be available on-demand over the following weekend.

CLICK HERE to get the special £20 tickets or sign up for the livestream.

And don't forget there is loads of great music and comedy taking place over three days as part of the wider Sound + Vision event - CLICK HERE for full info.

I'm always interested in hearing from Pegasus Opera - the London-based opera company that champions harmony in diversity by offering opportunities to artists of African and Asian heritage in the UK - because their output is always so interesting.

Their latest production is just as appealing as I'd expect: an operatic adaptation by longtime Pegasus collaborator Philip Hagemann of Henry James novella 'The Aspern Papers'. It's a co-production with Hagemann's own company Hagemann Rosenthal Associates.

I was really keen to find out more about the show, and its creator's relationship with the company, so I arranged a quick chat with the composer ahead of this week's performances. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Aspern Papers' is on at the Susie Sainsbury Theatre at the Royal Academy Of Music, from 22-24 Apr. Book your tickets here.
Shows to see in person in London - and online anywhere - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


Sea Girl | Carbon Theatre | online until 30 Apr (pictured)
Thought we would start this week with some online options. Two of them are very much available to see in the actual flesh, if they're within reach of you, but this one is just online and will be until the end of the month. It's aimed at families, is suitable for children aged three and up, and is an adventure story about sailing around the world, inspired by the achievements of Laura Dekker, the youngest person ever to have travelled the globe solo in a sailing boat - she was fourteen when she set off, and sixteen when she completed her journey. The show is only short, but it's an interactive, choose-your-own adventure thing, so you can do it multiple times and get a different storyline on each viewing. Book your free tickets here.

Yes! Yes! UCS! | Sands Film Studios | 20 Apr
"It's 1971 and Aggy McGraw, straight out of school, gets an office job at Fairfields shipyard in Govan a week before the new Tory government decides to stop any investment in what they call 'lame duck' industries, which includes shipbuilding on the Clyde. Facing an uncertain future, she has nothing to lose, except her job, and is swept up into the famous 'Work In' to demonstrate to the government that shipbuilding has a future - that the jobs, traditions, skills and communities can be saved". A new musical about a rather interesting subject, that's been on tour for a while and has received a highly positive critical response. You can see it in London this week or watch it online. See this page here to see it one way or another via Sands Film Studios, and see the producing company Townsend Productions' website for further tour dates.

Thinking On Sunday: Technology, Climate, Justice And Rights - Can We Get The Whole World To Agree On Any Of Them? | Conway Hall | 24 Apr
Another intriguing talk over at Conway Hall this week, and, as has become the norm, you can turn up there to see it in person, or you can tune in via Zoom. "In AC Grayling's view, three of the biggest challenges facing the world today are climate change, the rate of development in high-impact technologies, and the global deficit of social and economic justice. They are connected: the third of these underlies problems in dealing with the first two. He asks: can human beings agree on a set of values that will allow us to confront the threats facing the planet, or will we simply continue with our disagreements and antipathies as we collectively approach greater problems and instability, and even our possible extinction?" Click here.


The Straw Chair | Finborough Theatre | 19 Apr-14 May
And onto some absolutely definitely in the flesh theatrical stuff that's opening this week, for reasonably chunky runs. First up is a production of 'The Straw Chair' at the Finborough Theatre, which gets a first staging in England following its 1988 debut at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, and subsequent 2015 revival and tour. It's about a teenage eighteenth century girl who moves from Edinburgh to live with her new husband on the extremely remote St Kilda. "Struggling to adapt to island life, Isabel meets Rachel - a wild, seemingly mad woman, shunned by the local inhabitants. Over time, Isabel learns that Rachel is none other than the infamous Lady Grange, kidnapped by her husband following their bitter divorce and long imprisoned on the island". Click here.

The Misfortune Of The English | Orange Tree Theatre | 25 Apr-28 May
Over to the Orange Tree Theatre for "a story of (mis)adventure and blind optimism, nationhood, and courage in the face of disaster" by Pamela Carter, which is inspired by true events. "'Guten Tag meine Herren und Frauen von Deutschland. We have travelled here from London, England. You may have heard of it'. On the morning of 17 Apr 1936, a group of 27 schoolboys, led by their teacher and newly arrived in Nazi Germany, set out on the first of a seven-day walking tour of the Black Forest. By 8pm that evening, local villagers were searching for them in a blizzard. 'You did say you wanted to take the scenic route'". See this page here to book your tickets. Also, there's an opportunity to see it via livestream on 12 May, so you may want to put that in your diary now.

Housemate Festival | Brixton House | 21 Apr-6 May (pictured)
This isn't just one event, it's lots of events, for - as you will surely have realised from reading the title of this particular tip - this is a whole festival, taking place over at the still-quite-new Brixton House. It's a collection of new work that includes theatre, comedy, spoken word and dance on a diverse range of topics. There are eight shows in total - one of which we recently tipped when it did some early shows at a different venue - Suchandrika Chakrabarti's 'I Miss Amy Winehouse' - and they all look rather good. My suggestion would be to take in all of them, but that might not be practical for all of you, so I suggest you see the venue website here to work out just how many you can cram in.


Unknown Soldier | Camden People's Theatre | 19 Apr (pictured)
As you know, because you can read, these shows are all on for one night only, so make sure you don't miss them, because they all look fab. We begin with one for dance fans: 'Unknown Soldier' at Camden People's Theatre, a show from Alison Ray Dance Company that mixes dance, music, text and visuals to tell the stories of the black men and women who left their homes in Britain, The Caribbean and Africa to fight for the UK in WW1 and WW2. It promises to "create a captivating and engaging narrative of the untold stories of these brave men as well as the black women who supported the war effort", so I am expecting good things. Click here.

Them | Jacksons Lane | 23 Apr
This next show is part of the Nordic Exposure strand at Jacksons Lane, that we alerted you to a while back when it first began. So, having taken our advice to check that out, you may well already be aware of 'Them', but if not, here's some info. It's a devised theatre piece based on more than forty interviews with men from all walks of life about their gender and biological sex, their childhood and role models, their emotional life and dreams, their sexuality and fears. Four female performers explore the theme of toxic masculinity, ie, how masculinity "shapes gender roles, narrows our horizons and makes people behave against their better nature, bringing to light the taboos of masculinity". For more info and to book see this page here.

Humble Pi: Matt Parker's Comedy Of Maths Errors | Bloomsbury Theatre | 21 Apr
And now for something funny and also mathematical, which is just the sort of combination we love here at TW Towers. We've long been fans of Matt Parker, both on his own and as part of the Festival Of The Spoken Nerd trio with Helen Arney and Steve Mould. And now he's headed to Bloomsbury Theatre for just this one performance, which will be filmed. What to expect? Well, the title gives a clue, I think, but also, here's a bit of blurb: "'Humble Pi' explores the greatest mathematical near-misses and mishaps involving planes, bridges, the internet, big data and more. Matt Parker shows us the bizarre ways maths trips us all up. Being wrong has never felt so right". Book here.


Tsunagu / Connect Live | Shoreditch Town Hall | 23-30 Apr (pictured)
"No one knows how many Japanese women live in the UK. No one knows their reasons for moving here. No one knows their varied loves or hates, their achievements or mistakes, their opinions and contradictions. No one knows their stories… So we asked them. Memories. Fears. Aspirations. The women reveal the complex, multi-layered reality of migrants reconciling with rootlessness". This is a really interesting sounding piece, which is an immersive, promenade adventure inspired and informed by the experiences of women born in Japan, but settled in the UK. Four Japanese women act as tour guides, in what's described as being in the space where exhibition meets performance. See the venue website here for more info and to book your tickets.

Buffy Revamped | Wilton's Music Hall | 19-23 Apr
Tickets for this one are clearly selling rather quickly so you probably need to act fast to secure yours: don't delay and then come crying to me if they are all gone. Anyway, what's this all about? Well, yes, it's a Buffy thing, and it's a fab and funny Buffy thing from comedian Brendan Murphy, who also brought you the much acclaimed 'Friend: The One With Gunther'. "Seventy minutes. Seven seasons. One Spike. In this fast-paced new production we bring you the entire 144 episodes of the hit 90s TV show, 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', as told through the eyes of the one person who knows it inside out… Spike. Funny, satirical and bursting with 90s pop-culture references, it's the perfect parody for Buffy aficionados and those who never enrolled at Sunnydale High alike". Hi ye hence, swiftly.

Springboard: Eating Myself | King's Head Theatre | 19-23 Apr
You're no doubt well aware of King's Head Theatre's Springboard strand now, because we have mentioned it at least a couple of times. But if not: it's a festival of work that got stymied by the blooming pandemic. Our latest pick from that line up is 'Eating Myself' by Pepa Duarte, which promises to be one with themes very interesting to a lot of women. "'Eating Myself' is a powerful and vulnerable female exploration about food, the kitchen, and looking after oneself as a woman. A communal experience through cooking on stage, while digging into the performer's deep fight around body image, self-care, and family. This is a show with South American flavour, that will take audiences back to their cultural roots and question how different we really are". Head this way.


Jina And The Stem Sisters | Little Angel Theatre | 20 Apr-1 May
And finally… three shows with music, starting with one for younger audience members and their families. It's actually a show we've tipped before, if I remember correctly, but I definitely think it's worth tipping again. It's a multi-media puppet show with songs from diverse genres - from rap to Motown, jazz, opera and musical theatre - and is about the discoveries and stories of women working in science in past times who had to fight for opportunities in the STEM world, were often unacknowledged for their work and discoveries, and - of course - encountered high levels of discrimination and prejudice. Read more about the show here.

Jo Fong and George Orange: The Rest Of Our Lives | The Place | 23 Apr (pictured)
This is a dance performance, but of course will involve music, and it sounds rather special. "Jo and George present two middle-aged lives in an eclectic, spontaneous, predictable and random decline. The struggle is real. It's the beginning of the end. But we're still here. Hopefully hopeful, 'The Rest of Our Lives' is a cabaret of life and near death. Join Jo and George for a night of dance, circus and games. Jo is an old dancer, George an old clown. They are international artists with 100 years of life experience between them. Armed with a soundtrack of floor-fillers, a book of raffle tickets and a sprinkling of eco-friendly optimism". Head to this page here for more.

Christie Done It | The Cockpit | 23-24 Apr
Final tip of the week, and it's one that may well find favour with people who love musicals, but also those who are fascinated by stories of intrigue and murder. For yes, this is a new musical, based on the doings back in post war London of John Christie - killer of at least eight women - and the apparent injustice meted out to his neighbour Timothy Evans. It's a gruesome tale, and this piece by Molly Rose Barton and Toby Ingram promises to explore the matter in a way that acknowledges its significance for current times in relation to miscarriages of justice and the death penalty, and our efforts towards equality, diversity and inclusion. For more information and to book your tickets head to this location right here.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

Plus each summer we also cover the biggest cultural event in the world: The Edinburgh Festival.

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