It’s Panto Season and the fairytales have only just begun!
So, of course, this month’s theatre selection had to feature a healthy portion of pantomimes – a particular shout out to both Brixton House’s and Lyric Hammersmith’s take on Cinderella and let’s not forget Jack and the Beanstalk and Theatre Royal Stratford East.
But, if shouting “he’s behind you!” isn’t really your jam, make sure to catch New Diorama theatre’s Brenda’s Got A Baby or Kwame Owusu’s Dreaming While Drowning at the Bush Theatre …
Brenda’s Got a Baby written by Jessica Hagan
After an unexpected break-up and beaten down by comparison to her married little sister, Ama embarks on a frenzied journey to become a mother.
Rollercoastering from a Black sperm donor shortage to a racialised healthcare system – and an overbearing family of her own – Ama’s charging head-first into embarrassing conversations, awkward encounters and defiant decisions.
Brenda’s Got A Baby runs Tuesday 31st October – Saturday 2nd December @ New Diorama Theatre
Influence starring Kit Young @ Collective Theatre
Influence tells The Magician’s story.
Descended from and inspired by a long line of mentalists, conjurers, and illusionists, for the first time, he brings his skills in acting and magic together, to present an enchanting journey through a long-forgotten act that he is going to bring back to life…
Influence runs Until Saturday 2nd December @ Collective Theatre
Two Stranger (Carry A Cake Across New York) starring Dujonna Gift
Dougal is a naive, impossibly upbeat Brit, flying to New York for his Dad’s second wedding. The Dad he’s never known.
Waiting for him at the airport is Robin, the sister of the bride. She’s a native New Yorker, she’s late for work, and she doesn’t have time to stop and see the sights.
Instant attraction? Definitely not.
But with an extravagant wedding approaching and the city at their feet…anything could happen.
Two Stranger (Carry A Cake Across New York) runs Tuesday 14th November 2023 – Saturday 20th January 2024 @ Kiln Theatre
Life of Pi – Chichester Festival Theatre
After an epic storm in the Pacific Ocean, Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal tiger.
Life of Pi runs Thursday 16th November – Saturday 2nd December @ Chichester Festival Theatre
The House Of Bernarda Alba starring Isis Hainsworth and Rosalind Eleazar.
In the domain of Bernarda Alba, a daughter who disobeys is no longer a daughter.
Forced to live under their mother’s tight grip as they mourn their father’s death, can five sisters survive when young Adela dares for passion and freedom?
The House Of Bernarda Alba Thursday 16th November 2023 – Saturday 6th January 2024 @ National Theatre’s Lyttelton theatre
Cinderella, script and lyrics by Danusia Samal with music by Duramaney Kamara and directed by Ola Ince
Welcome to Brixton Lane! Forget the glass slipper or the pumpkin carriage this Christmas; join Sindi-Ella in this reimagined tale of Cinderella full of magic, music… and home-grown vegetables!
Just like her dad, Brixton’s most beloved greengrocer, Sindi-Ella loves plants and growing things. It’s a welcome distraction from the turbulence of growing up and grieving the loss of her father… not that Sindi wants to talk about that.
Stuck with her bougie step-mum and her South London-hating step-sister, Sindi’s only got her trusty delphinium to talk to. Until a chance meeting with Charmz, Brixton’s biggest influencer, sparks something unexpected…
Meanwhile, in a state-of-the-art newbuild across the way, Charmz is sick of living their life online and is looking for a meaningful connection. What better way than to host a party? Sindi is desperate to go. But can she make it to the ball with trouble brewing at home? Perhaps her loyal houseplants can help?
Cinderella runs 23 November – 31 December 2023 @ Brixton House
Jack And The Beanstalk directed by Denzel Westley-Sanderson
Welcome to Splatford! Jack lives here with his cow, Winnie The Moo, and his mum, Milky Linda. The town is home to a magical marsh full of healing mud, which Jack and his pals spend their days mining. But there’s a BIG problem: Giant Belch. He dominates Splatford from the sky – stealing the mud, charging outrageous rents and polluting the air with his burps and farts!
One odd shepherd, a handful of beans and an unexpected beanstalk later, Jack is on a life-changing journey. Can he reach the top? Can he defeat Flesh Creep – Belch’s hateful henchwoman who has seriously got it in for him? Can he triumph over Belch and be crowned Splatford’s unlikely hero? And can he make Milky Linda proud?
Jack And The Beanstalk Saturday 18th November 2023 – Saturday 6th January 2024 @ Theatre Royal Stratford East
Cinderella directed by Tonderai Munyevu
Cinderella is a bonafide boss-lady who runs her own business at Shepherd’s Bush Market. One day the most handsome Prince Henry, who dreams of a life less spare, wears a disguise to the Market and falls instantly in love with Cinderella. With the paparazzi in hot pursuit, the Prince is forced to flee. And so begins the quest to unite the unlikeliest of likely romances, Cinderella and the hapless Prince. But will Cinderella’s step-sisters Muffy and Gusset and step-mother Lady Jelly Bottom get in the way of their happily ever after? Of course they will, it’s panto.
Cinderella Saturday 18th November 2023 – Saturday 6th January 2024 @ Lyric Theatre
Dreaming and Drowning by Kwame Owusu
Malachi’s been looking forward to a fresh start at uni for months. He’s settling in, he’s got a stack of books to read and he’s met someone new – Kojo, a musician with a megawatt smile, who’s basically perfect.
But something doesn’t feel right. He keeps having the same nightmare – sinking, crushed by the weight of the ocean – and it’s getting worse… A beast grows in the water, hungry, relentless, hunting him but always just out of sight. As the boundaries between nightmare and reality fracture, Malachi must fight harder than ever to stay afloat.
Dreaming and Drowning runs Tuesday November 28th – Saturday December 23rd @ Bush Theatre
The Box of Delights starring Callum Balmforth, Janet Etuk and Mae Munuo
After a seemingly chance encounter on a train, orphaned schoolboy Kay Harker finds himself the guardian of a small wooden box with powers beyond his wildest dreams. Caught up in a battle between two powerful magicians, Kay fights to save not just the people he loves but also the future of Christmas itself.
The Box of Delights run until Sunday 7th January 2024 @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
EXCLUDED! devised by the intermission youth theatre
Meet Miss Portia. A secondary school teacher who’s trying to get her Year 11 students to focus on their upcoming GCSEs but how can she when Hamlet’s grieving her father, Othello has been accused of something he hasn’t done and Isabel is forced to confront her own fate! This is no ordinary class. The students are iconic characters from the plays of William Shakespeare and as tensions rise, can Miss Portia steer them away from committing decisions which could change their lives forever?
EXCLUDED! runs Wednesday 29th November – Saturday 16th December @ Arcola Theatre
TAMING WHO? Adapted Darren Raymond and directed by Stevie Basaula
Devised by the intermission youth theatre
Petruchio is studying at university and loving London life. An unexpected call from Mum, beckoning him back home to Nigeria, requires him to think on his feet and fast. What could he say to make her change her mind? “Mum I’m married!”. Overjoyed by this news, Mum agrees to let him stay and announces her arrival in London – in 3 days – to meet her….. Mortified, Petruchio needs to find a wife and fast!
TAMING WHO? runs Thursday 30th November – Thursday 14th December @ Arcola Theatre