Thursday 22nd June

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London

What’s On, London? 16th – 18th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

It’s been another tragic week for London with the full consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire still emerging.  One thing’s clear: never again can people be exposed to such danger.  Londoners must do all we can to ensure our politicians act quickly to help those affected and prevent any repeat.  The only silver lining to this awful cloud has been the response: money donated, items provided and fundraising efforts set in motion.  So while again we have no choice but to try to carry on with our lives, making the most of the positive things happening in our city (listed below), we include a special section highlighting the events coming up to raise funds for the victims and their families.

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Category: Clubs
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Tom Green: “I’ve made my comedy less polarising. It’s still edgy, ridiculous and outrageous – but there’s a point to it.”

This Saturday, Tom Green concludes his first UK tour with two performances of his European Comedy Road Trip at O2 Academy Islington.  

The one-time ‘wild child’ of MTV and – his critics would say – purveyor of poor taste has mellowed a little, returning to his stand-up roots to hone a show Green calls his best work yet.  Including segments of improvisational comedy and rap, it promises to be a performance packed full of energy, anecdotes and cracked observations on the world we live in.

Ahead of the shows, Ian Cater spoke to Green about his stand-up style and a career that’s seen the Canadian marry Drew Barrymore, fine dine with Prince Charles and get fired by Donald Trump.

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Category: Comedy
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Rose Matafeo: “Apart from the coffin on-stage, the show isn’t morbid. It’s actually pretty silly and inappropriate.”

This Thursday, rising star Rose Matafeo returns to Soho Theatre for the last three performances of her 2016 Fringe hit, Rose Matafeo Is Finally Dead.  The show – a clever blend of stand-up and sketch-play – earned the endearing Aucklander rave reviews last year, which have reverberated around the comedy industry since.  

Matafeo returns to Edinburgh this August to deliver her new show, Sassy Best Friend, which she’s also presently previewing across London.  But before putting Finally Dead to bed, she spoke to Ian Cater about her compulsion for control, well-hidden laziness and Tweed-clad fans.

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Category: Comedy
London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

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Category: Art
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Croft & Pearce: Croft & Pearce Are Not Alone review

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Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Croft & Pearce produce a set of entertaining sketches, interwoven storylines and clever dissection of British society which nearly match their first-class delivery.

While sketch comedy inexplicably continues to toil in the minds of television commissioners, it repeatedly excels in live venues across London and beyond.  As a case in point, this week saw Croft & Pearce take over the Museum of Comedy for five nights and impress with their entertaining sketches, interwoven storylines and clever dissection of British society, cutting across gender, class and geography with assured ease.

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Category: Comedy
The Braille Legacy © Charing Cross Theatre

The Braille Legacy review

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French musical The Braille Legacy recently held its world premiere at Charing Cross Theatre, telling the true story of Louis Braille’s invention of his eponymous tactile alphabet which helped transform the lives of blind people ever since.  

Directed by the highly-acclaimed Thom Southerland (Titanic, Parade), The Braille Legacy has many of the ingredients required to be a classic: a strong story with bleakness and hope, a young cast with impressive voices and a thoughtful approach to presentation.  

However, as Sandip Kana writes below, a few glaring issues prevent the production from fully allowing its thought-provoking message to shine through.

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Category: Theatre
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Preview: The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017

The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017 is up and running, with a roll call of stellar entertainers taking to the stage before the distinctive purple dome gets dismantled at the end of September.  

And this year’s festival, presented by Hilton, promises to be better than ever, bringing together two slightly smaller offerings – Udderbelly and London Wonderland – into a summer-long, one-stop shop for comedy, circus and variety shows.  

Whatever your tastes, there seems to be something for everyone.  Plus, with free entry into the complex, there are few better spots to enjoy a beer and decent street food in a festival atmosphere, nestled beneath the London Eye and overlooking the splendour of Westminster.

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Category: Comedy
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The KAOS Brief review: Blair Witch meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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Last week saw the European premiere of new sci-fi thriller The KAOS Brief at Stratford Picture House as part of this year’s ‘London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film’, a.k.a. Sci-Fi-London 17.  

Cora Robertson attended the screening and Q&A session for What’s On London, and was full of praise for JP Mandarino’s first feature film – “a really enjoyable romp through a host of sci-fi and horror tropes” – which manages to fuse the best aspects of The Blair Witch Project with Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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Category: Cinema