Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

South West London Law Centres, a charity that provides specialist legal advice in social welfare law for people who cannot afford to pay privately for a lawyer, are holding a comedy fundraiser event, Jokes For Justice, on February 23rd 2017 at The Bedford Pub, Balham. Nish Kumar, Jonny and The Baptists and Sophie Willan will be performing on the night to help raise funds to continue their work across South West London. After the devastating legal aid cuts of 2013, our income has been slashed by over 40% and ten other Law Centres have already closed down – funds are desperately needed to support access to justice for those most in need within our communities.

Opening next month is Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever UK arena tour of its signature production, Varekai. Directed by Dominic Champagne, this production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to those who quest with infinite passion along the path that leads to Varekai. The critically-acclaimed show, updated and featuring new acts yet to be seen in the UK will visit the Sheffield Arena, Dublin’s 3Arena, Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and Leeds’ First Direct Arena in February 2017, followed by the Genting Arena in Birmingham, Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena and The SSE Hydro, Glasgow in March 2017. Tickets are on sale online at and at Advance tickets are available from £45 (+ booking fee).

I’ve not read any of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child but I have to say I’m rather tempted by the stage adaptation of the quartet, split into two plays and named after the first book, by April de Angelis which will be opening at the Rose Theatre Kingston in March.
My Brilliant Friend will be led by Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack as Lenu and Lila, on whose friendship in post-war Italy the story focuses. Melly Still’s production will also star Justin Avoth, Adam Burton, Martin Hyder, Victoria Moseley, Emily Mytton, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Jonah Russell, Badria Timimi, Toby Wharton and Emily Wachter. Previews starts on 25th February for a run that ends on 2nd April.

The latest play to be added to Digital Theatre’s impressive roster of recorded work is Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be True, the Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company South Australia that toured the UK last year. Released on 22nd February to Digital Theatre’s worldwide education platform DT+, it will doubtless be a welcome boon to anyone studying FA’s inimitable approach to theatre.

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