Tickets! £15 and Under!

In life, there is always time for theatre. Especially when reality starts to take a turn for the worse, what better solution than heading along to your local theatre for some theatre treats. Even better when those theatre treats cost less £15! Here we round up our latest bunch of new theatre which you can indulge in for less than fifteen pounds!

Out Now

Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Rd. – The White Bear Theatre £15/12 (17 Jan – 4 Feb)

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Mitchell answers an ad for a roommate and finds himself in a backwoods West Virginia motel with JD, an affable hillbilly of mysterious origins. Soon JD’s neighbours – curmudgeonly Flip, meth-head Marlene, and her hot-headed beau, Tommy – have all but taken over the tiny room. Mitchell finds himself in a hopeless predicament. Hopeless but for the power of dance…?

 

Coming Soon

The Taming Of The Shrew – The Cockpit £10 (23-27 Jan)

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Get Over It Productions all female production is set in 1989 at the height of the rave culture. This promises to be a Shrew like no other….

Fantastic Mr Fox – Hammersmith Lyric £15 (25 Jan – 19 Feb)

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Mr Fox is smart, clever and rather fantastic, but he doesn’t realise how determined the farmers are to get revenge. Can he hatch a plan to save his family and friends? Can they outrun the diggers and outsmart the farmers? And can Rabbit shut up long enough not to give the game away?

Hearing Things – Clapham Omnibus £12/10 (31 Jan – 4 Feb)

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Hearing Things is based on five years of collaboration with both staff and patients in mental health institutions, drawing together the stories, dilemmas and challenges faced by the ‘healthy’ and the ‘ill’ in communities whose voices are seldom heard.

On The Horizon

Blood & Bone – The Vaults £12 (15-19 Feb)

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Part political satire, part pixar movie, Blood & Bone is a dark and cheeky adult puppet show. Combining puppets, puns & poor taste to guarantee you’ll soil yourself. After all: Life’s a prick.

This Is Not Culturally Specific – The Vaults £12 (15-19 Feb)

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This Is Not Culturally Significant is an intense and darkly comic one-man show which unveils the bizarre, compulsive and eccentric nature of humanity. Over ten characters are portrayed; from a pathologically lying classics professor to a despondent American porn star on the brink of her retirement.

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The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes at The Hammersmith Lyric

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We were kindly invited to ‘The Little Gardener’ a free puppet show based on the popular children’s book of the same name. And so we strolled down to Hammersmith’s Lyric square to find a mini glass house surrounded by deck chairs set up outside the theatre.

Performed by solo puppeteer Peter Hobday, he brought The Little Gardener to life in wonderful fashion, and more impressively managed actually to do some serious gardening in the process. The story goes that the poor Little Gardener has been asleep and awakes to find his garden in a bit of a state. Trash is littered all over the place, whilst a yellow weed seems to have taken over most of the beds. The Little Gardner wakes up, says hello to a couple of worms and tries to clean things up, but a huge storm blows him away, ruining his efforts to tidy up his garden. Maybe he is just to too small to look after such a big garden. Why not sleep on it, he thinks.

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Then the real magic happens. Whilst he sleeps, all the children and sprogs are invited into the greenhouse to tidy up. They get rid of the rubbish and weeds and plant flowers in all of his beds, leaving The Little Gardener’s garden looking like something out of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

There was a charming original soundtrack from Darren Clark, which had us humming Little Gardener songs all the way home. The mini greenhouse was the perfect interactive set for the kids and the message to children was clear. See the enjoyment and pleasure you can get from developing green fingers and tending a garden. Well done to the whole How It Ended team and good luck with their tour of The Little Gardener.

Highlight of the piece – The Little Gardener’s boogie and the moment when the kiddies were invited in to sort out the garden.

WIGS 4/5

Brighton Wig Awards

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This was our first year attending the Brighton Fringe and Festival and will certainly not be our last, and was an extremely fun and theatrically powerful bank holiday weekend on the south coast. So for the first time ever, it is time to announce the Brighton Wig Awards!

Awards for the Brighton Wig Awards 2016 include ‘The Venue Award’, ‘The Free Theatre Award’ and, of course, the round up of our favourite shows at the Brighton Festival and Fringe culminating in the award of the ‘Brighton Wig’ to our favourite show. Judging this year has been carried out by The Ginger Wig and the Ginger Viking!

The Venue Award

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Close runners-up in this category include the charming Bosco Spiegeltent and the perfectly situated Republic, but the winner of the 2016 Brighton Wig Venue Award goes to the groovy Distrikt at The Spire Arts Centre. This converted church has some beautiful stained glass windows and now serves drinks and has great art and theatre like No Offence’s ‘Torn Apart (Dissolution)‘.

The Free Theatre Award

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We saw some great free theatre in Brighton, including the participatory ‘Masquerade‘ by yello brick theatre company and the ridiculous ‘Brickhead‘. But there can only be one winner. This year, our free theatre award goes to the hilarious LoveHardComedy, giving us some of the most bizarre gags within a well constructed horror-themed comedy show. Well done to the LoveHard lads. Read our review here.

The Runners-Up to the Brighton Wig Award

5. LoveHard – They won our Free Theatre Award for good reason!

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4. Hotel Black Cat – sexy, sinister and scintillating cabaret and burlesque from the Black Cat Cabaret team. Read our review here.

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3. The Thermos Museum – brilliantly weird fringe comedy. Unique in its hilarity and strangeness. Read our review here.

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2. The Bookbinder – a heartwarming charmer for all to enjoy from Kiwi theatre company Trick of the Light. Read our review here.

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And the Brighton Ginger Wig Award of 2016….

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How could we look anywhere else than Hydrocracker Theatre and Blast Theory’s exceptional ‘Operation Black Antler’, taking us deep into the world of undercover surveillance, through one of the best constructed immersive theatre game experiences we have ever been lucky enough to enjoy. The Ginger Wig and Strolling Man will have our eyes on these two companies for their future work. They have set a very high standard! Check out our review of ‘Operation Black Antler’ here.

That concludes our 2016 Brighton Wig Award. Look out for the upcoming Edinburgh Wig Award and the big one, our first ever Ginger Wig Award from a whole year of theatre everywhere!

The Bookbinder by Trick of the Light at Sweet Dukebox

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It is sad when you go to children’s/family theatre and there are only two kids in the audience. Especially when what you see is a charming, wonder filled fairytale that leaves you in awe. Nonetheless, ‘Trick of the Light’ from New Zealand have created a great show here for all ages.

A bookbinder is looking for a young apprentice to work for him. He starts to tell us about the previous boy who worked for him and so begins his beautifully spun tale. The previous apprentice had been sucked into a book and adventures on a mesmerising journey to try and regain a lost page from a book he unwittingly promised to repair for an old lady in a single day.

Merging beautiful storytelling, shadow puppetry and an ingenious pop up book, Ralph McCubbin Howell does extremely well to lead and narrate this one man show and fills the room with warmth. Never before have we seen such an effective use of a table lamp, a cleverer use of ink or a more outrageous pair of scissors.

Highlight of the Show – The endless surprises, magic and wonder.

WIGS – 4/5

The Ginger Wig

 

Our Brighton Tips

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So, the Ginger Wig & Strolling Man are heading to Brighton, to experience their first taste of this festival by the sea. As England’s biggest theatre and performing arts festival and fringe festival, it is certainly not something we could miss. However, like any arts festival, trying to pick out what to see tends to be a bit of nightmare with programmes as thick as yellow pages and acts as diverse as ‘Future of Food: Burgers… Or Bugs?’, ‘The Bald Prima Donna’ and ‘Burt Lancaster Pierced my Hymen (When I Was 11)’. Therefore we have done some of the hard work for you and picked out the things we most recommend and would most like to see at this year’s Brighton Festival and Fringe.

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Akram Khan’s ‘Until The Lions’

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“Beautifully combining the classical Indian dance form kathak with contemporary dance, Until the Lions tells the tale of Amba, a princess abducted on her wedding day and stripped of her honour, who invokes the gods to seek revenge.”

The Encounter

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“In this solo performance, Simon McBurney traces McIntyre’s journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest using binaural technology to build an intimate and shifting world of sound.”

Read our ‘The Encounter’ review here

Operation Black Antler

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“Enter the murky world of undercover surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying.”

The Last Resort

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“Amidst a barren landscape, a neon light stands bleak and stark. Welcome to The Last Resort. For those brave enough to return to this long deserted resort, beauty, science fiction and history merge to create a unique outdoor experience.”

Minefield

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“New work about the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, developed with and performed by Argentinian and British veterans of the 1982 conflict.”

Masquerade

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“Enter the Masquerade Ball, a world of anonymity and duplicity that spins a web of lies and truth around its guests. Carry out tasks, hide your secrets, do whatever it takes to win. You will need to form bonds, break relationships and be ruthless in your pursuit of glory but remember… trust no one.”

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The Bookbinder

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“A story of mystery, magic and mayhem; weaving shadowplay, paper art, puppetry, and music into an original dark fairytale.”

Torn Apart (Dissolution)

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“Torn Apart (Dissolution) is about talking to your lover, drinking beer, ultimate rejection, the white picket fence fantasy, sexuality, the rules of being on a visa, The Berlin Wall, but mostly it’s about love.”

Switchboard

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“A phone rings. It keeps ringing. You answer the call. It’s for you. What happens next is in your hands.”

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The Thermos Museum

“Twelve suitcases unfold to reveal numerous astonishing displays. However, the public are not free to reign; visitors are escorted around the museum by a mysterious and disenchanted tour guide.”

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“Life is more than the days you have left. Jeff and Jasmine are diagnosed with a life threatening disease, but through each other they learn why life is worth being threatened.”

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Into The Water

“This foot-stomping, hand-tapping show transports audiences from a magical wasteland to a dreamlike world, where anything’s possible and friendship’s everything. Folk has never been so fun!”

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A Good Jew

“1938. Sol and Hilda play in the Frankfurt Sinfonietta. They’re in love. So what?
Well, Hilda’s father is a Nazi Official, and Sol is, of course, a Jew.”

How Eva Von Schnippisch Single-Handedly Won WW2

“Armed only with a ukulele and the power of song, Eva tells a comedic story of love, frankfurters, the other Eva . . . and de-bunks the bunker story once and for all.”

A Talent for Lying

“Lucy sits beside Aidan in a busy café. He says she knows him, but she doesn’t. Though determined not to be written into one of his stories, Lucy is persuaded to imagine a past she can’t remember.”

Fire Burn: The Tragedy of Macbeth

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“Three sisters meet to enact Macbeth’s fate. Their twisted prophecies transform him from a war hero into a paranoid tyrant in this brutal Shakespearean Tragedy. A man with bloody hands, his murdered friend’s ghost, a queen who sleepwalks – the witches bring them to life to the beat of Hecate’s drums.”

A Little Prince

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“A contemporary new musical adaptation of Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Prince’ that will dazzle the youngest audiences, while seducing and capturing the adult ones.”

Anyway the Fringe and Festival have already started so get planning, get booking and get yourself down to Brighton!

 

Tickets Under £15

Our latest dose of affordable theatre tickets. Including some of our favourite pub theatres and some theatres we have yet to visit. Get your fix, people…

In theatres now…

The Brink – Orange Tree Theatre – £12 Under 30s tickets available – 7-30 April

“History teacher Nick is on the edge. A hidden secret lies under the Brink. Nick can’t get it out of his mind. A series of visions force him to investigate what lies beneath.”

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Coming soon…

Low Level Panic – Bread And Roses Theatre – £10/8, £7 Previews – 12-30 April

“Set in a bathroom, Clare McIntyre’s acclaimed and award-winning play is a bright, warm, sometimes wet and messy dark-comedy about three young women. Through its fearless comedy Low Level Panic explores female experiences in our world and the objectification, fear and challenges these young women face on a daily basis.”

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Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens – Kings Head Theatre – £10 Previews and dynamic pricing, £14 etc… – 26 April – 21 May

“In a seedy cabaret bar on the dark side of a distant planet, artistes are being picked off by a serial killer with a penchant for sequins… Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is a truly immersive theatrical experience.”

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A Kingdom for a Stage – Chelsea Theatre – £10 Concessions (£15 standard price) 28 April – 7 May

“William Shakespeare sits in the heavens with his peers excited by the recreation of his Globe theatre in London and by the four hundredth anniversary of his death. With Puck’s assistance he returns to London believing that everything is very much better. But has anything really changed? And what does this mean for the future?”

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On the horizon…

The Local Stigmatic – Old Red Lion Theatre – £14/12 – 3-28 May

“The Local Stigmatic is a sinister, deeply disturbing study of psychosis, fame, obsession and envy. Darkly comical at times, it reveals an element of society and its fascination with ‘celebrity’, but also the resentment that it can provoke.”

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The Quentin Dentin Show – Above the Arts Theatre – £12.90/10.90 (£8.90 Previews) – 16-28 May

“Keith and Nat’s relationship needs intensive care. So when they accidentally summon the supernatural therapist Quentin Dentin out of the radio, it seems like a dream come true. But the charming Mr Dentin’s mission of happiness has an altogether darker purpose… also, he won’t stop singing.”

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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl at the Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Puppet Theatre have created a puppet version of Roald Dahl’s beloved tale about the ladderless window cleaning team, ‘the giraffe the pelly and me’, and do so with a  creativity that pleased many a little one.

This is a tale about small boy, Billy, whose local but abandoned ‘grubber’ (an old term for a sweetshop in Billy’s part of the world) is bought by a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey who use it as a base for their ladderless window cleaning team. With the help of the boy, they manage to secure work for the Duke of Hampshire to clean the 677 windows of his house. They also foil a robbery and manage to get some food into their rumbling bellies.

Created on a budget, Little Angel Theatre have used inventive ways to create the puppets which despite being made out of simple household objects, still attract the reaching hands of wide-eyed childers when the puppets, particularly the giraffe, lean into the audience. However, it did seem odd to see a puppet show whose faces had no movement at all, bar the pelly’s upper jaw although this was not used for speech. Maybe this was just their chosen style.

Of the songs written for the show the title song stood out the most, although herein lies our only criticism. As the performers were clearly puppeteers and voice artists first, some of the singing was slightly lacking, not that that put off any of the children. The monkey was a great character and was voiced really well, although it was the dastardly criminal, the cobra, who stole the show for us with his worm-like movement.

A real winner for children at the Little Angel Theatre, but it needed a bit more to cross over in order to appeal to older viewers, but if you’re a fan of Roald Dahl you’ll still enjoy this.

Highlight of the show – The Cobra’s entrance, worming his way across the stage.

WIGS 3/5

Christmas picks from the Ginger Wig

With December now in full swing, the Ginger Wig and Strolling man pick out their top picks of things to see over the Christmas period!

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‘The Wasp’ – this thriller by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm has transferred to Trafalgar Studios after a sold out run at the Hampstead. December 8th – January 16th at Trafalgar Studios – £15 – £30

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‘Sleeping Beauty – Matthew Bourne’s gothic imagining of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet is back on at Sadler’s Wells. December 1st –  January 24th Tickets  £12 – £65

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‘The Lorax’ – Dr. Seuss’ personal favourite, an effective and entertaining environmental tale is reimagined at the Old Vic, with music from Noah and the Whale – there are still £10 preview tickets available! December 4th – January 16th Tickets  £10 – £60

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‘The Dazzle’ – this play by American playwright, Richard Greenberg, gets its London premiere starring Andrew Scott at a new space in Central St. Martins School of Art. December 10th – January 30th Tickets  £10 – £35

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‘I Want My Hat Back’ is another children’s book-inspired christmas show. Based on Jon Klassen’s story this is another sure bet for the kids. December 16th – January 2nd at the National Theatre.  Tickets £10 – £15

Rebounding Hail by Disparat Theatre at Big Belly

This was a really charming piece of theatre from Disparat Theatre. Marked as  a children’s show, in reality people of all ages would enjoy this. Certainly this big kid was keen to go!

Performed in the Underbelly’s ‘Big Belly’, this was a venue that we had yet to encounter in our two trips to the Fringe, but we were very glad we finally did. Despite the dank bunker-like atmosphere in which we felt we were sinking, the big open space with its curved roofs really was a unique venue.

As we entered the space, we met a girl wandering around the stage. Two huge piles of books stood on either side of the stage with regular size books scattered all over the place. As well as this, a large open book was hanging from the ceiling, as if it were a swing. Once the play began, the girl picked a book up and opened it. Suddenly the court of King Arthur was created in front of us by the other actors. As soon as she closed it, they stiffened up and disappeared. Then we met ‘the voice’. Together the girl and the voice discussed their favourite books, breaking every so often for her to open another book and suddenly for the book to come alive in front of us. Tarzan, Gandalf and many other came alive before us. However, just like the first time, as soon as the book was closed the characters disappeared.

The supporting actors created each story very effectively using music, songs and dancing to help set the mood and accompany the action to great effect. All of the acting was top rate from the performers and the play itself was a wonderful and imaginative piece of children’s theatre. The ending was very clever, and would have caught out most little minds. And the closing itself was extremely exciting.

If you’ve got kids take them along to this one and leave them in wonder. If you haven’t got kids, nay bother, pop down anyway for this charming little treat.

Highlight of the show – The Dragon – Where did that come from ?!

4/5 WIGS