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Paul Blackemore / Dickie Beau

This Week 2nd – 8th November

2 November 2015 Ryan Ormonde

This week is all about the brave and the experimental, with the launch of Chelsea Theatre’s live art season Sacred, the return to London of the queen of counter-culture Penny Arcade, plus experiments in dance, poetry and visual art.

Sacred at Chelsea Theatre

Chelsea Theatre know they are on to a good thing with Dickie Beau: they have devoted seven nights to the ‘drag fabulist’ as an extended lead-in to their always interesting season of live art, Sacred. In Blackouts, Beau channels the ghost of childhood idols Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. So far so drag? Blackouts uses rare audio footage of Monroe combined with the uncanny ‘playback’ performance style that won Beau last year’s Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. Another radical performance is David Hoyle: in The Prime of Ms David Hoyle he teaches graduates of Duckie’s Summer School his spiritually Brutalist and frankly unteachable approach to show business. Season Butler has built a show around the opening credits of The Cosby Show – sweet, right? Not so much. Her Happiness Forgets is for ‘the people we once were and can never be again, now that we know what we know now’. Two other shows that shouldn’t be missed are Voodoo from Project O aka Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small, who are ‘haunted by tales of brutal devil women with pigs feet’ and Carrying Stones by Madeleine Botet de Lacaze, in which Virginia Woolf inspires an investigation into body resilience and survival instinct.

For information on all shows and to book tickets, see website.


Penny Arcade at Soho Theatre

For the final night of Future Perfect, David Hoyle’s recent residency at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Penny Arcade stormed the stage with her sweetly acidic thoughts on gentrification. Arcade has been a key player in New York’s queer performance scene ever since she was telling Andy Warhol he was boringly obsessed with rich people. When Quentin Crisp was alive, Penny Arcade was his best friend; at Hoyle’s show she was encouraging people in the audience to email her directly. So, if you’d like a new friend like none you’ve ever had, make your way to Soho Theatre this week. Longing Last Longer was the only double winner at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and, like Arcade herself, it refuses to be put in a box. ‘Performance anthem, memoir, manifesto, satire’ – expect all the above or something else entirely.

Longing Last Longer previews tonight and runs until 21 November. To book tickets, see website.


Currency Festival at The Place

Stan Won’t Dance founder Ellie Beedham teams up with Crying Out Loud’s Rachel Clare to present Currency Festival at The Place from Wednesday. A showcase for experimental performers, the intention of the festival is to find new ways to tell stories and to use the body to break conventions. A collaboration between choreographer Tony Adigun and poet Inua Ellams looks promising, but artists from all over Western Europe are also featured, among them German hand-balancer Natalie Reckert and Swiss choreographer Tabea Martin. There will be two free talks, the first of which takes place on Wednesday and sees Lyndsey Winship, Yohann Floch and Ben Duke discussing how contemporary circus and dance can contribute to the possibilities of performance. The housebound need not despair: Currency TV will stream live performances and interviews online.

To find out more, to book tickets and to tune in to Currency TV, see website.


Enemies: Nemici at the Rich Mix

This Saturday at the Rich Mix, British and Italian poets are paired up for Nemici, the latest in SJ Fowler’s international poet coupling series ‘Enemies’. Parings include Andrea Inglese with Philip Terry, Francesca Serragnoli with Annabel Banks and Christian Patracchini with Richard Skinner. Enemies is an exploration of the possibilities of poetry and collaboration in the 21st century organised by the indefatigable Fowler, a celebrated poet in his own right. Expect lyrical poetry, text art, performance art, video poetry and avant-garde wordplay from this Saturday’s serata.

Entry to Nemeci is free – for more information see website.


Last chance: Kemang Wa Lehulere at Gasworks

This week is the last chance to see Sincerely yours, the debut UK show of emerging South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere at Gasworks in Vauxhall. Wa Lehulere has taken inspiration from South African intellectual Sol T. Plaatje’s trips to England in the early 20th century, to create ‘living sculptures’ made from soil and grass, chalk drawings on blackboards and various installations responding to the gallery space. Other influences include American playwright Richard Walton Tulley’s forgotten 1912 play The Bird of Paradise set in 1890s Hawaii and the artist’s own collection of postage stamps from countries that no longer exist.

Entrance to the exhibition is free. For more information, see website.

 

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