We’ve got this! Helping you find where you can watch theatre, concerts and more online in these weird times

When you can’t go to see your favourite sport, what do we do? Watch an old event on the TV.

When you can’t go to a gig, what do you do? Listen to it on Spotify or watch last year’s Glastonbury on BBCiplayer.

When you can’t go to the pub for a pub quiz, what do you do? I mean, I would create my own with friends which we would do virtually, but there is also the option of a boardgame at home or an online quiz over a drink.

But what do you do when your love is theatre? When faced with heightened anxiety about when we can next get out and do the things we enjoy and a feeling of being trapped in our homes, it is important to make the most of what is available to us.

Here at Playhouse Pickings, we are going to do our best to share things with you which might make these bizarre times feel a bit more bearable. We will be speaking to actors, directors and people in the industry about how this is affecting them personally and how it is affecting their work. We will also be reviewing online shows. Finally, we might just tell some of our own stories about what we are up to, why we enjoy the theatre, things we have seen in the past and musings on art and culture in general.

Continue reading “We’ve got this! Helping you find where you can watch theatre, concerts and more online in these weird times”

Local theatre – trying out my new home town’s theatre for the first time and we are going big with @7oaksPlayers ‘ Jesus Christ Superstar!

Things to make sure you have access to when moving to a new place :

  1. A decent coffee shop which does a proper flat white and offers a variety of milk (yes I am a spoiled middle class Londoner)
  2. Some good cosy pubs with big chairs and tasty pub grub
  3. Some good spots for sitting and reading in the park
  4. A shop where you can get all your nerd requirements – dice, board games and other accessories
  5. A theatre which puts on a variety of great shows throughout the year.

I have lived in Sevenoaks for the last 3 months and have managed to find the first four but now, I am excited to say, I get the opportunity to take the theatre for a test run too when I go to see the Sevenoaks Players putting on Jesus Christ Superstar

The Sevenoaks Players are an amateur dramatics society local to Sevenoaks and have been performing in the area since 1922. In their time, they have performed a huge array of musicals, plays and variety shows and perform up to 4 shows a year!

Continue reading “Local theatre – trying out my new home town’s theatre for the first time and we are going big with @7oaksPlayers ‘ Jesus Christ Superstar!”

Coming up – West End Eurovision 2019! One of the best nights out you will have this year! @madtrust #WEEurovision2019

Sequins, spandex and glitter balls at the ready!I went to this event last year and not only is it something which raises a huge amount of money for an incredible cause but it is a FABULOUS night out.

The West End casts of Aladdin, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Follies, Mamma Mia, Only Fools and Horses, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked will compete in West End Eurovision 2019!

Ahead of the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, the casts of seven West End shows will wage battle at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 28 April in WEST END EUROVISION 2019.

Singing original Eurovision Song Contest songs, they will compete to win text votes from the theatre audience and the approval of a panel of celebrity judges and judges from each competing show.

Giving their all to lift four coveted WEST END EUROVISION 2019 trophies – The Champions, The Best Ident Movie, The Best Creative and the new award for this year Outstanding Gorgeousness – will be the casts of Aladdin, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Follies, Mamma Mia, Only Fools and Horses, The Phantom of the Opera (last year’s winners) and Wicked.

The first guest star performer to be announced is the fantastically glamorous Eurovision winner Dana International, who will perform DIVA, the song that took the crown for her in Birmingham in 1998. And this year’s UK Eurovision Act, Michael Rice, will be performing the UK entry, Bigger Than Us.

Last year’s winners The Phantom of the Opera – photo Darren Bell

WEST END EUROVISION 2019, a feel-good, edge-of-your-seat-exciting and interactive charity event will take place in the heart of London’s Theatreland for one show only on one unforgettable night only! It will once again raise much-needed funds for the work of MAD Trust. The Trust works with its partners to support those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Melanie Tranter, chair of the Make A Difference Trust said: “West End Eurovision only happens because of the incredible generosity of the theatre community who give their time and talent so generously to make this incredible show possible. On behalf of the Trust and everyone who will benefit from the work we do, to every performer, every crew member, every single person works so hard to make this show one of the best nights in the West End calendar, Thank You”

So get your tickets now! When else will you get to see this many incredible performers on one stage?


West End Eurovision 2019

Sunday 28 April 2019

Time: 7.15pm

Venue: Adelphi Theatre
The Strand

£25, £30, £40 & £50
(prices include a restoration levy)


£110 VIP ticket includes:
Top price seat, souvenir programme, pre-show reception with VIP access to the theatre, an interval drink 

VIP tickets are ONLY available directly from The Make A Difference Trust using this link:




Interview: WHIST Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells @Sadlers_Wells @AoiEsteban

On the 19th June I am off to see Whilst at the Lilian Baylis Studio. This production is described as an experience which merges physical theatre, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and an art installation, in an environment that blurs the boundaries between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual, exploring the story from one of the 76 different perspectives.WHIST+12+Lo

I work in technology so when I heard AR and VR mixed with immersive theatre and what appears to be a make your own adventure book – I had to find out more.

I interviewed Aoi Nakamura and Esteban Fourmi, the founders of AΦE and the creators of the show.

Continue reading “Interview: WHIST Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells @Sadlers_Wells @AoiEsteban”

Interview: Owen Kingston – Writer and Director or King and Country @Thecolabfactory until 10th June @_Parabolic_ @ColabF #ImmersiveTheatre #ForKingAndCountry

It’s December 1940 and a Nazi invasion force has landed on the south coast of England.
For King & Country offers audiences a chance to immerse themselves in this gaming style
experience where decisions taken in the bunker will shape the course of history!
Michael Thomas, Zoe Flint, Peter Dewhurst, Christopher Russenberger and Edward Andrews in For King and Country, courtesy of Owen Kingston_previewReinventing the wheel of immersive theatre, Parabolic Theatre present an escape room-like experience with a high level of interaction where the audience determines the direction and flow of the story.

Before we attend, we got the chance to speak to the Director, Owen Kingston, about what we should expect

Continue reading “Interview: Owen Kingston – Writer and Director or King and Country @Thecolabfactory until 10th June @_Parabolic_ @ColabF #ImmersiveTheatre #ForKingAndCountry”

Upcoming Shows and interview with Josephine Shipp, Producer of Baby Box, at the King’s Head Theatre now .@KingsHeadThtr ‏@LLMcGrady ‏@SleeplessTC @SarahJCullum #WhoRunsTheWorld @JosephineShipp

Playhouse Pickings sat down with Josephine Shipp, Producer of Baby Box, to talk about chronic pain.

Are the males in your life grossed out by your period? Do you hide your tampon up your sleeve when you go to the bathroom? Whilst angry have you been subjected to the, “are you on your period?” comment? I suspect that, if you’re a woman with a vagina, you’ve probably answered yes, yes and yes to the three questions above – which really is quite depressing, if you think about it.

Issues like periods and female sexual pain live behind closed doors. They’re discussed in hushed tones behind hands – “do you have a tampon? I just came on.” baby-boxHeartbreakingly, when it comes to female pelvic pain, it is often never mentioned at all even to the best of friends, out of fear, shame and the worry of disgusting or displeasing the men in our lives. Sex should be pleasurable for everyone involved, and if it’s not, you should be able to discuss it openly, not just grit your teeth, go through unbearable amounts of pain, make the noises and hope it finishes quickly. #LieBackAndThinkOfEngland – we’ve all heard the saying before, and it’s quietly depressing. Modern society has moved past having to wear skirts that cover our ankles, we’re no longer required to be housewives first (not that making a full-time job out of raising the next generation of humans isn’t kickass), and we got the right to vote. So shouldn’t all that mean that we should be at a place where we can mention painful sex and the monthly visit from Aunt Flo without half the population cringing in fear? Apparently not.

Continue reading “Upcoming Shows and interview with Josephine Shipp, Producer of Baby Box, at the King’s Head Theatre now .@KingsHeadThtr ‏@LLMcGrady ‏@SleeplessTC @SarahJCullum #WhoRunsTheWorld @JosephineShipp”

News: Arlene Philips, Tom Allen and John Partridge are the Judges for Westend Eurovision @MADTrust @arlenephillips @mustbejp @tomallencomedy ‏ @DickyGauntlett ‏ @HamiltonWestEnd @youngfrankldn @KinkyBootsUK @PhantomOpera

What more can one want that all your favourite West-End stars on one stage? All your favourite West-end stars competing to be the champions of West End Eurovision? Yes, that will work! And to top that off, there are musical theatre, stage and screen legends as the host and judges. And I am going to see it all THIS SUNDAY!

Stand up star Tom AllenJohn Partridge, star of La Cage Aux Folles, A Chorus Line and EastEnders, and choreographer, Judges-Announced-for-West-End-Eurovision-e1523026398933.jpgdirector and showbiz legend Arlene Phillips, honoured as a CBE for her services to dance, will be in the judging hot seats on Sunday 22 April at the  Shaftesbury Theatre.

Richard Gauntlett will once again be in charge of hosting.

Continue reading “News: Arlene Philips, Tom Allen and John Partridge are the Judges for Westend Eurovision @MADTrust @arlenephillips @mustbejp @tomallencomedy ‏ @DickyGauntlett ‏ @HamiltonWestEnd @youngfrankldn @KinkyBootsUK @PhantomOpera”

Upcoming events: 40 Winks @MR40WINKS

40 Winks is a unique place. Described as the most beautiful hotel in the world, a place where you are treated not as a paying guest, but as a new friend, a place where you will be enchanted by the sheer beauty of the house and its unique ambiance, somewhere with a dreamy fairytale quality which offers a welcome respite from the harsh realities of everyday life. images (1) Owned by Mr Carter – frequently lauded as one of the world’s most influential interior designers by magazines like Architectural Digest, twice shortlisted for the International Interior Designer of the Year Award, the Economist’s Intelligent Life called him an ‘elegant sliver of fin-de-siecle aestheticism’ – this place has a lot to live up to and I cannot wait to experience it for myself in their May event.

Previous events organised by Mr Carter have been some of the most highly acclaimed events in London, including extravagant and theatrical life drawing evenings, parties like ‘Tart’ and ‘Coquette’40Winks (spoiling afternoons of naughty self- indulgence, seductive style and decadent pampering for girls), the famous ‘Jacques Townhouse’ (London’s first pop-up hotel), and the inaugural meeting of the ‘Champagne Charlie Society’. There has also been a magical ‘Bedtime Story Nights’ and the newest event, ‘Supernatural’.

And May’s event sees the very witty Viv Groskop performing. Viv is a journalist, writer, occasional agony aunt and comedian. She is the star of BBC1’s This Week and BBC Radio 4’s It’s Just a Joke, Comrade. Bedtime-Stories-1VIVALICIOUS is a brand new show that will be officially launched at the Edinburgh Festival, but 40 Winks have managed to lure her hre for a special preview date. In an age of therapy and reinvention, Viv humorously explores how we all want to become the very best versions of ourselves, and frequently fail despite our most determined efforts. I have been told to expect enlightenment and lots and lots of laughter.

You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel to come, but you do need to book a ticket in advance. If you would like to attend one of the upcoming events (which often sell out within hours) receive a copy of the latest programme or join their exclusive mailing list, please email Daisy at reservations@40winks.org, or complete the form.
Apparently I have to dress in my most glamorous boudoir attire but I expect it will be worth it to go and drink “intoxicating cocktails with London’s brightest and boldest, and find myself carried off on a delirious journey by some of this country’s most revered storytellers, mind-bending illusionists, comedians and topnotch (but tiny) theatre companies?”
Tickets: £30 per head (includes MAMAlicious Vodka cocktails and yummy nibbles)
Dates: The 17th of May 2018
Website40 Winks
Times: 7.00pm – 10.45pm (the shows start at 8.03)
Booking: Email Daisy at reservations@40winks.org
Dress code: Elegant pyjamas and glamorous nighties
Nearest tube: Stepney Green (a three minute stroll)

Interview: Kate March – An Evening of Meat @iam_concepts @thevaultsuk

On 27th March 2018, An Evening of Meat is launched at Waterloo Vaults. It is a unique and provocative dinner installation – described as a feast of femininity where expressive dance and indulgent food meet to thoroughly inundate all the senses. Having gained a cult following across the world, download (3)American director Kate March along with her all-female creative collective, I AM, brings her unique mixture of choreography, performance art and food to London for a limited run this Spring.

I’ll be going along in a couple of weeks to experience the fine-dining menu and dancers using a table as a stage, and  I cannot wait to see what’s held in store for me. Before that though, I was lucky enough to speak to Kate about I AM, the show, and what is next for her and the company.

Continue reading “Interview: Kate March – An Evening of Meat @iam_concepts @thevaultsuk”

Interview: Trapped In A Van @trappedldn

You’re normally so careful. Or, maybe you’ve just been lucky up until now. You never thought you’d get caught. And yet, here you are, on your way to Pentonville. Prison_Escape_the_Room_bpyl1yWell, you can’t have that, can you? Prison orange really doesn’t suit you…

First step: Stop the van.

Second step: Escape.

Third step: Retire to the Bahamas.

You and your gang have been arrested and found guilty. A life sentence at HM Prison Pentonville awaits you all. Can you stop the van and escape within 60 minutes or will you be trapped forever behind bars?

The Trapped in a Room team’s most recent room sees you trapped in a refurbished prison van (don’t worry, you aren’t really detained or arrested) Currently located at Bunker 51 near North Greenwich, they’re moving to a more central site in the former athlete’s village in Stratford and I am lucky enough to be going when that happens.

Continue reading “Interview: Trapped In A Van @trappedldn”