This week there are several treats in store. From The Fall performed by future stars to acclaimed Belgian theatre collective Ontroerend Goed and from a Dorian Gray experience unlike any other to a tragicomedy about ISIS, these are all experiences you won’t be able to catch anywhere else. Read on for my top fringe theatre to see this week:
The Fall – Southwark Playhouse (Nearest tube station: Elephant and Castle)
Award-winner James Fritz and the National Youth Theatre team up to bring you this fascinating show. Directed by the excellent Matt Harrison, it examines with humour and scrutiny one of our biggest unvoiced questions – how can we look after the elderly properly while the younger generations deal with a crisis in housing and a crisis in care. With the generation gap edged by insecurity for both groups, how do they move past their own problems and connect? Looking at individual stories, and performed by a group of talented young actors, this is a show of startling relevance and poignancy.
World Without Us – Battersea Arts Centre (Nearest train station: Clapham Junction)
Battersea Arts Centre is one of London’s most recognisable and important venues. A fire destroyed the grand hall back in 2015, but they are now gearing up for their Phoenix Season celebrating the reopening of their biggest space.
World Without Us, by innovative and world-famous Belgian theatre company Ontroerend Goed, is a perfect fit for the BAC. It is a meditative prediction on what will happen when we are all gone, a mash up of science meets imagination. What will remain of this world that we have built if we were to die out or disappear? What is our legacy? I can barely begin to imagine and it’s all the more reason I want to go and find out what they think.
Bismillah! An ISIS tragicomedy – Pleasance Theatre (Nearest tube station: Caledonian Road)
I guess one of the big problems with disenfranchised youth is that you don’t know how bad the problem is until something goes really wrong. Bismillah! explores the how and why of young Britons trying to get to Syria to join up with ISIS.
Wound Up Theatre developed the play with assistance from several academics. After being shortlisted for an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and following a sell-out run at the VAULT festival this year, it comes to the Pleasance Downstairs.
Set in a basement in northern Iraq, this is an encounter between Leeds Army lad and prisoner of war Dean and London-born Muslim boy Danny who ran away to join ISIS. The play charts some of the universalities of the human experience while chipping away at how so many tensions, both religious and political, public and personal, can lead two young men to such different decisions.