Lottie Unwin: Drama Queen

Our resident Drama Queen’s guide to what’s on in Week 2

39 Steps An Evening of Comedy Theatre Burlesque Cafe Scientifique Cinderella Corn Exchange Drama Queen Faustus Ibsen Laura Solon Lottie Unwin Pinocchio Sally Morgan Smoker The ADC The Junction The Mumford The Wild Duck Tom Wrigglesworth Yo My Man

With shameless abuse of my ‘monarchical’ power in this column I am going to take a leaf out Sally Morgan’s ‘A Dummy’s Guide to Exploitation’ and promote my Jailbreak attempts.  Do sponsor me generously, humourously or just a bit.   The Week 1 highlight was Doctor Faustus and there is still time to catch it with another performance on tonight.

This week the line up is as follows:

39 Steps – 7.45 (2.30 matinees on Saturday and Thursday) – Monday 25th – Saturday 30th at The Cambridge Arts Theatre. £10-30.

The website suggests we book early – "to avoid incredible disappointment" – if we can’t get tickets to Maria Aitken’s production.  While I am pretty sure that "incredible" is the wrong word but, unusually, the people involved are being paid and it has come straight from the West End, so probably quite a lot.

Smoker – 11.00 – Tuesday 26th January at The ADC.  £5-6.

The speed with which these events sell out is truly remarkable.  The comedy, apparently, “can be soft and silly; rude and spikey; wordy and nerdy or a little surreal – whatever the style, it's always 'uproariously funny' (Varsity)". Though my life is guided by the assumption that Varsity are always wrong, from what I have heard of Smokers they are record breakingly close to the truth.

Yo, My Man – 7.00 – Tuesday 26th – Saturday 30th at Corpus Playrooms. £4-6.

"Quirky and fresh, Yo, My Man is a comedy about jazz, disappointment, self-delusion, and different kinds of hope."  Take away the jazz and it sounds like so much Cambridge theatre, but that is no reason to presume Charlie Fleming’s show will disappoint.

The Wild Duck – 7.45 – Tuesday 26th January – Saturday 30th at The ADC.  £6.9.

Everyone loves Ibsen, don’t they? You should. The man who said ‘To live is to war with trolls’ had got a lot sorted, especially theatre.  Based singularly on my encounters with some very big bookcases, which wobble around the ADC workshops, I would take an uninformed guess and say that Adam Hollingworth will produce something quite great.

Café Scientifique – 7.30 – Wednesday 27th at The ADC. Free with a complimentary drink.

“A place where anyone can come to discuss the science that is changing our lives with the people who are making the discoveries.” Perfect.  I have been searching high and low for somewhere to do just that.  Sorry, I am an arts student and will stop being cynical.  This week’s talk is called ‘Pandemic! Where do infections come from?’  I love the exclamation mark.

An Evening of Comedy Theatre – 7.30 – Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th at The Mumford Theatre.  £5-6.

The blurb for 'Fourteen' by Alice Gersentberg, which is one of the plays the evening showcases is as follows: “Mrs Pringle has arranged a dinner party for fourteen, but the weather and illness prevents her guests from attending. With guests accepting and rejecting invitations at the last minute poor Mrs Pringle doesn’t know how many people she will end up with.” The major drawback is that it doesn’t sound very funny.  And a whole evening of it?

Armageddapocolypse – 11 – Wednesday 27th – Saturday 30th at the ADC.  £4-5.

Only today did I get a Facebook message where the subject was ‘Let’s Blow Shit Up'.  My immediate response was, “Well, no – that’s needless destruction and just not funny”.  It claims to be, “the first ADC Lateshow with a budget breaching $1,000,000,000,” but I have a sneaky suspicion that’s not true and then I don’t know what or who to believe.

Laura Solon’s Rabbit Faced Story Soup – 8 – Friday 29th at The Junction. £8-10.

“Tepid-shot publisher Diana Lewis is scrambled to find a writer to finish a book and save the company from crisis. Her obstacles include an American Super Agent, a lightly tanned boss, a call centre worker, a diversity officer, The French and a dead rabbit called Ian.”  This show has had really impressive reviews on tour and The Junction and Homerton just by it, really is not that far away.

Tom Wrigglesworth – 8 – Saturday 30th January at The Junction.  £10-12.

“Having witnessed a Virgin Train Manager abusing his position, (to the extent that Hitler would've watched admiringly and taken notes), Tom Wrigglesworth writes to Richard Branson about one random act of kindness which caused good to triumph over evil.”  He is described, confusingly, as a cross between Sideshow Bob, who I think is the most annoying man, real or fictional, ever and Mark Thomas who has a very impressive C.V.

Burlesque Night – show starts at 9 – Friday 29th January at Henry’s Bar and Café. £19 (including a 2 course meal) or £8.

I discovered this night whilst casually toying with the promotions leaflet in one of the intervals of The Velvet Onion Comedy Night.  On the back a blurry picture of a naked lady pronounced, "We aim to tease…"  which is great news, just pre-drink – this venue is expensive.

Pinocchio – 11.00am and 1.30pm – Saturday 30th and 2.30 – Sunday 31st.  £6-9.

Cinderella – 4.30 – Saturday 30th and 5.30 – Sunday 31st January. £7-£10.

Both at the Mumford Theatre.

I would strongly recommend you miss “The junior cast” performing “a delightful interpretation of… Pinocchio” which at £6-9 is very steep for a school play.  The “senior cast’s” Cinderella doesn’t fill me with much more hope.