BWW:UK Autumn Preview 2013 - London Fringe
As ever, I'm in the happy position of looking forward to... well, I don't know what! Because the joy of reviewing London's fringe is its variety - and its surprises. Turn up with an open mind, pay what seems an unfeasibly low price and take a not always comfortable seat, but - hey - its not supposed to be easy! What follows might be anything - except disappointing.
Were I to choose three highlights for the upcoming season, I'd be looking at three venues that have consistently demonstrated the unique joys of live theatre.
At The King's Head Theatre, OperaUpClose's La Traviata promises another updated masterpiece, sung in English at arm's length - a visceral experience that is felt as much as heard. It's a prohibition era take on Verdi this time (see photo).
The recently refurbished Arcola Theatre makes bold decisions and produces work that sits in the heart of Dalston in more senses than one. SplitMoon's forthcoming adaptation of Brecht's In the Jungle of Cities, promises an evening brimming with politics and polemic. As usual at this theatre, I expect to leave it exhausted, but happy to have seen something that matters.
And, as Autumn turns to Winter, an annual treat will take The Edge off one of those darkening nights. Chickenshed is reviving one of its old shows, The Night Before Christmas, with this company's traditional mix of professional actors and young students, a cavalcade of humanity entertaining, educating and edifiying its audience - a symbol of all that's great about London life.
There'll be more - much more - for me and, if you can get there, for you too. It's a Faustian deal to make one's life in London, so it's important to enjoy its myriad of opportunities to offset its expense and frustrations. And London's theatres provide some of its most magical entertainment.