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Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Grief is the Thing with Feathers; The Snail and the Whale; Mr Shadow; Uncle Vanya

23 October, 2020 — By Lucy Popescu

Toby Jones and Richard Armitage in Uncle Vanya

MAX Porter will read his bestselling novella, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, at Islington’s Union Chapel on Sunday at 7.45pm. The one-off live streamed event has been organised as a fundraiser for the iconic London venue, with ticket proceeds also going to The Margins Project, the Chapel’s homelessness charity. Tickets:

Tall Stories will present its stage adaptation of The Snail and the Whale, inspired by the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book, in a series of live-streamed performances. Join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a snail’s incredible trip around the world on the tail of a whale. Live music, storytelling and audience participation via chat will bring the story vividly to life for everyone aged four +. On Monday at 11am, the Pleasance will link to the performance and receive a share of the ticket revenue if you book via them. The production will be broadcast from Tall Stories’ studio space in Islington Central Library from October 24-November 1. Visit:

• The Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice is presenting Mr Shadow, an interactive hand shadow performance for family audiences created by Drew Colby, who performs the show with his hands, shadow and voice. Intriguing characters and beautiful shadow transformations abound in this virtuoso shadowplay. October 26-29 daily at 3pm; October 31-November 1 at noon and 3pm. Visit:

The Ballad of Corona V, written by David Watson and directed by Maggie Norris, opens at The Big House in Islington on Wednesday. Audiences are limited to six per scene with different start times and social distancing rules for both actors and the audience. A free-wheeling, funny, angry, moving and musical show about the times we’re living in. Tickets:; box office: 0333 666 4466

• Ian Rickson’s acclaimed production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, adapted by Conor McPherson and starring Toby Jones and Richard Armitage, will be released in cinemas across the UK from Tuesday. This cinema event will only be available for a limited run throughout the autumn. Tickets are on sale at

Hampstead Theatre will reopen for a limited run of Alice Hamilton’s 60 anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s iconic play, The Dumb Waiter, from November 18-December 19. Ben and Gus have a job to do. But as they await instructions, they start to receive strange messages via a dumb waiter. The theatre will reopen with 193 socially distanced seats and state-of-the-art ventilation. Tickets on sale now. Visit:


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