News: Pleasance brings queer canines, hip hop and Harry Potter to Islington this Autumn/Winter

After a cracking summer of jam-packed programming in both Edinburgh and Islington, it’s time for the Winter season with hot Edinburgh transfers, a hip-hop musical, Harry Potter, an amazing new show from Ginger Johnson and the London Horror Festival!

In the Mainhouse, VAULT Festival 2020 sell-out show Dumbledore Is So Gay (21st – 26th September and then on demand 27th September – 11th October) is a nostalgic hug to coming-of-age, coming out and growing up with Harry Potter. It ain’t easy being Jack. He got sorted into Hufflepuff using the official online quiz, hates studying French and is in love with his best friend Ollie. Dodging bullies, keeping secrets and trying to get the guy is too much for Jack to take. So, he pulls out his trusty Time Turner and does it all over again. Maybe this time he’ll get into Gryffindor. Free drinks for the best costume each night!

HighRise are taking over the main house with The Concrete Jungle Book (29th September – 2nd October), an explosive and energetic hip-hop musical by Dominic Garfield which catapults Rudyard Kipling’s classic story into inner-city Britain with live rap music, grime, reggae, spoken word and big personality. Returning for the first time since its critically acclaimed premiere in 2017 and updated for a brand-new cast of young performers. This is The Jungle Book like you’ve never imagined.

Returning from their critically acclaimed sell-out Edinburgh premiere, The Pleasance is proud to present Screen 9 (11th – 13th October) as this year’s recipient of the Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve. This hard-hitting verbatim piece follows the survivors’ remarkable true testimonies of the infamous 2021 Aurora, Colorado shootings as they attempt to respond and recover from the tragedy. This is their story and every word is real. Also fresh from its sell-out Edinburgh run, comedy drama Skank (14th – 16th October) is coming to London. Kate could be a successful writer if she could just concentrate. Instead, she needs to recycle this bean can, shag sexy Gary and stop obsessing about her inevitable, untimely death.

CWM RAG The Second Spaffin (23rd October) sees the return of London’s favourite gaggle of Welshies. Expect singing, comedy and drag from some Welsh stunners as they bring together London’s best Welsh, LGBTQ performers and drag artists for a show celebrating all things from the greener side of the Severn Bridge. Cwm Rag is a trans, queer collective supporting the lives and work of Welsh LGBTQ+ people.

This year’s Pleasance Christmas extravaganza is Dog Show (24th November – 19th December), created by Ginger Johnson (the twisted mind behind Sink The Pink’s Escape from Planet Trash & How To Catch A Krampus) and David Cumming (co-creator of Spitlip’s Operation Mincemeat & BAC Beatbox Academy’s Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster). Join the mutt-ley crew of the Crappersea Dogs Home as they put their best paw forward for the Annual Rehoming Show. Can these old dogs turn new tricks? Do they have star pet-tential? Or are they all just simply too ruff? Sillier than a Shih Tzu and prouder than a Poodle, this pack of queer canines will have you rolling (over) in the aisles as they do anything for appaws. But who will be crowned Top Dog and who’ll be left pining for presents in the pound? You decide! Full cast to be announced soon.

And let’s not forget Pleasance downstairs where Fritz & Matlock (5th – 17th October) is a fresh take on men’s mental health and addiction, with surrealist undertones and a comic bite. The London Horror Festival is the UK’s original and largest festival of live horror performance, bringing 20 shows to the Islington venue this October!

Humane (3rd – 21st November) takes us to 1995 when the residents of a small port in rural Essex woke up to lorries rumbling through the town, carrying live animals for over thirty hours without food or water. The production tells the true story of a disparate group who knew they had to do something to stop it. Meanwhile, Flinch (23rd – 25th November) by Emma Hemingford is a darkly comic play about the struggle for intimacy; as a young couple attempt to repair their differences, a thorny and unsettling discussion of gender politics refuses to take sides.

Anthony Alderson, director of the Pleasance Theatres Trust commented: “This eclectic season shows off the variety that we at the Pleasance celebrate and encourage. With the Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve recipient transferring to London from an acclaimed and successful Edinburgh run and an exciting new Christmas show from the legend Ginger Johnson, our Islington spaces are offering something for everyone across the next few months.”

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