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Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

09:18 06 January 2014

Kiss Me Kate at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate. Picture: Darren Bell

Kiss Me Kate at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate. Picture: Darren Bell

Darren Bell Photography

London Jazz, workshops for budding playwrights and an exhibition of censored Berlin art are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. MONDAY

Jazz at the Forge

Some of the best artists on the London jazz scene join in a new show at The Forge in Delancey Street, Camden Town. Kicking off at 8pm, the evening features a set from an up-and-coming new band, then finishes with a “top quality jam”. The night is centred around jazz with elements of blues, swing, bebop, soul, RnB and reggae. Musicians performing include new quintet Homespun - assembled by drummer and composer Dave Smyth - who will be sharing their love of British jazz. Performing original compositions and those by musicians such as Huw Warren, Dave Holland and Django Bates, the group will lead the audience through joyous compositions both old and new. The evening is free. Phone 020 7383 7808 for more information.

2. Kiss Me Kate

With just a few weeks left until the final curtain call, the critically acclaimed Kiss Me Kate puts on its final shows at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate Village. Receiving a flurry of four and five-star reviews, this exuberant show-within-a-show throws together gun-toting gangsters, sparring actors and romantic entanglements against a musical production of Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew. Additional matinees at 3pm run on January 2 and 3. Tickets are £14 (£10 concessions). Call 020 8340 3488 for tickets.

3. WEDNESDAY

Play Reading

For budding playwrights and theatre enthusiasts the Ivy House Play Reading Circle host their first play reading event of the New Year. No acting experience is needed, only an enthusiasm to share the pleasure of reading aloud among friends. Those wishing to participate must indicate their attendance in advance, as all parts in the play are cast prior to the evening. The evening costs £5 and runs from 7pm to 10pm. It is held at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in North End Road, Golders Green. Visit www.ljcc.org.uk for more information.

4. WEDNESDAY

Ecce Homo

Sylvester Fine Art in Belsize Lane presents its Ecce Homo art exhibition showcasing work by the Berlin born artist, George Grosz. The full suite of 84 lithographs and 16 colour reproductions was printed in 1922 and caused something of a scandal at the time. Depicting a decrepit Berlin with its middle-aged, middle-class society spilling wantonly from boudoirs and bar rooms into the city streets, Grosz’s images capture the corruption that had grown out of the hyper-inflation and political turmoil of the early 1920s. Grosz was eventually prosecuted for “offending the sense of modesty and morality” of the German public. The exhibition opens on January 8. For more information visit www.sylvesterfineart.co.uk.

5. FRIDAY

New Theatre

Beginning in 2009 as an experiment in “poor theatre”, art group Short Fuse continues its run of unique performances at its home at the Camden Head pub, Camden High Street.

Their vision brings theatre “back to the basics”, shunning expensive devices and instead relying on the ingenuity and talents of their performers.

The group’s work explores new approaches and spans many performance genres.

Previous shows have included puppetry, mime, physical and live sound-tracked performances, as well as debut performances of new writing.

It starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 on the door.

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