Against the odds, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ is an energetic, sharp and witty triumph. I say ‘against the odds’ because, in the over-extended franchise Olympics, Adrian Mole would be in a straight fight with Bridget Jones for the right to lose to Harry Potter in the final.
The Menier Chocolate Factory today announces the full company for their brand new production of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 – The Musical which opens in Adrian’s 50th birthday year. Luke Sheppard directs Dean Chisnall (George), Lara Denning (Doreen), John Hopkins (Mr Lucas/Mr Scruton), Barry James (Bert), Kelly Price (Pauline) and Gay Soper (Grandma).Benjamin …
Would we be more ‘half in love with easeful Death’ if instead of some cadaver in a cowl with a scythe he came at us as a handsome young man? Can you love someone ‘more than life’? Those are the dilemmas which confront Grazia Lamberti in Thom Southerland’s ravishing production of Death Takes A Holiday.
People, people who need people are, allegedly, the luckiest people in the world. I’d argue that those who are emotionally and financially self-sufficient have a hell of a bigger reason to feel lucky than those who depend needily on others for their wellbeing. But I’m not a character in a musical – and neither, really are the people who need people who appear in Funny Girl a narrative so far removed from the actual history of kooky kosher comedienne Fanny Brice and her deeply dodgy gangster hubby Julius ‘Nicky’ Arnstein as to be a complete fiction.
Imelda Staunton may have just wowed in Styne and Sondheim’s Gypsy, but hard on her heels is Sheridan Smith’s take on Fanny Brice. In a role that famously demands an unconventional beauty – and which, from both Broadway and Hollywood launch pads Barbra Streisand was rocketed into the highest of stellar orbits – Smith has enormously famous shoes to fill.
The Menier Chocolate Factory today announces full casting for their production of Funny Girl. Joining Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice are Valda Aviks (Mrs O’Malley), Natasha J Barnes (Emma/Mrs Meeker), Darius Campbell (Nick), Marilyn Cutts (Mrs Brice), Maurice Lane (Mr Keeney), Bruce Montague (Ziegfeld), Joel Montague (Eddie), Gay Soper (Mrs Strakosh); with Emma Caffrey, Matthew Croke, Joelle Dyson, Rebecca Fennelly, Luke Fetherston, Leah Harris, Kelly Homewood, Sammy Kelly and Stuart Ramsay completing the ensemble.