Andrew Scott’s take on Hamlet, in Robert Icke’s Almeida production that has just transferred to the West End, is a testament to the versatility of Shakespeare’s prose. With Benedict Cumberbatch, TV’s Sherlock, having been London’s last celebrity Hamlet, Scott’s (who played Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty) take on the role offers us a striking glimpse into the breadth of interpretation and intrigue that is offered by the Prince of Denmark.
It is remarkable how the mundane, simple and modest elements of hard graft, so often taken for granted, become the catalyst for the way you think and live your life, despite your best efforts to be defined by your dreams. Working, a musical directed by Luke Sheppard at the Southwark Playhouse, capitalises on that universal revelation with an incredible cast performing heartfelt, heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories of real people.
The idea that opera can pop-up is delightful and Pop-Up Opera’s simple approach to the genre, even more so. It’s no wonder Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto, or The Secret Marriage, is his greatest masterpiece and it’s also no wonder that the cast and crew seemed so full of pride at their humble creation; it really was quite gorgeous and a giggle to behold.
The Color Purple’s book, movie and musical have all told the extraordinary story of a Celie, a brutally oppressed woman who against all odds, overcomes racism, abuse and misogyny to find her unique place in 20th century America. Not seen in London since the Menier’s sensational production in 2013, the musical returned to the capital this week for a one night only concert-staged fundraiser.
Long before the era of the modern day jukebox musical, Hollywood was already hard at work re-hashing classic George and Ira Gershwin numbers from the 20s and weaving them into Vincente Minnelli’s 1951 movie An American In Paris. Inspired by Gershwin’s orchestral work of the same name, it was Gene Kelly’s dance work alongside Minelli’s vision that was to propel the picture to multi-Oscar success.
Highlights from the evening were excerpts from The Wonderful Musician, two specific numbers from Gould’s most recent project performed by Hywel Dowsell and new graduate Danny Michaels. The pair sang Music Turns Me On and As Long As I Have Music respectively, giving very different performances and taking the audience from hysterical laughter to silence and awe.