Mae West wrote The Drag in 1927 where its frankness about gay lives (and once again, drag ball culture!) scandalised its out-of-town Connecticut and New Jersey audiences so that it never made it to Broadway.
This House has taken on a life of its own since its first appearance at the National Theatre in 2012 in the Cottesloe Theatre. Transferred to the Olivier, then revived this year at Chichester, it now sits grandly in the West End, complete with on-stage seating, rock band, glowered over by the face of Big Ben.
Political turmoil. It’s nothing new. And we are certainly reminded of that here! Set during the troubled Labour Government of the mid to late seventies, This House plays out, for the most part, in the Whips offices, the difference between the two like that of a Gentleman’s club to a working mans pub.
The limited season of Daniel Evans’ five-star Sheffield Crucible production of Show Boat will now play its final West End performance on 27 August 2016. Show Boat began West End previews at the New London Theatre on 9 April 2016, with opening night on 25 April 2016 after which Evans’ production was the recipient of a second set of five-star reviews. It had initially been booking until 7 January 2017.
From the beginning, what makes this musical so perfect is the way in which it manages to balance between the seriousness and heart-wrenching moments such as when Julie and Steve are forced to leave the show boat due to some ‘questionable’ parentage with some genuinely uplifting and entertaining moments – usually involving Queenie and Joe.
Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was the best musical that I saw last year and its London transfer is setting a very high bar for 2016. Daniel Evans’ production, mounted on Lez Brotherston’s spectacularly evocative set doesn’t just reprise one of Broadway’s greatest ever musicals, it recreates America’s Southlands and Midwest at the turn of the 20th century, with a spine-tingling intensity.
Malcolm Sinclair (Capt. Andy Hawks) and Chris Peluso (Gaylord Ravenal) will join original Sheffield cast members Gina Beck (Magnolia Hawks), Lucy Briers (Parthy Ann Hawks), Rebecca Trehearn (Julia La Verne), Emmanuel Kojo (Joe), Sandra Marvin (Queenie), Alex Young (Ellie May Chipley) and Danny Collins (Frank Schultz) in the West End cast of Daniel Evans’ five star production of Show Boat.