Mates blogger: Caroline Hanks-Farmer


Caroline Hanks-Farmer is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Caroline's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.
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The latest from Caroline on MyTheatreMates

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

This review wasn’t going to be written. Why? Well as this was a revisit to a show which I’d previously seen earlier in its run, I thought I’d just sit back and enjoy. However it soon struck me that I was witnessing some really career defining performances. Having been extremely successful on Broadway, Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom. From being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

This review wasn’t going to be written. Why? Well as this was a revisit to a show which I’d previously seen earlier in its run, I thought I’d just sit back and enjoy. However it soon struck me that I was witnessing some really career defining performances. Having been extremely successful on Broadway, Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom. From being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

THE SMALLEST STORY EVER TOLD – King’s Head Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

As part of King’s Head Theatre‘s #Festival45 which is celebrating new writing, R J Wilkinson‘s new play The Smallest Story Ever Told has been one of the new works selected and it’s very obvious to see just why. R J Wilkinson describes the play as a ‘comedy-drama about how to survive grief’ as it displays everything that is so joyous about living.

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HAIRSPRAY – Touring

In Musicals, Opinion, Press Releases, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Based on the classic 1988 film and subsequent Tony award-winning Broadway production this is an all-singing, all-dancing delight of a show. It’s the story of a larger-than-life teenager who is fighting both sizeism prejudices and trying to bring colour integration into a wholesome 1960s early evening entertainment programme. This effervescent teen, Tracy Turnblad, falls in love and has a few scrapes along the way, which makes for a super fun entertaining show.

FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Can four people’s lives be shattered when an abominable act, which took just Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, is filmed, later uploaded, and shared? This intelligent play demonstrates just that. Written by James Fritz which has just transferred from Hampstead Theatre to Trafalgar Studios 2 has you gripped from the start.

BLOOD BROTHERS – Touring

In London theatre, Reviews, Touring by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Have you heard the story of the Johnstone twins…….? Sometimes as a reviewer, you finish watching a show thinking this is going to be the easiest review I’ve ever written and then you start to write it and hit a block? Why? Just because sometimes a performance that receives a full house standing ovation, is so incredible that its hard to find the words to do it justice! This is one of those occasions.

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THE SCREENWRITER’S DAUGHTER – Leicester Square Theatre

In London theatre, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist Ben Hecht was justly honoured not only with the first Oscar awarded for a screenplay in 1927, but in a career spanning well over forty years, has been lauded with every honour that such a writer can receive, including a posthumous induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

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NEWS: Impossible launches inaugural UK tour from Southampton in Feb

In Children's theatre, London theatre, News, Press Releases, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

IMPOSSIBLE, the most dangerous show the West End has ever seen, will launch at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre from 3-6 February 2016 before embarking on its inaugural UK tour. The show features the world’s greatest illusionists live on stage in a magic spectacular that will thrill and amaze audiences of all ages.

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Have you checked out Terri Paddock’s new venture Stage Faves yet?

In London theatre, Musicals, News, Opinion by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Ok so I realise I’m a little to the party, but have you read about Terri Paddock’s new venture? Well, I suggest you do because if, like me, you are a musical theatre enthusiast then this is just the sort of site you need in your life! So be inspired, read on and check it out, all the links are incorporated here, so you can be enthused by this rather brilliant new musical theatre heaven.

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Looking for family friendly shows for the Christmas season? (part 1)

In Children's theatre, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Pantomimes, Plays, Regional theatre, Touring by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

As Christmas is now next month, this is the first of my family fun listings: shows, around the country, to be enjoyed by all the family, complete with website links and age recommendations. A great way to encourage and inspire our next generation of theatre enthusiasts.

THE STATE VS JOHN HAYES – King’s Head Theatre

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

As subject matter goes, you don’t get a lot darker than death row (especially when the story’s set in Texas). In Epsilon Productions’ The State vs John Hayes, a woman convicted of murdering her husband and lover sits alone in her cell, the night before the trip to court that will decide her ultimate fate. But is she really alone? Can we believe a word she says? Elyese Dukie’s story is anything but straightforward, and over the next hour she takes the opportunity to share that story with the audience, in an intimate soliloquy that’s both captivating and deeply unsettling.

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FANSHEN INVISIBLE TREASURE – Ovalhouse

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous about this one. The description of fanSHEN’s Invisible Treasure reads: ‘No actors. No plot. But there’s you.’ That’s a scenario that fills a risk-averse introvert like me with a sensation verging on panic. (Of course, it didn’t help that none of my friends were available, so I had to go solo.) But hey, it’s good to try new things, right?

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PLAYGROUND – Old Red Lion

In London theatre, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

A darkly comic tale of tragedy set amid the parks of London, populated with misfits from all corners of British society. Peter Hamilton’s seventh Fringe play is worth a visit for its clever dialogue and occasional sparks of brilliant performance from its cast.

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IN THE HEIGHTS – King’s Cross Theatre

In Broadway, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

The evenings may be getting colder, but inside the King’s Cross Theatre there’s a heatwave going on, in more than one sense. In the Heights was a word-of-mouth hit on Broadway before arriving in London, and it’s easy to see why; the show is vivacious, colourful and full of energy, with a strong story and a memorable cast of characters. What’s not to love?

TWELFTH NIGHT – Rose Playhouse

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Shakespeare liked to play around with ideas of male and female. From cross-dressing to multiple identities, appearances are never quite what they seem on his stage. So it’s fitting then, that Natasha Rickman decided to run a little gender experiment. Each night, the cast take on either a role of their own gender, or the opposite. Add to that, the cast jump between different parts as the show goes on, sometimes within the same scene. All in all, in order to make it an effective performance, the acting needs to be impressive in order to break down the walls of believability to make the audience buy into the shifting identities of the people before us. And they do.


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