Mates blogger: Helen McWilliams

Helen McWilliams is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Helen'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.
Helen McWilliams
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business. Helen tweets at @entsviews.

The latest from Helen on MyTheatreMates

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INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… We Wait in Joyful Hope author Brian Mullin

In Interviews, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

We Wait in Joyful Hope is the story of Sister Bernie, a maverick nun who’s been working for forty years in an inner-city community. Bernie doesn’t fit your image of a typical nun – she smokes pot, knocks heads with police and gang leaders, and she’ll go to any length to protect the women’s center she runs from the encroaching forces of gentrification. The play is fiction, but I was inspired by the story of my own aunt, who was a Franciscan nun in the 1960s and 70s. Together with other young sisters, she took over a tenement building and created New York City’s first shelter for homeless women, which still exists today. Ultimately, it’s a story about feminism, friendship and one extraordinary women determined to take on the world.

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In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

It’s just a jump to the left… we all know The Time Warp, many of us knew the hit tune before we knew where it originated from. Last night in Malvern Theatres, a packed house full of many individuals dressed as their favourite characters from The Rocky Horror Show, Time warped in unison. The atmosphere was electric as the show again proved that it stands the test of time and still appeals to its fans and new audience members alike.

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THE FATHER – Touring

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

A phenomenal and innovative piece which it would have been a travesty to have missed. Actor Kenneth Cranham demonstrated just why he won that Best Actor gong at this year’s Olivier Awards. Florian Zeller’s play, translated by Christopher Hampton, is a masterpiece and not only highlights dementia from a carer’s and family member’s point of view, but the journey that it takes the sufferer on.

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In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

Ireland’s Call tells the story of Sean Dempsey, and how immigration separated him from his true love, the story is shared through dance and song. A romantic story which features tunes such as Irish Rover, Molly Malone and Tell Me Ma. Ged Graham undoubtedly steals the show for me; he’s a magnificent narrator and I felt that his substantial role enhanced the story telling.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Liza Pulman Sings Hollywood

In Albums, Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

To coincide with her current tour, Liza Pulman has released an album entitled Liza Pulman Sings Hollywood, and it’s really worth a listen. The Diva from trio Fascinating Aida, has included a selection of classic Hollywood movie tracks on the list and none of them disappoint. So spot on is the quality of this album that it’s difficult to pick favourites to give you an idea of what to expect.

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In Interviews, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

When I interviewed Liza, she said that there would be a couple of stonking frocks from her, and she wasn’t kidding, either! The Diva looked resplendent in all three frocks, even if they did hinder her progress when she attempted to take a seat on a nearby stool! Not only is Pulman a magnificently talented singer, she is also a marvellously quick-witted comedienne (hence why she is a member of the hilarious Fascinating Aida).

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40th anniversary #OlivierAwards: What They Did For Love

In Awards, Features, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

The glory of the night for me came in the form of 15 past Best Actress in a Musical winners filing onto the stage at the Royal Opera House to sing “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line. A wonderful mix of stars who each brought something to the emotional number. Among them were super-talented ladies and favourites: Joanna Riding, Katie Brayben, Maria Friedman, Ruthie Henshall, Janie Dee, Sharon D Clarke and Samantha Spiro. I was particularly overjoyed to see Sara Crowe and Nichola McAuliffe in the line-up, because you don’t necessarily link them with musical theatre, yet both are real triple threats.

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INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… Heartbeat’s David Lonsdale

In Interviews, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Touring by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

He’s well known as David in Heartbeat, the popular Sixties-based television series which ran on ITV from 1992 until 2010, spanning 18 series in total. Actor David Lonsdale is reprising his role as the simple side-kick for a stage version of Heartbeat, which is at Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre until 2 April 2016 and then touring until 2 July. I caught up with him to find out all about this new production.

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