Mates blogger: Matt Merritt

Matt Merritt is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Matt'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.
Matt Merritt
Matt has been a theatre fan since childhood, regularly visiting theatres in his native Portsmouth and surrounding areas. He has been reviewing for some time, initially for local press outlets before starting his own site, Sitting in the Cheap Seats, in 2013. These days he can generally be found in the front row of the balcony in a theatre in the Southwest (or on trips to London), quietly thankful he is short enough not to notice the lack of legroom!
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The latest from Matt on MyTheatreMates

NEWS: NT Connections Festival 2015 Announced

In Children's theatre, London theatre, News, Plays, Regional theatre by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

National Theatre Connections will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2016 by doubling the number of companies taking part. 500 youth theatre and school companies will perform ten outstanding plays drawn from more than 150 new works commissioned and premiered by Connections since its inception, by writers including Simon Armitage, James Graham, Katori Hall, Jackie Kay, Bryony Lavery, Patrick Marber and Mark Ravenhill.


In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

David Mamet is a playwright whose work is easy to appreciate but difficult to love. The complex wordplay is certainly an acquired taste, but when it’s performed well it can fly. Thankfully, director Daniel Evans has three excellent performers at his disposal as he takes a look into the writer’s dissection of the rotting underbelly of the American dream.

AS YOU LIKE IT – Shakespeare’s Globe

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most divisive plays, critics and audiences seem to either love or hate it with little middle ground. It seems to be a favourite of Shakespeare’s Globe too, this being their third production in the last six years.

I arrived with high hopes, Blanche McIntyre’s Comedy of Errors last year was a sublime slapstick, but the jokes here are more subtle, coming from deft wordplay. Nonetheless McIntyre squeezes some great physical gags (and even a tap routine) into proceedings without overshadowing the zinging one-liners and rapid fire banter.

NEWS: Lazarus Theatre Announce Summer Season

In London theatre, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Critically acclaimed Lazarus Theatre Company return in 2015 with their trademark fresh take on two epic classics as they stage their Summer of Empire! First they take a fresh look at Shakespeare’s Henry V with an all female cast before they give us their spin on Marlowe’s Tamburlaine The Great.

THE REHEARSAL – Chichester Festival

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Sixty or so years ago, Jean Anouilh’s works were popular enough for the BBC to broadcast a recording of him reading one of his plays in the original French. These days he’s hardly a household name, but he still maintains enough popularity for his work to be
readily revisited. Chichester Festival Theatre have regularly produced productions of his plays and this translation, by Jeremy Sams who also directs, was originally put together for a production at the Almeida Theatre way back in 1990.

TOP HAT – Touring

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

There’s something about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s golden age that continues to intrigue theatre goers. Some love the nostalgia, for others it’s a link to a time they never had a chance to experience themselves. Top Hat is a perfect example, the epitome of style over substance, it nevertheless manages to consistently draw in the crowds.

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NEWS: Casting announced for at Manchester International Festival

In London theatre, Musicals, News, Press Releases, Regional theatre by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

The new musical from Damon Albarn, based on Lewis Carroll’s iconic characters, will premiere at MIF15 with a cast featuring Rosalie Craig. Casting is announced for the Manchester International Festival run of, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland, with music by Damon Albarn and book and lyrics by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Handbagged), directed by National Theatre Director Rufus Norris.

NEWS: Matt Cardle Joins West End Cast of Memphis

In London theatre, Musicals, News, Press Releases by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

The X-Factor star Matt Cardle will join the cast on 6th July and play alongside Beverley Knight who has extended her run in the show until October 2015. Multi-platinum selling recording artist and songwriter Matt Cardle, who rose to fame winning the seventh series of ITVs The X Factor will join the cast of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL in London, it is today announced. Cast and company of the award-winning ‘Best Musical’ at the Shaftesbury Theatre are delighted to welcome Matt who will star as radio DJ ‘Huey Calhoun’ from 6 July, taking over from Killian Donnelly who originated the role in the West End.

Book Review: Year Of The Fat Knight by Antony Sher

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

It’s strangely comforting to realise that even the greatest actors have their fair share of fears and worries over their performances. Though most performers work hard to hide them, in his latest book Year of The Fat Knight Antony Sher (a Sir himself) confronts those feelings head on in a brilliantly honest and wonderfully engrossing diary that encompasses the days between the Gregory Doran deciding to direct the Henry plays and opening night at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

OKLAHOMA – Touring

In Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Ah Oklahoma, another in that list of musicals who have been produced and cast so perfectly in the past (in this case the wonderful National Theatre production that gave Hugh Jackman his big break) that you begin to wonder why anyone would dare attempt it again. But clearly Music & Lyrics – the collaborative effort of a number of the UK’s finest regional receiving theatres – are braver souls than I.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – Shakespeare’s Globe

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

You could be forgiven, if you didn’t know The Merchant of Venice well, for believing it to be a tragedy and more so for thinking Shylock is one of Shakespeare’s most caricature villains. Thankfully, Jonathan Munby directs with flair, amping up the comedy without losing even a hint of pathos in what may already be the highlight of Shakespeare’s Globe’s summer season.

WAY UPSTREAM – Chichester Festival Theatre

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

There are a few signs that tell us here at Sitting in the Cheap Seats that spring has finally sprung. The trees and flowers begin to bloom, there are occasionally consecutive days without any rain and the surest sign of all… We find ourselves venturing to Chichester Festival Theatre for the launch of their summer season. This year their initial offering is the seemingly easy-going Alan Ayckbourn classic Way Upstream.


In Regional theatre, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

There’s a sense of anticipation that overtakes you when you just know the performance you are about to witness will be something special. I’ve been longing to see Carlos Acosta dance for some years now and when I discovered he’d be performing the very
personal On Before at the Mayflower I knew I’d have to be in the audience.

SPAMALOT – Touring

In London theatre, Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Generally speaking, if you go to see a musical and the whole cast corpse midway through Act 1, it can be seen as a bad sing… thankfully, when the cast of Spamalot at the Mayflower did just that last night, we were all in on the joke (I won’t spoil it in case he uses it again, but suffice it to say, it involves Joe Pasquale mentioning Janet Street Porter and McDonald’s Fillet of Fish in quick succession).

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