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Review: Shirley Valentine (Menier Chocolate Factory)

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There can be scarcely a Chardonnay-drinking woman on the planet who failed to be inspired by the story of Shirley Valentine, a Liverpool housewife whose confidence and personality were so submerged by her marriage until she rediscovered them on holiday in the Greek Islands, fulfilling an ambition to ‘drink a glass of wine in the […]

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Review: The Northerners (Finborough Theatre, London)

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It’s general election year, the economy is reeling from the cost and shame of an unpopular war, development of radical new technology has made experienced workers too expensive to employ, and depressed wage rates for the rest. Strikes and confrontations between management and unions have become the order of the day … But this is […]

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Review: Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre)

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We are in Coney Island, and if Lloyd Webber’s claim that the events are set ten years after Phantom of the Opera is accurate, it’s about 1891. The Phantom has become a sideshow illusionist, bringing with him Madame and Meg Giry, and three henchpersons suggestively called Fleck, Squelch and Gangle whose sole purpose is to […]

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Review: Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi (Union Theatre, London)

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Ever since Garbo leaned against the door-jamb of her luxury suite and murmured ‘I want to be alone’, the glamour and intrigue of Grand Hotels has captured public imagination. In Liverpool, the landmark Adelphi Hotel had its profile boosted by carriage trade from the ocean liners arriving from the New World and statesmen, gangsters and […]

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Review: Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi (Union Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Ever since Garbo leaned against the door-jamb of her luxury suite and murmured ‘I want to be alone’, the glamour and intrigue of Grand Hotels has captured public imagination. In Liverpool, the landmark Adelphi Hotel had its profile boosted by carriage trade from the ocean liners arriving from the New World and statesmen, gangsters and […]

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Review: Private Lives (Vaudeville Theatre)

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Can she or can’t she? Most of the first-night audience were secretly betting Kim Cattrall wouldn’t be able to shake off the shadow of ‘Samantha Jones’ from ‘Sex and the City’ and turn herself into Noel Coward’s wittiest and most romantic heroine. In assailing the best-constructed comedy in the English Language as well as the […]

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Review: Hobson’s Choice (Broadway Theatre Studio)

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A sparking well-paced revival brings fresh life to a family drama with feminist overtones in Thom Southerland’s revival of Hobson’s Choice at the cosy but comfortable Broadway Studio in Catford. The piece follows three daughters of a bullying shopkeeper struggling to achieve independence and identity against a background of male supremacy, alcoholism and Victorian mill-town […]

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Review: Megan Mullally (Vaudeville Theatre)

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You could be forgiven for thinking that a sitcom actress who pockets thirteen million dollars a season for Will and Grace might indulge herself with any kind of vanity project including hiring a band and the Vaudeville Theatre for a debut week in the West End. But this isn’t a vanity, Mullally has worked with […]

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Review: Legally Blonde The Musical (Savoy Theatre)

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The producers of Legally Blonde The Musical played a long game with five weeks of previews to build a popular word-of-mouth and social media following – and a £2 million review-proof advance – before press night. Broadsheet critics today retaliated by reviewing the audience (really squealy girly escapees from Hairspray) as much as the show. […]

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Review: Public Property (Trafalgar Studios)

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It’s an old story – a celebrity, er, pulls off in a lay-by – maybe loosening some garments to accommodate a painful stomach condition … or, in the case of high-profile newsreader Geoffrey Hammond (Robert Daws) graphically told in newish writer Sam Peter Jackson‘s Private Property at the Trafalgar Studios, triple-fingering a bare-assed rent-boy in […]

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Review: Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre)

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There are nights in the theatre for which you gladly queue round the block months in advance, secure in the knowledge that the magnitude of the screen star you hope to see outweighs any reservations about the play, the director or the ticket price. It was such considerations paved our way to Ingrid Bergman in […]

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Review: Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic)

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‘The best thing for YOU …’ sings Annie Oakley in the rootin’ shootin’ tuner Annie Get Your Gun ‘… would be ME.’ The best thing for YOU, dear Londonist reader, would be to stay away from this terrible production. Written in 1946 by the great Irving Berlin and specifically for its star Ethel Merman, it […]

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Review: Inherit The Wind (The Old Vic)

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Kevin Spacey’s timing is exemplary. Not just in his personal performance but in bringing to the Old Vic such a dynamic production of the 1955 American war horse ‘Inherit The Wind’ – a courtroom drama based on the true-life story of a young Tennessee school teacher arraigned for promoting the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin […]

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Review: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Theatre Royal Haymarket)

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What can you remember of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ – Mickey Rooney with an unconvincing set of false teeth and a cringingly awful Chinese accent? Audrey Hepburn cool as a January cucumber in her swept-up chignon, tiara, pearls and yard-long cigarette holder? The gamine, twittery but ultimately loveable party girl around whom New York whirls like […]

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Review: Into The Woods (Landor Theatre)

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It’s 21 years since Stephen Sondheim took English Pantomime by the scruff of the neck and throttled it into a self-styled morality play called ‘Into the Woods’. If nothing else, the current production at the Landor theatre highlights the age of the material, and the somewhat lengthy exposition necessary to tell the stories of Cinderella, […]

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Preview: Talent (Menier Chocolate Factory)

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Back in the days when boys became bands without the unwelcome attentions of Louis Walsh, or girls sang aloud without a televised vote – young Victoria Wood penned a simple, funny and sweet piece for the Sheffield Crucible based on her own experiences backstage in a provincial talent show. Revisiting it thirty years later, she […]

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Review: Nigel Kennedy (Tower Festival)

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Purism is not the issue here. The evening started stately enough with Nigel Kennedy, still sporting his Gary-Rhodes-on-steroids butchered pineapple haircut, leading the Philharmonia orchestra through two melodious movements of Bach. So far, so dignified, so what. What the audience had come for – and got in spades – was a hefty dose of Nige’s […]

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Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Bridewell Theatre)

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At a time when bankers and brokers are pilloried in the media for turning the economy into a gibbering basket-case, the idea that a bunch of amateur thespians from the Stock Exchange should get together to perform the inmates-take-over-the-asylum piece ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is so delicious that it’s a must-see. The multiple […]

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Review: Alan Cumming – I Bought A Blue Car Today (Vaudeville Theatre)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Alan Cumming told ‘Hello’ magazine his new show was ‘me with a band singing some songs I like, and telling stories about what’s happened to me in the ten years since I moved to America’. That this is truthfully the middle and both ends of it disguises the fact that it’s a beguiling evening in […]

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Review: State Fair (Finborough Theatre)

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The persistent fondness of Rodgers and Hammerstein for corn-fed country settings is at odds with their gritty New York City upbringing. Nostalgic affection for the farmer and the cowgirl is confirmed by Oklahoma!, Carousel and even Ensign Nellie Forbush marooned on her South Pacific island, sings of being “as corny as Kansas in August” For […]

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