REVIEW ROUND-UP: Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse

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Jonathan O’Boyle’s production of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Pippin transfers to London from Manchester (playing until 24 March). Here’s a guide to what critics have had to say about the musical’s Southwark Playhouse run…

Jonathan Baz Reviews★★★★★ “This Pippin is one of those productions rarely seen on the fringe. It captures the sparkle of Broadway, transporting it to south London in a whirl of unmissable musical theatre.”

London Theatre.co.uk★★★★★ “The production pays explicit (and honourable) homage to the show’s original director/choreographer Bob Fosse, with William Whelton’s choreography re-creating many of his signature angular moves and employing his classic props like hats, canes and ostrich feathered fans.”

JohnnyFox.co.uk: ★★★ “Pippin was originally conceived as a student musical, and here it looks like one.”

Time Out: ★★ “This revival is musical theatre for hardcore musical theatre fans: a showcase for schmaltz-y, jazz hands-ridden dance numbers with all the sequinned trimmings. With this much magic to do, the story’s all but an afterthought, but Schwartz’s songs are served up in style.”

Rewrite This Story: ★★★★ “For a mystical, magical, mystical, whimsical show that will surprise, make sure you get along to the Southwark Playhouse.”

Exeunt Magazine: “If all the build-up is to matter, the show has to be more than a morality tale. Of course, the flipside of the long build is that there’s plenty to enjoy before the ending. But such whole-hearted performances as the company puts out deserve a less tentative approach.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★★★★ “Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse is flawless, a perfect production of a classic musical that has rarely seen the light of day in London and which will surely see audiences wanting to revisit.”

British Theatre.com: ★★★★★ “Zach Flis and his band keep the action flowing beautifully, delivering Andy Collyer’s orchestrations as a base upon which this talented ensemble deliver Schwartz’s glorious score. Katy Lipson, Joseph Houston, William Whelton and Guy James are to be congratulated on yet another brilliant production.”

London Theatre1:★★★★★ “A marvellous musical, a captivating experience full of energy and vitality.”

British Theatre Guide: “This fractured plot is best taken as pure fun with a succession of good tunes and lively dancing. Dance makes a big contribution: William Whelton’s sprightly choreography, which has echoes of Bob Fosse’s original production and (with permission) reproduces one number directly, is lively and jokey and this cast performs it with an edge that is witty.”

The Spy in the Stalls: ★★★★ “Just as Schwartz’s lyrics proclaim, the committed cast does perform magic. It is quite a conjuring trick to bring to life Roger O. Hirson’s flimsy text. The music has soul, but the story lacks heart.”

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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