It’s an architectural moment. Within the stark brutalist NT is a set in homage to a brutalist landmark: the early 1960s Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, the largest listed building in the world. In Standing At The Sky’s Edge at the National Theatre three generations of tenants interweave in the clean-lined kitchen and living room, ghosts in one another’s lives, telling in their very existence a universal story of postwar British cities.
‘Deep wells of emotional resonance roll out into the audience’: STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE – National Theatre
It is still a relatively rare experience to see a working class drama that invests its characters with a profound and complex, even a poetic interior, life, but from the first moments of Richard Hawley and Chris Bush’s Standing At the Sky’s Edge when a workman stops to greet the beauty of the dawn and the sound of birdsong, it is clear that this is no ordinary representation of
‘The sheer theatrical verve is something to savour’: INTO THE WOODS – Bath ★★★★
The fact that Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman’s production of Into The Woods at Theatre Royal Bath is one of two high profile productions currently running on either side of the Atlantic is testament to the durability and timelessness of Sondheim and book writer James Lapine’s creation.
‘Sondheim’s songs are the saving grace of this rather purposeless musical’: ANYONE CAN WHISTLE – Southwark Playhouse
One of Sondheim’s earliest works Anyone Can Whistle has just opened at Southwark Playhouse. Notoriously a flop back in 1964, many have tried but few have succeeded in reviving its fortunes.
‘One of the strangest & least performed musicals in the Sondheim canon’: ANYONE CAN WHISTLE – Southwark Playhouse
This wacky tale of faked miracles, town economics, mental health and social segregation is a puzzling one, combining some really great Stephen Sondheim songs and some strong female characters with a cartoonish plot.
FEATURED POST: Writing award co-founders Warner Brown & Caroline Underwood launch the transformation into S&S Theatre Productions
Since the early days of the S&S Award – given to the best new unproduced musical of the year – its founders, literary agent Caroline Underwood and writer Warner Brown, have longed to encourage links between the UK musical writing scene and that of the US. Now, with the Award becoming S&S Theatre Productions, Caroline and Warner will have the opportunity to do just that, presenting co-productions of new, radical musical theatre both Off-West End and Off-Broadway.
When theatre returns can we look forward to some shape-shifting in opinions about are plus-size performers?
As a plus-sized critic myself, I’m not limited in the shows I review; so why should an actor be limited in the roles they’re invited to play?
‘Another standout is the wonderful choreography’: GUYS & DOLLS – Sheffield ★★★★★
Each year I always think Sheffield Theatres can’t excel the previous Christmas production, but once again I have been proved wrong with Guys and Dolls.
‘I think this might be a very special version’: Alex Young is loving being part of Guys & Dolls at Sheffield Crucible
Actress Alex Young chats to Emma Clarendon about starring as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
‘For a seaside festival of song & dance, there’s nothing finer in the country’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★
Me and My Girl’s politics may be of the dark ages – but its ability to put grins on faces and set toes tapping is the mark of a modern show that knows how to please its audience.
‘Next stop the West End?’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★★
This really is a delightful revival of classic show Me and My Girl – next stop the West End? I think or rather I believe it so.
‘This big crowd-pleaser of a musical doesn’t put a foot wrong’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★
Actor Ryan Pidgen will remember this night. It was the moment when he went out on stage an understudy and came back a star after single-handedly saving a show and the neck of its worried director.
‘A joyful, hopeful fairytale of a show’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★★
The sun has got his hat on, England’s in the semi-final under a chap with a proper waistcoat, and Noel Gay’s 1937 musical is a great big, lovely, silly, dancing elephant of an all-British vintage musical.
‘You can sit back & smile from ear to ear’: ME AND MY GIRL – Chichester ★★★★★
In Sheffield Daniel Evans made a name for himself with dazzling musicals that were, for all the razzamatazz, full of heart and he’s done the same here, taking a show so familiar and finding a whole new range of nuances within it.
Mind the Advent: 24 days celebrating a year’s theatregoing > #theatre2017 #YearInReview
You know what time of year it is – so I’ve just been through my annual Mind the Advent countdown! As I’ve seen a personal best number of different shows this year, the sheer volume of actors (and performances) have really been stacking up and making my life difficult – in terms of summing up my favourites of the year, that is. So here is a bit of a sneak preview of what’s to come in my highlight posts…
FOLLIES – National Theatre ★★★★★
It’s been a while since the National Theatre last revived a great song and dance extravaganza and a Sondheim one at that. But with Dominic Cooke’s production of Follies, the NT’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest creators of musical theatre is restored.
FOLLIES – National Theatre
We should never be afraid to attack sacred cows. And when sacred cows are also cash cows, we should never be afraid to kick them in their milky udders
FOLLIES – National Theatre
Using the original book with just a smattering of small changes, this is musical theatre close to its most luxurious, and a bittersweetly life-affirming thrill to watch.
CAROUSEL – West End
Rodgers and Hammerstein considered Carousel to be their finest work. The show is this year’s semi-staged Coliseum offering from Michaels Grade and Linnit and they have laid on a sumptuously sized cast and orchestra that bring a rarely encountered richness to the famed musical.
Press Pass: Semi-staged or semi-acted? Reviews of Carousel at ENO
After successes with Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd, English National Opera continues its annual headline-grabbing foray into musical theatre with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. As with the previous ENO musicals of the past two years, this production is produced by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade (who are also behind the current big-budget production of another Broadway classic, […]
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