As light as a madeleine and as frivolous as a macaron, Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend proves a festive treat at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
I liked 42nd Street when I saw it last year but I can’t say that I truly loved it, it felt a 24-carat production of a gold-plated show. But upon revisiting, to celebrate Bonnie Langford’s arrival in the company for its final furlong before closing in the New Year, some kind of magic seems to have happened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (or maybe I was just less grumpy) as it has now matured into something spectacular.
A group of London’s keenest bloggers and theatre writers were invited by RAW PR to a pre-show exclusive event for Half A Sixpence. I was fortunate enough to attend and get a flavour of how much effort and magic goes into this show night after night.
Arthur Kipps (Charlie Stemp), is an orphan and over-worked draper’s assistant at the turn of the last century. Kipps unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society.
It’s rare to watch a West End musical that is so wonderfully British – and Half a Sixpence really is just that, in so many ways. The direction, choreography and music of the piece frame the energy wonderfully.
The musical Half a Sixpence bounds into the West End from Chichester, newly adapted by Julian Fellowes, with a spring in its step and an infectious grin. The story of Arthur Kipps, a lowly haberdashers’ assistant who comes into money but ultimately questions what happiness it brings, is brought to life in a visually beautiful production directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have given the 1963 David Henecker score a complete re-boot with new songs which fit seamlessly into the story – their ragtime ‘Pick Out A Simple Tune’ being an absolute stunner in Andrew Wright’s mercilessly energetic choreography.
It was no surprise to discover that Half A Sixpence would be transferring into the West End – its run at Chichester Festival Theatre was a huge success and with Cameron Mackintosh on producing duties, it was always going to be a case of when rather than if. It’s a slow-burner of a show, the second act really is the business thanks to Andrew Wright’s choreography.
GLORIOUS BRIDES AND BROTHERS… LP NIPS BACK MID-HOL TO CATCH THEM ALL Innocent virgins abducted from their family hearth, carried off to wild territory by lawless bearded gunmen as domestic slaves and bedmates! Men callously singing about the rape of … Continue reading →