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The Last Five Years: Who else played Cathy & Jamie before Samantha & Jonny?

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Sticky by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey are just the latest in a line of musically exquisite, broken-hearted couples to tackle Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle. Remember Lara Pulver and Damian Humbley in the UK premiere? Here’s a pictorial timeline including them and other transatlantic pairings you may recognise.

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My theatre diary: Musicals, magic and monsters including Impossible, Splendour and Seven Brides

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Apart from my Edinburgh blitz, I like to take August a little slow on the theatregoing front. These few weeks offer a brief respite while many people are away on holiday or still up at the Fringe (which I’m not the slightest bit jealous about – no, really) before the ‘autumn season’ kicks off and […]

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SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD – St James Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

There is a great deal of debate over how to define a piece like Jason Robert Brown’s iconic debut work; ‘Songs for a New World’. Some see it as a concept album, a young composer experimenting with snippets from a variety of unfinished or dismissed projects, others see it as a thematic song cycle, a collection of ideas about modernity. But in today’s world where song cycles can all too often be a lazy get-out for a composer looking to stage in his songs in a production that desperately needs a good book, it is refreshing to revisit this finely crafted work in a 20th anniversary staging of the show that truly defined Brown as a master in understanding the human condition.

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD – St James Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

At a professionally-packed first night for Songs For A New World even long-time theatre diehards were squeaky with anticipation: never before have so many been longing for a ‘decent’ production of their favourite 1995 off-Broadway concept show. And they raved about it, cheering every song and jumping to their feet at the end.