The three-time Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy’s musical Preludes follows the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff (the role is split into two with musical theatre star Keith Ramsay taking on the role of Rach, and the incredible concert pianist Tom Noyes as Rachmaninoff).
Acting for Others: Tune in for Fleabag, Hear the West End Sing, All the Web’s a Stage & other online fundraisers
Theatrical charity Acting for Others has announced the formation of a separate Covid-19 Fund which will be available to its 14 member charities.
NEWS: Rachmaninoff musical fantasia Preludes gets UK premiere at Southwark Playhouse
Preludes, the 2015 musical fantasia by American multiple Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy, will get its UK premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse this autumn. It precedes the premiere in October of Malloy’s Ghost Quartet at Soho’s Boulevard Theatre.
Q&A video: Following another LGBT hate crime on London transport, Vincent River is more timely than ever
With the horrific news this past week of the lesbian couple who were taunted and physically attacked by a group of male teenagers on a London nightbus, the themes discussed at Terri Paddock’s recent post-show Q&A – including the urgent need to for LGBT+ inclusivity education in schools – become more worryingly timely than ever…
Q&A video: Watch Terri interview producer, director & stars of Amour… must now finish 8 Jun
I can’t believe that Amour has posted early closing notices at Charing Cross Theatre. This beautiful production now must finish on Saturday 8 June 2019. So please watch and share this post-show Q&A video – and then book to see the show – ASAP!
New post-show Q&A: Join Terri & special expert guests at Vincent River
As part of her ongoing post-show Q&A series, on Tuesday 4 June 2019, Mates co-founder Terri Paddock hosts a special post-show discussion on homophobia and hate crime at Philip Ridley’s Vincent River. Got any questions?
‘For lovers of quality musical theatre, it’s unmissable’: AMOUR – Charing Cross Theatre ★★★★
Amour, a whimsical tale of a Parisian clerk who finds himself temporarily gifted with a superhuman ability to walk through walls, lends itself perfectly to London’s Off West End theatre scene.
New post-show Q&A: Join Terri for the UK premiere of Michel Legrand musical Amour
As part of her ongoing post-show Q&A series, on Monday 13 May 2019, Mates co-founder Terri Paddock talks to the director and cast of the late Michel Legrand’s five-time Tony Award-nominated Amour. Got any questions?
Full cast announced for the UK premiere of Michel Legrand’s Amour
AMOUR, the late Michel Legrand’s five-time Tony-nominated musical fantasy about daring to dream and the power of self-belief, runs at the Charing Cross Theatre from 2 May to 20 July 2019, with a press night on 8 May. Full casting has been announced.
NEWS: Louise Jameson & Thomas Mahy return to star in Philip Ridley’s Vincent River at Trafalgar Studios
Louise Jameson and Thomas Mahy reprise their roles in Robert Chevara’s acclaimed production of Philip Ridley’s Vincent River, transferring to Trafalgar Studios from Park Theatre.
NEWS: Michel Legrand’s musical Armour receives its UK professional premiere at the Charing Cross Theatre
The UK professional premiere of five-time Tony-nominated musical Amour, with music by multi-award-winning composer Michel Legrand, will be presented by Danielle Tarento at London’s Charing Cross Theatre from 2 May to 20 July 2019 (press night is 8 May).
The Show People Podcast: Chromatics, awards & masterclasses…
The Show People Podcast is back! This special ‘Show Peep’ tells you what Andrew Keates has been up to in Ireland, how we’ve become an award-winning podcast and details of Arion’s next masterclasses with Danielle Tarento and Cassidy Janson.
The Show People Podcast: Show Peep – Portfolio Masterclasses 2018
It’s the first ever Show Peep! – an addendum to The Show People Podcast – our host Andrew Keates shares information about how you can work with Julie Atherton, Oliver Savile, Danielle Tarento and Cassidy Janson at Omnibus Theatre as part of Arion Productions’ Portfolio Masterclasses.
‘You should do everything in your power to see it’: TITANIC THE MUSICAL – Touring ★★★★★
It’s not often you see a touring production greeted with a standing ovation but as one of the many on their feet I can say it was thoroughly deserved for Titanic the Musical. Shows like this simply don’t come around often enough.
‘As much theme park as it is drama’: THE GRIFT – Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green ★★★
Much like a street card conman setting out his stall, Tom Salomon’s The Grift at the Town Hall, Bethnal Green, describes itself as “a practice in the art of deception”.
‘Anyone with a taste for puzzles will have an absolute blast’: THE GRIFT – Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green
It’s impressively well executed – some of the performances are a bit breathless and the plot based on the illegitimate offspring of Michael Caine and Marilyn Monroe is barmy – but the apparatus and the props feel authentic and anyone with a taste for puzzles or crosswords will have an absolute blast.
MOTHER COURAGE & HER CHILDREN – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★
Josie Lawrence is an absolute triumph, embracing the audience on her journey from cocky tradeswoman to a woman that Mother Courage would be ashamed of, so downtrodden is her outlook and situation.
NEWS: Full cast announced to join Josie Lawrence in Brecht’s Mother Courage
Final casting has been announced to join multi award-winning actor-comedian Josie Lawrence in a new production of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children at London’s Southwark Playhouse.
Q&A podcast: How did Julian Clary feel about having Le Grand Mort written for him?
In an at turns hysterically funny and extremely touching post-show discussion, Julian Clary, co-star James Nelson-Joyce and director Christopher Renshaw talked about the legacy (and still-tangible presence) of author Stephen Clark as well as speaking in verse while cooking, onstage nudity, willy socks, life and death and much more.
LE GRAND MORT – Trafalgar Studios ★★★★
Trafalgar Studios, London
Written by Stephen ClarkDirected by Christopher Renshaw
It is a rare treat these days to see a play written for its star. So it is with Le Grand Mort, penned by Stephen Clark and created specifically with Julian Clary in mind. Amidst a whirlpool of emotions, the unintended and unspoken sadness of the night is that Clark tragically died last year, never seeing the play brought to life.
Clark has written an exquisite piece that places Clary as Michael, a 50-something architect with a lifestyle that’s a fusion of Hannibal Lecter with, for those who can remember back that far, Graham Kerr’s Galloping Gourmet. (Younger readers may prefer to context Come Dine With Me.) Indeed as the play opens and Clary’s cookery commences, the air inside the compact Trafalgar 2 becomes quickly thick with the scent (stench?) of frying onions.
The action never leaves Michael’s kitchen, a fully functioning showpiece of a set from designer Justin Nardella, in which the preening professional is preparing pasta puttanesca (literally whore’s pasta) as he awaits the arrival of the much younger, rough-trade Tim. We learn that this is the first potentially romantic liaison of the two men after a period of pub-based flirting, but with a rack of chic kitchen knives ever prominent, menace is clear from the outset.
Clark’s writing has a cadence that’s rarely found these days, conjuring up images from a prose that is as assonant as it is meticulous. The whole piece runs for a non-stop 90mins, the first third of which is virtually a Clary monologue. One could almost be witnessing a grown-up version of The Joan Collins Fan Club such is Clary’s wit and persona – even if the patter he regales is a gruesome comment on death and necrophilia.
The arrival of James Nelson-Joyce’s Tim catapults the evening into a 21st century Sleuth. We learn that little of what the young man says is true – however it is clear from both his perfect physique and razor sharp wit that matches Michael word for word, that he is irresistible to the architect.
Clark’s writing is graphic and as his narrative unfolds to encompass incestuous paedophilia it is clear that his two protagonists are deeply damaged souls. But whilst the play’s language and its acting soar, it is hard to care too much for either man – even if Nelson-Joyce’s impressive nudity does briefly shift one’s attention from cook to cock.
The performances here are unquestionably first class and while Le Grand Mort may not be quite the comedy it set out to be, treat yourself to a large glass of Montepulciano and savour the work that’s on offer. Clark truly proves that there’s no fool like an old fool.
Runs to 28 OctoberPhoto credit: Scott Rylander