Man of La Mancha is considered a ‘rare’ revival and from this production it’s pretty clear why. The story is highly dated and it’s evidently a very hard piece to stage.
Renowned stage, film and TV performer Peter Polycarpou will play Don Quixote’s squire, Sancho Panza in Man of the Mancha at the London Coliseum; the first West End production of this multi-Tony Award-winning Broadway musical for 50 years.
The recent revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess at English National Opera and the prospect of comparing all its available recordings in BBC Radio 3’s Record Review has prompted me to look a little deeper into this landmark score and to reassess its significance in the chronology of American music theatre.
The madwoman playing the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor is Sarah Tynan – ENO’s most popular soprano, in her debut in this bel canto role. Tynan is undoubtedly the best actress on the modern opera stage.
English National Opera celebrates 50 years at the Coliseum with a grandstanding production of Porgy & Bess, the first in its history.
Wilton’s Music Hall today has announced its autumn season which will feature: ENO presenting Paul Bunyan as part of ENO Studio Live; the world premiere of Sketching by James Graham; and the return of festive classic The Box of Delights.
Soprano, Eleanor Dennis arrived on my radar when I attended Three Choirs Festival at Worcester Cathedral. Her voice is so exquisite that it still resonates almost a year on. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on her career and have thus far been unable to make the requisite journeys see her on stage. However,… Continue Reading →
It’s taken over 30 years for Chess to return to the West End (though it was seen at the Union in 2013) and though it has a huge amount of resource thrown at it in Laurence Connor’s production for English National Opera, it doesn’t necessarily feel worth the wait.
I finally managed to secure a ticket for La traviata through Opera Undressed, a scheme run by the English National Opera for productions at the London Coliseum. It’s a great package: the £20 ticket covers a ‘best available’ seat, a pre-show talk, and a free G&T at the aftershow party.
Before the curtain opened, we were entertained by the sarcasm and wit of Captain Shaw (Clive Mantle) who appeared as the resident Fireman, his job being to undo the pyrotechnical mayhem caused by the Queen of the Fairies’ wand.
The full cast has been announced for the first West End production of Chess since 1986 which stars Michael Ball as Anatoly, Alexandra Burke as Svetlana, Murray Head as The Arbiter, Tim Howar as Freddie, Cassidy Janson as Florence and Philip Browne as Molokov.
Rejoice with me at the sheer breadth, energy and healthy eclecticism of it all – especially if you’re feeling gloomy about the arts and their future.
If you can tear your eye away from the mayhem on stage, the surtitles for Iolanthe remind us of the utter brilliance, the absurdism, mad rhymes, unexpected neatness and damn sharp satire which WS Gilbert flung out like a literary Catherine-wheel. Gorgeous. I recant. I regret the years of avoiding G&S.
The first West End production of Chess since 1986 is to star Michael Ball, Alexandra Burke, Murray Head, Tim Howar and Cassidy Janson.
As it’s the first of the month, we’re taking a brief moment to remind ourselves of the biggest news stories from the month just closed. What were the headlines that got readers clicking most? Any surprises? Our Top 10 News stories from October 2017 are listed below with summaries and links to read more.
CHESS, the epic musical love story set amid the tensions of a world championship chess match, will play at the London Coliseum for a strictly limited 5 week run from Thursday 26 April 2018, with a press night on Tuesday 1 May 2018. Tickets go on public sale on Friday 3 November from 10am.
A starry home team enthusiastically play up the comedy. Sarah Tynan is one of ENO’s most technically perfect sopranos but she’s also their wittiest actress and her Rosina is effortlessly sung and enjoyably mettlesome.
The night after Imelda Staunton picked up her Olivier award for best actress in a musical in Gypsy, her successor is a rock solid certainty. With such tumultuous reception at the Coliseum, there is no doubt that Glenn Close must win for Sunset Boulevard in which, like Staunton, she plays a deluded and flawed tragic hero of the entertainment business.
This luminous production of Philip Glass‘ 1983 opera Akhnaten bathes the senses in rich sonic and visual colour that sears the tantalising character of the titular Egyptian pharaoh – and his revolutionary reign – into the brain. Director Phelim McDermott takes Glass’ score and extends the composition so that bodies, costumes, light and juggled objects become additional instruments played in harmony with the orchestra to create a decorous whole. It’s been a long time since a show has held me completely transfixed from start to finish yet, with a running time of 2hrs 55 (including two intervals), Akhnaten doesn’t feels overlong for a second.
I’ve not updated my diary of a theatre addict for six weeks now — I was last here on January 31 — since when I’ve seen all of 49 shows, including outings to Newbury, Dartford, Clwyd, Manchester, Bromley and Cardiff, plus a week in New York. I’ve also taken an active part in two more shows by appearing onstage as a contestant in a theatrical re-run of Mr and Mrs with husband (so it was really Mr and Mr, we’re pictured above with host Samuel Holmes) and as part of David Bedella and Friends, his monthly chat show at the St James Studio.
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