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NEWS: The Ferryman scores high in Tony Awards nominations, closely followed by Ink

In Awards, Broadway, International, London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Sam Mendes’ Olivier Award-winning production of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman received equal top billing at this week’s Tony Awards 2019 nominations announcement alongside the hit Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird. The productions both have nine nods including ones for Ferryman actors Paddy Considine (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play), Fionnula Flanagan and Laura Donnelly. The …

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NEWS: Amber Gray & Patrick Page reprise their roles in Hadestown UK premiere at the National Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Press Releases, Quotes, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The National Theatre has announced that Amber Gray and Patrick Page will reprise their original New York Theatre Workshop roles of Persephone and Hades in Hadestown, running in rep at the Olivier Theatre from 2 November 2018 to 26 January 2019 (press night is 13 November).

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NEWS: New Les Mis cast announced, Noblezada succeeds Fletcher and Hope as Eponine

In London theatre, Musicals, Native, News, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Now in its record breaking 30th year, Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce exciting cast changes for LES MISÉRABLES at the Queen’s Theatre in 2016. Joining the cast from Monday 15 February 2016 are Patrice Tipoki as ‘Fantine’; Craig Mather as ‘Marius’ and Danielle Hope as ‘Eponine.’ Peter Lockyer will continue to star as ‘Jean Valjean’, Jeremy Secomb as ‘Javert’, Phil Daniels as ‘Thénardier’, Katy Secombe as ‘Madame Thénardier’; Zoë Doano as ‘Cosette’ and Bradley Jaden as ‘Enjolras’.

Diary of a theatre addict: Scott Alan, Alison Jiear, Carrie and more

In Cabaret, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

I feel like I’ve been at the St James Theatre and Studio all week — I went to three consecutive nights of Scott Alan performing his own work from last Sunday to Tuesday (joined by a host of guests in his first night in the main house, then just Cynthia Erivo and one more guest a night on each of the other more intimate gigs in the downstairs Studio), then also saw Paul Baker on Friday and tonight I’m seeing Jamie Parker. All that, and Alison Jiear on Britain’s Got Talent, last night too — what a week it has been for cabaret.

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Scott Alan: Everything Worth Holding Onto – Review

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

St James Theatre, London
*****

There was a deliciously different diversity that Scott Alan brought to his one-off gig at the St James Theatre. Entertaining a packed house for an eye-watering (almost) four hours, his guest list ranged from West End stars and TV Reality Show finalists through to audience wannabes.
The New York based singer/songwriter has strong friendships with many of musical theatre’s leading ladies and recent years has seen Cynthia Erivo evolve into a performer who truly gets under the skin of Alan’s writing. With a 3 night Alan & Erivo residency (sold out) about to start at the venue’s smaller Studio room, her inclusion on the bill was an unexpected treat. Erivo set the tone for the evening with her signature Rolls-Royce vocal performance – immense power couched in a silky, elegant style.
An Alan gig is never less than a ballad-fest and Oliver Tompsett, guesting with Darlin’ (Without You), sealed the atmosphere of soulful reflection. It was however to be Madalena Alberto’s take on Blessing, with its verses documenting the pain of Alan coming out to his mother, that brought many to tears. 

In another moment of exquisite soprano serenity, The Phantom Of The Opera’s Christine and her cover, Harriet Jones and Emmi Christensson respectively, gave an enchanting interpretation of Always On Your Side. They proved a breathtakingly beautiful pairing, with later on in the evening and also from Phantom, Oliver Savile impressing too.
Anna Jane Casey offered an accomplished excellence to And There It Is, in yet another performance that spoiled the audience with the riches of talent that Alan is able to invite and it was a precious moment that then saw Sophie Evans, previously one of Lloyd Webber’s Dorothys and a finalist from the BBC’s Over The Rainbow, give a fresh nuance to Look, A Rainbow.  
Newcomer David Albury performed one of the writer’s most popular numbers Never Neverland with an invigorating up-tempo beat – though in a delightful twist Alan was later to invite any audience member who wanted to sing the number, to join him on stage. Reminiscent of kids called up to a pantomime stage, this impromptu people’s chorus made for a moment that was free of all pretension, with some stunning yet to be discovered voices in the routine!
Elsewhere and away from established star names, Alan had unearthed via YouTube Nicola Henderson and Dublin’s Niall O’Halloran, two performers who shone in their brief moment of West End limelight. The Irishman’s Kiss The Air proving particularly powerful.
And there was just so much more to the gig – It speaks volumes for the professional devotion of Eva Noblezada, currently performing Miss Saigon’s Kim 8 times a week, that she could find the honed energy to sing Alan’s Home with a perfectly poised passion. Lucie Jones was shown somewhat less respect in a cheekily foof-fuelled intro from Alan, but her sensational Watch Me Soar more than answered her host’s irreverence.
Teamed with Craig Colton, Zoe Birkett’s The Journey was immense. Carley Stenson wowed with her usual aplomb and in a revelatory performance Danny-Boy Hatchard, aka EastEnders’ Lee Carter took Alan’s Now, a song written amidst the still bleeding wounds of a ripped-apart relationship and stunned the room again.
Alan famously wears his heart on his sleeve, speaking to the audience of his battle with depression and doing much to trample on the stigma associated with mental health. Above all his overarching message and one that many are likely to have found inspirational, is that life is worth holding on to. (Though the frequent references to his evening’s diet comprising white wine and Xanax could have been toned down.) 
Supported on the night by a six-piece band that was all strings and percussion, Musical Director and drummer Ryan Martin delivered a perfectly rehearsed and weighted accompaniment.
As the gig came to a close Erivo returned. Broadway-bound this year as she takes her sensational Celie in The Color Purple to star in New York, when news broke of her casting Alan wrote her a song. At All captured Erivo’s excitement at the achievement of having landed the show’s transfer, yet crossed that emotion with her pain at having to leave her loved ones behind in the UK. Honest lyrics that reduced the singer to tears.
It was left to Sam Bailey to wrap a fine and moving evening with Alan’s cri de coeur, Anything Worth Holding Onto.