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Year in Review: Ian Foster’s Best Actor in a Play & in a Musical

In Awards, Features, Inspiring people, London theatre, Musicals, Native, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

In addition to lists of top productions, Mates contributor Ian Foster reviews his reviews from the past year to award his personal prizes for the best performances for Best Actor and Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in both plays and musicals…

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NEWS: Robert Lindsay as Scrooge leads stellar Christmas Carol concert

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

The London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO) announces star casting for its much-anticipated concert presentation of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol, with Robert Lindsay as Scrooge and Carrie Hope Fletcher and her sister-in-law and fellow vlogger Giovanna Fletcher performing together for the first time.

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Hugh Maynard – Something Inside So Strong – Concert Review

In by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

London Hippodrome
***** Hugh Maynard – inset Rachelle Ann Go and Kwang-Ho Hong
Every now and then a gig comes along that not only marks a performer’s talent, but also evidences their status in the industry and even more rarely, a remarkable generosity of spirit. So it is with Hugh Maynard, currently playing John in the West End’s revived Miss Saigon, who on the night he launched his debut solo album Something Inside So Strong not only sang sensationally but also chose to share his stage with a talented corps of Miss Saigon colleagues. It all made for a memorable night at the Hippodrome.
In front of his 5-piece band (MD Liam Holms) and on his own Maynard sparkled, covering Seal’s Kiss From A Rose in a distinctly fresh interpretation that still retained a hint of the writer’s hallmark edgy tenderness. When A Man Loves A Woman offered a further glimpse of the controlled power of Maynard’s belt, whilst in a disarmingly brave choice for a fella, his take on Brenda Russell’s Get Here (a smash hit for Oleta Adams) showed the full range of his tenor magnificence.
Maynard’s big number in the Boublil and Schoenberg epic is Bui Doi, an impassioned plea on behalf of Vietnam’s “dust of life” kids, the mixed-race progeny fathered by long absent GIs. A neat twist saw a 7-strong ensemble of Miss Saigon’s finest give a stunning, cheeky twist on the number, referring to the “spice of life” and sung a-capella no less, conducted by Maynard and gloriously led by the show’s Carolyn Maitland.
Making the short trip from the Prince Edward Theatre to guest for Maynard, his featured colleagues Rachelle Ann Go and Kwang-Ho Hong both sung solos from Les Miserables. Each famous in SE Asia, both guests offered proof, if any was needed, of Cameron Mackintosh’s ability to source talent from across the globe. Hong’s Bring Him Home along with Go’s I Dreamed A Dream set spines-tingling. Their song  choices may have been well worn favourites yet each electrified the Hippodrome crowd before going on to duet with their host. 
One night was not enough and Hugh Maynard needs to return to the cabaret stage soon. Until then he remains a living reminder of the excellence to be found in London’s musical theatre today.

Curtain Up podcast on MyTheatreMates and The Father: When projects converge

In Audio, Awards, Interviews, London theatre, Plays by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

I had a curious but highly enjoyable afternoon this past Friday, when I dropped in on lovely chappies Tim McArthur and Nathan Matthews, presenters of the weekly Curtain Up show on London radio station Resonance FM. Initially, I’d been invited in to talk about the launch of the My Theatre Mates website as well as the […]