Curtains is a hilarious love letter to both the murder mystery genre and musical theatre itself, performed brilliantly by an impressively large cast in which there is not a weak link.
Kander & Ebb’s 2007 Broadway musical whodunnit CURTAINS at last gets its West End premiere with a strictly limited month-long festive season from 13 December to 11 January 2020 at Wyndham’s Theatre, starring Jason Manford. On Sunday 15 December, Mate Terri Paddock chairs an unmissable post-show Q&A with the cast.
Full of red herrings, marvellous music, divine dancing, stunning singing and laugh out loud funny, Curtains is a not just a musical whodunit it’s one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time.
Curtains creates a glimpse into the onstage and backstage antics of theatre folk, well until the untalented and unpopular leading lady of this production of Robin Hood gets murdered during the bows.
The producers of the Tony Award-winning musical CURTAINS are delighted to announce the show will premiere in London at Wyndham’s Theatre, playing 38 performances from 13 December 2019 until 11 January 2020.
Full details of presenters, performances and special appearances have been announced for the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard, which takes place on Sunday 7 April at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Jason Manford.
Jason Manford has been announced as the host of the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard. Having previously hosted in 2017, the popular comedian, actor and singer will return to the Royal Albert Hall for the ceremony on Sunday 7 April 2019.
Gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers mingle together in 1950s New York in Guys & Dolls, Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows’ ‘musical fable of Broadway’, which returned to London in concert form for just three performances at the Royal Albert Hall.
This semi-staged concert performance of Frank Loesser’s classic musical Guys & Dolls fully captures the spirit of the story and the characters that leaves you beaming from ear to ear.
Lara Pulver, Stephen Mangan, Sharon D. Clarke and Paul Nicholas will join the cast of Guys and Dolls at the Royal Albert Hall, running for three performances from 19-20 October 2018.
Adrian Lester, Jason Manford and Meow Meow will star in the Royal Albert Hall’s production of Guys and Dolls, which comes to the iconic London venue for three performances only on 19 and 20 October 2018
“I’ll gather up my past, and make some sense at last” Unless you’ve caught him in tours of The Producers or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or in occasional TV performances, you might not know that comedian Jason Manford can sing. He’s even tackled Sondheim,
Jason Manford will host this year’s Olivier Awards ceremony. The 2017 awards are set to be the biggest yet, as they make their debut at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 9 April.
Scrumptious, truly: The famous car is big, gleaming and flies just as it should in the new production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre until Oct 15, but the surrounding musical has a much more homely feel to it.
Charlotte Wakefield and Jos Vantyler will join the cast of the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from October 2016. Wakefield will be playing the role of Truly Scrumptious and Vantyler takes the role of Childcatcher in the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical, which continues to tour with dates until 4 February 2017.
Pictures from the rehearsal room just released…. Casting has been announced for the Music & Lyrics Limited and West Yorkshire Playhouse production of the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. The 2016-17 UK and Ireland tour begins at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on 10 February 2016.
Casting has been announced for the Music & Lyrics Limited and West Yorkshire Playhouse production of the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. The 2016-17 UK and Ireland tour begins at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on 10 February 2016. Caractacus Potts will be played by Jason Manford (The Producers, Sweeney Todd) from 10 February until 24 April, and he will return to the show from 5 October 2016. Lee Mead (Casualty, Legally Blonde, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat) will play Caractacus Potts from 4 May until 18 September 2016.
Ah, The Producers. Probably our favourite of the glut of movies turned musicals of the past decade or so. The original production was a wonder of un-PC satire that was far and away the best thing Mel Brooks had turned his hand to in years. More than ten years later and the show is well established in the canon of musicals that head out regularly on tour. Has familiarity dulled the humour of the piece?
Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Music and lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Jason Manford and Cory English
The headline cast of The Producers is almost a who’s who of today’s popular entertainment scene. Jason Manford, Louie Spence and Phill Jupitus all take principal roles alongside the lesser known (but nonetheless industry greats) Cory English, David Bedella and the stunning Tiffany Graves. They lead a company that delivers flawless performances as they dust off Mel Brooks deliciously dated musical.
The 12 Tony-winning musical wowed Broadway in 2001, but of course the original yarn was spun by Brooks in his 1968 Oscar winning movie – and it is to that film that this touring revival pays homage. The onstage newspaper headlines scream of BJ and Vietnam as shyster Broadway producer Max Bialystock, so richly defined by Zero Mostel in the 60s, slicked-back hair and red smoking jacket, is neatly caricatured by Cory English. Back in the day Gene Wilder defined the nebbish (google it) that is frustrated accountant Leo Bloom. In 2015 Jason Manford (a surprisingly big fella in the flesh) makes the most of his lumbering features to define Bloom’s wondrously hopeless inadequacies. Manford’s anxiety-ridden Bloom seriously exceeds expectations.
The story could be neither more tasteless nor more famous. As humble clerk Bloom realises that were a show to prove a guaranteed flop then amoral producers could sell its rights many times over and embezzle the investors’ cash. Bialystock pounces on this stroke of (criminal) genius and takes Bloom into partnership. Sourcing possibly the worst script in town, Springtime For Hitler written by a crazed former Nazi and hiring Roger De Bris, a disastrous director to helm it, failure is a certainty. Until of course De Bris delivers a Fuhrer who’s camper than Christmas and the Broadway crowds go wild…
Cory English has previous as Bialystock, having played the producer on Drury Lane and he masters the ways of the wily granny-shagger with aplomb, his 11 o’clock number Betrayed being a particular treat. Mel Brook’s Borsht Belt comedy roots (google that too) are manifest in Bialystock’s corny patter, as his unique style merges Sid James’ Carry On smut with a wry sense of self-deprecation that’s as New York Jewish as pastrami on rye.
The biggest butt (pun intended) of Brook’s gags is of course Hitler and the Nazis – and what better way to humiliate a truly evil force than to laugh at it (With a momentary pause to sadly wish “if only” that could be the case in today’s troubled world). Along the way however and in alphabetical order, blacks, gays, Irish, Jews and Swedes are all mercilessly mocked in a show that makes for one big guilty pleasure.
David Bedella’s De Bris is a high priest of high camp. Preening and pouting, he is poured into his dress – and gives Hitler just the right touch of manic megalomania too. Louie Spence as his posturing assistant Carmen Ghia has a modest role but milks it magnificently with a movement that is as technically brilliant as it his hilarious. And whoever thought of Phill Jupitus to play the Nazi Franz Liebkind deserves the Iron Cross. The comedian’s (rarely seen) fat, pasty, lederhosen-clad legs add visual genius to the deluded German. Be in no doubt, Jupitus cannot sing and his almost solo number, Haben Sie gehört das deutsche Band will stay with me for a long time.
Meanwhile, leading lady Tiffany Graves’ blonde bombshell Ulla simply steals her every scene. Graves’ accent is wonderfully caricatured, her singing sensational whilst her dance and cartwheeling/backflipping movement is jaw-dropping. Sporting fabulous tresses (kudos to wig mistress Sally Tynan) Graves is every inch the (not so dumb) Swedish Blonde.
Magnificence elsewhere from Lee Proud’s choreography, with the big numbers of Along Came Bialy (complete with denture wielding tap-dancing geriatrics) and Springtime For Hitler evidencing a company well drilled in dance routines that blend professional precision with immaculate comic timing. And look out for the unexpected nod to the Vulgarian (aka Germanic) Doll On A Music Box routine from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as the Springtime number kicks off.
Bravo too to Andrew Hilton’s nine-piece band who give Brooks’ compositions the bold and brassy treatment they deserve.
The Producers’ producers have clearly piled their cash (or their investors’ ?) into the cast and it shows as Matthew White directs a magnificent 5* flawless troupe. But the un-inspiring scenery wobbles, the tank-gun helmets of the dancing Nazi showgirls look like they are Blue Peter inspired cardboard creations and unforgivably, Hitler’s moustache fell off in his big number Heil Myself! Bedella to his credit gamely played on – but where were the professional production values? The show’s future audiences deserve a little better.
As entertainment, this touring production of The Producers provides a sensational night out at the theatre. Top notch actors, delivering top notch routines. It makes for one of those rare nights when cheeks will ache from grinning. If you love comedy and musicals it’s unmissable. Brilliant, irreverent, hilarious and all performed by one of the best companies on the road today.
Plays until 14th March, then on tour.
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