Violet has plenty of sincerity and perceptive lyrics to make it endearing to watch, but the book ultimately lets it down and doesn’t allow the characters to quite shine as brightly as they could. Definite potential here – but in need of some work.
An ideal choice for an Off-West End season, Violet features an exceptional lead performance from Kaisa Hammarlund.
By the time director Shuntaro Fujita’s slick and sun-kissed production draws to a close, it’s impossible not to root for Violet’s happiness.
The way that the story of Violet is told elevates it to something really quite lovely, with huge emotional impact and a surprising timeliness.
Violet is heartfelt and hopeful, the songs are infectiously good with a mix of hillbilly, honky-tonk, gospel and traditional country, and the show features powerful performances from the entire ensemble.
Based on Doris Betts’ short story The Ugliest Pilgrim, featuring music by Jeanine Tesori and libretto by Brian Crawley, Violet follows a disfigured woman as she embarks on a Greyhound Bus journey from Spruce Pine, North Carolina to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to be healed by a famous television healer.
Great design work from Morgan Large and a strong lead performance from Kaisa Hammarlund make Violet an intriguing proposition at the Charing Cross Theatre.
Violet is a warm, considerate musical with a lot to say about the past and some real faces of the future to look out for.
The 2004 Broadway musical Caroline, or Change has returned to London’s West End in a slick, entertaining production anchored by a sensational lead performance by Sharon D. Clarke.
The extraordinary Caroline or Change makes the leap into the West End at the Playhouse Theatre, with a titanic Sharon D Clarke at the helm.
Caroline, or Change is a curious show that sees a five-star cast deliver distinctly flawed material. Set in an early 1960s Louisiana.
Following not one, but two recent acclaimed runs (first at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre in 2017, followed by a limited engagement at Hampstead Theatre earlier this year), Michael Longhurst’s production of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s musical Caroline, or Change now makes its mark on London’s West End, taking up residence at the Playhouse Theatre until next spring.
Caroline or Change has a lot going for it and three potentially interesting plot lines that should fully engage, yet it never quite unites as tidily and explosively as it promises to do, the wackier aspects serving to alienate rather than enhance the rest of the story.
Kaisa Hammarlund will play the title role in Violet, the multi-award-winning musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, which receives its UK premiere at London’s Charing Cross Theatre for a 12-week season from 14 January to 6 April 2019 (press night is 21 January) in an international co-production that will see it transfer to Tokyo.
A couple of weeks ago I was one of the lucky few who was allowed into the Caroline, or Change rehearsal rooms for a sneak peek at how the show was coming along, as it prepared for its West End transfer.
VIOLET, a multi-award-winning musical with music by Jeanine Tesori (Tony Award winner for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for Fun Home, and Tony-nominated for Caroline, or Change and Shrek the Musical), and book & lyrics by Brian Crawley (The Little Princess), will get its UK premiere in an international co-production opening in London in January before transferring to Tokyo, Japan.
Here’s Love London Love Culture’s guide to some of the best shows opening in the capital in November.
Full casting has been announced for Caroline, Or Change, the musical written by Tony Kushner, with a score from Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, which will run at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019.
Two new music releases – Renée Fleming tackles Broadway classics in style, and The Quentin Dentin Show releases its cast recording
Fun Home is a great show: touching, unique and deeply humane in a way that feels so needed at the moment. I just wish it had been longer.
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