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GREY GARDENS – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Edward SeckersonLeave a Comment

It’s not hard to see why Grey Gardens – the musical – has become such a collector’s item. This strange but true tale of American royalty gone rogue, of Jacqueline Kennedy’s rebellious relatives, of a stain on the Bouvier clan somehow exposing the rot at the heart of the American dream was/is irresistible. We all fell for the delicious anarchy of Albert Maysles’ splendid documentary but equally picked up on the sadness of what was at heart an extreme case of co-dependancy. But when “Little Edie Beale said “It’s very diffiicult to keep the line between the past and the present” she unlocked what makes Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Doug Wright’s work really special.

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GREY GARDENS – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Hot on the heels of THE DAZZLE (about the New York Collyer brothers living in hoarderly squalid isolation) this is about Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Little Edie half a century later, living in even more eccentric squalor in the Hamptons. Both interpret true stories. Even more thematically satisfying for the playgoer, no sooner has Imelda Staunton bowed out as Mama Rose dominating her daughter in Gypsy, than we can contemplate the equally showbiz- thwarted Edith senior sabotaging hers. Delusion, eccentricity, toxic but irresistible family bonds, musical obsession and memory: great themes, played out with satisfying difference on stages either side of the Thames.

PETER PAN: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE – West End

In Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

There have been many interpretations of J M Barrie’s Peter Pan story but this musical version by George Stiles & Anthony Drewe, with book by Willis Hall, deserves a place of note. The tale of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up and the three young Darling children of Bloomsbury he takes on an adventure to Neverland, has a charm which beguiles children and adults alike.

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NEWS: Grey Gardens’ European premiere stars Jenna Russell & Sheila Hancock

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

Olivier Award-winning West End stars, Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell, are to star in the eagerly awaited European première of Grey Gardens. Based on an iconic 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, with Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel, Lyrics by Michael Korie, tells the spectacular real life rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s aunt and cousin, Edith and …

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My theatre diary: Musicals, magic and monsters including Impossible, Splendour and Seven Brides

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Apart from my Edinburgh blitz, I like to take August a little slow on the theatregoing front. These few weeks offer a brief respite while many people are away on holiday or still up at the Fringe (which I’m not the slightest bit jealous about – no, really) before the ‘autumn season’ kicks off and […]

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD – St James Theatre

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

There is a great deal of debate over how to define a piece like Jason Robert Brown’s iconic debut work; ‘Songs for a New World’. Some see it as a concept album, a young composer experimenting with snippets from a variety of unfinished or dismissed projects, others see it as a thematic song cycle, a collection of ideas about modernity. But in today’s world where song cycles can all too often be a lazy get-out for a composer looking to stage in his songs in a production that desperately needs a good book, it is refreshing to revisit this finely crafted work in a 20th anniversary staging of the show that truly defined Brown as a master in understanding the human condition.

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD – St James Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

At a professionally-packed first night for Songs For A New World even long-time theatre diehards were squeaky with anticipation: never before have so many been longing for a ‘decent’ production of their favourite 1995 off-Broadway concept show. And they raved about it, cheering every song and jumping to their feet at the end.

DI AND VIV AND ROSE Vaudeville, WC1

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

THE GIRLS ARE BACK… There are not many all-woman plays around, nor many about female friendship; nor do many reflect the particular, unique long-term comradeship which begins in the cheerful domestic squalor of university sharers, and stretches over decades of … Continue reading →

My theatre diary: Comedies The Ruling Class, Di and Viv and Rose, Diary of a Nobody and Bad Jews

In London theatre, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

I’ve had a heavy schedule of plays over the past few weeks, including quite a few comedies, many of them with deep, dark cores. (For dramas I’ve seen recently, see my companion Theatre Diary piece.) As usual, I’ve listed productions in closing date order. Note, the first – not the least bit dark – finishes […]

My theatre diary: Comedies The Ruling Class, Di and Viv and Rose, Diary of a Nobody and Bad Jews

In London theatre, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

I’ve had a heavy schedule of plays over the past few weeks, including quite a few comedies, many of them with deep, dark cores. (For dramas I’ve seen recently, see my companion Theatre Diary piece.) As usual, I’ve listed productions in closing date order. Note, the first – not the least bit dark – finishes […]

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My theatre diary: The Distance, Electra, Lord of the Flies, Urinetown, Next Fall

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Having escaped back to Mallorca for a week (god, I love that place, my little piece of heaven), there are at least two weeks of theatre I want to catch up with. My must-see list just keeps growing and growing and has, more accurately become, a might-see list … if I can find a mammoth […]

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Review: Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Baby boom children were regaled with the story that Princess Elizabeth had been informed of her father King George VI’s death at the exclusive ‘Treetops’ game lodge in the Aberdares national park of Kenya. Forty years later it turned out to be an arthritically creaking wooden assembly on stilts facing a rain-sodden pit of mulched […]

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