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.
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.
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.
It’s fitting that Fun Home should open in Pride month, not least because it is an all-too-rare show that focuses on the L in LGBT+. But as stirring and gratifying and significant as it is to have a lesbian protagonist, this musical works because it is straight-up fantastic.
Casting has been announced for Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s five-time Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, playing at the Young Vic’s main house from 18 June to 1 September 2018 (press night is 27 June 2018). The line-up features Kaisa Hammarlund as Alison; Eleanor Kane as Medium Alison; Jenna Russell as Helen; Ashley Samuels as Roy, Mark and Jeremy; Cherrelle Skeete as Joan and Zubin Varla as Bruce, Alison’s father.
Industry body UK Theatre has announced the nominations for the annual UK Theatre Awards, which celebrate creative excellence and the outstanding work seen on stages throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Notably, for the first time in the Awards history, all nominations for Best New Play are written by female playwrights.
Cabaret is a show which has had many a revival and many a cast recording made from those productions but it is Rufus Norris’ 2006 interpretation that seems to have lingered the longest; a new touring version starring Louise Redknapp and Will Young starts at the New Wimbledon in late September.
The Manchester Theatre Awards represent the cream of theatre in my native North-West.
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…
With Christmas in full swing, it feels like a good time to look back at the highlights of a busy year for theatre in Manchester. Here are Upstaged Manchester’s theatrical highlights of 2016. Which shows would make your list?
Under Derek Bond’s masterful direction, the musical theatre classic fills the Great Hall – bursting with big Fosse numbers, a superb live band and extraordinary cast – it’s as if Sweet Charity was made to be performed in the round.
Anchored by a properly star-making and heart-breaking performance from Kaisa Hammarlund, Derek Bond’s Royal Exchange production of Sweet Charity just works.