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‘I could easily imagine it transferring to the West End’: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – Arcola Theatre & Touring

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Little Miss Sunshine is impressively directed with a high energy level, the songs are so good that I hope a soundtrack CD is soon released, and overall it’s a very solid four-star musical I could easily imagine transferring to the West End and being a big hit.

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NEWS: Laura Pitt-Pulford & Gary Wilmot join the cast of Little Miss Sunshine European premiere

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

The European premiere of Little Miss Sunshine at Arcola Theatre will star Laura Pitt-Pulford as Sheryl, the matriarch of the eccentric Hoover family and Gary Wilmot as Grandpa. The Off-Broadway hit musical opens at the Arcola Theatre, London on 21 March 2019 running until 11 May (press night is 1 April) before embarking on a UK tour.

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‘A thing of real, gentle wonder’: FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS – Chichester

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Some of the beauty of Flowers for Mrs Harris gets lost at Chichester Festival Theatre but it remains a striking new musical

“It’s a work of art… something not real, made to make you feel”

I had much love for Flowers for Mrs Harris when it premiered in Sheffield a couple of years ago, and so I was delighted to see Daniel Evans deciding to revive it at his new abode over in Chichester. My only cavil came with the placing of this most heartfelt musical in the vast space of the Festival Theatre rather than the intimacy of the Minerva where it might perhaps have been better served.

So much of the beauty of the show (book by Rachel Wagstaff from Paul Gallico’s novel, music & lyrics by Richard Taylor) comes from the fact that it isn’t a bells and whistles epic. It is something far more subtle that truly celebrates the ordinary in extraordinary, as Clare Burt’s charlady Ada Harris dares to dream of owning a Christian Dior dress and in working to achieve that dream, illuminates the lives of those around her.

Largely sung-through, the cumulative effect of Flowers for Mrs Harris is like a ripple billowing through a length of silk fabric, flipping it over – beguiling and beautiful, gentle but ultimately transformative. As Ada’s hard work takes her from Battersea to Paris, some nifty doubling in the cast sees her meeting contrasting figures to those for whom she toils. So Louis Maskell switches from accountant to dreamy photographer, Laura Pitt-Pulford from struggling actress to top model, Joanna Riding aristocracy to couturier, and all impress with their clear delineation.  

And Burt is just magnificent the unassuming Ada, slowly coming to realise her place in the world, her worth and her right to a greater happiness than she ever dared dream of in the drudgery of post-war Britain. Lez Brotherston’s design looks superb under Mark Henderson’s well-observed lighting choices, and the conclusion is a thing of real, gentle wonder. Don’t just talk about wanting to see new exciting British musical theatre, go and see it now!

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Johan Persson
Flowers for Mrs Harris is booking at Chichester Festival Theatre until 29th September
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NEWS: John Gordon Sinclair & Laura Pitt-Pulford are cast in The Grönholm Method at the Menier Chocolate Factory

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Sticky by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced full casting for the UK premiere of Jordi Galceran’s The Grönholm Method. Making his UK directorial debut, BT McNicholl directs Jonathan Cake (Frank), Greg McHugh (Carl), Laura Pitt-Pulford (Melanie) and John Gordon Sinclair (Rick). The production opens on 22 May 2018, with previews from 10 May, and runs until 7 July. Set in the …