The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Graeme’s beloved family tale of the riverbank has delighted readers young and old for over a century. The story of Ratty, Mole and the severe Mr Badger and their mission to save the notorious Mr Toad from himself is a timeless classic enjoyed by all.
In the safe hands of the close-knit cast this iconic story played out beautifully. The cast worked well together and the camaraderie between the inmates was both beautiful to watch and extremely natural.
What it’s like being on tour? I’ve done a few tours and I really enjoy them. The different theatres and places you go to and different audiences reaction. I get paid to sing and dance doing what I love it’s like a dream come true I feel really lucky. You eat together, you live together and rehearse together so you do get closer, it feels more like a family unit.
We have Abba’s back catalogue, a Greek island, a wedding, a mother and daughter and three possible father’s so what show do we have? Yes of course it’s the smash hit musical Mamma Mia! This colourful show requires no brain work but to just simply sit back, enjoy and to try and guess which Abba song is coming up next.
This production feels like it’s a show returning to its roots, a simplified version with no real trickery, lavishness or big overwhelming live orchestra, more traditional and it’s endearing as a result. Joe McElderry takes the title role in this sweet version and with an undeniably strong singing voice and charisma he makes a great Joseph.
Zizi Strallen plays the leading role and I have to say she was more than “practically perfect” – she was absolute perfection personified in this new stage adaptation of the Walt Disney film classic of the stories written by P L Travers. Strallen effortlessly glides around the stage at times almost seeming to be on wheels, her poise and demeanour of this quintessentially British nanny merely demonstrated that she was sheer brilliance in casting for the role.
Made popular by the MGM 1955 film starring Marlon Brandon, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine this show is undoubtedly in my top three all time favourite shows. Consequently I’ve seen many stage versions and some with equal star billing as the motion picture which started my love affair with it. So did this fresh touring company live up to my high expectations?
This review is not going to have any spoilers in it so it will be brief. However, what I can say is this is a modern take on a traditional magic show on a very grand scale. The scene is set as you take to your seat and find an envelope with “Top Secret” written upon it.
Cirque de Glace was my first theatre trip of 2016 and what a way to start the year! When I was a child my grandmother around this time of year took me to see “Dancing on Ice” which invariably was on every year at The Brighton Centre. So the thought of a circus show on ice brought back many fond memories of my childhood.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again ……….? Well, actually, I did because I saw Rebecca the play at the Mayflower Southampton. Was it as great as I’d remembered it?
Based on the classic 1988 film and subsequent Tony award-winning Broadway production this is an all-singing, all-dancing delight of a show. It’s the story of a larger-than-life teenager who is fighting both sizeism prejudices and trying to bring colour integration into a wholesome 1960s early evening entertainment programme. This effervescent teen, Tracy Turnblad, falls in love and has a few scrapes along the way, which makes for a super fun entertaining show.
For those that haven’t seen the 1997 film, this is set in 1980’s Sheffield, the home of steel and hit by Thatcher’s governmental reform leaving desperation, depravity and heartache in its wake. How is it that a play telling a story such as this can be one of immense fun and heartwarming as well?
I’d heard great things about the Regent’s Park Theatre production of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The media and star ratings had led me to believe I was in for a great evening of theatre. So did it live up to my expectations?
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL – TOURING
The Mayflower Southampton until 19th September
By Caroline Hanks-Farmer