It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange – but Evita in 1978 was the last show co-written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Despite their later separate successes, it remains an often-overlooked triumph – a near-operatic, through-sung construction, and a fine combination of musicality with a genuinely fascinating, historically accurate story.
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?
I’m a bit of an Avenue Q fan, I think we can admit that. In fact, every time this production has appeared anywhere near home I’ve made a point to go see it, you can read my thoughts on this production in Winchester and Portsmouth to find out just how much I loved it the last time it toured the UK.
Revisiting a show you know and love can be like seeing an old friend after some time apart. There’s a reassuring familiarity but you can’t help noticing a few things are different since you last met. So it was when I revisited Chicago at the Mayflower Theatre last night.
I’ve seen many productions of Chicago, own the DVD of the infamous 2002 film and even pleaded “not guilty” in a production myself. So to say I was excited to see this tour hit my local theatre would be an understatement.
This cast launching the tour has had some changes since leaving the Yorkshire Playhouse where the show was resident over Christmas. I believe they have had just three performances together and whilst there were a couple of times that this showed, along with slight technical issues with “Chitty” neither detracted from the enjoyment of the show.
The stage version of the iconic 1968 British film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is not awful. Much-loved songs by the Sherman Brothers and the sensational sets coupled with stunning special effects make for an entertaining experience. Oh, and there is a flying car.
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.
Pictures from the rehearsal room just released…. Casting has been announced for the Music & Lyrics Limited and West Yorkshire Playhouse production of the much-loved Sherman Brothers musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. The 2016-17 UK and Ireland tour begins at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on 10 February 2016.
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?
Have you heard the story of the Johnstone twins…….? Sometimes as a reviewer, you finish watching a show thinking this is going to be the easiest review I’ve ever written and then you start to write it and hit a block? Why? Just because sometimes a performance that receives a full house standing ovation, is so incredible that its hard to find the words to do it justice! This is one of those occasions.
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?
As soon as Steele walked on the stage there was applause, we see a twinkle in his eye and his broad smile that we have come to expect. I like many of the audience I would imagine, after the performance, Google Tommy Steele’s age only to find that he is in his late 70’s and yet he stood before us upright and the national treasure he has become. With his charismatic charming personality and voice as strong as ever, this born showman was ready to entertain us.
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