I’ve seen twenty shows in the last three weeks, including a welcome return visit to The Book of Mormon – and also discovered that Maggie Smith and I share a hip replacement surgeon!
This week the London theatre bloggers discuss The Painkiller with Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, new musical Miss Atomic Bomb and fringe play German Skerries at the Orange Tree Theatre.
Miss Atomic Bomb blasts onto the St James stage with a visually impressive bang. In a show that’s a chain reaction of spectacular dance work (including some delicious tap routines), choreographer Bill Deamer’s fingerprints (or rather footprints) are everywhere. Deamer, who also co-directs, has a consummate understanding of the spectacular and the dancing here is amongst the best in town.
It’s a rare and wonderful thing these days to see a brand new musical – not a revival, not a musical based on a movie, but a shiny, original, fresh-out-the-box show. Not that Miss Atomic Bomb, which opened this week at St James Theatre, is that new; apparently it’s been in development for five years. And was it worth the wait? I think so…
It’s not often theatre reviews are bad enough to make BBC lunchtime headlines, but the writers of Miss Atomic Bomb should be donning their tin hats. When London’s most enthusiastic musical theatre critic, The Stage’s (and My Theatre Mates co-founder) Mark Shenton, who just chaired the BEAM event to encourage new musical writing is out of his seat like a rocket to get a one-star review online before midnight, something must be wrong.
A brand new musical to hit London, Miss Atomic Bomb is set in 1952 Las Vegas and is about nuclear blasts and beauty queens – but does it win approval with critics?
This theatre is certainly fearless about potentially tasteless names – Bad Jews, Urinetown, now Miss Atomic Bomb: the first two of those, however, turned out hits. This one probably won’t, though it’s good to see a British team hurling itself at a big American theme.
Award winning star of TV and theatre, Catherine Tate (Assassins, The Catherine Tate Show, The Vote, Doctor Who) and Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin, Here Lies Love), who takes lead role in Disney’s Aladdin this summer, will lead the cast in the new musical comedy Miss Atomic Bomb, alongside musical theatre stars Florence Andrews (A Little Night Music, Annie Get Your Gun), Simon Lipkin (The Lorax, Assassins, Rock of Ages, Avenue Q) and Daniel Boys (Any Dream Will Do, Avenue Q, Spamalot) as it explodes into the UK for its World Premiere at the St James Theatre, Victoria, in Spring 2016. The production will be running from 7 March for a strictly limited five week season, with press night on 14 March 2016.
London’s St James’ Theatre today announces its spring 2016 season, comprising: the UK premiere of critically acclaimed Blitz-set play with music The Pianist of Willesden Lane, the world premiere of explosive new musical Miss Atomic Bomb and the first London revival for over 25 years of Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning debut play My Mother Said I Never Should.