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‘What they’ve created is roaring, but delicate, ritualistic & totally unique’: JARMAN – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

Pitched somewhere between a celebration, a séance and an unusually engaging piece of performance art, Jarman at the King’s Head Theatre eschews linear storytelling in favour of a sensory assault encompassing spoken word, music and direct audience engagement. Some of Jarman’s iconic film works are referenced – Sebastiane, Caravaggio, Edward II, The Tempest, the heartrending Blue which depicts the artist’s slide into blindness – and settings from Ken Russell’s chaotic movie shoots (Jarman designed several of his films) to Derek’s beloved, wall-less Dungeness garden are vividly evoked.

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‘Fun, silly, spoofy & full of gags’: SUMMER STREET – Waterloo East Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

Everything is a little brighter on Summer Street, or in this case Waterloo East Theatre. Summer Street takes us back to the heyday of the 1990’s to 00’s Australian soap opera or ‘Soapys’ when Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue were making their marks on television and British pantomimes always starred a Soapy star.

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LA POULE PLOMBEE – St James Studio

In Cabaret, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Appearing as part of the (now ended) London Festival of Cabaret, Sarah-Louise Young’s latest cabaret manifestation is a set entitled La Poule Plombée. Literally translated it means the “leaded hen”, which offers a sardonic contrast to Edith Piaf’s “little sparrow” (and of course sounds appetizingly like flambé too). However, Google a little deeper and one finds that Poule can also refer to a floozy or tart (human rather than pastry). And then remember that Young famously describes herself on Twitter as Cabaret Whore…

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In Cabaret, Concerts, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Julie Madly Deeply is a technically brilliant performance from Sarah-Louise Young that charts the life of possibly the queen of our national treasures, Julie Andrews. A self-confessed fan and devotee, with a knowledge of both Andrews’ life and repertoire that is arguably unsurpassed, Young’s whirlwind performance has criss-crossed the Atlantic, with this three-day residency at The Crazy Coqs marking the show’s return to the capital.


In Cabaret, London theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Before launching into a sassy opening routine of Irving Berlin’s Sisters, Ria Jones and Ceri Dupree tease their audience with a hint of Gypsy’s act one Let Me Entertain You – sung of course originally by that show’s child sisters June and Louise. And in that moment these two gifted performers achieve a rare and elusive vanishing point that sees dramatic irony fade into reality. For Dupree and Jones really are siblings, Dupree by a few years being Jones’ elder brother.

JERRY’S GIRLS – Jermyn Street Theatre

In Cabaret, London theatre, Musicals, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Jermyn Street Theatre, London


Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman
Concepts by Larry Alford, Wayne Cilento and Jerry Herman
Directed by Kate Golledge

(l-r) Sarah-Louise Young, Emma Barton and Ria Jones
Drawn from the shows of Jerry Herman, Jerry’s Girls is a delightful cabaret that in the hands of three talented ladies, offers a whirl of show tunes that thoroughly deserves its hastily arranged return visit to Jermyn Street  Emma Barton, Ria Jones and Sarah-Louise Young are magnificent throughout, working their way through a set list that was originally put together for a Broadway revue back in the 1980’s. The compilation is rarely seen over here and credit to producers Katy Lipson and Guy James for having the ingenuity to have mounted it so successfully.
With perhaps the exception of Milk and Honey, the numbers are all familiar to musical theatre lovers and the combination of gloriously powerful belts intermingled with moments of the purest poignancy make for an evening that would be an emotional rollercoaster were it not all so ridiculously enjoyable. All of Herman’s big shows get a look in, with Barton’s Mabel in Wherever He Ain’t channelling an exquisite vocal presence that also suggests just a hint of Albert Square! From the same show, Young and Jones give a gorgeous and perfectly weighted nuance to I Won’t Send Roses. 
Herman’s humour sparkles, never wittier than in a song he wrote for the revue, Take It All Off, that wonderfully spoofs burlesque stripping. Again there is fabulous work from Young with Jones being disarmingly (and hilariously) self-deprecating as a stripper whose best years are behind her. 
There are nods to Hello Dolly throughout, with the show ending on a powerful tribute to all that La Cage Aux Folles stood for. Grins along with lumps-in-throats all round.
Kate Golledge directs assuredly, with an entertaining eye for detail. Matthew Cole choreographs cleverly too given the venue’s intimacy and that Tap Your Troubles Away evolved into all three women tap-dancing, accompanied by pianist and MD Edward Court and his reed and mandolin playing partner Sophie Byrne on their feet too, (both fabulous musicians to boot) only added to the wondrous sparkle of the occasion. My one regret was not having discovered this gem of a show sooner so I could have had the opportunity to have returned to see it again.
Jerry’s Girls is only playing until May 31st. Barely lasting two hours, it offers West End entertainment at a fraction of a typical West End price. If you love what Broadway, Streisand, Merman & co were/are all about, then you’ll come out grinning. Go see this show!

Runs until 31st May

Jerry’s Girls – Review

In Cabaret by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

St James Studio, London****Created by Jerry Herman and Larry AlfordDirected by Kate GolledgeSarah-Louise Young, Anna-Jane Casey and Ria JonesAfter the relative failure of Mack & Mabel on Broadway, Jerry Herman took a break from composition and embr…

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Review: Julie Madly Deeply (London Festival of Cabaret 2014)

In Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Alarmingly soon after she bounds onto the stage in the blonde Sound of Music wig, Sarah-Louise Young asks audience members to share their “live” memories of Julie Andrews and I couldn’t resist mentioning the fact that in 1974 when I taught in an international school in Switzerland, I used to see her in the Co-Op. Young […]

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