The show tells the story of three best friends, Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson, on their quest to become music stars in 1960s America and what happens to them on their way to phenomenal success.
‘I can’t help but ask: is this humour we still want or need in theatre?’ THE BOOK OF MORMON – Touring
I want to start by saying how happy I am to be back reviewing musical theatre. How happy I am the big tours are back and how overjoyed I was to be back in my home turf of the Wales Millennium reviewing a show.
‘A powerful return for the theatre’: THE BOY WITH TWO HEARTS — Wales Millennium Centre
The Boy with Two Hearts is an adaption of the book by Hamed and Hessam Amiri adapted for the stage by Phil Porter. The book which was a Radio 4 book of the week, combines the account of the family’s journey from Afghanistan to the UK, and the experiences of refugees across Europe, with a touching love letter to the NHS.
‘You are here, at the start of a moment’: Welcoming back Come From Away
‘You are here, at the start of a moment’. Those words in Come From Away never felt more true. Four hundred and 95 days after last being in a West End theatre, 495 days after last seeing a musical, 495 days without theatre. And ‘You are here…’
‘I don’t want to forget the shows that happened’: A reflection on theatre in 2020
I resolutely wasn’t doing a round up for 2020. I mean what on earth were we going to round up? This year has, with no exaggeration, broken our hearts in theatre. There’s no other way to put it. We watched our industry disappear overnight. We…
‘We’ve shown we’re not going without a fight’: Who really cares about what has happened to the theatre industry?
I accidentally wrote a viral tweet. It came out of a moment of possibly ill-thought frustration. Out of feeling brushed aside, dismissed one too many times. But wow did that tweet resonate.
Measuring love: Rent is a musical of not just a generation but of a pandemic
Rent recently marked its 24th anniversary since its Broadway opening. Every year I try to write something. This year, in particular, it seemed important to.
Paper Cuts: When I think of this play, I’ll always think of growing as a writer
My play Paper Cuts went live on Bloom Theatre’s YouTube channel last month. This play was a long time coming… hopefully, this isn’t the end, and it’s got a way to run.
‘I applaud everyone who is trying to fill the void with creativity’: Mourning, fretting & struggling to write
I’ve struggled to write about theatre at this time. To be honest, I’ve struggled to write anything about anything. It took me weeks to get my head remotely functioning.
‘Achingly beautiful’: ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS – Bristol
For every introverted socially awkward nerd Romantics Anonymous feels like seeing your fears and secrets on stage without being mocked.
Decade Round-Up: The Musicals
And so here it is… my top 10 musicals of the decade. It turned out to be a slightly emotional journey. But it turns out musicals meant a lot in that time and I’ll fight anyone who says musicals aren’t a serious artform.
Decade Round-Up: The Plays
This isn’t a ‘best of’ list it’s my best-of list, these are the plays that shaped me this decade and will stay with me well into the next.
‘Breathing new life into a classic’: DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Young Vic
For anyone who has been under a rock for the last couple of years in London theatre, this stripping back to the essence of a classic is one of Marianne Elliott’s (many) talents. And here with Death of a Salesman, with co-director Miranda Cromwell, the play is written again from the ground up. Without changing a word.
‘Its power & its joy is in storytelling’: EMILIA – West End
It is not to diminish the historical elements, the research and indeed the politics of the play, to say that its power and its joy is in storytelling.
A good night out, entitlement & Agatha Christie
I thank all the theatre I’ve endured that has perhaps made me a better person, but in future I’ll be asking first just how much joy it’s going to bring me, and if I’m perhaps better off elsewhere.
‘Can make you weep with the beauty of it’: WAITRESS – West End ★★★★
On the top layer, Waitress is sweet and fun with beautiful ingredients in the form of a stellar cast. But dig a little deeper and we find there are a lot more layers to the pie.
‘Such a beautiful hymn to what humanity can be’: COME FROM AWAY – West End
I could have written a rave review of Come from Away. But what I couldn’t get out of my head was how important a piece it feels in terms of recording history. As a former history teacher, and as an academic who looks at theatre’s response to real-world events… I wrote an essay instead.
‘Fascinating it still is, engaging perhaps not always’: ALL ABOUT EVE – West End ★★★
Fascinating All About Eve is, engaging perhaps not always. But anyone hoping for the same level of emotional payoff that Anderson’s other stage roles have demonstrated will likely end up frustrated with Eve.
No Day But Today: A Renthead’s thoughts on Rent: Live
I’ve spent this last couple of weeks thinking about Rent a lot. It’s not unusual to think about Rent. For me it’s always kind of there, in the background.
Shows I can’t shake from 2018
I wanted to record all the productions in 2018 that had had a profound impact on me, so here is the collection that will be with me for a long time.