While music theatre fans across the globe wait to have the chance to see Hamilton, we still have the zesty, heartfelt pleasure of In The Heights to enjoy. First a word about the fabulous new Kings Cross Theatre…
The final performance of the current London season at Sadler’s Wells sees Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty in excellent shape for its coming UK and world tour.
In a nicely balanced, highly entertaining double bill, The Royal Ballet presents Rhapsody and The Two Pigeons, two gems from the treasured catalogue of works from Frederick Ashton. A fitting showcase for leading stars Steven McRae and Natalie Osipova, Rhapsody is a dreamy contemplation on the pleasure of dance. Created by Ashton in 1980 for Mikhail Baryshnikov, the piece is focused more on the male principal dancer, who begins on stage and ends exalted in a grand lift by the men.
Christopher Hampton’s ever-intriguing play Les Liaisons Dangereuses is given a classy revival at the Donmar Warehouse, where the intimacy of the tiny auditorium immerses the audience in the great salons of 18th century France.
Shakespeare’s history plays are some of his best. Epic tales with tragedy and comedy, love and war, politics and history are brought to life on stage, with the storyline of some characters spanning years and multiple plays. The RSC and Barbican have, over the last few years, presented the first four as separate productions but to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year, unite them as a single ticket.
Spectacular dancing enlivens evergreen chestnut Guys and Dolls in this solid new production.
Showcasing two of the finest stage actresses, Grey Gardens finally comes to London in this impressively staged production. Making quite a name for itself in very recent times as starting place for theatrical hits, the Southwark Playhouse has added its name to the shortlist of special venues that must be carefully watched when planning a West End theatre trip.
Fanny Brice may sing the song but it is Sheridan Smith who is the greatest star, leading a long overdue, sassy revival of Broadway classic Funny Girl.
Blessed with three excellent lead singers, this revival of Jonathan Kent’s 2006 production lands all the thrills of Puccini’s magnificent classic.
What appears, at first glance, an unusual choice for a musical proves a joyous celebration of culture, identity and acceptance.
Today, Monday 21 December 2015, the Producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are delighted to announce thatJamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley will lead the cast as Harry, Hermione and Ron.
The WWII image of dejected, scrappy children with brown tags around their necks, clutching their most precious belongings as they are re-homed with strangers in the countryside is a powerful one. It’s one that inspired author Michelle Magorian to write Goodnight Mister Tom, adapted by David Wood for the stage, now in London after a successful run at Chichester and before heading off for a national tour. The audience meets little William, who is sent from Deptford to Dorset and assigned to live with the reclusive Tom Oakley. With a focus on Tom more so than the relocated children, this is a story about finding love again after a devastating loss. This part of the production is moving, but the story is slow to develop over a long time period and the flimsy, thin dialogue doesn’t support the large cast of characters, their development and the devastation of wartime.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo + Juliet transformed a young generation into Shakespeare fans. Dan Poole and Giles Terera were training at Mountview at the time of the film’s release. They previously weren’t keen on Shakespeare’s plays what with their difficult language and having to read them at school. But, Romeo + Juliet changed all that.
New play about an illicit encounter between a teen student and an older teacher is powerful and challenging.
Very well-deserved West end transfer for thrilling new play about ethics in the age of the internet… How well do parents know their kids? Especially their teenage kids. Jack appears to be a nice, well-spoken 17-year-old youngster about to take his exams. You see, he has ambitions to study law at Durham University. His parents, David and Di, think he’s a normal boy and they are really proud of all of his hard work. And of his good grades. But, in James Fritz’s compelling 90-minute play, they are about to be disillusioned. And the trick is that we never get to see Jack: he remains offstage, so all we are left with is the reactions of his parents and friends.
The jokes bought this play some time. Richard Bean, a former standup, is hot property at the moment after a slew of critical acclaim. One Man Two Guvnors, Great Britain and Made in Dagenham have all built to this crafty delve into the archives.
Rejoice! In the midst of Fifa’s dismal doings musical theatre makes football beautiful again. Gurinder Chadha’s and Paul Mayeda Berges’ fable, of a British-Asian teenage girl longing to play football rather than cook dhal and live traditionally, was beloved on screen but emerges all the stronger for being driven by Howard Goodall’s music and Charles Hart’s lyrics. It’s a lovely show, with the rare quality in musicals of feeling all-of-a-piece: one solid creation by a team who understand one another and were allowed to get on with it.
The multi-award winning acknowledged master of psychological illusion returns to the West End stage with his new one-man show DERREN BROWN: MIRACLE. Following a sell-out 105-date national tour, Brown brings his unique brand of uplifting, unsettling magical showmanship to the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, 11 November 2015 to 16 January 2016. MIRACLE has a more philosophical flavour and invites audiences to look at ways of thinking that might make us all happier.
This is a play I know extremely well. My own production (“one of the best the Nuffield Theatre has housed” – Guardian) formed part of my Theatre Studies degree at Lancaster in 1973, the year Noel Coward died. I have seen every major revival, and some dodgy tours, from the splendid Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray version which first inspired me as a teenager at the Grand Theatre Leeds, to glossy London and Chichester productions with Dame Judi, Maria Aitken, Penelope Keith, Geraldine McEwan and Diana Rigg. And the awful one with Lindsay Duncan strutting about in jodhpurs.