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Showing posts from October, 2016

MUSICAL REVIEW: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory ★★★

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Theatre royal Drury Lane, London
Saturday 29th October 2016
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a creation from Roald Dahl that was written as a book in 1964, turned into a film in 1971 before a remake with Johnny Deep in 2005, and now has been on the West End since 2013, and next year will be premiering in Broadway. I have wanted to see this production since it opened all those years ago, and so finally, after three years at the West End I have managed to witness it, and have come out with mixed feelings.
There has been criticism that the first act especially is too bland, with the majority of the action taking place at the Buckets house, and this is true, but I really liked this fact because it meant we could gather a lot of character development from the main protagonist that is Charlie and his mad family! I loved the action taking place inside the house, with some brilliant songs like when the grandma and grandpa's sing about Willy Wonka whi…

MUSICAL REVIEW: School of Rock ★★★★★

School of Rock
New London Theatre, Drury Lane
Saturday 29th October, 2016This whole week I have watched productions based on films, from The Exorcist, Little Shop of Horrors, and now School of Rock, a production based on the 2003 film starring Jack Black & Joan Cusack. Out of all these productions, School of Rock is the most pleasing and true to the film, which due to the movies nature is a massive compliment to the stage production.This is because this show was BIG! From the set to costumes, lighting and sound, you really felt a part of the whole world that was in front of you, and dare I say it, I felt like part of the band! This brings me onto the sound, which thanks to a voiceover from Andrew Lloyd Webber at the start of the show, every instrument played on stage is genuine and authentic, meaning all the kids are playing live, and I can confirm that they definitely rock, and make me really in awe of their talents at such a young age! The power from their performances and voice…

MUSICAL REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors ★★★★

Little Shop of Horrors Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Thursday 27th October 2016
Based on the 1960 film directed by Roger Corman, Little Shop of Horrors is a rock musical which follows the life of helpless Seymour, who lives on Skid Row, and how he becomes famous when he put his alien Venus flytrap which he found one night on an eclipse, and puts it in the window of the florist where he works,  Mushnik’s. I first watched a production of ‘Little Shop’ back in August 2015 at The Edinburgh Fringe, and have loved it ever since, and clearly watching this current touring production has really reminded me why I love this musical so much!
The pace and energy from start to finish is what draws you completely into this world where Seymour and love interest Audrey live in Skid Row. Sam Lupton (Seymour) and Stephanie Clift (Audrey) are perfect casting in their roles, as they bring such conviction and chemistry to their friendship shown clearly on stage. The way Seymour is wrote in the favour of falling i…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Exorcist ★★★

The Exorcist
Birmingham REP Theatre
Wednesday 26th October 2016Bringing an iconic 1973 horror film like The Exorcist and adapting it for the stage was always going to be a struggle - how do you make an experience as terrifying as the movie then be brought to life on stage - because as well as this production starts, getting our heartbeats racing with an ear shattering noise and having the auditorium plunged into darkness - this production falls flat with the anticlimactic scares and one sided acting from some of the company involved.Looking at the positives, Claire Louise Connolly really carries this production through with her portrayal of 10 year old Regan, really bringing the child-like characteristics to life on stage, and working incredibly well when syncing up with the Devil’s (Sir Ian McKellen) voiceover when supposedly possessed. The lighting and atmospheric sound in this production is also creative, because at not one point in this performance is the stage fully lit, as onl…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Misfit Analysis ★★★★

The Misfit Analysis
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Friday 14th October 2016The Misfit Analysis follows Can Binchy, who is on the autism spectrum, enter his life in the way of expressing what goes on in his mind as someone who has autism. It's a thought provoking piece, and reminds me of Curious Incident, which is relatable here as Can has worked with the actors in that production to make the portrayal believable and authentic.What was really relaxing about this piece was how likeable Can was; witty and charming, he had the audience in stitches at points, and from recalling all the actors who have played Doctor Who through the years, or telling us how he recalls associates numbers with colours, Can is engaging and can really hold his own in front of a crowd.This production was also fun through the aspect of a game show, which I was brought up to the front to take part in, but also a birthday party, where everyone in the audience was brought into the stage to start spinning thin…

THEATRE REVIEW: Things I Know to be True ★★★★★

Things I Know to be True
Warwick Arts Centre
12th October 2016I have never in my whole life walked out of an auditorium feeling so numb that I have tonight watching ‘Things I Know to be True’ from Frantic Assembly, in co-directed with State Theatre Company of South Australia. I cried like I never have before, more than any other theatre production has had me on the verge of, because this production was phenomenal!I cannot recall a time where I watched a theatre production that has had the amount of gratitude then the audience gave for this evening's performance. The acting on stage from all involved was unlike any that I have seen before, from characteristics to drawing us into their lives, the Price family, and follow them through the eyes of the four siblings to Bob (Ewan Stewart) and Fran (Imogen Stubbs); Rosie (Kirsty Oswald), Pip (Natalie Casey), Ben (Richard Mylan) and Mark (Matthew Price). I loved the simplicity of the set and how clever the lighting was to portray emotion …

THEATRE REVIEW: Fall Out ★★★

Fall Out
Birmingham Mac Theatre
Tuesday 11th October 2016What I love about theatre is how it can transport you to another place, town, country, world almost, depending on the production you are watching. With Fall Out, Highly Sprung’s latest production, we are immersed in a environmental theatrical treat as we follow the lives of Annie and Will, childhood friends who are college students, and how the introduction of Jay, a new student at the college, affects Annie and Will's friendship.The dynamic and chemistry between the performers on stage was electrifying from start to finish. Claire Lambert and Luke Sheppard are believable as Annie and Will, making the friendship on stage seem genuine, and ultimately making the journey with them compelling, almost feeling like we have known these characters our own lives. Ashley Jordan is the perfect actor to rival Annie and Wills friendship as Jay, and myself as an audience member went through so many feelings about what I thought about the …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Complete Deaths ★★★

The Complete Deaths
Warwick Arts Centre
Friday 7th October, 2016Spymonkey, a theatre company described as the ‘UK’s leading physical theatre company’, presents ‘The Complete Deaths’, a production that depicts all 75 deaths in Shakespeare, well 76 deaths, if that counts themselves for presenting this production. Now I have seen many of Shakespeare's plays over my lifetime, so being able to see those that I am less familiar with is quite educational for me, and so by the end of the evening, not only did I find myself feeling educated more in Shakespeare, but also found myself beaming when leaving the auditorium.I say this for the fact I laughed… a lot! I really loved how creative some of the deaths were, some plays mixed in with each other to heighten the comedy! With Spymonkey being a 4 piece company, you can instantly feel the charisma and energy between the actors on stage and how much they loved performing in front of us; a few highlights of this production was the mincer sequen…

THEATRE REVIEW: 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps ★★★★★

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
Birmingham REP Theatre
Thursday 6th October 2016
If you have read any of my previous reviews from Kneehigh, you will know that they are my favourite theatre company out there; their production of The Wilde Bride that I saw in November 2011 is the reason why I fell in love with theatre and wanted to pursue it as a career. Over the 5 years I have managed to see several more of their productions, and all of them, just like tonight's 946, have left me falling in love with them over and over, and what's so special is that I will be watching this production twice more over the coming months in Warwick and Bristol.
There are so many things I would want to say about this production that this review won't do justice, because everything about this production really was astonishing! Kneehigh are renowned for their music and 946 is no exception, making an angelic to toe tapping underscore that works incredibly well in this production, and it…

THEATRE REVIEW: Scattered ★★★★

Scattered Warwick Arts Centre Wednesday 5th October, 2016
Back in February 2016, I visited Warwick Arts Centre to watch my first production of Motionhouse, which was broken. I remember after watching the show that I would become an avid supporter of the company due to its innovative and pure brilliance of their productions, so when I found out about Scattered, which mixes digital technology and dance sequences to portray the relationship that we have with water, I jumped at the chance to book myself a ticket and see how this production would fare with Broken.
I thoroughly enjoyed this production due to its relentless action from start to finish, and how it showed the performers abilities to their full potential, like the moments in the production where they would be walking over each other, for example the feet, during a waterfall sequence, or when they climbing onto each others shoulders during the same sequence to represent the water flowing down. It was moments like these that made me …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Dresser ★★★★★

The Dresser
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Friday 30th September 2016With the flicker of lights and the sound of a bomb falling, the auditorium is plunged into darkness, until shortly after Norman (Reece Shearsmith) is lit with a short spotlight, praying out to the audience. With an explosive and innovative start to this production, The Dresser, which plays during The Everyman Theatre's 125th birthday, already had me excited for what's to come, and I can honestly give this production nothing but praise!I absolutely loved everything about this production, from the setting of a dressing room, right through to the chemistry between the actors, especially from Shearsmith and Ken Stott (Sir), right through to the comedy that runs throughout the production, especially from Shearsmith’s side from the very beginning!The storyline was a real simple, basic understanding that let's you follow with ease, as we see the journey of Sir’s health state from 1 hour before the performance,…