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Showing posts from May, 2019

THEATRE REVIEW: Henry V ★★★★★

Henry V The Barn Theatre, Cirencester Wednesday 22nd May - Saturday 22nd June 2019
Growing up as a child, when my passion for theatre was developing, I was surrounded by Shakespeare, whether that may have been performing as Lysander in Midsummer Night's Dream, studying Romeo & Juliet at school, or visiting my local theatre to watch the latest touring productions, but never in those years had I encountered Henry V. The current production playing at The Barn Theatre, in which was just recently announced within their new season, gave me the approach of going in with no prior knowledge, which I believe hugely benefited my experience and could even go as far to say that compared to all the other productions of Shakespeare’s classics I have seen in the past, this performance I would happily sit through repeat viewings without hesitation.
I have always found the most challenging part of Shakespeare being what most people would also find; the definition of the language in which is re…

THEATRE REVIEW: Rotterdam ★★★★★

Rotterdam
Birmingham Rep Theatre
Monday 20th May 2019
In Rotterdam, on the Eve Eve of New Year's, Alice (Rebecca Banatvala) is nervous as she drafts an email to send to her parents back home in the UK to open up about her sexuality and tell them that she likes women. It's a massive deal for her, and with her girlfriend Fiona's (Lucy Jane Parkinson) help, though 'a bit gay', she's almost ready to send it off before she backs out. It's the beginning to a rather rollercoaster production full of tears, tantrums, and laughs, but most importantly a story of love and acceptance, not just for those affected in a romantic way, but in an educational sense where Alice has a lot of doubts and questions.
From the moment you step foot into the auditorium to take your seats, the pre-show action on stage is compelling. On one side of the room there's Alice with her laptop, where Fiona occasionally peeps in to spy on her girlfriends words on the screen, it's natura…

COMEDY REVIEW: Lou Sanders Shame Pig ★★★★★

Lou Sanders: Shame Pig
Bristol Improv Theatre
Saturday 18th May 2019
As seen on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Russell Howard's Good News, and currently participating in the eighth series of Taskmaster on Dave, Lou Sanders is a comic who I have admired for some time now; her sarcastic and witty way in expressing the different subjects we all face with such confidence is something to be admired, and Shame Pig, her most current show which premiered at Edinburgh Fringe last year before going out on tour, is top quality genius writing from a woman who is fully in her prime.
As her warm up act, Luke McQueen is the perfect choice to follow Sanders around the UK on this tour, as he is the one who lives with her 24/7, and his half an hour of material is nothing but polished, from talking about character acting to his upcoming TV appearance, to be filmed later in the week at the time of writing, regarding a lecture about Time Travel. Contrary to what he he believes though, I do hope that w…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Edit ★★★★

The Edit
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Thursday 16th - Saturday 18th May 2019
It’s been two years since Elena (Meghan Treadway) and Nick (Jamie Wilkes) have last seen each other when we begin the production, as Elena has come to collect a camera she once left behind, and so when Nick suddenly suggests wine in a urge for Elena to stay, they soon enough start to reflect on where their relationship suddenly went wrong all those years ago, and we as an audience are simply hooked. What I found fascinating about this production was that though the subject matter is not in any way original, Sarah Gordon has managed to write a complex and riveting piece of theatre which is utterly relatable to possibly many of the audience who will witness this play, as I’m sure we have all fantasied at one stage in our lives about what it would be like to share an evening with a past lover, and uncover their version of events and how much they have changed following a separation, something our two protagonis…

BALLET REVIEW: Seasons in our World / Peter and The Wolf ★★★

Seasons in our World / Peter and the Wolf
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Friday 10th - Saturday 11th May 2019
That’s a sense of warmth and controlled chaos as you walk into the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham, where costumes from previous Birmingham Royal Ballet productions are displayed, and activities are being held in the bars on all levels on the front of house foyers. What’s even more heartwarming though is to see the openness of Ballet being an inspiration for the younger generation, as the auditorium is filled with families ready to watch, what might be the case for most children, their first experiences with Ballet, and for the most part, BRB’s newest creations are a triumph, though it may seem to cater to a more generic standard.
Split into two acts with an extended twenty-five minute interval, Seasons in our World starts the proceedings, and instantly we are treated to a beautiful score composed by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and conducted by Paul Murphy. What is most upsetting …

THEATRE REVIEW: Oral

Oral
Gloucester Guildhall
Thursday 9th May 2019
Gloucester currently is what would be known as a culture coldspot; there isn’t a constant running theatre in its city, so most people interested in the arts would rather be seen flocking to Bristol, Birmingham, or Cheltenham, just a stones throw away. It’s the hope that I came away from tonight thought, seeing such a variety of audience members, from youth theatre participants to the more mature adults in the room, descending on Gloucester Guildhall to watch Viv Gordon’s Oral, that gives us a taste and vision of what we can gain from such a powerful and sensitive piece of theatre that Gordon has created, and will hopefully spark further the imagination of the audience.
Out of respect for the subject matter and how Viv draws upon her experiences that has been moulded together carefully to create this stunning piece of a poetic masterpiece, to give this production a star rating would seem almost insensitive, ultimately not feeling educat…

GIFFORDS CIRCUS REVIEW: Xanadu - A New Dawn is Breaking ★★★★

Giffords Circus - Xanadu: A New Dawn is Breaking Fennells Farm, Stroud Friday 3rd - Monday 13th May 2019

This year’s visit to Giffords Circus also marks my first, having wanting to venture to the circus for many years now. Talk from friends and colleagues spoke of horses, acrobats, pizza, candy floss and sweet popcorn, so this year there was going to be no stopping from taking a peak, leaving my adult mind behind at the entrance of the tent, and entering a world of makebelieve and magic, and I can definitely say that all those years of waiting was worth it!

Fennels Farm in Stroud is the perfect setting for Giffords, being the first stop of this mammoth tour which will then return to the farm later this year in September. From the moment you drive down the country roads, the top of the tent can be seen peeking over the trees, and alas also peaking the excitement, though it’s the walk from the carpark through to the circus village that you soon fully immerse yourself into the world of Nell …

THEATRE REVIEW: 1972 The Future of Sex ★★★★★

1972: The Future of Sex
Bristol Old Vic
Tuesday 30th April - Saturday 4th May 2019
Following the phenomenal success of ‘Education, Education, Education’, to which you can read our ★★★★★ review here, and is set to transfer to the Trafalgar Studios in London later this year, Wardrobe Ensemble return to Bristol Old Vic to bring back one of their original pieces, 1972: The Future of Sex. Inviting us into the everyday lives of those alive during the time of the 70s, as well as in certain timelines flash-forwarding to the present day, the production delves into the complexity and myths surrounding sex, fantasies, love, and heartbreak. It’s safe to say following '1972…' Wardrobe Ensemble continue to strive for perfection, something which this current production hits with sheer certainty.
This production, co-directed by Jesse Jones and Tom Brennan, and devised by the members of the company, completely excels in showing the curiosity and awkwardness that surrounds sex, as well as the …

THEATRE REVIEW: Barber Shop Chronicles ★★★★★

Barber Shop Chronicles
Bristol Old Vic
Thursday 2nd - Saturday 18th May 2019
Viewed as small snapshots around the world, from the UK to Uganda and everywhere in between, we visit barbers around the world with a multitude of things in common, but a clear sense of friendship, laughter and loyalty strike as the most prominent. For these set of performances at Bristol Old Vic, audiences are given the opportunity to take a seat on stage and be midst of the action, something which I took full advantage of and as a result I believe really heightened my experience of watching everything unfold.
Banded together by the love of football, and this particular match between Barcelona v Chelsea, we meet a whole array of locals from each part of the world, and what I felt resonated with me so much was the personal experiences to which I had back in South Africa a couple of years ago, and the kindness which is captured so purely by the vast ensemble that make us this production. I felt comfortable s…

MUSICAL REVIEW: 9 to 5 the Musical ★★★

9 to 5 the Musical
Savoy Theatre, London
28th January - 31st August 2019
Based on the 1980 hit movie featuring Dolly Parton herself, 9 to 5 the musical focuses tells the story of three remarkable and determined women who decide to overpower their male and misogynistic boss when they believe to have accidently of poisoned him one day in the office.
Natalie Mcqueen, Louise Redknapp and Amber Davies star in this mesmerising and glitzy production as Doralee Rhodes, Violet Newstead, and Judy Bernly. Out of three three main performers, and our equal protagonists in the production, Natalie Mcqueen is the one who completely embodies and shines the brightest on stage with such stunning characteristic and comic timing, which can be equally challenged by from Bonnie Langford who is side-splittingly hilarious as Roz Keith, the administrative assistant to Franklin Hart Jnr (Brian Conley). Langford steals every scene where she appears and her number in the first act, Heart to Hart, had the audienc…

THEATRE REVIEW: Mouthpiece ★★★★

Mouthpiece
Soho Theatre, London
Tuesday 2nd April - Saturday 4th May 2019
Commissioned originally by Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Mouthpiece tells the story of Libby, a mid-40s writer who at the start of the production is ready to end her life and jump of Salisbury Crags, a cliffedge in Edinburgh, until only meer seconds before is saved by Declan,  a seventeen year old who lives in an estate and visits the Crags regularly to get away from his Step Father and 5 year old sister, and who loves to draw. His latest piece of work, entitled Mouthpiece, catches Libby’s eye as well as his personal story, and it’s here were Mouthpiece starts to evolve into an unlikely relationship and beautiful story between the two, and the audience, who are constantly felt involved right up until the final moments.
Coming into this production fairly uncertain of what I was heading in for, I was pleasantly surprised by just how compelled I was to the action on stage with such a minimalistic set, designed by…