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Showing posts from March, 2014

MUSICAL REVIEW: Fiddler on the Roof ★★★

Fiddler on the Roof

Everyman Theatre


Fiddler on the Roof was a fantastic 2 & half hours of pure delight with an vary of songs to suit. The story was very understanding and flowed nicely, there was a lot of energy in all the cast and the chirography in the songs were slick, in sync and exciting to watch, and also the set was really nice, with a revolving Centre piece representing the town of Anatevka and the buildings surrounding it, which worked really well. I loved all the songs, especially 'Matchmaker', which focused on the three daughters talking about finding a man to suit them. The songs were all really well produced, with what I think was a brilliant idea for the production to have the actors also musicians at the sane time, so you could see all the music produced was raw on stage and there was no music or anything to enhance the quality of the music. Paul Michael Glaser portrayed a fantastic Tevye, really making the part his own, and I could not fault the performance…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Believers

The Believers

Warick Arts Centre


The Believers was unlike any production I have seen in past. It was the most physical performance I have seen in a long while, with at times me questioning how exactly they pulled off some of the sequences that they performed. The story was completely timeless, even though the programme says its set 'Now, Somewhere...' , you could easily put this piece in any era, probably dating from the 1980's onwards, due to the language at times and the themes running throughout, mainly about religious beliefs. The storyline was very straight forward, and starts in the present with Joff and Marianne, one of the two couples in the show, visibly upset by the loss of their daughter Grace, though it is unknown at this time how the incident came about. Suddenly we are taken back to the night of a serve storm, where Ollie and Maud, a couple with religious beliefs, invite Joff, Marianne and Grace into their home for the night to protect them from the storm. Oll…

THEATRE REVIEW: Emil and the Detectives ★★★★★

Emil and the Detectives
National Theatre, London

Emil and The Detectives is a fantastic show, which is easily up with one of my favourite theatre experiences for many reasons. Emil is set in Berlin, where he is going off to stay with his grandma, where he promises his mother that he will give money, stored in an envelope, to his grandma, but along the way on the train, this envelope gets stolen by Mr Snow, a man with a bowler hat and moustache. There is a fantastic train sequence which uses all the performers moving in sync like passers by at a station, and multirole various characters throughout.  Other sequences that were amazing were the taxi scene, where windows on the set lit up green, amber and red, represting traffic lights and the beginning sequences with Emil running home, and this was done by running in circles whilst the Centre piece, which in this case was the house, was revolving. Talking about the characters, all the child actors in this production were fantastic, almost …

MUSICAL REVIEW: Billy Elliot ★★★★

Billy Elliot
Victoria Palace


Going on this trip for only £20, and organized by the college, Billy Elliot was just a fantastic show, that made shivers go down my spine throughout, some scenes with this including the letter from Mum for Billy's 18th, and the lead up to the song Electricity. Mitchell Tobin was a great Billy, and was surprised to find out afterwards that he came from Florida to play Billy, as that didn't seem to come through when I was watching. I wasn't actually that familiar with the songs before going to watch the show, but now I have seen it I'm hocked on Electricity. The set was amazing, and the way Billy's house was brought up from below the stage to rise with a staircase leading to his bed and some table and chairs on the ground level was just so clever and really left the audience to the imagination of what the rest of the house may look like.Overall, a fantastic show which I would love to see again some day!

THEATRE REVIEW: The Butterfly Lion ★★★

The Butterfly Lion
The Everyman Theatre, London
The Buttery Lion was a brilliant piece of evening entertainment. The set and lighting felt all warmly and homely. The transition from the cub and the lion was done expertly with a sequence of Bertie playing with the cub. The movements from all the puppets made the animals seem so real. The gates from the school were also used for the fence in Africa and the cage for the lion. The running away sequence at the start from boarding school and the journeys both too and back from Africa felt so magical and done so well. The projection of the white lion on the hill was also spine-tingling and really spoke words with the expressions from Michaels face when he first sees it at Millie's home. The scenes with Bertie and the lion was so heartwarming,and the whole act was just captivating, really drawing you into the story. Act two opens and focuses throughout on the story of Bertie fighting in the war, and millies journey to France in searc…

THEATRE REVIEW: Northanger Abbey ★★★★

Northanger Abbey
Everyman Studio Theatre, London

Box Tale Soup presented a rather unusual take on the Jane Austen novel Northanger Abbey, with instead of using a multitude of actors, the performance was held by two very strong actors, Antonia and Noel, along with 7 puppets accompanied, who were used for the various ensemble. With all of this combined, what you are brought up with a strong 75 minutes worth of compelling theatre that grips and excites, as well as scare, from two strong lead actors and the accents that accompany the puppets giving the audience a real sense of the other characters, played by puppets, brought to life. Box Tale Soup's first ever production of Northanger Abbey is a sure must see for all ages a like, from theatre to puppet lovers.

THEATRE REVIEW: Othello ★★★★

Othello
The National Theatre, London

In past experiences of watching Shakespeare before on stage, I have found myself to be very tired as the story would go along, as I would not understand the language, but I could put that down to being much younger, as this time round I really understood the story, unlike the time when I studied Othello for GCSE.The set was just the most amazing invention. For the first few scenes we had a backdrop of a London street and pub, beore this soon being flown up to reveal two army bases which could then be expanded to reveal various scenes including a boardroom, a toilet, a lads party and an office for Othello and Iago. It just went to show that you could use a space over and over by just transforming a few features of the space to create diferent scenes.  The acting was superb by all involved, and it really surprised me by how funny some moments were to be, mostly brought to us by Tom Roberson's portrayal of Roderigo. Adrian Lester and Rory Kinear rea…

THEATRE REVIEW: James and the Giant Peach ★★★

James and The Giant Peach
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Like Matilda, Roald Dahl was the original writer for this story, and you could clearly see a few similarities with both stories, as, James and The Giant Peach, was a great ball of enjoyment with a brilliant soundtrack to delight the audience. Firstly, the cast were spot on with their characters, and the casting had been done nicely, with multiple roles for a few of the cast. Tom Gilles felt like he was born to play James, with a nice voice to suit the character of the little boy, and had balls of enthusiasm and energy. The set was also brilliant. The peach was a obviously thought through a lot, and the orange panels that made the peach made it very naturalistic. The stairs that were fitted for the second act were also a great addition to the set, and came in useful when needed.  The props were brilliantly used to the best of their ability, especially when a fishing rod was used to hang a peach on and a helicopter when there …

THEATRE REVIEW: A Midsummer Night's Dream ★★★★

A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Globe Theatre, London
Before I get on to the review of the play, I would like to write a brief segment all about The Globe. When we came to London back in January this year, we visited The Globe Theatre for a tour. The original Globe Theatre was constructed back in 1599, but got burnt though, luckily no one dying, just one mans trousers catching on fire. Since then two more theatres has been built on the blueprints from the original, exactly to size as archeologists believe is correct right down to the same materials. The Globe we went to go and watch 'Midsummer Nights Dream' was the third structure. One massive difference from most theatres in the world is this is an open top theatre, which means distractions from planes and other air traffic is bound to happen. and also there is a 'Open Ground' for audience to stand in front and to the sides of the stage. Back in the 16th century, people who used to stand were known as 'Groundlin…

MUSICAL REVIEW: The Buddy Holly Story

The Buddy Holly Story

Everyman Theatre


On the opening night of its run at The Everyman, I went to go and watch The Buddy Holly Story, a musical about the real life of Buddy, from the beginning of his career with the crickets, to his marriage, and then finally to the sad death of a plane crash at the end. What I loved the most about this production was the participation of the audience. Now because Buddy was around during the 50's, the majority of the audience were of an older age, and throughout the whole of the 2 1/2 hours, they were clapping and singing along to every sing with as much enthusiasm and energy that they could give, and it was a joy to watch, especially at the end as they went as far as standing up in the aisles and actually dancing along. At one point in the second act they include the audience in a little segment, were programmes for the 'Winter Dance Party' are handed out and one lucky person with a blue sticker wins a prize, which was a really nice touch…

THEATRE REVIEW: One Man, Two Guvnors ★★★★★

One Man, Two Guvnors
Royal Theatre Haymarket, London

First off, before I went to watch One Man, which I had ordered two months previous, using entry pass for the first time, I kept hearing from many of my friends, who had previously seen it with James Corden playing Henshall, that the show was amazing and had them in fits of laughter. This left me quite not knowing what to expect, because it felt like to me that they may have hyped it up to much, but I was wrong, and they were telling the truth, because the show was outstanding and had me leaving wanting more. People who may have questioned Rufus Hounds comedic side needn't to worry watching, because even though this was the first time watching, It felt to me like Henshall was written for Hound, because he played it with such ease, and was hilarious was it came to the audience participation. The audience participation came into the play when Francis needed help with carrying a trunk, and so he picks two members of the audience to …

MUSICAL REVIEW: Save The Last Dance For Me

Save The Last Dance For Me

Everyman Theatre

I went to go and see this show on its opening night in Cheltenham after winning two tickets from a competition on social networking. It felt so free to be able to know we were going to watch a established musical for free at our local theatre, and I feel very lucky to have spotted this competition, because otherwise I would not have thought to of come and so would of missed out on this amazing experience. The show is set in the summer of 1963, were two girls set out on their holidays to Lowestoft, where they meet an american army regiment. Quicky, one of the girls falls in love with one, Curtis, and this is the basis of the play. The thing that really drawed me in was the set and costumes in this play, where you quickly forget that times have moved on and you start to really think your there in the 60's. The set was just incredible, and you could tell they spent a massive amount of the budget on the centre piece which was the barn. The …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Hound of Baskervilles

The Hound of The Baskervilles

Everyman Studio Theatre

The Hound of The Baskervilles is a well known Sherlock Holmes book which was recently also adapted to the small screen with the TV series, and is as far the only Arthur Conan Doyle story that I have seen on stage, and it was a pretty good first experience of one. The story is told by 3 actors, who multirole throughout. This was done brilliantly and it was nice to see a woman take on the role of Sherlock, added a nice mix to the usual male casting in books, film and television. The three actors were brilliant in their roles and felt very believable at times, especially with Elise playing Sherlock. The Studio theatre at the Everyman is a 60 seated theatre that is very flexible with the seating and can be placed in whatever style. I believe that this was the perfect space to have this production, because it really felt like at certain parts we were actually involved in the play, like when Henry Baskerville is telling the story of the …

THEATRE REVIEW: Charley's Aunt ★★★

Charley's Aunt
The Everyman Theatre

Charley's Aunt is set in the style of Farse, where I have seen this style performed before with 'The Magistrate' at London, were I didn't really like the way they used the style, so it wasn't like I had low expectations for this show, it was just that I was worried about how they were going to use the style, but in the end I need not to of, because it was performed brilliantly.  The play is set in three acts, were act one is performed before an interval, were afterwards act two and three are played one after the other. The premise of the play is set around Charley and Jack, who are in love with Kitty and Amy, and invite them to lunch to reveal their love for them. This though can not be done without an aunt, in this case Charley's aunt, but when a telegram comes back from the woman herself saying that she is away, both Charley and Jack rope in their friend Fancourt, who dresses up as a lady and impersonates the aunt, much t…

THETARE REVIEW: The 39 Steps ★★★★

The 39 Steps
Everyman Theatre
Like my review of Singin' in the rain, I have spoken about my dislike of classic plays set pre-war, and how I can never follow a play in that way, but for me The 39 Clues did not feel like an old play, because the plot felt very modern, apart from a landline phone which provided a laughter at the lateness of the ringing. The show is like my perfect genre, thriller. I love the mystery in the play and the clever change of scenery and minimalistic set that they use is perfect, which is easy for them when they tour the country.  A big reason why I just love the show is the cast of '4'. Their energy is kept constant throughout and the change of multiple characters is brilliant, especially in the train station scene with the policeman and newspaper seller. Their gestures for each character and articulation pronounced is clever and really defines each character. Afterwards I went to stage door to meet the whole cast who were really lovely and kind en…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Magistrate

The Magistrate

The National Theatre

During a residential trip to London, we watched The Magistrate at The National. It stars John Lithgow and Nancy Carroll, who we got to have a Q&A with her before the play, where she said that her favourite genre to play was Comedy and because she was slightly dyslexic she found that to learn lines she would just keep writing her lines over until they would go in. After this we had some time to spare until we then went in to watch the show. 

The play is set around a Victorian farce. It centres around a widowed woman who lies to her new husband, who is a magistrate, about the age of herself and of her son, taking 5 years off each, making her one thirty and her son four ten. I have to a admit that the play did not do much for me as its not usually my type of show, but there was certainly some funny parts throughout that had myself and the audience laughing at.  The best part for me from the whole production was the set and the time and effort that …

MUSICAL REVIEW: Matilda

Matilda The Musical
Cambridge Theatre, London
January 2013

Words literally cannot describe how unbelievably awesome Matilda was. I have never been to a show that has had me beaming right the way through and its the first time I have cried at a show, Hayley Canham is truly one of the best child actresses I have ever seen, and its definitely going to be hard for any musical show I see in the future to beat what I have seen at The Cambridge.  The set was just unbelievably creative, having wooden blocks with letters on projecting right the way up, with us three trying to make out the word was not one particular scene I can pick out as my favourite because it was so fun and exciting and I was just in awe of everything. The music was FANTASTIC, it just made the show. Tim Minchin is just the best song writer around. Naughty had me in tears every time it come on reprising, and the school song was just the most incredible song created, where every line had each letter of the alphabet used, and …

MUSICAL REVIEW: Shrek The Musical

Shrek The Musical 

The Royal Drury Lane Theatre, 

Watching Shrek as a child was one of my favourite experiences because with it had so many amazing scenes, so when I found out that it was still running in London whilst we were on our residential, I skipped at the chance to go and see it, and it was so worth it. The theatre itself is so nice and the seats were really comfortable. As the theatre is right next to the royal opera house, it was also really easy to navigate to so that I had some time to look down the streets and markets before the show started. 

The show itself was so brilliant, it was really colourful and bright, the cast were superb and had myself laughing alot, especially when Lord Farquaads scenes were on stage. Talking of the stage and setting, it was just so realistic and glossy, where the scene changed were also really slick and quick. 

There were also little things throughout the show that made me really smile, such as, 

- The appearance of a certain cat in boots and ha…

MUSICAL REVIEW: Singin' In The Rain

Singin' In The Rain
Palace Theatre, London
January 2013

Whenever I got to watch a theatre performance that is set in the past, in this case the 1920's, I always leave feeling really confused by the storyline because there is usually so much going on, but with Singin' In The Rain, it was such a simple story which kept me entertained throughout and was a really joy. 

The cast were so slick and brilliant, there dancing was a joy to watch and I was laughing right the way throughout. The lights were what I think just made the show, as well as the chemistry between the character's, because they were so slick, with every beat a light would just shine down, and the unison was just fantastic, you could clearly tell they thought long and hard about the colours they would use and I really appreciated that. 

The set was brilliant, having the studio doors as the main background, whilst also having a park scene with minimal set, just using two benches and a street lamp, as well as a offi…

THEATRE REVIEW: The Woman In Black

The Woman In Black

Everyman Theatre


The show was unbelievable. I went into the theatre hoping to be on the edge of my seat and even into the first 10 minutes of the play, I already was.
The Woman in Black is held together with only two actors, and they make the whole thing that little bit better, they brought so much emotion to the script, especially with Julian Forsyth, who brought so much realism and humor to the role of Arthur Kipps and the various roles which he played throughout the play, having the audience in laughter within the first minute of the play. Antony Eden brought also brought so much humor and emotion to the role of The Actor and Arthur Kipps.
Both the actor’s had so much chemistry on stage which was a joy to watch, and which I felt quite relaxing. With very few props, the staging really made the whole play more realistic, with a basket acting as a table, a carriage and a basket itself. The material over the bedroom antics were a perfect setting for a graveyard, and th…