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Showing posts from October, 2014

NT LIVE REVIEW: Frankenstein ★★★★

Frankenstein National Theatre Live Thursday 30th October 2014
Originally wrote in 1818 by Mary Shelley, whilst she was in her teens, the story that would probably define the 19th century, Frankenstein, was first published anonymously. The first adaption of the book to stage began in 1823, and since then, there have been over 90 cinema and theatre adaptations. The most current one to hit the stage, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, was originally performed at The National Theatre in 2011, and due to sell out shows, the production was then screened in cinemas the following year. It has returned to the cinema each year due to high demand, and having experienced the show now on screen, there is no surprise why.
Straight from the start, you are transported into this world, help created by Director Danny Boyle. It wastes no time revealing the creature, who, for the first twenty minutes, we follow as we watch him find his feet, and go in search for other lifeforms. It is …

MUSICAL REVIEW: This Is My Family ★★★★

This Is My Family The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 28th October 2014
Winner of Best New Musical at Theatre Awards UK 2013, Sheffield Theatres Production of This Is My Family is now on tour around the UK, and focuses on Nicky and her family, starting the story with Nicky submitting an essay for a competition of Best Family, winning and them getting the winning prize of a family to anywhere around the world, but after May, Steve's mum, has to come to stay in her old age, the holiday starts becoming a struggle to organise.
The Introduction to the whole family is portrayed through the opening song. You have Nicky, a 13 year old girl, Matt, her 17 year old brother, Mum and Dad Yvonne and Steve, Auntie Sian, and Grandmother May. There is a great sense of originality to the song, and the musicians are present on stage is well, which makes it feel fresh.
The set is clever, having a split house shown downstage, where you have hallways and kitchens, bedrooms, and stairs leading up to the higher l…

THEATRE REVIEW: Regeneration ★★★

Regeneration The Everyman Theatre, Coventry Saturday 25th October, 2014
Set in Craiglockheart Hospital, Edinburugh, during World War One, we follow Seigfried Sassoon, a poet and soldier, who is being treated by Captain Rivers, for post traumatic shock. Sassoon strikes up a friendship with Wilfred Owen, a closeted homosexual, and we follow the passion and enthusiasm Owen has for Sassoon, as well as following the life of Rivers, as he treats other patients in the hospital. The acting from all involved is convincing, and with the show being a quiet setting, you can hear a pin drop in the audience as the focus of everyone's intention is drawn on stage. The set is very basic, but convincing, and is used frequently for many different sets, with the help of props and lighting to signify specific elements of the settings throughput the production.
This year has seen a lot of War productions come through the theatre doors, with 2014 commemorating 100 years since the war began, and I have …

THEATRE REVIEW: Pitcairn ★★

PitcairnWarwick Arts Centre 21st October 2014
When you walk into the theatre, on stage you are immediately caught by the projection of waves hitting against rocks at sea, whilst the set is made of rocks, with a bell one side and a basket full of coconuts on the opposite side. Behind all of this is a wall of rocks, with a gap in the middle for the actors to walk through. Lastly there is a strip of green lighting on the wall, with leaves and twigs hanging off the side of it, draping down. In 1789, Captain Bligh's ship crew, along with Tahitians lovers and followers, arrive in Pitcairn to take over the remote island, but throughout the play, the crews greed gets the better of them, sleeping with each others lovers, and the followers of Tahiti wanting to return to their main land, and when the ship they arrive on is burned down, they are then stranded. The way the actors portray their characters is very realistic, along with the costumes and tribal markings they bare on their bodies. You …

THEATRE REVIEW: Lotty's War ★★★

Lotty's War The Everyman Theatre, London Set in WWII, in the small town of Guernsey, on the Channel Islands, Lotty's war is a simple, straightforward, but dramatic and mesmerizing story about Lotty, who is living in her late fathers house, and when the Germans infiltrate Guernsey, she must house Rolf Bernberg, who is a General for the Occupational Forces. Ben comes into the story as a friend of Lotty's, and when Rolf arrives, forbids Ben to enter the house again, and also forbids Lotty to leave the house, but through a radio signal, during the nights, Ben comes back to visit. Not much can be said about the story, without ruining the plot, but I thought that the show was fantastic. Whenever I see a show advertised about the war, I feel like it will just follow the same pattern as most war stories are told, but this one was captured on stage and created by the diary's that Lotty wrote in Guernsey. Its nice to see a true story told out on stage, and because it was all persona…

THEATRE REVIEW: Casting The Runes ★★★★

Casting The Runes The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Thursday October 9th 2014 Since they were last at The Everyman, Box Tale Soup Theatre have traveled the country with their previous show Northanger Abbey, their current show, Alice and Wonderland, and their new show, Casting The Runes, which has been received positively by critics around and has had its stint at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has now stopped to entertain The Everyman for a few nights before the production gets back on the road. Their new show, Casting the Runes, may sound familiar, as it is an adaption of the class MR James' mystery, and starring once are husband and wife duo Noel Byrne and Antonia Christophers, along with what makes all their productions special, their own handmade puppets. The set, like their previous show, is very minimalistic. You walk in to find a coat stand with clothing on, suggesting multiple characters, folders, briefcases, a ukulele, and in the centre, a handmade, 6ft tall cardboard door, wit…

THEATRE REVIEW: Grounded ★★★★★

Grounded Warwick Arts Centre Tuesday 7th October 2014 When you first walk into the theatre space, we find the main character concealed in a big, large box, which has a tinge of green to it, portraying the Colour of the sky, that the pilot fly's in her F16 fighter plane, and with hardcore and remixed music played over the top, possibly signifying how hectic the job of a fighter pilot might have been. The story follows the pilot, played by Lucy Ellinson, who at the beginning of the play is a F16 fighter pilot. She sores through the sky, known as 'The Blue', until when she is back at home, she has intercourse with Eric, where the action moves quickly on from then being pregnant, giving birth to Samantha, marrying Eric and moving to Viva Las Vegas, where she now sits in a trailer for 12 hour shifts each day, away from the life she used to have in the sky, and is juggling her work and being a wife and mother by night. We find that Eric works at the pyramid, a casino, and as the play…

MUSICAL REVIEW: Calamity Jane ★★★

Calamity Jane 4th October 2014 Everyman Theatre
Starting with song, Calamity Jane got off to roaring start, getting the audience all excited for the action that was to unfold onto the stage for the next two and a bit hours. For what was to come was mistaken identity and gender in a single letter of a name, as the case was with Deadwood anticipating the arrival of Frances Fryers, a female dancer, to soon get the turnout of Francis Fryers, a male gentleman actor and entertainer. Calamity Jane, played wonderfully by Jodie Prenger, then boldly states that to make up for the mishap, Adelaide Adams, a female american singer, would entertain the town of Deadwood.

This bold claim is because Adelaide is a major star, and would soon to be touring Europe, so when Calamity takes a train and horse carriage ride across the country to see Adelaide and convince her to perform in Deadwood, she soon books in actual fact Katie Brown, Adelaide's maid. 
Its to say at this point in that the audience a…

Strike a Light: The Incredible Book Eating Boy ★★★★

The Incredible Book Eating Book
Strike a Light 2015Sat in a small box suitable for Two, and in a performance lasting only 5 minutes, you are brought on the journey of The Incredible Book Eating Boy, a book famous by Oliver Jeffers, through the techniques of projections, puppetry, masks, models, lights, narration and speakers.The production is by Bootworks Theatre, the story is targeted to 4 - 7 year olds, and to convey all these techniques in a 5 minute performance, as slick as possible, the box that you are placed in had 3 windows, operated by slits on the outside, which allowed the audience to see the progression of the show.It was a really unique way of putting on a production, and one that I had not seen used before, but really gives more ideas of how you could use this sort of staging for future productions, and being in such a small space really made you feel part of the boys journey, like he was acting everything out specifically for your eyes only.Having toured at Glastonbury …