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Showing posts from February, 2015

THEATRE REVIEW: Harvey ★★★

Harvey The Birmingham REP Theatre 16th February 2015
Originally Inspired by the writer Mary Coyle as a wish to inspire those affected by the tragedy of World War II, Harey first ran on Broadway in 1944, and was soon made into a film in 1950. Now, it stars in the UK on tour, featuring James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman as Cousins Elwood and Veta. Straight from the first scene, We are soon introduced to Veta and Myrtle, a mother and daughter, and we are instantly drawn to these characters, and the comedy comes also straight away at the beginning with the arrival of Elwood, answering the phones, and messing up the dinner party he has just arrived to.
The energy and enthusiasm from Elwood, portrayed by James Dreyfus, was a real highlight and the way himself and the other characters interacted with ‘Harvey’  was clever and creative. I especially loved the painting used at the end of act one, as it gave us a hint of what Harvey is actually pictured like in Elwood’s mind, and as the characters in …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong ★★★★★

The Play That Goes Wrong The Duchess Theatre 15th February 2015
After watching the sequel to this production, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, last month at Birmingham REP Theatre, I knew I really wanted to watch the original version and see where it all sprouted from, so it was a delight to see that there was a Sunday Matinee that finished my time in London, and finished it with a bang, because the original felt like it had everything that the sequel provided; Fallen sets, Injured Characters, and the thing I was most excited about, was the fact that this play was set upon the Murder Mystery setting, my favourite theatre genre.
Everything you could ever expect to go wrong in a production occurred in this laugh-a-minute production, from the above, to sound cue errors and exaggerated characters, just like Peter Pan, and credit must be given to all the characters on stage for their comic and just general timing in knowing where to be at the exact time, especially for the fallen sets and injuries.
I some…

MUSICAL REVIEW: Cats ★★★

Cats 14th February 2015 The London Palladium

With a cluttered backdrop set, all coming out towards the audience, especially with lights linked all the way around the auditorium, from the top of the theatre to all the way around the auditorium, you initially walk into the theatre almost feeling like you have been transformed into a different world completely.
Originally opened in 1981, the London Palladium is hosting Cats for 12 weeks only, so I was very glad to be able to watch such a spectacle of a production, because even though there was very little in terms of storyline, it gave its all towards the technical and energetic, flexible mentality of the performers on stage. With each song in the show, it focused on a specific character in the production, and a few of my favourites were the Evil Macavity, the dangerous Growl Tiger, the Eccentric Mr. Mistoffelees, or the thespian Augustus, whose song brought a fight scene dressed as pirates.  I loved each of these especially due to the powe…

MUSICAL REVIEW: The Phantom of The Opera ★★★★★

The Phantom of The Opera Her Majesty’s Theatre, London Saturday 14th February 2015
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of The Opera has now been running for 29 years, and I finally had the chance to watch this production on a recent trip to London for the weekend, and I cannot believe that I had never thought of the idea before. The Dramatic and Effective first scene of the production, which really introduced the setting in perfect lighting and staging, suddenly took on a whole new level as the chandelier that was once shattered by the Phantom, and only recently restored, rose from the stage, out into the audience, which also left my jaw drop to the floor. I had never seen anything that ambitious and impressive before in any production, with the only thing coming close being the dragon from Shrek enter the stage from the back of the auditorium.
The scene changes were extremely clever and slick, which made it all run smoothly, and this was all thanks especially to the use of curtains, which hel…

RSC Live: Love's Labours Lost ★★★★

RSC Live: Love's Labours Lost Wednesday 11th February
Screened Live from the RSC in Stratford Upon Avon, one William Shakespeare's more lesser known plays, Love's Labours Lost, is brought to life in this stunning production, with both thanks to a talented cast with Wit and Humour, but also a stunningly detailed set, by the sublime Simon Higlett. Set Just before the first world war, in a country house, this production was bold and bright throughout. With a mechanical truck, where rooms of the house were situated, leaving an outdoor space when pushed back, and a rooftop coming up from above the ground, this production also proved to be one of the slickest pieces of theatre I have seen.
The music and vocals of performances also throughout was a sheer delight and treat, especially with the conclusion of the production, which was so heartfelt and emotional, you could hear a pin drop, as the audience in the cinema screen, and the audience that you could see on screen, were gripped …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Glass Menagerie ★★★★

The Glass Menagerie Warwick Arts Centre 5th February 2015
Bringing a Tennessee Williams classic to life, The Glass Menagerie, were Warwick University Drama Society, whose work I have seen previous in Souvenirs last year, both performed in the Studio space at the Arts Centre. As you walk in, you find three sides of seating, and the heightened stage situated in the middle of the space, where four white blocks are placed downstage. There are also four old fashioned chairs suspended in mid air, with a lightbulb and a collection of glass figurines also suspended in the middle.
I had never heard of the story before coming to watch this production, but instantly decided to purchase a copy once leaving, because it felt extremely relevant to some of the stories still going on in today's world. Angus Imrie, who portrays Tom, really captures this incredibly well thought through character, from the very beginning, as he talks to the audience from a balcony at the very back of the stage.
Antonia …

THEATRE REVIEW: Proof ★★

Proof The Criterion Theatre, Coventry 3rd February 2015
One of David Auburn’s most famous plays, Proof, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play in 2001, is set in Canada, where two sisters, Catherine and Claire, must come to terms with the death of their father, Robert, a mathematical genius professor at the University. The story also stars Hal, a former student of Robert, who looks through Robert’s notebooks for new discovery’s of his late professors work, and throughout the play has a romantic link with Catherine.

A Very thought provoking, tackling strong themes and issues, I felt like all the characters were well developed, though the actors portraying them had a lack of stage presence, often becoming very static in scenes, though praise must be given to certain chemistry within the cast, especially between Lucy and Graham, convincingly as Catherine and Robert, as their scenes felt very realistic as Father and Daughter.

I thought that the set was very impressive, with decking and walls …

MUSICAL REVIEW: Spamalot ★★★

Monty Python’s Spamalot New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 2nd February 2015
Having only been introduced properly to the world of Monty Python last year, I thought that going to watch their latest production on stage, Spamalot, based loosely on The Holy Grail, would hopefully widen my knowledge even more, though I had not seen The Holy Grail beforehand. So I was thoroughly pleased when what I witnessed was a lively, colourful, and Jam Packed with laughs, production.
Every scene had some really memorable moments, with some fantastic songs which stuck in my head even after the performance, such as He is not Dead Yet, The Song that Goes like This, Camelot, and Find Your Grail. I found the characters to be really over the top and energetic, especially from Lady of The Lake and Sir Dennis, with their duet on ‘The Song that Goes Like This’, which was possibly my favourite song from the production.
I must say though, even though there was a strong cast, I found that Joe Pasquale’s portrayal of Ki…