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27, Cockpit Theatre | Review

27, Cockpit Theatre | Review

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A New Musical: 27
Cockpit Theatre
Reviewed on Saturday 24th September 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

Those that know me know that I love to talk, and I am not one for being speechless. The new musical 27 changed that completely. Despite all the hype on social media, I actually had no idea what the show was about so when act one started I was a little apprehensive. By the time the interval rolled around I was in a state of complete shock and at a loss for words. This show is new, fast paced, sexy, beautiful, dramatic and absolutely like nothing I've ever seen before.

Out There, Union Theatre | Review

Out There, Union Theatre | Review

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Out There
Union Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 23rd September 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

When I was younger I was a self-confessed Busted fangirl. I remember hearing the news of their breakup on the radio absolutely, heartbroken that I wouldn't have a new song and video to obsess over anymore so when I heard about ex Busted frontman James Bourne's new production of Out There I was intrigued to say the least! James has partnered with Elliot Davis to create this wholesome story about space, family and love.

In Conversation with... Victoria Hamilton-Barrett | Review

In Conversation with... Victoria Hamilton-Barrett | Review

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Rewrite This Story recently caught up with the wonderfully talented Victoria Hamilton-Barritt whos had a fabulous career from Gypsy and Saturday Night Fever to In The Heights most recently. Victoria told us all about her upcoming musical Murder Ballad, her career so far and her advice for aspiring performers...

You've had a fantastic career that many performers would dream of. What have your highlights been?

Paul Kerryson cast me in Gypsy at Curve Theatre playing Louise/Gypsy and I had an absolute ball in that role. Finally I was playing a role that had so many layers with an epic journey. Paul gave me the greatest opportunity with that show and I absorbed every drop of that incredible production. Another highlight close to my heart is creating the role of Daniela for the London run of In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse and Kings Cross Theatre. I had the best time in that role and changing it up a for a London audience. 


Was being a performer what you always dreamt of or did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?

I worked in London Zoo when I was younger and was told if I stayed on I would one day be made a zoo keeper. I absolutely love wildlife so I know that's where I would have ended up otherwise.


You went from A Chorus Line to In The Heights, both of which received amazing audience reactions. How was it to be a part of that? Both shows must have felt like a true family!

I've never felt family in a show to the degree of what In The Heights delivered. What a special place. We all shared an obsession for the show which was heartbreaking when I left. A Chorus Line was tricky because there were no interval and we were on stage for a solid 3 hours. The cast were so lovely but because of this obstacle we never fully got to know each other in that 8 month period. Talented writing in the sense where its an audition and keeping distance. Clever.


Both Diana and Daniela are kickass characters; how do you bring so much sass on stage? Do you have any diva inspirations?

I was always Inspired by Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French. Ruby Wax and all women who make you laugh whether it be with an aggressive undertone or just damn right silly.


So last time you were performing you were heavily pregnant (how did you manage to still dance in heels!?) Since then you’ve had a beautiful baby (congratulations!) Has this changed the way you approach material?

Thank you! She is gorgeous and has made my life. I would have had a harder Pregnancy had I not been in a show. It's better to just get on with things and do what makes you happy. Pregnancy was tough for me as I got so big where I looked full term at 4 months so come 8 months I looked like I was going to pop which caused discomfort for audience members who new I was pregnant for real. People really didn't believe I was pregnant though, where there were a lot of gasping at stage door. Some critics thought it a character choice... honestly.



You’ve gone from the Palladium to the Southwark Playhouse to the Kings Cross Theatre and now you’re going to perform at the Arts Theatre.  These venues couldn’t be more different. Do you prefer the bigger theatres or the more intimate settings? 

I love intimate spaces where you can see every expression and subtle choice. Small venues grant that, which always makes the connection with the audience more connected.



Can you explain a little about Murder Ballad and how your character fits into it?

I'm the narrator of the show which shares a story of a love triangle which gets complicated and things go wrong. Very wrong. That's all I will say for now. 😉


Can you describe it in 5 words?

love, lust, betrayal, sexy, oops.


Your talent and career make you an inspiration for many people hoping to get into musical theatre, whats your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Work hard but don't take yourself too seriously. If it doesn't make you happy find the right time to stop. If you'd like to pick it up again do so when it feels right for you. You're enough and they're lucky to have you in their room.

You can watch Victoria in Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre London from September 30th. Tickets can be purchased here: https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/whats-on/murder-ballad-/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=organic&utm_campaign=murderballadorg

Read an interview with Victoria's Murder Ballad co-star Kerry Ellis: http://www.rewritethisstory.com/2016/08/in-conversation-with-kerry-ellis.html

Get Excited | This Little Life of Mine

Get Excited | This Little Life of Mine

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Last Thursday on September 15th members of the press were invited to the launch for what promises to be an exciting, new contemporary musical drama following the story of a modern couple in London as they face all the ups and downs of life.

We got to hear a selection of songs from the show and although the cast have only been rehearsing for a short time they were incredibly polished. The songs are catchy and contemporary and I can definitely see them becoming staples on musical theatre fans playlists. Hey Prince Charming was a personal favourite- its been in my head since Thursday so its definitely catchy!

Set against an instantly recognisable backdrop of eye-watering house prices, unreliable dating apps and over-friendly coffee baristas, This Little Life of Mine looks at what happens when we can’t have everything that we want.

This Little Life of Mine is produced by Stage Traffic Productions a newly formed theatre company set up by Michael Yale (Book and Director) and Eilene Davidson (Producer) focussed on what live performance does well- engaging and enthralling audiences. 


The cast is comprised of only four extremely talented people: Greg Barnett, Kate Batter, Caroline Deverill and James Robinson who between them have incredible credits and are sure to be sublime in this show.

The show is choreographed by Tracy Allsop,  with set and costume design by Zahra Mansouri and video artisty by Jack Henry. The music is written by Charlie Round-Turner and musical direction is by Thomas Dunchan. 

This is certainly one of my most anticipated shows and I can't wait to see how the storyline plays out. This promises to be an honest, quirky,  current musical, relatable for anyone who is trying to navigate the crazy world we're living in! 

This Little Life of Mine will run at the Park Theatre from October 4th to October 29th. 

Read my review of the show: http://www.rewritethisstory.com/2016/10/review-this-little-life-of-mine-at-park.html

Something Wonderful, Royal Festival Hall | Review

Something Wonderful, Royal Festival Hall | Review

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Something Wonderful
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Reviewed on Thursday 15th September 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

Last night the Royal Festival Hall played host to a wonderful exploration and celebration of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in a fabulous one of concert featuring some of the West Ends best performers. Emma Kingston, Louise Dearman, Michael Xavier and Ryan O'Gorman fabulously performed songs from one of the best musical theatre partnerships of all time, treating us to some of their well known songs as well as some hidden gems.

Get Excited | An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre

Get Excited | An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre

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photograph by Angela Sterling
Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the press launch for An American in Paris with some wonderful people from the Theatre Bloggers community. Aside from sipping champagne and indulging in delicious nibbles we were also treated to an exclusive presentation hosted by Darcey Bussell and her close friend and choreographer/director of the show Christopher Wheeldon.

Vanities, Trafalgar Studios | Review

Vanities, Trafalgar Studios | Review

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Vanities: The Musical
Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Wednesday 7th August 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★


Vanities is a musical adaptation of Jack Heifner's play with a script by Heifner himself and lyrics/music by David Kirshenbaum. Its London premiere at Trafalgar Studios is certainly a triumphant one, with radiant performances from all three ladies and extremely catchy and refreshing music. Set in the 70s one would assume the themes of the musical could be dated but in fact the plight for happiness, friendship and success are just as prevalent now.

A Thank You to the In The Heights Cast

A Thank You to the In The Heights Cast

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Hello stagey friends! This is more of a personal post but I thought I'd share it anyway. You guys know by now how in love I am with 'In The Heights' (see posts about it here, here, here and here) and with it just being cast change I'm feeling very sentimental about it so I wanted to share some love for the show and cast.

Little Shop of Horrors (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

Little Shop of Horrors (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

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Little Shop of Horrors (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★


Little Shop of Horrors is one of those cult musicals that everyone has heard of but not necessarily seen. I'd seen the film years ago and knew some of the songs but all I remembered was that its about a plant and this was my first time seeing the musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken onstage.

This is certainly a weird musical. We follow Seymour the shop assistant of Mushnik's flower shop who finds fame when he discovers an unusual, unknown plant with a mind (and appetite) of its own which he uses to win over his co-worker Audrey.

For me the standout performance was given by our Seymour, Sam Lupton who has just finished  a three year run playing Boq in Wicked. He has a wonderful voice and perfectly embodies the quirky, geeky Seymour.  I also adored the Greek chorus-esque divas Sasha Latoya, Cassie Clare and Vanessa Fisher. Stephanie Clift was heartwarming as Audrey, with an especially beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere That's Green', which although being somewhat contrived with the special effects was a very nice moment of the show.

Overall the cast were superb with wonderfully honest performances and although this story is very eccentric and the moral very twisted, its a brilliant show which is well worth checking out for a fun and enjoyable night out.

Little Shop of Horrors will be touring the UK until Saturday November 26th.
Further information and tickets can be found at www.littleshopuktour.com

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