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Gaslight (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Gaslight (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

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"Gaslight is full of suspense and has palpable moments of edge of the seat tension"


Gaslight
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 23rd January 2017 by Melanie Mitchell
★★★

Written by Patrick Hamilton, Gaslight, which places its roots firmly in melodrama, was first performed in 1938 and has been revived frequently since. The story of power, control and manipulation in a relationship, is as relevant now as it has ever been. Anthony Banks' production which relies heavily on the small cast is well staged and Banks manages to bring humour to this otherwise bleak drama. 

The events unfold in the eeriness of the gas lit drawing room in Jack and Bella Manningham’s Victorian house. The set and lighting are amazingly atmospheric, adding perfectly to the sense of fear and anticipation felt by the audience. With only one room used throughout there is not the usual impact brought along by scene changes but the well dressed set provides a wealth of new and exciting things to look at.

Kara Tointon is perfectly cast as Bella, playing the part of the emotionally abused wife, with an absolutely believable fragility and vulnerability accompanied by moments of innate feistiness. It is clear why Tointon is becoming the star of stage she is destined to be and it is very enjoyable to watch her in such a dark drama compared to her recent, lighter role of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live.

Rupert Young gives an outstanding performance. He is completely despicable as Jack Manning the coercive, cruel and calculating husband. His manipulative, menacing character is truly hateful. 

Charlotte Blackledge is completely believable as Nancy the conniving, jealous maid who has her sights set on something better. 

Elizabeth the loyal Housekeeper is played by Helen Anderson who brings a sense of warmth and humour to the part. 

Keith Allen is a triumph as Inspector Rough, bringing just the right amount of wit and humour to the role without making it farcical. 

This psychological thriller, with palpable moments of edge of the seat tension is a real must see production.

Gaslight is currently touring the UK. Visit ATG tickets to book for a venue near you.

Promises Promises, Southwark Playhouse | Review

Promises Promises, Southwark Playhouse | Review

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Promises Promises is touching and wonderful. It's a production which could certainly take the West End scene by storm!


Promises Promises
Southwark Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 18th January 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Promises Promises contains the only musical theatre score ever written by the great pop writer Burt Bacharach and his lyricist partner Hal David. Based on the 1960 film The Apartment, Promises Promises tells the story of Chuck Baxter, a junior executive (played by Gabriel Vick) at a leading New York insurance company who aims to climb the corporate ladder by loaning his apartment out to be used by his co-workers for their extra marital affairs. However, things get complicated when Baxter realises his boss is having an affair with the object of his affections Fran (played by Daisy Maywood.)

The story is straight forward, witty and instantly enjoyable. The two leads carry the show fantastically so the audience becomes instantly attached to the trials and tribulations of both their lives. This is helped by the intimacy of the Southwark Playhouse which seems to be providing hit after hit at the moment. The staging is simple but effective and the choreography fits wonderfully in the venue.

Gabriel Vick's Chuck is instantly likeable through his attractive sparkle and optimism. His asides to the audience are witty and well written and along with his characterised movements create a wonderfully relatable character. 

Daisy Maywood as Fran is truly spectacular. She is strong and sensible whilst still having a vulnerable side in terms of dealing with her somewhat unrequited love. Maywood's voice is impeccable, with her performance of 'A House is Not a Home' being the definite stand out moment of the show. 

At almost three hours, the musical could probably be edited and cut down slightly but its certainly a fabulous base. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole production and can see a West End transfer in the near future of this sparkling and heartwarming production.

Promises Promises is a joy to watch and although the storyline is extremely dated in terms of attitudes towards women it is a stunning period piece with plenty of heart. 

How To Get Hamilton London Tickets

How To Get Hamilton London Tickets

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The time is coming. It's time to get your computer ready. Check your bank balance. Prepare your rap battle and get ready to face the rest of the Musical Theatre world in... The battle to get Hamilton tickets!

Priority booking for the supernova shows transfer to the West End opens tomorrow and I think we're all feeling slightly nervous in anticipation of the online war to snatch a coveted ticket! So in preparation, I've prepared a list of 5 tips to help you grab those tickets and be on your way to see the story of the founding father!

1. Sign up to Ticketmaster: Ticketmaster is one of the three official websites selling Hamilton UK tickets so to save time and make sure you don't accidentally lose your tickets sign up for an account before Monday! It's super easy, just go to www.ticketmaster.co.uk for all the information.

2. Have your priority email on hand: If you've signed up for the priority sale then you should have received your unique code by now. But make sure you don't accidentally delete that email or forget about it when it gets to 12 tomorrow. You need that code to enter the sale so learn it by heart, print it and stick it on the fridge, flag the email or write it all over the walls, just make sure you don't misplace it! (You can only use each code once though so don't use it on a billion tabs or it might not go through!)

3. Get all your friends involved: The number of people trying to get Hamilton tickets is going to be off the charts so I would say to work as a team. Each person can book 4 tickets so get a group together and come up with a game plan! Remember though, that whoever's card is used to buy the tickets MUST be present at the performance!

4. Know when you want to go: Booking will be open for performances from  November 21st to June 30th, with performances taking place Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm with matinees at 2.30 on Thursday's and Saturday's. Knowing a rough time period will make it easier to get tickets instead of scrolling through all the dates. I'd also advise not trying to book the first preview or opening night as these will be super popular!

5. Don't give up: If you don't get tickets in the priority sale it's not the end of the world! General sale opens on January 30th and there's always the lottery when the show opens. There will be a daily lottery at the theatre as well as a weekly online one so keep your fingers crossed! Also, if the show sells as well as it's anticipated to it's almost certain to get an extension so there will be plenty more chances to nab your tickets to be in the room where it happens!

For all the official information about purchasing Hamilton tickets, visit www.hamiltonthemusical.co.uk

See our Hamilton West End Dream Cast here
See the Hamilton Book Tag here

Let us know if you manage to get tickets at @RewriteThisWeb
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favour!


The Kite Runner, Wyndham's Theatre | Review

The Kite Runner, Wyndham's Theatre | Review

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The Kite Runner is a heartfelt, compelling and painfully beautiful story of betrayal, guilt and redemption.


The Kite Runner
Wyndham's Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 12th January 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Based on the 2003 novel of the same name, The Kite Runner is a story of family, friendship, betrayal, guilt and redemption, told beautifully in a brutally honest and poetic way.

Set in Afghanistan on the brink of war, The Kite Runner follows friends Amir and Hassan as they discover the cost of betrayal against the backdrop of a kite flying competition which tears their friendship apart and leaves both forever changed. 

The story itself is very simple to follow but there are a number of intricacies within it, such as the turbulent relationship with Amir and his father as well as the ins and out of Hassan and Amir's loyalty to one another. The simplicity with which it's told on stage creates an authentic feeling and allows the focus to remain on the characters and their complex lives. Barney George's set manages to enhance the script whilst creating a visible flow on stage.

The piece is more of a series of events rather than one story from beginning to end but it still manages to flow in a poetic and beautiful way. Matthew Spangler has created a truly stunning adaptation. Each moment is extremely powerful and the audience could be felt physically holding their breath; especially when Hassan is terribly and violently attacked by Assef. 

Played chillingly by Nicholas Karimi, Assef is the embodiment of darkness. He initially appears to be your normal, taunting bully but it soon becomes clear how twisted and evil he is. Karimi gives a horrifyingly realistic performance.

Ben Turner's performance as Amir is painful but beautiful to watch. It is easy for the audience to feel his every emotion as he struggles through dealing with his grief and guilt. Andrei Costin as the naive and loving Hassan works perfectly with Turner and the story feels like watching real life play out in front of ones eyes.

The Kite Runner will certainly leave a mark on everyone who sees it. It really is a lesson in dealing with the consequences of our actions. This play, lasting almost three hours is worth every second. Truly provoking, emotional and powerful.

A West End Guide To Singing | Gabriela Garcia

A West End Guide To Singing | Gabriela Garcia

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I am one of those people who is obsessed with hearing other peoples stories and tips and tricks of how they do what they do. So when I see any show I instantly want to pick the brains of the cast about how they sing as well as they do. I'm sure I'm not alone in this so I'm starting a series called 'A West End Guide To Singing' where West End stars will answer a series of questions about singing! I hope you find it interesting. Let me know if you have any specific questions or people you'd like answers from!



So for our first instalment we have all of Gabriela Garcia's singing secrets! Gaby is currently starring as Nina in In The Heights and her voice is blowing away people every night so without any more rabble, here we go...

When did you realise you could sing? Did you have singing lessons?

I always liked singing since I can remember but I have videos of me being totally tone deaf all the way up to when I was 16! I started taking singing lessons at 16.

How do you keep your voice healthy, do you have any rituals before shows?

I go to singing lessons regularly (once a month maybe once every 2 months) and I do a short vocal warm up - I concentrate more on my breath warming up rather than my voice. I have to sing through 'BREATHE' before every show on my own just to make sure everything is in place lol

Have you always been able to belt? If not, when did you start belting?

hmmm belting...I guess I was always able to belt as I thought belting was just shouting...during my time at drama school my teachers started to teach me a safer way to 'belt' by mixing and making the sound a bit 'smaller' this is to be able to sing 8 shows a week safely.


What's the best exercise to get your voice ready for belt/twang?


I just do witchy and baby sounds which works for me

What vowels do you find easiest to belt? Do you modify words to make them easier to sing?

Yes, its all about the vowel modification - keeping the vowels as narrow as possible work for me.

What tips do you have for singing and dancing at the same time?

hmm I'm still learning how to merge the two as the breathing is so different! I guess identifying the breathing moments in the choreography and being conscious of not 'pushing'

Overall, what's your number one piece of advice for finding and developing your singing voice?
You never stop learning and you are always developing your technique I guess being open to different teachers advice and being able to identify what works for you and what doesn't.

Read our previous interview with Gabriela at: http://www.rewritethisstory.com/2016/07/in-conversation-with-gabriela-garcia.html

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