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Showing posts with label maisey bawden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maisey bawden. Show all posts

35mm: A Musical Exhibition, The Other Palace Studio | Review

35mm: A Musical Exhibition, The Other Palace Studio | Review

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35mm: A Musical Exhibition
The Other Palace Studio
Reviewed on Wednesday September 20th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★


Honestly, when I stepped foot into The Other Palace Studio I had no idea what I was going to see except that it involved photos and singing. I was correct but it was actually so much more than that. 35mm is, as the title says, a musical exhibition and whilst this probably conjures up the idea of wandering around listening to music its actually a show like any other with an audience and a stage. The difference though is that each song is based on a photograph and instead of following one story, we follows lots of individual ones in each song.

I assumed that each photo and song would follow on from one another but they are actually not linked, instead they each tell a personal tale or capture a fragment of time told through music. However, as the show progresses there are some connections as well as juxtapositions, with each song blending into one another to create the idea that we are all the same in our overall experiences. Whilst the photos may look different to our own and even abstract in some cases, the stories behind them are often very similar to each of us and the magic of music and photography is that they can capture that and hold it as a memory. These memories allow us to reminisce but also grow.

The music itself, written by Ryan Scott Oliver is an amalgamation of styles which are performed wonderfully by the outstanding cast made up of Maisey Bawden, Gregor Duncan, George Maguire, Christina Modestou and Samuel Thomas.  Each member gets a chance to shine and take centre stage with their own story and the varying emotions from joy to anger to hatred are shown wonderfully by the small but extremely powerful cast.

I particularly enjoyed 'Leave Luanne' and 'The Ballad of Sara Berry' both of which were dramatic and emotive and worked wonderfully with the quick, sharp movements of the cast. 'Stop Time' opened the show in an interesting way, with sounds of swaying and movement as if we were travelling. To me it came across as a very unique form of music with the use of unusual sounds creating an impressionistic vibe which worked well in the intimate space. The religious choral section were also stunning with flawless harmonies which resonated wonderfully in the space.

Musically the songs are complex and layered which is a great contrast to the fairly simplistic looking photos. Most of the photos by Matthew Murphy are pretty basic looking with minimal action so it's wonderful to delve into them and bring out meaning with the music.  Joe Bunker leads the six-piece band very well and pulls off each genre perfectly.

The movement is also brilliant, with sharp, quick steps which flow and pop exquisitely with the music. The studio is small but seems bigger because of how easily the cast move with one another, never seeming like they're running out of room but instead working the space and using it to add to the story.

At seventy minutes through, a unique show, a great cast and variety of musical genres you can't really go wrong and I would definitely recommend going along to The Other Palace Studio to see it.

35mm: A Musical Exhibition runs at The Other Palace Studio until September 30th.

photo credit: Brittain Photography

Honeymoon in Vegas, London Palladium | Review

Honeymoon in Vegas, London Palladium | Review

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Honeymoon in Vegas
London Palladium
Reviewed on Sunday 12th March 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Founded in June 2015, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO) prides itself on giving beautiful music a place to be heard and showcasing lesser known talent and works. On March 12th 2016 the orchestra accompanied a stellar cast who performed Jason Robert Brown's short lived 2015 Broadway musical, Honeymoon in Vegas

Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill led the cast as the engaged Betsy and Jack who are on their way to finally getting married. They've been a couple for five years but Jack is afraid to commit to marriage as he believes he's under a curse from his dead mother. Her dying wish was for him never to marry and he's taking any measure he can to ensure this is kept, despite this, he suggests an elopement to Vegas. Once again he gets cold feet and makes his way to a poker game organised by Tommy Korman. Unbeknownst to him, Korman wants Betsy (a dead ringer for his late wife) for himself and is ready to offer Jack an ultimatum.

The story is bizarre but that's what makes it exciting. The absurdity allows all kinds of craziness to take place on stage and makes the production truly hilarious and impressive. The LMTO's musical director, Freddie Tapner introduced the performance, stating that the music and score would be telling the story and that it was up to the audience to imagine dances, costumes, set changes and a herd of parachuting Elvis'! This worked wonderfully and it was surprising how little was lost by this being a concert rather than a full blown glitz and glam production.  

BWW Review: HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, London Palladium
Each member of the cast, chorus and orchestra worked harmoniously together to pull of an effortless performance. Simon Lipkin is a brilliant performer and he stole the show each time he appeared on stage, leaving us all laughing and feeling thoroughly entertained. Maisey Bawden was hilarious as the Hawaiian Mahi and had the audience in the palm or her hand as she caused everyone to laugh out loud.


Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill's chemistry was evident throughout and they seemed to really enjoy performing together, bringing the loved-up couple to life charmingly. Barks' voice seems to get better and better and after her success in The Last Five Years it was an absolute joy to see her perform another of Jason's scores which suit her voice so perfectly.  She gave a truly stellar performance. Darvill's voice was a surprise to me, it's effortlessly smooth and fits the easy swing feel of Honeymoon in Vegas to a tee, he gave a brilliant heartfelt and comedic performance.

If the outstanding performances weren't enough, this production was made even better by the fact that it was conducted by Jason Robert Brown himself as the LMTO's first ever guest conductor. Brown is funny, witty and animated and brought a wonderful sense of style to the whole performance. He even stepped down from his podium and played the ukulele at one point which was a real treat.  

The various standing ovations were a sign of how well done this production was and how much the audience loved this rarely performed piece. I don't think anyone would be complaining if it made a return to the West End stage and I hope we can keep Brown and his brilliant writing on this side of the pond!

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.
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