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Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Thursday, 19 October 2017

War Horse (UK Tour), Bristol Hippodrome | Review

War Horse (UK Tour), Bristol Hippodrome | Review
Thursday, 19 October 2017
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War Horse (UK Tour)
Bristol Hippodrome
Reviewed on Wednesday 18th September 2017 by Isobelle Desbrow

On the 10th anniversary since their first show, I was lucky enough to go and watch War Horse. The play is emotion filled and the stunning story telling through the music and ensemble work make the show a must see.

The first act tells the story of Albert training his horse, Joey who we see grow from a foal, to a riding horse, to a farm horse and finally to a war horse. Joey is controlled by 3 puppeteers: the head, heart and hind. This allows the puppet to mimic and move as if it were a real horse, something that is not easy by any means. Bob Fox’s spectacular folk voice helps tell the story through music,adding the perfect amount music to accompany the drama onstage. The cast are amazing as they all play multiple characters but if I hadn’t have looked throughly at the program I would never had known, as each character on stage had a different accent and characteristics. This show truly highlights the amazing work that can be produced by an ensemble cast. 


Thomas Dennis as Albert brought the perfect mix of innocence and will to fight for what he believes in: saving and bringing Joey home from the war. His portrayal of Albert was emotional and moving he deserves credit for his acting talents. 

At the end of the first act we see the beginning of the war and Albert going off to find Joey. These scenes were powerful, compelling, honest and emotional, showing the audience another aspect of World War 1, which I had never seen before.

Something that I haven’t mentioned yet but is off massive importance for the story telling aspect of War Horse is the large projection on to a cloud above the stage; throughout the story, drawings and animations are shown. This adds another dimension to the story, and without spoiling the show for those who haven’t seen it without these images the story wouldn’t be as complete.



Act 2 is spectacularly beautiful and sad. We are shown both the loss on the home front and the front line. However instead of just being shown the fighting aspects we are also shown how the Germans used the horses to move machinery around and pull carts, we follow Albert and Topthorn on their journey through France and whether or not they get the happy ending they deserve. We also see the cruel side when the horses go lame they are no longer required, something that although normal is still shocking to see.


“The puppets in the show are only wood, however it is our imaginations that make them real.” This is how the play was described by Tom Morris at the end of yesterday’s special 10th anniversary show, and I believe this is the perfect way of describing the complexity and beauty of War Horse.

I don’t want to give too much more away but if you have the opportunity, go and watch War Horse- it is not to be missed. 
Thursday, 28 September 2017

Jane Eyre, National Theatre | Review

Jane Eyre, National Theatre | Review
Thursday, 28 September 2017
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Jane Eyre
Lyttleton Theatre, National Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 27th September 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 

The National Theatre are outstanding at championing new, innovative work and thinking outside the box to bring audiences spectacular shows, something which they have once again succeeded at with this Sally Cookson's production of Jane Eyre. In Bristol, the tale was split into two parts but artistic director Rufus Norris has wisely squeezed the action into one performance.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having gruelling flashbacks to A-level English literature when I hear Brontë's novel mentioned, and what's lovely about this adaptation, thanks to the minimal sets, is that it allows the audience to create the world of Jane Eyre with their imagination as they would do when reading the book. The set is extremely modernistic in it's simplistic design with no grand structures to show the various momentous locations in Jane's life but instead using wooden platforms, metal structures and ladders as a framework for the action. The use of lighting is particularly impressive with white cloth backdrop that surrounds the stage being changed to different colours to show the various moods. The shocking red room is especially effective.

What struck me about this production is not only how modern it is in terms of aesthetics but how contemporary the character of Jane herself is. She's feisty with strong morals and a real feminist side. Although having seen her as ahead of her time when I read the novel, I'd never realised how truly relatable she is until watching this production. Her quest for freedom whilst not compromising her passions is joyous to watch.

The strong use of physical theatre added an intensity to the piece, as well as flow, especially in the running transitions during Jane's travels. The varying motion from smooth lyrical to frenzied, perfectly mirrored the changes in Jane's physical and metal health throughout. Another particularly interesting aspect was members of the ensemble speaking Jane's thought's aloud. This was humourous at times but also a very clever way of developing the character more without her having to tell the audience anything directly.

The trio of onstage musicians added a whole other layer with a number of musical styles accompanying crucial moments and transitions. Melanie Marshall was absolutely fantastic both physically and vocally; singing atmospheric pieces to fit with other characters or her own, Bertha. Her voice is strong and angelic whilst having a menacing and painful side. Her rendition of Crazy was notably unexpected but brilliant and perfectly woven into the story.

As Jane, Nadia Clifford exceptionally plays the fiery 10 year old girl who transitions into a headstrong but more rational woman. Clifford perfectly shows Jane's unyielding side but also her pain and love for Rochester. Tim Delap is suitably brooding as Rochester but adds a depth and awkwardness which makes him charming and attractive.

The entire ensemble are faultless but I must give a special mention firstly, to Paul Mundell who is hilarious as Pilot, adding some welcome humour. And secondly to Hannah Bristow who perfectly and distinctly plays Adele, Helen, Grace Poole and others.

This is a somewhat lengthy (3 hours and 15 minutes) play, but a striking production of a classic. The start is slightly slow but as we get into the action the momentum speeds up and we really get to see is the power of one of the first literary modern women.
Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dreamgirls, Original London Cast Recording | Album Review

Dreamgirls, Original London Cast Recording | Album Review
Thursday, 11 May 2017
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Dreamgirls
Original London Cast
Reviewed by Olivia Mitchell
★★

Recorded live at London's Savoy Theatre, backed by a fourteen piece band, this new recording of the well loved musical, Dreamgirls, gives you a wonderful opportunity to hear some of the finest voices on the West End singing one of the most high energy and belt heavy scores. And I Am Telling You that you need to get out and get a copy asap because it's a triumphant recording indeed.

The whole album feels like you're really watching the show and although there are probably far less swarovski crystals in your living room than on the stage of the Savoy, nothing is lost with the transition from stage to cd and with the recorded audience applause you can fully pretend you're in the show as you sing along in the shower! 

'The Dreams' are of course the stars of this show and the impeccable vocals from the three girls are fully shown off in this recording. Amber Riley's effortless belt and riffs are a joy to be heard at full volume through headphones, along with Liisi LaFontaine's beautiful smooth tones and Ibinabo Jack's huge voice and moments of complete hilarity. Overall they really are a Dream Team and it's clear to hear why the show is getting the rapturous praise that it is. Joe Aaron Reid (Curtis Taylor Jr), Tyrone Huntley (C.C. White), Lily Frazer (Michelle Morris)  and Adam J Bernard (Jimmy Early) are equally brilliant and provide fabulously dramatic vocal moments throughout. 

Personal highlights of the recording include 'It's All Over', 'Listen', 'Steppin' To The Bad Side', 'Ain't No Party' and 'Dreamgirls' which all pack a punch and a half. Each song is balanced well and comes across as it would on stage: with vibrance and emotion.

Overall the album provides a wonderful complement to seeing the stage show but is also brilliant in its own right. You can feel the energy and passion through your speakers and it's a really brilliant recording to add to any theatre lovers collection. The entire cast are faultless and the love for performing together really comes across. I will certainly be listening to this recording for more than One Night Only and highly urge you to download it and give it a Listen for yourself. If you haven't seen the show then definitely try and grab yourself a ticket because it's honestly one of the best things I've seen and this recording the best thing I've heard!

The Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recording is released Friday 12 May 2017.

Dreamgirls is currently booking at the Savoy Theatre until 21 October 2017.
Friday, 5 May 2017

Places, Lea Michele | Album Review

Places, Lea Michele | Album Review
Friday, 5 May 2017
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Places
Lea Michele
Reviewed by Olivia Mitchell
★★


Lea Michele's second solo album, Places was released on April 28th and flew to the top of the US pop charts, reaching number one almost as soon as it came out. It features a number of emotional ballads as well as some more upbeat songs which all flow together and scream emotion at every moment. In a recent interview Lea said that this album is more her true sound with both pop and musical theatre influences mixed in, it's not an album where she tries to fit a mould or sell to a certain market, it's just her.


Places is very slow-ballad heavy which could be a problem for some people but I thrive on those sorts of songs and honestly can't think of anything better than an all-out, belt for your life, dramatic album so I love it! The lyrics are theatrical and every song really plays to Lea's strengths as a singer, hitting each note with enough power and force to match Barbra and Celine.

This album flows very well indeed, each song holding its own and nothing is there just to fill space. Places is the perfect album for so many occasions, be it getting ready to go out, driving with the windows down, hiking or just while you're in the house living your best life. There's a song for everything and it's so personal and intimate that it feels like the exact album to accompany life and all its goings on.

The intimacy is what really makes Places special. Lea is baring her soul and showing us all her ups and downs through these songs. I want to tell you my favourite song but honestly it changes every five minutes so I can't but at the moment I am loving 'Run To You', 'Heavy Love' and 'Sentimental Memories'. The theme throughout the album is one of empowerment and pushing through whatever life throws at you. There is motivation beyond belief with 'Anything's Possible' especially, making you feel like you can conquer the world!

The amazing thing about Lea's voice is how it manages to be so strong but raw at the same time. She shows off her wide range well and moves between voice parts so smoothly it's just joyous to hear. Lea has always been an idol of mine and hearing this elegant piece of work made me even more inspired by her. 

Places refers to the call before starting a show where you're called to your place for the beginners call. The title seems very apt as it marks the start of a new chapter for Lea but to me I see the title as the sign to take my place, listen to this album, feel strong and motivated as hell and then to run at life full speed and live each moment to the fullest. So if you want to be inspired by both brilliant songs and flawless vocals then this is definitely an album you need in your collection. Lea really comes into her own and it's evident how much love and time has gone in to making this the best album it can be. Bravo!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

An Intimate Evening with Lea Michele, Shoreditch Town Hall | Review

An Intimate Evening with Lea Michele, Shoreditch Town Hall | Review
Saturday, 22 April 2017
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An Intimate Evening with Lea Michele
Shoreditch Town Hall
Reviewed on Friday April 21st 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

I, like so many others, went through a huge, and I mean huge Glee phase. I had all the merchandise, all the dvds, cds, posters, the lot! Seeing my Facebook 'on this day' I think it was all I ever thought about. Every day a status memory pops up saying something along the lines of "watching Glee... love it so much! Rachel woo! xx" so I was pretty deep in the obsession, and yes, I used to put kisses after my status'!

Anyway, Glee was my life so in turn, Lea Michele was too. Lea as Rachel Berry was everything I wanted to be, yes she was over the top and a demanding diva but beneath it all she was a hardworking talented individual who knew what she wanted. She motivated me to work and improve myself and added even more to my musical theatre obsession. Needless to say when last week Lea announced she would be coming to the UK to do a London concert, my 13 year old self came right back. My excitement levels were through the roof and I booked to see her at the Shoreditch Town Hall straight away!

So there's my little background story, now lets get on to the review of the actual concert. Honestly, Lea could have sung the phone book and I would have been happy but she did so much more than that and created a really beautiful night and performance. One of the key factors in the concert being so warm and welcoming was the fact that you knew everyone in the room was feeling the same. We were all (I'm assuming) Glee fans back in the day and were shocked and excited to finally see Lea over in the UK so a lovely, excited, contented buzz filled the room from the get go.

The concert included a taster of the upcoming album Places which is released on Friday April 28th as well as some songs from Michele's first album Louder and a medley of songs from Glee. Each number seemed well thought out and there were lovely introductions given to each one about what the song means to Lea or a little anecdote about the writing process.

Lea has a grace and elegance that makes everything look so effortless. She is sophisticated and simple whilst being rough and vulnerable at the same time. For me personally, Lea has always been such an icon that I never really thought of as a real person. I know it sounds crazy but I'm sure (at least I hope) some of you know what I mean! Lea has always been this idol of talent, beauty and creativity that I never imagined I'd see in real life, so seeing her close up, in the flesh on stage was kind of weird and didn't feel real. I also found it hilarious every time she swore not only because it accompanied a funny story but because it made her seem so normal and genuine. 

Each song was performed wonderfully along with the fabulous band who were impeccable and sleek with Misty Boyce providing the main back up vocals effortlessly and wonderfully. Particular stand-out tracks for me were 'My Man' and 'Battlefield' which are two of my favourite songs anyway but they were done so well I even felt emotional listening.

The tracks from Lea's upcoming album Places were exciting and beautiful and I'm sure the whole album will be exquisite. Lea has such a stunning tone to her voice that soars easily and adds warmth to every note which comes out of her mouth. At just over an hour, I would have liked  the concert to be a bit longer but with only a weeks notice and I'm assuming a lot of jet lag, it was understandable that it wasn't overly long. 

The Shoreditch Town Hall was the perfect venue for this intimate concert, creating an impressive setting whilst still feeling warm and personal. Overall it was a radiant night and I only hope that Lea will come back to the UK soon to do further performances and show off more of her impressive vocal talents and stage presence.

Lea Michele's album PLACES is released April 28th 2017

Photo credit: Andrew Timms
Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Goldstone Live, Hippodrome Casino | Review

Goldstone Live, Hippodrome Casino | Review
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
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Goldstone Live
Hippodrome Casino
Reviewed on Sunday 2nd April 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Goldstone Live brings a group of stunning ladies with glorious voices together in their global entertainment company which provides sparkling entertainment for a number of various private events. This was Goldstone's first ever public event and it did not disappoint. 

With it's 54 Below vibes, the Hippodrome Casino was the perfect venue for this retro, glitzy evening. The audience were seated at tables with food and drink flowing which combined with the golden goody bags adorning the place and the warm lighting created an intimate atmosphere.

The stage is small but the whole thing was used to it's full extent with dances and sequins covering every tiny inch. The buzzing atmosphere of anticipation was prevalent from when the audience entered the venue and it certainly went up and up with every high energy performance!

The Goldstone trio Aimie Atkinson, Helen Kurup and Vicky Hoyles opened the show with a fabulous rendition of 'One Night Only' from the current West End hit, Dreamgirls and things only went up from there. The theme of the night was definitely glamour, with a level of glitz I can only dream of! The night was made up of three sets of varying styles and genres but each one was lively and full of energy. The girls put their own Goldstone spin on on every songs; performing pieces from artists such as  The Supremes, Beyonce and  Nicki Minaj. Their repertoire had something for everyone and I found myself dancing and singing along all night and just enjoying a truly wonderful evening of entertainment.

Along with the 'official' Goldstone girls, the night included some special guests who all fit in perfectly with soaring voices, stunning outfits and glorious personalities. Jodie Steele was a particular standout of the night but it was the overall high caliber of performance which made the night so enjoyable. There were no weak links and everyone gave it their all to create an outstanding evening of entertainment.

I can't review this concert without mentioning the little In The Heights reunion at the end where Gabriela Garcia, Stephanie Rojas, Aimie Atkinson, Genesis Lynea and Sarah Naudi performed a sizzling rendition of 'Lady Marmalade' which really brought the house down and exuded glee! 

The show closed in proper Goldstone style with golden dresses as far as the eye could see and an outstanding performance of 'Proud Mary' which I was tired just watching! Overall this was a perfect Sunday evening full of talent, glamour and endearing personalities and I hope one of many more public events put on by these crazily adept ladies! Congratulations to everyone involved for a magnificent performance and true embodiment of girl power!

For more information about Goldstone Live visit: http://www.goldstonelive.com
Monday, 20 March 2017

West End Live Lounge, Union Theatre | Review

West End Live Lounge, Union Theatre | Review
Monday, 20 March 2017
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West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 19th March 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

When I say last night was a perfect Sunday evening, I am not exaggerating at all. With the amount of talent that was in the room it was hard not to have a brilliant time! The West End Live Lounge at the Union Theatre was the first of what I hope become many concerts created by Shaun McCourt and Leigh Lothian. The premise of the concerts is that as many West End stars as possible are brought together to perform incredible music with all proceeds going to charity. There are no musical theatre songs to be heard so all performers are able to step out of their usual boxes and really explore and show off their musicality.

The star studded line up included: Marisha Wallace, Gabriela Garcia, Arun Blair, Tyrone Huntley, Phoebe Street, Kelly Agbowu, Natalie Green, Leigh Lothian, Matthew-Seadon Young, Sejal Keshwala, Laura Tebbutt, Nicola Avino, Iain Mattley, Paul Wilkins, Laura Mansell, Brady Isaacs Pearce, Jamal Andreas, Jonny Howe, Katie Brayben, Marcus Ayton, Gary Wood, Lauren Ingram, Adam Bailey, Oliver Savile and Andrew Bateup.

There were a number of lovely duets and trios as well as fabulous solos and the performers also got to show off their other musical abilities such as piano playing which was very impressive. The intimate atmosphere of the Union Theatre in Southwark was the perfect setting for the evening with the whole evening having a warm, laid back, friendly feeling. The stage, complete with sofas and a table added to this vibe and the overall mood was perfect for a relaxed Sunday.

The overall quality of performances was extremely high and every member of the cast and ensemble were flawless with wonderful song choices and joyous performances. There were a number of particular standouts for me. Firstly, Gabriela Garcia and Arun Blair who did a lovely, sweet, and harmonious medley of Rihanna and Sam Smith with a cheeky bit of Into The Woods mixed in! Their chemistry was evident and their voices just work so well together that it's a joy to see and hear them perform. Tyrone Huntley and Marisha Wallace were other standouts and were a theme of my weekend having seen Dreamgirls on Saturday (review coming soon!)

Tyrone's dulcet tones were perfect for the Michael Jackson hit 'Rock With You' and Marisha brought the house down and earned a well deserved standing ovation with her insanely good rendition of 'Natural Woman'. Natalie Green sang Sam Smith's classic, 'Lay Me Down' which was truly stunning.

The whole night was full of joy, friendliness and sweet, sweet harmonies. It was so lovely to see so many people come together to perform and raise money for UNICEF and I really hope there will be many more West End Live Lounges to come! Make sure to keep and eye out on Twitter to make sure you don't miss the next event which is sure to be as incredible and inspiring as this one!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WElivelounge17


Friday, 1 July 2016

Jeremy Jordan, Hippodrome Casino | Review

Jeremy Jordan, Hippodrome Casino | Review
Friday, 1 July 2016
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You know when you build something up so much in your head that it can't possibly live up to expectations? Last night was not one of those times. Yes I had built this concert up to a ridiculous level in my mind but the incredible Jeremy Jordan smashed every expectation and went above and beyond what I thought was humanly possible.

You may know him as the heart throb of tv from hits Smash and Supergirl or from his leading Broadway roles in Newsies and Bonnie and Clyde or maybe you're just hearing his name for the first time now.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Samantha Barks Tour, Churchill Theatre | Review

Samantha Barks Tour, Churchill Theatre | Review
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
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Source: https://twitter.com/TheAlexEllison/status/742769269935616001
If you read this blog regularly or follow me on social media, you'll know that I am a huge Samantha Barks fan. Samantha is a singer and actress most well known for her role as Eponine in Les Miserables' West End cast, 25th anniversary concert cast and film cast. 

She has also starred in a number of shows such as City of Angels, Chicago, Cabaret and Oliver and has been working on a number of  films recently which are set to be released soon and has just released her self titled album under United Music. 
Monday, 16 May 2016

In Conversation With... Lily Frazer | Interview

In Conversation With... Lily Frazer | Interview
Monday, 16 May 2016
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Back in October, I took a little trip to the Kings Cross theatre after my lecture to watch In The Heights. I didn't really know what to expect because I'd only heard a few of the songs but I was utterly blown away and have been in love with the show ever since! Check out my review here

I recently reached out to Lily Frazer who plays Nina in the show and she has been kind enough to do an interview with me about all things In The Heights...


For those that don't know, can you explain a little about the storyline of In The Heights and how your character Nina fits into it.

Lily Frazer as Nina and Cleve September as Sonny

In The Heights shows a few days in the life of the people who live in Washington Heights. There's a lot of poverty and financial struggle. Rent is rising due to gentrification and everyone seems to be trying to 'make it out' and make their mark on the world. The Rosarios for example own a taxi company which is failing financially. Nina Rosario the daughter has become the hope of the neighbourhood after leaving the barrio to go to Stanford university on a scholarship. However because she's been trying so hard to juggle her school work and working to pay for the rest of her tuition she has been failing her exams and after losing her  scholarship has decided to take leave of absence. She obviously feels a huge amount of guilt and anxiety on the way home and feels as if she has let the whole community and most importantly her parents down. She's come home to tell her parents the news and to also to try and get back to her roots and that's where her story begins really. 


I know you saw the show on Broadway, in what ways is the West End production similar and different to it?

I didn't actually see the show on Broadway. (AN. I was having a moment writing that question, I thought I'd heard Lily say she'd seen the show on Broadway!) I was studying at Arts Ed in London when it was on Broadway but I remember everyone in college was still just as excited about it. The soundtrack and libretto in the library were always checked out by someone. So naturally years later when it came to London I was thrilled. 

As for the West End production the staging is in traverse rather than a traditional proscenium arch so the setting is more intimate I think and with the cast dancing in the aisles as well it allows the audience to feel submerged in the setting. Our theatre is unique! The Kings Cross theatre makes the whole experience quite magical. The audience enter along actual railway tracks and through the 'subway' onto our stage. 


You played Eponine in Les Mis who is quite a contrast to Nina to say the least! Do you prefer portraying the family orientated, upbeat dance atmosphere of In The Heights or the highly dramatic, deep emotional atmosphere of Les Mis?

I wouldn't say I prefer either. I like a challenge and both roles are equally as challenging for different reasons. I feel that both roles are equally as vocally and emotionally demanding. 


Throughout In The Heights there is the overarching theme of home and the importance of it. What three things remind you of home?

I get home sick after a holiday abroad. I'll be sat on my plane and we'll be landing and I'll get a first glimpse of the green fields through the clouds and I'll suddenly get really excited to feel the cold weather on my face. Hilarious because I hate being cold so this feeling doesn't last long! 

I grew up in the West Midlands so I get really excited when I hear someone with a Midlands accent! Especially if they're a fellow actor! Feel like I've found a team mate! 

The Eagles greatest hits was played on almost every car journey my family ever went on when I was a kid. So I can't hear The Eagles without thinking of my family! 


Congratulations on the Oliviers, 3 awards is incredible for the show and you looked stunning! How has it been for you seeing the positivity of critics and audiences alike? Did you know you were doing something special when rehearsals started?


Lily at the 2016 Olivier Awards
I’m so unbelievably proud. That sentence actually doesn't do justice to how I feel about In The Heights. Cast, Crew, Production, Creative team have been through a lot since we opened in October. And not always good times like the Oliviers. There's been a lot of hard work that's been done on and off stage to make this production possible which is why I have so much pride in it. 

Last year when we opened the theatre wasn't very well known so at the start of our contract a lot of us were worried people wouldn't come. Also with the show being described as a rap musical we were worried about our target audience because of course that's not all In The Heights is. Also if it wasn't for the sell out production at the Southwark Playhouse we might not be here. It's been great to watch the audiences get bigger and to hear more and more people talk about how much they love the show. Turning up to a little gig at the Theatre Café a few weeks ago and not being able to get in the door because it was so packed with fans wanting to show support was so touching! I am extremely proud to be apart of that. 


If you switched roles with anyone in the cast, who would you choose and why? (I think we'd all love to see Nina rap!)

Lily Frazer as Nina and Joe Aaron Reid as Benny

Daniela looks like so much fun! 

Also I think I'd love to play Benny. I think he gets the best of both worlds. He gets to rap and dance but also gets to sing some beautiful love songs with Nina. Jammy! 


As someone who studied and went straight into a West End show, what advice would you give for anyone currently at university hoping to get into the performing arts industry?

I did a degree course at Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick. So I'm not sure if you would call it a university. 

Before I got accepted into ArtsEd when I was studying for my A levels a lot of teachers told me to go to university and study drama or Theatre Studies which after doing my own research wasn't the right for the kind of actor I wanted to be. I'm very proud of my degree but I'd say that my training at ArtsEd and the connections the school gave me were key to my success in the industry. Not only is the training impeccable but I would never have had an audition for Les Miserables if I wasn't given the opportunity to audition in front of casting directors when they were invited to audition us in my final year. You need to really do your research on exactly what you're going to get out of your training and more importantly what YOU want to achieve at the end. Eg. Do they provide a showcase or a show at the end of your third year? Do they invite agents and casting directors? Do they specialise in one area of musical theatre or all three? I was lucky in that Arts Ed pride themselves on preparing you so well for everything! If theres something I wish I'd done more of though whilst I was training would be to take class out of school hours to broaden my training. Take class outside of school hours. Get a head start. Always be one step ahead of your classmates and take everything that your teachers tell you with a pinch of salt. Criticism is good for you but don't let it destroy you! Make up your own mind. Take inspiration from other performers but directly comparing yourself to others is poisonous! Don't do it! I had to learn that the hard way. I could talk about this all day but I'll stop now! 


Finally, for someone deciding whether to see In The Heights, what 5 words do you think best sum it up?

Olivier 

Award

Winning

Breakthrough

Musical 
;) 


I want to say a huge thank you to Lily for taking the time to answer these questions. The show is unbelievably brilliant and Lily is wonderful as Nina. Please, if you can get to the Kings Cross theatre, go and see In The Heights! 

Also, keep and eye out on RewriteThisStory for some more In The Heights themed posts which are coming up! My original review of the show is here!
Sunday, 3 April 2016

Samantha Barks, St. James Studio | Review

Samantha Barks, St. James Studio | Review
Sunday, 3 April 2016
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It has been 20 hours since Samantha Barks stepped on the St. James Studio stage and I am still buzzing. I have been a fan of Sam since she was first on 'I'd Do Anything' and since then I have followed her career and been lucky enough to see her perform several times but this was a very different experience to anything else I've watched Samantha in previously.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Lucie Jones, Waterloo East | Review

Lucie Jones, Waterloo East | Review
Monday, 1 February 2016
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The Waterloo East theatre was host to an incredible one night only cabaret from Lucie Jones last night and I'm sorry to rub it in your faces but you missed an epic night if you weren't there!




Lucie entered the stage in a sparkling silver dress and immediately belted out the Annie classic 'Tomorrow' wowing the crowd from the get go.

After a number of hilarious anecdotes, we got to the X Factor days when Lucie introduced Anton Stephans who belted out a beautiful song and Lucie (along with some audience participation) performed "Sweet Child of Mine".

Monday, 19 October 2015

Shoshana Bean Concert, The Singer's Lounge | Review

Shoshana Bean Concert, The Singer's Lounge | Review
Monday, 19 October 2015
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On Sunday 4th October I had the pleasure of going to the wonderful Singer's Lounge, hidden below Pizza Express in Covent Garden to watch Shoshana Bean who had returned to London following a sold out run at the Hippodrome to perform a newly revamped show for an extremely excited set of audiences over 3 nights. 

Despite watching Shoshana online and listening to her albums for years, this was the first time I had seen her in concert, and with a 54 below vibe where you can order food and drinks whilst listening to some amazing music, the intimate venue provided the perfect atmosphere to witness the amazingness of Ms Bean.
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