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Showing posts with label the other palace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the other palace. Show all posts

La Strada, The Other Palace | Review

La Strada, The Other Palace | Review

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La Strada
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Thursday June 1st 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

La Strada is definitely the musical which I have been most pleasantly surprised by so far this year. I am a fan of going into shows without looking them up first and I went into The Other Palace with no idea what to expect; thinking I was going to see a cabaret, vaudeville like circus show but that was absolutely not the case. Based on Federico Fellini's 1957 Oscar winning performance,  La Strada tells the story of the young and naive Gelsomina who is sold by her mother to become the assistant to the touring gypsy, Zampanò: the "Strong Man". Her sister previously went to work for Zampanò and never returned so Gelsomina is struck with fear but fights and stays strong so she can send money back to her mother. This is ultimately the story of a young girl being taken advantage of purely because she doesn't know any better and because her circumstances don't allow her to escape.

The musicians play onstage in this piece and really bring it to life. A particular favourite moment was when everyone started clicking their fingers until the sound became overpowering and turned into raindrops. Each dramatic moment is heightened and an extremely visceral performance is created. This is helped along by Cameron Carver's brilliant movement which is extremely tight but looks natural and free. Flowing beautifully through moments and embodying each element that's being shown.

With credits including the National Theatre's Peter Pan, director Sally Cookson is know for her innovative, unique storytelling and has captured the themes and harshness of this story in a brilliantly imaginative way.

Finding herself trapped in Zampanò's world, wanting to escape but needing to make her mother proud we see the external and internal struggles of Gelsomina who is played so beautifully by Audrey Brisson. Capturing both her innocence and playfulness through the witty dialogue and  wide-eyed movements, Gelsomina becomes a character the audience grow to love and become extremely attached to. This is a wonderful contrast to the cruel, harsh portrayal of Zampanò by Stuart Goodwin. Although we see moments of kindness, these are rare and it is the overall menacing anger which fills the stage whenever the strong man is around.

Part way through, they meet, Il Matto (The Fool) played by Bart Soroczynski who acts as a friend and guide for Gelsomina who heartbreakingly confides in him that there isn't any point her being alive because she is good for nothing. Il Matto brings light and warmth to the story, with a carefree attitude and light movement, he is played wonderfully by Soroczynski.

La Strada is a masterclass in storytelling and Cookson has created a faultless production which draws the audience in and takes them along the road which Gelsomina and Zampanò travel along. The piece is fresh and engaging and the constant movement makes it feel alive, it's truly compelling to watch and I would highly urge you to see it.

La Strada runs at The Other Palace until July 8th.

Book tickets for La Strada or any other show with TodayTix and receive £10 off with my code: https://www.todaytix.com/refer/TFKMJ/

The Musical Marathon, The Other Palace | Review

The Musical Marathon, The Other Palace | Review

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The Musical Marathon
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Sunday April 16th 2017 by Grace English 
★★

The Musical Marathon at The Other Palace was held in support of Orchid a cause close to the hearts of far too many of us; that of fighting male cancer. Even at its most light-hearted and celebratory points neither the performers nor the audience lost sight of what we were there for, and this is what marks it as a truly spectacular and important evening.

Paul Taylor-Mills and Caroline Flack carried us through a maelstrom of powerhouse performers singing songs of their choosing, most of which are in some way anthems of ambition and resilience. Nathan Amzi opened the show with a heartfelt rendition of 'Titanium', and from there, not a single performer gave anything less than their absolute best, each one truly holding the audience completely in the moment. A special mention has to go to Kim Criswell's 'Look to the Rainbow/Over the Rainbow', as well as Emma Kingston's 'Listen' and Marisha Wallace's heart-wrenching 'Stay With Me' as the standout performances of the night, even amongst a group with no weak links whatsoever. In addition, Aimie Atkinson, Genesis Lynea and Stephanie Rojas closing Act One with an energised rendition of 'Lady Marmalade' was a true testament to girl power and their boundless talents as individuals.

Between the performances, Paul Taylor-Mills and Caroline Flack kept us entertained with jokes and anecdotes from their time working with the performers, and even hosted a form of 'karaoke bingo' that resulted in a hilarious improvisation of 'Don't Stop Believing' in the style of Meatloaf and Britney Spears. This allowed the night to easily overcome an issue facing any concert-esque shows; that of failing to engage the audience and thus loosing their attention about an hour in. In overcoming this, we get a sometimes hilarious, sometimes emotional, and constantly enjoyable night showcasing some of the best talent on the West End.

In spite of the fun, it should be remembered that this night was held in the interest of raising money for a serious and important cause which you can learn more about here: https://orchid-cancer.org.uk/

Photo credit: Claire Bilyard

The Wild Party, The Other Palace | Review

The Wild Party, The Other Palace | Review

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The Wild Party
 The Other Palace
 Reviewed on Tuesday 21st February 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
 ★★★★

Having only been familiar with the Lippa version of The Wild Party, I was not really sure what I was getting myself into with this one. I was ready for a crazy, wild, dramatic experience and that's certainly what I got!

The Other Palace, formerly the St James Theatre has certainly chosen the right piece to mark it's relaunch. This wild, wild party is sure to make anyone want to return! The Wild Party is based on Joseph Moncure March's racy 1928 poem and is so energetic and frenzied from the start that you can't help but love it and be drawn into the raving, crazy world LaChiusa has created.

 The show tells the story of Queenie, a Broadway wannabe who's instead become a pained woman with a huge hole in her life, and her comic lover, Burrs, who throw a berserk party to escape from the boredom of their everyday life. We meet their friends and enemies who each have a story to tell and get way too mixed up in the ever-growing craziness of the wild, wild party.

Frances Ruffelle is completely and utterly brilliant as Queenie. With rawness and vulnerability mixed in with sex and vivaciousness creating a fantastic, larger than life character. It's truly an honour seeing this legend of the stage perform.  Frances works alongside another legend: John Owen-Jones who shines and really shows off his incredible voice as the dark, scary Burrs.

 For me, it's Victoria Hamilton-Barritt who steals the show as Queenie's frenemy, Kate. Her sultry, soaring voice is stunning and so unique that she just steals every moment she's in. Not only that, but she never stops acting, every facial expression and movement is well thought out and perfect for her character- she's truly a star.

Ako Mitchell and Lizzy Connolly as Eddie and Mae are wonderful. Having recently seen them both in other shows, Ragtime and Vanities respectively, I knew their voices and performances would be special but they completely blew me away and were incredible.

 Other stand outs were Dex Lee  as Jackie and Melanie Bright as Sally. Dex's voice is stunning and he soars over every note so easily and his performance as the slimy character is fantastic to see. Melanie's beautiful soprano voice rings out and she creates magical moments on stage. Finally, Gloria Obiango and Genesis Lynea are outstanding as the brothers, seeming almost like a 20s Greek chorus! Their synchronicity is flawless and they're just great.

Drew McOnie's choreography and Richard Howell's lighting create the sinful, frenzied, drunken, 20s  mood perfectly and create something so magical that you can't bear to tear your eyes away! 

Overall this is a truly glistening production and if you want a raunchy, sexy, debaucherous night that is still full of glitz and glamour then this is the show for you!

Rent, St James Theatre | Review

Rent, St James Theatre | Review

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Measure your life in love and measure this musical in love. A brilliant revival of a much loved show which will remind you to live and love.


Rent
St James Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 13th December 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★★


Rent is one of those iconic musicals which shaped a generation; its melodies and storyline are so touching that the show became a cultural phenomenon when it premiered 20 years ago off-Broadway. It tells the story of a group of people living in a New York, East Village squat who are all affected by HIV, drugs and homelessness. The show's prevailing theme is that of living in the moment: there's truly "No Day But Today."

Bruce Guthrie's production is gritty and industrial, with metal scaffolding, Christmas lights and boxes covered in graffiti creating the dim abrasive world in which the story is set. Lee Proud's choreography is fabulous, especially in La Vie Boheme and Contact. The quick, sharp movements add to the frenzied feeling of the show and add a slightly more modern feel to the show compared to other productions I've seen.



The whole company is impeccable. I cannot fault anyone; every lead and every ensemble member is completely committed to their character and the stunning voices allow Jonathan Larson's melodies to soar and dip, whilst causing the joy and pain of all those watching. Billy Cullum and Ross Hunter shine as the impoverished roommates bouncing off each other wonderfully and their performances give the base and heart to this amazing musical. Philippa Stefani as the club dancing Mimi is rough but vulnerable; I was in complete tears by the end of her performance and was just in awe of how committed to her role she was and how it clearly affected her until the very end- a mesmerising performance to watch. Ryan O'Gorman as Tom Collins is perfect casting. Ryan's voice is off the charts goose-bump inducing and he is fully emotive on every single note. The acting performances all round are faultless especially with Lucie's Jones' over the top performance as the struggling artist Maureen Johnson. Shanay Holmes as Joanne has the most incredible chemistry with Lucie- 'Take Me Or Leave Me' is certainly a standout moment.  Angel played by Layton Williams is everything and more, I need sass lessons from this wonderfully talented man!  I could go on about every other character but lets just leave it at them all being completely and utterly exemplary. The whole company is a tight unit and its clear how special this piece is to all of them.


Rent has lived on for 20 years and as we can see from the 'house full' signs outside the St James that it is still a booming and resonant success. Jonathan Larson's musical is as poignant as engaging as it ever has been. Rent is heartbreaking beautiful and will inspire a whole new generation 20 years on from its original production.


The run at the St James Theatre has currently sold out but make sure to go and see the show whilst it continues to tour around the country.

Rent Official Website: www.rentonstage.co.uk






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