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Welcome to Rewrite This Story, here you'll find all things Theatre, Music, Arts and Culture! Created and curated by Olivia Mitchell, we share the latest stagey news, reviews, interviews and more!
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The Cher Show (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 7 September 2022


The Cher Show (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 7th September 2022
★★★

A world renowned singer, actress and age defying star, Cher has had a longtime career full of ups and downs, which have now been transformed into a glitz-filled stage show.

Turning back time from her Las Vegas residencies, The Cher Show begins in the 1950s with a young Cherilyn Sarkisian who's longing to be a star, and progresses through her various ventures, successes and failures up to the modern day. Taking on the role of the musical icon, are three superstars who share (cher) the role and show her at various stages of her life. Debbie Kurup plays the Star, Danielle Steers is Lady and Millie O'Connell is the youngest, Baby.

It's Cher's rich, contralto voice which makes her so recognisable and the three actresses do a great job of mirroring her style as well as her mannerisms and speaking voice. All are vocally excellent and give performances that the icon herself would be proud of.

Whilst the three Cher's represent different times in her life, they also interact throughout and almost act as a Greek chorus or moral compass for one another. This is one of the most effective parts of the musical as the trio interact so wonderfully and have some really witty moments. They also help to keep the plot moving and provide somewhat of a through line to the show.

Aside from this, the script and storyline are somewhat lacklustre. There's not a real cohesion to the story and while of course liberties can't be taken with a real life story, it does feel like there needs to be a theme which ties the show together, or at least more of a conclusion. Towards the end of the musical there is more mention of Cher as a Goddess Warrior but it kind of comes from nowhere. This as a recurring theme throughout could be more effective as a way to show that Cher was a strong business and career woman who got herself back up every time. Instead, the main points and moments are the relationships in Cher's life. That's not to say these aren't enjoyable to watch, and the whole cast do a great job of portraying them, but for Cher being such a powerful woman, there is a distinct lack of oomph and empowerment overall.

The show also has a few moments which fall flat, such as the tap scene where the dancers aren't actually tapping. For a show which packs in thirty of Cher's greatest hits, there also isn't a real crowd pleaser until the megamix at the end. The songs are effectively shoehorned in to tell the story but don't get a chance to shine in their own right as the musical classics that they are. Perhaps less would be more in terms of showcasing the real bops of the track list and leaving out some of the small interludes.

However, less is most definitely not more in the general visual spectacle of the show. Tom Rodgers' set is fairly simplistic but cleverly transforms and feels like a thousand sets in one. Gabriella Slade's costumes take inspiration from Bob Mackie's originals and bring superb glitz, glam and dazzle to proceedings, with the Cher's quite literally beaming sparkles around the auditorium. Ben Cracknell's lighting is a star in its own, completely fitting the vibe of the show and bringing energy and excitement throughout, even more so in the huge finale.

Whilst the tour of The Cher Show does have some faults, it's a treat to see such strong performances on stage and Cher's persona and discography speaks for itself. For glitz and glam you couldn't really ask for more and will Cher-ly have a great time soaking it all in.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

New Cast Announced for Moulin Rouge the Musical

Monday, 5 September 2022

Global Creatures, Producers of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, are delighted to welcome a new cast of bohemians and aristocrats as the hit show enters its second year at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
From 17 October 2022, the cast will include Melissa James (The Bodyguard UK Tour and Cats UK Tour) as Satine, Jamie Muscato (Heathers The Musical) as Christian and Matt Rixon (Hairspray UK Tour) as Harold Zidler.

They will be joined by Ian Carlyle (Disney’s The Lion King, Porgy and Bess) who remains with the cast and takes over the role of Toulouse-Lautrec, Ben Richards (The Bill and Emmerdale) as The Duke, Elia Lo Tauro (Disney’s The Lion King, On Your Feet) who continues to play Santiago and Amy Thornton (Matilda, Rock of Ages) who continues with the cast and steps into the role of Nini, with recent graduate Tiago Dhondt Bamberger as Baby Doll, Hannah Jay-Allan (TINA: The Tina Turner Musical) as Arabia, Elliotte Williams-N’Dure (Unfortunate) as La Chocolat, and Tanisha Spring (The Prince of Egypt) who will continue to play Alternate Satine.

The full cast will also include Michael Afemare, Yandrick Agius, Femi Akinfolarin, Ollie Augustin, Will Bozier, Robson Broad, Jonathan Cordin, Anthony Cragg, Katie Deacon, Fletcher Dobinson, Taofique Folarin, Honey Joseph, Alicia MencĂ­a Lopez, Georgia Morgan, Nathaniel Morrison, Melissa Nettleford, Alice Readie, Ben Rutter, Craig Ryder, Elly Shaw, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Misty May Tindall, Jon Tsouras, Lily Wang, and Jason Leigh Winter.

Set in Paris, 1899, a world of indulgent beauty and unparalleled extravagance, of bohemians and aristocrats, of boulevardiers and reprobates, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the story of a lovesick American writer, Christian, and Satine, the dazzling star of the Moulin Rouge nightclub. 

When their lives collide at the Moulin Rouge, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be thwarted by the nightclub’s host and impresario, Harold Zidler, and The Duke of Monroth, the wealthy and entitled patron of the club who thinks he can buy anything he wants, including Satine. Together with his Bohemian friends – the brilliant and starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, and the greatest tango dancer in all of Paris, Santiago – Christian stages a musical spectacular in an attempt to save the Moulin Rouge and win the heart of Satine.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed for today in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Moulin Rouge! The Musical invites you to enter a world of passionate romance and eye-popping splendour… a place where Bohemians and aristocrats revel together in electrifying enchantment… a place where all your wildest dreams come true! 

Musical Theatre Rave: The After Party Returns To Heaven Nightclub on Sunday 4 December

Wednesday, 24 August 2022


After a roaringly successful launch last weekend, Musical Theatre Rave: The After Party is back by popular demand at the iconic Heaven nightclub under Charing Cross.
 
The After Party: Act 2, returns on Sunday 4 December from 9pm Sunday evening running through to 3am the following morning. Returning to host the evening will be Oscar Conlon-Morrey, who is currently starring in the West End production of Only Fools and Horses.
 
The first part of the evening features fan-favourite musical hits performed by West End stars, after which the DJ takes charge, blaring musical theatre classics until 3am. With cosplay highly encouraged, special guests making cameos and musical themed cocktails and mocktails – it’s the stagiest rave in town! Previous guests have included Olivia Moore, Vicki Manser and the cast of Heathers the Musical.
 
Event producer and West End Marketer, Willy says, “The first event was a magical moment for everyone involved! It exceeded our expectations and it was truly a pleasure to see the community so happy. We can’t wait to do it all over again.”
 
Heaven representative, Jack Downs says ‘‘After the success of the first Musical Theatre Rave at Heaven, we can't wait to have booked in the second After Party, grab your tickets now.
 
Early bird tickets are available from £7.50, with later tickets available from £12.50 and can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-afterparty-act-2-musical-theatre-rave-tickets-406511897027
 

Cast Announced for World Premiere of The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical

Tuesday, 16 August 2022



David Hunter will star as Henry and Joanna Woodward as Clare and in the world premiere of The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical, based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger and the New Line Cinema film screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin. The new musical will premiere at Storyhouse in Chester from 30 September to 15 October 2022. The two-week season will precede a West End transfer, to be announced at a later date.

David Hunter's theatre credits include: Waitress (Adelphi and UK Tour); Kinky Boots (Adelphi); Once (Phoenix); One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, Adelphi, UK Tour); Songs for a New World (Palladium); Tommy (Prince Edward); Seussical (Arts); The Hired Man (Leicester Curve and Colchester Mercury); Pub and Spinach (the Royal Exchange); The Mayor of Zalamea (Liverpool Everyman). His film and TV credits include: Nativity 3; Holby City and Doctors (BBC); Superstar (ITV). David’s pop/rock band Reemer had support slots, playing alongside The Feeling, Scouting for Girls and McFly on their full UK Arena Tour.

Joanna Woodward most recently understudied and played Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman: The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre & Savoy Theatre). Her other theatre credits include: Emily in Zombies: The Musical and Eulpha Miziam in Confessions (The Other Palace); Mary in The Life (Southwark Playhouse); understudied and played Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre); Margaret in Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East); understudied Beth/Meg/KT in Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory and Harold Pinter Theatre); Tinker Bell in Lost Boy (Finborough Theatre and Charing Cross Theatre); Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Kilworth House Theatre).

Also in the cast will be Aisha Davis (UK theatre debut, with previous theatre work in Kingston, Jamaica) as Dr Kendrick, Ross Dawes (Dennis Dupree in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages) as Henry’s Dad, Hiba Elchikhe (Pritti Pasha in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in West End and Los Angeles) as Charisse, Stevie Hutchinson (UK and Chinese Tour of Ghost: The Musical and UK Tour of Oliver!) as Clare’s Dad, Tim Mahendran (Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre) as Gomez, Sorelle Marsh (Vicky Monroe in Stand Up at the Floral Pavilion, Wirral, and Tessie in White Christmas at the Lowry Theatre) as Henry’s Mum, Benjamin Purkiss (Zorro in Zorro the Musical at Charing Cross Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre and Alternate Strat in Bat Out of Hell at the London Coliseum/International Tour/Manchester Opera House) as Jason / Mark and Alwyne Taylor (won the Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award for Once in a Lifetime, Company, Sweet Charity and Accrington Pals at the Library Theatre and was nominated for Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award for her role as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Oldham Coliseum) as Old Clare. The actresses playing Young Clare will be announced shortly.

Henry and Clare’s love story is like no other and yet like all others; they meet, flirt, fight, love, marry... but all out of order. Henry is often and uncontrollably ripped out of time, because he suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets, pulling him into his past or future, vanishing before one’s eyes, never knowing where or when he’s going next. Except he knows he’ll always come back to Clare, at some point in time, dreaming of her time-travelling husband.

The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical weaves a heart-breaking and soaring original musical score by multi Grammy Award-winning composers Joss Stone and Dave Stewart with one of the most beloved novels of the last 50 years. All couples ask how to truly know one another, to trust, to commit, to build a family, to work at something bigger than ourselves. Not all of us are time travellers. How do you love across time?

With a book by Lauren Gunderson, original music and lyrics by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, additional music by Nick Finlow and additional lyrics by Kait Kerrigan, the production will be directed by Bill Buckhurst and designed by Anna Fleischle, with choreography by Shelley Maxwell, lighting design by Lucy Carter, illusions by Chris Fisher, video design by Andrzej Goulding, sound design by Richard Brooker, musical supervision & arrangement by Nick Finlow and orchestrations by Bryan Crook. Casting will be by Grindrod Burton Casting. It will be produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Teresa Tsai and Crossroads Live, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.