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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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Frankie and Beausy, Crazy Coqs | Review

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Frankie and Beausy
Crazy Coqs

Last night the Crazy Coqs played home to Frankie and Beausy, a high-end, West End musical extravaganza that left me thoroughly impressed. The talented duo, comprised of the fantastic Frances Ruffelle and the dashing Norman Bowman, created and performed a show with some magical moments. Under the skilful direction of Paul Baker, they took us on a captivating journey that began 26 years ago on a train station platform in Scotland.

The stage came alive as Beausy donned a Scottish tartan kilt and sporran, while Frankie exuded charm in her tartan bodice and platform shoes. Their outfits added a touch of punkish cheeky glamour to the already punchy and fun atmosphere of the show. With musical arrangements by David Barber, they delivered a medley of musical favourites, seamlessly transitioning from Brigadoon to Broadway, and from the Highlands to Hollywood. Their harmonies were beautifully blended, and they even treated us to a stunning rendition of Luther Vandross's 'A House is Not a Home'.

The grand finale was nothing short of spectacular, as they belted out The Proclaimers' iconic hit, 'I'm Gonna Be (500) Miles'. The backing trio, led by the talented Ryan McKenzie, also had their moment to shine with individual solos that had the entire audience clapping, tapping, and singing along. It was an electrifying experience that left everyone on a high.

I must say, I was blown away by the quality of this cabaret show. It was a must-see performance that exceeded my expectations. If you're lucky enough to secure a ticket, don't miss out on this gem. Otherwise, mark your calendars for their upcoming shows at 54 Below in New York this November. Frankie and Beausy are a true musical powerhouses, and their concert will provide an absolute delight for any theatre enthusiast.

Reviewed on Tuesday 6th June by Justin Woodgate
photo credit: Debbi Clark

Greatest Days, New Victoria Theatre (Tour) | Review

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Greatest Days (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 

The Official Take That Musical: Greatest Days (formerly The Band) written by Tim Firth with music by Take That, offers a heartwarming story that will resonate with those who have been part of a fandom and experienced the highs and lows of a friendship with so much history. The plot's utilisation of a double timeline is effective, and the show is likely a trip down memory lane for some but overall it falls short of delivering a fully impactful emotional punch.

Made up of Kalifa BurtonJamie CornerArchie DurrantRegan Gascoigne and Alexanda O'Reilly, The Band's presence in the musical, acting as a Greek chorus supporting the girls, is a clever concept. They contribute to the story through well-placed songs, although there are instances where songs do feel a bit forced. While the band's performances are good, they don't exude world domination star quality, and although each band member has their shining second, they lack standout, memorable moments considering their significant role in the show.

Greatest Days has the potential to be a great show, but it falls slightly short of achieving that status. It taps into 90s nostalgia and Take That references, making it a must-see for fans of the era. However, the overall energy of the production could use a boost. The choreography by Aaron Renfree captures the boyband aesthetic and has its impressive moments, but there is a lack of precision and unity among the cast at times which leaves things feeling flat.

The lighting design by Rob Casey stands out as a strong element, effectively evoking the feeling of being at a concert. On the other hand, while Lucy Osborne's set design works well with the show and offers adequate levels for mirroring, it doesn't offer much to visually engage the audience beyond the surface.

The chemistry between the girls, both the younger (Emilie Cunliffee, Kitty Harris, Hannah Brown, Mari McGinlay and Mary Moore) and older versions (Kym Marsh, Rachel Marwood, Holly Ashton and Jamie-Rose Monk), is commendable. Their well-defined personalities contribute to the plot, creating a strong through line which has some heart-wrenching moments. However, there are some of jokes and lines which feel outdated and unnecessary, and detract from the overall experience.

Despite its flaws, Greatest Days manages to provide some humorous moments and an ending that will have you on your feet. It caters to its target audience who will undoubtedly appreciate the 90s nostalgia and Take That references. As a fun night out, it delivers an enjoyable experience, but it doesn't leave a lasting impression worthy of raving about.

Reviewed on Monday 5th June 2023
photo credit: Alastair Muir

Unmissable Summer Theatre Ticket Sale From London Box Office | ad

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

*this post contains sponsored content*

As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, the vibrant spirit of summer fills the air. And what better way to embrace the season than by indulging in the magical world of theatre? London Box Office, the hub for all things stagey, and trusted ticket provider has announced an unmissable summer theatre ticket sale that will have you seeing your favourite shows for less. Whether you want to see something new or visit an old faithful, London Box Office's summer sale promises to get you there with the best prices.

The Summer Theatre Ticket Sale which runs from 29th May to 11th June brings you a host of incredible shows that promise to leave you spellbound. From iconic long-running musicals to critically acclaimed plays, they've curated a selection of the best performances the West End has to offer. Whether you're a fan of heartwarming stories, adrenaline-pumping dramas, or toe-tapping musical numbers, there's something for everyone.

London Box Office is committed to making theatre accessible to all, and their Summer Theatre Ticket Sale ensures that you can witness these world-class productions without breaking the bank. With exclusive discounts and tickets from £25, you can enjoy incredible savings. Don't miss out on this chance to experience the magic of the West End - book your tickets today and get ready for an unforgettable summer of entertainment!

To find out all the shows included in this stagey sale, click here

2:22 A Ghost Story, Apollo Theatre | Review

2:22 A Ghost Story
Apollo Theatre 

2:22 A Ghost Story is quickly carving its name out in the UK theatre scene. Having played a number of runs at various West End theatres to much acclaim and with a touring version coming up, it's certainly a show which knows how to spook and entertain audiences.

Based on experiences had by the play's writer, Danny Robbins, this haunting production takes you on a thrilling journey into the supernatural, exploring themes of love, loss, and the unbreakable bonds that transcend time. The storyline is quite masterfully crafted, keeping you on the edge of your seat but equally including lots of humour which really works well and in fact makes the whole thing feel even more realistic. The pacing is solid, with suspense building at the right moments, and unexpected twists that keep you guessing. Sometimes the sound effects are a bit over obvious and aren't particularly scary but as a whole this is a really solid production.

Set at a dinner party, with minimal set or moving pieces, this really is a character driven piece and the cast do well at creating a truthful atmosphere that perfectly portrays a boozy evening. Sophia Bush's performance as Lauren is a really wonderful one; she is effortlessly sarky and charming and also has some tender moments that bring layers of complexity to the role. Ricky Champ plays her partner, Ben and is absolutely fantastic, his comedic timing is perfect and his intriguing character is so enjoyable to watch and try to work out. Taking on the role of Jenny, the tormented protagonist, Jamie Winstone brings depth and vulnerability and comes across quite genuinely terrified, with Clifford Samuel as her husband Sam the pair showcase an interesting dynamic which really takes you on a journey and shows you that families aren't always what they seem on the outside. 

Whats great with this show is that it's more than a surface level thriller; it also comments on social and economic issues, as well as beliefs and science vs supernatural. There are times when the commentary comes across as a bit forced and out of left field but for the most part, topics are broached well and really elevate the production to be more socially nuanced and topical. The chemistry among the whole cast is palpable, adding an extra layer of realism to the relationships portrayed on stage.

Anna Fleischle's set design leaves space for lots of spooky moments but is also perfectly mundane and fitting for the setting of the show. The Apollo Theatre really looks like it's had an open plan kitchen dropped into it and the attention to detail really captures the essence of a family home. Combined with atmospheric lighting by Lucy Carter, the ghostly tale has a perfect backdrop.

If you're a fan of thought-provoking theatre 2:22 A Ghost Story is a definite must-see. From the superb performances to the captivating storyline, this play transports you to a realm where the lines between the living and the dead blur, and where love and loss intertwine in ways you never thought possible. Running for two hours which fly by, this is theatrical experience that will linger in your mind like a persistent ghost long after the final curtain falls.

Reviewed on Tuesday 30th May 2023
photo credit: Helen Murray