Posts with the label London Theatre
Showing posts with label London Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London Theatre. Show all posts

Monday 25 March 2024

Priscilla the Party at HERE at Outernet REVIEW: A Glitzy, Camp Night Out


Priscilla the Party
HERE at Outernet

Priscilla the Party is like stepping into a glittering dreamland where every corner is bursting with energy and excitement. From the moment you walk through the doors of the venue, you're greeted by pulsating beats and dazzling lights that promise a uniquely camp and sparkling experience. Following the adventures of three friends as they journey across the Australian outback aboard the iconic Priscilla bus, the plot is a rollercoaster of emotions that has you grinning from ear ear and dancing your way back onto Tottenham Court Road.

The venue itself is impressive, with its adaptable layout and top-notch sound design, HERE at Outernet ensures that every moment of the performance is delivered with crystal clarity. However, if you're on the shorter side, finding the perfect spot to catch all the action might require a bit of manoeuvring, as the stages aren't particularly high. Pro tip: head towards the front near the non-moving stage at the front for a great view and minimal movement.

Now, let's talk costumes. Each sequin and feather is a work of art, adding an extra layer of sparkle to an already glitzy affair. Tim Chappel and Lizzie Gardiner's designs are wonderfully extra, often providing humour alongside shine. There are also full glitter wigs which are just spectacular.

Equally spectacular are the cast who bring all the good vibes and deliver the story of drag queens travelling the outback so well. Leading proceedings, Trevor Ashley, Reece Kerridge, Dakota Starr and Owain Williams are absolute delights, bringing their characters to life with a level of energy and enthusiasm that's infectious; as well as showing moments of vulnerability which really add to the story.

But, as with any show, there are a few bumps along the way. The constantly shifting perspectives of the stages can sometimes make it hard to fully immerse yourself in the storyline, leaving you feeling a bit disconnected. The immersive aspect of the show is exciting and fairly unique but it doesn't always feel necessary with this show, especially when it stands so strongly on its own. While the pre-show performances are entertaining, they do have a tendency to drag on a bit, delaying the main event's grand entrance, plus, the choice of slow songs might not have been the best for getting the party started.

Despite these hiccups, Priscilla the Party delivers on its promise of a night filled with laughter. So, if you're in the mood for a night of joy and unadulterated fun, Priscilla the Party is the place to be. Embrace the campy atmosphere, lose yourself in the dazzling costumes, and get ready for a ride you won't soon forget. Despite its flaws, this glittering extravaganza is guaranteed to leave you with a smile.

★★★ 
Reviewed on Monday 25th March 2024 by Olivia
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Priscilla the Party at HERE at Outernet REVIEW: A Glitzy, Camp Night Out

Monday 25 March 2024

Friday 1 March 2024

Standing at the Sky's Edge at the Gillian Lynne Theatre REVIEW: A Perfect Tale of Hope and Connection


Standing at the Sky's Edge 
Gillian Lynne Theatre 

Standing at the Sky's Edge is a captivating journey that swept me off my feet and left me utterly spellbound. From the moment the lights dimmed and the first notes filled the air, I was transported into a world where every emotion felt raw and real.

The story, set across three generations, unfolds with such grace and authenticity, drawing the audience into the lives of the characters living in Sheffield's iconic Park Hill estate. Through their joys and struggles, their dreams and disappointments, I found myself rooting for each one of them as if they were old friends.

Whilst this is technically a jukebox musical, it doesn't feel clunky as is so often the case. Richard Hawley's compositions, with Tom Deering's orchestrations are a beautiful fusion of rock, folk, and soul, each melody weaving its way into the narrative to really capture the essence of the musical. The lyrics are so poetic and heartfelt, they brought tears to my eyes and chills down my spine. This is a masterfully crafted musical that is so different to other West End offerings, in all the best ways.

Set wise, Ben Stones has done a glorious job, bringing the industrial feeling of Park Hill to life, but also capturing the warmth which filled it. Mark Henderson's fantastic lighting design also contributes to this realistic feeling, with even the first scene literally brining the sunrise to life. From the bustling streets of Sheffield to the towering heights of Park Hill, every detail is so meticulously crafted that I felt like I was actually there, witnessing the story unfold before my eyes. In my opinion this is a show which needs multiple visits because there's just so much to see, every nook of the stage is filled with action and there are so many stories going on that you could watch ten times and still spot something new!

But what truly struck me was the way this musical resonated with me on a personal level. Despite never having set foot in Sheffield, I felt a deep connection to the characters and their journey. Their struggles felt familiar, their triumphs felt like my own and whilst I didn't directly relate, the emotions portrayed are so genuine and truthful, you can't help but be moved by the tales of hurt and hope.

These intense feelings are a testament to the vast ensemble cast who are outstanding in every way. Elizabeth Ayodele as Joy brings subtle but effective character growth that melds to her surroundings, whilst Samuel Jordan is every level of charming as Jimmy, both also give brilliant vocal performances, a common theme throughout the cast. Opening the show, Jonathon Bentley sets the tone for the piece and showcases his beautiful voice which equally shines during his other solo moments. Perhaps the character with the biggest arc is Harry, portrayed with such nuance and integrity by Joel Harper-Jackson. Mesmerising is a word which gets thrown around a lot but Joel's performance is utterly the embodiment of it, as he brings to life a character that feels so multi-dimensional and showcases his innate acting ability. As his loving housewife partner who slowly finds her voice, Rachael Wooding is a powerhouse, with another slow burn performance that peaks in the second act and has sniffles filling the auditorium. Laura Pitt-Pulford gives one of my favourite vocal performances of the show with 'Naked in Pitsmoor' and again, brings to life her character Poppy perfectly. Lauryn Redding is her ideal counterpart, serving some wonderful vocals, especially during the title song and also bringing some lightness amongst the heavy themes of the show. The entirety of the cast bring this world to life and they're all stars. Mention must also go to the booming bassist who growls and grounds the Act two opening number 'Standing at the Sky's Edge'.

In the end, Standing at the Sky's Edge isn't just about the music or the set design – it's about the human experience. It's about love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. It's a reminder that no matter where we come from, we're all connected by our shared humanity.

Standing at the Sky's Edge touched me in a way that few musicals ever have. It's a testament to the power of storytelling and the magic of theatre. If you have the chance to see it, don't hesitate – it's an experience you won't soon forget, and the act one opening is one of the best theatrical moments possible to see on stage right now.

★★★★★ 
Reviewed on Thursday 29th February 2024 by Olivia
Photo Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Standing at the Sky's Edge at the Gillian Lynne Theatre REVIEW: A Perfect Tale of Hope and Connection

Friday 1 March 2024

Thursday 22 February 2024

Hadestown at the Lyric Theatre REVIEW: A Soul-Stirring Journey to the Depths of Hell


Hadestown
Lyric Theatre

There are musicals that touch your soul and for me that’s Hadestown. I first saw the show in 2018, where I went in completely blind and came out gob smacked and awed. Tonight after the official West End opening night, I feel equally awed as well as inspired, moved, astounded, heartbroken and overjoyed. There really aren’t adjectives to describe how heartfelt and special this show is. Not only is it a piece of fantastic quality theatre but it’s also a poem, a concert, a celebration of life and humanity, an ode to music and above all, a love story.

Hadestown tells the tale of young Orpheus and Eurydice as their tales intertwine. It's a musical retelling of the ancient Greek myth of the duo and follows the journey of Orpheus as he descends into the underworld, determined to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the clutches of the charismatic but menacing Hades. Despite the various iterations and productions this musical has gone through, one constant is how scarily relevant the themes it explores feel in our modern world. Hades, ruler of the underworld and the mines, ostensibly grants "freedom" through employment while simultaneously confining his subjects behind a barrier. Why We Build The Wall is certainly one of the most pertinent songs of the production, its relevance hits all too close to home in the current world.

The musical borders the line between acting as "the world we live in, and the one we dream about", in thanks part to Rachel Hauck's set. Scaled down slightly from the National Theatre production, it still evokes Depression-era vibes and cleverly frames the story. Bradley King's lighting literally highlights some of the most astounding moments of the show, especially during Hades' peak moments, as well as casting shadows to create an almost cinematic feel; overall it's just an incredibly cohesive show that has a vibe and aesthetic that matches it so well.

This undefined world is perhaps best showcased by Anaïs Mitchell's incredible score which combines so many styles a creates such special storytelling. The intricate lyrics allow layers upon layers of emotions to form as Anaïs weaves a musical tapestry that is charming and delightful at times, but gritty and painful at others. Mitchell has truly crafted a musical masterpiece that transcends time and genre and creates a theatrical experience like no other.

Director Rachel Chavkin has meticulously pored over each performer, set element, musician, and lighting effect to craft a production that leaves us suspended between despair and hope. This version of the show also feels perfectly tweaked for the West End, with the use of the performer’s natural accents making the whole thing feel very real and grounded, an inspired change! David Neumann's precise choreography fits seamlessly with the revolving stage, continually moving between frenetic energy and poignant stillness that works so well. This is a piece which is so reliant on balance, the balance between good and bad, love and hate, light and dark, loud and quiet, beauty and pain, among others, and the entire cast and creative team have perfectly understood and managed this balance to form a musical that leaves you not quite sure what emotion you're experiencing, but 100% sure you experienced something special.

At it's core this is a story about people, and the people who lead it are wonderful. As the headstrong Eurydice, Grace Hodgett Young is everything you could ask for in a leading lady, her calm is as strong as her passion and she fills every moment with charisma. There’s often mention of “stage presence” but it’s rare you see the phrase as outwardly displayed as with Grace who commands even the smallest of moments. Of course she’s also vocally dreamy, showcasing all layers of her voice and perfectly bringing the vocal grit that’s so necessary for the role. Her easy swagger and playfulness is a perfect balance to Orepheus' more nervous persona. Taking on the role of this heartstrong counterpart, Donal Finn is delightfully whimsical and charming. Donal's Orpheus truly comes into his own during act two when his passion for his partner and also his music are on full display and his voice becomes a beacon of hope cutting through the darkness of despair. It's utterly heartbreaking when we reach the expected conclusion, a testament to the emotion the cast pour out to get us to that point.

As the enigmatic Hermes, Melanie La Barrie is all parts wonderful, her presence commanding the stage with every word and gesture and bringing humour and gravitas in equal measure. Her performance weaves together the threads of myth and legend with an all knowing wisdom that seems to transcend time, she truly gives everything on stage and is a marvel to behold.

Hadestown is more than a musical—it's an experience, a testament to the enduring power of art to touch the very depths of our souls. It's a rare gem that shines brightly in the landscape of contemporary theatre, a reminder that sometimes, even in the darkest of times, there is still beauty to be found.

In the hallowed halls of the Lyric Theatre, you can bear witness to something truly extraordinary. Hadestown is a triumph in every sense of the word and it needs to be seen.

★★★★★
Reviewed on Wednesday 21st February 2024 by Olivia Mitchell
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Hadestown at the Lyric Theatre REVIEW: A Soul-Stirring Journey to the Depths of Hell

Thursday 22 February 2024

Saturday 17 February 2024

The Addams Family Concert at the London Palladium REVIEW | A Kooky Show with a Killer Cast


The Addams Family in Concert
London Palladium 

Since premiering in the UK in 2017, The Addams Family has been somewhat of a regular feature on our theatre scene with a number of tours that garnered great reviews and a fanbase who couldn't help but be charmed by the kooky family. This week, the London Palladium housed the latest iteration with three concert versions of the show that told the wacky, romantic tale so many have grown to adore.

Witnessing their daughter Wednesday fall in love with a "normal" boy, the Addams family finds themselves grappling with the challenge of acceptance. In an effort to bridge the gap, Wednesday takes it upon herself to arrange a dinner party, inviting both families to come together. What unfolds is a delightful blend of hidden secrets, eccentricity, and a whirlwind of kooky chaos, showcasing the unique charm and humour of the Addams family universe.

As is the case with many "concert" versions, this was really an almost fully staged production, complete with costumes, sets,  choreography and more. These sort of shows are always a real testament to the hard work of the entire team both onstage and backstage, to put together such sleek, well-rounded performances, with extremely limited rehearsal time.

This was a wonderfully sleek production, framed by Ben Cracknell's fantastically striking lighting and Diego Pitarch's suitably outlandish set and colour matched costumes. Taking most of the elements from the touring production, the whole concert embodied the vibes of the unconventional Addams family, highlighting the important parts of the storyline and making the whole thing feel much more elevated than a traditional concert. Having not had a permanent home, the show has had to create a design that fits within the confines of moving around the country every week so I do think if it were to find a permanent home in the West End, it could really lean into the lavish grandeur of the Addams Family, and perhaps bring Central Park to life a bit more, to really step things up and give it the wow factor.

In terms of casting this was a star studded affair. Ramin Karimloo took on the role of Gomez Addams, the suave protective father who just wants to do right by his family; giving a performance that was nothing short of wonderful. With hilarious line delivery and of course those smooth, powerful vocals we all know and love, Ramin showcased a hilarious side that I'd love to see more of. We must also mention the collective audience gasp when he took his blazer off, if you know, you know! As his partner in crime, Michelle Visage made Morticia Addams her own. Whilst her performance wasn't always the most exciting, with the dialogue being a little one note (even for Morticia), her look and the way she carried herself was perfect for the role. Just Around the Corner was a really brilliant theatrical moment and I think given time, Michelle could really develop and refine her Morticia. 

As the love struck teens, Wednesday and Lucas, Chumisa Dornford-May and Ryan Kopel were wonderfully paired. Having only recently graduated Chumisa already has an impressive resume and it's certainly set to expand, given her absolutely out of this world vocals. She not only hit every note perfectly but her tone and diction were noticeably brilliant and everything sounded so healthy, I can't wait to see her succeed and shine! The role of Lucas isn't particularly developed but Ryan did a wonderful job of bringing him to life and created some lovely moments. Another stand out was Kara Lane who astounded as mother Alice Beineke, giving vocals that pretty much blew the roof off of the London Palladium. Sam Buttery was charming as Uncle Fester, Nicholas McLean a great addition as Pugsley and Dickon Gough a wonderful dose of comedy. The rest of the ensemble brought the other characters and ancestors to life really well and helped form the world of Addams.

Book wise I do think this is a show with flaws and the pacing isn't always perfect but it has heart, charm and a number of earworms that make it a really easy watch that you go back to again and again. 

It's not the most sophisticated piece of theatre but, The Addams Family in Concert was a ghoulishly delightful experience. With outstanding performances, this concert truly captured the essence of the Addams Family legacy. Whether you were a die-hard fan or new to the Addams universe, this concert provided a spooky, kooky night of fun and paved the way for the show to continue enrapturing audiences.

★★★
Reviewed on Tuesday 13th February by Olivia
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

The Addams Family Concert at the London Palladium REVIEW | A Kooky Show with a Killer Cast

Saturday 17 February 2024

Thursday 8 February 2024

Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! transfers to the West End



Francesca Moody Productions, Kater Gordon, Wessex Grove and Fiery Angel are delighted to announce that award-winning smash-hit murder mystery musical Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! will transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End for a strictly limited season from 25 May - 14 September after thrilling audiences in Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester. Tickets are now on-sale at www.kathyandstella.com with 5000 under £25 and a ticket lottery to be announced. 

Bronté Barbé and Rebekah Hinds will reprise their roles as Kathy and Stella alongside Imelda Warren-Green who will once again play Erica. Further casting is to be announced.

Originally brought to the stage by Francesca Moody Productions and Kater Gordon Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! won Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award at the Edinburgh Festival 2022. The production reunites the writing and musical talents of Jon Brittain - Book and Lyrics / Co-Director and Matthew Floyd Jones - Music and Lyrics who previously collaborated on the critically acclaimed, Fringe First award-winning A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad). Fabian Aloise Co-Directs and Choreographs.

BFFs Kathy and Stella host Hull's least successful true crime podcast. When their favourite author is killed they are thrust into a thrilling whodunnit of their own!

This big-hearted, laugh out loud musical follows the unlikely crime-fighting duo as they put their friendship on the line to become part of the story. Can they crack the case, (and become global podcast superstars) before the killer strikes again…?

Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! transfers to the West End

Thursday 8 February 2024

Todrick Hall to play Sean and Michael Mather will play Jackson in Burlesque The Musical


Todrick and Michael join the already announced Jess Folley as Ali Rose, Olivier Award-winning George Maguire as Vince, Billie-Kay as Sophia,  B Terry as Georgie, West End favourite and TikTok and social media sensation Jess Qualter as Daphne, Yasmin Harrison as Brenda/Dance Captain, Lily Wang as Fifi, Hollie-Ann Lowe as Summer and Alessia McDermott in the Ensemble.  
 
Other cast members announced today are: Ope Sowande as Trey, Lewis Easter in the Ensemble, with Callum AylottLucy Campbell and Amber Pierson as Swings.

Steven Antin said: 

"Todrick Hall’s kinda genius is singular. The kind you rarely see. His work is prolific and masterfully entertaining.  The songs he wrote for the show are in a word…iconic.  The role of Sean is an anchor/entertainer who has poetry and is wickedly funny. So it was abundantly clear we had to get Todrick to play Sean. And sometimes I dunno if I wanna kiss him or slap him. ❤️  But I DO know I’m a very lucky guy to have him in our show. Very."
 
Todrick Hall, who has also written brand new songs for this new production of Burlesque the Musical added:  

“The movie of Burlesque was so iconic to so many of us — to now be working with both Steven Antin and Christina Aguilera who are reuniting for this new musical is a dream come true.
 
I am beyond excited to be returning to my first love, musical theatre, in such a special way. My first original role and my theatrical composing debut. To be able to bring music that I wrote to life, to share the stage and the writing credit with the star that is Jess Folley is a dream come true! I'm blessed, honoured, flattered and ready to dust off the old heels and let the kids have it 8 shows a week!”

 

Todrick Hall to play Sean and Michael Mather will play Jackson in Burlesque The Musical

War House to Embark on New UK Tour


The acclaimed War Horse production, adapted from Michael Morpurgo's beloved novel and originally directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, is set to embark on an extensive 18-month UK Tour starting from September 5, 2024, and continuing until 2026.
 
Opening at the New Wimbledon Theatre from September 5 to 14, the tour will then move to various venues including The Lowry in Salford (September 18 to 28), Mayflower Theatre in Southampton (October 8 to 19), The Marlowe in Canterbury (October 22 to November 2), Sunderland Empire (November 5 to 16), Theatre Royal Plymouth (November 26 to December 7), and New Theatre Oxford (December 10, 2024, to January 4, 2025), with additional dates and locations to be announced.

This captivating story follows young Albert and his horse Joey against the backdrop of World War I. War Horse, celebrated for its innovative puppetry by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, has garnered more than 25 major awards and has been witnessed by over 8.3 million people globally. Co-produced by Michael Harrison, Fiery Angel, and Playing Field, this new tour promises to deliver the same awe-inspiring experience.

Led by Tom Morris and revival director Katie Henry, with redesigned sets by Rae Smith and additional music by Adrian Sutton, the production features puppetry by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, lighting design by Rob Casey, and movement choreography by Toby Sedgwick. Animation and projection design are by Nicol Scott, while John Tams provides musical contributions and Christopher Shutt manages sound design. Casting details are yet to be announced.

Having premiered at the National Theatre in 2007, War Horse has since captivated audiences worldwide, with productions spanning across continents. For more information and ticket bookings, visit WarHorseOnStage.com. The tour will also include visits to Theatre Nation Partner venues, such as The Lowry in Salford and Sunderland Empire, with assisted performances available throughout the run at each venue.

War House to Embark on New UK Tour

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical extends its season at The Other Palace


Bill Kenwright Ltd is delighted to announce that the London premiere of Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical (“Sexy, smirky... a fast, funny guilty pleasure” - Evening Standard) will extend its acclaimed season at The Other Palace by 5 weeks to Sunday May 19th.

The cast of  Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical is led by Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky and Daniel Bravo as manipulative step-siblings Kathryn and Sebastian.It also features  Abbie Budden as Annette and Rose Galbraith as Cecile, Josh Barnett as Blaine, Jess Buckby as Ms Bunny Caldwell/Dr Greenbaum, Nickcolia King-N’Da as Ronald and Barney Wilkinson as Greg, with an ensemble of Craig Watson, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Charlotte O’Rourke and Verity Thompson.
Step-siblings Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil, manipulative monsters flushed with their own sexual prowess, engage in a cruel bet: Kathryn goads Sebastian into attempting to seduce Annette Hargrove, the headmaster’s virtuous daughter.  Weaving a web of secrets and temptation, as the two set out to destroy an innocent girl - and anyone who gets in their way - their vengeful crusade wreaks havoc on the students at their exclusive Manhattan high school and the diabolical duo become entangled in their own mesh of deception and unexpected romance, with explosive results...

Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical extends its season at The Other Palace

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Tom Holland to Play Romeo in Jamie Lloyd's Romeo and Juliet


The Jamie Lloyd Company today announces its new West End production of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, starring Tom Holland as Romeo, and directed by Jamie LloydRomeo & Juliet runs at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Saturday 11 May – Saturday 3 August 2024.
 
Further casting to be announced. Tickets go on sale to those signed up for priority booking and ATG+ members on Tuesday 13 February at 8am; general booking opens on Tuesday 13 February at 12pm.
 
Sign up for priority booking here: www.romeoandjulietLDN.com
 
The Jamie Lloyd Company also continues its commitment to accessibility, offering 10,000 tickets priced at £25 and under, with 5,000 of these exclusively for under 30s, key workers and those receiving government benefits. Further information to be announced. 
 

Jamie Lloyd said today:

“Tom Holland is one of the greatest, most exciting young actors in the world. It is an honour to welcome him back to the West End.”


Text edited by Nima Taleghani; Set and Costume Design: Soutra Gilmour; Lighting Design: Jon Clark; Sound Design; Ben and Max Ringham; Video Design and Cinematography: Nathan Amzi and Joe Ransom; Composer: Michael 'Mikey J’ AsanteCasting Director: Stuart Burt CDG; Movement Directors: Sarah Golding & Yukiko Masui (SAY); Intimacy Coordinator: Ingrid Mackinnon; Associate Director: Jonathan Glew; Associate Designer: Rachel Wingate
 
Violent delights have violent ends.

 

Photo Credit: Isaac Anthony / AUGUST

Tom Holland to Play Romeo in Jamie Lloyd's Romeo and Juliet