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

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Prima Facie, Harold Pinter Theatre | Review


Prima Facie
Harold Pinter Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 13th May 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Anyone who's seen Jodie Comer in her multifaceted performance in Killing Eve understands why she is such a well loved and in demand actor. In her one-woman West End debut in Prima Facie, Comer lives up to every expectation and delivers a performance that astounds and stays with you long after the curtain comes down.

What's so impressive with Comer is not only how she brings interesting and enticing vocal intonations to the script, but how she physically embodies every moment. The high-voltage emotions which run through the piece are literally carried by Comer and she imbues every moment with intensity and expressiveness. You can just tell how much work has gone into crafting such an intelligent and wonderful portrayal, even from small details such as becoming slightly posher when she's presenting in court compared to talking to her mother. Comer never flags for a second of the 95 minute show and whether she's shattering you with heart-breaking moments, or having you laugh out loud with her witty performance, she has you wrapped around her finger in a phenomenal way.

Of course this performance wouldn't exist without Suzie Miller's script which is so expertly crafted and focusses on the heartbreaking realities of sexual assault and how difficult it is for women to get closure via successful prosecutions in a court which is based on archaic rules written by men and does very little to support or empathise with victims.

Comer's character Tessa is a barrister who rose from being the underdog at university to being one of the top defence lawyers for men accused of sexual assault. The play opens with her revelling at being great in court and later on contrasts this by showing flashbacks to her younger self full of doubt as to whether she could succeed when surrounded by all the private school classmates who she cannot relate to. Her excitement and razor sharp cross examination skills show how she can sew the seed of doubt that the victim may have in fact given consent and that the man was doing what he believed she wanted. The way she talks about it almost gets you on her side until she herself is raped by a colleague and realises how messed up the whole system and court process is.

Natasha Chiver's lighting design and Justin Martin's direction really hammer this message home, with folders creating a blank canvas for the action but also becoming part of the story at times. Gradual lighting changes bring further gravitas to the mood changes and the clever closing monologue which breaks the fourth wall is so well done. As a whole this production is a sleek treat which discusses a dark matter but has you feeling uplifting by the talent and skill displayed on stage and behind the scenes.

In a stunningly moving performance, Jodie Comer shows her emotional range and magnetic stage presence which makes her the wondrous performer she is and makes this an unmissable piece of theatre. Beg, borrow, or steal a ticket if you can find one, or book to see Prime Facie in cinemas!

Prima Facie, Harold Pinter Theatre | Review

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Jeremy Jordan to Perform Live in London


Fourth Wall Live is thrilled to announce that Broadway star Jeremy Jordan will be performing a solo show live in London at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Monday 29 August 2022. Pre-sale sign up is open now. www.fw-live.com/jeremy
 
This marks Jeremy’s fourth solo engagement in London after three previous sold-out runs as well as the sold-out Bonnie and Clyde in Concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in January of this year. The show is an opportunity for Jeremy to celebrate the some of music he is most loved for performing as well as personal favourites both old and new. 
 
Jeremy Jordan is a Broadway performer who is best known for Newsies (Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk nominations), Bonnie and Clyde (Theatre World Award), American Son, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, Waitress and Rock of Ages. On television he has appeared as a series regular on Supergirl, Smash, and Disney's Tangled. His film credits include The Last 5 Years, Joyful Noise, American Son, Newsies. He will soon star as the tenacious record industry giant, Neil Bogart, in the upcoming feature film, Spinning Gold. Jeremy is also a singer-songwriter whose concerts and cabaret shows have won awards and acclaim worldwide. 


Benjamin Rauhala is one of the Broadway community's most trusted music directors and collaborators. He is the Music Supervisor and co-creator of Disney Princess - The Concert, touring over 90 cities in North America throughout 2022. He was named Best Musical Director at the 2020 Broadway World Cabaret Awards. He has toured the world as the music director for Jeremy Jordan, the Tony-nominated star of Broadway's Newsies and The CW's Supergirl. He is also the music director for Academy Award Winner Ariana DeBose, Halston star Krysta Rodriguez, Tony nominees Derek Klena, Jennifer Damiano, Kathryn Gallagher, Nashville star Kyle Dean Massey, and Frozen stars Caroline Bowman and Austin Colby. He was the Associate Music Director for the world premiere of The Secret Life of Bees at the Atlantic Theater, directed by Sam Gold, with music by Duncan Sheik. He worked on the music team for both Bartlett Sher's Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof and the Broadway production of Duncan Sheik's American Psycho simultaneously during the 2016 season. His Off-Broadway credits include David Byrne’s Joan of Arc: Into The Fire at The Public Theater and The Marvelous Wonderettes at Theater Row. He previously served as music director for Hit List, the meta-musical from the NBC television show SMASH and is an Original Programming Producer at Feinstein's/54 Below, where he has created dozens of sold-out concerts, including the Broadway Loves Series, that has famously honoured Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Celine Dion and many more beloved pop icons.

 

Fourth Wall Live (FWL) is a live entertainment company that produces events, concerts and on-stage shows. This January FWL presented Bonnie & Clyde the musical in concert for two nights to a sold-out audience at Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Broadway favourite Jeremy Jordan. This concert broke Drury Lane box office records selling out a 2-night run in less than 6 minutes.

 

FWL regularly brings Broadway artists to the UK, previous concerts include Broadway and TV regulars Chita Rivera, Keala Settle, Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Michelle Kelly, Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Jeremy Jordan, Matthew Morrison, Erich Bergen, Eden Espinosa, Julia Murney and Cynthia Erivo. Other concerts include West End and UK Stars solo concerts including Michael Ball, Matt Cardle, Kerry Ellis, Oliver Tompsett, Hannah Waddingham, Sharon D Clarke, Bonnie Langford and Jenna Russell. 

 

Tori Amos’s musical The Light Princess was presented to critical acclaim, as a special one-off concert in the summer of 2018. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Zorro The Musical were presented with musical-all-star-casts in 2019 and 2020 respectively to sold out audiences.

 

Fourth Wall Live also regularly partners with the Hippodrome Casino, in November-December 2020 they produced 25 nights of socially distanced entertainment, proudly being the first live concert event post lockdown in the UK.  Season two at the Hippodrome concerts ran from September 2021 to December 2021 and featured 20 nights of musical entertainment from the world of musical theatre and pop cross over.

Jeremy Jordan to Perform Live in London

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Bat Out of Hell Returns to the West End


The producers of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell – The Musical, featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, are delighted to announce the musical’s return to London in 2023. The show, which is currently touring the UK and Ireland, will play a limited season at the Peacock Theatre with performances from 17 February, ending on 1 April 2023.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical will also have a residency at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from 27 September 2022.

Casting for both productions to be announced.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre from 2017 to 2019. The musical also ran successfully in Canada, Germany and at New York’s City Centre in 2019. The current UK and Ireland tour began performances at Manchester Opera House on 11 September 2021 and has been playing to sold out houses and great critical acclaim.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards and was nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical. Bat Out of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 60 million copies worldwide. 16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, which contained the massive hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).

For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Bat Out of Hell, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.

The electrifying rock songs of Mr Steinman propel an epic story of rebellious youth and passion as Strat, the immortal leader of The Lost, has fallen in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler Falco.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Bat Out of Hell - The Musical has book, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, direction by Jay Scheib, choreography adapted by Xena Gusthart, with musical supervision and additional arrangements by Michael Reed, set and costume design by Jon Bausor, original costume designs by Meentje Nielsen, original wig designs by Linda McKnight, video design by Finn Ross, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, sound design by Gareth Owen, orchestration by Steve Sidwell, original casting by David Grindrod CDG and UK Tour casting by Anne Vosser.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl & Tony Smith, with executive producer Julian Stoneman.

This tour is dedicated to the memory of Jim Steinman, who sadly passed away on 19 April 2021, and Meat Loaf, who passed away on 20 January 2022.

Twitter, Facebook & Instagram: @BatTheMusical

photo credit: Chris Davis Studio

Bat Out of Hell Returns to the West End

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Zorro, Charing Cross Theatre | Review


Zorro
Charing Cross Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 12th April 2022 by Hope Priddle
★★★★

Last seen in London in 2008, Zorro is back and ready to bring a taste of Spain to the Charing Cross Theatre! Set to a legendary soundtrack by the Gipsy Kings, this sizzling show follows the mysterious masked vigilante El Zorro in his efforts to defend the Pueblo of Los Angeles from a ruthless autocratic leader. Written by Stephen Clarke and Helen Edmundson, the book is pacey and exhilarating. Whilst drama and action undeniably motivate this production, it really shines in the quiet moments of passion and pathos between our central lovers.

Ben Purkiss is perfectly cast in the titular role. He is utterly endearing as the charismatic and courageous Diego, but he transforms into the suave crusader with ease. Alex Gibson-Giorgio gives an accomplished performance as the tormented tyrant, and Diego’s estranged brother, Ramon. Gibson-Giorgio masterfully conveys Ramon’s internal conflict, inviting sympathy despite his character’s irredeemable actions. Special mention must go to Marc Pickering as Garcia, who is tremendous as our comedic antagonist. Not only does he play the fool, but his character has real heart and displays a truly rewarding arc.

Despite its name, this production is all about its women. Phoebe Panaretos is a complete tour-de-force as the sensual, strong-willed Gyspy queen Inez. Her voice is rich and full-bodied, stealing the showing on more than one occasion. Panaretos leads a rousing rendition of Bamboleo at the end of Act One, captivating her audience in every way possible. Paige Fenlon is similarly exquisite as Diego’s childhood friend Louisa. Louisa may appear innocent on first introduction, but a fire quickly ignites inside of her as she leads the Pueblo uprising. Fenlon’s heavenly vocals soar as her character finds her voice.

Panaretos and Fenlon are supported by a searing female ensemble who truly are the lifeblood of this production. Their vital choreography and visceral harmonious drive the action forward. During Libertad, the ensemble cries sympathetically as one, moving as a single pulsating body under sanguine lighting designed by Matthew Haskins.

Creative elements work in harmony to create a production which is immersive and evocative. The traverse staging, admittedly typical of productions at this venue, works to enclose the Pueblo and create a homely, intimate feel. Set and Costume Designer Rosa Maggiora does a tremendous job of world building. A multi-levelled set elevates the action, whilst aisles and doorways are used effectively for either flamboyant or stealthy entrances and exits. An actor-muso approach greatly compliments this production. Talented ensemble members play classical guitar and trumpets, recreating the sounds of 19th Century California. Moreover, the very stage itself becomes an instrument, integral as brass or string. As the cast stamp and stomp across the floor, they ‘play’ the boards and percussive sound fills the rafters.

With thrilling stage combat (Renny Krupinski) and impactful flamenco routines (Cressida Carre) led by the commanding Ajjaz Awad, this dynamic production is packed full of colour, texture and noise. It fully embraces its audience, sweeping them up into the spirited world of Spanish Gypsies and swashbuckling heroes.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Zorro, Charing Cross Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Monday, 4 April 2022

La Traviata, Royal Opera House | Review


La Traviata
Royal Opera House
Reviewed on Saturday 2nd April 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Richard Eyre's production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata is certainly a landmark one, having stood the test of time and remaining a timeless version in its 28th season since 1994. The opera encompasses all the swooping storylines you'd expect, with grandeur, passion, sex, family, betrayal, romance and tragedy sewn into every moment. Of course there's also the key element: Verdi's stunning melodies. Even if you haven't listened to the opera before you'll surely recognise a few pieces and as operatic works go, it's very accessible for opera newcomers. This is evident in the audience attracted, with a variety of ages filling the auditorium at the Saturday morning performance.

It's quite clear why this is such a well-loved production. The entire thing is completely opulent and so visually impressive. Gloriously detailed period costumes transport the audience to a 19th-century Paris which feels worlds away from Covent Garden. Despite the grandeur, there's also a subtlety that comes alongside the proceedings. Whilst yes, it is dramatic and luxurious, Bob Crowley's set is also cosy and makes the Royal Opera House's auditorium feel small and inviting. This is also helped by the cast, namely leading lady Violetta, played by Pretty Yende who grabs the attention of all and wraps you up in her tragic story from the moment she steps on stage.

La Traviata tells the tale of a famed Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry. Seemingly carefree, she is secretly struggling with tuberculosis so when she meets and falls in love with Alfredo, she believes she gets a new chance to live and be happy. They run away together and life off of her money and sale of her property. However one day Alfredo's father Giorgio Germont appears and begs her to leave his son as he is disgracing his family. Due to her strong love, she agrees and from there further drama and pain ensues.

As Violetta, Pretty Yende is a perfect fit. A fantastic soprano, she embodies the role fully and completely shines both vocally and as an accomplished actress. Yende's technique is faultless and she soars throughout with beautifully spun lines, breath control that grasps the audience and complete accuracy on every note.  She is completely in command throughout and is especially wonderful in Addio del passato in the final act.

Partnered with Stephen Costello as her suitor, the pair work together nicely. Costello at times is overpowered but really comes into his own towards the end when he shows more outward intensity that is mirrored in his vocal performance and really captures the romantic majesty.

Giacomo Sagripanti conducts the orchestra with the perfect amount of sensitivity and creates an atmosphere like no other.

This is a version of La Traviata that will surely run for another 28 seasons and is a must see for opera lovers and opera newbies.

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

La Traviata, Royal Opera House | Review

Monday, 4 April 2022

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Singin' in the Rain (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Singing in the Rain 
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 29th March 2022 
★★★★

It's been 10 years since Jonathan Church's stage version of Singin' in the Rain was brought to life at the Chichester Festival theatre, showering the front rows during the title number and delighting audiences with its sheer spectacle. The show is a fast-footed feast which is full of charm and keeps its wow factor after all these years.

This UK tour which opened with a run at Sadler's Wells closely mirrors the original film in which Gene Kelly created some iconic moments, including his joyful tap dancing through puddles. This scene and many others are performed brilliantly by Adam Cooper as the lead Don Lockwood. A former Royal Ballet dancer, Adam has been with the show since the start and is enthralling in the role of the silent movie star making the transition to 'talkies'.

His famous counterpart, Lina Lamont (played hilariously by Faye Tozer) doesn't make the move quite so seamlessly, with her poor singing voice and harsh, shrill speaking voice not quite delighting audiences. So, at the suggestion of Cosmo Brown, Don's real life love interest Kathy Selden is drafted in to dub the voice and vocals.

Alastair Crosswell plays the highly energetic Cosmo Brown in the most engaging and entertaining way. His incredibly hard working performance provides great slapstick moments alongside stellar dancing. As Kathy Selden, Charlotte Gooch is a sleek, stunning, star. Her magnetic aura is a delight to watch and she never falters for even a second.

What's so impressive about this touring production is the sheer scale of it. It's amazing how such a detailed and technical show can go on such a quick turnaround tour- major props to all the backstage team! Simon Higlett's set is brimming with art deco features and feels like it goes on far beyond the stage of the New Victoria Theatre; and the costumes are utter treats.

This is a complete spectacle of a show that feels sleek and refreshed. Comedic moments including the re-creations of stilted silent films contrast beautifully with Andrew Wright's larger than life choreography which floats and fills the stage with the elegance you dream of. This is a decadent production that really stands the test of time and provides a treat for all the senses.

Singing in the Rain plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 2nd April and then continues its tour

Singin' in the Rain (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Friday, 25 March 2022

The Choir of Man to return to the Arts Theatre, London this Autumn 2022


Due to phenomenal demand, the smash-hit, Olivier-nominated The Choir of Man returns to The Arts Theatre in London’s West End this autumn, with performances beginning 1 October 2022 and a national press night on Thursday 13 October.  Tickets will be on sale from 10.00am, Friday 25 March.
 
Casting is to be announced.
 
The initial limited season at The Arts Theatre will finish on Sunday 3 April 2022.  This month, it was announced that the show has received an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play.
 
The Choir of Man has previously played three sell-out seasons at the Sydney Opera House and multiple sold-out US and European tours.
 
The Choir of Man is the best lock-in at your local you'll ever have, featuring amazing reinventions of folk, pop, Broadway and rock chart-toppers from artists including Guns ‘N’ Roses, Fun!, Adele, Avicii, Paul Simon, Sia and many more. It’s a party, it’s a concert and it’s a lock-in like no other.
 
The multi-talented cast combine beautiful harmonies and foot-stomping singalongs with world-class tap dance and poetic meditations on the power of community. This is a riotously feel-good homage to that gathering place we all love: the pub, complete with a real working bar on stage.

The Choir of Man is created by Nic Doodson and Andrew Kay, directed by Nic Doodson, with musical supervision, vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Jack Blume, movement direction and choreography by Freddie Huddleston, monologues written by Ben Norris, scenic design by Oli Townsend, lighting design by Richard Dinnen, costume design and associate scenic design by Verity Sadler, sound design by Sten Severson, casting by Debbie O’Brien. Associate Choreographer is Rachel Chapman and Associate Musical Director is Hollie Cassar.
 
The show is produced by Immersive Everywhere, Nic Doodson, Andrew Kay, Wendy & Andy Barnes and AK Theatricals.
 
Facebook: @thechoirofman
Twitter & Instagram: @choirofman

The Choir of Man to return to the Arts Theatre, London this Autumn 2022

Friday, 25 March 2022

Lois Morgan Gay Releases Debut Single 'Don't Be That Guy'


Listen to the single ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ here

Lois Morgan Gay is so excited to release her debut single ‘Don’t Be That Guy' which will be available on all music streaming platforms from March 25th 2022. The track is influenced by a mix of performers including Lianne La Havas, Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin. 'Don’t Be That Guy' explores the inner monologue of yearning more from someone rather than just being friends.

"Have you ever gotten to that point in a relationship where it is going really well and you are hopeful that it's going to work then…BANG! They are not ready for anything “serious” and then end up being just another failed relationship? That's what this song is about haha” Lois says.

Lois crafted the single with musician/guitarist Jack Louis Rennie who helped with music arrangement and also plays guitar on the track alongside Meelie Traill on bass, and Max Blunos on drums. The track is produced by Ben Robbins.

The London based singer/songwriter was born and raised in Bristol, she delivers smooth R&B with a soulful feel to her voice, writing about heartbreak, relationships, and yearning. Her music is vocally led, having been heavily inspired by the likes of Adele, Aretha Franklin and YEBBA. Music has always been a huge part of Lois' life, there was always music playing in the house growing up. Lois began her performing career in theatre and then discovered her love for singing and writing at the age of 14. She states "Telling a story and expressing my feelings and inner thoughts through my music enables me to connect with the audience and that is the best feeling in the world”.

Lois is currently in the line-up of the final to win a £100,000 record deal with Alpha records, she will perform at the Indigo at the O2 Arena on March 30th where she will debut this song live for the very first time.

Lois Morgan Gay Releases Debut Single 'Don't Be That Guy'

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Jake Sharp on Bringing Rock to Wimbledon | School of Rock | Interview

All that was taken away from us during the pandemic is celebrated in the show by some genius young superstars. 

School of Rock is a cult classic film which celebrates music and how it brings people together. Post- pandemic it provides the perfect, lighthearted, high energy, night out. Currently starring in the show as leading man Dewey Finn, Jake Sharp tells us about his experience in the show and what it's like stepping into Jack Black's shoes...




Firstly, for anyone that doesn’t know could you explain a little bit about School of Rock?

School of Rock is about a wannabe rockstar Dewey Finn, who, needing some money, intercepts a phone call and poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious school. When he hears the straight-A students playing classical music he transforms them into mini rockstars in order to compete at the Battle of the Bands.

Jack Black made Dewey such an iconic character, what’s it been like creating your own version?
Obviously Jack Black is a genius so they are quite big shoes to fill. But the blueprints that his performance has given means there is so much room to play. Dewey Finn is basically a big kid so it’s so much fun seeing how he reacts in the world of Horace Green School.

What’s been your favourite part of starring in School of Rock?
Playing ‘Teachers Pet’ to audiences all round the country. In that moment everything the audience hears is just us playing live on stage. It never fails to give me goosebumps and the reaction from the crowds is next level. The fact that people from all over have the opportunity to see the show is amazing, but the knowledge that we are inspiring the next generation of musical protégées is super cool.

It’s a very high energy show, how do you keep your voice and body strong doing the show every night whilst touring the country?
A lot of water, a lot of sleep and a lot of pasta. It’s been a real personal undertaking to get myself to a fitness level vocally, physically and mentally to be able to keep producing the energy levels that the show requires. But it’s absolutely worth it! Plus pasta is delicious. 

Dewey inspires his students in many ways, did you have an influential teacher growing up?
I did but when it comes to Dewey I always think more about the other adults that have been influential. I grew up playing sports and a lot of the time as a kid I would be around or apart of the adult teams. The way that they treated me as an equal in that environment is how I think Dewey treats the kids. They are all level pegging in the band - it doesn’t matter how old or how ‘cool’ they might seem in ‘normal’ life.

Why do you think people should come and see the show?
I hate it when people say this but it’s completely true for this show. It’s absolutely fun for all the ages. Whether on a date, a solo trip, with kids, with a school - everyone will enjoy School of Rock. It’s high energy, face melting rock and roll and champions live music and being creative. All that was taken away from us during the pandemic is celebrated in the show by some genius young superstars.

Thank you so much Jake for taking the time to chat to me. School of Rock plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 26th March and then continues its tour.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

photo credit: Paul Coltas
 

Jake Sharp on Bringing Rock to Wimbledon | School of Rock | Interview

Tuesday, 22 March 2022