Posts with the label disney
Showing posts with label disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disney. Show all posts

Friday, 17 July 2020

Frozen West End cast and company announced

The leading cast members and company of the West End premiere of Frozen have been revealed, as the show moves its premiere date to spring 2021.
Joining the previously announced Samantha Barks (Elsa) and Stephanie McKeon (Anna) are Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff), Craig Gallivan (Olaf), Oliver Ormson (Hans), Richard Frame (Weselton), and alternating the role of Sven, Mikayla Jade and Ashley Birchall; with Jeremy Batt, Cameron Burt, Lauren Chia, Laura Emmitt, Emily-Mae Walker (Bulda), Danielle Fiamanya (first cover Elsa), Hannah Fairclough, Matt Gillett, Joe Griffiths- Brown, Emily Lane, Justin-Lee Jones, Jason Leigh Winter, Jacob Maynard, Leisha Mollyneaux, Gabriel Mokake (King Agnarr), Sarah O'Connor (first cover Anna), Jemma Revell, Jacqui Sanchez (Queen Iduna), Jak Skelly (Oaken/Bishop), Jake Small, Isabel Snaas, Joshua St. Clair (Pabbie), Monica Swayne, and Anna Woodside. Further casting is to be confirmed.
Frozen, which has music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, opened on Broadway in March 2018 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical. It follows Elsa, who is gifted with ice-manipulating powers, and her relationship with her sister Anna as they try to run a nation.
The show is based on the highest-grossing animated film of all time, which was released in 2013 and won two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The sequel – Frozen 2 – was released last autumn.
The production, which will be presented at a refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane will be directed by Michael Grandage with choreography by Rob Ashford, set and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin, sound design by Peter Hylenski, video design by Finn Ross, puppet design by Michael Curry and musical supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus.
Michael Grandage said today: "We're thrilled to announce the company for Frozen – an incredibly talented group of people who will be creating the London premiere at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane next spring. As theatres start to open their doors again, we look forward to celebrating the spectacle of this beloved story with audiences everywhere."

Frozen West End cast and company announced

Friday, 17 July 2020

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre | Review


Mary Poppins
Prince Edward Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 5th November 2019 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

Since she landed umbrella in hand, the mystical nanny Mary Poppins has been a much loved character. From the hit Disney film to a number of revivals and performances around the world, there's something universally adored about the feel-good story of the Banks family, so it's no surprise that the musical is once again gracing the West End. It's a musical full of sparkle, magic and wow factors but at times feels as though it's on just for the sake of being on.

In this musical, co-created by Cameron Mackintosh, with additional songs by Stiles and Drewe and a book by Julian Fellowes, the moral aspect of the story is strongly highlighted, as are the darker sides of the original book. The story of Mr Banks' redemption and the importance of making the correct moral choices for those around you remains ever relevant but much of the secondary plot feels somewhat dated and not relevant for a modern audience. Of course this isn't the making of a show, and with something like Mary Poppins it's mostly about the nostalgia and feel-good-factor but for a show that runs almost three hours long, some tweaks to make it more engaging wouldn't have gone amiss. 

However, this is a show about compassion and the cast do a joyous job of bringing the story to life with energy, wonder and colour. Thanks in part to Bob Crowley's sets and costumes which are structured, colourful and all around excellence. The house which opens like the pages of a pop-up book is magnificent each time it's seen; and the plain park which becomes a psychedelic garden of amusement is completely brilliant. Sparkly costumes and beautifully tailored coats adorn the stage and evoke the joy from both the book and film well.


Stiles and Drewe's songs are much darker and sharper than those we've grown up with, with 'Playing the Game' bringing toys to life as the stuff nightmares are made of. Elsewhere scenes are taken from book to stage effectively and interestingly. Overall the musical is a whole lot of sugar with a little bit of spice thrown in for good measure... just how Mary Poppins would like it I assume!

Richard Eyre has directed a show for adults and children which brims with surprise but at times lacks sufficient pace. However, the choreography by Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear is sophisticated, sharp, witty and utterly first-rate. 'Step in Time' is a complete highlight as the stage comes to life with sweepers and leading man Charlie Stemp literally walks on the ceiling. 

Stemp's entire performance is a masterclass in stage presence. His continually fresh characterisation completely draws the audience in as he moves and speaks with a natural grace and charms everyone who witnesses him. Additionally his rapport with Strallen's Mary is genuine and engaging. Zizi Strallen makes the famous nanny her own as she floats around the stage with a whimsical but grounded air and takes on the leading role excellently. Elsewhere Amy Griffiths is touching and vocally excellent as Mrs Banks and the entire ensemble give top notch performances.

Yes, this show is lacking at times but much of the time it's a feast for the eyes and ears and is sure to be enjoyed by many so why not take a trip to see magical Mary float in on her brolly right in front of your eyes.

Mary Poppins is currently booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until 31st May 2020, tickets are available at www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Johan Persson

Mary Poppins, Prince Edward Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Disney's Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre | Review


Aladdin
Prince Edward Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 21st May 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

There's always room for a little injection of Disney magic and Aladdin which is booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until July 27th 2019, is just that. It's not a life-altering, thought-provoking piece of theatre but it's a whole lot of fun, mountains of sparkle and enough magic to enthral children and adults alike. 

If you're unaware of the story, Aladdin follows a street urchin who is hustling his way through life. That is, until he meets the Princess of Agrabah and his life becomes a little more wild. As the prophesied 'Diamond in the Rough', Aladdin gets his hands on a lamp which contains a magical Genie, who will grant him three wishes. Aladdin ventures to find love and escape the dark characters who are on his tail in this mystical story.

Aladdin (played by Matthew Croke) is lovable and charming in all the ways you could desire. With a beautiful voice and fantastic stage presence he leads the show perfectly. Croke's rendition of 'Proud of Your Boy' is truly moving and a wonderful moment of calm among an all-singing, all-dancing musical. His Jasmine is played by Courtney Reed who is dazzling and brings a feminist, sassy quality to the character that transfers fantastically on stage. Reed's vocal performances are equally as enchanting and when the pair join for the iconic duet 'A Whole New World' they not only do the film version justice, but put their own mystical spin on it.

The rest of the cast are highly talented, as shown by the various dance numbers which are performed with enthusiasm and precision. Similarly to the film, it's the Genie (played by Trevor Dion Nicholas) who utterly steals the show. With incredible comedic flair and dramatic prowess, Nicholas earns rapturous applause in every scene. Act One closer 'Friend Like Me' is a glistening gem in this production.

A spin of colour, created by Bob Crowley's sets and Gregg Barnes' costumes, Aladdin is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The sides of the stage do feel a little underused as they are completely bare, but the black box effect strangely makes the stage look like a television which works for this show.

There are times when the show does feel a bit pantomime-esque, but there's no denying that it caters to the vast audience of tourists, theatre newbies, children, theatre regulars and adults very well. Aladdin pleasantly surprises and impresses. 

The mix of comedy, romance, fantastic performances and magic, mean something is provided for everyone and you can't help but feel whisked up in the wonder of it all.

Aladdin is currently booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until July 27th

For more information and tickets, visit: www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

Disney's Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre | Review

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Disney's Broadway Hits, Royal Albert Hall | Review


Disney's Broadway Hits (Concert)
Royal Albert Hall 
Reviewed on Saturday 2nd March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

There's no denying that we all love a bit of magic in our lives and the Royal Albert Hall's latest Disney offering provided the perfect sprinkle of fairy dust on a grey Saturday afternoon. Helmed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, led by Keith Lockhart, alongside West End stars, Ava Brennan, Shaun Escoffery, Willemijn Verkaik and Anton Zetterholm, the audience were treated to an outstandingly well performed showcase of some of the most well loved Disney songs with some hidden gems added in.

With songs from musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid and Newsies, to name just a few, there was certainly something for everyone. The four performers brought versatility and vocal prowess to each song with standouts including A Change in Me, Shadowland, Elaborate Lives and Let it Go.

With years of Disney content to use, the team have done a wonderful job of creating a programme which provides some surprises as well a the songs we'd expect. Music from King David we welcomed with open arms and gave us a glimpse of what Disney delights could be bought out of the vaults for future revivals. We also go a glimpse into the upcoming West End productions of Mary Poppins and Frozen  which are sure to delight audiences when they open.

Thanks to outstanding lighting design and the elaborate setting of the Royal Albert Hall, this concert provided a dose of brilliance that captivated the audience from start to finish. You couldn't ask for a sweeter theatrical event and I can only hope we get more Disney magic in the future.


Disney's Broadway Hits, Royal Albert Hall | Review

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Little Mermaid (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


The Little Mermaid 
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 21st November 2017 by Melanie Mitchell 
★★★★★

Being a ballet novice, having only seen 2 before, I was a little unsure what to expect from this production. I have to say, that in my humble opinion, The Little Mermaid is a masterful adaptation, especially as the idea to create a completely new ballet was only borne in September 2016. David Nixon and his team have produced a stunning piece of work in only 13 months. 

Most of us know the story of The Little Mermaid from the now famous Disney film and show, however those of us, perhaps a bit older will remember the much darker and sinister tale by Hans Christian Anderson. This is the tale on which the production is based. 

After seeing the picture of a handsome young prince in a locket, Marilla a young mermaid falls in love. On rescuing the prince from a shipwreck she longs to be with him and sacrifices her beautiful voice in exchange for human life. Although she is able to walk, every step causes her unimaginable pain, yet she is unable to cry. The principle dancer made this feeling so palpable with her agonised movement and silent screams. 

Disorientated the prince awakens and mistakes a passing girl for the owner of the beautiful voice he had previously heard, the mermaid is now unable to tell him that it was her, shattering her dreams and aspirations. This production doesn’t have the happy ever after of the Disney story and is true to the Hans Christian Anderson original with its moral core. 


The staging and costumes are stunning, with the colours and fabrics perfectly reflecting the magical dwellers of the sea and the hard solid land. Absolutely transporting the audience to the ethereal reflective underwater world. 

The dancers especially the principles and soloists are magnificent, moving with absolute grace and ease. The strength of the male dancers is incredible with the females looking absolutely weightless as if under the waves at times. I wondered how it would be possible to give the impression of the graceful movements of the mermaids. This has certainly been achieved and it is truly mesmerising. 

The music, an original score composed by Sally Beamish is hauntingly beautiful throughout, perfectly suiting and setting the tone and mood to every scene. It is played wonderfully by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, with John Pryce-Jones as its musical director. 

This World Premiere production makes for a truly magical evening at the theatre. If you are already a lover of the ballet, a newcomer as I am, or have never seen one, then I urge you to see it if you can and be immersed into the mystical, magical underwater world.

The Little Mermaid (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 22 November 2017