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

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Full Tour Cast of Annie Revealed with Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O'Grady and Jodie Prenger and More



Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce full casting for the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of their smash hit production of the musical ANNIE opening at Curve, Leicester on Saturday 25 February 2023. Joining the previously announced Craig Revel Horwood and Paul O’Grady, will be Scottish BAFTA winner Elaine C Smith and Jodie Prenger, all starring as ‘Miss Hannigan’ at various venues. Alongside them will be Alex Bourne as Oliver Warbucks, Paul French as Rooster, Amelia Adams as Grace Farrell, and Billie-Kay as Lily St. Regis. The title role of Annie is shared by Zoe Akinyosade, Harlie Barthram and Poppy Cunningham. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the residents of Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.
 
Completing the cast will be Emily Barnett-Salter, Alistair Beattie, David BurrowsSergi Ibanez, Rosalind James, Belle Kizzy Green, Ellie May-Wilson, Martin McCarthy, Phoebe Roberts, Lukin Simmonds, Matthew Sweet, Dawn Williams, and Tommy Wade-Smith.
 
*Full tour dates, including details of at which venues Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O’Grady, Elaine C Smith and Jodie Prenger star, are in the listings below. www.anniethemusicaltour.uk
 
Craig Revel Horwood is probably best known as a judge on all 20 series of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing. He returns to the part of Miss Hannigan having played the role to critical acclaim in this production in both the West End and on tour. His other West End Theatre credits include Munkustrap in Cats, Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Harry in Crazy for You at the Prince Edward Theatre. Craig directed and choreographed Strictly Ballroom the Musical which is currently touring the UK and Ireland, and the 2016/17 tour of Sister Act the Musical, as well as the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour. He also choreographed the film Paddington 2.
 
BAFTA Award winning television, radio and stage star Paul O’Grady returns to Annie having first played the role of Miss Hannigan at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. His other theatre credits include playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and many pantomimes including Cinderella and Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium. On television he is best known as the host of ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape, The Paul O’Grady Show, Channel 4’s Blind Date and BBC One’s Blankety Blank. He is also a highly celebrated writer, having written both autobiographical and fictional books and recently completed a 14 year run as a presenter on BBC Radio 2.
 
Elaine C Smith is perhaps best known for playing Mary Doll in the BBC comedy Rab C Nesbitt, as well as her role as Christine in the BBC sitcom Two Doors Down, for which she won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Actress in 2018. On stage she consistently headlines major pantomimes, having just finished her 13th year at Glasgow King’s Theatre. She played Cora in the original UK Tour and West End run of Calendar Girls as well as playing Susan Boyle in the UK tour of I Dreamed A Dream which she co-write with Alan McHugh.
 
Jodie Prenger recently joined ITV’s Coronation Street as Glenda Shuttleworth. Her West End credits include A Taste of Honey at the Trafalgar Studios. Oliver! at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, One Man Two Guvnors at Theatre Royal Haymarket and Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. On tour she has appeared in Abigail’s Party, Shirley Valentine, Annie, Fat Friends, Tell Me on A Sunday and Calamity Jane. On television she has appeared in the BBC’s Shakespeare & Hathaway, Years and Years, Casualty and Waterloo Road.
 
Alex Bourne returns to Annie as Oliver Warbucks, having played the role both in the West End, Toronto and the UK Tour. His other theatre credits include Edna Turnblad in the UK Tour of Hairspray, Sam Carmichael in the UK Tour of Mamma Mia!, Khashoggi in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre and Lex Hogan in Eugenius! at The Other Palace. On film he can be seen in Sony Pictures’ Cinderella.
 
Paul French was most recently seen as TinMan/Hickory in The Wizard of Oz at Curve, Leicester. His other theatre credits include Kenickie in Grease at the Dominion Theatre and in the production’s UK Tour and Double J in Saturday Night Fever at the Peacock Theatre. On film he can be seen in Visualize Films’ Tomorrow Morning.
 
Amelia Adams has most recently been seen in the UK Tour of Friends! The Musical Parody. Her previous theatre credits include Lois Lane/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate for Welsh National Opera, Mary Delgado in Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre and on tour, Martha Burelli in The Rat Pack at the Haymarket Theatre and on tour. She has also appeared in the UK Tour of Hairspray and Spamalot both in the West End and on tour.
 
Billie-Kay recently appeared as Angel in Anything Goes at the Barbican and its UK and Ireland tour. She has also appeared as Dale Tremont in Top Hat at The Mill at Sonning and in 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. On film she has appeared in Disney’s Dis-Enchanted and Beauty and the Beast, and Sony Pictures’ Cinderella.
 
Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…
 
With its award-winning book and score, this stunning production includes the unforgettable songs ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and ‘Tomorrow’.
 
ANNIE has Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan. It is directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker.
 
The producers of Annie cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist, which is always subject to illness and holidays.

photo credit: Matt Crockett

Full Tour Cast of Annie Revealed with Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O'Grady and Jodie Prenger and More

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

My Son's a Queer (But what can you do?), Ambassadors Theatre | Review


My Son's a Queer (But what can you do?)
Ambassadors Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 1st February 2023 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Let’s start off by saying that this show is the most joyous and heartfelt 75 minutes I’ve maybe ever experienced in the theatre. Rob Madge has taken the highs and lows of their childhood to create a show which celebrates individuality in the most spectacularly jubilant way.


During lockdown, Rob became an online sensation after sharing their childhood home videos of the shows they’d put on with the help of family, and now these performances have been brought to stage in a flawless way. The show is a manifesto on being authentically who you are, and really couldn't do a better job at highlighting the joy and freedom that the Arts can bring. 


There are a number of incredibly poignant parts to the show, especially when Rob discusses the harsh way they were treated growing up by both pupils and teachers. They showcase how incredible their family have been and put forth such a strong message of acceptance. Whilst not everyone may have such a positive experience, the show has the lovely message that found family can be even better than those related by blood and if we all support one another, the world will be a much brighter place.


The great writing (Pippa Cleary), outstanding comedic timing, brilliant direction from Luke Sheppard and insurmountable talent of Rob Madge mean there truly aren’t enough adjectives to describe how moving and entertaining My Son’s a Queer is. Not only is it narratively successful, it also includes some wonderful vocal moments, as well as a spectacular array of costumes by Ryan Dawson Laight and the whole package is faultless; every element just works.


Rob is a natural storyteller and entertainer who has the audience in the palm of their hand from the get go. They'll have your cheeks hurting from laughing and your nose running from crying and it’s all worth it to experience this gem in the crown of brilliant British theatre. My Son's a Queer (But what can you do?) is everything theatre should be.

My Son's a Queer (But what can you do?), Ambassadors Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Cast for Cake- The Marie Antoinette Playlist Announced


The brand-new musical, come gig, come ballet is from some of the most exciting figures in modern British Theatre, with an Olivier Award winning creative team including Olivier Winner’s Drew McOnie(In the Heights; Jesus Chris Superstar) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia - The Globe) 
 
Cake will be venturing on a UK tour from 18 March 2023, starting at the MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton.  
 
Casting will include, fresh from her magical run as Mary Poppins on the West End, Zizi Strallen (she/her) stars as Marie Antoinette, with RenĂ©e Lamb (she/her), Catherine of Aragon from the original cast of SIX, starring as Jeanne.
 
The cast is completed by B Terry (they/them) as Nicole, Travis Ross (he/him) as Cardinal with Ope Sowande (he/him) and Megan Bryony Gibbs (she/her) as the ensemble and Lukas Hunt (he/him) and Amie Hibbert (she/her) as swings. 
 
Cake combines music with 18th century France to retell a story that sparked a revolution. When Marie Antoinette married King Louis, her reputation was already tarnished by gossip. But when she is implicated in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers of a diamond necklace, it is not just her reputation at stake, but the monarchy and France itself.

Originally commissioned by Paul Taylor-Mills (Heathers & In the Heights), Cake promises to re-define our expectations of what a musical can be.

Paul has said, “We are delighted to be partnering with 5 of the leading regional theatres to present a development production of this brilliant new show. I first commissioned this at The Other Palace five years ago and am delighted to be working with some of the best theatre makers in Drew McOnie, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Tasha Taylor Johnson and Jack McManus. The show started life at our first MTFestUK and it’s great to see it come to production.”

Cake is written by Morgan Lloyd Malcom directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie with songs by Tasha Taylor Johnson and Jack McManus, casting by Will Burton CDG and based on an idea byPaul Taylor-Mills.

Cast for Cake- The Marie Antoinette Playlist Announced

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Full cast announced for Winnie The Pooh The Musical

Rockefeller Productions, in partnership with ROYO and in association with Disney Theatrical Productions, are delighted to announce the full cast for Disney’s Winnie the Pooh.
 
The UK and Ireland premiere will begin performances at London’s Riverside Studios (Hammersmith) from 17 March, with an official opening on 26 March. The show will then tour the UK and Ireland until September 2023. Tickets for Riverside Studios and the UK & Ireland Tour are now on sale.
 
Sharing the role of Winnie the Pooh in London will be the previously announced Jake Bazel (who originated the role in New York) and Benjamin Durham (Young Frankenstein). Benjamin will play the title role on tour. The much-loved characters of Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo will be brought to life by an ensemble of performers, including  Laura Bacon (Britain’s Got Talent, Star Wars), Harry Boyd (The Play That Goes Wrong, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story), Alex Cardall (Evita, The Osmonds: A New Musical)Chloe Gentles (Mamma Mia!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Lottie Grogan (Smurfs Save Spring: The Musical, The Lips for Puppets with Guys) and Robbie Noonan (Avenue Q UK Tour, Jack and the Beanstalk).
 
Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, a new adventure is about to happen.  A.A. Milne’s beloved characters, Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl (and Tigger too!), will all arrive on stage in a beautifully-crafted musical stage adaptation.
 
In a new story from the Hundred Acre Wood, this fresh stage adaptation is told with impressive life-size puppetry, exciting new stories and featuring characters that have played iconic roles in the lives of children for generations. Accompanying the modern narrative is an original score by Nate Edmondson, featuring some of the Grammy award-winning songs written by the Sherman Brothers for the original animated features, including Winnie the Pooh, The Blustery Day, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers and Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce, plus A.A. Milne’s The More It Snows (featuring music by Carly Simon) and Sing Ho in a new arrangement.
 
Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation is developed and presented by renowned family entertainment creator Jonathan Rockefeller (whose spectacular puppetry is omnipresent in the acclaimed productions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar ShowPaddington Gets in a Jam and Sesame Street the Musical).
 
Inspired by the beloved books by A. A. Milne and the classic Disney featurettes, the production was welcomed in New York in 2021, where it broke theatre box office records for the largest advance, with rave reviews where it was called “Enchanting!” (Time Out); “Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation is magical, sweet as honey, and full of humor. It's a wholesome, delightful, enchanting piece of theatre,” (BroadwayWorld); “A perfect reintroduction to live theater. It’s a captivating adventure with spectacular puppetry,” (Mommy Poppins); “Charming and whimsical stage show that Pooh surpasses every expectation I had for it,” (The Laughing Place); Winnie the Pooh is delightfully first-rate,” (Theatre Pizzazz); “Irresistible. ‘Winnie the Pooh’ is sweeter than honey,” (DC Metro Arts); “An hour of bountiful joy,” (New York Theatre Guide); “Mesmerizing and lifestyle puppets and original Sherman Brothers tunes, the beautiful new Winnie the Pooh musical is must-see,” (Theatrely); “The wonderful thing about musicals is that musicals are wonderful things. The New ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Musical Is Sweeter than Honey,” (Toy Insider).
 
 
Website: winniethepoohshow.co.uk
Facebook: @WinnieThePoohShowUK
Twitter: @WinnieShowUK
Instagram: @WinnieThePoohShowUK

Full cast announced for Winnie The Pooh The Musical

Friday, 27 January 2023

In Clay, The Vaults | Review


In Clay
The Vaults
Reviewed on Friday 27th January 2023 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

A sweet tale of a female artist, specifically a potter/clay creator, in 1930s France, In Clay follows our protagonist Marie-Berthe developing her love of creating as well as looking at a few of her relationships and ultimately, the way she strives for and eventually defines, success.


Rosalind Ford takes the helm of this one woman show and does so with glorious affect. Not only does Ford play Marie-Berthe, but also a number of side characters such as her best friend Henrietta and her teacher Jean-Charles, all of whom you truly feel have entered the stage. With the noise of next door's performance and the rattling trains overhead, your attention could easily wander but Rosalind does a stellar job of keeping you engaged throughout. Her vocals are also gorgeous and an absolute treat to listen to.


Aside from the performance, the star of this show is the lovely music that is typically and gloriously French. Jack Miles and Rebecca Simmonds's songs completely embody French-cafe, pre/post war vibes and are so fitting to the story, with an especially wonderful scat section that really mirrors the freedom of art. A couple of the songs feel abruptly/imperfectly ended and could do with a slight rework but overall they're very smooth and the clever lyrics are so witty and compelling.


It's also impressive that there's a live four-piece band on stage, a sight not regularly seen at the Vaults, but Matt Herbert on keyboard, Rhiannon Hopkins on bass, Daniel Kemshell on guitar and Auguste Janonyte on violin do a great job and add even more to the feeling of being in France in the throngs of the creative, artistic circles.

For a 60-minute show, Rebecca Simmonds' book is surprisingly detailed and sleek; telling Marie-Berthe's story in a pacey fashion that never loses momentum or lacks emotion. From love to the pain of loss, a whole spectrum of life is explored and there's a wonderful celebration of fragility and putting yourself back together after you fall. Grace Taylor's direction allows the story to be told in a way that still feels free and spacious given the confines of the Vaults and Sorcha Corcoran's set design adds visual interest as well as mirroring the emotional turmoil on display in the piece.


All in all In Clay is a short, sweet, well-moulded show that with a few more tweaks on the potters wheel could be perfect. A great opener to the 2023 Vault Festival, it will be a treat to see how this musical progresses.

In Clay, The Vaults | Review

Friday, 27 January 2023

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre | Review


Allegiance
Charing Cross Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 18th January 2023 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

The Charing Cross Theatre is one of the best venues for showcasing a variety of interesting musicals, and thankfully it’s currently playing house to George Takei’s brilliant show, Allegiance. Having last visited the venue to see From Here To Eternity, which chronicles the lead up to the Pearl Harbour attacks, this moving musical felt like a very fitting follow on.

Inspired by Takei's life, Allegiance tells the story of over 120,000 Japanese Americans who were thrown into internment camps following the attacks on Pearl Harbour in 1941. The musical is a timely one indeed and really highlights an awful part of history. A "legacy project" for Takei, it's clear that a lot of time and love went into making it as sweet as it is.

Now this is by no means a flawless musical but it is full of emotion and drama that keeps you invested throughout. Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione have written a book which is multi layered, taking into account history, family drama, romance, humour and heartbreak, and is well paced with a good amount of build up and tension. At times it gets a little bit confusing but is continually an easy show to watch.

Kuo's music is not particularly memorable but has some lovely moments as you're watching. Given the subject matter it's surprisingly upbeat, and despite not having any ear-worms, it is suitably stirring and enjoyable to listen to. Group numbers are especially effective and there's also a nice mix of styles and vocal inflections. Andrew Hilton and Charlie Ingles' orchestrations highlight the intense emotions well.

It's always a treat to see how the Charing Cross theatre is transformed and Tara Overfield Wilkinson's staging is extremely well done.  The stage becomes a variety of settings, from a moving train to a battlefield and each setting feels completely realistic. The continual motion of the set pieces and the actors throughout makes the whole thing flow so seamlessly and it's very impressive how large the stage feels.

Cast wise this show has a uniformly strong group of performers who completely give themselves over to the story and create some splendidly magical moments. Earning applause when he enters the stage Takei is an endearing and commanding stage presence who brings different shades to the characters he plays and does a stellar job of taking us through the family saga. As Takei's younger self (Sam) Telly Leung brings such warmth and charm. It's a treat to see him on a London stage and especially to hear his wonderful voice fill the arches of Charing Cross. 

Megan Gardiner showcases equally beautiful vocals as the nurse for the camp and there are also excellent performances by Aynrand Ferrer and Masashi Fujimoto who both bring great depth to their characters. Ferrer's voice is particularly stunning as she performs her solo moments with impeccable clarity.

Whilst this is a show about the atrocities which happened in 1941, it's surprisingly uplifting and often celebrates love and community. There are some tear-jerking moments at the end but overall this is a really heart-warming piece of theatre that deserves to be seen.

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre | Review

Thursday, 19 January 2023