Posts with the label uk tour
Showing posts with label uk tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label uk tour. Show all posts

Wednesday 10 April 2024

2:22 A Ghost Story on Tour REVIEW: A Spooky Night Out


2:22 A Ghost Story (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

Since premiering in the West End and playing at a number of theatres, 2:22 A Ghost Story has established itself as a must-see spooky night out.  It's a production that promises to thrill and entertain audiences, and definitely does just that.

Drawing from the personal experiences of playwright Danny Robbins, this haunting journey into the supernatural explores themes of love, loss, and enduring connections. The storyline is skilfully crafted, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats while infusing humour that enhances the realism. However, amidst the solid pacing and unexpected twists, the abundance of overacting in this touring version detracts from the authenticity, making it challenging to fully engage with the narrative. 

Set against the backdrop of a dinner party with minimal set changes, the focus remains on the characters so there's a lot riding on them. This cast, made up of Vera Chok, Jay McGuiness, George Rainsford and Fiona Wade, mostly succeed in creating a believable atmosphere, capturing the essence of a boozy evening, however at times, it really feels like you can see some of the performers acting and the line delivery is too over the top to be realistic. When I last saw the show, it almost felt as if you were a fly on the wall during the haunted dinner party, but this time everything is a bit more forced and over performed. The dynamics between the characters are there and you can understand the boiling pot of traumas and emotions that are sewn throughout, but they're not as impactful as when the play is performed with more nuance.

Additionally, while the sound effects aim to heighten the tension, they often feel conspicuous and unnecessary, failing to enhance the overall atmosphere. However, beyond these surface-level thrills, 2:22 A Ghost Story delves into social and economic issues, as well as the dichotomy between belief and science. This commentary adds depth to the production, and helps to create a genuinely good play.

Anna Fleischle's set design allows for spooky moments while maintaining the mundane setting of a family home. The attention to detail, combined with Lucy Carter's atmospheric lighting, provides a perfect backdrop for this ghostly tale.

2:22 A Ghost Story is definitely worth seeing. Despite its flaws, including excessive theatrics and unnecessary jump scares, the play offers moments of genuine suspense and an interesting array commentary.

★★★
Reviewed on Tuesday 9th April 2024 by Olivia

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

2:22 A Ghost Story on Tour REVIEW: A Spooky Night Out

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Tuesday 19 March 2024

I Should Be So Lucky on tour at the New Victoria Theatre REVIEW: A Misguided Melange of 80s Madness


I Should Be So Lucky (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

In the sun-drenched world of I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical, there's a flicker of potential, but sadly, it fades quicker than the sparkle of a disco ball. The show, buoyed by a strong cast and glitzy staging, is fun but struggles to hit the high notes it aims for.

Let's start with the positives: the cast. They're the shining stars of this production, injecting life and energy into every scene. With their talent and charisma, they manage to elevate even the most lacklustre moments. Each member deserves applause for their efforts in salvaging what they can from the material. To name a few, Scott Paige brings hilarity to every moment of his stage time, Kayla Carter as Bonnie provides some wonderful vocals and her blossoming relationship with Ash played by Giovanni Spanò is one of the highlights of the show. Giovanni is laugh out loud funny and get to briefly show off his killer vocals. It's a bit of theme in the show that the amazing vocal talents of the cast don't get to really be shown off, due to the hundred other things that are happening throughout. This is definitely the case with Melissa Jacques as Shelley who is wonderful, but having seen her in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, I would've loved some more chances for her to sing and soar.

As I mentioned, there's a LOT going on. There are a heap of side plots and vague character references and development which never have enough time to really mean anything. It sort of feels like every idea made it into the show and there was no development or streamlining to make it work. Another issue is that the show borders between being super sincere and not taking itself too seriously, so at times you're unsure whether you're laughing with or at the show. There's certainly potential, but in it's current form, it feels like a strange fever dream.

Now, onto the staging. It's undeniably flashy, dripping with sequins and neon lights reminiscent of a Kylie concert. The set (Tom Rogers) is really good, and there's a certain thrill in watching the glitzy spectacle unfold. However, as the show progresses, the excitement begins to wane, revealing a repetitive pattern that feels more like a recycling of ideas than a deliberate artistic choice. The 80s music video vibes are real, but there's only so many times you can get joy from the heart shaped bed rolling onto the stage. 

Despite these glimmers of promise, I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical ultimately falls flat. While it may provide a momentary escape into a world of pop music and glamour, it lacks the substance needed to sustain interest beyond the surface. Thankfully the cast do wonder with what they're given, but even the most talented performers can't fully save this misguided show. Much like an 80s tune, it's enjoyable in the moment but quickly fades from memory.

★★
Reviewed on Monday 18th march 2024 by Olivia
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

I Should Be So Lucky plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 23rd March and then continues its tour

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

I Should Be So Lucky on tour at the New Victoria Theatre REVIEW: A Misguided Melange of 80s Madness

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Thursday 8 February 2024

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

Thursday 8 February 2024

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Pretty Woman on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: A Perfect Night Out


Pretty Woman (Tour) 
New Victoria Theatre 

A night of laughter; this sexy, fun and wonderfully performed musical grabs attention from the off! 

Based on the famous 1990 film, the show tells the story of Vivian, a prostitute falling on hard times in Beverly Hills. By pure chance, she catches the attention of a Billionaire, Edward. Their instant connection prompts Edward to offer residence to Vivian, in exchange for her services for one week whilst he stays at the famously opulent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Both are certain that no feelings could grow during this business deal. It seems they are both to be proved wrong…

The leading role of Vivian Ward was of course made famous by Julia Roberts. Needless to say, this iconic role is a hard one to fill. Amber Davies, who gained public attention with her 2017 Love Island win plays the role with brilliance and proves she's much more than a reality star. Her acting, singing and dancing is on point, a true triple threat! Whilst delivering iconic lines from the movie, Amber makes the role her own and creates a charming character who the audience root for. 

Oliver Savile portrays the role of Edward Lewis excellently, which is no surprise considering his extensive theatre experience! Edward’s closed-off attitude and need to hold everyone at arms length, slowly wavers as Vivian wins his affection. The strong chemistry between Amber and Oliver is more than apparent, especially in the few raunchy moments throughout the show. It's a pleasure to see them act together. 

Natalie Paris, who plays Vivian’s best friend Kit De Luca is a true standout with the most incredible vocal range! A continual scene stealer, her ‘Rock and Roll’ style is effortless, and she brings the witty character to life superbly.  The rest of the killer ensemble do a fantastic job of keeping energy high with their multiple dance numbers and general presence. 

With music Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a book by Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton and direction and choreography Jerry Mitchell, the magic of the show is there from the start, and stays throughout. Pretty Woman on tour is a fantastic screen to stage adaptation that has all the moments the audience know and love from the smash hit film, with extra theatrical additions to make it an utterly engaging experience.

The overall design of the show fits the era and flavour of the musical well. The use of bright background lighting (Kenneth Posner and Philip S. Rosenberg) during song and dance numbers keep the overall feeling of the show light and fun. Equally Tom Rodgers's costume design really represents the story well; of course the iconic red ballgown from the movie makes its appearance alongside a number of other fun costumes. David Rockwell's set is simple but effective- one minute you are looking at dingy Hollywood street corner, the next you are in the Penthouse suite of the Beverly Wilshire! 

Overall, the lightheartedness of the story and the fantastic talent onstage makes for a  perfect, adult-only night out. I highly recommend a trip to Hollywood via Woking! 

★★★★★ 
Reviewed on Monday 27th November 2023 by Grace Dickinson
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

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

Pretty Woman on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: A Perfect Night Out

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Thursday 23 November 2023

The Drifter's Girl on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: Enchanting Performances


The Drifter's Girl (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

Currently on tour after a West End stint, The Drifters Girl offers audiences a glimpse at an intriguing journey, accompanied by top tapping hits and universally great performances. Showered with acclaim at the 2022 Olivier Awards, the show follows the dramatic narrative of Faye Treadwell, the incredible force behind shaping The Drifters.

While grappling with some visually lacklustre sets, the production compensates with performances that pack a punch and a memorable soundtrack featuring timeless tunes like ‘Saturday Night At The Movies,’ ‘Save The Last Dance For Me,’ and ‘Stand By Me.’

Despite the occasional visual challenge posed by the set design, The Drifters Girl invites audiences to dive headfirst into the heart of the action with an immediate and dynamic narrative approach. This spirited start, while invigorating, might require a bit of time for the audience to acquaint themselves with the characters and their relationships. If you’re not familiar with the story you may be a little dazed, but thanks to the fast pace, you don’t really have time to think about it!

From the energetic get go, the performances are the true stars of the show. Under the compelling portrayal of Faye Treadwell by Carly Mercedes-Dyer, the cast deliver stellar performances that highlight the ambition, determination, and drive which drives the story. The group's seamless transitions, brought to life by Ashford Campbell, Daniel Haswell, Miles Anthony Daley, and Tarik Frimpong, showcase their artistry in navigating the dynamic changes within The Drifters. Vocally, each performer has some stand out moments however don’t often get the chance to really come into their own. Carly Mercedes Dyer perfectly performs the peak moments of the show, with vocals that simmer and then soar.

The musical's charm lies in its unforgettable songs, which act as both a soulful soundtrack and sturdy pillars supporting the narrative. The emotional depth conveyed through these musical moments significantly contributes to the overall impact, and has you rooting for the story. However, it does feel like something is missing, with the short acts skimming over a lot of drama and never quite packing a punch.

Whilst it’s not a life altering night at the theatre, The Drifters Girl has performances that feel authentic, a soundtrack that strikes a chord, and a narrative that unveils the essence of a key figure in music history. Despite the initial visual challenges and a swift plunge into the storyline, the production eventually finds its rhythm, offering an enjoyable experience for fans of The Drifters and musical theatre enthusiasts alike.

★★★
Reviewed on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 by Olivia
Photo Credit:

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

The Drifter's Girl on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: Enchanting Performances

Thursday 23 November 2023

Tuesday 24 October 2023

The Bodyguard the Musical on Tour Review: Starts with a bang and thrills throughout!


The Bodyguard the Musical (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

Demanding your focus from the very first second, The Bodyguard the Musical has it all! Romance, rivalry, and iconic music for all ages to enjoy. 

As per the 1992 movie of the same name, the show tells the story of a famous superstar finding herself to be the unwanted attention of a threatening stalker. As a solution, her team decided to hire a bodyguard to keep her and her family safe. It’s not long before he becomes more invested in his employer than he ever has before. 

The leading role of Rachel Marron was made famous by the legendary Whitney Houston. Needless to say, the bar has been set rather high. Multi-platinum recording artist, Emily Williams (also known as ‘Queen of the High C’s) performs the role with phenomenal ease. Her vocal range is staggering! Emily performs Whitney’s iconic songs so beautifully, whilst making sure to add her own touches here and there. 

Ayden Callaghan portrays the role of Frank Farmer (the Bodyguard) in a distinguishable manner. His character is stern and unwavering, yet begrudgingly, he shows a softer side as his feelings for Rachel grow. Ayden and Emily have fantastic chemistry together, making their romantic storyline so believable! 

Manasseh Mapira, who plays Rachel’s son Fletcher, is an absolute delight to watch. His dancing, vocals and overall charisma have the audience in love! A star in the making…

After a slower-paced first half, things really begin to move in Act Two. The ensemble have a larger part to play, which they do so well; whether it be whilst playing some tone-deaf karaoke singers, or Rachel’s back-up dancers, the energy lifts when they are on the stage. 

The set and costume design by Tim Hatley fit the era and flavour of the musical well. It would have been more effective to see the stage space utilised more, but the potential is definitely there! 

The use of dramatic sound effects and lighting/projections are what you would expect from a 1992 movie. Whilst the connection to the original movie rings true, some modernisation here may have been beneficial.

Overall, the vocal talent of the cast, the iconic music originally given to us by the one and only Whitney Houston, and the passionate storyline, sells this thrilling musical so well. Highly recommend!  

★★★★ 
Reviewed on Monday 23rd October 2023 by Grace Dickinson
Photo Credit: Paul Coltas

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

The Bodyguard the Musical on Tour Review: Starts with a bang and thrills throughout!

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Life of Pi on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: A Painful Story Vibrantly Brought to Life


Life of Pi (Tour) 
New Victoria Theatre 
★★★★★

Before last night I had no prior exposure to Life of Pi. I hadn't read Yann Martel's acclaimed novel or watched Ang Lee's award-winning film. Approaching the play with no preconceptions, I found it enchanting. While it may not resonate with everyone, I personally adored the captivating production by playwright Lolita Chakrabarti. It held my attention from the very beginning to the end of the performance. I found myself deeply engrossed in Pi's perspective on faith, humanity, survival, brutality, and mankind, and I even wished there hadn't been an interval as I was so enthralled.

The narrative revolves around Piscine "Pi" Patel, the son of a zookeeper in Pondicherry, who claims to have survived a shipwreck on a life-raft with a Bengal tiger as his companion.

Some readers might initially think this story isn't their cup of tea, but let me assure you that the magic lies in the simplicity of the stage design, the visual effects, and the lighting that interweaves the tale. The incredible collection of large puppets portraying the captive animals from the zoo adds to this magic.

The play centers around Pi, portrayed by Divesh Subaskaran in his impressive professional debut. Divesh truly shines in this role, immersing the audience in Pi's world. I was particularly impressed by his performance, seamlessly transitioning from a mischievous young man-boy to an overwrought, delusional individual grappling with the world's cruelty. He later revealed a kinder, gentler side, yearning to believe in the world of storytelling and escape the horrors of the boat's events. The two actors who questioned the young Pi about his experiences greatly complemented Divesh's portrayal, contributing to the unraveling of the story with their strong performances.

Credit must be given to the entire cast. The stage was always vibrant with energy, the performers transforming it in seconds as Pi recalled flashbacks of his voyage. The mastery of the remarkable puppeteers, animating butterflies, shoals of fish, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and the Bengal tiger, was truly commendable. Special acknowledgment goes to those who skillfully maneuvered the Bengal Tiger, creating a sense of predatory readiness on the boat.

For me, the imaginative world that offers solace from the world's atrocities, coupled with the magical animals brought to life through outstanding puppetry, are the true stars of this show. This made the theatrical event a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone.

Reviewed on Tuesday 3rd October 2023 by Glenys Balchin

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

Life of Pi on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: A Painful Story Vibrantly Brought to Life

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Wednesday 27 September 2023

The King and I on tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: An Enchanting Evening


The King and I (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
★★★★★

Last night the New Victoria theatre came alive with Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless musical, The King and I. Set in the 1860s, the storyline revolves around the King of Siam, portrayed by Brian Rivera, who hires the intelligent British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, played by Annalene Beechey, to educate his extensive family. The clash of their personalities and cultural backgrounds sets the stage for a compelling narrative.

The performances showcased a beautiful transformation of understanding and mutual appreciation between the stubborn monarch and the determined British teacher. This transformation is beautifully encapsulated through the touching rendition of 'Getting to Know You' by Anna (Annalene Beechey) and the Royal Children, leaving the audience in awe.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s memorable score stole the spotlight, standing the test of time. The talented cast breathed life into these classic songs, leaving the audience longing for more. The chemistry between the leads was palpable, and both Beechey and Rivera delivered exceptional performances. Beechey's voice charmed the audience, while Rivera's portrayal of the King of Siam was both strong and hypnotic, reminiscent of Yul Brynner's iconic performance at the London Palladium in 1979.

Special mention must be made of other outstanding cast members, including Cezarah Bonner as Lady Thiang and Marienella Phillips as Tuptim, who delivered exceptional performances that enriched the overall experience.

The stage was adorned with a stunning backdrop featuring vibrant colors that transported the audience to the sumptuous world of the King’s Palace, thanks to the masterful designs by Michael Yeargan. Catherine Zuber's costumes enhanced the performers' presence, making them glitter and shine against the opulent palace setting.

The choreography by Christopher Gattelli was a true standout, with intricate dance numbers blending traditional Thai movement with a modern flair. The 'Small House of Uncle Thomas' dance sequence was particularly mesmerising, captivating the audience with its hypnotic beauty and emotional resonance. Generally the show is well paced, although Act 2 might have felt a bit lengthy to some.

In summary, The King and I musical on tour provides a captivating experience, combining talented performers, unforgettable music, entrancing dance sequences, an immersive set, and beautiful costumes. I wholeheartedly recommend this production, and for me, it was undoubtedly a 5 out of 5.

Reviewed on Tuesday 26th September by Glenys Balchin
Photo Credit: Johann Persson

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

The King and I on tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: An Enchanting Evening

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Thursday 6 July 2023

Cast Announced for Pretty Woman the UK & Ireland Tour


The popular West End production, Pretty Woman: The Musical, is going on a UK and Ireland tour! The tour will kick off at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on October 17, 2023.

The cast includes: Amber Davies as Vivian Ward, Ore Oduba as Happy Man/Mr. Thompson, Oliver Savile as Edward Lewis, and Natalie Paris as Kit De Luca. They will be joined by Becky Anderson, Rebekah Bryant, Josh Damer-Jennings, Ben Darcy, Andrew Davison, Lila Falce-Bass, Noah Harrison, Sydnie Hocknell, Elly Jay, Rachael Kendall Brown, Michael Kholwadia, Joshua Lear, Stuart Maciver, Victoria Rachael McCabe, Eleanor Morrison-Halliday, LJ Neilson, Annell Odartey, Curtis Patrick and Chomba Taulo.

Amber Davies, currently seen as Lorraine Baines in Back to the Future: The Musical, has also performed in 9 to 5 the Musical and Bring It On. Ore Oduba, known for his role as Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show, has also appeared in Curtains and Grease. Oliver Savile's credits include Fiyero in Wicked, Whizzer in Falsettos, and performances in The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Cats, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Natalie Paris, nominated for an Olivier Award for her role in SIX, has also been part of Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot, and Les Misérables.

Pretty Woman: The Musical is a spectacular romantic comedy set in Hollywood in the late '80s. The story follows Vivian and Edward's unforgettable love story, brought to life on stage in a dazzling and theatrical way. Prepare to be swept away by this sensational show that will warm your heart and lift your spirits.

The musical features original music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton, and is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, a two-time Tony Award winner.

The production includes the iconic song "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison and Bill Dee, which served as inspiration for the beloved romantic comedy film of the same name released in 1990.

photo credit: Dan Kennedy

Cast Announced for Pretty Woman the UK & Ireland Tour

Thursday 6 July 2023