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, 23 November 2022

Girl From The North Country (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Girl From The North Country (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 22nd November 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

The UK theatre scene is no stranger to jukebox musicals, but Girl From The North Country which features Bob Dylan's backlog, is a completely different and outstanding take on the genre. Dylan's work is the definition of storytelling, with each song creating a mood and narrative to follow so it really lends itself well to being interspersed into a show. 

Writer and Director Connor McPherson has taken the songs and set them in Minnesota (Bob Dylan's birthplace) against the backdrop of the depression; this leads to a dark show but it's surprisingly filled with a lot of light and humour and ultimately manages to be uplifting. McPherson's writing is truly wonderful, his rich, multi layered plot sweeps you up and takes you on a hugely moving but also intimate journey. Although at times things can be a little confusing you can't help but be drawn into the world of the characters and the story manages, much like life, to be both simplistic and chaotic at once.

The setting is an old boarding house run by Nick Laine, who is struggling to look after his wife Elizabeth who has dementia. Also struggling to make ends meet we see him try to stay afloat alongside the various others who come through his doors. Frances McNamee is breathtaking as Elizabeth, giving vocals that are so superbly soulful and smooth you're completely enamoured. Her performance is also amazingly witty and mischievous, often proving hilarious one liners and always keeping you on the edge of your seat; it's a real masterclass performance. Alongside her Colin Connor gives a really strong performance as the husband who is trying to hold everything together without falling apart himself.

Marianne (Justina Kehinde) was taken in by the Laines as a baby and now helps out in the guesthouse but is facing her own hardships as she is pregnant. Her father therefore is desperate to marry her off to alleviate some of the financial and social burden. Whilst his biological son (Gregor Milne) is an alcoholic wannabe writer who is completely stuck in a rut. It's really a portrait of a family who are struggling, which feels very relevant given the huge struggles today with the cost of living crisis and recession. Despite this, the musical (although its more a play with songs) isn't particularly maudlin, instead it's almost a celebration of resilience and relationships. 

Without giving too much away, there are also a number of other romantic and friendship relationships showcased, all of which are well rounded and beautifully nuanced. One of which is that of Gene Laine and Katherine Draper (Eve Norris) which is a small part of the show but one of the standout moments with their performance of I Want You being a vocal delight.

As a whole the performances are incredibly strong. Justina Kehinde conveys Marianne's youth and vulnerability in a brilliantly natural way. Joshua C Jackson is mysterious and imposing but also tender as Joe Scott and Owen Lloyd is wonderful as bible seller Elias Burke. The ensemble performances make this show as moving as it is, with every song being performed in perfect conversation with the script. Like A Rolling Stone is a definite stand out, as are the moments of silence. The cast are so in sync that rests feel like a communal breath and it's magical to experience.

Girl From The North Country is raw and poetic show which quietly sneaks up on you and leaves you pondering the important things in life. It's intimate, energetic, entirely engaging and a really great theatrical experience.


Girl From The North Country (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Friday, 11 November 2022

The Nutcracker, (Northern Ballet Tour) New Victoria Theatre | Review


The Nutcracker (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 10th November 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Returning to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking after its triumphant run in 2018, Northern Ballet's The Nutcracker is just as magical as ever and a must see this festive season. This enchantingly magical show is brought to life by a stunningly talented cast and completely embodies joy and magic.

David Nixon's choreography makes this a spectacle of a show that fits perfectly on a touring stage whilst still providing a wow factor. Whilst it's not quite as intricate or dark as other productions, it's a real sweet treat that's perfect for all ages and thanks to the talented dancers every step is performed to perfection.

Not a moment of Tchaikovsky's glorious score is wasted in this show, from the overture we are introduced to a number of characters who scurry around the front of the stage preparing the grand house for its Christmas party. Small details are a real feature of this production, especially during Act One when there are multiple engagements and mini plot lines going on between characters. This attention to detail makes it really engaging and makes the whole Christmas party feel incredibly realistic- there's even Grandpa (Wesley Branch) drunkenly falling over!

We're soon introduced to Clara who is played wonderfully by Rachael Gillespie, who's beaming smile and childlike wonder exude from the stage and make the audience share in her joy.  As her Nutcracker Prince, Harris Beattie is dashing to watch and he sparkles on stage like the glitter he was created with. The duo's Pax de Deux against the snowy backdrop is truly magical.

It in Act Two when a lot of the real magic happens, with a number of absolutely breathtaking moments. Perhaps the most magical being the Sugar Plum Fairy (Saeka Shirai) solo and Pax de Deux with her Cavalier (Jonathan Hanks), both of which are completely mesmerising. Despite the stage being filled with opulent sets, the audience can't help but watch only the dancers, and Saeka's solo especially, is a true showcase of ballet at its finest.

As Drosselmeyer Gavin McCaig is mystical and a dream to watch as his magical, glittering cape flows around him. Bruno Serraclara is witty as the Mouse King and each and every soloist is wonderful.

Aside from the dancing, this is a visually and aurally pleasing show. The Northern Ballet Sinfonia do complete justice to the glorious music, and under the baton of Jonathan Lo they sound utterly virtuosic. Charles Cusick Smith's set alongside Mark Jonathan's lighting are a design match made in heaven; perfectly balancing magic and spectacle, whilst also allowing dance to be the star of the show.

The Northern Ballet's production of The Nutcracker is everything you could want in the lead up to Christmas. Enchantment paired with stellar dancing means you'll have a captivating time, whether you're an adult or child.

photo credit: Emma Kauldhar


The Nutcracker, (Northern Ballet Tour) New Victoria Theatre | Review

Friday, 11 November 2022

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli on Taking Rock and Roll On Tour | Bat Out Of Hell | Interview

It’s wild, it’s fun, it has everything

Bat Out Of Hell is rocking its way across the UK with its larger than life production values and stellar cast. Swing and Assistant Dance Captain Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli tells us about her experience in the show and why you should take a trip to see it!



For anyone that hasn’t seen Bat Out of Hell, can you explain a little bit about the show?


I would describe Bat out of Hell as a gothic love story. Shown musically, by the intricate and theatrical song writing by Jim Steinman as well as visually on stage. It’s unapologetically “out there.” There’s nothing else like it.


What do you think makes the show appeal you both old and new fans of Jim Steinman/Meatloaf? 

I think for the old fans, the show gives them a chance to reminisce and enjoy the music they love so much. Even for the newer fans, Jim & Meatloafs music is exciting and unique. The characters are vibrant, the set is epic of course, fire, lighting and explosions all add to the experience. 


What’s your favourite song to sing and what’s your favourite song that you don’t sing? 


So many to choose from! I love All Revved Up. It’s intense and fast paced; a great opening for this show. I think my favourite song in the show is What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most. It’s song-writing at its finest.


Is there a Meatloaf song that isn’t in the show, that you wish was?

Midnight At The Lost and Found! It’s a great song!


What’s your favourite tour memory so far? Are you keeping track of the places you visit in any way?


There have been so many great memories on this tour! Our Bat Halloween party was really cool! Everyone put so much effort in. 

I have kept a log of the places we have travelled to over the last 14 months. Plymouth and Edinburgh have both been memorable places for me.


In one sentence, why should people come and see the show?

Everyone should see this show. It’s wild, it’s fun, it has everything; you will not leave bored that’s for sure! 


Bat Out of Hell plays at the New Victoria Theatre until November 5th and then continues it's tour


Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli on Taking Rock and Roll On Tour | Bat Out Of Hell | Interview

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Monday, 31 October 2022

New dates added to Carrie Hope Fletcher's debut tour


More dates have been added to award-winning stage sensation Carrie Hope Fletcher’s debut solo tour due to phenomenal demand.

 

Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book will see the musical theatre star, author and vlogger play a series of unmissable theatre shows in May and June 2023, with new shows added in Oxford, Liverpool, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Southend, Bath and Glasgow.

 

Performing songs from her incredible West End and touring career, fans can look forward to hits from HeathersLes MisérablesThe Addams Family and many more, interspersed with chat about Carrie’s fascinating life and career.

 

Tickets for the new dates are on general sale from 10am, on Friday, November 4 from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

 

Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book 2023


18-May Bradford, St George’s Hall

19-May Oxford, New Theatre

21-May Southampton, Mayflower Theatre

22-May Norwich, Theatre Royal

25-May London, The London Palladium

27-May Llandudno, Venue Cymru

28-May Salford, The Lowry

29-May Birmingham, Symphony Hall

21-May Sheffield, City Hall

01-June  Liverpool, Empire Theatre

02-June Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

03-June Newcastle, O2 City Hall

04-June Edinburgh, Festival Theatre

06-June  Leicester, De Montfort Hall

07-June  Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre

09-June  Southend, Cliffs Pavilion

10-June  Bath, The Forum

11-June  Glasgow, Theatre Royal


 

Speaking about Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book, Carrie said


“I am so excited to be preparing for my first ever solo tour – and to be adding new dates is absolutely fantastic.


“A solo concert tour is something I have wanted to do for some time, and it’s great to be able to visit even more places and meet even more fans.

 

“I adore being on stage and am fortunate to have performed in so many theatres, but there’s something very special about being able to get out on the road and visit some beautiful theatres around the UK.”

 

Earlier this year, Carrie was named best performer in a female identifying role in a musical as the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella. Most recently, she has wowed critics in a new revival of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and is now preparing for her pantomime debut as the villain Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.

 

Carrie, who has an impressive three WhatsOnStage Awards to her name, has enjoyed a breath-taking career since her West End debut at the age of nine playing Young Éponine in Les Misérables.

 

Since then, Carrie’s theatre credits include Fantine in Les Misérables: The Concert, Veronica in Heathers, Wednesday in The Addams FamilyÉponine in Les Misérables, both Truly Scrumptious and Jemima in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Beth in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and Jane Banks in Mary Poppins.

 

When she’s not treading the boards of the West End’s biggest stages, Carrie is also a best-selling novelist, Top 20 recording artist and respected vlogger with her popular self-titled music and vlog channel attracting more than a million views a month.

 

Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book is presented by Lambert Jackson, Live Nation and Cuffe and Taylor.

 

Jamie Lambert, of Lambert Jackson, said: 

Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book presents an opportunity to take one of the West End’s most celebrated and successful leading stars to theatres across the UK.

 

“There has been a phenomenal demand for the tour so we are delighted to be adding extra dates so even more people will be wowed by the stunning voice of Carrie, while also getting an insight into her incredible career.”

 

Cuffe and Taylor Director of Theatre Touring Ben Hatton added: 

“We are very excited to be presenting Carrie’s debut UK tour, and it is testament to her great popularity that we’re adding these dates. Carrie is the most wonderful musical theatre talent and audiences will absolutely love this show.”

 

For more information about Carrie Hope Fletcher - An Open Book and to secure tickets head to www.cuffeandtaylor.com

 

New dates added to Carrie Hope Fletcher's debut tour

Monday, 31 October 2022

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Five Reasons to see Bat Out of Hell on Tour


On its last tour stop with its current cast, Bat Out of Hell remains a fiery, energy-packed explosion of a show which is drawing audiences in and providing a rocking night out. For a full review of the touring production, click here, but for today I'm sharing with you my top five reasons to take a trip to see the show at its current venue, the New Victoria Theatre, Woking.

It's a Complete Escape From Reality: I don't think I've seen a show which is as larger than life as Bat Out of Hell. Not only is the story completely futuristic and flamboyant, but the staging, special effects and performances are like nothing else. From fire, to confetti this show has it all and is a spectacle to behold.

It Has Comedy in All the Right Places: The show is set in an apocalyptic world where groups of people are stuck at 18 years old so spend their days hiding out in an underground world and riding around on Harley Davidson's, so needless to say, you need to suspend your belief while watching. Thankfully, the show helps you do so by providing humour in moments which could be otherwise phoney. This is mostly done through the outstanding performances by Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton as Falco and Sloane who continually poke fun at one another. Through a series of one-liners and silly interactions the humour runs throughout and also adds to their character depth. Plus their vocals are stellar.

There Are Backstories Woven In: A personal favourite aspect in a show is when there's a story beyond the main story. This is extremely prevalent in Bat and adds a whole level of interest that just expands each time you see the show. All of the ensemble not only have names, but have their own stories figured out. Depending on who you watch you can see romances blossom and fall apart, jokes carry on and so much more. 

The Performances Take the Roof Off: A show like this couldn't be performed with lacklustre vocals, thankfully it's the complete opposite. The entire cast are face-meltingly good and are the definition of energy throughout. Written by the late Jim Steinman this show was always written to be performed as a jukebox musical so the songs just work in this setting when performed by such a unanimously strong cast.

It's Fun For All Ages: While it may not seem it on the tin, this really is a show which caters for everyone. Of course there are a few risqué moments which parents might not want their kids to see but overall it's just a whole lotta fun and they'd probably go over their heads anyway. For those who grew up with the music of Jim and Meatloaf, the show is a fantastic way to reminisce and hear the songs in a new light and for those new to it, it's a perfect introduction. The audiences are made up of a whole variety of people who are all brought together by this wacky and wonderful show.

After the deaths of both Jim Steinman and Meatloaf, the musical is even more poignant and provides even more of a reason for you to visit and share in the legacy of the musical icons. If the joyous audiences are anything to go by, you'll thoroughly enjoy this show!

Bat Out Of Hell runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 5th November

photo credit: Chris Davis

Five Reasons to see Bat Out of Hell on Tour

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 3rd August 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a staple and rite of passage for many musical theatre fans so when a production is mounted there's always a ready and willing audience to view it. Thankfully for current audiences, the Palladium production which is touring the country is absolutely top notch and a dream night out.

Laurence Connor's version of Joseph is a reinvigorated, large scale, glitzy production that feels like it's been plucked straight from the West End and dropped into Woking. The excellent sets by Morgan Large look luxurious but there's also a lovely element of simplicity which is reminiscent of the hugely popular film version. The entire set design is sleek and perfectly embodies the joy and energy which this show provides.

If you're looking for a killer cast, you need to look no further than Joseph. Every single cast member fires on all cylinders and the power and joy which pours out from the stage is just a treat to experience. In the lead role Jac Yarrow is star quality embodied. His Close Every Door To Me is absolutely excellent and he brings a lovely cheeky quality which draws you to Joseph and makes you root for him even more.

Yarrow is joined by Linzi Hately who is wonderfully witty as The Narrator as well as Bobby Windebank who gives a brilliant portrayal of the Elvis-esque Pharaoh. Mention must also go to Matt Gibson as Rueben and Will Hawsworth as Simeon, both of whom are real standouts vocally in their solo moments. The child performers are a joy to watch as they take on various roles and exude happiness.

This is also a choreography heavy production which further elevates it. There are tap numbers alongside a string of high intensity ensemble moments. Joann M. Hunter has done an outstanding job of providing an array of styles and making every number engaging.

For a show which could easily become pantomimic, there is a real level of intensity which upgrades it and makes it a two hour treat that you'd have to be a scrooge not to enjoy.  The outstanding band led by the joyous musical director John Rigby, alongside the super strong ensemble and superbly adapted show, mean and you can't help but leave the theatre smiling from ear to ear. 

photo credit: Tritram Kenton

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

We Will Rock You (Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


We Will Rock You (Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 30th May 2022
★★★

Back for its 2022 tour, We Will Rock You is set in a dystopian future where "real" music has been outlawed and replaced with manufactured pop. Society is lived online and it's up to a group of Bohemians to travel across the Seven Seas of Rye, declare themselves the champions and bring back rock and roll and freedom for all.

This truly is a show about the music so you can somewhat overlook book issues but in terms of pacing it's a little clunky. The first act is chockablock with world-building including long winded character and plot introductions; and act two is a game of musical tetris where all the popular tunes we haven't already heard, are fired one after the other. In this production the book also has some modern updates thrown in here and there (some of which fall flat), but the rest of the set and staging doesn't match up and it certainly feels like it missed a chance to be revamped for 2022. There's an element of the outdated screens that does feel fitting but coupled with the budget wigs and costumes, it lacks the sparkle you expect with a tour of this scale.

The heart of We Will Rock You is certainly the cast and the show would be equally as good if it was just a concert of Queen's greatest hits performed by the superstars on stage. As leading man and hero Galileo, Ian McIntosh is wonderful. His vocals soar with so much power behind them and he really embodies the spirit of Queen. Alongside him, Elena Skye as Scaramouche is a dream. Giving major Kerry Ellis vibes, albeit in a different role, Elena's voice is outstanding and she really works with the limited script to make it funny and engaging.

As Killer Queen, Jenny O'Leary is a vocal powerhouse. Her command of the stage is enthralling to watch and she rightfully earns some of the biggest applause of the show. Michael McKell, David Michael Johnson and Martina Ciabatti Mennell also give strong performances. The rest of the cast and ensemble are also very good vocally but there is at times a lack of tight synchronicity that detracts from the clone message which is being put across.

The performances are absolutely top notch but the production itself gives more 'high-school final show' as opposed to 'big-buck tour' and for a show with such bold songs and ideas, there's no continuity or backup given through the sets or costumes, and they feel lacklustre in comparison to the score. 

Faults aside, if you want face melting vocals and all your favourite Queen songs, absolutely take a trip, but for a show that feels luxe and finessed, you'll need to look elsewhere.

photo credit: Johan Persson

We Will Rock You (Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Maisie Smith to join Kevin Clifton in Strictly Ballroom UK Tour


Strictly Come Dancing finalist and much loved former EastEnders star, Maisie Smith, will make her musical theatre debut later this year, as she co-stars in the 2022/23 UK tour* of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical in the lead female role of Fran, alongside her former Strictly dance partner, Kevin Clifton, who she waltzed her way to victory with in the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Children In Need Special.

The musical, based on the award-winning global film phenomenon of the same name, inspired the world to dance and spawned the smash hit TV series Strictly Come Dancing. And now, new for 2022/23, this all-singing, all-dancing and all-glittering show – directed and co-choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood - is set to dazzle audiences once more with this glittering cast. Kicking off in Portsmouth on 26 September, the musical will then waltz around the UK before culminating in Bristol in July 2023. Tickets are on sale now from strictlyballroomtour.co.uk

Maisie first wowed Strictly fans with her dancing in 2019 in the Children In Need TV special with Kevin Clifton. After winning the hearts of the public, the following year she danced her way into the BBC One Strictly Come Dancing final. Earlier this year, Maisie joined the cast of the Strictly Live Arena Tour. She will now add another jewel to her Strictly crown, as she makes the move into musical theatre in Strictly Ballroom The Musical.

Maisie Smith said: “Dancing in Strictly has been a huge part of my life, and been so much fun. I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to continue that journey in Strictly Ballroom The Musical. Not only do I get to make my musical theatre debut with my former partner in crime, Kevin Clifton, but I get to work with Craig Revel Horwood and Jason Gilkison again too - I can't wait."

Kevin Clifton said: “I’m beyond excited to be performing with Maisie again – she’s amazing! And I’ll finally be fulfilling my lifelong ambition to play Scott Hastings in Strictly Ballroom The Musical. When I was 10 years old I first watched the movie that would become my favourite film of all time. This is my dream role. I can’t wait to don the golden jacket and waltz all over the UK with Maisie in what’s set to be an incredible show!”

Craig Revel Horwood said: "I’m delighted that the super talented Maisie Smith is joining Kevin Clifton on the Strictly Ballroom UK tour. I can’t wait to see them dance together again. Expect some sexy moves, sizzling costumes and a simply sensational evening! I know that they’ll both be FAB-U-LOUS!"

Strictly Ballroom The Musical, co-choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Creative Director Jason Gilkison, tells the beguiling story of Scott Hastings, a talented, arrogant and rebellious young ballroom dancer – played by former Strictly Come Dancing professional and 2018 champion, Kevin Clifton. When Scott’s radical dance moves see him fall out of favour with the Australian Federation, he finds himself dancing with Fran (Maisie Smith), a beginner with no moves at all. Inspired by one another, this unlikely pair gather the courage to defy both convention and their families – and discover that, to be winners, the steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom.

Featuring a show-stopping book by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce, and bringing together a sublime cast of over 20 world class performers, Strictly Ballroom brings to life iconic songs, including Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time with dynamic and joyous verve. This tour will also feature some amazing new songs by internationally acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect. The show’s scintillating singing, dazzling dancing and eye-popping costumes will combine together to bring audiences a story of heart, comedy and drama, and promises to be an unforgettable night under the glitter ball.

This uplifting and courageous musical originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of classmates at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1984. Eight years later he made his screen directorial debut with ‘Strictly Ballroom’, the first instalment in Luhrmann’s acclaimed Red Curtain Trilogy. The vibrant film enjoyed staggering success, winning three awards at the 1993 BAFTA awards and a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, going on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office. In April 2014 Strictly Ballroom The Musical had its world premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom the Musical is a fabulous, feel-good evening full of sequins, singing and salsa. This unmissable kaleidoscope of glitz and glamour is a tonic for the soul and will send your heart soaring and toes tapping long after you leave the theatre!

* Maisie Smith is performing until 25 March

Maisie Smith to join Kevin Clifton in Strictly Ballroom UK Tour

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Thursday, 21 April 2022

The Cher Show (Tour), Leicester Curve | Review


The Cher Show (Tour)
Leicester Curve
Reviewed on Friday 15th April 2022 by Hope Priddle
★★★★★

After a brief run on Broadway, the beat goes on for The Cher Show as a new reimagined version, directed by Arlene Phillips, opened at the Leicester Curve this week. Spanning an astounding six decades and featuring iconic hits such as Believe and Strong Enough, The Cher Show charts the early life of Cherilyn Sarkissian and her spectacular rise to fame. In this uplifting girl-powered production, join Cher as she fights to take charge of her career in a man’s world, leaving a legacy as a trailblazing feminist icon.

This is not an ordinary jukebox bio-musical – there is not just one Cher, but three; Baby, Lady and Star. Though the book (Rick Elice) relies heavily on exposition and is not always successful in divorcing itself entirely from a tired format, it is sharp and quick-witted. By introducing us to three protagonists who interrupt each other with sassy asides and sage advice, an otherwise linear narrative suddenly feels reactive and full of endless possibilities. The Chers reclaim, retell and revise their own story.

The cast is led by a powerhouse trio of women in the role of Cher. Millie O’Connell (Baby) Danielle Steers (Lady) and Debbie Kurup (Star) give natural and nuanced performances as the legendary diva. Cher has become so mythologised into the annals of pop history, it is easy to forget she is a real person. Not once however do our leading ladies stray into the territory of camp or hammy caricature.

As the eldest Cher, Debbie Kurup grounds the trio with her wisdom and worldliness. Kurup’s vocals are truly outstanding, but it is in her ability to reveal the vulnerability, resilience and tenderness behind the icon, that her true power lies. Danielle Steers plays Lady, tasked with negotiating Cher’s fraught personal and professional relationship with husband Sonny Bono. Steers is infamous for her rich contralto vocals and as such, unapologetically devours the score. Steers’ commanding rendition of Bang Bang is a total showstopper, proving that Cher was a role she was born to play. Millie O’Connell is a delight as lovestruck dreamer Baby and is a comedic genius to boot – her repartee with Lucas Rush (Sonny) during The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour is a complete joy to watch.


It would be easy to assume that Baby and Lady take a secondary role to Star, that they perhaps function as her warm-up act. However, they shine brightly on their own. Baby and Lady are no less accomplished, no less complete than Star. What is so wonderful about The Cher Show is that although their shared story is a linear one, the Chers exist in parallel timelines, supporting rather than replacing one another along their journey.

Lucas Rush gives a tremendous performance as Cher’s first husband and lifelong artistic partner, Sonny Bono. Not only does Rush masterfully imitate Sonny’s nasally vocal inflections, they skilfully embrace his smarmy unlikability and genuine charisma. Though Sonny exhibits exploitative and explosive behaviour at the height of their career, he remains an enduring confidante and champion. We are also introduced to a host of influential characters – Cher’s Mother (Tori Scott), Bob Mackie (Jake Mitchell), and her subsequent husbands Gregg Allman (Sam Ferriday) and Robert Camilleti (Ferriday) - all of whom are treated with affection and goodwill. The ensemble are strong and deliver Oti Mabuse’s dynamic choreography with pizazz.

Tom Roger’s set design is simple yet highly effective, transporting the audience backstage by flanking the wings with monochrome rails and wig-laden shelves. The costumes retain all the glamour of Bob Mackie’s original wardrobe, but his departure from the creative team has clearly allowed designer Gabriella Slade the freedom to take a more inspired approach. Slade’s gladiatorial designs fully embody the fierce spirit of Cher and transform our leading ladies into goddess warrior queens.

The Cher Show is a universally uplifting story of a woman’s fight for independence in an industry driven by men. While it unashamedly embraces all the flair and flamboyance that fans will most certainly expect, as a respectful homage to a much-loved icon, it retains real heart. If I could turn back time, I would watch it all over again.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

The Cher Show (Tour), Leicester Curve | Review

Thursday, 21 April 2022