Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Millie O’Connell. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Millie O’Connell. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, 25 February 2022

Millie O’Connell, Danielle Steers and Debbie Kurup to Play Cher in The Cher Show

“All of us invent ourselves.

Some of us just have more imagination than others.”CHER

The producers of the brand new production of The Cher Show are delighted to announce that the role of Cher will be played by Debbie KurupDanielle Steers and Millie O’Connell. The production features the actresses portraying Cher in three different ways throughout her iconic career, with Debbie as ‘Star’, Danielle as ‘Lady’ and Millie as ‘Babe’.  Further casting is to be announced.

 

With book by Tony and Olivier Award-winning Rick Elice (Jersey BoysThe Addams FamilyPeter and the Starcatcher), direction by Arlene Phillips (Saturday Night FeverStarlight ExpressGrease), choreography by Oti Mabuse (two-time Strictly Come Dancing champion) and costume design by Gabriella Slade (SixIn The HeightsSpice World 2019 Tour), the UK & Ireland Tour will open at Leicester’s Curve on 15 April 2022 and will continue through to 1 April 2023.

 

Debbie Kurup’s theatre credits include Bonnie & Clyde (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Queen Tuya in The Prince of Egypt (Dominion), Blues in the Night (Kiln), Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse), Mrs Neilsen in Girl From The North Country (Old Vic/ Noël Coward), The Threepenny Opera (NT), Anything Goes (Sheffield Crucible/UK Tour), Nikki Marron in The Bodyguard (Adelphi - Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Cambridge/Adelphi), Sister Act (London Palladium), East (Leicester Curve), West Side Story (Prince of Wales), Tonight’s The Night (Victoria Palace), Rent (Prince of Wales/UK Tour), Fame (UK Tour), Guys And Dolls (Sheffield Crucible), Pal Joey (Chichester) and Boogie Nights (Savoy).

 

Danielle Steers’s theatre credits include The Empress in Aladdin (Theatre Royal, Plymouth),  Catherine Parr in Six The Musical (London), Zahara in the original cast of Bat out of Hell: The Musical (Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum, Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, Dominion Theatre, New York City Centre), Carmen in Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse), Lead Shirelle in the original London cast of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), swing and cover Nikki Marron in The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre) and cover Killer Queen in We Will Rock You (International Arena Tour). Her debut album, The Future Ain't What It Used To Be, was released in 2021.

 

Millie O’Connell’s theatre credits include Maureen in Rent (Hope Mill Theatre - WOS Award Nomination), Jeanie in Hair (Turbine Theatre), Chloe Valentine in Be More Chill (Shaftesbury Theatre and The Other Palace), Anne Boleyn in SIXThe Musical (UK Tour and Arts Theatre, London - Olivier Award nominated), Ensemble/cover Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK Tour), Ensemble/Understudy Annie in 42nd Street (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Ensemble/Understudy Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Theatre Du Chatelet).

 

From a young child with big dreams, the shy daughter of an Armenian American truck driver, to the dizzying heights of global stardom, The Cher Show tells the incredible story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame.  Cher takes the audience by the hand and introduces them to the influential people in her life, from her mother and Sonny Bono, to fashion designer and costumier Bob Mackie.  It shows how she battled the men who underestimated her, fought the conventions and, above all, was a trailblazer for independence.  

 

The musical is packed with 35 of her biggest hits, including ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, ‘I Got You Babe’, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ and ‘Believe’.  

 

With over 100 million record sales, an Academy Award®, an Emmy®, a Grammy®, three Golden Globes® and an award from The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Cher has influenced popular culture more than most.  Her on-screen career started in 1971 with her weekly television show that attracted 30 million viewers a week, and went on to include starring roles in iconic films from Moonstruck, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress, to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, which prompted the New York Magazine to realise “every single movie—no matter how flawless—would be infinitely better if it included Cher.”  Her ‘Farewell Tour’ became the highest grossing music tour in history – in true Cher fashion, she followed up her ‘Farewell Tour’ with two further sell-out, worldwide arena tours.  She is the only artist in history to have a number one hit in the Billboard chart for six consecutive decades; an achievement that caused Vogue to deem her “eternally relevant and the ruler of outré reinvention”.  She became known as the Queen of Reinvention. 

 

In the 1990s, she established The Cher Charitable Foundation to support causes around the world.  She has been a long-time donor and supporter of Habitat for Humanity, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Keep A Child Alive, an organisation that helps to combat the AIDs epidemic.  Most recently, she co-founded Free the Wild to help rescue Kaavan the Asian elephant from Islamabad zoo.

 

Written by Tony Award-winning Rick Elice, The Cher Show made its debut on Broadway in 2018 in a production that earned two Tony Awards and delighted fans from around the world.  This new production will be the European premiere.

 

The Cher Show UK & Ireland Tour will have set design by Tom Rogers, musical supervision by Rich Morris, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Dan Samson, music production by Gary Hickeson, wigs, hair and make-up design by Sam Cox, associate direction by James Cousins, associate choreography by James Bennett and casting by Will Burton CDG.

 

The Cher Show UK & Ireland Tour is produced by ROYO with Fiery Angel, Cuffe & Taylor/LIVE NATION and Playing Field in association with Tilted, Aria Entertainment and JONES Theatrical Group.

 

Website: www.cheronstage.com

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @TheCherShowUK


photo credit: Matt Crockett


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

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Soho Cinders, Charing Cross Theatre | Review


Soho Cinders
Charing Cross Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 28th October by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

It's in the colourful carnival of Old Compton Street that we meet Robbie, our Cinderella in this re-telling of the classic tale. He's a young man trying to find his place in the bustling city as he works in a laundrette once owned by his mother, and struggles with his step-sisters who are trying to take what little he has. Things get even more stressful when Robbie begins seeing mayoral candidate James Prince and having a questionable relationship with a sleazy Lord. He ends up at the heart of a media scandal and faces losing everything... But this is a fairy tale so you can guess how it ends!

Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis' book has some witty moments and certainly turns the classic tale on its head, as well as featuring more heartfelt moments. The LGBT representation for the most part is strong and the team have done well to modernise the show. However, there are aspects which seem to have been glossed over. The characters discuss knowing a man is straight because he's wearing a wedding ring which just screams dated, as does the implication that these modern online relationships take place over Skype. They're little details for sure, but do detract from a piece that really has the potential to feel relevant and of the time. Similarly, the variety of musical genres and the story itself is certainly representative of Soho but it would be nice to see some of that diversity reflected in the cast.

As Robbie, Luke Bayer is the standout. His charming personality and smooth vocals make him a protagonist the audience roots for and he really is the heart of the story and all it stands for. Bayer's performance of They Don't Make Glass Slippers is especially enrapturing. As Velcro, his best friend and partner in crime, Millie O'Connell gives a strong performance. Despite being underused in act one, O'Connell really comes into her own in the second half and provides some of the most touching and realistic moments. Her quick wit and sarcastic nature are entertaining to watch and the playful banter and easy chemistry between the pair can surely remind us of our own friendships. Two friends supporting each other is wonderful to see and really grounds the often over-the top-piece.

George Stiles music and Anthony Drewe's lyrics are a combination of upbeat laugh-a-minute numbers, forgettable babbles and fairy tale sweet duets. The Stepsisters' duet Fifteen Minutes is especially energetic and well performed. Natalie Harman and Michaela Stern do a great job of bringing the characters to life and only occasionally teeter on the edge of overacting. O'Connell's duet with Tori Hargreaves is another touching moment and a real highlight of the second act.

Thematically, this seems to be a piece which will remain ever relevant but it needs an extra touch of magic to keep audiences coming back. The political and sexual harassment aspects permeate the musical but it's the importance of love and friendship which reigns strong at the end. Soho Cinders isn't life-changing but it allows us to experience tongue-in-cheek, energetic performances which will entertain for the duration of the show.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Monday, 6 June 2022

Six in the West End to be Filmed Live from the Vaudeville Theatre


The producers of Six the Musical are pleased to announce that the original principal cast members of SIX will remain in (re)formation following next month’s sold out, open-air performances at Hampton Court Palace, swapping the cobblestones of their infamous ex-husband’s courtyard for the silver screen, with a cinematic capture of the production to be filmed at the Vaudeville Theatre.

The film, recorded for future release, will immortalise the hit West End production and feature the original West End Queens Jarnéia Richard-Noel (Catherine of Aragon), Millie O’Connell (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour), Alexia McIntosh (Anna of Cleves), Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard) and Maiya Quansah-Breed (Catherine Parr). Since the show’s first full run at the Arts Theatre in 2019, the ‘OG’ Monarchs have become synonymous with the show, earning an Olivier Award nomination for their roles, and winning a legion of loyal fans for their royal portrayals.

From Monday 27 June, performances of Six at the Vaudeville will be suspended for four nights to create a film that combines the best elements of live theatre and cinema, culminating in a performance on Friday 1 July for the show’s biggest fans - the Queendom.
The film of Six will be directed by Liz Clare, who most recently directed Adele - Live at the London Palladium.

A limited number of tickets for the performance on Friday 1 July will be made available to purchase via a public ballot, which opens at 10am on Friday 10 June via the production’s social media channels. Lucky winners will be given the opportunity pose on the purple carpet, pose for photos, and be part of SIX history - the ultimate bragging rights to the show’s most ardent fans.

Creators of Six Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss said: “Having our original Oliviers cast captured on film is just such an exciting, mind-blowing prospect. We are so thrilled that we are finally going to be able to share their incredible performances of our show with the whole world! Live captures are SUCH an important part of the world of theatre accessibility today - and we are so very grateful that we get this opportunity to share the six queens’ story this way.”

 

The seating capacity of the Vaudeville Theatre will be reduced to allow for the camera and sound equipment necessary to capture the performance. Some sightlines may be affected, and access seats will remain available for patrons who require them, subject to availability.

Six, which now has productions in London, on Broadway (for which it recently received eight Tony Award nominations), and tours across the UK, North America and Australia, is produced by Kenny Wax, Wendy and Andy Barnes, and George Stiles.

Performances at the Vaudeville Theatre, featuring the reigning West End cast will resume on Saturday 2 July.

photo credit: Idil Sukan

Friday, 18 March 2022

Six The Musical to be Performed Live at Hampton Court Palace


Worldwide hit musical SIX, created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, will play three open-air concert performances at Hampton Court Palace, reuniting the original West End Queens and performing within the iconic main courtyard of their infamous ex-husband’s former residence on Sunday 19 June and two performances on Monday 20 June, 2022.

This production, staged in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity which cares for Hampton Court Palace - will see the global musical phenomenon staged outdoors for the first time, in front of an audience of over 3,000 at each performance.

SIX Live at Hampton Court Palace will reunite the original West End line-up of Olivier Award nominated cast members; Jarnéia Richard-Noel (Catherine of Aragon), Millie O’Connell (Anne Boleyn), Natalie Paris (Jane Seymour), Alexia McIntosh (Anna of Cleves), Aimie Atkinson (Katherine Howard) and Maiya Quansah-Breed (Catherine Parr).

The production will be co-directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, with choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, musical supervision by Joe Beighton and costumes by Gabriella Slade based on the original staging with Scenic Design by Emma Bailey, Lighting Design by Tim Deiling, Sound Design by Paul Gatehouse and Orchestrations by Tom Curran.
Speaking about SIX Live at Hampton Court Palace, producers said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces and reuniting our original West End Queens for three performances. While SIX continues to triumph worldwide, we are thrilled to be celebrating this home-grown musical and staging it within the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace this summer.”

Liz Young, Head of Events at Historic Royal Palaces, said: “Bringing the phenomenon that is SIX to Hampton Court Palace has been a long-term aspiration, and we’re delighted that this summer loyal fans and newcomers alike will get the chance to experience the award-winning show in the very place where the lives, loves and legacies of these legendary Queens live on.”

SIX has become a global phenomenon since its debut as a student production at the Edinburgh
Fringe Festival in 2017. Since then, and following the reopening of theatres across the world,  
performances have resumed in London’s West End, on Broadway and in Sydney (as part of an Australia anNew Zealand Tour), with a brand-new production opening in Chicago later this month, and a second North American Tour due to open in July.

SIX was nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for which the Hampton Court Palace cast were collectively nominated. It won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards 2019, and was most recently awarded Best West End Show at the WhatsOnStage Awards 2022.

The music from SIX has also achieved global prominence, with its hit songs streamed over 340 million times across all platforms, with over 2 million views on YouTube and 3 billion views on TikTok, making it one of the world’s most successful cast recordings in music history. In October 2021 the original studio cast recording was officially awarded Gold status, in an event streamed globally, live on TikTok.

On-Sale Information

Priority On-Sale opens at 10am on Saturday 19 March
to existing Historical Royal Palace Members 
and subscribers to the SIX UK Mailing List

General On-Sale opens at 10am on Sunday 20 March

Booking link
www.sixthemusical.com/london/tickets

Performance Times
Sunday 19 June - 9pm
Monday 20 June - 3pm* and 9pm

The performance will last approx. 80 minutes without an interval and will feature flashing lights, strobe effects, theatrical haze and loud music. 

*Monday 20 June 3pm will integrate British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation throughout the performance. 

Ticketing Information
The appearance of any particular cast member cannot be guaranteed in the unforeseen event of illness or other circumstances beyond producers’ control. Maximum of 8 tickets per transaction. Tickets are available exclusively through SIX Tickets without booking/transaction fees. Tickets sold elsewhere are in breach of the T&Cs and liable to be cancelled. Please check all terms and conditions regarding entry, the event and further information prior to booking. 

Venue information
The formal East Front Gardens are open for SIX Ticket Holders up to four hours prior to each performance where attendees are welcome to experience Hampton Court Palace Gardens. 

SIX at Hampton Court is an outdoor event and therefore open to the elements. 

Undercover seating can be selected at the time of booking. 

No umbrellas are permitted during the performance. 

Access Information 
A number of wheelchair spaces and adjacent companion seats are available at each performance, subject to availability at the time of booking. In addition, wheelchair and ambulant accessibility requirements can be accommodated in other areas of the auditorium, subject to availability, booked on a first come first serve basis. Further venue information is available here.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Full Cast Announced for the UK and Ireland Tour of The Cher Show

 


“All of us invent ourselves.
Some of us just have more imagination than others.”
CHER

 
The producers of the brand new production of The Cher Show are delighted to announce the full cast joining Debbie KurupDanielle Steers and Millie O’Connell, all starring as Cher – Star, Lady and Babe respectively.

Lucas Rush will play Sonny, Jake Mitchell will play Bob Mackie, Sam Ferriday will play Greg Allman and Tori Scott will play Georgia. Joining them are Jordan Anderton, Jasmine Jules Andrews, Carla Bertran, Catherine Cornwall, Áine Curran, Sam Holden, Samantha Ivey, Aston Newman Hannington, Ingrid Olivia, Clayton Rosa, Chay Wills and Guy Woolf.

With book by Tony and Olivier Award-winning Rick Elice (Jersey BoysThe Addams FamilyPeter and the Starcatcher), direction by Arlene Phillips (Saturday Night FeverStarlight ExpressGrease), choreography by Oti Mabuse (two-time Strictly Come Dancing champion) and costume design by Gabriella Slade (SixIn The HeightsSpice World 2019 Tour), the UK & Ireland Tour will open at Leicester’s Curve on 15 April 2022 and will continue through to 1 April 2023.

From a young child with big dreams, the shy daughter of an Armenian American truck driver, to the dizzying heights of global stardom, The Cher Show tells the incredible story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame.  Cher takes the audience by the hand and introduces them to the influential people in her life, from her mother and Sonny Bono, to fashion designer and costumier Bob Mackie.  It shows how she battled the men who underestimated her, fought the conventions and, above all, was a trailblazer for independence.  

The musical is packed with 35 of her biggest hits, including ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, ‘I Got You Babe’, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ and ‘Believe’.  

With over 100 million record sales, an Academy Award®, an Emmy®, a Grammy®, three Golden Globes® and an award from The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Cher has influenced popular culture more than most.  Her on-screen career started in 1971 with her weekly television show that attracted 30 million viewers a week, and went on to include starring roles in iconic films from Moonstruck, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress, to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, which prompted the New York Magazine to realise “every single movie—no matter how flawless—would be infinitely better if it included Cher.”  Her ‘Farewell Tour’ became the highest grossing music tour in history – in true Cher fashion, she followed up her ‘Farewell Tour’ with two further sell-out, worldwide arena tours.  She is the only artist in history to have a number one hit in the Billboard chart for six consecutive decades; an achievement that caused Vogue to deem her “eternally relevant and the ruler of outré reinvention”.  She became known as the Queen of Reinvention. 

In the 1990s, she established The Cher Charitable Foundation to support causes around the world.  She has been a long-time donor and supporter of Habitat for Humanity, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Keep A Child Alive, an organisation that helps to combat the AIDs epidemic.  Most recently, she co-founded Free the Wild to help rescue Kaavan the Asian elephant from Islamabad zoo.

Written by Tony Award-winning Rick Elice, The Cher Show made its debut on Broadway in 2018 in a production that earned two Tony Awards and delighted fans from around the world.  This new production will be the European premiere.

The Cher Show UK & Ireland Tour will have set design by Tom Rogers, musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Rich Morris, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Dan Samson, music production by Gary Hickeson, wigs, hair and make-up design by Sam Cox, associate direction by James Cousins, associate choreography by James Bennett, musical direction by Danny Belton and casting by Will Burton CDG.

The Cher Show UK & Ireland Tour is produced by ROYO with Fiery Angel, Cuffe & Taylor/LIVE NATION and Playing Field in association with Tilted, Aria Entertainment and JONES Theatrical Group.

Website: www.cheronstage.com
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @TheCherShowUK

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

The Cher Show (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


The Cher Show (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 7th September 2022
★★★

A world renowned singer, actress and age defying star, Cher has had a longtime career full of ups and downs, which have now been transformed into a glitz-filled stage show.

Turning back time from her Las Vegas residencies, The Cher Show begins in the 1950s with a young Cherilyn Sarkisian who's longing to be a star, and progresses through her various ventures, successes and failures up to the modern day. Taking on the role of the musical icon, are three superstars who share (cher) the role and show her at various stages of her life. Debbie Kurup plays the Star, Danielle Steers is Lady and Millie O'Connell is the youngest, Baby.

It's Cher's rich, contralto voice which makes her so recognisable and the three actresses do a great job of mirroring her style as well as her mannerisms and speaking voice. All are vocally excellent and give performances that the icon herself would be proud of.

Whilst the three Cher's represent different times in her life, they also interact throughout and almost act as a Greek chorus or moral compass for one another. This is one of the most effective parts of the musical as the trio interact so wonderfully and have some really witty moments. They also help to keep the plot moving and provide somewhat of a through line to the show.

Aside from this, the script and storyline are somewhat lacklustre. There's not a real cohesion to the story and while of course liberties can't be taken with a real life story, it does feel like there needs to be a theme which ties the show together, or at least more of a conclusion. Towards the end of the musical there is more mention of Cher as a Goddess Warrior but it kind of comes from nowhere. This as a recurring theme throughout could be more effective as a way to show that Cher was a strong business and career woman who got herself back up every time. Instead, the main points and moments are the relationships in Cher's life. That's not to say these aren't enjoyable to watch, and the whole cast do a great job of portraying them, but for Cher being such a powerful woman, there is a distinct lack of oomph and empowerment overall.

The show also has a few moments which fall flat, such as the tap scene where the dancers aren't actually tapping. For a show which packs in thirty of Cher's greatest hits, there also isn't a real crowd pleaser until the megamix at the end. The songs are effectively shoehorned in to tell the story but don't get a chance to shine in their own right as the musical classics that they are. Perhaps less would be more in terms of showcasing the real bops of the track list and leaving out some of the small interludes.

However, less is most definitely not more in the general visual spectacle of the show. Tom Rodgers' set is fairly simplistic but cleverly transforms and feels like a thousand sets in one. Gabriella Slade's costumes take inspiration from Bob Mackie's originals and bring superb glitz, glam and dazzle to proceedings, with the Cher's quite literally beaming sparkles around the auditorium. Ben Cracknell's lighting is a star in its own, completely fitting the vibe of the show and bringing energy and excitement throughout, even more so in the huge finale.

Whilst the tour of The Cher Show does have some faults, it's a treat to see such strong performances on stage and Cher's persona and discography speaks for itself. For glitz and glam you couldn't really ask for more and will Cher-ly have a great time soaking it all in.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Monday, 21 September 2020

Original West End Stars of Six to perform Reunion concert




The Reunion brings together seven of the UK’s top vocal powerhouses for an epic evening of empowering pop music in a unique intimate venue.

Performing together for the first time since their reign as the original West End queens of the musical SIX, these women are close friends on stage and off, and have been eager to perform together again. They shared: “We are beyond thrilled and excited to be back together again with our reunion show! and with an actual LIVE audience! We cannot wait to belt out some of our favourite girl power anthems and bring our fans an epic show they will never forget!”

The Reunion stars Aimie Atkinson, Alexia McIntosh, Grace Mouat, Jarneia Richard-Noel, Maiya Quansah-Breed, Millie O’Connell, and Natalie Paris. Each has an Olivier Award nomination, prestigious theatrical and concert credits, and they have been featured on studio recordings, cast albums and concert livestreams spanning musical theatre and pop.

The live performances and streaming are ticketed and run by theatre platform Thespie which aims to be the most trusted way to discover theatre and the arts. Thespie launched in May as a means to keep people connected to theatre and the arts during lockdown, and now offers more than 1,500 digital streaming listings as well as audio, theatre ebooks, and educational resources, including nearly 400 productions to stream for free. Now that London live indoor theatre performances can safely resume, Thespie has expanded to develop ways to help artists resume working safely in the current conditions.

Commenting on the announcement, Thespie founder Tyler Stoops said: “These incredibly talented artists are the ideal collaborators to deliver a thrilling performance for in-person and at-home audiences simultaneously. So many people are ready to experience incredible shows again and are happy to follow robust, simple-to-follow safety measures, so we’re proud to be solving the operational challenges that can get artists working again.”

Performances will be held in Oval Space, a spacious and well-ventilated East London venue that has been entirely reimagined for safe, seated music and theatre performances. The seating plan is entirely flexible which allows seating to be customised to the audience that books. Audiences book for themselves and their household or support bubble only (to a maximum of six), and Thespie’s technology determines a seat plan that ensures safe spacing between households and optimises use of the space. Audiences receive their seating assignment and scannable digital ticket prior to the event.

Additional safety measures in place include:

• Time indoors is minimised using ample outdoor space and the terrace bar

• Scannable digital tickets, with no paper tickets or box office collection
• Seating is by household/support bubble with appropriate distance between each

• Masks are required and should be worn whenever feasible

• Thorough cleaning of all customer areas between performances

• If the performance cannot proceed, purchasers will automatically be refunded

The global livestream will take place at 9:30PM BST on Saturday, 10 October and will be available in over 100 countries, with several local currency prices available. Advance purchase of a Household Livestream Pass is £12.50 (or $15 US) if booked before 30 September. One pass entitles the purchaser to view with their entire household live, or on-demand for 72 hours following the initial livestream. Repeat viewing is permitted, but a pass can only be used on a single account and a single device. Livestream Pass prices rise in October to £15 ($18 US).

Live tickets are £35-£55 and can be booked at https://thespie.com/TheReunion

photos by Danny Kaan