Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Alistair David. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Alistair David. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

In Conversation With... Emma Kingston | Fiddler on the Roof | Interview

In my opinion, Emma Kingston has one of the absolute best voices on the West End. I've been fortunate enough to see her in a number of shows and concerts, including Les Miserables, In The Heights and most recently, the stunning Fiddler on the Roof at the Chichester Festival theatre. Emma was kind enough to sit down and discuss Fiddler, After Anatevka, her hidden passion and more...




Have you always aspired to be a performer or did you have a different dream when you were younger?

I've always wanted to be a performer. I used to sing Les Mis and Anything Goes with my dad all the time. 



Have you got any hidden passions you’d like to pursue?

I love Psychology! As an actor I love getting inside a characters brain. I studied Psychology at A Level and I would love to further my understanding of why people are the way they are. Furthering my study's would interest me as well as it being useful as an actor.



What drew you to the role of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof- are the two of you alike in any ways?

I'm jewish, so growing up Fiddler was always being quoted around the house. I used to watch the film with my grandma. Also, ‘Far from the Home I Love’ was the first song I ever sang in a singing lesson when I was 11.



How is this production bringing something new to the well-loved musical?

We are so lucky that our production in Chichester has amazing new orchestrations by David White and new choreography by Alistair David, bringing a fresh take on the brilliant musical.

Sam MacKay (Usnavi) and Emma Kingston (Vanessa) in In The Heights

Do you feel any extra responsibility or pressure playing one of the few explicitly Jewish female characters in musical theatre?

I feel a responsibility to show the traditions in a way that people of other cultures can relate to. I want to show people that Judaism is a way of life as well as a religion. The community aspect for me is so important.



What’s your research process like for each role you take on, has After Anatevka helped add a new dimension to your portrayal?

For Fiddler I dived into researching about Russia pre 1905 and Russian attitudes towards jewish people. Also looking at Jewish culture in shetles in Russia. My paternal grandparents were children of immigrants from Lithuania and Oddessa, so I had lots of family history to draw on.

After Anatevka I am enjoying so much, especially now I understand so much more about Hodel. I’m loving reading her journey after she leaves home, and how Alexandra has filled in the parts of Fiddler that we don't see in the musical. 



If you’d written After Anatevka would you have given Hodel the same after story? 

Alexandra's story has portrayed so many aspects of Hodel's life during the Fiddler story and after that I thought about a lot. Especially the way she highlights her relationship with her sisters and Perchik. As I'm reading, I feel that the story all completely slots into place and I can't imagine her next journey any other way.



Tradition is obviously the central theme in Fiddler. Do you have any family traditions?

My family traditions are the Fiddler traditions! Every Friday night my family and I get together for a shabbat meal. We celebrate Jewish festivals like Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), Passover and many others.

Emma Kingston (Hodel), Simbi Akande (Tzeitel) , Rose Shalloo (Chava) in Fiddler on the Roof

How do you keep your voice healthy? Do you have any vocal rituals?

Drink endless amounts of water and concentrate on centring your breathing.  



If you had a magic wand, which show would you do next?

After Fiddler, I'm playing Eva Peron in the Hal Prince production of Evita, international tour and I can't wait! My mum is Argentine, so it's a huge bucket list role, much like Hodel in Fiddler is! 



Whats a fun fact people might not know about you?

One of my first words was Archemeaies (the owl from sword in the stone) my parents were so proud haha! 



What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Don't compare your journey to anybody else's. Be original. I read a quote by Steve Martin "Be so good they can't ignore you”, to me that means work as hard as you can on being the best you can be.



Thank you so much Emma for taking the time for this interview. Fiddler on the Roof runs until September 2nd. 

Read my review of After Anatevka here and keep an eye out for an interview with Alexandra Silber and a giveaway!

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Joanne Clifton to play Morticia in The Addams Family UK & Ireland Tour



Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics are delighted to announce that Joanne Clifton will play the role of Morticia Addams in the UK and Ireland tour of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy. The tour will open at Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 5 November 2021.

 

Joanne will be joining the previously announced, Cameron Blakely (Gomez Addams), Scott Paige (Uncle Fester), Kingsley Morton (Wednesday Addams), Grant McIntyre (Pugsley Addams), Valda Aviks (Grandma), Sean Kingsley (Mal Beineke), Kara Lane (Alice Beineke), Ahmed Hamad (Lucas Beineke), Dickon Gough and Ryan Bennett (sharing the role of Lurch), Abigail Brodie, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sean Lopeman. Also new to the cast and joining the ensemble is Castell Parker. Further casting to be announced.

 

Joanne Clifton has starred as Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, and Dale Tremont in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Irving Berlin’s Face the Music. Joanne is perhaps best known for her time on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. After winning the World Professional Showdance Championship and the European Professional Ballroom Championship, she joined the show as a professional dancer. During her time on the show, she performed in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, was an expert presenter on the programme’s backstage show, It Takes Two, won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd, and went on to win the glitterball trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba. 

 

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.  All the usual clan are present - Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy, will be directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Alistair David, production design by Diego Pitarch, orchestrations by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and casting by Jane Deitch. Book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2021 UK Tour is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 

For further information, please visit www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Fiddler on the Roof, Chichester Festival Theatre | Review


Fiddler on the Roof
Chichester Festival Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday August 1st 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★


It's not often that I venture out of London for theatre but when I do it's usually to Chichester and so far I've never been disappointed with a production. Of the various shows I've seen there, Fiddler on the Roof is by far the best and I am completely in awe of its brilliance. If I Were A Rich Man, I would fund this productions transfer to the West End right this minute, but as I'm not I will have to settle with the fact that the show, directed by Daniel Evans is absolutely fantastic so is more than likely to make the move without me... I'll just have to wait a little while.



Set in rural Tsarist Russia in 1905 when the first hints of revolution are revealing themselves, we follow Tevye who is trying to preserve tradition in the face of a changing world by marrying off his daughters. They, however, want to marry not for money but for love. In a time when Russia's Jews are facing incredible hardships where tradition is one of the few things keeping them together, Tevye has to decide whether his daughters' happiness is more important than his adored traditions. 



Omid Djalili was born to play the poor dairyman, Tevye. His masterful comedic timing is pure excellence but he also manages to capture his internal torment and external hardships perfectly. Djalili is able to involve the audience with every thought that goes through his head and makes sure that every side of the Festival Theatre gets to feel and see the emotion. Tracy-Ann Oberman is great as his wife, Golde, with her caustic personality the ideal contrast to the bright, humorous Tevye. 


Emma Kingston (Hodel) and Louis Maskell (Perchik)


The rest of the family are equally strong with the daughters each having clear personalities and being performed to the fullest. Simbi Akande as Tzeitel is sweet but strong, begging her father to allow her to marry the impoverished tailor, Motel (Jos Slovic). The pair work wonderfully together. Emma Kingston shows off her stunning voice as Hodel who falls in love with the forward thinking, Perchik played by Louis Maskell who has an equally beautiful voice which soared over every note perfectly in 'Now I Have Everything'. Particularly touching with the two was during the first Sabbath dinner when they kept subtly making eye contact with one another and we could see the first inklings of their romance. Rose Shalloo as Chava and Luke Fetherston as Fyedka have fantastic chemistry, showing their struggles with honesty and strength.



Lez Brotherston's design is bare and simplistic as it should be but transitions and evolves wonderfully to create the various settings and is able to establish feelings of both warmth and stark cold at various times. Alistair David's choreography is spectacular, lively and powerful. It unapologetically shows off Jewish tradition and does so in a extremely striking way; popping and dazzling from start to end. 



The entire cast are incredibly strong and this is as much an ensemble piece as it is a lead-led piece. Each moment when the cast come together- either in choreography or in close a cappella harmony- is magical.



I'm truly wowed by this production. My only little niggle is the accents at times, with some attempting and falling somewhat short but this is my only fault in an overall impeccable production. May it transfer and run for a very long time!

Fiddler on the Roof runs at the Chichester Festival Theatre until September 2nd 2017



photo credit: Johan Persson


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


The Addams Family (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday May 16th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

The Addams Family musical comedy first made an appearance on the Broadway stage in 2010 and has finally made its way over the pond for its UK premiere. This version of the much loved cartoon series family, sees them struggle as their daughter Wednesday falls in love with a 'normal' boy. In an attempt to make good, Wednesday organises a dinner party between the two families. What ensues are secrets, wackiness and a whole load of kooky chaos.



The production is wonderful and great to look at. Diego Pitarch's set is constantly changing and extremely layered but doesn't look overcrowded or messy and the Gothic feeling is achieved extremely well. The lighting and sound effects work well alongside it and the elaborate costumes and make up add a whole other, very effective, dimension.



Samantha Womack's Moticia is surprisingly funny and suitably dark and stiff but at times it feels she is too reliant on people already knowing the character instead of making it her own. Overall though she gives a very good performance, especially in the tango scene!



Cameron Blakely is the standout of the show as Gomez. He is passionate and energetic throughout, with a constant humour and stage presence. His little camp moments are hilarious and his voice is outstanding. His relationship with the whole cast is brilliant but especially with his daughter Wednesday.



Played by Carrie Hope Fletcher, Wednesday is witty and sharp whilst being suitably kooky. Her vocals are fantastic and she seems at ease on the stage. Her incredibly clear voice works wonderfully with large belting moments and her precise diction is notable especially during 'Pulled' which seems to be an audience favourite!



Oliver Ormson plays Wednesday's love interest, the all-American Ohio born, Lucas. The pair work well together but Fletcher is definitely the stronger of the two performance wise. Les Dennis is strong as the quirky uncle Fester and has the audience laughing with him as well acting as the narrator at points. His character does seem a little out of place at times and not developed enough to warrant a full song but Dennis pulls it off well.



Charlotte Page is hilarious as the rhyme talking mother, her voice is brilliant and she frequently steals the show! Her partner is played by Dale Rapley who is good but again feels a little under developed.



Andrew Lippa's music is full of life (and death), colour and vibrance and certainly has something for everyone. There are energetic moments (helped along by Alistair David's brilliantly slick choreography), hilarious moments and more contemplative moments which all combine for a lovely production.



This is a wonderful production which will hopefully see a West End life after its tour. There are genuine laugh out loud moments which are sure to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Overall, a stellar production.



The Addams Family is at the New Wimbledon Theatre until the 20th May before continuing its tour.



photo credit: Matt Martin

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Big The Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review


Big The Musical 
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 18th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★

Lets start by saying that I am not in the group of people who have seen this film, so had nothing to compare it to when I took my seat at the Dominion Theatre. The Tom Hanks movie came out in 1988 and was followed by David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr's musical in 1996, which received five Tony nominations but was a pretty large flop. Twenty three years later it has hit the West End for a limited run that promises to big Big in every sense of the word.

The story follows Josh Baskin, a twelve year old boy who makes a wish on a Zoltar machine to be a grown up. The next morning he wakes up an adult who scares his mother, makes his way to New York City and lands himself a pretty swanky job at a toy company. Its here that he meets Susan, a fellow colleague who he begins a romantic relationship with. Completely normal when he's really a child, right? 

The story is questionable to say the least, but it certainly had potential to be elevated by catchy songs and choreography, unfortunately this does not happen. The music is mostly unmemorable and often drags in a clumpy, unoriginal way. Similarly, the choreography is restrained and the large cast are rarely used. The sets and projections are effective to an extent but feel uninspired and lack the wow factor. 


Jay McGuiness brings wonder to Josh and is entertainingly gawkish. His vocals are mostly strong and his chemistry with Kimberly Walsh is pretty believable (though its hard to believe a relationship rooted in such a weird idea). Walsh as Susan brings a solid performance but often feels as though she's merely going through the motions. Jobe Hart as Josh's best friend Billy is the stand out cast member as he gives a firecracker performance which entertains and excites. Wendi Peters is also wonderful and would certainly elevate the production if she had more stage time. 

It's very hard to overlook how white this production is; set in New York, a hub for various cultures to intertwine, it's shocking that the entire adult cast features not a single person of colour. Whilst the ensemble do work hard, there's no denying that this is not the sort of casting audiences want to see in 2019.

At the end of the day, this will always be a strange story to stage because it is plain weird; but with a little magic and excitement, it could provide some memorable theatrical moments. Unfortunately this production fails to do so and is more basic than big. Various sexist comments, questionable actions and mediocre songs leave you feeling bored and creeped out. 

photo credit: Alistair Muir

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Dreamboats and Petticoats (UK Tour), Theatre Royal | Review


Dreamboats and Petticoats (UK Tour)
Theatre Royal, Brighton
Reviewed on Monday October 2nd 2017 by Melodie Hornett
★★★

Dreamboats and Petticoats at Brighton’s Theatre Royal was a joyful explosion of fun from the start. No long overtures, just a brief setting of the backstory before immediately coming to life with upbeat music from the whole cast. The set was vibrant and made excellent use of the space available on-stage whilst overcoming the lack of wing space seamlessly. The bumper cars used in several scenes worked brilliantly, operating smoothly, really indicative of the era and setting, and looked like the cast were really enjoying themselves. Carole Todd’s effective choreography worked very well, demonstrating skill whilst maintaining the authenticity of the setting.

Alistair Higgins and Elizabeth Carter were well matched in all areas as Bobby and Laura, vocally they blended well, they played an idyllic and convincing couple who looked great together. A particularly beautiful moment was their rendition of ‘Let It Be Me’. Alastair Hill could have done a little more with his representation of Norman, perhaps a little more arrogance was required to define him however he demonstrated a powerful voice that was well suited to the repertoire. Laura Darton’s Sue was superbly portrayed, with her strong vocals demonstrating a rich and powerful tone whilst her obvious dance ability and vibrant sex-appeal made her incredibly satisfying to behold. Vocally she shone out in ‘Shakin’ All Over’ and ‘Sweet Nothin’s’. Her sidekick Donna played by Gracie Johnson was a pleasing character with some delightful moments adding to the action of the leads. Again, she was well matched with on-stage partner Ray, played by David Luke, who presented some entertaining comic action with a solid voice which carried well over the band. Jimmy Johnston played a very likeable Phil, an ageing voice that still has some fantastic money notes, particularly in 'Shop Around’.



There was something truly exciting about the actor-musicians interchanging between their roles in the live, on-stage band and characters within the story. It was seamlessly done and great to see such an array of talent - these were a team of performers strong in a number of stage disciplines. Consistently solid performances from all cast. Chloe Edwards-Wood competently took the spotlight a number of times with her energetic saxophone playing. She and Lauren Chinery made a charismatic sax duo, but credit to all band members.

The main criticism of the show for me was audio balance; the instrumentalists sounded fantastic throughout, however at times some of the vocalists were lost in the audio mix due to having thinner-toned voices. Whilst being enjoyable to listen to in the more intimate moments, Higgins, Carter and Johnson were frequently difficult to make out when the band was in full swing. I felt that there could have been more vocal diversity amongst the cast, rather than what felt like a collection of similar sounding voices. 


This was a show that the audience clearly enjoyed from the start, with patrons singing along and tapping their feet to familiar tunes. It had a real feel-good factor and a pleasing plot conclusion. The energy from the cast in the finale sequence was at a peak and they interacted well with their audience at this point, getting everyone on their feet. A really great night out for all.