Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Courtney-Mae Briggs. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Courtney-Mae Briggs. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre | Review


Hamilton
Victoria Palace Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 21st December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

It's worth the hype.

Like many other musical theatre nerds, I jumped on the Hamilton bandwagon just over two years ago and haven't stepped off since. Swept up in the unique style of the show and the inclusivity of it, I fell in love and couldn't wait until I would finally see Lin Manuel Miranda's musical about the rise and fall of the USA's first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton.

During the past few months, while the show was being primped and preened for its arrival at the newly renovated Victoria Palace theatre, it has been receiving more press and excitement than Prince Harry's engagement! Even as a huge fan and supporter of the show, I was getting to the point where I thought there was no way it'd be worth it. Then I saw it...

Die-hard Hamilton fans are probably expecting everything to sound identical to Leslie Odom Jr.'s Burr, Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton or Philippa Soo's Eliza and we can't help but compare to what we're used to from the OBC recording but thanks to the power and brilliance of the London cast, all these comparisons fade away. The entire company pump in soul, heart and skill to the glorious narrative created by Miranda, musical supervisor Alex Lacamoire and director, Thomas Kail.



Giles Terera is charismatic and sharp as Aaron Burr, bouncing brilliantly off of the suave, likeable Jamael Westman as the titular, Alexander Hamilton. The two are perfect as the historical frenemies as Burr begins to resent Hamilton for rising in the ranks of office. Giles has some of the most iconic moments of the show with some truly show-stopping vocal sections, especially in the epic 'Wait For It' and jazzy, 'The Room Where It Happens'. Jamael tackles the huge role with skill and ease, showing his brash side in big rap numbers, as well as his more emotional, Shakespearean side towards the end in his final monologue and the heart-wrenching 'It's Quiet Uptown'.

Whilst these two talented men lead the cast, there is not a weak link anywhere. Powerhouse Rachel John is sassy and strong as the heartbroken Angelica; Rachelle Ann Go manages to be innocent but powerful at the same time in her performance of Eliza who falls for, is betrayed by and eventually forgives the man she loves. Christine Allado as "and Peggy" is particularly humourous as she bounds on stage with a childlike quality in the opening and is contrastingly seductive as Maria Reynolds in act 2 when she belts out 'Say No To This' with ease and drama.

West End newbie, Tarinn Callender is suave as Hercules Mulligan and full of dry humour as James Madison. Jason Pennycooke is frantic, hilarious and all round brilliant as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. His fast paced, faultless rap is perfectly balanced with his acting and smooth movement around the stage and he's certainly a stand out. Obioma Ugoala wows with his vocals as he belts 'One Last Time' and as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton, Cleve September is strong whilst maintaining his childlike quality. Michael Jibson as King George steals every scene he's in. When I say he's hilarious, I mean laugh out loud, unforgettable moments hilarious. Every movement is perfectly thought out and he milks each line with precision.



The ensemble are sharp and outstanding, with In The Heights alumni, Courtney-Mae Briggs capturing my attention throughout. The precise choreography is one of the ultimate parts of the show, it's sharp as sharp can be and mirrors the action to perfection. Like the music, each aspect of on stage drama is reflected by style. Hip-hop, operetta, lullaby's and more embelish the spirit of the moment.

I could continue to rave about this show but I fear that could turn into a full dissertation so here's where I'll end. Hamilton is truly groundbreaking, it challenges the status-quo, brings a freshness to  the West End and breaks conformity by casting people of colour and challenging racial tensions. The show embodies representation in every way and is a spectacle to behold.

Hamilton lives up to the hype and is unforgettable. It's cool, unique and diverse as it subverts the typical language of storytelling. Find a way to get a ticket and see this show!

photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Back To The Future To Release Original Cast Recording


Happy Back To The Future Day!

Masterworks Broadway is delighted to announce that in early Summer 2021, it will release the Original Cast Recording of Back To The Future The Musical.

The musical is scheduled to open in early Summer 2021 at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End and features new music by multi-Grammy winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie.

As a special treat for audiences eager to connect with Back to the Future and to the exciting musical adventure awaiting them, Back to the Future Day on 21st October 2020 sees the release of the single ‘Back in Time’ featuring Olly Dobson.

Mark Cavell, President of Sony Masterworks notes: “I am thrilled beyond all measure that Sony Music Masterworks will be bringing you the fantastic music from this great show, featuring a host of new songs from the combined talents of Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard together with firm favourites from the movie”.

Behind this eagerly-anticipated stage show are Producer Colin Ingram (Ghost – The Musical) and Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy. The show moves to the West End following an out-of-town opening in March 2020 at the Manchester Opera House where it was enthusiastically received by critics and public alike. Roger Bart and Olly Dobson will reprise the roles of ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively. Also returning are Hugh Coles as ‘George McFly’, Rosanna Hyland as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Cedric Neal as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Aidan Cutler as ‘Biff Tannen’ and Courtney-Mae Briggs as ‘Jennifer Parker’.

Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, the musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Back To The Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, On The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), lighting design by Tim Lutkin, lighting consultant Hugh Vanstone, Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

Friday, 11 March 2022

Back to the Future Announces Extension and Cast Recording

Due to overwhelming demand, lead producer Colin Ingram together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that Back To The Future The Musical’s performances at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End will extend to 23 October 2022. Tickets on sale now. The critically acclaimed Olivier Award-nominated and WhatsOnStage Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021.  

 

The much anticipated Original Cast Recording released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label is out today, exactly two years since the world premiere opening night performance of the musical at Manchester Opera House, featuring the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.  

 

Last month, Back To The Future The Musical won four WhatsOnStage Awards, including the coveted award for Best New Musical. Other awards included Best Supporting Performer in a Male Identifying Role in a Musical for Hugh Coles, Best Lighting for Tim Lutkin and Best Sound for Gareth Owen. This week, the musical received seven Olivier Award nominations, making it the most nominated new musical this year, including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical for Olly Dobson, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Hugh Coles and Best Original Score or New Orchestrations for Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard; Orchestrations: Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook.

 

Producer Colin Ingram said, “I’m so delighted to announce the release of our fantastic cast album today, which has been produced by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard together with Nick Finlow in partnership with Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label.  As we break box office records at the Adelphi Theatre and celebrate 7 Olivier nominations along with winning Best New Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards, I look forward to announcing other productions throughout the world soon.”

 

Back To The Future The Musical stars Roger Bart and Olly Dobson as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Hugh Coles as ‘George McFly’, Rosanna Hyland as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Cedric Neal as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Aidan Cutler as ‘Biff Tannen’, Courtney-Mae Briggs as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Will Haswell as ‘Dave McFly’, Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’ and Mark Oxtoby as ‘Strickland’.  Also in the cast are Rhianne Alleyne, Amy Barker, Matthew Barrow, Joshua Clemetson, Jamal Kane Crawford, Morgan Gregory, Sam Harvey, Ryan Heenan, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Laura Mullowney, Nic Myers, Shane O’Riordan, Katharine Pearson, Justin Thomas, Oliver Roll, Melissa Rose, Charlotte Scott and Tavio Wright. 

 

Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, Back To The Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode

 

Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown.  But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.

 

Back To The Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

 

Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).

 

Back To The Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

In Conversation With... Sarah Naudi | In The Heights | Interview

Sarah Naudi is currently starring in Lin Manuel Miranda's glorious brainchild In The Heights as the feisty, loved up Vanessa. Her other credits include the short film In The Name of Bjorn and By The Sea in which she acts alongside Angelina Jolie, to name a few.




After a wonderful performance of In The Heights, Emilie and I interviewed the lovely Sarah. We found out about her journey to becoming a performer, her love for Lara Croft, her future aspirations and so much more. So without further ado, here is our interview:

Was being a performer something you always yearned for or did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?
I always wanted to be a performer. Oh my god, I have to get into my sob story now! Anyway, I was born with a deformity in my foot and it's a disability and they were like “oh she’ll never dance, she’ll never do anything” so my mother was like “oh I’m gonna send her to ballet lessons then”. And I was always the shittest and the worst but I was facially always the happiest and having the most fun so I just carried on dancing for years. 

Then when I was 15 I told my parents that I really wanted to go to England cause I had seen The Lion King here and I was like “oh my god in England they do musicals” so that’s kind of why I came here and again, struggled very much in dance and then was dancing amongst these [the cast of In The Heights] amazing people! I’m very lucky and it's just a dream come true really so yeah, to answer your question, this is what I’ve always wanted to do… but I really want to do film! So I think after this, because this is the part I really wanted to play in musical theatre, and I’ve done Carla and Daniela, Nina and Vanessa which is amazing, I really want to act seriously.


What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Probably meeting Angelina Jolie, that was amazing. I don’t know if you’ve seen By The Sea it's her film with Brad Pitt? So basically she filmed it in Malta so I had to do a scene me and her and she's like my idol, I’ve always wanted to be like the next Lara Croft or something so when I met her I was like “this is it” and she’s an amazing, amazing woman. She’s motherly, very nice and was like “thanks for being in my film Sarah” and I was like “thank me?? Thank you!”. It was amazing yeah, definitely a highlight!


With all the success of Hamilton do you feel extra pressure being in one of Lin’s shows?
Well I can’t wait to watch it [Hamilton] here, its going to be honestly amazing, just gonna blow everyones minds! Oh god its gonna be so good! 

With the success of course there’s more pressure because its brought more attention to the show because everyone knows who he is now but everyday -no matter what happens backstage or in your own personal life- when you hear the music we just realise how lucky we are.

And Gaby (Gabriela Garcia) and I, these were our dream roles at college. We lived together, went to school together, everything and we just cant believe that it's happened, not just for one of us but for both of us. When we’re on those stairs together at the end we look at each other and we go “wow, how did this happen, we are so lucky”. So everyday listening to Lin’s music its just, yeah! And I can’t wait to watch Moana, it looks amazing and the music sounds incredible!


You’ve been with In The Heights since it was at the Southwark, how has it changed since then?
I feel like at the Southwark we loved the show and not the story yet. So there was a lot of heart for the show and it was a ball of energy and that’s why it was such a success but now I feel the focus is on the story, whereas before it wasn’t because we didn’t have time to invest in it whereas now, most of us know it so well and we’ve been doing it for so long that we’re like “this is why he wrote the song!” 

And even getting to meet him and hear him speak, when he said he is Nina and Sam is Usnavi like wow, what a compliment for Sam! That’s what I feel the biggest difference is, now I really understand the story, whereas before I loved the music and how I  felt, now I really really love, you know the whole Paciencia y Fe and all of that!


The idea of heritage is prevalent in the show, did you face some of the same struggles as Nina and Usnavi when you moved to the UK from Malta?
100% I mean I’m from a tiny island in the Mediterranean and people haven’t even heard of it and I always had these big dreams, kind of like Vanessa, really just wanting to go and get out and do something and when I came here I found a massive culture shock. I found, at first, my classmates were very cold. It's a colder culture here, it's more polite, whereas in the Mediterranean we’re used to hugs so I used to talk to people on the tube all the time like “oh I really like your nail polish” and they thought I was a psycho because you don’t do that here! So I really had to learn that but I think when the Brits really get to know you as a foreigner they fall in love with you. I have so many close British friends now but I did struggle. All of them making fun of my accent oh god…. they still do it backstage now!


Have there been any challenges playing Vanessa in general or with your transition for Carla to Vanessa?
More nerves. First of all, more pressure because I have been begging to play this part for I don’t know how long so its like "uh oh the producers are looking at me now", so you really have to deliver. 

And vocally there's more pressure. As Carla, if I was having a bad singing day I could do okay. And also when I was playing Carla I could hide behind the humour and really get along with the audience whereas with Vanessa, it's really hard to make her likeable because she's always moaning on stage! So I really wanted to make sure that I kind of play her more sweetly and just like she's trying to get out of here but has a good heart, so that was kind of a lot of pressure to try and get that across. And it was difficult doing 'The Club' with a completely different track and all that... yeah just more pressure!


The idea of home is therefore very important, what three things remind you of home?
The smell of the sea reminds me of home. Damian [Buhagiar], his Maltese accent backstage! He speaks to me all the time in Maltese which is really sweet! And probably my family.


Whats your favourite moment in the whole show?
To play, definitely Champagne. In my life and so many of my friends lives theres that moment where you really want to tell someone to stay and I feel like every night I get to do that and tell the person to stay and I know he doesn’t do that, he stays for the great but I can get over that! But yeah, every night I have the opportunity to do it, in life I sometimes don’t do that so I love playing it.

To listen to as a song definitely Benny’s Dispatch. Every night backstage I’m vibing along and also probably in ‘Carnaval’ Sam’s bit where he sings “a corner full of foreigners” and all that section.


If you had a magic wand, which show would you do next?….. although you want to do film!
Lara Croft the Musical?! haha, no I don’t know. I actually have no idea because this was my dream show! I love Spring Awakening, I think I’d be too old for it now but probably Spring Awakening

Moulin Rouge… that’s what I wanna be in! That’s the one… something gritty!


If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would you be and why?
A superhero definitely! [Lara Croft?]  Yeah! I didn’t want to say it again but lets be honest. Yeah I just like the idea of being a really strong woman who can save lives.


What does your perfect Sunday look like?
Ohh definitely involves a party of some sort! I go to these things called Morning Raves. They’re for people who don’t drink or don’t do anything they just love music and you just party from like six in the morning until 10 to start your day and you start your day really fresh and happy. Also seeing friends, Winter Wonderland- going on the  the rides, just something adventurous. Once on our day off Courtney (Mae-Briggs) and I went skydiving in Peterborough! We’re just adrenaline junkies! We booked it two days before and it said ‘North London Skydiving’ but Peterborough is not North London, just saying! It took us ages! 


Whats your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?
I would say always be prepared because success is when preparation meets the opportunity. So if you’re always ready and the opportunity comes, then boom. If the opportunity comes and you’re not ready then you're not going to get the part or get into the school you know, so always, always, always be prepared. Keep improving yourself. Gaby (Garcia) is a master at that, I mean, she inspires me everyday because she is always learning and always asking us what she can do better. She goes to lessons all the time so just keeping that. No matter how successful you become just keep working at it. Be kind, be really kind to people. People will wanna work with you again. And be on time… don’t be late!


A huge, huge thank you to Sarah for being so lovely, kind and inspirational. A truly talented lady who I hope to see become a movie megastar in the future! Thank you to Emilie for joining me on the interview and as usual thank you to Lin Manuel Miranda for creating the best musical ever!

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor