Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Eugenius!. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Eugenius!. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Eugenius, The Other Palace | Review


Eugenius
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Tuesday 30th January 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

I saw and loved Eugenius back in 2016 at it's premiere concert at the London Palladium, so I was very excited when I read it was returning to The Other Palace. I'm pleased to say I stand by my initial review- I absolutely adored this, unique, hilarious, feel-good show. 

Eugenius tells the story of Eugene, a G-E-E-K who has written a comic book and gets thrown into a crazy Hollywood, space story. Alongside we have Janey who is head over heels in love with him and does everything she can to impress him but has been placed firmly into the friend zone. 

With music and lyrics and a book by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, Eugenius is a full on cheese fest of all things brilliant about the 80s. I'm 21 so wasn't alive then but it's so iconic that I couldn't help but feel nostalgic in a weird way. The music is catchy, the dialogue is laugh a minute and the whole show is just a big, joyous delight.


The cast are absolutely outstanding. As Eugene we have West End newbie Liam Forde, who is geeky and charming with a beautiful voice. His chemistry with everyone is great but especially with the delightful love interest Laura Baldwin as Janey. Laura's voice is something else, 'The Future is Bright' is definitely a stand out moment. Equally witty and loving, Laura is perfectly cast in the role.

As the best friend, Dan Buckley is hilarious as Feris. Despite being a comic role, Daniel's vocals shine and he is wonderful throughout. Equally comic is Scott Paige as Theo who is sassy and vocally outstanding. As the mean man, Cameron Blakely is perfectly despicable as Lex. His demeanour and crude actions make you pray for his demise. Ian Hughes is striking as the other, spacey villain, Evil Lord Hector.

This show creates an infectious atmosphere and has everyone bouncing and humming the songs as they leave the theatre. In my initial review I said that "this musical is bound to become a cult classic and pave the way for a whole wave of new musicals" and I think that still sums up my feelings. Eugenius is a unique, humourous celebration of being yourself and embracing your inner geek. With catchy music and a stellar cast, there's not a reason you shouldn't see this show!

Eugenius runs at The Other Palace until 3rd March

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Friday, 7 September 2018

Five Reasons to see Eugenius



I've been lucky enough to see Eugenius throughout it's journey, from it's first public concert at the London Palladium, to its first stay at The Other Palace and now at its triumphant return. It's wonderful to see such a fun British show become an audience favourite and a cult classic. At risk of full on repeating myself, instead of reviewing the show again, I bring you a list of reasons why should see it...

It's the Definition of Catchy- If you're a fan of upbeat, 80s inspired music and heartfelt ballads then this show is for you. If you don't find yourself humming "go Eugenius" or "Don't shoot for the stars, shoot higher" basically all the time after seeing the show, then you are very good at escaping musical earworms! (It's in my head even just from writing those words)

The Cast are Superstars- The talent on the stage of The Other Palace is unreal. Rob Houchen perfectly embodies the geeky Eugene who loves comics more than life and dreams of a brighter future where he will "inherit the earth". Laura Baldwin's voice is complete perfection as she balances angst, humour and joy with ease. Dan Buckley is the ultimate musical theatre comedian and Scott Paige brings the ideal level of sass to The Other Palace. Basically, this cast are astronomical and deserve to be seen.




It Allows us all to be G.E.E.K Geeks- However hardcore we try and be, deep down (or not deep down in my case) we're all geeks. This show allows us to embody this whilst living our best 80s lives. The message of the show is all about acceptance and inspiring us to strive for more, which is pretty great indeed.

The Whole Show is Pure Fun- Eugenius is one of the most self-aware shows I've ever seen. There are so many parts that are ridiculous and super cheesy and it does have it's faults but it knows that and doesn't try to be anything more than it is, which is a pure fun-fest. For a light-hearted, truly joyous night, get yourself along to Eugenius.




The Fans Are the Best- It's my belief that the fans can make or break a show. Regardless of what critics/reviewers say, a shows fanbase can spread the love and word quicker than wildfire. Sitting in row G I had a wonderful view of the fantastic fans who took up much of the first two rows and who were giving as much to the cast as the cast were giving to the audiences. Their beaming smiles, instant applause, knowledge of every word and action in the show and love on social media is heartwarming to watch. Go see Eugenius purely to see what the fans are raving about!

Eugenius runs at The Other Palace until October 21st 2018 

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Scott Rylander

Thursday, 22 February 2018

In Conversation With... Ben Adams | Flashdance, Eugenius | Interview



Ben Adams found fame as the lead singer in the pop group A1 but since then has been writing and producing for various artists, as well as working on his own music, starring in the UK tour of Flashdance and writing the new musical, Eugenius. Ben and I had a chat about all of those  things and more...

You’ve had such a varied career, what have some of your highlights been?
Gosh I've had so many highlights, it's quite hard to choose just a few of them. I think I'm living through my ultimate highlight right now! I've always wanted to write a musical and for it to be going on in the West End right now is ridiculous, I mean, who gets to do that?! And the fact that it's going down so well is like a dream so I'm actually living through it right now.

Aside from that I've travelled the world, I've won Brit awards and MTV awards and Smash Hits awards and had number one singles- just so many things that I can't even pinpoint one thing... or even a few things that  would be highlights. There's just so many and I've had a great life.

That is a pretty good life!

I know! I feel like I've smashed 10 lifetimes into 1. I'm 36 which is kinda old to some people but it's been amazing!


What attracted you to this production of Flashdance?
Well, I'd been in the studio writing for other artists for the first six months of last year and as much as I love doing that and it is a lot of fun, I did kind of feel that I was getting itchy feet and wanted to do more performing for a while. Every time musical theatre things had come my way I'd always turned them down cause I thought they looked like a lot of hard work and I had a lot of other things going on at the time so I didn't really have time to do it. Then this came at a period where Eugenius wasn't on till January and I had a good six month slot where I could try it and see if I enjoy doing musical theatre. 

I remember Flashdance from when I was growing up and you know it's very 80s inspired and I love the 80s music and so I thought I'd give it a go. I was only contracted until December but I loved it so much and they wanted me to continue with it so I signed up to carry on until October [2018].



Are you anything like Nick Hurley?
The character of Nick is the rich kid who doesn't really have too many responsibilities. There are probably elements of the character which I can relate to. I mean I've never owned a steel works so that's not something I can affiliate with but he's not too dissimilar from myself really. It's not an amazingly tricky part for me to play where I have to change my entire personality.




Other than yourself, who would you like to see play Nick Hurley?
Oh gosh, who would I like to see play Nick... that's a tricky question. What about... I have absolutely no idea! Okay, what about Warwick Davis cause he'd probably do it  completely different to me. It would be really fun to see what his take on it would be!


Who in the show would you say is most like their character?
I guess Carol Ball as Hannah cause she's got a lot of experience with dance and acting and a lot of knowledge that she passes on in real life like her character does to Alex in the show. Jo [Clifton] and I probably act out a lot of stuff that is pretty similar to our characters as well- it's pretty well cast!


Your new show Eugenius is a huge hit, why do you think audiences are loving it so much?
I think because it taps into a really feel-good side of everybody. You don't have to love comic books, you don't have to love 80s music, you don't have to know anything about that era to love it. It's for those people of course cause there's a lot of references to it but it not specifically for those people. It's just full of joy. 

Of course there are different reasons for going to the theatre, but you know if you want to go to something really thought-provoking and dark then don't go see Eugenius  but if you want something to leave you joyful and elated about life in this miserable world that we live in and two hours of escapism then come. 

I don't think I've seen anyone walk out of Eugenius without a massive grin on their face and that's what it was about for me and Chris writing it. We had such a brilliant time and to see that energy being seconded by the cast and then the audiences it's just amazing.


The show has a goodie and a baddie (or two); if you were in a comic book would you rather be the hero or the villain?
Well in everything I'm cast in I always seem to play the goodie. I always play the hero, you know the Robin Hood... or Nick Hurley, but I always look at the baddies and see how much fun they seem to be having. Ian Hughes and Cameron Blakely who play the villains in Eugenius have so much fun with their parts, not that the others don't, but there's something fun about playing a baddie.



Sadly Eugenius is closing on the 3rd, what’s your biggest dream for the future of it?
It's so  crazy to think that in a weeks time it closes when there's so much love for the show. My biggest dream, in a similar way to The Rocky Horror Picture Show is that it has a huge life and it lives on, not just in the UK but all over the world. People have been coming over from all different countries who are wanting to put it on all over so that's exciting.

We just have to be careful and make sure that we do everything properly and take our time to make sure that every single production of it in the future is as good as it is now. We don't want to cut corners and we want the casting to be amazing. 

One of my favourite things about it is doing things that are purposefully shit! Like when you have the babies at the start, I love that there's the crappy UFO flying across and Kevin the Robot looks like he's made of cardboard- those things are great. It's that same way that I felt when I saw Rocky Horror because those things are knowingly done shit... if that makes any sense?!

It's very self-aware, it's not trying to be a big budget thing. It's just there as a whole bunch of fun and I love that and wouldn't want to lose that.


What’s a fun fact people may not know about you?
I will always have an olbas oil bottle in my pocket or beside the stage. I'm absolutely addicted to it to a point where if I don't have it I'll probably have a panic attack!


If you could go back to any era, when would you go to and why?
Probably the 80s! It was such a fun time that was so flamboyant and wasn't about being cool or trendy. You could just do anything you wanted and the movies were great, the music was great and it was such a brilliant era so I'd probably go back there.


What’s your best piece of advice for someone aspiring to be in the theatre industry?
Create your own luck. Be in the right place at the right time and learn your craft and when you go up for auditions make sure you know it like the back of your hand- that's what they're looking for. I've been on both sides of the table, auditioning for stuff and auditioning people and it makes such a difference when someone comes in and just commands the lines and songs they've been given. It gives the people casting them the confidence that they're going to do an amazing job.


A huge thank you to Ben for taking the time to do this interview. Flashdance is touring until October 20th and Eugenius is at The Other Palace until March 3rd.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Eugenius: Concert Premiere Performance, London Palladium | Review



Last night saw the premiere concert performance of a brilliant new musical that goes by the name of Eugenius at the London Palladium.

With a book, music and lyrics by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, Eugenius tells the love story of Janey and Eugene. 

Janey is head over heels in love with Eugene but has been placed firmly in the friend-zone, replaced by Eugene's love for comic books. A love so great that he even writes his own and somehow gets thrown into the crazy world of Hollywood. With plot twists and hysterically witty dialogue, Eugenius is set to be the new hit musical! Oh, and it's all based on 80's music! As I'm 19 I wouldn't say the music is nostalgic for me but I know my parents would adore it! It's certainly catchy and the 80's vibe has you dancing in your seat! The stellar cast were absolutely wonderful, with Amy Lennox stealing the show for me with her stunning voice. This is sure a cast to watch out for!

If you're not a fan of the typical musical then this is definitely for you. I found myself laughing out loud from the very start to the very end and the upbeat atmosphere was infectious. Me and many others around me were humming the songs on the train all the way home!

This musical is bound to become a cult classic and pave the way for a whole wave of new musicals. If you want a hilarious, positive, fun night out that celebrates the geeks in us all then this will be the show for you! There are no set plans for when/where Eugenius will open, but if the huge standing ovation at the concert is anything to go by then it will be no time until you can witness the brilliance for yourself! In the mean time, head to http://www.eugeniusthemusical.com/home/4592270352 to learn more about the show and hear some music sneak peeks!

*Thank you to London Theatre Direct for providing me with tickets to this show.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lockdown but make it Stagey | 7 Ways To Be Theatrical During a Pandemic

Hello stagey people! Olivia here, I hope no one minds these more chatty style posts, but with all that's going on I wanted to switch it up a little bit and bring some more relaxed posts about how we can keep ourselves sane, and of course stagey, in these trying times. So with that, I'm sharing some of the ways I've been spending my time so that it might give you some ideas.


Online Courses: I signed up for both the Open University free courses and the FutureLearn courses. They have lots and lots of free courses in a whole host of subjects, ranging from beginner to advanced and are a great way to kill some time whilst keeping your brain active. So far, I've done three geography courses (I'm a bit of a geog geek) and am mid-way through a film and a music course. I've found them to be hugely informative and I've got my eye on a number of the Arts ones, including Approaching Plays and What Is Good Writing? You can sign up for free one the websites and do as many as you like!

Theatrical Artwork: Okay, so I'm not technically doing the artwork but I'm colouring in so it kinda counts, right?! The lovely John and Kayley aka The Stagey Couple have created a brilliant colouring in sheet featuring loads of wonderful shows and it's just excellent. The pair are creative, original and consistent with their content and I'm sure this isn't the only activity they'll provide us with during this lockdown.


Streaming Shows: If you're reading this, I assume you know that there are a whole host of shows being put online as well as other musical related media. I must admit I haven't watched loads but I thoroughly enjoyed Eugenius! and Jane Eyre. Also, Encore on Disney+ is my new guilty pleasure! I'm really looking forward to the future National Theatre productions that are streamed (fingers crossed for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour) and it's great that there's so much on offer.

Concerts: As well as all the wonderful shows, there's been a load of streamed and recorded concerts. The Leave The Light On series is an excellent showcase of performers resilience and talent and also a wonderful way to sneakily snoop in people's houses, which we all secretly want to do! All the creative initiatives have been lovely to see, with Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton's release of Grounded their concert recorded live in their living room, proving a real favourite with the Bat fans! It's all just GREAT!

Q&As: This just seems like the most brilliant time to gain all the inside knowledge on this wonderful community we're part of and that's been easy to do thanks to the plethora of interviews being made available online. FYI I'm about to hit you with a self-plug... I recently started a podcast called Beyond The Boards with my friend (and amazing performer) Stephanie Rojas and we've been doing an interview series called Beyond the Isolation on our instagram. It's all about how creatives are thriving during this time and I've learnt some great things and felt very inspired.

Quizzes: If there's anything I've learnt during this lockdown, it's that I love a quiz! I can't even tell you how many I've taken part in but there are so many on offer and they're so fun! On Monday I took part in The Other Palace's theatre quiz and it was not only entertaining and informative, but was also a brill way of feeling part of the theatre community again. 

Baking: Okay so on the whole my baking has not been specifically theatre related but I feel like it's kind of automatically stagey 'cause it's near impossible to get your ingredients out without bursting into a Waitress number. I did make a pie inspired by the show the other day and it actually turned out pretty well so if you fancy whipping one up, I'll attach my video here. But yeah, baking is just real relaxing, just don't go Sweeney Todd to make it stagey!


So there are a few of my pandemic hobbies! I'm continually amazed at how well our community have come together to create and inform during this time and it can only make us stronger in the end! If you have any stagey ways that you're keeping entertained, let me know in the comments or on social media!

In saying all of this, it's also totally fine to do nothing during this time, you don't have to be working and grinding. Just do what calms you, what makes you happy and what you want to do. In a way we've been blessed with this time so use it however on earth you want!

Stay safe and stay stagey,
Olivia x

Monday, 4 May 2020

Theatre You Can Stream For FREE

With no end in sight to this lockdown, the boredom may be setting in for a lot of people so I thought I'd make a little round up of some FREE theatre you can watch from your home. Now some of these do rely on you having a Netflix, Disney+ and/or Amazon Prime account but I assume most people do! There are also some no subscription shows at the end. If you have a show you'd like to be included in this list, feel free to email rewritethisstory@outlook.com


Netflix has a whole host of binge-worthy films and series, with a great selection of musicals including:

The Wizard of Oz: A young farm girl Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto are whisked away from their Kansas home in a tornado to the magical land of Oz. A complete classic, with whimsy to take you away and a load of tunes to sing along to.

Burlesque: Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a singer who moves to LA in hopes of achieving her dreams. After getting a job at a burlesque lounge, Ali performs there nightly and helps the lounge's owner (Cher) restore the club to its original glory. It's a film of absolute boppage with two musical queens.

La La Land: While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an actress (Emma Stone) fall in love. As they start to experience professional success, they struggle in their relationship and have to decide between love and doing what they love.

Opening Night: A failed Broadway singer who now works as a production manager must save opening night on his new production by wrangling his eccentric cast and crew. Starring Lesli Margherita and Taye Diggs.


West Side StoryRomeo and Juliet told through the street gangs of New York City — The Sharks and The Jets. When Tony (Richard Beymer), a Jet, falls in love with Maria (Natalie Wood), a Shark, drama ensues as the gangs fight one another and Tony and Maria fight for their love.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend: Rebecca Bunch, a New York City real-estate lawyer abandons her job and her life in an attempt to find happiness in the unlikely locale of West Covina, California. It's hilarious and heart-warming and the music (by Rachel Bloom) is completely genius.


Disney+ there are of course all the live action movies on here as well as the classic Disney films such as Annie, The Sound of Music, Frozen etc... but here are a few other things you may have missed/not gotten round to yet:

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: If you haven't watched this, you'll probably think it's rubbish but it's actually really entertaining and has some great songs. The main plot point is that the school where the HSM  movie was filmed are putting on their own production of the musical, but amongst that there's teen romance, rivalries and over the top musical numbers.

Newsies: Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this musical tells the story of Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan), a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys' expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. The dancing, the choreo, the cast- it's all exceptional and worth a watch purely just for Jezza singing Santa Fe!

Encore!: Hosted by Kristen Bell, this series takes adults back to high school to revive the musicals they were a part of in their youth. There's a great selection of musicals included from Godspell to The Sound of Music and it's lovely to see theatre kids who have all taken different directions in life reunite through a shared love.


Amazon Prime has a few more rogue theatrical selections as well as some great documentaries; some of my favourites are:

Once The story of Girl meeting Guy. He, is a Dublin busker on the brink of walking away from music after having his heart broken and feeling unheard in a bustling world; whilst, she is a force for change who exudes positivity from the moment their worlds collide. In the space of a few days, their lives become beautifully connected and changed forever.

The Last Five Years: This show chronicles the lives of a struggling actress (Anna Kendrick) and a successful writer (Jeremy Jordan) as they journey through their ultimately doomed relationship. Told from two perspectives, this is just a beautiful piece of theatre.



Wild Rose: Fresh out of prison, a Scottish woman  (Jessie Buckley) juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She soon gets her chance when she travels to Nashville, on a life-changing journey to discover her true voice. Featuring both original music and covers, this is a lovely, lovely film.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice's musical, JCS recounts the last days of Jesus Christ (Ted Neeley) from the perspective of Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson), his betrayer.

Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway: If you're a Hamilton fan this is a must watch. It looks at how the hit musical came to be and features snippets of the show as well as interviews and archive footage.


Aside from what's available on these regular streaming platforms, the brilliant creatives from the world of theatre have put together some amazing online resources:

National Theatre at Home: Each week the National Theatre are streaming plays from their archives on YouTube. Each show stays up for 7 days and there's a whole variety of genres. This week's stream is Frankenstein with Anthony and Cleopatra going live on Thursday and more to be announced. Check out the channel here

Ghost Quartet: If you missed the recent revival of Dave Malloy's show at the Boulevard Theatre, you can now watch the original production here

Signal: A series that presents new artist driven musical theatre has released a complete playlist of songs presented over the past two years. Available here

The Show Must Go Online: Each Friday Andrew Lloyd Webber is sharing one of his musicals, available here

21 Chump Street: Lin Manuel Miranda's lovely 15 minute musical is available to stream now. Telling the true story of an agent who went undercover in a school to reveal students who were dealing drugs. For a short musical, this fits so much in and the performances from Anthony Ramos and Lindsay Mendez are outstanding.


Cirque Du Soleil 60-Minute Specials: The iconic troupe are releasing regular hour long special's of their spectacular shows which can be viewed here

Southwark Playhouse have introduced the Southwark Stayhouse with three of their previous productions, including the tale of the Bronte sisters, Wasted. Find them all here

The Royal Opera House #FromOurHouseToYourHouse: The Royal Opera House are releasing lots of their archive shows, including La Traviata. Find them all here

The Shows Must Go On!: Weekly readings of Shakespeare's plays, performed by stellar actors take place on YouTube

Only The Brave: Telling the story of a group of soldiers in the run up to the D-Day landings, the hit musical starring Caroline Sheen and David Thaxton is available to view here



Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus: Filmed live at The Other Palace in March 2018, this belt-fest of a musical is available to watch here

Eugenius! Towards the start of lockdown, team Eugenius! released their show which was filmed during its run at The Other Palace and the show is still available to stream now.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Beauty and the Beast to Play at the London Palladium


Disney’s beloved Olivier Award-winning stage musical Beauty and the Beast - re-imagined and re-designed in a completely new production staged by members of the original award-winning creative team - will come to London in Summer 2022, as part of its UK & Ireland Tour.

Performances will begin at the London Palladium from Friday 24 June 2022, for a strictly limited season until Saturday 17 September.

Tickets will go on-sale for London at 10am on Friday 28 January. Customers can sign up to be amongst the first to access tickets and can find all tour dates and information at BeautyAndTheBeastMusical.co.uk

The UK tour opened at Bristol Hippodrome on 25 August 2021 and is currently playing at the Sunderland Empire.  

Spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, as the timeless romantic tale is brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast.

Courtney Stapleton and Shaq Taylor will play the iconic lead roles. Courtney’s credits include Dear Evan HansenSixLes Misérables and Bat Out of Hell, and Shaq is best known for performing in Girl from the North CountryHadestown and Hex.

Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables) plays Lumiere and Tom Senior (The Pirates of Penzance, Eugenius!) is Gaston.

Sam Bailey (The X-Factor winner 2013, Blood Brothers) plays the legendary role of Mrs Potts, with Nigel Richards (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Cogsworth.

Martin Ball (Les Misérables, Wicked, Top Hat) takes the role of Maurice, Samantha Bingley (Martha In The Secret Garden) is Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey (Curtains, 42nd Street, Funny Girl) is Babette and Louis Stockil (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!) plays Le Fou.

The full company is completed with Richard Astbury, Sarah Benbelaid, Jake Bishop, Pamela Blair, Liam Buckland, Jasmine Davis, Matthew Dawkins, Autumn Draper, Daisy Edwards, Alyn Hawke, George Hinson, Jennifer Louise Jones, Brontë Lavine, Thomas-Lee Kidd, David McIntosh, Aimee Moore, Sam Murphy, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Emily Squibb, Grace Swaby, India Thornton and Rhys West.

Beauty and the Beast is reimagined in startling new designs which use the latest theatrical innovations. Among the many new features is an exuberant tap dance within the legendary production number Be Our Guest, created expressly for Gavin Lee, recognised as one of the great tappers on either side of the Atlantic.

Olivier Award nominee Matt West directs and choreographs this new production, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, bookwriter Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz. The team collectively received five Tony® nominations and a win for Hould-Ward’s costume design, when Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 28 years ago.

The structure and tone of the story and score – as conceived for the 1991 film by its executive producer and lyricist Howard Ashman with a continued evolution for the Broadway adaptation three years later – made Disney history. Only once before – in Menken and Ashman’s previous film musical The Little Mermaid – had a Disney film been structured like a stage musical where the songs are integral to plot and characterisation rather than only ornamental or digressions. This Menken/Ashman innovation is credited with the 1990’s Disney animation renaissance that went on to create such film classics as Aladdin, The Lion King and Hunchback of Notre Dame and helped re-introduce the book musical form to popular culture.

This new Beauty, while retaining the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony®-nominated score - which brought classics including Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Change in Me, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter - has new dance arrangements by David Chase, allowing original choreographer Matt West to re-visit his work. Longtime Menken collaborators Michael Kosarin and Danny Troob are musical supervisor/vocal arranger and orchestrator, respectively.

Completing the design team, Tony®-winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production. Casting for the production is by Pippa Ailion Casting.

The original West End production of Beauty and the Beast opened at the Dominion Theatre in April 1997, playing over 1100 performances to more than two million people. It won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Musical and enjoyed a hugely successful UK & Ireland tour in 2001.

Based on the 1991 film – the first animated feature ever nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture – Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. It played for more than 13 years on Broadway, closing in 2007. It remains to this day – 28 years after it opened – among the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history. The 2017 live-action retelling of the animated classic quickly became the highest grossing live action film musical of all time, a record only beaten by The Lion King live-action release in 2019.

Beauty and the Beast is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the supervision of Thomas Schumacher.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Seussical, Southwark Playhouse | Review


Seussical
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Tuesday 27th November 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Seussical is a colourful whirlwind of a musical which takes the works of  Dr. Suess and winds them into a magical, heartfelt story of acceptance and love. We follow JoJo, a Who with a larger than life imagination who, along with the rest of the Whos, live on a tiny speck of dust which is found by Horton the elephant. Horton vows to protest this speck with all his might which leads to a story of ups and downs and a whole host of characters.

Aesthetically this is a beautiful production. The pops of colour both in the set (Justin Williams and Jonny Rust) and the costumes (Rachel Cartlidge) really emphasise the story book feel and bring this wacky world to life in an over the top but never tacky, way. The costumes cleverly differentiate the characters without becoming cliched or predictable.

Marc Pickering leads the cast sublimely as the Cat in the Hat. Absolutely commanding every inch of the stage he touches and demanding the audiences attention with every brow raise and smirk; he is utterly hysterical and clearly born to be seen. Amy Perry is sincere and relatable as Gertrude, Anna Barnes is suitably energetic as JoJo and Adam Dawson and Daisy Steere are outstanding as Mr and Mrs Mayor and they totter around the stage with humourous aplomb. 


Scott Paige is endearing and vocally faultless as the lovable Horton and it's great to see him helming a show after standing out in Eugenius and The Addams Family. Paige brings a heart and warmth to this story that makes it the perfect show for a cold winter evening. The entire cast are enthusiastic and full of life from the get go; with tasteful audience interaction, energetic, sharp and fitting choreography (Chris Whittaker) and a boatload of originality, they make the production sleek and engaging.

Captivating and innovative, Seussical is a musical for all the family that is sure to delight and enthral from start to finish. Presenting an over the top look at some crucial and relevant social issues, it's a show for everyone, that is extremely well thought out and will leave you feeling warm inside, with a smile so wide.

Seussical runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 29th December 2018

photo credit: Adam Trigg