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

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Fame the Musical (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Fame (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 1st October 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Fame is the original high school musical drama. The story about a group of wannabe New York performers became an instant success with audiences after the 1980 film, and various incarnations including tv series and musical performances were spawned. Fame the Musical, developed by David De Silva, is currently touring again to celebrate it's 30th anniversary before a stint in the West End next year.

Fame the Musical follows the lives and struggles of students attending the New York High School of Performing Arts.  It is a real-life, non-sugar-coated version of being a young adult and facing issues, including substance abuse, sexuality and self worth.

From the opening number to the very last moment of toe-tapping brilliance, Nick Winston's production screams energy and vibrance. The entire show is a well choreographed, lively machine that, although being set in the 80s, feel fresh, relevant and energetic.

The energy comes from the outstanding young cast who deliver every moment with enthusiasm and precision. Molly McGuire is loveable and quirky as she falls in love with Nick (Keith Jack) the TV actor, wanting to move to more serious roles. Both performers provide beautiful vocals, especially during Let's Play a Love Scene in which Molly shines. The pair compliment each other wonderfully and present a sweet romantic arc. 

Hayley Johnston brings humour and heart to the show, with bubbly Mabel earning laughs throughout and showing off her killer, powerful vocals in Mabel's Prayer.  



Jorgie Porter shows off her well-honed dance skills as Iris who falls for Tyrone (Jamal Crawford), an equally exquisite dancer who gave a standout performance with Dancing on the Sidewalk. Tyrone also has a storyline with teacher Miss Sherman (Mica Paris) as she realises he is illiterate and tries to inspire him to work on himself. The pair are realistically at odds with one another as their heightened tensions come to a boil with Mica Paris' effortlessly stunning rendition of These Are My Children.

Mention must also go to the fantastic actor-musicians who are present on stage throughout and bring a natural, realistic feel to the show and transport us to a frenetic performing arts school- Alexander Zane is a standout of the group. 

The real star of the show is undoubtedly, Stephanie Rojas who gives a fiery performance as Carmen, the Latina who longs for fame. Stephanie is everything Carmen should be with her transition from a larger than life girl in There She Goes/Fame, to a broken woman in the devastating In LA supplying a supremely moving storyline. Stellar vocals and superb acting make Stephanie's performance a must see and should be required viewing for any budding performers.



On top of the impressive performances, Prema Mehta's lighting is extremely atmospheric from the opening scene which dazzles the audience to attention and sets the tone for an exhilarating show. Particularly clever is the use of light tones, for example in Carmen's emotional climax during act 2, she is bathed in cool, stark light whilst her counterpart Schlomo (played touchingly by Simon Anthony) is lit in a warm tone. These subtle details are part of what makes this production of Fame superior.

Whilst there are a number of stereotypes and other than a couple of the main characters, not much character development, this show is raw and pure storytelling, told by a supremely talented cast. Helped by Morgan Large's set, the focus of this production is purely on no gimmick talent, so, if you want to see skilled performers and hear highly catchy songs then Nick Winston's production of Fame is the show for you- don't miss it!

Fame runs at the New Victoria Theatre until October 5th before continuing it's tour and heading to the Peacock Theatre next year.

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Friday, 13 September 2019

Fame The Musical, Peacock Theatre | Review


Fame the Musical
Peacock Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 12th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Back in the West End after 12 years, Fame makes a triumphant return with Nick Winston's production. This 30th Anniversary edition has been touring since 2018 but is having a prolonged five-week stop at the Peacock Theatre. Featuring the classic songs such as There She Goes, Fame and Bring on Tomorrow, those who grew up with the musical will be taken back to their youths. However, whilst many original aspects are still part of the show, the stage version is less leg warmers and dancing on cars, and more grit, hard work and struggle.

Despite being set in the 80s, most aspects feel fresh, relevant and grounded in truth. Nick Winston's choreography helps the entire production fizzle and buzz like a well oiled New York subway, and the young cast perform each second with conviction and power.
 
As Iris, Jorgie Porter gives a great showcase of her sleek dance skills and has a great chemistry with love interest Tyrone (Jamal Crawford) who gives an equally strong dance performance and gains rapturous applause after his uber-octane performance of Dancing on the Sidewalk. In the storyline with his teacher Miss Sherman (Mica Paris) Crawford gives a truthful performance as he struggles to read but doesn't want to appear stupid or weak. The battle of wills between the pair is exciting to watch and really comes to a head with Mica Paris' vocally impeccable rendition of These Are My Children.
 
 
As the quirky actress Serena, Molly McGuire is warm and instantly likeable. Her relationship with Nick (Keith Jack), a tv actor, wanting to break into the more serious world of acting, is sweet and the pair compliment each other well. With Jacques Levy and Steve Margoshes' music and lyrics, there are some lovely moments, especially Lets Play a Love Scene.
 
The ensemble are tight from start to finish, performing the sharp choreography extremely well and providing moments of interest away from the main action throughout. Serina Matthews and Tom Mussell particularly catch the eye throughout. This cast is also comprised of various quadruple-threats. The host of amazing actor-musos who are present on stage throughout,  really transport us to a performing arts school, and help keep up the frenzied energy of working on your craft. Louisa Beadel is feisty as Lambchops and gives a brief but beautiful vocal performance in the closing number; Alexander Zane is light relief and a wonderful energy on stage. Simon Anthony is outstanding in his instrumental, vocal, acting and dance skills. Giving a very heartfelt and highly energetic performance, he is a stand out performer and works wonderfully with his love interest, Carmen.
 
As Carmen, it's Stephanie Rojas who is really the crown jewel of this production. Opening with a fiery, sassy performance, her decline and struggle is incredibly moving to watch. Rojas' sublime vocals, gritty acting and sharp movement really should put her Name in Lights across the West End. In a show which sometimes lacks character development, Rojas makes Carmen a truly 3D character and gives the performance all audience members will remember.
 
 
Prema Mehta's subtle but atmospheric lighting does a fantastic jobs of quite literally highlighting the crucial moments and moods of the piece. Perhaps most striking is the contrast between Carmen's opening number and closing number. In There She Goes/Fame there is a vibrancy which bathes the stage, whilst In LA is stark and simplistic. Morgan Large's set of yearbook photos, lockers and desks keeps the school vibes alive and allows most of the focus to be on the performers.
 
For a no gimmick show about the tenacity needed to succeed, Fame is a wonderful way to spend an evening and will certainly leave you dancing along the road (or wishing you had the skill to dance along the road)!
 
Fame runs at the Peacock Theatre until 19th October 2019 before continuing its tour.
 
photo credit: Alessia Chinazzo

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Five Reasons to see Fame on Tour


Last night I visited the New Wimbledon Theatre to see the current UK tour of cult classic, Fame! Having already seen the show and reviewing it here, I thought I'd switch it up a bit by bringing you my five reasons to see the, feel-good, high energy show.

Developed by David De Silva and telling the story of a group of aspiring performers, this production, which is celebrating the show's 30th anniversary is all you could wish for in Fame

So, Here She Goes with five reasons to see it...

The Emotions: Happy, sad, energetic, heartbreaking. Whatever sort of emotions you crave to feel, this show will have you feeling them. It's a un-sugarcoated look at being a performer and all that entails, and whilst it faces some ugly truths, it also reminds us of the importance of doing what you love and doing it with your whole heart. 

New York: I'm an absolute sucker for anything set in New York. Be it a rom-com, an opera, a book or a musical, there's just something inspiring about watching people succeed in such a harsh but opportunity filled city. The cast do a wonderful job of showing the pure grit and determination it takes to be victorious, and Morgan Large's set brings aspects of the city to life with ingenuity and style.


The History: The original Fame film debuted in 1980 to much acclaim and since then has amassed a big following over it's various incarnations. This history that people have with the show means there's something in this tour for everyone to enjoy and reminisce about, whilst people new to the story and show can also relate and enjoy it. It's not the leg-warmer filled film you might remember, but it has all the heart and drive.

The Cast: A musical wouldn't work without a cast, and this cast is superbly strong. As opposed to having a singular lead, a number of people helm the show and do so with triple threat greatness. Mica Paris' vocal performance is second to none and completely stuns the audience into ovation. Keith Jack and Molly McGuire are suitably dramatic as Nick and Serena as they navigate acting and romance, whilst Jorgie Porter gives a strong performance as Iris. Stephanie Rojas is outstanding as she not only gives a vocally flawless performance but also completely embodies Carmen on her journey from sassy, fiery Latina, to a battered girl, and creates a stunning and moving character arc. This is a largely ensemble led piece and the entire team come together to create a realistic performing arts school, complete with actor musicians and wonderful dancers.


The Music: If you're even the tiniest bit stagey, you'll know the title song, 'Fame' and it will no doubt invoke visions of raised arms and leg-warmers. Well the high octane, upbeat music does not stop there. The show is filled with fun musical numbers that feature various musical styles and influences, with Latin vibes in 'There She Goes' and gospel sounds in 'Mabel's Prayer' that all come together to create a catchy score that'll have you tapping your toes and dancing your way out of the theatre. Mica Paris' 'These Are My Children' is certainly one of the most vocally assured performances out there, whilst Stephanie Rojas gives everything she has in her heartbreaking but exceptional performance of 'In LA'.

For a fun evening that still tackles serious issues, Fame is the show to see. It's a melodramatic, no gimmick show that'll leave you dancing on the sidewalk and no doubt belting a number of two into your hairbrush when you get home!

Fame runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 23rd February before continuing it's tour

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Friday, 27 July 2018

Fame the Musical (UK Tour), Manchester Palace Theatre | Review



Fame the Musical (UK Tour)
Manchester Palace Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 26th July 2018 by Roni Hughes
★★★★

Most will be familiar with one of the many iterations of the Fame franchise, be it one of the many television adaptations, the 2009 reboot film, or even simply Irene Cara’s catchy song of the same name. Originated by David De Silva with the 1980 film from Alan Parker which netted two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, the idea sparked many spin offs, before opening as a stage musical in 1988 in Miami. The last professional production in the UK was for the 25th anniversary tour ending in 2014, and as the latest UK tour kicks off in Manchester, there is a real buzz around this classic.


Telling the tale of the New York High School for the Performing Arts and its students, the show does everything it says on the tin. It’s vibrant, sassy, fierce, and with just enough backstory for each character to allow the audience to emotionally invest in them. In an interesting move, the staging itself is kept simple, with the occasional dance barre and mirror or set of lockers, but is wonderfully complimented by the busy backdrop of ‘character’ headshots set out as a yearbook. It provides a nice nostalgic touch, and reminds us that we have been transported back to the early 80’s.




This tour features an exciting cast, headed up by former Hollyoaks actress and Dancing on Ice contestant Jorgie Porter in the role of top dance student Iris. For her first musical, Porter’s performance was lovely, and you cannot fault her beautiful ballet steps and dance sequences with love interest Tyrone, played by Jamal Kane Crawford. Iris, however, is very much a secondary character in Tyrone’s story, and, whilst not the fault of the performer, was slightly too overlooked for us to fully embrace Porter as a musical theatre actress. Crawford, however, gives a stunning insight in to what it means as a young man to be illiterate, which is emotional, yet mixed with light hearted and genuinely funny moments that makes Tyrone so relatable to today’s audiences.



Having a young and energetic cast is a breath of fresh air, and the energy was consistent and electric throughout the entire show. The choreography is slick and strong, however at times it feels a little too ambitious, and a few cast members are noticeably fighting to keep up. This doesnt detract too much from the overall fun, and the buzz is still tangible long in to the finale.



The stand out performance of the show must go to Stephanie Rojas as fiery Latina, Carmen. Her voice is second to none, with her buttery–toned riffs making it look easy. Her rendition of There She Goes/Fame is flawless, show-stopping, and leaves the audience begging for more. Notable mention too to the powerhouse that is Mica Paris for her phenomenal performance as home room teacher Miss Sherman, in particular her solo number These Are My Children. Never before have I witnessed a cast member receive a standing ovation mid-show, but my god was it deserved.


Overall, Fame is still the thrilling, joyous, slightly melodramatic story we’ve all come to know. The music is beautifully contrasted with love songs and ballads to full out dance numbers, and the audience is never bored. This is definitely one to catch for an entertaining night out that will leave you singing that song for days afterwards.


Fame runs at the Manchester Palace Theatre until 28th July before heading to the Kings Theatre Glasgow and then continuing it's tour.


photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Fame The Musical (UK Tour) | Press Launch


1980 musical theatre favourite, Fame opens in a new reincarnation which Keith Jack (Nick) says "feels like the iconic film and series which made Fame great" tomorrow (26th July) at the Manchester Palace Theatre, before continuing it's tour. Featuring memorable songs such as Think of Meryl Streep, There She Goes, I Want To Make Magic and of course the title song Fame, the musical tells the real-life version of breaking into the performing arts and confronts many of the struggles young adults face, "we're not here to sugar coat it" says Mica Paris

I was lucky enough to see the amazing cast in their penultimate day of rehearsals as they gave us a sneak peek into the show and whet out appetites for what's sure to be an energetic, thrilling show. 

Choreographer and director, Nick Winston introduced the show and set us up to hear and see a few numbers. First up a full-out rendition of There She Goes performed by Stephanie Rojas (Carmen) and the cast. From the first moment they began, the energy was infectious and it's genuinely thrilling to see such talent on stage, Rojas is feisty as the Latina who dreams of being famous and I already anticipate her performance as being outstanding. Also notable is the fact that there are a number of actor musicians featured throughout which add to the real life feel and really transports us to a vivacious theatre school. Jorgie Porter exclaimed how excited she is to be performing in her first musical and how "it's constant all the time", Keith added that Nick's aim with the show is to make it fast paced and to feel like New York in terms of being ever moving and full of verve.


Keith Jack gave a truthful rendition of I Want To Make Magic whilst Molly McGuire was hilarious as and lovable as Serena, it will be lovely to see their relationship play out on stage. When asked about the show Keith told us that it's so special because "the cast and director and the entire team have made this electric, buzzy show" and hopes audiences will "be able to relate to a certain character and latch onto to something in the story." 

Jamal Kane Crawford's performance of Dancing on the Sidewalk tired me out just watching! Full of energy he completely commanded the space. Alongside Mica Paris the pair create a realistic, but heightened portrayal of a student and teacher who are at odds. Paris' performance of These Are My Children left us all in awe at her effortless vocals. A lovely thing is how supportive the cast are of one another, all cheering each other on and embodying the family feel of being in school together, something which I think will definitely translate to the whole production. When chatting to Mica, Keith and Jorgie after the performance, this was even more evident and they all echoed that the team feel and talent of everyone is what makes the show so special for them. 


The title song of Fame features the iconic lyric "remember by name". When asked what they would like to be remembered for I was met with semi-silence as it's a pretty deep question but each person had a lovely, heartfelt answer. Jorgie would love to be remembered for "making a fun situation out of anything", Mica would like to be remembered for "showing anyone that no matter what people tell you, you can be what you want to be and you should do what you feel". Finally, Keith told us a lovely story about his grandad who consistently made people happy and how it inspired him to do workshops for people to try and make them happy; so he would like to be remembered for "bringing light to people... although I'll probably be remembered for being Scottish!"

Keith rounded off  with: "I think people will come to the show and get what they expect, plus even more" so if you want all the energy, excitement, romance and pure storytelling from Fame, plus even more then book your tickets for the 2018 UK tour.

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Laura Cassidy's Walk of Fame, Alan McMonagle | Book Review


Laura Cassidy's Walk of Fame | Alan McMonagle
Published: 5th March 2020 by Picador, Pan Macmillan
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

As a theatre fan (note: obsessive), I was thrilled when I was asked to review this book all about one young lady's journey to achieve her dream of stardom. Now it was not exactly what I expected. I had pictured Laura taking part in a rom-com esque battle to fight opposing actresses and pull out all the stops to achieve a coveted space on stage, and whilst that is a part of the story, the real driving force is Laura's mental struggles and falsely inflated sense of ego and stardom.

During childhood, when Laura's mother and sister were asleep, her father would fill her head with dreams of stardom as they watched classic films. When her father dies, Laura's whole life turns upside down and she never recovers from the trauma. Now in her mid 20s she hasn't managed to take Hollywood by storm and she lives an unbalanced life. 

When a new Director comes to town, Laura thinks she will finally get her big break as Blanche DuBois in his new production of A Streetcar Named Desire. In an attempt to fulfil herself and make her father proud, she makes it her mission to land the role. 


Needless to say, things don't go quite to plan. With Laura's globetrotting sister returning home and her kind-of boyfriend helping fill her head with daydreams, Laura begins a downward spiral and her feet fall out from beneath her in her own personal, Galway version of Streetcar.

I can't say this is in my top reads ever, but there's certainly some good moments and it's a very unique way to portray mental health. It's a hard book to explain because it doesn't really fit into a category. There are elements of contemporary chic-lit as well as darker moments, but it's never really dark enough to really be affective. Laura is continually an unreliable narrator so it's difficult to know how we should react. This partly makes it entertaining, having to try and pull apart the characters motivations and truth of her stories, but a lot of the time it feels laborious.

I found the writing somewhat hard to get into, which in part I think is intentional as it shows Laura's fragmented thought patterns, however, this didn't make it the most well paced book. The character development of course is essential but due to this, the key plot points often feel rammed in.


However, in saying all of this, I certainly think McMonagle has done a great job of showcasing passion for performing, and effectively creates some humourous scenes. There's a lovely sense of optimism throughout and you can't help but admire Laura's fervent desire to get her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Review by Olivia Mitchell

*This book was sent to me by Picador for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own*

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Natalie McQueen and George Maguire to Star in West End Transfer of Bonnie and Clyde



DLAP Group are delighted to announce that George Maguire and Natalie McQueen will star as Buck and Blanche Barrow in the West End premiere of the cult-favourite BONNIE AND CLYDE THE MUSICAL at the Arts Theatre from Saturday 9 April 2022. Further casting to be announced in due course. www.bonnieandclydemusical.com

Olivier Award winner George Maguire and West End star Natalie McQueen reunite to reprise their roles as Buck and Blanche Barrow following the phenomenal response to their performances as part of Bonnie and Clyde In Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in January 2022.  

George Maguire is the winner for the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance as ‘Dave Davies’ in Sunny Afternoon. His other theatre credits include 35mm: A Musical Exhibition at The Other Palace Studio, Oliver! at the London Palladium and the European tour of Rent

Natalie McQueen’s West End credits include playing ‘Doralee Rhodes’ in 9 to 5 The Musical at the Savoy Theatre, Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre. Her other theatre credits include the UK tour of Wonderland, Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre and Starlight Express at The Other Palace. 

At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America's most renowned folk heroes and the Texas law enforcement's worst nightmares. Fearless, shameless, and alluring, Bonnie & Clyde is the electrifying story of love, adventure and crime that captured the attention of an entire country. The show features the songs “Raise A Little Hell”, “This World Will Remember Me” and “Made In America”.

When Bonnie and Clyde meet, their mutual cravings for excitement and fame, combined with a desperate need to lift themselves out of the endless banality and poverty of West Dallas, set them on a mission to chase their dreams. Their bold and reckless behaviour turns the young lovers' thrilling adventure into a downward spiral, putting themselves and their loved ones in trouble with the law. Forced to stay on the run, the lovers resort to robbery and murder to survive. As the infamous duo's fame grows bigger, their inevitable end draws nearer.
 
Bonnie and Clyde The Musical has a book by Ivan Menchell (Blended [movie], The Cemetery Club, Death Note The Musical), a Tony Award nominated score by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlett Pimpernel), lyrics by Don Black (Tell Me On a Sunday, Sunset Boulevard, Mrs Henderson Presents). The production will be directed by Nick Winston (Director of the feature film Tomorrow MorningMAME, The Royal Variety Performance) with Set and Costume Design by Philip Whitcomb (Atlantis, Stones In His Pockets, MAME) and Musical Supervision from Katy Richardson(SIX, Rent, Jersey Boys).

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Sunset Boulevard (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Sunset Boulevard (UK Tour) 
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 22nd January 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

The recent trend in my life seems to be watching things about the golden age of Hollywood and actresses who can't face the loss of fame. If you watched Ryan Murphy's recent television series, Feud, you'll notice the strong similarities between the life of fictional Norma Desmond and film royalty Joan Crawford. Both women were stars of the silent film era and the embodiment of Hollywood glamour, however as they grew older and their fame and fans disappear, they fall into a draining game of always trying to appear young and live as though their glory days aren't over. 

In Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of Billy Wilder's 1951 film, Sunset Boulevard, we meet a reclusive Norma who's in a dark phase of her life as she's trying to get back into the film world. Enter Joe Gillis the struggling screenwriter desperate to get his lucky break who somehow ends up in Norma's sprawling mansion. 

Dreaming of making her comeback, Norma recruits Joe to edit and finish her screenplay. However, their relationship slowly spirals into it's own film of drama and tension as Norma becomes obsessive and possessive over Joe- threatening suicide if he leaves.

The staging is slick and perfectly evocative of the 40s/50s, helped hugely by Douglas O'Connell's spectacular video and projections which not only add to each scene and song but make the whole thing cinematic and help to blur the line between reality and film which Norma struggles to deal with.


The show, like it's characters, is full of melodrama and power. Ria Jones takes on the role of the narcissistic, fading Norma Desmond with masterful skill. Her performance is truly remarkable and she embodies the role with every fibre of her being. Commanding the stage and audience with her every word and whacking Andrew Lloyd Webber's huge numbers out of the park. Jones puts in everything the has to earn her extensive standing ovation at the end.

As the handsome, aspiring screenwriter Joe, Dougie Carter is outstanding and versatile. From fairly innocent at the start to dark and tortured. He is absolutely faultless, with his rendition of Sunset Boulevard gripping the audience at the start of Act 2 along with is sharp, engaging chemistry with Ria Jones.

Special mention must go to Adam Pearce who deftly plays the Phantom-esque role of Max Von Myerling and superbly balances his endearing and chilling sides whilst delivering some top class vocals that almost steal the show.

This production is a musical theatre masterclass that perfectly charts a story of obsession, drama, age and lust. It's a must see for any musical theatre fan, with Ria Jones' performance worth the ticket price alone.

Sunset Boulevard runs at the New Victoria theatre until January 27th before continuing it's tour.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Gemma Collins to Star as Mama Morton in Chicago


David Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler are delighted to announce TV personality Gemma ‘The GC’ Collins will star as ‘Mama Morton’ in the acclaimed UK and Ireland tour of the international smash hit musical Chicago. Gemma will join the tour at the Sunderland Empire from Tuesday 31 May 2022, ahead of playing Cardiff New Theatre, Blackpool Winter Gardens, Sheffield Lyceum, Norwich Theatre Royal and New Theatre, Oxford.

 

David Ian said today, “We were completely stunned by Gemma’s audition for the role. She’s an undeniable force both on and off stage, and we can’t wait to see her portrayal of ‘Mama Morton’ on tour. Audiences across the country are in for a treat.”

 

Gemma Collins is best known as a media personality and businesswoman, having first featured in the reality series The Only Way Is Essex. She was awarded the 2021 winner of the Best Female Personality at the National Reality Television Awards. Since ‘Essex’ Gemma has appeared in numerous television shows including, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice and All Together Now in which she was a finalist. Most recently Gemma was seen on screens with her intimate Channel 4 documentary, Gemma Collins: Self-Harm & Me. Before finding fame on The Only Way Is Essex, Gemma was a keen performer having studied dance and winning a place at the renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School.

 

Gemma joins Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’, Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’, Jamie Baughan as ‘Amos Hart’ and B.E. Wong as ‘Mary Sunshine’. The role of ‘Billy Flynn’ will be announced soon. Full tour schedule below. www.chicagothemusical.com

 

The cast is completed by Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.  

 

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) reached the final of last year’s series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV’s Coronation Street, for which she won a National Television Award. Her theatre credits include Princess Fiona in Shrek and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, both on national tour, Ann/Edna in That Day We Sang directed by Victoria Wood at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Liesl in The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Frenchy in Grease at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. Faye’s other TV credits include Agnes Franklin in Our Girl and Helena in Atlantis, both for the BBC.

 

Djalenga Scott’s (Velma Kelly) West End credits include Lily St Regis in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London and Chicago at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other credits include Anita in the national tour of West Side Story, Rizzo in Grease at Curve Leicester, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show and Carmen in Fame, both on European tours, the US tour of Batman Live and Bombalurina in Cats at Kilworth House. Djalenga’s screen credits include Scarlett/Esme in Trapped for the BBC and Alexandra in the film I Give It A Year. 

 

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids. 

 

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”.  Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, Chicago is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

 

Since it opened in New York in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean.  Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.

 

Chicago, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.  The 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Bonnie and Clyde to Open at the Arts Theatre April 9th



DLAP Group are delighted to announce that the West End premiere of the cult-favourite BONNIE AND CLYDE THE MUSICAL will open at the Arts Theatre on Saturday 9 April 2022. This brand-new production will be directed by Nick Winston with set and costume design by Philip Whitcomb. Full casting to be announced in due course.

 

Priority sign-up is open now with priority on-sale from Monday 24 January and general on-sale from Friday 28 Januarywww.bonnieandclydemusical.com


Following the phenomenal response to Bonnie and Clyde In Concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, having sold out in just six minutes, DLAP Group are thrilled to be bringing a brand new full production of the Tony Award nominated show to the West End for the first time.

 

Emmy Award nominated writer of the book, Ivan Menchell said today, “There is a tremendous love for this show now, and it’s fantastic that it is getting a West End run. The only thing the British love more than Americans on stage, is America's behaving badly on stage!”

 

Tony-Award nominated composer Frank Wildhorn added, “The show has built such a wonderful cult following, especially with younger audiences and I’m so excited to see Bonnie and Clyde find its audience here in London!”

 

Lyricist, Tony and Olivier Award winner, Don Black said, “The show has become so loved by people in the ten years since it was on Broadway. In fact, in one year we had something ridiculous like 60 productions going all over America, so we knew that people liked it – and now our time has come for London.”


At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America's most renowned folk heroes and the Texas law enforcement's worst nightmares. Fearless, shameless, and alluring, Bonnie & Clyde is the electrifying story of love, adventure and crime that captured the attention of an entire country. The show features the songs “Raise A Little Hell”, “This World Will Remember Me” and “Made In America”.When Bonnie and Clyde meet, their mutual cravings for excitement and fame, combined with a desperate need to lift themselves out of the endless banality and poverty of West Dallas, set them on a mission to chase their dreams. Their bold and reckless behaviour turns the young lovers' thrilling adventure into a downward spiral, putting themselves and their loved ones in trouble with the law. Forced to stay on the run, the lovers resort to robbery and murder to survive. As the infamous duo's fame grows bigger, their inevitable end draws nearer.

 

BONNIE AND CLYDE THE MUSICAL has a book by Ivan Menchell (Blended [movie], The Cemetery Club, Death Note The Musical), a Tony Award nominated score by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlett Pimpernel), lyrics by Don Black (Tell Me On a Sunday, Sunset Boulevard, Mrs Henderson Presents). The production will be directed by Nick Winston (Director of the feature film Tomorrow Morning, MAME, The Royal Variety Performance) with Set and Costume Design by Philip Whitcomb (Atlantis, Stones In His Pockets, MAME).


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