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

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Hiba Elchikhe Brings Together West End Performers For A New Musical Theatre Series


In collaboration with Nimax and The Theatre Café, West End performer Hiba Elchikhe is thrilled to announce a brand-new musical theatre based web series: Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight.


Bringing a little bit of glitter to the grey, this three-episode series hopes to not only entertain, but shine a light on the performers who are keeping the West End alive, even during lockdown.


Hiba, who is currently starring in the West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and who has created the series says “In a time of such uncertainty I am so excited to be able to bring together a spectacular group of freelance artists, that are representative of the UK.”  


Featuring a line up of stellar creatives, each episode shines a “spotlight” on something different: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Musical Theatre and Christmas. The first episode is set to premiere on November 18th, with the next two going live on November 25th and December 9th. Each episode will feature a different line-up of star performers, running at approximately 45 minutes and including a mixture of songs. Performers include: Danny Becker (Prince of Egypt, Aladdin), Courtney Bowman (Six, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Danielle Steers (Six, Bat Out of Hell), Hiba Elchikhe (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Brooklyn), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les MisĂ©rables, Heathers), Sejal Keshwala (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Tim Mahendran (& Juliet, Spring Awakening), Grace Mouat (& Juliet, Six), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, Aladdin), Liam Tamne (Prince of Egypt) and Noah Thomas (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).


As well as Maisey Bawden, Paul Bradshaw, Rhiane Drummond, James Gillan, Shanay Holmes, Rob Houchen, Melissa Jacques, Emma Kingston, Carl Man, Frances McCann, Scott Paige, Sharun PhullAmy Trigg and Andrew Patrick Walker, with more to be announced.


Tickets are available from: https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/2020/11/news-out-of-the-darkness-into-the-spotlight/


#IntoTheSpotlightConcert


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre | Review


Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Apollo Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 21st January 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Flying into its third year in the West End, Everybody's Talking About Jamie retains its giant heart and remains an inspiring, colourful, hilarious and all round joyous musical. Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae's show tells the story of an extroverted 15 year old who dreams of being a drag queen. Despite being sure of himself and his abilities, young Jamie New has to face those who oppose him and try to pull him down, so he can achieve his dreams and show the people around him that being true to yourself can get you far. It's a show which delights and inspires in equal measure, and is sure to retain its spot in theatre lovers hearts for the foreseeable future.

In his West End and indeed, professional debut, Noah Thomas brings every aspect of leading man, Jamie New, to life with an ease that is truthful to the story but feels just polished enough. Opening with the incredibly catchy 'And You Don't Even Know It', Noah immediately shows us who Jamie is as he transforms the stage into a world of colour and begins the journey which will shape his life. From there on in his entire performance is joyous to experience. With charm in spades and glorious vocals, Noah continually exudes life and never falters throughout his time on stage.

As Jamie's mum, Melissa Jacques is beautifully vulnerable, and draws huge amounts of empathy from the audience as she does all she can to be the best mum to her beloved son. Jacques' vocal performance is that of a powerhouse, with 'He's My Boy' providing an emotional high-point that wows the audience. The chemistry between Jamie and his mum is lovely to see, as is the truthful friendship of Jamie and and his best friend, Pritti. 

Both misunderstood and outsiders in their own ways, the pair continually find common ground and support one another. It's wonderful to see such a supportive and non-toxic friendship played out on stage. As Pritti, Hiba Elchikhe is delightfully moving and vocally exceptional, especially in the act two ballad, 'It Means Beautiful'. Just as Pritti's bedroom sparkles, Hiba gives a glittering performance and makes a sensational West End debut.


Roy Haylock/Bianca Del Rio as Hugo/Loco Chanelle is highly entertaining. Compared to the rest of the cast, his vocals are not consistently top notch but the energy and commitment he performs with mostly make up for that and it's a real treat to see such a widely recognised drag star on a West End stage.

As the rapping teacher Miss Hedge, Preeya Kalidas is vocally strong. The character herself is a little jarring at times as she flits between being an enforcer of reality and a restricter of freedom. It's sometimes confusing as it's unclear whether she's a villain or just someone trying to help. Perhaps that's the whole point! 

Sejal Keshwala is completely ballsy in her performance as Ray and wins over the audience in a matter of moments. Also giving a hugely strong and highly assured performance is Jordan Ricketts as the school bully and Jamie's tormentor Dean Paxton. The entire cast are the embodiment of joy and perfectly evoke the feelings of school life. Katie Prince's choreography excellently brings to life the often frenetic atmosphere of Jamie's life and is fresh and exciting to watch.

This is a musical which inspires us all to own what makes us 'different' and is just a lovely portrayal of family, friendship and acceptance. Contemporary, sassy and so very British, lets keep talking about Jamie!

photo credit: Matt Crockett


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Brooklyn the Musical, Greenwich Theatre | Review


Brooklyn the Musical
Greenwich Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 30th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Brooklyn The Musical is a pretty obscure show which opened on Broadway in 2004. It's realtively unknown but features a number of fantastically catchy songs. The musical's European premiere at the Greenwich theatre showcases fantastic talent and reminds us of how magical music can be. Strong direction by Adam Haigh and consistently impressive performances by the cast bring the show to life with vitality and vocal prowess, and make it one to tick off the list.

Set in New York City, a group of street performers perform a "sidewalk fairytale" about a love story and what came of it. We follow a singer from Paris called Brooklyn who is on a quest to find her father and make good of the world she's in. The story itself is minimal and the book is pretty wacky, but the show's spectacular score breathes life into it and shares the characters motivations wonderfully.

The book, music and lyrics are by Mark Schoenfield and Barri McPherson who have adapted the show for various productions including Broadway and a US tour. As a whole, this production really is a grungy, ensemble led, song-fest which features one of the strongest and most vocally tight ensembles in London right now. The sharp harmonies and electric interactions with one another really engage the audience.


It's ideal that Hiba Elchikhe leads the cast as Brooklyn, because she absolutely has one of the best voices ever. The tone, the emotion, the power. Just. So. Good. Her demeanour is charming as she tries to find her father and the audience are instantly able to warm to her beaming personality. It's absolutely worth making a trip to Greenwich just to hear Once Upon a Time sung live by Hiba. Emily Mae gives an equally earth quaking vocal performance as the "aging" Diva, Paradice. Raven is a  particular stand out moment, but Emily captures the audience in the palm of her hand throughout. Smooth and mysterious, Andrew Patrick-Walker makes the Street Singer someone to remember as he acts as a musically enchanting, overseer of the show. Sabrina Aloueche and John Addison add further depth to  the show and the whole cast work exceptionally well together to evoke the feeling of being in New York and searching for a dream. If the Greenwich Theatre were powered by riffs, it would be shining bright thanks to the cast of Brooklyn and Andrew Johnson's sound design which showcases them.

Justin Williams' set design transforms the Greenwich theatre into "a ravaged street corner in Brooklyn, New York" and presents a visual treat for the audience as Brooklyn's story is told. With ladders that are slid around, fairy lights, falling snow and an ever present guitar case, the set, complemented by Jack Weir's lighting manages to invoke both the fairy tale vibes and the gritty feel of NYC. 

A masterful blending of talents allows this production to shine. It's not a masterpiece of theatrical writing but it is a really fun night out and a chance to see a rarely performed show done at a very high standard. Who knows, you might find your miracle too.

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Cast Announced for World Premiere of The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical



David Hunter will star as Henry and Joanna Woodward as Clare and in the world premiere of The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical, based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger and the New Line Cinema film screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin. The new musical will premiere at Storyhouse in Chester from 30 September to 15 October 2022. The two-week season will precede a West End transfer, to be announced at a later date.

David Hunter's theatre credits include: Waitress (Adelphi and UK Tour); Kinky Boots (Adelphi); Once (Phoenix); One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, Adelphi, UK Tour); Songs for a New World (Palladium); Tommy (Prince Edward); Seussical (Arts); The Hired Man (Leicester Curve and Colchester Mercury); Pub and Spinach (the Royal Exchange); The Mayor of Zalamea (Liverpool Everyman). His film and TV credits include: Nativity 3; Holby City and Doctors (BBC); Superstar (ITV). David’s pop/rock band Reemer had support slots, playing alongside The Feeling, Scouting for Girls and McFly on their full UK Arena Tour.

Joanna Woodward most recently understudied and played Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman: The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre & Savoy Theatre). Her other theatre credits include: Emily in Zombies: The Musical and Eulpha Miziam in Confessions (The Other Palace); Mary in The Life (Southwark Playhouse); understudied and played Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre); Margaret in Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East); understudied Beth/Meg/KT in Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory and Harold Pinter Theatre); Tinker Bell in Lost Boy (Finborough Theatre and Charing Cross Theatre); Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Kilworth House Theatre).

Also in the cast will be Aisha Davis (UK theatre debut, with previous theatre work in Kingston, Jamaica) as Dr Kendrick, Ross Dawes (Dennis Dupree in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages) as Henry’s Dad, Hiba Elchikhe (Pritti Pasha in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in West End and Los Angeles) as Charisse, Stevie Hutchinson (UK and Chinese Tour of Ghost: The Musical and UK Tour of Oliver!) as Clare’s Dad, Tim Mahendran (Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre) as Gomez, Sorelle Marsh (Vicky Monroe in Stand Up at the Floral Pavilion, Wirral, and Tessie in White Christmas at the Lowry Theatre) as Henry’s Mum, Benjamin Purkiss (Zorro in Zorro the Musical at Charing Cross Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre and Alternate Strat in Bat Out of Hell at the London Coliseum/International Tour/Manchester Opera House) as Jason / Mark and Alwyne Taylor (won the Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award for Once in a Lifetime, Company, Sweet Charity and Accrington Pals at the Library Theatre and was nominated for Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award for her role as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Oldham Coliseum) as Old Clare. The actresses playing Young Clare will be announced shortly.

Henry and Clare’s love story is like no other and yet like all others; they meet, flirt, fight, love, marry... but all out of order. Henry is often and uncontrollably ripped out of time, because he suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets, pulling him into his past or future, vanishing before one’s eyes, never knowing where or when he’s going next. Except he knows he’ll always come back to Clare, at some point in time, dreaming of her time-travelling husband.

The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical weaves a heart-breaking and soaring original musical score by multi Grammy Award-winning composers Joss Stone and Dave Stewart with one of the most beloved novels of the last 50 years. All couples ask how to truly know one another, to trust, to commit, to build a family, to work at something bigger than ourselves. Not all of us are time travellers. How do you love across time?

With a book by Lauren Gunderson, original music and lyrics by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, additional music by Nick Finlow and additional lyrics by Kait Kerrigan, the production will be directed by Bill Buckhurst and designed by Anna Fleischle, with choreography by Shelley Maxwell, lighting design by Lucy Carter, illusions by Chris Fisher, video design by Andrzej Goulding, sound design by Richard Brooker, musical supervision & arrangement by Nick Finlow and orchestrations by Bryan Crook. Casting will be by Grindrod Burton Casting. It will be produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Teresa Tsai and Crossroads Live, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Lift, Southwark Playhouse | Review


Lift 
Southwark Playhouse 
Reviewed on Wednesday 18th May 2022
★★★

Produced by Gartland Productions, Lift has returned to London after premiering in 2013. Set in a Covent Garden lift (if you've attempted the steps, you know how crucial this particular lift is) it looks at eight of the characters on the same under a minute journey. 

Played by Luke Friend, the busker (like many of us do while laying by the pool on holiday) imagines what his fellow lift-mates' stories and connections may be and the plot goes from there. Opening the musical alone on stage with a guitar, he is good at leading the show and seems at ease throughout. Sometimes his words get lost but his super strong vocals are great and he especially shines in the more angsty moments.

The rest of the cast share the names Sarah, Kate and Gabriel and you never quite know whether their stories are really happening or whether they're in the buskers head. Due to this the plot is somewhat confusing and hard to follow, and in fact it may have been better just to focus on one or two individual characters. Each character's story is interesting and intriguing but due to the structure you never truly get to delve into them so are left feeling a little short changed.

However, it's the first-rate performances that really bring this show to life. Hiba Elchikhe is a certified star in her role as the secretary; giving dreamy vocals and making the absolute most of all she's given to work with. Alongside her, Marco Titus gives a nice performance and the pair bounce off of one another very well. Kayleigh McKnight completely wows with her rendition of Lost in Translations which is a vocal marathon and Cameron Collins shows versatility in his various personas. Tamara Morgan is endearing and witty in her performance as well as working with Collins and McKnight well. Jordan Broatch and Chrissie Bhima are excellent together, bringing their virtual avatar characters together so impressively and entertainingly. 

As a whole, the cast are incredibly strong and it's in the ensemble, deeply harmonic moments where the musical really comes to life. It's also when the narratives intersect that things become interesting. The audience start to spot connections and are  forced to work out what's really true and linked. As well, the plot provides an interesting study on grief that has moments of revelation which are well approached.

Andrew Exeter's steel rig set is good at emphasising certain parts of the story and is a solid way of transforming the space to the various locations. The bright lighting is engaging and adds to Lift's fantastical, dreamlike setting. There's not a huge amount of diversity between Craig Adams' songs but each one does well to bring some story to each character, even if it is fairly surface level. 

Overall, Lift is a well-paced show which lacks real depth and cohesion but is carried exceptionally well by the eight person cast. As a cult favourite, it's worth catching it just for the powerhouse voices and strong visuals.

photo credit: Mark Senior

Friday, 17 September 2021

Tell Me Straight Returns To London



Gartland Productions are pleased to announce the return of Offies Commendation production, Tell Me Straight by Paul Bradshaw.

 

Following a hugely successful run in this year’s Queer Season at the King’s Head Theatre, the revival of Tell Me Straight will open at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester on 26th October 2021 before opening at the Turbine Theatre, London on 2nd November 2021.

 

Paul Bradshaw, writer and co-star of Tell Me Straight said “Tell Me Straight draws on my previous experiences but frames them in a new narrative. This fresh and dynamic production highlights the sexual encounters that made me who I am, both the good and those I’d rather forget… not only to make you laugh but to also remind you, you are not alone” 

 

Paul Bradshaw co-stars in his hilarious and fast-paced one-act production with George Greenland and Stephanie Levi-John.

 

Tell Me Straight tells the honest and heartwarming tale about a young Londoner who is approaching the big 3 0, who is trying to find his way. His life, like everyone else’s, needs to change! For the next thirty days, he will be getting his sh*t together; no booze, no fast food and no shagging…but it’s never that easy, eh?

 

His long-suffering bestie Dani has heard it all before – she’s done with his never-ending line of sexual conquests, all with the one thing in common, they’re straight!

 

Babe, you need to find a gay man, who actually likes gay men.

 

But it seems straight men are like buses … In seventy-five minutes, our young Londoner meets Matt, the city boy, Ryan, an actor currently selling perfume, Lee, a fresh-faced grad, and Alex. Are any of them gonna be the one?

 

Paul Bradshaw, writer and co-star of Tell Me Straight said: “I think there’s something for everyone! This play captures those moments we’ve all felt when swept up in the nervous and fizzy energy when you first start seeing someone. It’s playful and exciting but how long can that spark last? Is it healthy? Is it always a good thing? Tell Me Straight explores that and ultimately poses the question of - do we attract a certain type of person or are we seeking that kind of person?”

 

Tell Me Straight is directed by Imogen Hudson-Clayton with assistant director Hiba Elchikhe.

 

Writer Paul Bradshaw and producer Liam Gartland are thrilled that the returning company of Tell Me Straight are composed of queer and/or working-class artists.

 

Paul Bradshaw writer of Tell Me Straight said: “It’s time to have rooms where the whole company is made up of the people reflected in the work. Representation matters, and we’re excited to get started with this team.”

 

Liam Gartland, Executive producer at Gartland Productions said: 'After a short run at The King's Head Theatre, Tell Me Straight received fantastic five-star reviews and an OFFIES Commendation which gave me no other option than to carry on sharing this story with audiences. As a queer theatre producer raised in Manchester, I knew this was a story that needed to reach further afield. Opening the show at The Hope Mill, a place that has inspired me from the beginning, marks a special moment in my career.'

 

Tickets for Tell Me Straight at both the Hope Mill Theatre and Turbine Theatre are on sale from Monday 20th September 2021.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Fiver, Southwark Playhouse | Review


Fiver
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Friday 5th July 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

New British musical by Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees, Fiver follows a humble five pound note as it passes through the hands and pockets of various people in London. Rarely noticed by the person, we see that the fiver is often present in significant life moments. The show is constructed through a series of diverse musical vignettes which explore relationships, struggles, life, love and money.

Watching Fiver is like watching a rom-com, drama, thriller, romance unfurl live in front of your eyes. The intricately woven story is cinematic but intimate at once and really enthrals from start to finish and shows just how the value of a fiver can considerably change under the circumstances it's either given or received in. 

Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees have constructed a musically lush score which is not only highly entertaining, but superbly detailed and sophisticated. Featuring a variety of musical influences, each piece is utterly entertaining and engaging. The diverse characters are explored through the twenty-four assorted musical numbers. Each and every song is fantastically composed and the lyrical and musical mastery of Alex and Tom is clear throughout.

This pure delight of a musical is made all the more wonderful by its top notch cast. All playing a number of characters, the five (!) strong cast give masterclasses in characterisation and versatility. Luke Bayer gives poignant and vocally strong performances throughout. Whilst, Dan Buckley shines in both quieter and more booming moments, giving a particularly touching performance during the sweet proposal scene. 


Aoife Clesham gives a star is born performance as she leads a number of songs and is especially brilliant during the "surprise" party scene where she brings a whole host of characters to life, and also in Press Hash To Rerecord which is a hugely humourous situation that I'm sure many audience members can relate to (though perhaps not quite to Aoife's level). Multi-talented Alex James Ellison acts as a somewhat omnipresent narrator who oversees proceedings as the busker who puts the fiver into circulation. His fast diction, cheeky personality and dynamic stage presence bring the show to life and put a smile on your face.

Hiba Elchikhe's beautifully toned voice soars in her electric performance and her adaptability is ever clear through her many characters and emotions. Through their solo moments, duets, trios, quartets and quintets, this cast bring every second of Fiver to life and create a truthful, resonant and truly admirable show.

With Justin Williams' simple but effective set which features a magical cupboard that adapts for each scene, Alex Musgrave's homely, atmospheric lighting and the fantastic band led by Tom Lees, Fiver really provides everything you could wish for in a new, British, contemporary, relevant musical.

A two hour delight, I predict that this Fiver’s Destiny is huge success and an incredible future of magnificent story telling. Go see this show, tell all your friends to see it and make Fiver the hit it deserves to be!

Fiver runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 20th July 2019

photo credit: Danny Kaan 

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Millennials, The Other Palace | Review


Millennials
The Other Palace Studio
Reviewed on Thursday 14th July 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

With the recent announcements of many West End shows closing, it certainly feels like the perfect time to inject something new onto the scene and Elliot Clay's Millennials certainly does just that. Entering the completely transformed studio space at The Other Palace you are greeted by pink cellophane walls, slinkies suspended from the ceiling, inflatable flamingos, ball pits and so much more. Andrew Exeter's design makes it a feast for the eyes from the moment you enter and at just over an hour, the song cycle continues to provide a brilliant way to spend an evening.

The six strong cast who make up the show are all forces to be reckoned with, as they bring individuality to the piece whilst also being a gloriously well-blended ensemble. Opening the show, Luke Bayer starts contemplative and later brings energy in spades; always providing  super strong vocals. Hiba Elchikhe is star power embodied as she belts and riffs for her life in 21st Century Girl before showing her versatility with an emotionally intense performance near the show's closing.

Rob Madge is everything you could with for in a comedic role. Their performance makes the most of every second of the music and imbues perfect humour alongside great vocals- a real stand out! Luke Latchman's rendition of Priceless is also wonderfully humourous. Taking on one of the most beautiful songs in the show, Hannah Lowther is lovely. Her vocal talent really shines as does her acting as she really welcomes the audience to feel the song and experience it alongside her. Completing the cast is Georgina Onuorah who's voice is heavenly in her solo number Remember the Feeling. It would be hard to find such a strong cast elsewhere and the entire six are are a credit to musical theatre.

Millennials is everything you could want in a fun show but there are some elements that don't quite work. Mainly the fact that it isn't really millennial, instead it's a look at growing up. Which is fine and entertaining but with the insistence of the millennial theme, it just feels like it's missing something. The show would do well with being slightly more specific in its lyrics to really fit the millennial theme, however there's certainly something to be said for how universally relatable the lyrics and feelings are, no matter the generation. Of course this is a song-cycle not a fully fledged musical but it would also be good to have a bit more of a through line between the songs.

There may be a little final sprinkle of fairy dust missing but Millennials is one of the funnest shows about and it'll be brilliant to see where it progresses. Hurray for new British writing and hurray for Millennials!

photo credit: Mark Senior