Showing posts sorted by relevance for query John Owen-Jones. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query John Owen-Jones. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Mimma (Concert), Cadogan Hall | Review


Mimma (Concert)
Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Monday 28th February by Holly Inch
★★★★★

Ron Siemiginowski and Giles Watson’s Mimma tells the story of two women who form an unlikely friendship in the midst of World War 2: Sarah, an aspiring jazz singer, and Mimma, a young Italian girl sent to live with her uncle in London’s Soho. Through the growing fear in London, her brother’s arrest, and the tension between Italy and England, Mimma’s danger grows evermore, and she could lose everything- apart from the only person that she can trust: Sarah.
Mimma’s one night performance was not something to be missed and showcased the best of what theatre has to offer. The musical concert took place at Cadogan Hall and included a cast of seventeen alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. The stage didn’t include much set, however the cast brought the story to life with the props, tables, and chairs that they had (I must note, there were also projections on the back wall that helped differentiate from scene to scene). All of the cast members were fitted with beautiful 1940’s outfits that only added to the world of Mimma and looked amazing on stage together.

The show’s cast were phenomenal. Led by Sir David Suchet as Alredo Frassati, Celinde Schoenmaker as Mimma, and Louise Dearman as Sarah, all of whom brought Mimma’s story to life through the score and the phenomenal 40s style choreography, brilliantly choreographed Chris Whittaker. Celinde Schoenmaker was outstanding as Mimma, bringing her powerful soprano voice into the. Her portrayal of the hardships that Mimma goes through was unparalleled, her acting beautifully natural, and her higher register something to marvel. As her on stage friend, Louise Dearman was a standout role. Dearman brought such range to the role of Sarah that you found it hard to believe that she hadn’t gone through the experiences that she portrayed on stage. Aside from that, her singing was utterly beautiful and captivating to listen, combining jazz and opera styles into a wonderful blend that was heavenly to hear. Her performance of 'The Folds of Time' (a beautifully emotional song about Sarah and her fiancé, who is in the navy) was so sweetly sung and incorporated such truth tied into it.


John Owen-Jones as Lorenzo- though we didn’t see this part as much as some others- was brilliantly played and sung and was exactly what you would expect from the amazing Owen-Jones. A beautiful moment in the show came when Ashley Riches- playing Aldo Marini, Mimma’s brother- and Elena Xanthoudakis- playing Ada Marini, Mimma’s mother- sang together in the song 'Aria Pieta'. The two’s voices blended well together, and they had a beautiful dynamic as mother and son. Riches specifically had an incredible range on him and portrayed the hardships experienced by Aldo in a way that had me almost in tears. Riches and Xanthoudakis joined Schoenmaker in an out-of-this-world group number called 'Aria Piemontese' which left my jaw on the floor. 

Steve Serlin as Jacob Katz was another stand out performance because his comedy timing was impeccable and brought the comedic relief that left the audience with smiles on their faces. The ensemble just made the show. They constantly were acting, singing, dancing, and just all together brought their moments to life. The dancing was to an amazingly high-standard, and their vocals added a wonderful layer to the song.

With a wonderful composition, an absolutely phenomenal cast with insane vocal, Mimma was a fantastic musical and spoke on issues faced during World War 2 in a respectful and truthful light. I only hope that this is the start of a bright future for this musical.

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Tiger Bay, Wales Millennium Centre | Review



Tiger Bay the Musical 
Wales Millennium Centre
Reviewed on Wednesday 15th November 2017 by Elisha Harris
★★★★★

Tiger Bay is a prime example of ‘deeds not words’. I am a Cardiff girl myself so to be able to return to my home City and watch the most beautifully portrayed musical, about the history of my heritage was just magical.

Every cast member had exactly the right accent, whether natural or not and it was held throughout. They truly captured the Welsh essence needed to make the show as authentic as it could be. The songs are beautiful and reminded me a little of Sweeney Todd at times. 

Love, passion and heartbreak are just 3 of the elements that bring this radiant story together. The storyline is quite similar to Les Miserables in the way it develops; just substitute the french with the welsh and you're half way there!


I was blown away by the voices of each and every cast member in this production but the two that stood out for me have to of been Vikki Bebb and John Owen-Jones whom play Rowena Pryddy and John (Third Marquess of Bute). John portrays a stern, powerful Marquess yet when he sings, it is tear-jerking and the contrast between the two is stunning. His emotion, and passion during each moment of his performance had me welling up in seconds. He most definitely lived up to what I expected and more.

Vikki, from the moment she started singing took my breath away. From her note perfect harmonies to her precisely timed dancing she stole the show. I couldn’t think of anyone better to bring the character of Rowena to life- she does a beautiful job.

I had the pleasure of having little Ruby Llewelyn as Ianto for last nights performance, had you not opened your eyes, you’d never believe she was merely 11 years old. Her confidence and empowering stage presence is overwhelmingly brilliant and she has the sweetest voice -worth the trip alone.

There are an additional 10 ‘waterboys’ in the cast ranging from ages 10-14, each brought such character and the harmonies were absolutely mesmirising.

Zoë George as one of the shop girls is highly impressive also, with her beautiful voice and stage presence. I have seen her in a few other productions over the years and she never disappoints! All I can say is the casting director deserves a pat on the back, as each and every role was cast to perfection. 

Playing at Cardiff Millennium Centre until 25th of November. Tiger Bay is a true gem, and you’d be a fool to miss it!

photo credit: Polly Thomas

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Wild Party, The Other Palace | Review


The Wild Party
 The Other Palace
 Reviewed on Tuesday 21st February 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
 ★★★★

Having only been familiar with the Lippa version of The Wild Party, I was not really sure what I was getting myself into with this one. I was ready for a crazy, wild, dramatic experience and that's certainly what I got!

The Other Palace, formerly the St James Theatre has certainly chosen the right piece to mark it's relaunch. This wild, wild party is sure to make anyone want to return! The Wild Party is based on Joseph Moncure March's racy 1928 poem and is so energetic and frenzied from the start that you can't help but love it and be drawn into the raving, crazy world LaChiusa has created.

 The show tells the story of Queenie, a Broadway wannabe who's instead become a pained woman with a huge hole in her life, and her comic lover, Burrs, who throw a berserk party to escape from the boredom of their everyday life. We meet their friends and enemies who each have a story to tell and get way too mixed up in the ever-growing craziness of the wild, wild party.

Frances Ruffelle is completely and utterly brilliant as Queenie. With rawness and vulnerability mixed in with sex and vivaciousness creating a fantastic, larger than life character. It's truly an honour seeing this legend of the stage perform.  Frances works alongside another legend: John Owen-Jones who shines and really shows off his incredible voice as the dark, scary Burrs.

 For me, it's Victoria Hamilton-Barritt who steals the show as Queenie's frenemy, Kate. Her sultry, soaring voice is stunning and so unique that she just steals every moment she's in. Not only that, but she never stops acting, every facial expression and movement is well thought out and perfect for her character- she's truly a star.


Ako Mitchell and Lizzy Connolly as Eddie and Mae are wonderful. Having recently seen them both in other shows, Ragtime and Vanities respectively, I knew their voices and performances would be special but they completely blew me away and were incredible.


 Other stand outs were Dex Lee  as Jackie and Melanie Bright as Sally. Dex's voice is stunning and he soars over every note so easily and his performance as the slimy character is fantastic to see. Melanie's beautiful soprano voice rings out and she creates magical moments on stage. Finally, Gloria Obiango and Genesis Lynea are outstanding as the brothers, seeming almost like a 20s Greek chorus! Their synchronicity is flawless and they're just great.

Drew McOnie's choreography and Richard Howell's lighting create the sinful, frenzied, drunken, 20s  mood perfectly and create something so magical that you can't bear to tear your eyes away! 

Overall this is a truly glistening production and if you want a raunchy, sexy, debaucherous night that is still full of glitz and glamour then this is the show for you!

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Full Main Stage Line Up Announced for the 2022 Gaiety Musical Theatre Festival


The Gaiety Musical Theatre Festival is pleased to announce the full main stage line up for this year’s festival at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire.
 
Britain’s Got Talent Winners Collabro, West End and Broadway star John Owen-Jones (Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera)direct from London’s West End Sophie Evans (Wicked, Wizard of Oz) and musical theatre star Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, Grease).
 
They will join fellow headliners Kerry Ellis (We Will Rock You, Wicked, Oliver!), Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wicked, Legally Blonde the Musical), Cassidy Janson (&Juliet, Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, Avenue Q) and Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Waitress) at Gaiety Musical Theatre Festival on Sunday 1st May 2022.
 
Gaiety Musical Theatre Festival, which will take place in the beautiful grounds of Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and is set to become a new highlight of the theatrical calendar.
 
This brand-new musical theatre event is a must-see for any theatre fan, with ten hours of spectacular entertainment across several stages, family fun at the fairground, and a profusion of excellent food, drink and delights in the festival village.
 
The London Musical Theatre Orchestra will accompany the star-studded main stage line-up.
 
Further artists to be announced.
 

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club Announces New Emcee and Sally Bowles


The producers of CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB in London’s West End are delighted to announce that Fra Fee will play ‘The Emcee’ and Amy Lennox will play ‘Sally Bowles’ from 21 March – 25 June 2022. This unique production opened in December last year to critical and audience acclaim, widely praised as the ultimate theatrical experience.

 

Adam Speers, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, the producers of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club said today “We are thrilled to be welcoming the perfectly marvellous Fra Fee and Amy Lennox to our production of Cabaret. We wanted to recast these career defining roles with exceptional actors and so we’re just delighted that the stars have aligned with both Fra and Amy’s schedules.  We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and thrilling duo to follow Eddie and Jessie.”

 

Director Rebecca Frecknall said today “It's always exciting to be able to keep a production live and evolving across its run, to be able to continue digging into the piece and making new discoveries. The fact that we will have new actors taking on the roles of Sally and the Emcee as Cabaret continues to run in the West End is thrilling, the original cast passing the baton to different actors who will bring their own perspectives to the work. I'm thrilled that Fra Fee and Amy Lennox will be the first new pair joining the production this Spring, two of our most exciting stage and screen actors. I know they will bring new creative energy to the production and will show me and our audiences new facets of the show.”

 

Fra Fee most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.

 

Amy Lennox received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.

 

Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.

 

Also joining the production on 21 March 2022 will be Omar Baroud as ‘Cliff Bradshaw’ and Vivien Parry as ‘Fraulein Schneider’. Continuing in their roles will be Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’, Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’.

The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.

  

Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.

 

Elliot Levey (Herr Schultz) most recently appeared in Nine Lessons and Carols at the Almeida where he also appeared in Three Sisters. His other theatre credits include the West End productions of Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios and Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre. His National Theatre credits include The Habit of Art and His Dark Materials.

 

Stewart Clarke (Ernst Ludwig) most recently appeared in Be More Chill at The Other Palace. His West End theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre and Loserville at the Garrick Theatre. He also appeared in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory and The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse.

 

Anna-Jane Casey (Fraulein Kost) was most recently seen in Girl from the North Country at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Her other West End credits include Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. She played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Mabel in Mack and Mabel at the Watermill Theatre and the title roles in Piaf and Sweet Charity and Violet Butterfield in Flowers for Mrs Harris, all at the Sheffield Crucible.

 

In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… Welcome to the Kit Kat Club, home to an intimate and electrifying new production of CABARET. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself. 

 

The Kit Kat Club has laid siege to the Playhouse Theatre. The performers have infiltrated the premises. The artists have staked their claim. Who knows for how long they’ll stay, but for now they are enjoying the party. The party at the end of the world.

 

Transforming one of London’s most famous theatres with an in-the-round auditorium and reimagined spaces, before the show guests are invited to enjoy and explore the Kit Kat Club with pre-show entertainment, drinks and dining all on offer. When booking, guests receive a 'club entry time' to allow enough time to take in the world of the Kit Kat Club before the show starts. But of course, the show really starts when you first join us in the club…

 

One of the most successful musicals of all time CABARET features the songs Wilkommen, Don’t Tell Mama, Mein Herr, Maybe This Time, Money and the title number. It has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

 

CABARET is directed by Rebecca Frecknall (the Almeida’s Olivier Award winning Summer and Smoke, The Duchess of Malfi, Three Sisters), set and costume design is by Tom Scutt (A Very Expensive Poison, Constellations, King Charles III, Jesus Christ Superstar, collaborations with Sam Smith, Christine and the Queens) with choreography by Julia Cheng (founder of the House of Absolute, Philharmonia Orchestra Artist in Residence, recipient of the runner-up prize for Hip Hop Dance futures, Resident Choreographer for the Royal Academy of Dance, Judge and mentor for BBC Young Dancer and Breakin’ Convention – the UK’s biggest Hip Hop Festival, collaborations with London Fashion Week, Google and Dr Martens). Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte (Les Misérables film, Caroline Or Change, Parade). Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd (Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire – both in New York, Daddy – A Melodrama at the Almeida and The Flick at the National theatre) with sound design by Nick Lidster (City of Angels, Passion, Pacific Overtures and Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, Sweeney Todd and On The Town for English National Opera, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon). The casting director is Stuart Burt (& Juliet, The Drifters Girl and 2021 CDG Award for Best Casting in Theatre for Cyrano De Bergerac) and the associate director is Jordan Fein.

 

Tickets for CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB are currently on sale until October 2022. kitkat.club

CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Underbelly.