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

Thursday 3 February 2022

British Musical Lift Returns To London

Gartland Productions is thrilled to announce that LIFT will be returning to London in Summer 2022. Tickets are on sale now. 


Directed by Dean Johnson He/Him (Godspell, BKLYN, Dogfight) with Musical Direction and new arrangements by Sam Young He/Him (White Christmas, The Man in the Ceiling)this brand-new production of LIFT, music and lyrics by Craig Adams and book by Ian Watson, will run at the Southwark Playhouse from Friday 13th May 2022 until Saturday 25th June 2022.


The creative team will include Annie Southall She/Her (The Jungle Book, The Boyfriend) as Choreographer, production design by Andrew Exeter He/Him (High Fidelity, Hair in Concert, Jon + Jen), Associate Designer by Natalia AlvarezShe/Her and casting by Pearson Casting


Developed by Perfect Pitch, LIFT is set in a London underground lift, in one man’s imagination, on its way to the surface during one minute. In the 54 seconds of the lift’s passage, we are taken on a much longer journey that reveals the people behind the masks they wear, the secrets they dare not speak, and the unrealised connections between them. 


Dean Johnson, Director of LIFT said LIFT has been one of those shows that has grown in popularity since the concept album and original production 10 years ago, while the performers involved in that process came to define a generation of British talent.


A story about individuals lost in the vast ecosystem of London, in many ways it was ahead of its time and reflects the city today just as effectively as it did a decade ago. We are really excited to revisit the piece and unlock that potential in a fully realised revival with a modern retelling and a cast that represents the next generation of diverse talent in the UK.”


The world premiere of LIFT ran a limited season at Soho Theatre in 2013. Starring Cynthia Erivo, Julie Atherton and George Maguire. Casting for this new production is yet to be announced, but Gartland Productions is passionate to reflect the diverse and contemporary landscape of 2022 London


Tickets are available now via Southwark Playhouse website. 


Casting to be announced soon.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

The Grinning Man, Trafalgar Studios | Review

The Grinning Man
Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th December 2017 by Shaun Dicks

Trafalgar Studios, in the heart of the West End. We find ourselves in Studio 1, welcomed by a carnival aesthetic. The stage is set like the title, grinning. From corner to corner a grim, dark eternal smile. As we take our seats, there is a feeling of eeriness and darkness, setting the tone for the rest of the show. A demonic gong sounds, and the show begins. 

The Grinning Man - originally written by Victor Hugo - and adapted into a movie but now a musical, is a story of a young man who as a boy was given a permanent smile by metal. The story follows him as he becomes an orphan, and a series of events leads us through his childhood. His aim to find the people who gave him a permanent smile. 

Like Hugo’s other West End adaptation this show is a success; it is tight, slick and seamless. The show is littered with dark humour throughout but is also hauntingly uplifting and optimistic in places. The use of puppetry was absolutely magical throughout, the skill of the puppeteers plain to see for all. The narrative of the show is a strong one, backed up with beautiful music, sadly the book and lyrics seemed a little basic. Within the show you can spot the many Musical Theatre influences that influenced the writers. 

The cast of the show was a strong one, there wasn’t a weak link within the bunch. The harmonies, puppetry and movement was tight, obviously well-rehearsed. The characterisation was spot on with everyone as they all smashed down the fourth wall of the stage. A particular highlight was Julie Atherton as Queen Angelica, whose comedic timing was on point as always. Julian Bleach as Barkilphedro really drove home the element of dark comedy but also presented a well-rounded and multi-dimensional character that really thrilled until the very last second. Amanda Wilkin as Josiana was also a highlight. The standout however was Louis Maskell as Grinpayne, his skill set fully on display in this show, his versatility within the show shone as his voice soared. 

If you’re looking for a glamorous West End show this isn’t for you. The Grinning Man is a dark and alternative show. It’s different. Its differences are what makes this show so great. This show is something fresh and new in a world full of revivals. The show is  a must see. You’ll be gutted if you miss it. 

The Grinning Man runs at the Trafalgar Studios until February 17th 2018.

photo credit: Helen Maybank