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

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre | Review

Young Frankenstein 
Garrick Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 30th April by Olivia Mitchell 

So far in 2018, Young Frankenstein is the show which has pleasantly surprised me the most. I must admit, all I knew of the show was the performance I'd seen at the Olivier Awards so I expected a cheesy, ridiculous story that I wouldn't enjoy. What I got was a cheesy, ridiculous story which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Young Frankenstein is a hilariously brilliant night at the theatre and certainly one of the funniest shows in the West End. Of course it's the work of comic genius Mel Brooks so you'd expect greatness, but the show had a less than stellar run on Broadway and despite it's huge budget, failed miserably. However, from what I've read and been told, this production is scaled down and swifter. The book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan is the most successful aspect of the show, with emphasis solidly on the comedy.

Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronkensteen") is an American professor of neurology who is drawn to Transylvania when his grandfather passes away and he is set to inherit his gothic home and all that's inside it. There, he meets a number of wacky characters and begins to toy with the idea of recreating his grandfather's famous experiment and reanimating a corpse.

Ben Cracknell's atmospheric lighting alongside, William Ivey Long's fabulous costumes and, Gareth Owen's effective and spooky sound design create a thrilling assault on the senses and add to the humour and drama of the show without becoming repetitive or sleazy. Any moments which could be cringy and cliched are cleverly avoided by onstage characters pointing out how ridiculous they are! Beowulf Borritt's set design cleverly intertwines aspects of the film and moves seamlessly from one location to another. Again, nothing is too over the top.

The cast are exceptional. Each giving spades and spades of energy whilst perfecting the comedic balance. Making it hysterical without being forced. Hadley Fraser is delightfully dynamic as Frederick and his glorious vocals ring out beautifully, especially in Frederick's Soliloquy.

Cory English scuttles round the stage humourously as the contorted, gormless Igor. He brings a warmth to the role as well as a somewhat eerie side. Lesley Joseph is gleefully devoted to the older, violent Frankenstein. Her rendition of He Vas My Boyfriend is wonderfully weird and enjoyable.

Young Frankenstein is definitely not an ode to feminism, but the political incorrectness makes it all the more funny. Summer Strallen and Emily Squibb bring their tongue-in-cheek characters to life with side-splitting humour and verve as well as giving wonderful vocal performances.

This show is funny beyond belief and a real joy to watch. If it's a feel good show you want, then Young Frankenstein is the one for you.

photo credit: Alistair Muir

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Sister Act (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Sister Act (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 20th February 2023 

If you're looking for a great night out, look no further than Sister Act. It's a heat-warming show that doesn't take itself particularly seriously, while also boasting a wonderfully talented cast and songs that'll have you dancing in your seat. The musical has got something for everybody and certainly feels like bang for your buck.

Based on the iconic Whoopi Goldberg film, Sister Act tells the story of wannabe singer Deloris Van Cartier (Sandra Marvin) as she's hidden away for protection in a nunnery by Mother Superior (Lesley Joseph) after witnessing her gangster boyfriend (Jeremy Secomb) kill someone. It's a riotously funny show which thrives on excellent characterisation and really cohesive staging.

Leading the show, Sandra Marvin has star quality and seems to get more and more comfortable in the role as the show progresses. Vocally she is really strong and does brilliantly at developing her character throughout and clearly has the magnetism needed in a role like this. Lizzie Bea really does the character of Sister Mary Robert justice and gives and incredibly sweet performance, which of course is vocally outstanding. There's a not much emotional development throughout the show so Lizzie never truly gets to connect with the audience but her performance is still a touching one. As the policeman Steady Eddie, Clive Rowe is lovely to watch and has some moments which border on emotional, if never quite peaking. His solo number is vocally perfect and a real standout of the show. However, there is a slight lack of nuance to his whole characterisation which means the audience never get a chance to truly root for him.

That being said, this is a still a completely enjoyable show and the cast perform Alan Menken's disco score with great energy. The individual personalities of each nun really shine and there are some proper laugh out loud moments.

Morgan Large's set literally frames the show perfectly and Tim Mitchell's lighting transforms the space into a party within moments. It's an incredibly cohesive show which is so sleek that it allows you to bask in the joy its feel-good fabulousness throughout.

Sister Act is an utterly crowd-pleasing musical which often ascends the superficial and has some thoroughly pleasing moments. There could be some more heart and a little more development of character motives to give everything a touch more impetus, but as a whole it's a Nun-derful treat of a night out that's worth a late bedtime.

photo credit: Manuel Harlan

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Don't Miss Sister Act the Musical in the West End: A Heavenly Night at the Theatre

If you're looking for a divine night out in London, then Sister Act the Musical is your calling! This sparkling show is lighting up the West End, and it’s a sin to miss it. Whether you’re a theatre aficionado or a casual musical-goer, here are some heavenly reasons to catch this nun-believable production. Plus, it's going on a UK tour, so if you can’t make it to London, the show might just be coming to a cathedral near you!

Star-Studded Cast: First off, let’s talk about the cast. This production is blessed with talent that will make you want to sing “Hallelujah!” Leading the way is the fabulous Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier, whose powerhouse voice and infectious energy bring this iconic character to life. Ruth Jones, known and loved for her role as Nessa in the hit TV show Gavin and Stacey plays the strict yet lovable Mother Superior. Also gracing the stage is the dynamic duo of Lee Mead as Eddie Souther and Lemar as Curtis Jackson, adding charm and villainy in equal measures. 

Joyous Music and Dance: The music in Sister Act is nothing short of heavenly. With Alan Menken's uplifting songs that blend gospel, disco, and Motown vibes, you’ll be tapping your feet and clapping your hands in no time. Glenn Slater's lyrics are jam packed with word play that'll have you laughing out loud. Hits like 'Raise Your Voice' and 'Take Me to Heaven' will have you bopping in your seat, while Lizzie Bea's astounding rendition of 'The Life I Never Led' with have you praising her talent. 

A Feel-Good Story: At its heart, Sister Act is a story about friendship, faith, and finding your true voice. Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer on the run, transforms a convent choir with her lively spirit and unites a group of nuns in a shared purpose. It’s a tale that warms the soul and reminds us of the power of community and self-discovery. You’ll leave the theatre with a full heart and a smile on your face.

Hilarious and Heartwarming Moments: From laugh-out-loud moments to tear-jerking scenes, Sister Act the Musical has it all. The comedic timing of the cast, especially Ruth Jones and Lesley Joseph, is impeccable. The variety of interactions are both touching and hysterical. Thanks to the uniquely defined personalities of each nun,  the musical strikes a perfect balance between humour and heartfelt emotion.

Stunning Production Value: Morgan Large's set and costume designs are vibrant and detailed, immersing you in the world of the convent and the seedy nightclubs. Coupled  with Tim Mitchell's dynamic lighting, and a Tom Marshall's really well balanced sound, every scene is a visual feast that enhances the overall experience.

With a stellar cast, sensational music, a heartwarming story, and top-tier production value, it promises a night of entertainment that is nothing short of divine. So grab your friends, book your tickets, and get ready to be blessed with one of the most enjoyable shows of the year. And remember, if you can’t catch it in London, the UK tour is coming soon to a town near you. Praise be!

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this heavenly experience – it's sure to be a habit-forming night out!

Photo Credit: Johan Persson
{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}