Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Matthew Seadon-Young. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Matthew Seadon-Young. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Company, Gielgud Theatre | Review

Gielgud Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 16th October 2018 by Olivia Mitchell

Marriage is the order of the day with Marianne Elliot and Chris Harper's gender-switched version of Company. Bobbi (formerly Bobby) has reached aged 35 and is surrounded by an endless barrage of questions about why she's single and when she's gong to become 'whole' and partner up.

Bunny Christie's set design is artwork of its own in the way it reflects the isolation one can feel in life, especially when living in a city which can make you feel small. The set is make up of cool neon framed cubes which interconnect to make up the various parts of Bobbi's life. The set also works well as its own character to contrast Bobbi. The cold stage is perfectly balanced by Bobbi's vibrant red dress so she always stands out amongst the others.

The show avoids a formal linear structure and instead jumps from tableau to tableau, which are linked by a reoccurring surprise birthday party. The spitfire force that leads the show is Rosalie Craig who is humourous, enticing and charming in the lead role, Bobbi. On stage for pretty much the entire show, Rosalie performs with the stamina and vocal agility of a true star and will no doubt receive much acclaim for her portrayal.

Our leading lady's married friends are an amusing group who have been given a modern makeover and been switched up to be more fitting for a contemporary audience. As the loving but smothering Paul and neurotic Jamie, Alex Gaummond and Jonathan Bailey are outstanding. Bailey's performance of Not Getting Married is a stellar tutorial in how to perform a patter song and he's a complete revelation in the role. The scene is entirely heightened and wholly hilarious. As the couple who are always playing a game of push and pull Sarah and Harry, Mel Giedroyc and Gavin Spokes are witty and very well performed. Susan (Daisy Maywood) and Peter (Ashley Campbell) are questioning whether marriage was the right choice for them whilst Jenny (Jennifer Saayeng) and David (Richard Henders) are settling and changing to keep one another happy. Our final couple are Joanne and Larry who mirror Bobbi a huge amount. As Larry Ben Lewis is sweet and giving, whilst his partner Joanne, played by musical theatre veteran Patti LuPone warns Bobbi of the downfalls of falling into what society expects of you and how life can be empty if you simply become a wife and a lady who lunch. As expected, she is a scene stealer who brings earth shattering vocals.

Bobbi's three boyfriends are played uniquely and faultlessly to highlight some of Bobbi's issues and struggles, whilst bringing a realness to the show that is easily relatable. Matthew Seadon-Young plays Theo, who has a past with Bobbi but their snaps with each other quickly bring to light why they didn't work out. Richard Fleeshman plays the dim but kind flight attendant, Andy very well; and George Blagden is the most hisptery-hipster ever in his portrayal of PJ. All three men deliver some stellar vocals and well rounded characters despite not having a huge amount of solo stage time each. The moment they join forces in You Could Drive a Person Crazy, with sleek choreography and super sharp Barber Shop harmonies,  is one of the stand out moments of the production. 

Company is a show for a 2018 audience. Well directed with boat loads of humour and an equal amount of subtlety, its opens up the question of whether marriage is for everyone and prompts us to examine our own choices. Take yourself down to the Gielgud Theatre to see the musical which is sure to sweep the next Olivier Awards.

photo credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

Monday, 20 March 2017

West End Live Lounge, Union Theatre | Review

West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 19th March 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

When I say last night was a perfect Sunday evening, I am not exaggerating at all. With the amount of talent that was in the room it was hard not to have a brilliant time! The West End Live Lounge at the Union Theatre was the first of what I hope become many concerts created by Shaun McCourt and Leigh Lothian. The premise of the concerts is that as many West End stars as possible are brought together to perform incredible music with all proceeds going to charity. There are no musical theatre songs to be heard so all performers are able to step out of their usual boxes and really explore and show off their musicality.

The star studded line up included: Marisha Wallace, Gabriela Garcia, Arun Blair, Tyrone Huntley, Phoebe Street, Kelly Agbowu, Natalie Green, Leigh Lothian, Matthew-Seadon Young, Sejal Keshwala, Laura Tebbutt, Nicola Avino, Iain Mattley, Paul Wilkins, Laura Mansell, Brady Isaacs Pearce, Jamal Andreas, Jonny Howe, Katie Brayben, Marcus Ayton, Gary Wood, Lauren Ingram, Adam Bailey, Oliver Savile and Andrew Bateup.

There were a number of lovely duets and trios as well as fabulous solos and the performers also got to show off their other musical abilities such as piano playing which was very impressive. The intimate atmosphere of the Union Theatre in Southwark was the perfect setting for the evening with the whole evening having a warm, laid back, friendly feeling. The stage, complete with sofas and a table added to this vibe and the overall mood was perfect for a relaxed Sunday.

The overall quality of performances was extremely high and every member of the cast and ensemble were flawless with wonderful song choices and joyous performances. There were a number of particular standouts for me. Firstly, Gabriela Garcia and Arun Blair who did a lovely, sweet, and harmonious medley of Rihanna and Sam Smith with a cheeky bit of Into The Woods mixed in! Their chemistry was evident and their voices just work so well together that it's a joy to see and hear them perform. Tyrone Huntley and Marisha Wallace were other standouts and were a theme of my weekend having seen Dreamgirls on Saturday (review coming soon!)

Tyrone's dulcet tones were perfect for the Michael Jackson hit 'Rock With You' and Marisha brought the house down and earned a well deserved standing ovation with her insanely good rendition of 'Natural Woman'. Natalie Green sang Sam Smith's classic, 'Lay Me Down' which was truly stunning.

The whole night was full of joy, friendliness and sweet, sweet harmonies. It was so lovely to see so many people come together to perform and raise money for UNICEF and I really hope there will be many more West End Live Lounges to come! Make sure to keep and eye out on Twitter to make sure you don't miss the next event which is sure to be as incredible and inspiring as this one!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter:

Sunday, 18 June 2017

West End Live Lounge: Icons and Legends, Union Theatre | Review

West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 11th June 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

When I went to the first West End Live Lounge back in March, I didn't think it could get any better. I was wrong! Every single performance was absolutely outstanding and I was in awe of each and every performer, it was honestly one of the best concerts I've ever seen, full of so much incredible talent and just a wonderful night for a wonderful cause.

I could honestly talk in depth about every single performer because they all deserve a huge amount of praise but I fear that it could be the longest review in the history of reviews so I won't talk about everyone in depth but I will talk quite a lot so you might want to settle down and grab a cuppa!

The concert opened with a lovely performance of the Amy Winehouse classic "Valerie"by Katie Paine, which started the night on an upbeat, joyous note. Leigh Lothian (who created the concert series along with Shaun McCourt) and George Jennings then took us through the history of James Bond with a glorious medley of the hit Bond songs. 

I have seen a lot of Sapphire Soul recently, both at the previous Live Lounge and as special guests and the Dreamgirls Unplugged concert and am a massive fan of their unique arrangements and brilliant voices and was very glad that they were a part of this concert. The glamourous girls sung a delightful version of "Over The Rainbow" and closed the show with a joyous Aretha Franklin medley which left everyone on a high. Ashford Campbell sung one of my favourite songs "Human Nature" and made me love it and his voice even more! 

Now if Brady Isaacs Pearce doesn't become a West End star, I will personally knock on Cameron Mackintosh's door and demand he puts her in a show. At only 17 years old, her voice is insanely good and her overall stage presence is of someone vastly experienced. Brady sung a mash up of songs by the queen of stage Barbra Streisand and filled her huge shoes perfectly, giving the audience chills.

Cleve September has such a likeable personality which came across when he stepped on stage and explained he had only decided what to perform on the morning of the concert; going out and purchasing a loop pedal and kind of winging his way through. However, if we hadn't known this, we wouldn't have noticed. Cleve's performance of "Feeling Good" was unique and so fun to watch and he certainly seemed like an experienced loop pedlar (??) to me!

The first act flew by with stellar performance after stellar performance. Hannah Ducharme superbly performed "Hallelujah", Alexis Gerred absolutely owned "Come Together" and Sejal Kashwala gave an astonishing performance of "How Comes You Don't Call Me" which had me in awe of her voice. To end the first act, Kelly Agbowu sung the hell out of "The Show Must Go On" and completely blew the roof off the intimate venue which her effortless and faultless performance.

Act two included a few duets where the performers got to have fun signing with one another. Andrew Bateup and Marcus Ayton sung the Stevie Wonder favourite, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", Matthew Seadon-Young and Leigh Lothian performed "Careless Whisper" and Carolyn Maitland and Lauren Ingram sung a Billie Jean mash up. All three duets were fantastic and it's just a joy to get double the talent per song!

Perhaps my favourite part of the night was when two Whitney Houston classics were performed back to back with Ruth Brown singing "I Will Always Love You" and Emma Lindars singing "I Have Nothing". Both performances were completely awe-inspiring and just breathtaking. The talent of these ladies is just unbelievable and it's crazy that they're not international stars!

Oliver Savile channel his inner Frank Sinatra with "Let's Face The Music" and I'm sure made many of the ladies in the room swoon with his suave performance. Laura Mansell's Celine Dion mash up was so sensational and it was glorious to hear my favourite Celine song "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" performed so well.

Liam Doyle gave an upbeat rendition of "I'm Still Standing" before Natalie Green gave the penultimate performance of the night with Prince's "Purple Rain". I'm a massive fan of Natalie's voice and adored her performance so much, as it seemed did the entire audience. 

Although an absolutely fantastic night of entertainment showing off some of the best the West End has to offer, the main reason for the concerts series is to raise money and awareness for charity. This concert was raising money for Mind which supports people suffering from mental health issues, a cause close to so many of our hearts and it's great to see so many people coming together for such a great cause.

If you couldn't tell from that very long review, I completely loved West End Live Lounge and know I will love all the future concerts. If you can get along to the next one then please do because you will definitely enjoy it. What's better that West End stars blessing your ears on a Sunday evening?!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter for details of future concerts: