Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nick Richings. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nick Richings. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) 

New Wimbledon Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 11th February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

A Transylvanian delight, Rocky Horror will have you laughing in delight and dancing in your seat from the moment it begins in all its sparkly, transsexual glory. 

Newly engaged couple Janet and Brad find them selves heading to an old castle when their car breaks down in the middle of a storm. There they meet Transylvania Transvestite Frank N Furter and his amazing and adoring entourage.

Rocky Horror brings a whole range of people to the theatre and everyone is welcome. Between those in full costumes and those in their normal everyday clothes, one thing is common: everyone is excited for a high energy night out. A whole range of ages and types of people clearly love this show and the smiles on everyones faces as they leave the theatre is a reminder of just how wonderful theatre can be, especially in trying times.

The show opens with a bang as the band bring the score to life (led by George Carter) and Laura Harrison as the cinema usher belts the opening number, Science Fiction/Double Feature, to rapturous applause. Laura is also fantastic as Magenta as she slinkily makes her way round the stage throughout and leads the Time Warp with high energy and oomph. Fellow slaves, Miracle Chance (Columbia) and Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff) also provide stellar, well characterised performances.

As Frank N Furter, Stephen Webb absolutely commands the stage. He struts around like he owns the theatre and everyone on it as as he embodies sass and sex as well as providing killer vocals.

As naïve lovebirds, Joanne Clifton (Janet) and Ben Adams (Brad) are well cast as they deliver engaging and suitably wide-eyed performances. The pair work very well with each other and bring this wacky story to life with fun and energy.

Making his theatrical debut, Dom Joly as the narrator is wonderful as he steers us through the highly chaotic tale with charisma and natural charm. Responding to the audience and adding in 'local humour' makes the piece just that bit more entertaining.

Nick Richings' lighting brings vibrance to every part of the stage and he does an outstanding job of being over the top without being unnecessary. Sue Blane's costumes are suitably glittery  and indulgent, whilst, Nathan M Wright's choreography delivers punch after punch to accompany the high octane score.

Christopher Luscombe has directed a highly fun production with just enough space for audience interaction and all the ups and downs we expect from Rocky Horror. Whether you've seen the show before, or are a new viewer, there's no reason for you to dislike this wildly entertaining musical.

Rocky Horror runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 16th February before continuing its tour

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Cilla (UK Tour), Edinburgh Playhouse | Review

Cilla: The Musical (UK Tour)
Edinburgh Playhouse
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th September 2017 by Liv Ancell

I have to start with a confession: I’m a typical millennial who’s only exposure to the life’s work of Cilla Black prior to watching this show was watching her as the feisty host of Blind Dates when I was a kid. The extent of my research before turning up to the theatre was a quick Spotify search, followed by a couple of obligatory listens. 

However, the excitement and glamour of this show not only won over the audience - the majority of which were in their 50s and 60s, turning up in force to pay tribute of to a much-loved entertainer of their days - but it succeeded in winning over my millennial heart, too.

One feature of the production which thoroughly deserves a mention is the set design, the brainchild of Gary McCann and lighting designer Nick Richings.  The show’s concentric arches lent so much depth to the Playhouse stage, while the clever use of lighting gave the audience many unexpected delights. 

From a brick-walled Merseyside club, to the red-curtained London Palladium, to a psychedelic TV set in far-flung New York: the light effects and set changes transported the audience along with Cilla on her categorical rise to fame. The changes were seamless, genius, and utterly magical, transforming the stage from a wood-panelled 60s recording studio to a street of terraced houses in the blink of an eye.

Onto the show’s protagonist. Our Liverpool legend was embodied perfectly by Kara Lily Hayworth, who not only took the whirlwind of costume changes (seriously, I lost count) in her expert stride, but a challenging repertoire of Cilla Black songs and covers (I lost count of how many songs she belted out) too. 

The audience was enraptured from start to finish by her breath-taking exhibition of ballads which ranged from rock to pop and showed no signs of flagging throughout. Mastering a 60s Scouse accent and even retaining it while singing is no easy feat, and Hayworth stunned with her performance in what must be a seriously challenging and demanding role.

Despite my no-show to the swingin’ decades of the 60s, even I was pleased to be able to recognise some of the show’s characters. The Beatles and Brian Epstein, their legendary manager, feature heavily throughout the story as contemporaries of Cilla. The show’s Beatles were so brilliantly cast that at one point my companion whispered, “That guy looks so much like Paul McCartney that it’s actually freaking me out”.

Carl Au gave an endearing performance as Bobby Willis; charming the audience from beginning to end as Cilla’s loyal companion. His solo performances are well worth the wait; in Act 2 Bobby realises his own singing ambitions and performs a lovely rendition of “A Taste of Honey”. Meanwhile, Cilla’s parents bring a comedy aspect to the show with their hilarious repeated one-liners which had the audience in stitches every time.

Her death a couple of years ago brought sadness to many hearts across this nation, and this show looks to celebrate her incredible talent. Cilla will stun and surprise you from start to finish, with its catchy tunes and rise-to-fame story. With its chintzy and glamorous sets, excellent supporting cast and jaw-dropping lead, this show will leave you awe-struck - and it certainly won’t disappoint you, whether you’re a Cilla fan or just an unwitting millennial like myself. 

Cilla runs at the Edinburgh Playhouse until September 23rd before continuing its tour.