Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nigel Howe. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nigel Howe. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Son of a Preacher Man (UK Tour), Storyhouse | Review

Son of a Preacher Man (UK Tour) 
Reviewed on Tuesday 27th March 2018 by Becca Cromwell

Set in modern day Soho, Son of a Preacher Man focuses on the lives of three people dealing with loss and heartbreak who turn to the past to find answers. All three of them end up at a record shop named the Preacher Man, which got its name from the man who ran it. In the 60s, all your troubles would be solved through music and advice from the shop’s owner, making it one of the most popular places of its time.

The story focuses on Kat, who recently lost her grandmother, Alison, who realises she’s in love with someone she can’t have and Paul, who still pines over a man he first fell in love with 40 years ago. The three of them venture to where the shop used to be in a search for advice and closure, only to find it no longer exists. Distraught, they meet the son of the shop’s owner Simon, who is the son of a preacher man. Simon takes it upon himself to help them, and with a little help from his deceased father, does just that.

The storyline is rather cheesy, which is to be expected from a jukebox musical, and features plenty of Dusty Springfield’s hits including The Look of Love, I Only Want To Be With You and of course, Son Of A Preacher Man. There are also plenty of other sixties hits thrown in for good measure, such as Cilla Black’s You’re My World.

Kat, played by Alice Barlow, is a young girl suffering the loss of her grandmother, who turns to her grandmothers’ favourite place, which just so happens to be the Preacher Man, for comfort. Alice is known for playing Rae Wilson on Hollyoaks, and being a previous contestant on The Voice. Alice delivered solid vocals and gave a good performance as Kat, and impressed many of the audience with the sheer quality of her voice.

Alison, played by Michelle Gayle, is a teacher turned tutor who recently lost her Husband, Jim. Alison turns to the Preacher Man for advice on her new love, and learns a lot from it. Michelle Gayle is known for playing Hattie Tavernier in Eastenders, signing a record contract and releasing two albums with BMG and starring on Grange Hill as a child. Michelle gave a good, believable performance, with impressive vocals to match.

Simon is played by Nigel Richards who has had an extensive and impressive career in musical theatre, including Enjrolas and Grantaire in Les Miserables, and the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. Nigel gave a convincing performance as the shy but loveable Simon and I was suitably impressed.

Paul, a man who is still lusting after his first love, is played by Nigel Howe. Nigel has had an affluent career in theatre, TV and Film, with over 40 acting credits to his name on IMDB and almost as many theatre credits. Nigel gave a decent performance as Paul, making the audience really feel for him in the process.

With Craig Revel Horwood choreographing the show, I expected more in terms of choreography, which left me a little disappointed. However, the lack of choreography was made up for by most of the cast members occasionally playing instruments on stage.

Son of a Preacher Man continues its UK tour until July.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Son of a Preacher Man (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Son of a Preacher Man (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 24th April 2018 by Valerie Field

Son of a Preacher Man is directed by Craig Revel Horwood. Based on the music of Dusty Springfield, I expected good things. Unfortunately the story is not very believable and times the production felt disjointed and rather amateurish.

As I have never seen any of Craig's work before it’s difficult to compare, but I wouldn’t have thought this was his best.

The three main characters are brought together because they are all looking for love. They decide to go to ‘Soho’ to find the record shop of the 60s named ‘The Preacher Man’ as they had heard the owner was someone who everyone went to for advice, especially when it came to ‘Love’. Unfortunately the owner had died and it was now a coffee shop run by his not so clever son, played by Nigel Richards.

Alison, a young widow played by Michelle Gayle had a very good singing voice. I felt she should have been more involved in the show as Alice Barlow who played Kat was definitely not such a good singer, although she came across as very confident in her acting. The reason she wanted to go to the record shop was because her gran who had just died told her the story of ‘The Preacher Man’

Paul played by Michael Howe remembers going to shop in the 60’s and was hoping to rekindle a lost love from those days.

I felt the show had been advertised around Dusty Springfield and I was disappointed that more was not mentioned about her as I thought the production was going to include some of her life. A photo of her on stage or as a backdrop I feel would have enhanced her songs and made some form of connection rather than being completely unrelated.

The singing by the ensemble was not the best and I don’t think it worked very well having the musicians on stage throughout. The girls playing the Cappuccino Sisters however, were very energetic and a gave a lively and uplifting performance throughout.

The second half of the show was so much better and more lively and ‘Dusty Springfield’ inspired although it still wasn't the best.

I do feel anyone going to see it because of Dusty Springfield could be a bit disappointed, but in saying that it was an entertaining and enjoyable evening and the audience seemed to appreciate it. Go along for fun but don't expect a masterpiece.

Son of a Preacher Man runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 28th April