Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Oliver Savile. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Oliver Savile. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Falsettos, The Other Palace | Review

The Other Palace 
Reviewed on Thursday 5th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
Despite feeling a little too long and being shrouded in recent drama, the current production of Falsettos at The Other Palace makes it clear why this musical was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2017. 
The musical in its current form is based on three one-act musicals which have been fused together by James Finn and William Lapine. It began in 1979 with In Trousers, followed by March of the Falsettos in 1981, and Falsettoland in 1990. In 1992 these were combined to create the show which played on Broadway for over a year and is currently making its UK premiere.
Falsettos begins with the hilarious 'Four Jews in a Room Bitching' where we are introduced, as the name suggests, to four Jews and "one half-jew". Throughout the show we learn about a family as they crumble and put themselves back together. Family patriarch Marvin (Daniel Boys) is falling in love with a charming man, Whizzer (Oliver Savile) and is ready to leave his wife Trina (Laura Pitt-Pulford) and son Jason (Albert Atack). Meanwhile Trina gets closer to her therapist, (Joel Montague).
PJ McEvoy's set of blocks which are moved around to form the various locations, are highly effective and just simplistic enough to provide interest without taking away from the emotional songs. Bright, evocative lighting by Nic Farman is equally entertaining.
Although this show does feel a tad too long, with a lot of songs crammed in and not a whole lot of story, there's no denying that it's fabulously staged and features an absolutely stellar cast. Laura Pitt-Pulford brings the audience to rapturous applause with her stellar rendition of 'I'm Breaking Down'. In fact, this is a cast made up of crystal clear singers with perhaps some of the best placement on the West End. Natasha Barnes and Gemma Knight-Jones brings lightness and power both vocally and physically as the "lesbians next door", and Oliver Savile also provides many stand out vocal moments. The entire team act through song fantastically and truly bring out the best of the work, whilst, Chris Whybrow's sound design highlights the strong vocal techniques which course through the cast.
The show is pretty much sung through, with a variety of rhythms, colours and musical feels. There's humour and heartbreak and a warm sense of conversation throughout. Intricate but not in-your-face Falsettos is a must-see reminder of human love; and a great example of how moving music can be.
photo credit: The Standout Company

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical, Live at Zedel | Review

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs 
Reviewed on Tuesday 10th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

If you've ever wanted to be a musical theatre performer– you might want to see this funny and exaggerated show about landing a role, that highlights the many, many hardships you will face.

With music and lyrics by Alexander S. Barmange, this show, although highlighting truths, is a parody of the musical theatre world which cleverly mixes in famous melodies and lyrics whilst taking us on the journey of a drama school graduate, to a theatrical diva.

The songs are not masterpieces but are well written to exemplify things musical theatre performers and fans experience. The performers do a wonderful job of bringing them to life and showcasing their stellar vocals. My personal favourite was Suzie Mather who's stunning soprano voice, alongside her bubbly personality made her solo performances really stand out. Her song I Love to Sing was especially humourous. I can definitely imagine her being the MirandaSings of the Musical Theatre world!

Liam Tamne's smooth, buttery voice worked well in both his solo and ensemble numbers and his funny but truthful song about being an understudy was particularly memorable.

The ever dapper Oliver Savile was also wonderful, namely in A Serious Actor where he discusses the perils of being typecast in musicals and his number with Suzie about a crazy stalker fan!

Diana Vickers performed her songs well but did seem to struggle at times, especially in the more delicate parts of the songs. She gave a nice performance though and My Leading Man was very relatable!!

At only 75 minutes, I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical is entertaining and somewhat insightful into the musical theatre world but at times it did feel repetitive and a little try-hard. However, for something fun and light-hearted, especially for those wanting to break into the theatre world, it's worth a view!

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical runs at the Zedel until April 17th.

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:

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Cinderella (Panto), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Cinderella (Panto)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 12th December 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

In the world of Panto, I am a total newbie having only seen a couple in my life. So the way I judged Woking's festive offering was by the reactions of those around me and they seemed to love the humourous, slightly magical and well characterised show.

Alan McHughes book keeps to the classic roots of Cinderella, switching up for comedic effect but never really bringing anything new or fresh to the story. It does however, remain fluid and entertaining. With the Act 2 performance about what life would be like for the characters if they had other jobs, was highly enjoyable and a stand out moment. 

A lot of the show is based around Craig Revel Horwood's character, Baroness Hardup who graces the stage in a number of bedazzled gowns, accompanied by the Strictly Come Dancing theme tune and a barrage of dry humoured jokes. Craig gives the performance we expect and does a good job as the villain we love to hate. Although I would've liked to hate him a little more. 

Suitably named stepsisters, Tess and Claudia are well played well by Suzie Chard and Wendy Somerville, with mockery and flounceyness used to a T, but are underused and lack the opportunity to really come to life.

Despite some book related flaws, the cast are highly energetic and enthusiastic, doing a fantastic job of livening up the audience without becoming a complete cheese fest. As the title character, Sophie Isaacs gives a truly royal performance both vocally and characterisation wise and is matched in charm by the swoon worthy Oliver Savile who brings his Fiyero vibes to Prince Charming.

Stealing much of the show are Paul Chuckle and Phil Butler as Baron Hardup and Buttons. The pair bounce fantastically off of one another and ensure a steady banter which translates well between the two and the audience. What the script lacks in story, is made up for with the spades of fun these two bring to the New Victoria stage.

Cinderella is a festive treat for all the family that of course, uses Panto tropes but doesn't make them overbearing and instead brings a lighthearted show to life with ease, fun and energy. With dancing pumpkins, flying horses and sparkles upon sparkles, there's sure to be something for everyone in this production.

Cinderella runs at the New Victoria theatre until 6th January 2019

photo credit: Ian Olsson