Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Robert Jones. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Robert Jones. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, 24 February 2017

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre | Review



The Girls
Phoenix Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★


I'm going to start off by saying that this musical has flaws but they can be easily overlooked to enjoy this beautifully sweet and touching musical.

The story of The Girls was previously on the West End as a play but this new revival with music by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, has brought new life to it and really given it star treatment. The score is sweet and full of storytelling, although some parts are a little over the top and very "la la la, I'm going to sing a very literal song about my life now" they all work together to produce a lovely piece of theatre. You are sure to leave feeling inspired, joyous and full of laughter.

This show sums up Britishness. There are fetes, tea drinking, fish and chips and of course the typified version of green Yorkshire. The set is cleverly designed by Robert Jones with a mountain of kitchen cupboards creating the vast hills of England's countryside.

Personally I found the first half of the show dragged just a little as I was waiting for the calendar plan to appear which doesn't in fact happen until act two but the initial setting up of the storyline and many relationships is gracefully and tastefully done. Act two is full of laughs and moves at a much quicker pace with us finally seeing the iconic calendar shoot which is done hilariously!

This story is friendship is truly beautiful and is something that is universally relatable. The cast are all equally talented and their performances are refreshing and genuine throughout. The relationship between Annie (Joanna Riding) and Chris (Claire Moore) is especially touching and makes you value and appreciate your friends even more. The whole cast have wonderful chemistry with one another and really seem to enjoy their time performing.

The whole production is filled with light and positivity as well as showing the trials and hardships of life. In a time when it can often seem like women are always bringing each other down, it's lovely to see a show which restores your faith in friendship and sees such a strong group of women holding each other up and working together to create something beautiful. This is a lovely, reflective, heart-warming production which reminds us that there's always light even when we feel as though we're surrounded by darkness.

The Girls is currently playing at the Phoenix Theatre until July 15th 2017

Photo credit: Matt Crockett

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Wizard of Oz, Capitol Theatre | Review


The Wizard of Oz 
Capitol Theatre, Sydney
Reviewed on Thursday 4th January 2017 by Faiza Rahman
★★★★★

Andrew Lloyd Webber would have been over the rainbow with the Sydney premier of The Wizard of Oz. From the moment the stage curtains opened, the audience were captivated. Personally, just for a moment, I forgot whether I was watching a movie or a show because of the pure essence of the way that the stage was set and the way digital media was used to give the audience a feeling of inclusion in the story and world of Oz.

Samantha Dodemaide does a whimsical job of taking us into the land of fantasy (apart from Dorothy’s red shoe coming off her foot when it was supposed to be stuck!) This slip up was ignored with grace from Samantha as the audience giggled and quickly forgot, whilst she continued to perfectly capture the golden-age naivety. Lucy Durack as Glinda won me over with her witty one-liners and effervescent outfit. Eli Cooper’s Scarecrow act was certainly not spineless – his bendy limbs wrapped us in admiration; alongside John Xintavelonis’ Cowardly Lion’s witty and ‘scary’ roar and Tin Man’s (Alex Rathgeber) heartless love and robotic movements. The Wicked Witch of the West (Jemma Rix) – well, that laugh explains why she was the perfect person to embody her character, for not one moment did I not adore her evilness, as weird as that may sound- she was brilliant! 


The star of the show was the costume and set design by Robert Jones, supported by Jon Driscoll and Daniel Brodie’s engrossing video and projection work. Vorticist projections were used to evoke the Kansas cyclone that took Dorothy into the dreamworld and took us there too. The lighting and effects used on the walls of the theatre enhanced the experience and created an ethereal atmosphere that delved us straight onto the yellow brick road and at times I really felt like I was a part of the show. 

The costumes were visually appeasing – what particularly impressed the audience was when Dorothy’s dress changed colour as she conducted a twirl across the stage from her regular dress to a sparkly green version as she entered Emerald City. The screens used to create the feeling of depth were perfectly controlled and used well to create the feeling of distance to emerald city. My highlight was when Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion & Scarecrow were put in the dome by the Wizard – it looked so 3D and realistic, everyone was astounded. 


I was taken back to my childhood through the music. Samantha Dodemaide’s voice projects an innocence yet heart wrenching power, like a force leading her back home to Kansas. Although since 1939, The Wizard of Oz has taken on many variations, this one stays grounded in the characters and echoes that there is no place like home, even with its modern twist.

The Wizard of Oz runs at the Capitol Theatre until 4th February 2018

photo credit: Jeff Busby

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Light in the Piazza, Royal Festival Hall | Review


The Light in the Piazza
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 19th June 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

The Light in the Piazza is a contemporary musical which invokes all the feelings of the golden age and is a sumptuous treat for the eyes and ears. The marvellously swooping score by Adam Guettel whisks you away from the opening moment and enthrals you in the beauty and magic of this delicate Italian love story.

Margaret Johnson (Fleming) is a well to do Southern lady who brings her fragile daughter Clara (Cameron) to Florence for a holiday. When Clara falls for a young Italian, Fabrizio (Houchen), Margaret is understandably protective and sceptical. Other than that, very little happens book wise but thanks to the glorious performances and production values, this is a divine musical.

As Clara, Dove Cameron is a marvel. A perfect combination of charm, innocence, an unruly heart and a headstrong mind, she lights up the stage every second she's on it (which is most of the show). Equally, the more intensely dramatic moments of the musical are performed with a candor and aggression which strikes and moves the audience. Cameron is a true star with vocals to match her captivating performance.


Rob Houchen has a way of surprising audiences with each role he takes on. This time it's the Italian leading man, Fabrizio, who is swoon-worthy, humourous and charismatic. As always Rob's acting performance is strong, with the comedic moments especially landing well; but it's Houchen's vocal performance which solidifies him as the dream casting choice for this role. The swooping vocals seem to pour out of thin air as Rob captures every moment with ease and control. Alongside Cameron, the pair create a chemistry which fizzles around the Festival Hall and creates a fuzzy feeling from start to end. 

Taking the role of the protective mother, Renée Fleming soars. Her deep operatic voice fills the festival hall but still manages to capture the intimate vulnerability she feels throughout. Mention must go to Mick Potter who has designed the sound of this show excellently. With the mix of operatic and musical theatre performers, there is always a risk of one overpowering the other, especially with opera performers usually being unmiced but this is not the case at all and the two styles meld and compliment each other fantastically.

Celinde Schoenmaker oozes sass as she struts across the stage in a smooth two piece and provides some of the musicals conflict during her marvellously performed The Joy You Feel. Liam Tamne is light relief as her husband Guiseppe Naccarelli. Alex Jennings also gives a memorably suave performance as patriarch Signor Naccarelli.


Brigette Reiffenstuel's 'frocks' are completely divine and indulgent, with floating fabrics and tailored Italian suits covering the stage. Backed by Robert Jones' simplistic but intuitive set, Dove Cameron seems almost doll like as she twirls around Italy in her magnificent pastel coloured clothing.

Sure, the story is lacking, but this is a show about love and you can't help but feel overcome by warmth as you watch it all play out. There are many a predictable moment, but thanks to Daniel Evans' direction, they're all carried out so well that they feel fresh and unexpected, regardless.

The Light in the Piazza runs at the Royal Festival Hall until 5th July 2019

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Calendar Girls (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Calendar Girls (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 26th March 2019 by Melanie Mitchell 
★★★★★

Calendar Girls the Musical is based on the true story of a close-knit Yorkshire village. In 1998, Ladies of the local Women's Institute, rally to help one of their members when her beloved husband suddenly dies. They decide to raise money in his memory for the Leukaemia Research Fund by posing naked in a Pirelli style calendar and selling copies.

The story was subsequently made into a film in 2003 and then a stage play in 2008, both written by Tim Firth. Tim spent 5 years in collaboration with Gary Barlow to produce this brilliant musical. The story has been changed quite a lot from the original, but the basic premise remains the same. The musical looks at the whole gamut of human relationships and emotions with fantastic humour, pathos and poignancy, accompanied by an excellent musical score.

The characters are perfectly cast with amazingly strong performances by all. Anna-Jane Casey who plays Annie and Rebecca Storm as Chris are outstanding, both having superb voices. Fern Britten is fabulous as Marie the leader of the WI, desperate to stick to the old traditional values whilst being a terrible snob and social climber. Denise Welch is perfect as Celia, the brash, brassy and blousy ex air hostess trying to button up to fit in with the community. The show contains some of the funniest laugh out loud one liners I have ever heard, many delivered with perfect comedic timing by Karen Dunbar as Cora. Sara Crowe is hilarious as the ever helpful, slightly tragic Ruth. The younger actors, Isabel Caswell, Tyler Dobbs and Danny Howker add another dimension, which brings freshness and fun to the production.

Robert Jones' set and costume design are both fairly simple but completely in keeping with the themes and characters. In the first scene you are totally transported to the Yorkshire dales and subsequently to the village hall and green.

This is a heart-warming, totally British feel-good show, uplifting (in more ways than one), and something that almost everybody can relate to in some way or another.

For a really positive feel good evening at the theatre, suitable for all ages, I urge everyone to go and see this wonderful production.

Calendar Girls runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 29th march 2019

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Calendar Girls the Musical (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

 
Calendar Girls (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 1st October 2019 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★
 
In 1998, a group of ladies in Yorkshire rallied together to help one of their members when her beloved husband died. They decided to raise money in his memory for the Lukaemia Research fund, by posing naked for a calendar and selling copies. Calendar Girls tells their story of unity as it exudes warmth and joy.
 
Tim Firth and Gary Barlow spent five years collaborating to create this musical and it has been seen across the UK in a variety of forms. Thanks to their brilliantly witty and heartfelt lyrics and music, the show retains it's heart wherever it goes and will surely continues to bring a smile to faces around the world. What's wonderful about this musical is how it focusses on a number of human emotions and relationships and does so with sensitivity, pathos and simplicity. We are really forced to think about what it means to pushed outside our comfort zones and it's marvellous to see a group of older women completely letting go and having the best time on stage. I can only hope to be as confident as these ladies when I grow up!
 
In terms of both acting and singing, it took a little while for the performances to really bloom (excuse the pun) as they seemed somewhat reserved and quiet in the opening number. However, once they got into the swing of things, the whole cast gave brilliantly strong, well-rounded and clever performances.
 
 
Sarah Jane Buckley brings the silent struggle of grief to light with immense sensitivity and provides some vocal stand out moments, especially during act two.  Rebecca Storm as Chris is the embodiment of fizz as she floats around the stage with an energy which can't help but lift spirits. All the ladies of the cast have a fantastic chemistry but these two in particular really do seem as though they've grown up together and seen the highs and lows of life. Judy Holt is great as the traditional leader of the WI, Marie; Julia Hills is hilarious as the tragically overly helpful Ruth; whilst, Sue Devaney delivers some hilarious one liners and vocal gems as Cora. Ruth Madoc really embodies the role of an ex-teacher as she gets the other girls in line with her stern Welsh remarks and Lisa Maxwell is excellent as the brash ex-air hostess trying to fit in with her new found community.
 
The set design by Robert Jones is basic but completely works for the production. Minimal scene changes are kept entertaining through small tweaks including a sunset in the background and a seasonally decorated piano. The audience are really transported to the Yorkshire dales, village green, hospital and hall and feel as though we've stepped from London to the countryside.
 
This is a totally British feel-good show which warms the heart, uplifts and entertains. Calendar Girls has something for everyone and is a beautiful portrayal of women supporting women.
 
Calendar Girls runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 5th October before continuing it's tour
 
photo credit:

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

First Ever Relaxed Performance For Back to the Future The Musical


Lead producer Colin Ingram, together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that Back To the Future The Musical will play its first ever relaxed performance at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 12 March 2023. Please click here to book.
 
Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but may benefit those who normally find it challenging to access and enjoy theatre. The performance will include reduced volume and lighting states with a laid-back approach to audience movement permitting and encouraging everyone to relax and respond naturally.
 
The critically acclaimed Olivier, WhatsOnStage and Broadway World Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021. The musical recently broke box office records at the Adelphi Theatre for the highest gross sales in one week.
 
Back To the Future The Musical currently stars Cory English and Ben Joyce as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ (until 3 January 2023) and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Amber Davies as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Oliver Nicholas as ‘George McFly’, Jordan Benjamin as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Harry Jobson as ‘Biff Tannen’, Sophie Naglik as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Gary Trainor as ‘Strickland’, Will Haswell as alternate ‘Marty McFly’ and ‘Dave McFly’ and Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’.
 
Tony Award winner, Roger Bart, will return to the show on 5 January 2023. His final performance in London will be 20 March 2023 after which he will lead the cast of the Broadway production, which begins performances at Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on 30 June 2023 with an official opening on 3 August 2023.
 
Also in the cast are Amy Barker, Simeon Beckett, Sia Dauda, Tyler Davis, Glen Facey, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Adam Margilewski, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Bryan Mottram, Laura Mullowney, Anna Murray, Jon Reynolds, Melissa Rose, Georgia Tapp, Justin Thomas, Charley Warburton and Tavio Wright.
 
The Original Cast Recording, released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label, is now available on all formats, including vinyl, and has had over 3 million streams. It features the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode
 
Back To the Future The Musical won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, four WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical, and the Broadway World Award for Best New Musical. The productions in London and Manchester have so far been seen by half a million people and the musical has broken box office records at the Adelphi Theatre.
 
Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, 
Back To the Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.
 
Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown.  But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.
 
Back To the Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.
 
Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).
 
Back To the Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.
 
photo credit: Matt Crockett

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Cory English to Play 'Doctor Emmett Brown' in Back To The Future the Musical for 6 Weeks Only


Lead producer Colin Ingram, together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that celebrated theatre actor, Cory English, will join the cast of Back To The Future The Musical at the Adelphi Theatre, playing the role of ‘Doctor Emmett Brown’ from 23 November 2022 until 3 January 2023. Tony Award winner, Roger Bart, who is currently playing the role, will return to the show on 5 January 2023. His final performance in London will be 20 March 2023 after which he will lead the cast of the Broadway production, which begins performances at Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on 30 June 2023 with an official opening on 3 August 2023.

The critically acclaimed Olivier, WhatsOnStage and Broadway World Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021. Last week the musical broke box office records at the Adelphi Theatre for the highest gross sales in one week.

Cory English played Max Bialystock in the West End and UK Touring productions of The Producers, directed by Susan Stroman. His other credits include Sleepless at Troubadour Theatre Wembley Park, She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Igor in Young Frankenstein on Broadway and in the West End and Benny Southstreet in Michael Grandage’s West End production of Guys & Dolls.

Back To The Future The Musical currently stars Tony Award-winning Roger Bart and Ben Joyce as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Amber Davies as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Oliver Nicholas as ‘George McFly’, Jordan Benjamin as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Harry Jobson as ‘Biff Tannen’, Sophie Naglik as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Gary Trainor as ‘Strickland’, Will Haswell as alternate ‘Marty McFly’ and ‘Dave McFly’ and Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’. Also in the cast are Amy Barker, Simeon Beckett, Sia Dauda, Tyler Davis, Glen Facey, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Adam Margilewski, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Bryan Mottram, Laura Mullowney, Anna Murray, Jon Reynolds, Melissa Rose, Georgia Tapp, Justin Thomas, Charley Warburton and Tavio Wright.

The Original Cast Recording, released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label, is now available on all formats, including vinyl, and has had over 3 million streams. It features the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Back To The Future The Musical won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, four WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical, and the Broadway World Award for Best New Musical. The productions in London and Manchester have so far been seen by half a million people and the musical has broken box office records at the Adelphi Theatre.

Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, Back To The Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.

Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown. But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.

Back To The Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, On The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.

Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).

Back To The Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

All Or Nothing (UK Tour), Waterfront Hall | Review


All Or Nothing – The Mod Musical (Tour)
Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Reviewed on Wednesday October 18th by Damien Murray
 

Having missed its planned opening night due to cast travel problems caused by Storm Ophelia, the touring production of All Or Nothing – The Mod Musical blew into town for its Belfast debut a night later than expected.

Combining the story of a popular music-linked culture with the more personal, tragic and human story of one of its main bands, The Small Faces, who not only spear-headed the movement but also encapsulated its dress style, attitude and music, All Or Nothing is a jukebox musical … with a twist.

For, in the role of the ‘older’ Steve Marriott, Chris Simmons narrates what is essentially Marriott’s own story from beyond the grave as he guides us chronologically through the group’s history in flashback to give us a raw account of what being the front-man of this important British pop group was really like… warts and all.

Apart from Simmons’ believable performance as the ever-present ‘older’ Marriott and the show’s nostalgic and hit-filled score, the key to the success of this show is that it was written by Carol Harrison, who – as a friend of lead singer, Steve Marriott – had real insider knowledge of the man, the Small Faces as a group, their musical and business frustrations and of the Mod movement during its early days.


Named after the group’s biggest hit and only chart-topper (which knocked The Beatles off the chart’s top spot), All Or Nothing is a biographical piece of 60s nostalgia about a generation of free spirits.

Although the set was relatively basic, it was functional and the production not only boasted that most coveted of Mod essentials, a Vespa scooter, but also authentic costumes, hairstyles and dances, with some great choreography, incorporating the trademark 60s moves of the dancers in various television pop shows of the era.

However, this musical is not so much about the Mod movement as it is the disturbing story of a young pop group, covering its many non-glamorous moments from being mismanaged and vigorously exploited by the ‘Al Capone of pop’ – Don ‘I’ll exploit you for all your worth’ Arden – to the slow demise of the group and from Marriott being a trouble maker at school through to his tragic and untimely death.

We learn: how the group got its name; why they were the only group to be banned from performing on Top Of The Pops; why there was a change of style from Mod to Hippie; of Marriott’s relationship with P.P. Arnold; how his ego got too big; and how he got Rod Stewart’s girlfriend … while Stewart got his band.


Playing live and loud, the actor musicians playing the members of The Small Faces – Samuel Pope (young Marriott), Stanton Wright (Ronnie Laine), Alexander Gold (Ian McLagan) and Stefen Edwards (Kenny Jones) – were all exceptionally good, not only at recreating the group’s many hits, but for perfectly capturing the personality, physical appearance and even the individual playing/performance styles of their respective characters.

The show is peppered throughout with humour and references to and appearances by other celebrities from the era like Andrew Oldham, Robert Stigwood, Rod Stewart, David Jacobs, Cathy McGowan, Stanley Unwin and Tony Blackburn (and even including performances from such characters as Sonny and Cher, Dusty Springfield and P.P. Arnold), as the group appears on such iconic television pop shows as Thank Your Lucky Stars, Juke Box Jury, Ready Steady Go and Top Of The Pops.

Ahead of its transfer to the West End for a limited run, it is easy to see why this touring production has been building up quite a cult following. However, offering, perhaps, too much detail (particularly in early scenes), this show could benefit from some cuts and, with such basic sets and sound balance issues between the pre-recorded extracts and the live music, a higher degree of production values could easily make this cult piece the mainstream hit it deserves to be as a biographical/jukebox musical.

This raw, true and sad story has a moving and emotional ending with a heart-breaking solo acoustic extract from All Or Nothing by Chris Simmons before the mood changes in an up-beat hit-filled finale.

All Or Nothing runs at Waterfront Hall until October 19th


Photo credit: Phil Weedon

Friday, 1 July 2022

Come From Away to Play Final Performance in West End on 7 January 2023

The multi award-winning London production of global hit musical Come From Away will extend in the West End from September until the end of the year before holding its final performance at the Phoenix Theatre on Saturday 7 January 2023.

By the time the West End company take their final bow, this critically acclaimed production will have played 1048 performances in London, 47 performances in Dublin and won many major UK theatre Awards including the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and What’s On Stage Awards for ‘Best Musical’.

The current London cast of Come From Away includes Jenna Boyd (Beulah and others), James Doherty (Claude and others), Mark Dugdale (Kevin T/Garth and others), Alice Fearn (Beverley/Annette and others), Kate Graham (Diane and others), Robert Hands (Nick/Doug and others), Jonathan Andrew Hume (Kevin J/Ali and others), Gemma Knight Jones (Hannah and others), Kirsty Malpass (Bonnie and others), Harry Morrison (Oz and others), Emma Salvo (Janice and others), Lejaun Sheppard (Bob and others), with Chiara Baronti, Ricardo Castro, Stuart Hickey, Alexander McMorran, Sarah MorrisonLucy ParkJennifer Tierney and Matthew Whennell-Clark.

The Come From Away band includes Alan Berry (Musical Director/UK Musical Supervisor), Matt Bashford (Whistles/Irish Flute/Uillean Pipes), Aoife Mairead Ní Bhriain (Fiddle), Oli Briant (Electric/Acoustic Guitar), Justin Quinn (Acoustic Guitars/Mandolins/Bouzouki), Joey Grant (Electric and Acoustic Bass),  Ray Fean (Bodhrán/Percussion), Ian Whitehead (Drums/Percussion), Huw Evans (Associate Musical Director), Andrew Barrett for Lionella Music, LLC (Electronic Music Design), Phij Adams (Associate Keyboard Programmer), Ryan Driscoll (Music Preparation), and David Gallagher (Orchestral Management).

Come From Away shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.

Experience the joy, heartache and soaring music as the spirited locals and global passengers overcome their fears and a world of cultural differences to come together and forge friendships that will stay with them forever. The first female American Airlines captain, the quick-thinking town mayor, the mother of a New York firefighter and the eager local news reporter are among the many real characters caught at the start of the moment that changed the course of history, and whose stories became a true celebration of hope, humanity and unity.

The international hit musical has celebrated sold-out, record-breaking engagements on Broadway, in Canada, throughout Australia, and on a 60-city North American Tour.

The Come From Away creative team includes Irene Sankoff and David Hein (Book, Music and Lyrics), Christopher Ashley (Director), Kelly Devine (Musical Staging), Ian Eisendrath (Music Supervision and Arrangements), Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Howell Binkley (Lighting Design), Gareth Owen (Sound Design), David Brian Brown (Hair Design), August Eriksmoen (Orchestrations), Pippa Ailion CDG and Natalie Gallacher CDG (Casting), Joel Goldes (Dialect Coach), Michael Rubinoff (Creative Consultant), Bob Hallett (Newfoundland Music Consultant),  Shirley Fishman (Dramaturg) and Tara Overfield (Associate Director and Choreographer UK).

Come From Away is produced in the UK by Junkyard Dog Productions and Smith & Brant Theatricals. The European premiere of Come From Away was co-produced with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre.

Tickets for Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre are available via comefromawaylondon.co.uk.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Club Tropicana (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Club Tropicana (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday 25th April 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

A whirlwind of big hair, 80s hits, innuendos and humour, Nick Winston's Club Tropicana isn't a musical masterpiece but it is a whole lot of fun and a harmless piece of entertainment. 

The storyline is minimal but follows Lorraine who jilts her fiancé at the alter and goes on a friend holiday to drink and dance away her blues. Her fiancé also goes on a friend holiday... to the same Spanish hotel....

Said hotel is in the running to be awarded a prestigious award so they're doing their best to impress the hotel inspector. Featuring a host of humourous characters and larger than life performances, the gaps in the book are made up for with verve and energy.


Diego Pitarch's set doesn't have much depth to it, but does its job exactly and brings the colour of the show to life well. Making clever use of the space, as well as using the more basic elements for comedic effect, Pitarch has done a great job. Equally, his costumes are very 80s and effective. 

The cast are the life of this show, performing the 20 well-known 80s bops wonderfully. As entertainment manager Joe McElderry shines. A great voice, fab comic timing and well done audience interaction, McElderry makes a stellar addition to the cast. Neil McDermott is entertaining, if a little underused as Robert, but his performances alongside the hilarious Emily Tierney as double-crossing hotelier Christine, and lovestruck Amelle Barrabah as Serena are great. The extremely well characterised Consuela, is a sure stand out thanks to Kate Robbins' completely hilarious portrayal, which provides laugh out loud moments every time she's on stage.

As leading man and lady Cellen Chugg Jones and Karina Hind are marvellous. Their strong vocals are well showcased and the pair work well together. 


Mention must also go to Rebecca Mendoza, Tara Verloop and Kane Verrall who give fabulous performances. The entire cast are superbly invested throughout and with Nick Winston's choreography and Charles Ingles' musical direction, do a stellar job of keeping the energy alive throughout.

Club Tropicana has the feel-good factor and is sure to bring a bounce to your step. For a self-aware, super cheesy but well done production, take a trip to Hotel Tropicana and laugh the night away.

Club Tropicana runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 27th April before continuing its tour.

photo credit: Darren Bell