Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Scott Hunter. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Scott Hunter. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Yank! The Musical, Charing Cross Theatre | Review

Charing Cross Theatre
Reviewed on Monday July 10th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

Tonight marked the West End premiere of the 2010 off-Broadway musical, Yank! which tells the true story of two men who fell in love during World War II. Since making its UK premiere at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, Yank! has been a highly anticipated transfer as people were eager to hear the story that didn't make the history books and last night it opened to staggering applause and a standing ovation.

Set during the time when homosexuality was frowned upon and defined by the development of modern psychiatry to treat the 'illness', this is an extremely important story to be told. It's so powerful that whilst fighting for their country and lives, men were also fighting for their right to love. Particularly poignant just after the celebration of love seen with London Pride and also during a time when American politics seems to be repressing 'non-traditional' men and women, it's thought-provoking to see these issues played out on stage.

The story is told through the eye's of the young Stu (Scott Hunter) who journaled his whole journey through the war. He feels that he is not a proper man and feels ashamed to not be as strong as the other men in his squad. He finds comfort in his journal which narrates the show in a truthful, emotional way and allows the audience to connect of a much more personal level. Stu becomes friends with, and eventually starts a rocky relationship with fellow soldier, Mitch (Andy Coxon) who constantly fights back that he is not a 'fairy'. Struggling with this denial, Stu leaves the army squad and becomes a reporter for Yank! magazine.

The story is told in the style of an MGM musical, with the tradition and romanticism of Rodgers and Hammerstein. There is a stunning mix of dance and a rich, emotive score. Particularly entertaining is when Stu meets photographer, Artie (Chris Kiely) who he discovers through a glorious tap number 'Click' is also gay as he explains the ways to identify other gay men during war. Sarah Louise-Young is fantastic as the many female fantasy characters who lead the MGM style.

Chris Cuming's choreography works alongside and also contrasts the beautiful solos and duets of the score perfectly, with each piece impressively and smoothly choreographed. This balance makes the piece truly engaging and adds a level of humour which is welcomed so as not to make the piece too heavy and draining.  There is a perfect balance between seriousness and sweet sincerity. Especially heart-wrenching was the interrogation scene in act two, which coupled with the heat of the theatre, had everyone on the edge of their seats, sweating in tension. 

Scott Hunter is faultless as Stu; rarely off stage he gives his all and touchingly shows his immense character development throughout. Starting as the weakest of the squad and eventually becoming the strongest for fighting not only the war but for his love till the very end.  He is charged with emotion and it's touching to see his journey play out in front of our eyes. As his love interest, Andy Coxon is tough and charismatic whilst still showing a vulnerable side. Both actors bounce off of each other and have a beautiful chemistry on stage. It's so lovely to see a male led company who work together faultlessly and create a harmonious feeling. 

Yank! is touching, honest, genuine, fluid and overall a heart-wrenching look at love and tragedy.

Yank! runs at the Charing Cross theatre until August 19th.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2017

This year I saw 105 shows so picking my top 10 was pretty tricky! I know everyone does these posts but it's always interesting to see what peaked everyones interests so without further ado, here are the shows I loved in 2017. Grab a mince pie and settle in!

PS. They're in reverse order as always to bring that extra bit of drama!

10. Yank | Charing Cross Theatre

I saw the West End premiere of this show and completely fell in love. The storyline was gripping, the acting was outstanding and it was a highlight of my summer. Scott Hunter was a particular stand out and I can't wait to see what 2018 brings for him.

9. Follies | National Theatre

This was one of my most anticipated shows of the year and it certainly wasn't a let down. The glorious staging was spectacular and I adored hearing Sondheim's music live as well as seeing queen Imelda Staunton on stage again.

8. Mack and Mabel (LMTO) | Hackney Empire

This was such a surprising show for me. Of course I expected good things from the LMTO but I was so blown away by every performance in Mack and Mabel. Natasha J Barnes singing 'Time Heals Everything' was definitely my stand out vocal moment of the year.

7. Funny Girl | New Victoria Theatre

Natasha also gave an amazing performance as Fanny Brice in the UK Tour of Funny Girl. To date this is the best touring production I have ever seen!

6. Hamlet | Alemida Theatre

Andrew Scott was just spectacular. That's all.

5. Fiddler on the Roof | Chichester Festival Theatre

I must admit, I don't travel outside of London for theatre very often but I am so glad I made the trip to Chichester to see this production which completely blew me away. This show needs a West End transfer and I'm praying its life isn't over.

4. Angels in the America | National Theatre

How could I not mention this?! A marathon show but packed with drama, talent and grit at every moment. Truly a theatrical masterpiece- Broadway get ready!

3. Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill | National Theatre

Audra is just a queen. I was mesmerised by every single moment of this show. I first saw it on press night and then went back with my parents, both times were breathtaking and it was such an honour to see a Broadway superstar on stage.

2. Romantics Anonymous | Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

My lovely friend Hayley took me to see this for my birthday and for some reason I never got round to reviewing it (hopefully I'll do it soon!) But it was honestly just brilliant. Both literally and metaphorically sweet it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. If you want a heartwarming tale, this is the one for you!

1. Hamilton | Victoria Palace Theatre

I know this is the most typical answer and so not a surprise but Hamilton just blew me away. I still can't believe that it exceeded my expectations and if you can get a ticket, you HAVE to see it!!

I also want to give a special mention to  a couple of other outstanding shows which I mentioned in last years wrap up: Rent and Dreamgirls, both of which amazed me again this year! I have a couple of concert shout outs too- Rachel Tucker, Kristin Chenoweth and Lea Michele. I saw Rachel perform 5 times and was completely astounded by her voice and stage presence every time. Kristin had me bawling from start to finish. Her concert was definitely the most memorable I've ever been too. Finally, Lea was a bucket list concert for me and I'm so honoured to have seen (and met) her this year!

So there we have my top shows of 2017! I can't wait to see what 2018 brings- let me know what your top shows of the year were.

Au revoir 2017! Stay Stagey, 2018!

Top 10 by editor, Olivia Mitchell

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Strangers in Between, Trafalgar Studios | Review

Strangers in Between 
Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Friday 12th January 2018 by Shaun Dicks

As a member of the LGBT community we all face our fair share of struggles. One of those struggles is the loss of family, whether its you leaving them or they sever ties with you. Strangers in Between tackles the subject of creating your own family with wit, humour and wonderful storytelling. It’s the story of Shane, a 16-year-old boy who runs away from his home and family in suburban Australia to Kings Cross, Sydney. The story follows Shane as he tries to navigate these new surroundings and new friends whilst carrying old baggage.

The story and message is a very relatable one; one that is very well crafted by Tommy Murphy. Murphy’s crafting of the story and characters is genius, the script is witty and humorous without even trying. The writing is outstanding, modern scriptwriters please take note. The direction from Adam Spreadbury-Maher is masterful, the show being slick, punchy without being over bearing.

Now we come to the cast. No words can be used to describe how outstanding the all-male cast of three are. You can tell that the relationship between them is strong. They are comfortable with each other and they have an undeniable chemistry. Roly Botha as Shane was truly endearing, creating a gem of a character. Dan Hunter as Will/Ben was charming as Will but complex as Ben. Hunter’s ability to change between roles was brilliant. The best I’ve saved until last, Stephen Connery-Brown as haggard old queen with a heart, Peter was simply perfection. Peter was witty, humorous, serious, kind and loving; the complete character. Connery-Brown isn’t just talented, he is an actor young performers should look up to. He gives a masterclass on how theatre should be done. These men took this script, ran with it and then some.

As a gay man myself, I relate to this story. It didn’t make me feel just for a second but a very long while. It made me emotional and think for hours after the show. That is a signifier that it is excellent theatre. The Kings Head Theatre is renowned for producing brilliant LGBT theatre, Strangers In Between falls into that bracket and is more than deserving of its West End transfer to Trafalgar Studios. Everyone needs to see this show. Support the wonderful Kings Head Theatre, support Strangers In Between. It deserves to be seen. It deserves to be recognised. It is the best thing you will see. 

Tell your friends, family and work colleagues. Everyone needs to see Strangers In Between!

Strangers in Between runs at the Trafalgar Studios until 3rd February 2018

photo credit: Scott Rylander

Friday, 11 March 2022

Back to the Future Announces Extension and Cast Recording

Due to overwhelming demand, 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’s performances at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End will extend to 23 October 2022. Tickets on sale now. The critically acclaimed Olivier Award-nominated and WhatsOnStage Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021.  


The much anticipated Original Cast Recording released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label is out today, exactly two years since the world premiere opening night performance of the musical at Manchester Opera House, featuring 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.  


Last month, Back To The Future The Musical won four WhatsOnStage Awards, including the coveted award for Best New Musical. Other awards included Best Supporting Performer in a Male Identifying Role in a Musical for Hugh Coles, Best Lighting for Tim Lutkin and Best Sound for Gareth Owen. This week, the musical received seven Olivier Award nominations, making it the most nominated new musical this year, including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical for Olly Dobson, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Hugh Coles and Best Original Score or New Orchestrations for Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard; Orchestrations: Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook.


Producer Colin Ingram said, “I’m so delighted to announce the release of our fantastic cast album today, which has been produced by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard together with Nick Finlow in partnership with Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label.  As we break box office records at the Adelphi Theatre and celebrate 7 Olivier nominations along with winning Best New Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards, I look forward to announcing other productions throughout the world soon.”


Back To The Future The Musical stars Roger Bart and Olly Dobson as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Hugh Coles as ‘George McFly’, Rosanna Hyland as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Cedric Neal as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Aidan Cutler as ‘Biff Tannen’, Courtney-Mae Briggs as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Will Haswell as ‘Dave McFly’, Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’ and Mark Oxtoby as ‘Strickland’.  Also in the cast are Rhianne Alleyne, Amy Barker, Matthew Barrow, Joshua Clemetson, Jamal Kane Crawford, Morgan Gregory, Sam Harvey, Ryan Heenan, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Laura Mullowney, Nic Myers, Shane O’Riordan, Katharine Pearson, Justin Thomas, Oliver Roll, Melissa Rose, Charlotte Scott and Tavio Wright. 


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.