Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Shanay Holmes. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Shanay Holmes. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, 11 June 2021

West End Musical Celebration, Palace Theatre | Review



West End Musical Celebration (Concert) 
Palace Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday10th June 2021 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

As two pioneers in making theatre accessible, diverse and welcoming, Shanay Holmes and Chris Steward have continually pushed through all of the setbacks of the last year to provide high quality, delightful entertainment. Most recently through their West End Musical Drive In’s and now through their West End Debut which was a full, flamboyant and fabulous celebration of, and return to theatre.


As hostess with the mostess, Shanay took us through the night with grace and passion. Like all the performers, it was really evident just how much theatre and the theatrical community means to her and the love throughout the auditorium was frenetic.


Joining Shanay were some of the West End's best: Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Ben Forster, Rachel John, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Layton Williams. It's unfair to pick favourite moments when every performance was a complete treat and the song selection was outstanding. From Defying Gravity, to a bluesy version of Don't Rain on My Parade and a sweetly sentimental rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow there was something for absolutely everyone. If that wasn't enough, the pre-show/interval playlist was also a stagey delight. 


As well as this, the night featured a fantastic band, wonderful backing singers and excellently sleek dancers. Several standing ovations and plenty of chair dancing highlighted that the audience were completely on the performers side and were just as much a part of the show as those on stage, albeit with considerably vocal ability. Overall the whole evening felt like a high quality, well-oiled, musical theatre sensation.


Alongside the mile a minute song selection, the night also included the sparkling wardrobe of dreams. The sheer glitz, glam and spectacle of the whole night's proceedings felt so special to be a part of. 


The night closed with a series of high octane numbers, including Don't Stop Believing, How Will I Know and One Night Only, which had everyone on their feet and proved that we really can have a good time, even under covid restrictions. 


As the final chorus of The Greatest Showman’s From Now On rang out “and we will come back home”, I was reminded that the theatre really is home and if last night's concert is what it's like then never want to leave.



West End Musical Celebration runs at the Palace Theatre until Sunday 13th June 2021


Photos by Bonnie Britain

Saturday, 2 November 2019

High Fidelity, Turbine Theatre | Review


High Fidelity
Turbine Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 31st October 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, a book about love and music set in a run-down North London record shop has crossed mediums being made into both a film and a musical, with a TV series on the way in 2020. The location for the film and the shows opening on Broadway was America but in this UK premiere, it's been transported back to its roots and is firmly rooted in London. As the Turbine Theatre's second production, its wonderful to see a musical which brings to life some of the excellence of this city.

High Fidelity tells the story of Rob who owns a record shop which is barely surviving, and his on-again, off-again relationship with Laura, a lawyer who he loves but struggles to maintain a mature, long lasting relationship with. In the shop are also Barry and Dick, two misfits who started as part-timers and ended up sticking around and creating lives amongst the records. The lonely characters are portrayed wonderfully and despite being somewhat heartbreaking to watch, it's lovely to be reminded that there's a place for everyone.

The whole story is told from Rob's perspective as he addresses the audience and tells them what's going on both in his physical world and in his head. Rob chronicles many of his life's moments into 'Top Five' lists which are not only entertaining but an insight into how his brain works. On stage for pretty much the entirety of the show, Oliver Ormson is charming as Rob. Despite playing a character who it's often hard to empathise with, Ormson brings a warmth and sincerity which makes the audience side with him even when his decisions are rash or morally dubious. Ormson's voice is strong and he maintains an energy which fizzles throughout and really powers the show. Opposite him, Shanay Holmes is exquisite as Laura who is continually conflicted by her feelings for Rob. Holmes' voice is absolutely exceptional and she manages to shine in both the bold, booming moments and the simple, toned down times.


The entirety of the cast give excellent performances. Joshua Dever is vocally excellent and earnest until the very end; Eleanor Kane is outstanding as Marie. Her voice fills the Turbine Theatre as she envelops the audience with her delightful Brandi Carlile-esque tones and gives a performance to remember. Robert Tripolino gives a show stealing performance as the wacky Ian, a spiritualist who is all about the good vibes and natural healing. Tripolino is hilarious in pretty much every moment of his stage time and a real stand out. Mention must go to Rosie Fletcher who shines out from start to finish and gives vocals for not just days, but months.

Tom Jackson Greaves directs with a brilliant ease and fluency so the entire production feels relatable. Perhaps not in terms of the story itself but through the truthful self-reflection and humour of it all. Whilst there's not an overwhelming amount of choreography, what's there is phenomenal. The small stage is used to it's full capabilities as the cast often move around as if inside Rob's brain. Particularly wonderful is the balloon choreography which is ingenious and incredibly sleek. David Shields' set is simplistic and effective. Record sleeves scatter the theatre and the stage is transformed by small changes which work perfectly to signal the varying locations. 

The plot is by no means the best thing in the world and some of the songs feel too much like fillers but the performances and the Great British Bake Off meets Bat Out of Hell vibes of the whole thing make High Fidelity a throughly enjoyable night out. The Turbine Theatre team are showing us bit by bit what they're made of and we can only wait to see what will come next in this new London hub.

High Fidelity runs at the Turbine Theatre until 7th December 2019

photo credit: Mark Senior

Friday, 11 March 2022

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical Extends Booking Period


Producers have today announced that the hit production Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical has extended booking until 29 January 2023.  The critically acclaimed production has been playing to sell-out ecstatic crowds since October last year at the Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue and it has just been nominated for 4 Olivier Awards, including BestNew Musical. 

 

Producers said: “Bob’s music has a power to heal, and bring joy and life and happiness to the whole world. In these difficult times we are so pleased that audiences are feeling the positive vibrations reverberating around the Lyric Theatre which we have made our home. ONE LOVE to all nominees and welcome to our family, the brilliant Michael Duke.” 

 

This news comes as new images are released of Michael Duke who has taken over the role of Bob Marley from Arinzé Kene. Duke has been performing for 20 years, starting his career as Young Simba in The Lion King. He has appeared in the West End run of The Inheritance, West Side Story at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, Thriller Live and The Rat Pack LIVE! (all in the West End).

 

On Tuesday this week it was announced that the show had been nominated for 4 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical for Arinzé Kene, Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Gabrielle Brooks and Best Original Score or New Orchestration for Orchestrator Simon Hale.

Award-winning director Clint Dyer channels the creative quest and spiritual power of a universally embraced icon, in this critically acclaimed production which features Marley’s magical, revolutionary songs and a book by award-winning Lee Hall.

Lose yourself to the rhythm of 'Exodus', 'No Woman No Cry', 'Waiting in Vain', 'Three Little Birds', ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, 'Could You Be Loved', 'Redemption Song' and many more.

The explosive production celebrates the immense life and timely message of Jamaican soul rebel Bob Marley - from a life of poverty to visionary international superstar. Crucial fellow soul rebels in the cast include the sensational Rita Marley and the I Three and his inspiring brothers in arms, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Lee ‘Scratch Perry’.

 

The full cast features Michael Duke (Bob Marley), Gabrielle Brooks (Rita Marley), Shanay Holmes (Cindy Breakspeare), Sophia Mackay (Judy Mowatt), Melissa Brown-Taylor (Marcia Griffiths), Jacade Simpson (Bunny Wailer), Natey Jones (Peter Tosh), David Albury (Alternate Bob Marley) Daniel Bailey, Craig Blake, Charles Blyth, Luke Buck, Maxwell Cole, Athena Collins, Viquichele Cross, Kimmy Edwards, Raphael Estavia, Henry Faber, Cannon Hay, Llewellyn Jamal, Savanna Jeffrey, Kieran McGinn, Rohan Pinnock-Hamilton, Cleopatra Rey, Julene Robinson, Lawrence Rowe, Nate Simpson, Amarra Smith, Archie Smith, Declan Spaine, Jaime Tait, Teddy Wills

 

‘It’s not all that glitters is gold, half the story has never been told’ 

 

From the hills of rural Jamaica, armed only with his overwhelming talent, Bob Marley applied himself with resolute determination to achieve international acclaim for his prophetic musical message – a gospel of love and unity.


photo credit: Craig Sugden

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Rent, St James Theatre | Review

Measure your life in love and measure this musical in love. A brilliant revival of a much loved show which will remind you to live and love.


Rent
St James Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 13th December 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★★


Rent is one of those iconic musicals which shaped a generation; its melodies and storyline are so touching that the show became a cultural phenomenon when it premiered 20 years ago off-Broadway. It tells the story of a group of people living in a New York, East Village squat who are all affected by HIV, drugs and homelessness. The show's prevailing theme is that of living in the moment: there's truly "No Day But Today."

Bruce Guthrie's production is gritty and industrial, with metal scaffolding, Christmas lights and boxes covered in graffiti creating the dim abrasive world in which the story is set. Lee Proud's choreography is fabulous, especially in La Vie Boheme and Contact. The quick, sharp movements add to the frenzied feeling of the show and add a slightly more modern feel to the show compared to other productions I've seen.



The whole company is impeccable. I cannot fault anyone; every lead and every ensemble member is completely committed to their character and the stunning voices allow Jonathan Larson's melodies to soar and dip, whilst causing the joy and pain of all those watching. Billy Cullum and Ross Hunter shine as the impoverished roommates bouncing off each other wonderfully and their performances give the base and heart to this amazing musical. Philippa Stefani as the club dancing Mimi is rough but vulnerable; I was in complete tears by the end of her performance and was just in awe of how committed to her role she was and how it clearly affected her until the very end- a mesmerising performance to watch. Ryan O'Gorman as Tom Collins is perfect casting. Ryan's voice is off the charts goose-bump inducing and he is fully emotive on every single note. The acting performances all round are faultless especially with Lucie's Jones' over the top performance as the struggling artist Maureen Johnson. Shanay Holmes as Joanne has the most incredible chemistry with Lucie- 'Take Me Or Leave Me' is certainly a standout moment.  Angel played by Layton Williams is everything and more, I need sass lessons from this wonderfully talented man!  I could go on about every other character but lets just leave it at them all being completely and utterly exemplary. The whole company is a tight unit and its clear how special this piece is to all of them.


Rent has lived on for 20 years and as we can see from the 'house full' signs outside the St James that it is still a booming and resonant success. Jonathan Larson's musical is as poignant as engaging as it ever has been. Rent is heartbreaking beautiful and will inspire a whole new generation 20 years on from its original production.


The run at the St James Theatre has currently sold out but make sure to go and see the show whilst it continues to tour around the country.

Rent Official Website: www.rentonstage.co.uk






Thursday, 5 November 2020

Hiba Elchikhe Brings Together West End Performers For A New Musical Theatre Series


In collaboration with Nimax and The Theatre Café, West End performer Hiba Elchikhe is thrilled to announce a brand-new musical theatre based web series: Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight.


Bringing a little bit of glitter to the grey, this three-episode series hopes to not only entertain, but shine a light on the performers who are keeping the West End alive, even during lockdown.


Hiba, who is currently starring in the West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and who has created the series says “In a time of such uncertainty I am so excited to be able to bring together a spectacular group of freelance artists, that are representative of the UK.”  


Featuring a line up of stellar creatives, each episode shines a “spotlight” on something different: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Musical Theatre and Christmas. The first episode is set to premiere on November 18th, with the next two going live on November 25th and December 9th. Each episode will feature a different line-up of star performers, running at approximately 45 minutes and including a mixture of songs. Performers include: Danny Becker (Prince of Egypt, Aladdin), Courtney Bowman (Six, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Danielle Steers (Six, Bat Out of Hell), Hiba Elchikhe (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Brooklyn), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Misérables, Heathers), Sejal Keshwala (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Tim Mahendran (& Juliet, Spring Awakening), Grace Mouat (& Juliet, Six), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, Aladdin), Liam Tamne (Prince of Egypt) and Noah Thomas (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).


As well as Maisey Bawden, Paul Bradshaw, Rhiane Drummond, James Gillan, Shanay Holmes, Rob Houchen, Melissa Jacques, Emma Kingston, Carl Man, Frances McCann, Scott Paige, Sharun PhullAmy Trigg and Andrew Patrick Walker, with more to be announced.


Tickets are available from: https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/2020/11/news-out-of-the-darkness-into-the-spotlight/


#IntoTheSpotlightConcert


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Reasons You Should Go And See RENT

So last night I saw the 20th aniversary production of Rent for the third time and it had the exact same impact on me, I was happy, sad, moved and just completely blown away. It truly is an impeccable production.


I reviewed the show when it was on at the St James (which you can read here) and other than small tweaks and the show of course being performed in a larger stage, not much has changed with the transfer so instead of writing another review I thought I would just do a post of me fangirling about the show and why you should go and see it!!

Firstly, THE CAST. This show wouldn't be a quarter of what it is without the incredibly talented cast. Every single member is powerful, committed and strong in their roles, there's a true feeling of community and it really feels as though you're watching real life play out on stage. Philippa Stefani is the true standout for me, her performance is just raw and heartbreaking and so well constructed that it's physically painful to watch. I can't help but watch Philippa every time she is on stage and it's just a joy to see her talent, passion and grit shine through on stage. Philippa's performance as Mimi is worth the ticket price alone! Billy Cullum is everything Mark should be, he's dorky but passionate and absolutely the perfect person to play the role. His voice is fantastic as well as his acting and its just brilliant. Lucie Jones and Shanay Holmes  are perfect as lovers Joanne and Maureen; both having stand out solo moments and working harmoniously as a pair, again its perfect casting. Ryan O Gorman has such a soulful voice and is insane as Collins. Last night is had the pleasure of seeing Harrison Clark as Angel and he was great! He's stepped into the role wonderfully and pulls of the role with ease and grace. After seeing this cast I can't imagine anyone else playing the roles!

Another reason you should see this show is of course because of THE MUSIC. Jonathan Larson's score is as stunning and moving now as it ever has been and will leave you with tingles, tears and love. Each harmony is stunning and every note feels in place, nothing seems forced or over performed. The music truly does stand on it's own but along with the wonderful cast it is just a dream.

Lee Proud's CHOREOGRAPHY adds a whole new layer to the show, the movements are quick and seem spontaneously natural. They are precise and inventive but not at all intrusive to the storytelling.

There's a billion more things I could say about this production but honestly you just need to experience it for yourself. It's really like nothing I've experienced before and it's hard to put this perfection into words so just get a ticket, immerse yourself in the show, soak every moment in and experience it for yourself.

Rent is playing at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley before touring much more of the country. For information about the show and to buy tickets, visit www.rentonstage.co.uk

To read my full review of Rent, visit: http://www.rewritethisstory.com/2016/...

To see my vlog of Rent, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4WYv1d7h9Q


To see what a Rent obsession looks like, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu1G2n8EQFM