Showing posts sorted by relevance for query The Last Five Years. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query The Last Five Years. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Last Five Years, St James Theatre | Review

The Last Five Years is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of a failed marriage set to song


The Last Five Years
St James Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 2nd November 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★


Jason Robert Brown's musical tells the story of Cathy and Jamie with her story running backwards from heartbreak to giddiness and his running forwards from the first moments of meeting to the disillusion at the end. Somehow this concept which could have been very confusing manages to work exquisitely and is carried out with professional style and ease by Samantha Barks and Jonathan Bailey.

The show runs for 90 minutes straight through and includes a number of musical styles which help to maintain the pace and make the whole relationship feel very realistic. Personal highlights were "See I'm Smiling", "The Schmuel Song" and "Moving Too Fast" all of which were total lessons in storytelling from Samantha and Jonathan. The simple staging works well to show scene changes without distracting from the intimacy of the show.


Jason Robert Brown's songs seem to get more beautiful every time I hear them and believe me I've heard them a lot! From watching the film version of The Last Five Years to listening to various youtube versions I have pretty high standards for it and this production smashed them all out of the park. This seems to be the musical exactly how it should be. Each moment seems so well thought out with each acting choice complementing the beautiful music and vice versa.

Jonathan Bailey brings humour and wit to the character of the up and coming writer Jamie who in his heart is really just a jerk; despite his love for Cathy at the start, his wandering eye and his self-absorbed personality become his downfall and the relationship fails. Jonathan's acting choices are dramatic whilst still being understated at points and he truly relates to the audience, especially when he picks out audience members to be his Cathy in certain songs.

Samantha Barks shows off her acting and singing chops once again in the role of Cathy. From the opening number of the iconic "I'm Still Hurting" Samantha embodies the character and gracefully rewinds from the bitter end of the relationship to the extreme joy she felt at the start. Samantha's star power glistens like a diamond as she commands the stage in this role and shows her versatility in moments of happiness, sadness and humour.

This is a positively admirable production which ticks every box on what makes a great musical. Its truly a lesson in acting through song and the two stars are faultless in their performances. The Last Five Years is a beautiful, bold and poignant depiction of a relationship, impeccably brought to life on stage by two wonderfully esteemed performers.

The Last Five Years is on at the St James theatre until December 3rd. You can book tickets on the website here.

photos by Scott Rylander

Thursday, 5 March 2020

The Last Five Years, Southwark Playhouse | Review


The Last Five Years
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Wednesday 4th March 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Originally premiering in Chicago in 2001 and then transferring to off-Broadway, Jason Robert Brown's song cycle musical was last seen in London in 2016 at the St James theatre. Chronicling a couple's passionate but ultimately doomed relationship, it is a brilliant exploration of life and cleverly plays with time; having one partner starting at the end of their story and the other at the start. They only overlap during their proposal and marriage mid way through.

This Southwark Playhouse production is a completely transfixing showcase of a spectacular musical. Jonathan O'Boyle's production is wonderfully staged and feels completely fresh in it's approach to the score and story. 

Lee Newby's set provides a fantastic canvas for the emotional drama to evolve, with small props effectively emphasising moments but always leaving the focus on the characters and their story. At times these props do feel a little too literal but they are so briefly used that it's barely an issue. There's always a sense of momentum in this piece thanks to the varying styles of Jason Robert Brown's music which keep the pace up. Additionally in this production, there is the use of a revolve which physically adds drive as it often seems to move clockwise for Jamie's plot and anti-clockwise for Cathy's- a very clever touch.

Jamie Platt's lighting is an especially enjoyable element of this musical, with contrast and darkness being used extremely well. A particularly effective moment is when the sun rises and the space is gradually transformed from a blue tinge to a warm orange.


Oli Higginson brings a great sense of journey to the up and coming writer, Jamie. Genuinely loving Cathy at the start, his self-absorbed personality and wandering eye soon become his, and the relationship's downfall. There's often an argument as to who was really in the wrong in this pairing and of course, both are to blame, but in the end Jamie really is a jerk and Oli does a great job of showing it. The contrast between the whimsy and elation in The Schmuel Song and the downright aggression in If I Didn't Believe in You, is highly effective. Higginson's accent does falter at times and occasionally the theatrical facade is broken, but overall his performance is joyous and enraging to watch.

As Cathy, Molly Lynch is just radiant. Rewinding from the bitter breakup to the jubilant start, Molly is consistently magnificent to watch. Vocally her performance is as clear as glass and beautifully controlled in her strong mix, but it's her acting which really brings her character to life. A mixture of nuanced and grand moments showcase the skills Molly possesses, and completely wrap you up in her journey. 

Plus, both actors bring their musician skills to the table, deftly swapping places at the piano. Their incompatibility is even highlighted as they aggressively accompany one another and often give particular attention to the discordant parts of the music, or the melodies which are repeated throughout but are continually out of sync with each other.

With humourous sequences (Jamie on facetime during A Summer in Ohio) and devastating moments of relationship failure, this really is a roller coaster gem of a piece. Brown's music gives so much to work with and the team on this production have really done an excellent job. The two leads are esteemed in their performances as they give a masterclass in acting through song that will break you and build you at once.

The Last Five Years plays at the Southwark Playhouse until 28th March

photo credit: Pamela Raith

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2016

Without repeats, I saw 59 different shows this year so compiling this list has been difficult to say the least! This has been a brilliant year for theatre and through this website I really feel that I've become a part of the theatre community. 2016 has seen some brilliant big budget shows as well as smaller fringe ones, many of which have thrilled me. This list is of the shows that stuck with me long after I'd seen them and that I feel are very resonant in our 2016 world. This will probably be a bit of a long post, I have a whole year to fit in after all, so grab yourself a cuppa and some biscuits and enjoy!



This list is in reverse order, cause we all need that extra bit of excitement in our lives.


One of Paul Taylor-Mills' incredible productions of 2016. The music was performed beautifully and the touching and heartbreaking story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet was told sincerely and gracefully by Laura Pitt-Pulford and Louise Dearman.




Did anyone not like this show? All I heard were incredible reviews and rightly so. An exciting and refreshing revival of a much loved Classic which ticked all the boxes of a hit musical. Charlie Stemp is talent on another level. I'm sure we'll be hearing plenty more good things about the show and cast in 2017!




This was my first visit to The Union Theatre and wow was it a good first. I absolutely adored this show. I was completely unfamiliar with the music and was just blown away by it. The cast were sublime and the story telling was impeccable. I'm sure this would be a huge hit if more people got to see it. 




27 must have been one of the most hyped musicals of 2016 and I could certainly see why when I saw it. It's a musical like I've never seen before, so fresh and different to what's currently on the West End stages. The plot twist at the end had me physically breathless, a stunning piece of artistry.




This was another small show but it definitely packed more than a small punch. It was sweet, pink, sassy and sumptuous. One of those shows which really made you think and reflect on your life. Lauren Samuels gave a standout performance!




I saw this show alone so the minute I stepped out of the theatre I called my friend to fangirl about it like a mad woman. I was completely awestruck by the whole performance. It was moving, funny, relevant and thought-provoking. The use of songs was done smoothly and effectively and it was overall just an A* worthy production.




This was the perfect treat to see just before Christmas. Although the story is slightly dated and everything is a little over the top, it's a fantastic production full of sweetness, heartbreak and love. Scarlett Strallen's performance was absolutely impeccable and nothing short of perfection. With the amount of people I've told to see this, I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a West End transfer in the near future. 




I've grown up with Rent so finally seeing it on stage was a very special experience for me. Each cast member is fully immersed into their roles and the whole production is raw, gritty and believable. Philippa Stefani gives the performance of a superstar and had me in floods of tears. The production will continue to tour next year and I'll certainly be seeing it again so don't be surprised if it features in my top 10 of 2017 too!




The St James theatre was on fire this year! The Last Five Years is another one which I've wanted to see on stage for years. Jason Robert Brown's story is heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. It's always a joy to see Samantha Barks on stage and seeing her shine as Cathy was even more wonderful because of how incredibly she showed off her effortless belt and sincere acting. The wonderful mix of simplistic staging, the stellar duo of Barks and Bailey and Jason's beautiful music, rightfully earn The Last Five Years my number two spot!



1. Dreamgirls: Savoy Theatre

If you haven't heard about Dreamgirls' triumphant return to the West End then you must have been living in a cave. This was the 2nd to last show I saw and I couldn't be happier that I could end the year on such a fantastic note. This has got to be the theatrical spectacle of the year, the sets, costumes, choreography and cast are all exquisite and I cried a bucket load of happy tears, which I never do! Go see Dreamgirls in 2017, I guarantee you'll leave singing it's praises!



So there's my top 10 shows, of course there's other brilliant ones and I'm sure your list varies but this has been a brilliant year for theatre and I can't wait to see what 2017 brings *cough* Hamilton *cough* 

But wait, where's that other show that I've been posting and tweeting about like crazy and have seen 32 times!? I haven't forgotten it, I just wanted to give it a special mention because its such a special show. So my "The Show Which Changed My Life: 2016" award goes to IN THE HEIGHTS at the Kings Cross Theatre! I've done a billion posts on it (just search it on the homepage) so I don't need to write any more soppy words but this show has seriously been my everything this year. I've met incredible people from it, both fans and cast members and I'm so incredibly grateful for that. Unfortunately I won't be at the last show as I'm in Australia (boo hoo, woe is me, right?) but I'm so sad its closing, and I'm sending all my thoughts and positive vibes to the theatre gods that they will bring it back because I will never be ready for the lights to go down on Washington Heights! Thank you In The Heights for being there and helping me and I'm sure many others, through tough times and making us feel at home in the theatre. Even if you had no idea how you were helping, I guarantee you made some tough days just that much easier. No pare sigue sigue!



I hope you had a brilliantly theatrical year too and I'd love to hear your favourites so drop me a comment on here or tweet me @OliviaMitche or @RewriteThisWeb 

Au Revoir 2016! Stay Stagey, 2017!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Samantha Barks, Mayflower Theatre | Review


Samantha Barks with Kerry Ellis
Mayflower Theatre
Reviewed on Saturday May 20th 2017 by Mary Schofield
★★

The Mayflower is a fantastic venue located in the heart of Southampton, I have visited it frequently over the past two years that I have been at University and it's brilliant that such a wonderful theatre is on my doorstep. The venue is often visited by West End shows on their UK tours and seats a capacity of 2,300 people.

Despite the large capacity of the theatre the performance itself felt intimate as Samantha Barks (first discovered on I'd Do Anything and known for her recent appearances in: Les Miserables, The Last Five Years, Oliver and most recently her films Bitter Harvest and Interlude in Prague) took us on a nostalgic journey down memory lane. She sung a collection of songs from her new album including: “When He Loved Me” and “If I Die Young” as well as a gorgeous cover of "Blackbird" by The Beatles. Sam also shared with us a spectacular performance from The Last Five Years, “I Can Do Better Than That” which she wrapped in the St James Theatre (now The Other Palace) last December. Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to see this in the theatre but the film version will have to help ease my new musical obsession!

Samantha's special guest for this one off concert event was the wonderful Kerry Ellis (known for her appearances in Wicked and currently on tour with the production Wonderland). Her set consisted of performances from both Wonderland and We Will Rock You. Ellis really showed off her unique, rocky voice and was a perfect complement to Barks.

The highlight of the evening was definitely when both ladies joined together for a wonderful duet of "For Good" from Wicked. Samantha went on to explain that this performance was one that she previously had on her bucket list, making the occasion even more special. You truly missed a magical moment if you weren't there! The evening was rounded up with a throwback to Les Mis with “On My Own”, bringing tears to every member of the audience and showing the power of Samantha's stage presence.

The only thing that upset me about the event was the timings; I would have been more than happy to listen to Barks sing for another 3 hours! This was a fantastic concert with two powerhouses of musical theatre joining together for a fabulous evening of entertainment. Hopefully this isn't the last of the pairing we see and I can't wait to see Samantha perform again- fingers crossed for another stint on a West End stage! 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

An Evening With Jason Robert Brown, London Palladium | Review


An Evening With Jason Robert Brown
London Palladium 
Reviewed on Wednesday 11th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★


Last night the London Palladium played host to one of the most brilliant concerts I have ever witnessed. American composer, pianist and conductor Jason Robert Brown debuted some of his new songs as well as hits from his various musicals and orchestral works. He was joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra (plus his own rhythm section), conductor Larry Blank, Capital Voices and musical theatre superstars Rachel Tucker, Betsy Wolfe and Norm Lewis in this one night only musical spectacular. Concerts of this caliber are so often confined to the New York scene so to get something like this live in London was truly magical and is not a night I'll forget in a hurry. 


Jason opened the show with an emotive song about finding hope in a hopeless situation which he revealed was written the day after the last presidential election. He followed this with a song from a musical he has yet to complete, which tells the story of a teen in New York who dreams of having a career as a musician. The upbeat, rhythmical song, Melinda had the audience tapping their feet and ready for the concert ahead of them. This song with various musical dance genres entwined in it was the perfect song to show off Jason's musicianship and vocals as well as the clear dexterity of the BBC Concert Orchestra players. The two songs in succession set the tone for what was set to be a joyous as well as moving night. 


The entire concert was of an immense standard and it would be unfair to pick a particular stand out but over the course of just over two and a half hours, we were treated to some of the gems of Jason Robert Brown's career, as well as a glimpse of what's to come with his new album, How We React and How We Recover. Similarly to last year's Kristin Chenoweth concert, this performance made the vast space of the London Palladium feel intimate and warm and proved that whilst donning various hats as singer, conductor and pianist, at the heart of it all Jason is a storyteller. In my recent interview with him, Jason told me that he loves when you can "go on an adventure with a piece of music" which truly sums up what this night was about.

Rachel Tucker who Jason called "the real thing" gave a glorious rendition of Stars and the Moon from Songs For a New World, which Jason described as "a medley of my greatest... hit!" Her rendition of the anthem, Invisible, written by Jason for a young wheelchair bound girl in collaboration with the Ronald McDonald House and Broadway Inspirational Voices was especially moving and energetic. Rachel also brought the house to their feet with her final performance of Flying Home, which although usually sung by a male voice, sounded as though it was written for Ms Tucker.


Norm Lewis performed gorgeous, mellow renditions of It All Fades Away and All Things in Time as well as joining Betsy Wolfe for a beautiful duet of Before and After You/One Second and a Million Miles which proved that the West End needs a production of The Bridges of Madison County, pronto! I know I said I didn't want to name stand-outs but Betsy's act 2 performance of I Can Do Better Than That from The Last Five Years was truly marvellous and proved why she's as adored as she is.

In addition to these songs we also got to experience a whole selection of songs from Honeymoon in Vegas which I saw in it's concert form at the Palladium last year, as well as some beautiful excerpts from Jason's symphony, The Trumpet of the Swan. Not only did this instrumental moment show of the virtuosic playing of the orchestra but showed just how emotive music is. Before beginning, Jason briefly explained the plot of the symphony which is based on a children's book, so we knew what was coming. What I found incredible was how everyone laughed and gasped at the same times despite there being no lyrics to describe the drama. This just proved how powerful music is as an art form and was an especially magical moment for me.


I have to briefly mention the lighting for this concert which was outstanding. For a one night only event which is going out to radio, not television, I was blown away by how much thought and time had clearly gone into every lighting cue. This really added to the warm feeling of the entire night.

At the risk of babbling on for an obscene amount of time, I'm going to wrap up my review here. I'm sorry to say that if you weren't there you missed out of a truly fantastic night but don't worry because you can hear the whole things on this week's Friday Night is Music Night and experience the joy of Jason Robert Brown's music for yourself. I was enchanted, surprised and blown away by every moment of this gem of a concert.

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Honeymoon in Vegas (LMTO), London Palladium | Review


Honeymoon in Vegas
London Palladium
Reviewed on Sunday 12th March 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Founded in June 2015, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO) prides itself on giving beautiful music a place to be heard and showcasing lesser known talent and works. On March 12th 2016 the orchestra accompanied a stellar cast who performed Jason Robert Brown's short lived 2015 Broadway musical, Honeymoon in Vegas

Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill led the cast as the engaged Betsy and Jack who are on their way to finally getting married. They've been a couple for five years but Jack is afraid to commit to marriage as he believes he's under a curse from his dead mother. Her dying wish was for him never to marry and he's taking any measure he can to ensure this is kept, despite this, he suggests an elopement to Vegas. Once again he gets cold feet and makes his way to a poker game organised by Tommy Korman. Unbeknownst to him, Korman wants Betsy (a dead ringer for his late wife) for himself and is ready to offer Jack an ultimatum.

The story is bizarre but that's what makes it exciting. The absurdity allows all kinds of craziness to take place on stage and makes the production truly hilarious and impressive. The LMTO's musical director, Freddie Tapner introduced the performance, stating that the music and score would be telling the story and that it was up to the audience to imagine dances, costumes, set changes and a herd of parachuting Elvis'! This worked wonderfully and it was surprising how little was lost by this being a concert rather than a full blown glitz and glam production.  

BWW Review: HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, London Palladium
Each member of the cast, chorus and orchestra worked harmoniously together to pull of an effortless performance. Simon Lipkin is a brilliant performer and he stole the show each time he appeared on stage, leaving us all laughing and feeling thoroughly entertained. Maisey Bawden was hilarious as the Hawaiian Mahi and had the audience in the palm or her hand as she caused everyone to laugh out loud.


Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill's chemistry was evident throughout and they seemed to really enjoy performing together, bringing the loved-up couple to life charmingly. Barks' voice seems to get better and better and after her success in The Last Five Years it was an absolute joy to see her perform another of Jason's scores which suit her voice so perfectly.  She gave a truly stellar performance. Darvill's voice was a surprise to me, it's effortlessly smooth and fits the easy swing feel of Honeymoon in Vegas to a tee, he gave a brilliant heartfelt and comedic performance.

If the outstanding performances weren't enough, this production was made even better by the fact that it was conducted by Jason Robert Brown himself as the LMTO's first ever guest conductor. Brown is funny, witty and animated and brought a wonderful sense of style to the whole performance. He even stepped down from his podium and played the ukulele at one point which was a real treat.  

The various standing ovations were a sign of how well done this production was and how much the audience loved this rarely performed piece. I don't think anyone would be complaining if it made a return to the West End stage and I hope we can keep Brown and his brilliant writing on this side of the pond!

Friday, 4 August 2017

In Conversation With... Rufus Hound | Interview | The Wind in the Willows

Rufus Hound started out his career as a comedian but over the last few years has been a frequent star of the stage and is currently making audiences laugh starring as Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium. He was lovely enough to do an interview with me where he talks about his transition from comedy to theatre and much more...



For anyone that doesn't know, could you explain a little about your career and highlights so far?


Sure. I started off as a stand-up comedian having grown up as a kid always wanting to be a stage actor and when the opportunity to do actual stage acting arose, I couldn't quite believe it. Jumped at it with both hands and that's really what I've concentrated on doing even since. It's been how I've earns a living I think for the last sort or four years, five years. Starting with Utopia at the Soho theatre, then One Man, Two Guvnors, then Neville's Island for Chichester and then Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at The Savoy, then War of the Roses and the Kingston Rose and Don Quixote for the RSC and I'm currently in The Wind in the Willows. So there are my career and highlights so far.


I read that it was during a summer job with a PR agency that you decided to go into comedy. Had you always wanted to perform or did you have other career paths in mind when you were younger?


I guess I've sort of already answered this but from about the age of three I watched The Muppet Show and thought "that's what I wanna do, I wanna do theatre". And the lovely thing about theatre, well one of the lovely things about being a kid is that your opportunities to show off are largely limited to school plays and the like. So yeah, from about three to seventeen I was like "that's all I wanna do". Then as eighteen dawned on me and nineteen dawned on me I realised that that was something that was going to cost a lot of money to train to do and the likelihood was that I wouldn't you know, succeed in trying to do it. So, I put that dream in a drawer.


I decided to go into comedy because I always liked standing up, I liked showing off, I like making people laugh. So I started going out with a woman who was a judge at a lot of new act competitions, saw what people were doing and thought: "I could do that". But as I say, once the opportunity to do more acting came up, that was what I did!


Was the transition from comedy to presenting to tv and eventually theatre a difficult one or was it a natural transition?



It wasn't really natural, it's just that in life you get somebody saying "do you wanna give that a go?" and then if you're smart you can kind of have a look round, work out what other people are doing and how you could best do it, and hopefully don't muck it up so badly that that you never get another chance. Each job you learn on and you grow in each way. But yeah, I've never learnt how to do comedy or presenting or radio or theatre. No one's ever taught me how to do those things, you just give them a go, keep your ears pinned back, keep your eyes open and try and work out how the best people people bring about their best.




What keeps you motivated to keep working even when you get knock backs?

I have a mortgage and I have two children!


Do you have any hidden passions that you'd like to pursue?


Yes. They're not really so hidden but I really enjoy woodwork and currently where I live there's no space to have a kind of workshop or anything like that in order to do woodwork. But yeah maybe in the next couple of years we'll move somewhere with a bit more space and yeah, you'll largely find me under a pile of wood shavings.



The Wind in the Willows is a wonderful family show. What attracted you to the show in the first place?


When I was working on One Man, Two Guvnors, Pete Caulfied out of the blue, said to me "If you ever get the chance to play Toad, take it you'd be brilliant." A couple of years later, out of the blue, Matt  Kingsley in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels says to me "you know, if you ever get the chance to play Toad, you should take it" and I went: "you're the second person to say that to me". And because both of these were really out of the blue, it just totally stuck in my mind that I was, in the esteem of people that I respected, a good person to take on this role. So when the opportunity to play it came up, I jumped at it with both hands!



What do you think people will be saying on the train on their way home from the show?


Poop poop probably! We now live in the age of social media where people tweet you what they're talking about on the way home from the show. By and large it seems to be that anyone with kids is having to deal with and overexcited young person who is shouting to them about the flying, the sets, the mice, the weasels are very popular, the weasels and stoats! So yeah, people just come away from it knowing it was a big, warm hug of a show really.



Besides yourself, who else would you like to see play Mr Toad?


Crumbs. That's literally the last thing in the world I've thought about! I've been so focussed on doing it myself that I would never really deign to think of how somebody else might do it. Who would I like to see play it? Er...... I really don't know, I'm really struggling on that!





Can you sum up The Wind in he Willows in five words?


Yes! Big, warm, family, massive... hug!



What are some of your dream roles in theatre?


I'd really like to play Thenadier in Les Mis for a short run just because nothing would make my mum happier. I'd also really like to be in anything Tim Minchin has ever done.



What's a fun fact people might not know about you?


Ahhhh, I dunno. I think in this day and age everyone knows everything about everyone pretty much! But.... I was a Klansman in the first production of Jerry Springer: The Opera. There were some photographs taken and the protagonist is there surrounded by Klansmen and I was one of those. I was also a hillbilly having the tar knocked out of him on the floor. So if anyone has got any connection to Jerry Springer: The Opera then I was in it at about the age of twenty, in a very minor way.



Whats your number one piece for can aspiring performer?


Don't give up. The only thing that stops you from being a performer is stopping!



A huge thank you to Rufus for taking the time to do this interview. The Wind in the Willows is at the London Palladium until September 9th.


Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Monday, 21 March 2022

Fra Fee, Amy Lennox, Omar Baroud and Vivien Parry in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


Released today – production shots of Fra Fee (Emcee), Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles), Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) and Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) in CABARET at the Kit Kat Club ahead of their first performance this evening, Monday 21 March.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club has recently been nominated for 11 Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival,  Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.  
 
Fra Fee (Emcee) most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.
 
Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles) received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.
 
Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.
 
Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.
 
Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.
 
They join the full company including Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’ (Olivier Award nominee for his role in this production), Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’. The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.
 
Cabaret is directed by Rebecca Frecknall,  set and costume design is by Tom Scutt with choreography by Julia Cheng. Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte. Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd with sound design by Nick Lidster. The casting director is Stuart Burt and the associate director is Jordan Fein.
 
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is booking until October 2022. 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
Photos by Marc Brenner

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Amy Lennox as 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee' and Amy Lennox 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club Announces New Emcee and Sally Bowles


The producers of CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB in London’s West End are delighted to announce that Fra Fee will play ‘The Emcee’ and Amy Lennox will play ‘Sally Bowles’ from 21 March – 25 June 2022. This unique production opened in December last year to critical and audience acclaim, widely praised as the ultimate theatrical experience.

 

Adam Speers, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, the producers of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club said today “We are thrilled to be welcoming the perfectly marvellous Fra Fee and Amy Lennox to our production of Cabaret. We wanted to recast these career defining roles with exceptional actors and so we’re just delighted that the stars have aligned with both Fra and Amy’s schedules.  We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and thrilling duo to follow Eddie and Jessie.”

 

Director Rebecca Frecknall said today “It's always exciting to be able to keep a production live and evolving across its run, to be able to continue digging into the piece and making new discoveries. The fact that we will have new actors taking on the roles of Sally and the Emcee as Cabaret continues to run in the West End is thrilling, the original cast passing the baton to different actors who will bring their own perspectives to the work. I'm thrilled that Fra Fee and Amy Lennox will be the first new pair joining the production this Spring, two of our most exciting stage and screen actors. I know they will bring new creative energy to the production and will show me and our audiences new facets of the show.”

 

Fra Fee most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.

 

Amy Lennox received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.

 

Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.

 

Also joining the production on 21 March 2022 will be Omar Baroud as ‘Cliff Bradshaw’ and Vivien Parry as ‘Fraulein Schneider’. Continuing in their roles will be Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’, Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’.

The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.

  

Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.

 

Elliot Levey (Herr Schultz) most recently appeared in Nine Lessons and Carols at the Almeida where he also appeared in Three Sisters. His other theatre credits include the West End productions of Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios and Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre. His National Theatre credits include The Habit of Art and His Dark Materials.

 

Stewart Clarke (Ernst Ludwig) most recently appeared in Be More Chill at The Other Palace. His West End theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre and Loserville at the Garrick Theatre. He also appeared in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory and The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse.

 

Anna-Jane Casey (Fraulein Kost) was most recently seen in Girl from the North Country at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Her other West End credits include Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. She played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Mabel in Mack and Mabel at the Watermill Theatre and the title roles in Piaf and Sweet Charity and Violet Butterfield in Flowers for Mrs Harris, all at the Sheffield Crucible.

 

In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… Welcome to the Kit Kat Club, home to an intimate and electrifying new production of CABARET. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself. 

 

The Kit Kat Club has laid siege to the Playhouse Theatre. The performers have infiltrated the premises. The artists have staked their claim. Who knows for how long they’ll stay, but for now they are enjoying the party. The party at the end of the world.

 

Transforming one of London’s most famous theatres with an in-the-round auditorium and reimagined spaces, before the show guests are invited to enjoy and explore the Kit Kat Club with pre-show entertainment, drinks and dining all on offer. When booking, guests receive a 'club entry time' to allow enough time to take in the world of the Kit Kat Club before the show starts. But of course, the show really starts when you first join us in the club…

 

One of the most successful musicals of all time CABARET features the songs Wilkommen, Don’t Tell Mama, Mein Herr, Maybe This Time, Money and the title number. It has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

 

CABARET is directed by Rebecca Frecknall (the Almeida’s Olivier Award winning Summer and Smoke, The Duchess of Malfi, Three Sisters), set and costume design is by Tom Scutt (A Very Expensive Poison, Constellations, King Charles III, Jesus Christ Superstar, collaborations with Sam Smith, Christine and the Queens) with choreography by Julia Cheng (founder of the House of Absolute, Philharmonia Orchestra Artist in Residence, recipient of the runner-up prize for Hip Hop Dance futures, Resident Choreographer for the Royal Academy of Dance, Judge and mentor for BBC Young Dancer and Breakin’ Convention – the UK’s biggest Hip Hop Festival, collaborations with London Fashion Week, Google and Dr Martens). Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte (Les Misérables film, Caroline Or Change, Parade). Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd (Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire – both in New York, Daddy – A Melodrama at the Almeida and The Flick at the National theatre) with sound design by Nick Lidster (City of Angels, Passion, Pacific Overtures and Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, Sweeney Todd and On The Town for English National Opera, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon). The casting director is Stuart Burt (& Juliet, The Drifters Girl and 2021 CDG Award for Best Casting in Theatre for Cyrano De Bergerac) and the associate director is Jordan Fein.

 

Tickets for CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB are currently on sale until October 2022. kitkat.club

CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Underbelly.