Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Vision of You. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Vision of You. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, 22 March 2019

Vision of You: Live with Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, Key Theatre | Review


Vision of You: Live
Key Theatre, Peterborough
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Since the closing of Bat Out of Hell, fans of the show have been able to keep their love and involvement alive through Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton's album Vision of You which charts the backstory of their characters Falco and Sloane. Accompanying the album, the pair have been on a mini tour around the country where they welcomed fans into the Falco Family and provided some absolutely outstanding vocals while they did it.

The final stop on the tour (for now) took Vision of You back to where Rob first performed, Peterborough where a home crowd joined with those from out of town to create a wonderful atmosphere and a real celebration of the music and the performers. A mixture of a concert and a musical, this version of Vision of You used the basic skeleton of the previous ones and added to it to create a complete extravaganza of a show. Once again, Erin Ong (who travelled from America to be part of the final show!) provided her lovely artwork which was projected above the characters to create an almost comic book feeling and embellish the story that was being told. 

Rob and Sharon performed most of the songs from their album, as well as some extras, with the heart, vocals and chemistry that they are so loved for and took the audience on a journey through the eyes of their characters very well. What made this show extra special, was the involvement of Raven and Strat aka the crazy talented Georgia Carling and Simon Gordon, who performed solos, duets and group numbers to perfection. Also joining the gang were the young KYT performers who gave spirited performances and brought The Lost to life. Accompanied by Steve Corley and his distinguished band, each number was a powerhouse moment and a true celebration of the superbly talented performers on stage. 


Opening with 'Falling Slowly' and closing with 'The Show Must Go On' really sums up how versatile all the performers on stage are; from the hugely upbeat numbers to the more intimate and delicate numbers, there was never a moment which fell flat or felt under emoted. Both Rob and Sharon's voices are raw and expressive but manage to maintain complete control throughout. Especially impressive were Sharon's heartfelt renditions of 'Delight' and 'The Man with the Child in his Eyes' which brought a stillness to the room that was hauntingly beautiful. Rob gave a comedic performance of 'A Miracle Would Happen' as well as his signature rock tones in the epic 'What You Own' where he was also joined by Simon Gordon

Simon's voice is beyond beautiful and he showcased it effortlessly with each number he was a part of. His performance of 'Bat Out of Hell' illustrated exactly why he was cast in the role of Strat and gave us a chance to hear and see him shine without the lighting and effects that were prevalent in Bat Out of Hell. If this evening was anything to go by, I'm convinced Simon could probably make a shopping list sound exquisite. Aside from Simon's performance, this semi stripped back rendition of Bat also highlighted just what a brilliant song it is.


Georgia Carling's voice complemented Simon's fantastically in their duets, 'For Crying Out Loud' and 'High Enough', as well as shining in her solo and group moments. 'Taking Chances' is a belter of a song and Georgia tackled it with ease as she gave a vocally faultless and completely first-rate performance. After gaining many fans from her performances as Raven and Valkyrie in Bat Out of Hell, there's no doubt that Georgia will continue wowing with her superb talents. 

Vision of You was a night of extremely well done storytelling and singing. Seeing how much Bat Out of Hell means to Sharon and Rob is really moving and I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear of Falco and Sloane. The stellar performances, well done lighting, outstanding band, skillful projections and great atmosphere made this a fabulous night and a perfect farewell-for-now to Vision of You

Follow Sharon and Rob for updates on future performances during their #FindingTheFalcos journey

photo credit: Bat Loaf

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Vision of You: Live with Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, The Space at Studio 88 | Review


Vision of You: Live 
The Space at Studio 88
Reviewed on Thursday 24th January 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

After releasing their album Vision of You, back in December, Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton have taken their exploration of the backstories of Falco and Sloane (the pair's characters in Bat Out of Hell) to new levels with a series of concerts about how the duo came to be.

Featuring a mixture of the Vision of You album and additional songs, the evening is an entertaining and dramatic look at two well loved Bat characters and is certainly a fitting antidote for the fans still mourning the loss of the show at the Dominion Theatre. Starting from when Falco and Sloane meet with 'Falling Slowly' and ending with a bittersweet duet about the couple's life and romance, 'Always Remember Us This Way', Rob and Sharon do a brilliant job of storytelling and taking the audience on a journey. 

Of course, both Rob and Sharon are vocal powerhouses and they don't fail to deliver top notch performances that are gritty but controlled. Combined with Steve Corley's magical, musical skills and the intimate but booming Space at Studio 88, the couple are able to show various sides of their voices and complement each other remarkably. 


The ups and downs of the Falco Family relationship are brought to life further by Erin Ong's beautiful artwork which is projected between songs to fill in the story gaps. There are a number of aspects of the artwork, staging, lyrics and costumes that directly mirror Bat Out of Hell, and avid fans will have a great time picking out the subtle references to the show.  Fans will also hear some familiar people accompanying the artwork, with Georgia Carling, Katherine Hare, Jordan Luke Gage and Patrick Sullivan lending their voices to dramatic points in the plot and bringing their Bat characters to the screen. 

The love Sharon and Rob have for the characters they have created is evident through their album and live performances, and the work they have put into these concerts is so visible. It's clearly a labour of love for the duo and it's only right that all three performances at The Space have sold out. Bat fans will love this character development, but even if you're not a fan of the show, there's no way you'd be underwhelmed by the incredible talent and dedication the pair exude. 

If you want vocal gymnastics, raw performances, drama, angst and romance, then Vision of You, both live in concert and recorded is for you. 

Follow Sharon and Rob for updates on future performances during their #FindingTheFalcos journey

photo credit: Specular and Olivia Mitchell

Monday, 22 October 2018

In The Studio with Sharon Sexton and Rob Fowler | Vision of You


Stars of Bat Out of Hell the musical Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton are currently in the process of recording their debut duets album, Vision of You. The album is not only a celebration and showcase of their glorious vocals, but tells the back story of Sloane and Falco, the characters they play in the show.

I went along to the recording studio for a sneak peek at the process and to chat to the pair about the album and how the journey has been so far:


Alongside Sharon and Rob is pianist extraordinaire, Steve Corley who provides the beautiful accompaniments for the pieces and brings a warmth and real feel to the music. Sharon describes the album as "a box of chocolates" which has something for everyone and the pair hope it will be a treat for both fans and non-fans of Bat Out of Hell.

Vision of You features music from a number of artists, including The Civil Wars, Lady Gaga, Jim Steinman and Glenn Hansard, all artists whom Sharon and Rob have been inspired by.



From what I've seen so far of Vision of You, I know that it's going to be an incredibly raw, heartfelt and moving piece of work. For updates on the album keep an eye on Rob and Sharon's social media accounts and be sure to pick up your copy, either digitally or at the Dominion Theatre when it's released!

Full video interview and sneak peek at Poison and Wine is available here

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


The Red Shoes (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 4th February 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Originally a dark fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Red Shoes was adapted for the big screen by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1948. It follows a dance company as they tour the world; and the story of two men's obsession with Victoria Page, a dancer who longs to be a star and becomes possessed by her red ballet shoes.

With multiple locations, sometimes indistinguishable characters and intricate meta-narratives, The Red Shoes isn't the easiest of ballets to follow, but Matthew Bourne's production somehow provides a perfect introduction to the art form and takes you on a journey that you don't want to end, as the continuous flow and incredible emotion keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

What really elevates this show is the way the story forms a distinction between creating and performing art. We see the process of the dressers and choreographers bringing a vision to life in a structured and unified way; whilst, the performers are intensely frenzied and intense. These opposites come together to create a beautifully enchanting show. Just like the real world of theatre, what we see on stage is the graceful swan above the water, but what we miss is the underwater kicking of intense rehearsals, quick changes and personal drama. If anything, The Red Shoes is a fantastic reminder and celebration of the hard work, creativity and energy that goes into putting on a great piece of theatre.


Before the show even begins, magic is created thanks to Lez Brotherson's exceptional design. A luxe red curtain drapes the stage and reveals the varying worlds of The Red Shoes. From monochrome moments to full colour clubs and beaches, every moment feel luxurious and perfectly designed. The costumes are timely and tailored to perfection, with a divine attention to detail that is understated enough to be effective, but not in your face. When Victoria first dances in her red ballet shoes, she wears a flawless costume that highlights the red and welcomes her as a prima. During act two however, the mental and physical toils she faces are mirrored through the demise of her costume which is shredded and faded. These details are effective beyond belief and make this whole production feel superior.

Bourne's company are outstanding. Ashley Shaw is of course, technically wonderful as Victoria, but it's her steely drive and intensity to succeed that make her so enjoyable to watch; especially when contrasted so excellently against her compassion and vulnerability. As Victoria's lover/musician/muse, Harrison Dowzell is pure joy to watch. The way he flies around the stage, and shows his love for music with a genuine sense of revelry can't help but bring a smile to your face.

Victoria's dances with both men are incredibly striking and Reece Causton as Boris Lermontov is utterly shocking. His obsessive and sharp but quiet demeanour is terrifying to witness but completely absorbing.  This is a production where you often find yourself holding your breath as it rarely lets you escape from it's magical grip. The end of act one is one of the most spectacularly effective moments in theatre and really should be experienced.

The entire New Adventures company prove once again why they're so revered in this glorious looking and exceptionally assured production. The Red Shoes is a must see tale of passion, envy and tragedy.

The Red Shoes plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 8th March before continuing its tour

Saturday, 3 October 2020

The Theatre Channel, Episode One | Review


Innovation is coursing through the theatre community, as new ideas and ways to spread the joy of performance are brought to life everyday. One of these ways is the new brainchild of The Theatre Café and Adam Blanshay Productions: The Theatre Channel.

The channel is a series of musical episodes which celebrate the all-singing, all-dancing joy of theatre as well as showcasing fantastic performers and the café itself. Each episode is roughly half an hour long and features a different group of stage stars, as well as the Café Four (Alyn Hawke, Emily Langham, Sadie-Jean Shirley and Alex Woodwardwho appear in each episode as a sort of omnipresent group of musical theatre muses. The performers are encouraged to perform songs or roles they've not previously had the chance to, which leads to an eclectic episode of musical excellence.

The first episode opens with the café four performing the very fitting Coffee in a Cardboard Cup, in which they use pretty much the entirety of the  café to showcase their vocal, dance and acting skills; they're definitely a talented bunch! From then Tarinn Callender takes us on a soulful journey with On Broadway and Lucie Jones serves her stunning, clear-as-glass vocals with a brilliant rendition of Maybe This Time. Amongst an abundance of flowers, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Oliver Ormson bring the classic duet, Suddenly Seymour to life brilliantly. Jodie Steele takes things up an octave (and a level) as she gives a gender-switched version of Heaven on Their Minds from the roof of the cafe, which oozes sass and strength. Rounding off the episode, Matt Henry is smooth and oh so stirring with Let It Sing from Violet and Jenna Russell is completely excellent in every way with Sondheim's Ladies Who Lunch.


Whilst of course the performances are uniformly wonderful, it's the production value which really makes this series worth the hype. Ben Hewis' outstanding videography is sleek, high quality and just beautifully shot; and alongside Bill Deamer's choreography-which is astoundingly bold for happening in such a small space- the whole thing feels much more cinematic than any of the online theatrical offerings so far.

The creative team clearly have a strong vision and there's no doubt that each episode is going to be a step bigger and bolder. With themed episodes in the works including the upcoming Halloween episode, there are sure to be surprises galore. With everything from the vocals to the finished product being recorded on the premises, this really is a celebration of not only theatre and performance, but the Theatre Café itself where the arts still has the space to thrive, even when performances themselves are few and far between.

With a great team behind it, this series is a treat for those missing theatre and a gem of an online offering. Once purchased for £12 you have unlimited access to the episode so you can relive the stagey goodness time and time again. So grab your laptop and take yourself on a virtual trip to the theatre.

★★★★★


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Swifties,Theatre N16 | Review


Swifties
Theatre N16
Reviewed on Wednesday 1st March 2017 by Esther Matthews
★★

Swifties…To start, I didn’t hate it. Overall I could see what the script writer and director were trying to do however somewhere in the mix something went slightly wrong. 

Swifties, based on the French play The Maids written by Jean Genet, follows the lives of two girls who claim to be Taylor Swifts “Biggest Fans” and how their attempt to murder the superstar doesn’t quite go the way they wanted. Isabella Niloufar and Tanya Cubric were brilliant as the plays main characters. Their portrayal of two slightly mad teens was humorous but terrifying at the same time. They are ones to watch out for in the wider theatre circle. 

Theatre N16 is situated above a pub in Balham, it was the perfect setting for a play like this. The theatre itself was very small with only a handful of chairs to sit on making your experience very inclusive and intimate. The set was very minimal with simple lighting which pulled you into the scene. As an audience member sometimes big sets and props can capture your attention but the actors managed to keep you captivated throughout. 

I had a problem with the script. There didn’t seem to be any structure to it. The girls did a good job at improvising but overall the script lacked good dialogue and felt slow. The Maids is rarely done in large venues or professional theatre but I think it is a very relevant story with many important themes. In the current social climate this is the kind of work that needs to be noticed. It highlights the trouble that we as a nation have with race, gender and social media/celebrities. 

For such a small stage the director did a good job. Luke Davies has had rave reviews from his previous production and if this play transferred to a larger venue I can understand what his vision would be. 


I would recommend seeing Swifties, there are good and bad points to make about this production. It certainly leaves you with questions.  

Swifts runs at Theatre N16 until March 11th