Showing posts sorted by relevance for query joanne clifton. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query joanne clifton. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Joanne Clifton to play Morticia in The Addams Family UK & Ireland Tour



Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics are delighted to announce that Joanne Clifton will play the role of Morticia Addams in the UK and Ireland tour of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy. The tour will open at Theatre Royal, Nottingham on 5 November 2021.

 

Joanne will be joining the previously announced, Cameron Blakely (Gomez Addams), Scott Paige (Uncle Fester), Kingsley Morton (Wednesday Addams), Grant McIntyre (Pugsley Addams), Valda Aviks (Grandma), Sean Kingsley (Mal Beineke), Kara Lane (Alice Beineke), Ahmed Hamad (Lucas Beineke), Dickon Gough and Ryan Bennett (sharing the role of Lurch), Abigail Brodie, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Ives and Sean Lopeman. Also new to the cast and joining the ensemble is Castell Parker. Further casting to be announced.

 

Joanne Clifton has starred as Janet in the UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Alex Owens in the UK tour of Flashdance, and Dale Tremont in Top Hat, where she received her second Offie nomination. Her first was for her acting debut as the Streetwalker in Irving Berlin’s Face the Music. Joanne is perhaps best known for her time on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. After winning the World Professional Showdance Championship and the European Professional Ballroom Championship, she joined the show as a professional dancer. During her time on the show, she performed in the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, was an expert presenter on the programme’s backstage show, It Takes Two, won the Christmas Special with McFly’s Harry Judd, and went on to win the glitterball trophy as the 2016 champion with her partner Ore Oduba. 

 

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.  Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.  All the usual clan are present - Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, A Musical Comedy, will be directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Alistair David, production design by Diego Pitarch, orchestrations by Richard Beadle, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and casting by Jane Deitch. Book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2021 UK Tour is produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 

For further information, please visit www.theaddamsfamily.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Flashdance (UK Tour), Liverpool Empire Theatre | Review



Flashdance (UK Tour)
Liverpool Empire Theatre 
Reviewed on Friday 20th October 2017 by Becca Cromwell
★★★★

Legwarmers primed (not really!) I headed to Liverpool for a night at the theatre. This time, it was to see Flashdance, the stage adaptation of the 1980s hit musical originally starring Jennifer Beale.

This production stars Joanne Clifton (best known for Strictly Come Dancing, Thoroughly Modern Millie and soon to star in Top Hat) as the energetic and ambitious Alex Owens and Ben Adams (A1) as the charming Nick Hurley.

With direction from Hannah Chissick and choreography by Matthew Cole, I had high hopes. From the moment the show started, I was gripped. I must admit, I had never seen Flashdance and all I knew of it was the water scene and a couple of 80s hits, and I was thoroughly impressed.

Joanne Clifton wowed as Alex, a welder with dreams of being a professional dancer. From the opening note, Clifton impressed with her vocals and astonished with her impeccable dance skills. She really is one to watch.


Ben Adams was spectacular as Nick Hurley, the latest of the Hurley family to own the factory Alex works in. His acting was believable, and his singing was, of course, perfect. Upon hearing that he was in a boyband, I was sceptical but he blew the sceptics away within minutes of stepping on the stage. The audience members around me had come not knowing who he was, and left impressed. As did I.

The show included many of everyone's 80s favourites, including 'What a Feeling', 'Maniac', 'I love Rock and Roll' and 'Gloria'. These were executed well, and pleased the crowd massively. The rest of the numbers worked nicely, with the number 'Here and Now' standing out amongst the rest.

This scene between Alex (Clifton) and Nick (Adams) is your classic musical theatre romantic duet between two characters realising they are in love and who are wanting to savour the moment forever. The vocals from both are almost flawless, and the crowd loved it. 'Here and Now' has just been released on iTunes, sung by Clifton and Adams, and I urge you all to buy it.


Alex's friends Gloria (Hollie-Ann Lowe), Kiki (Sia Dauda) and Tess (Demmileigh Foster). Their vocals were outstanding and the dancing incredible. The entire cast are extremely talented performers. Colin Kiyani played Jimmy and his performance was thoroughly enjoyable - I enjoyed the cheesy jokes! Carol Ball was fantastic as Hannah and Sasha Latoya played Louise, whose vocals shone in the finale.

There were unfortunately a few technical issues, with one of the two screens not working properly and appearing to be loading every minute or so and some lines being missed by microphones. However, these did not distract from the outstanding performances given by the cast, nor did they let that stop them. The atmosphere and energy were incredible from the start until the very end. The audience were up dancing along to the megamix during the curtain call, and left thoroughly entertained.

Flashdance continues its UK tour into 2018.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Top Hat, Upstairs at the Gatehouse | Review


Top Hat 
Upstairs at the Gatehouse 
Reviewed on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 by Becca Cromwell  
★★★★★

Based on the 1935 RKO Musical, Top Hat, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and featuring music from Irving Berlin, this stage adaptation of the beloved musical brings sparkle to a tiny but beautiful fringe theatre in Highgate, London. Upstairs at the Gatehouse has built a reputation of being one of the leading fringe theatres in London, and you can see why.

The stage, or lack of it, really made this production work. You were inches away from the characters from beginning to end, which made it feel as if you were truly there with them. The show opens with Puttin’ on the Ritz and within seconds, the entire room was mesmerised. With direction from John Plews and choreography from Chris Whittaker, this adaptation of the musical was bound to be fantastic.

The set was very cleverly designed and hidden away under a raised platform at one end of the stage. With just the addition of a table or two, we were transported from London to Venice and from room to room. As the audience were seated on both sides of the stage, I was unsure as to how it would quite work, but it did. The cast very cleverly managed to play to both sides of the room at once, which takes some skill.


Jerry is a star, and he knows it. When he travels to London to open in a show in the West End, he meets Dale Tremont a model and fashion superstar, played by Joanne Clifton (Flashdance, Thoroughly Modern Millie). The two fall in love through a frustratingly good plot, in which mistaken identity, a camp Italian fashion designer, a butler turned spy and a well-known theatre producer play a big part.

Joanne Clifton wowed as Dale, tap dancing her way into the audience’s hearts. Joanne, of Strictly Come Dancing fame, put her well-known dance skills to good use and her acting and singing abilities astonished the audience, myself included. Having recently toured the UK with Flashdance, she moved quickly onto Top Hat over the Christmas period, and returns to Flashdance soon.

Joshua Lay starred as the ever-so-charming Broadway star Jerry Travers, and gave an impressive performance. His dancing was sublime, giving Fred Astaire a run for his money. Lay held his own amongst the superbly talented cast, which is to be admired.

Darren Benedict played Horace Hardwick, a popular theatre producer who enlists Jerry for his latest show. Darren provided comedic relief throughout, which was thoroughly entertaining.


Samuel Haughton played Bates, Horace’s butler. Haughton’s comedic timing was perfect and helped move the show along nicely, making us chuckle in between the more serious scenes.

Fashion designer Alberto was played by Australian born Matthew James Willis and much to the audience’s delight, gave a hilarious performance, bad jokes included.

Ellen Verenieks as the sharp-witted Madge gave a vocally impressive performance. Although only properly introduced to Madge in act 2, Ellen ensured that the character was memorable through her fantastic performance.


The ensemble consisted of Rhys Ashcroft, Marcus J Foreman, Leanne Groutage, Grant Jackson, Olivia Sinclair and Grace Usher. All of the ensemble gave outstanding performances, with each of them taking on three or four different roles.

Top Hat runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse until Jan 28th. If you can get a ticket, I urge you to go.

photo credit: Darren Bell

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Flashdance, Grand Opera House, Belfast (UK Tour) | Review


Flashdance (UK Tour)
Grand Opera House, Belfast 
Reviewed on Wednesday 22nd August 2018 by Damien Murray
★★★★

Book-ended by its ever popular signature song, this was a fantastic feel-good show for people who remember the popular film with its memorable big hit songs or for those who just want an entertaining night of light-hearted escapism (which, judging by public reaction, was 99% of the audience). 

Although there were some dramatic moments, this rather shallow and cliché-ridden story was never going to be a platform for displaying acting skills but simply a dance-based showcase for fancy footwork and ridiculously high-energy routines that made me exhausted just watching them. 

When you know not to have high dramatic expectations, then you will not be disappointed, but you will be guaranteed to be blown away by this show’s series of storming dance routines for, as a dance-based piece, it proved to be every bit as energetic as one would have expected. 

Going back in time to the era of baggy blue jeans, shell suits, work-out outfits, neon leg-warmers and equally bright head-bands, it all began with the mundane and relatively colourless world of welders contrasting in so many ways with the, sometimes sleazy, but always dazzling one of the dancers with Matt Cole’s spectacular and varied routines being so well realised by the extremely fit cast and even including choreographed cyclists at one point. 


For those who don’t know the story, it is basically about a tom-boyish welder, Alex (Joanne Clifton), with dreams of training to be a professional dancer at an elite dance academy and her relationship with her well-meaning and influential boyfriend, Nick (Ben Adams), who is also her boss. 

The sub-plot centres on another relationship – that of her down-on-her-luck dancing friend, Gloria (Hollie-Ann Lowe) and her wannabe, but unsuccessful, comedian boyfriend, Jimmy (Colin Kiyani). 

Surrounded by the symbolic brick and metal stage frame, the dual level set may have looked cumbersome at times, but it was very cleverly designed to be both mobile, functional and versatile, using its many steps, projection screens and positioning points to become everything from a ballet studio to a run-down bar and from a work canteen to a nightclub. 

I particularly liked the unusual angular performance space that it created at times and the performance space height variations that it allowed and, common to a lot of shows nowadays, I thought the use of the cast moving the props and set worked well for slick and distraction-free scene changes. 

Andrew Ellis’ lighting plot was varied (often pulsating to the music) but was also subtle during the more dramatic scenes and very effective at key moments, while the blue and red neon lighting helped to establish the era of the piece. 

With such a poor script, director, Hannah Chissick, must have had a difficult job inspiring her cast in the non-dancing parts of the show, but she did capture the frustrating reality of the audition process. 


Strictly Come Dancing champion, Joanne Clifton, was a natural on stage as she took the demanding challenges of the dance routines in her stride; totally nailing the films two iconic moments (the chair-drenching Act 1 finale and the Academy audition routine), and, surprisingly for some, coping well with her acting and singing roles. 

In many ways, this piece gave former A1 star, Ben Adams, very little to do, as – not being involved in the dance scenes - he had to rely on a few acting moments to show his skills. 

I felt he was very much under-used, but, thankfully, as a more romantic character, he did get to use his impressive vocals to good effect, especially in his duets with Clifton. 

Both Hollie-Ann Lowe and Colin Kiyani impressed here as the less successful couple, with Lowe capturing her character’s frustration about her general bad luck and life with her failed comedian boyfriend; a role that Kiyani made his own as he realised their relationship was more important than his dreamed about comic career. 

Also worthy of mention were Demmileigh Foster as dancer, Tess, who was excellent throughout with great stage presence and top dancing skills, and Carol Ball’s Hannah; a Grand Dame of dance who lives in the past reminiscing about the successes of her glory days with unrealistic hopes for more. 


Musical Director, George Carter’s 5-piece band offered solid backing throughout with musical highlights including: the song of dreams and hopes, It’s All In Reach; the female ensemble showing the first signs of what was to come in terms of manic movement during Maniac; the comic routine, Put It Down; the male choral work of Justice; the energetic and almost acrobatic version of I Love Rock And Roll; the duets, Here And Now and Hang On; the Act 1 finale reprise of Maniac; and Where We Belong, which sounded like it was written and performed by Dean Friedman . 

Some additional songs for the stage version worked better than others, but it was always going to be difficult to match the quality of the show’s big well-known hit songs. 

Finally, What A Feeling at the end of the show was well worth the long wait to see the iconic audition piece recreated, before a long curtain call and an all-dancing finale which gave everyone a chance to throw some serious moves centre stage (even Ben Adams). 

It must be said that these dancers worked harder in the finale than most performers do in an entire show … never mind What A Feeling … What A Dance Show … you would be a Maniac to miss it!

Flashdance runs at the Grand Opera House, Belfast until 25th August

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Pippin, Garden Theatre | Review


Pippin
Garden Theatre, Vauxhall
Reviewed on Friday 18th September 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

After six months of a world with no in person theatre, it feels almost foreign to see a stage in front of you with real life performers, performing real life music, but ever so slowly it's becoming the norm again. Well, the new, socially distanced norm.

The Garden Theatre in Vauxhall are paving the way for the reopening and reconfiguring of venues as one of the first to put on productions in this post-lockdown world. The latest in their programme being Stephen Schwartz's Pippin; the tale of a boy trying to prove he's extraordinary as he finds his place in the world. A show which often excels by involving the audience could be a strange option given the regulations, but the cast do an outstanding job of making you feels as though you're getting a personal performance and that you're part of the story, without being too close. The team of "players" who are often shown as circus performers, are in this production, a hippie tribe who are telling the tale of young Pippin. Together they weave a story of drama and excitement which feels truly uplifting and joyous during these unpredictable times. 

Thanks to Steven Dexter's Direction, this is a production which highlights all the wonderful parts of fringe theatre and Nick Winston's choreography is overwhelming in all the best ways. Bursting from all nooks and crannies every movement feels both precise and free and it's amazing how much power has been fit into such a small space. Plus, the way so many dance styles (including wonderful homages to Bob Fosse) flow into one another, is truly sensational to experience.

The title role is taken on expertly by Ryan Anderson who relentlessly showcases his brilliant vocals and outstanding dance ability, whilst making Pippin a multi-faceted, endearing, earnest and infuriating character. His renditions of Corner of The Sky and the motif versions which are consequently peppered throughout are beautiful and controlled oh so well.

Pippin's glamourous, manipulative "normal" step-mother is played excellently by Joanne Clifton who also takes on the role of the sweet and sassy Grandmother, Berthe. Each moment of Clifton's stage time is completely electrifying. Whether she's ad-libbing hilariously or leading the audience in a singalong she finds a way to completely draw the audience in.


It would be shameful to not mention the rest of the cast who bubble with energy throughout. Harry Francis is playfully enjoyable as the self-obsessed bother Lewis and sweet Theo who longs for a father figure and also provides vocals which stand out due to their exceptional power and mastery. As Charlemagne Dan Krikler is dominant and impressive and his Gilbert and Sullivan-esque solo is a right treat; he leaves you wanting more from him once his individual moments end . Tsemaye-Bob Egbeis takes on the role of the Leading Player with ease and freedom. Her vocals soaring above the sounds of passing busses and her movement around the stage oozing authority. Completing the cast, Tanisha-Mae Brown thrives in the intimate moments of the show and is in beautiful contrast to the more high-octane, over the top moments of the story.

The only downside to this production is the sometimes questionable approach to social distancing. While the staff are brilliant and it appears lots of measures have been put in place such as temperature checks, table service, copious amounts of hand sanitizer and social distancing before the show, the actual auditorium is somewhat cramped. Seats are very close together which it does feel strange when everything else is so organised. Whilst the audience does only seat 50, it would perhaps be better to have even fewer seats for the moment.

Despite this, the terrific cast of triple threats make this bittersweet, upbeat and consistently enjoyable musical a must see (covid permitting, of course). There's magic to do and the Garden Theatre are certainly doing the most they can in these crazy circumstances to do it.

Photos by Bonnie Britain Photography

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Flashdance (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Flashdance (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 3rd October 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 

Based on the 1983 film (which I've never seen), Flashdance is the story of Alex Owens, a welder who dreams of being a dancer but has had no formal training. She plucks up the courage to apply to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and also meets a new love interest on the way who just so happens to be the boss' son. 

There are a number of side plots, like the mechanics facing jobs losses, Gloria being drawn into a seedy drug filled world and her boyfriend Jimmy attempting to make it as a comedian in New York but these feel a little unnecessary. They're obviously added in to pad out the show but I felt it would have flowed better without them as they're not explored enough to add much. 

But lets be honest, people don't go to Flashdance for the plot. They're there for the big money numbers and nostalgia for the classics they remember, something which the show certainly provides. The instantly recognisable 'Maniac', 'What a Feeling' and 'Gloria' have the audience excited and invested whilst most of the other songs are not particularly memorable. That's not to say that the vocal performances aren't brilliant though. Ben Adams gives a strong performance as the misguided, rich boy, Nick Hurley. His popstar vocals are not those typically heard in musical theatre but they work well in the show and his his rendition of 'Enough' was especially good.

Joanne Clifton is outstanding as Alex. Obviously she's known for her dance skills but seeing them life and with so much energy is spectacular to see on stage. Vocally she is also strong and her acting stood up well within the cast and she is a very solid lead. I was particularly impressed by Hollie-Ann Lowe who showed a number of sides to Gloria as well as some lovely vocal moments. A special mention must go to Colin Kiyani (Jimmy) who's voice is beautiful and I got major Ben Platt vibes during 'Where We Belong'.

Matt Cole's choreography is definitely the highlight of the production; tight and sleek throughout it provides some wow moments of impact. One thing I didn't like was the use of click tracks during some of the ensemble dance numbers such as 'I Love Rock and Roll'. I completely understand how demanding it is to do the energetic choreography at the same time as singing but it just felt a little obvious to me and could have been covered up more. However, the performances were still great.

This is definitely a feel good musical, whilst it does look at some darker themes, they are definitely not what you focus on. It's more of a drama with music but the energetic and sharp performances are enough to draw you in and will certainly leave you tapping your feet!


Flashdance runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until October 7th

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) 
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 4th March 2019 by Louise Jordan
★★★★★

Over 30 million people have watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show live. I was one of them, thirty years ago. Would this version capture the energy, naughtiness and sheer exuberance of my previous experience, or Richard O’Brien’s cult film? The answer is abso-jolly-lutely. What a treat!

I could explain the plot in detail, but frankly it doesn’t really matter. In a nutshell Brad (Ben Adams) and Janet (Joanne Clifton), American squeaky clean and newly engaged college students, break down one night and seek shelter. They stumble across Dr Frank-N-Furter’s (Stephen Webb) castle, where he is unveiling his newest creation, Rocky (Callum Evans). A certain amount of, ahem, intimacy occurs all round (the warnings of adult themes are justified – don’t take your granny unless she’s especially broad minded). Enter stage left Dr Everett Scott (Ross Chisari) looking for his son Eddie and tada, we discover that Frank is an alien transvestite from the planet Transsexual. Are you any wiser? Thought not. But you don’t go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the plot. You go for the experience and the singalong joy of it – the entire audience is on their feet for ‘Sweet Transvestite’. The show is clearly held in enormous affection by its devoted audience and Dom Joly as narrator interacts brilliantly with the barrage of comments that punctuate his every appearance on stage.

The acting, singing and dancing are flawless, and the staging slick in this ensemble production of all round strong performances. The chemistry and timing between actors ensures the pace never dips from start to finish.

If you live in or near Woking, you’ve got a week to catch this show and leave behind the pressures of real life for a night. And if – man, woman or non-binary – you want to dust down your bustier and fishnets for the night, who am I to judge?

Rocky Horror runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 9th March before continuing its tour

photo credit: David Freeman

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Flashdance (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Flashdance (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 19th February 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

If you want some ab-inspiration then Flashdance is the show for you. I saw the show in Wimbledon back in October and wasn't the biggest fan, however, knowing what to expect I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone seems a lot more settled into their roles and there was much more of a flow throughout. 

Flashdance centres around the story of Alex, a welder who dreams of being a dancer and attending the distinguished Shipley Academy. On her journey she meets a dapper love interest who also happens to be the boss' son. Aside from this there are some other side plots such as Jimmy who wants to make it big as a comedian, his girlfriend Gloria being pulled into a seedy drug filled world at a rival club and the imminent job cuts for all the apprentices. With regards to these I feel the same as previously that they're not really explored enough to be of that much importance but I totally get that they have to be in there to pad out the show.

But Flashdance is all about the classic, big money numbers which are delivered with spades of energy and commitment. Hits such as 'Gloria', 'What A Feeling' and 'Manic' are instantly recognisable and work brilliantly to hype the audience up and draw them into the Flashdance world.


A lot of the other songs are a little unmemorable but they vigour they are performed with makes up for it. Joanne Clifton is exceptional as Alex. From Strictly fame she's of course known for her dance but seeing her on stage performing Matt Cole's choreography is extra special. She's magnetic and draws you in even when performing a group number. Her vocals are strong although at times I found her diction lacking but she is certainly cut out for the role and I can see why she has abs of steel from being that full out every night! As her rich-boy boyfriend, Ben Adams is equally as strong. Whilst his pop vocals are not commonplace in the musical theatre world, they are strong and fit with the character. The pair have a lovely chemistry and really draw you into the story.

I have to mention Colin Kiyani as Jimmy who again gave me Ben Platt vibrato vibes and Hollie-Ann Lowe who was versatile and vulnerable as his girlfriend, Gloria. Again, the two have a sweet chemistry. Sasha Latoya is vocally breathtaking and equally humourous whilst Sia Dauda and Demmileigh Foster (who is literally Victoria Hamilton-Barritt reincarnated) were full out in their high octane numbers as Kiki and Tess.


There were a few technical issues such as mics being too quiet and the irony wasn't missed when one of the girls' top wouldn't stay done up when singing about keeping her clothes on! Totally no ones fault though and a very small detail in a big production. I'm also not a big fan of megamixes at the end of shows but there's no denying that it got everyone up on their feet and in a good mood as they left the theatre. 

Flashdance isn't the most astounding piece of theatre but it's high energy from start to finish with some memorable songs that'll definitely get stuck in your head. For a fun night out that'll leave you smiling and in my case, dancing round the house, then be sure to pay a visit to this 80s classic on stage.

Flashdance runs at the New Victoria Theatre until February 24th before continuing it's UK Tour.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Thoroughly Modern Millie (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Thoroughly Modern Millie
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Monday May 8th 2017 by Valerie Field
★★
Thoroughly Modern Millie has had many reincarnations and is based on a 1967 movie musical that is itself based on a 1956 London stage musical that in turn became a 2002 Broadway show. This new tour mixes a bit of each in to create a very enjoyable and well constructed production.
Set in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of small-town girl Millie Dillmount who makes her way to New York with the sole intention of finding a husband, not out of love but for money. However, events take a sinister turn when she checks into the Hotel Priscilla for single women which just happens to be owned by Mrs Meers, the leader of a white slavery ring. Things get interesting for sure!
Joanne Clifton as Milly, the Kansas girl desperate to make it in New York, is superb and effervescent. Although she is probably best known for her dancing on Strictly she can certainly act and has a good singing voice. She's the perfect fit for the title character and she warmed to the audience immediately. 
A big mention must go to Graham McDuff as Mr Grayden, especially for his drunken scene which was hilarious and had the whole theatre laughing. Lucas Rush also deserves a mention as Mrs Meers, embodying the character well and showing off a great stage presence throughout.
The glamorous costumes,  all out dancing and typically Broadway music are exactly what you'd expect from a show like this and combined with the art deco set, it's easy for the audience to get drawn in and lost in the 1920s world. Each scene change is done effortlessly, especially the office scene which is simplistic but highly effective.

All in all, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a 'feel good show' of the highest decree. I would highly recommend going to see it for a few hours of escapism and entertainment. The whole cast are outstanding and really seem to be having a wonderful time on stage which comes across in making their performances lively and energetic. The standing ovation received at the end of the show was evident of how much the audience enjoyed it so it's well worth a visit to Thoroughly Enjoyable Modern Millie!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) 

New Wimbledon Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 11th February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

A Transylvanian delight, Rocky Horror will have you laughing in delight and dancing in your seat from the moment it begins in all its sparkly, transsexual glory. 

Newly engaged couple Janet and Brad find them selves heading to an old castle when their car breaks down in the middle of a storm. There they meet Transylvania Transvestite Frank N Furter and his amazing and adoring entourage.

Rocky Horror brings a whole range of people to the theatre and everyone is welcome. Between those in full costumes and those in their normal everyday clothes, one thing is common: everyone is excited for a high energy night out. A whole range of ages and types of people clearly love this show and the smiles on everyones faces as they leave the theatre is a reminder of just how wonderful theatre can be, especially in trying times.


The show opens with a bang as the band bring the score to life (led by George Carter) and Laura Harrison as the cinema usher belts the opening number, Science Fiction/Double Feature, to rapturous applause. Laura is also fantastic as Magenta as she slinkily makes her way round the stage throughout and leads the Time Warp with high energy and oomph. Fellow slaves, Miracle Chance (Columbia) and Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff) also provide stellar, well characterised performances.

As Frank N Furter, Stephen Webb absolutely commands the stage. He struts around like he owns the theatre and everyone on it as as he embodies sass and sex as well as providing killer vocals.

As naïve lovebirds, Joanne Clifton (Janet) and Ben Adams (Brad) are well cast as they deliver engaging and suitably wide-eyed performances. The pair work very well with each other and bring this wacky story to life with fun and energy.


Making his theatrical debut, Dom Joly as the narrator is wonderful as he steers us through the highly chaotic tale with charisma and natural charm. Responding to the audience and adding in 'local humour' makes the piece just that bit more entertaining.

Nick Richings' lighting brings vibrance to every part of the stage and he does an outstanding job of being over the top without being unnecessary. Sue Blane's costumes are suitably glittery  and indulgent, whilst, Nathan M Wright's choreography delivers punch after punch to accompany the high octane score.

Christopher Luscombe has directed a highly fun production with just enough space for audience interaction and all the ups and downs we expect from Rocky Horror. Whether you've seen the show before, or are a new viewer, there's no reason for you to dislike this wildly entertaining musical.

Rocky Horror runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 16th February before continuing its tour