Showing posts sorted by relevance for query oliver ormson. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query oliver ormson. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

In Conversation With... Oliver Ormson | The Addams Family | Interview


Oliver Ormson is currently playing the role of Lucas in the first ever UK Tour of The Addams Family. He was kind enough to chat all things Addams, career and Harry Potter with me...


Have you always wanted to be a performer or did you have a different dream when you were younger?

I think when I was really young I wasn’t too bothered, I think the first ever thing I wanted to be when I was really young was a policeman. But I was interested in football from a young age cause of my dad so probably a footballer really… But my mum was interested in amateur dramatics so I went that way when I was older. About the age of 16/17 I decided I wanted to be an actor.



Can you explain a little about The Addams Family and how your character Lucas fits into it?

The Addams Family is the classic everyone knows but it’s ten years on and in this story Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) is all grown up and she’s fallen in love with an American boy from a normal background and I’m that American boy! 

So the Addams invite the Bieneke's round for dinner because Wednesday’s got a little secret and it’s a secret she’s kept from her parents. So the main premise is inviting a ‘normal’ family into the Addams family mansion where there’s all sort of ghouls and ghosts going on. 

Lucas Beineke is that all-American boy but he likes the darkness and he’s intrigued by it. He’s come from a normal family and the first time he meets Wednesday she shoots a pigeon with an arrow and it lands by his feet in central park and he just falls in love with her straight away cause she’s so different from the background he grew up with.

So Lucas looks all clean cut but he does have a hint of the darkness as well!



Are you anything like Lucas and what drew you to the role?

It was more the project that drew me in. It’s the first time it’s been done in the UK by a professional company. It’s very rare these days that you get the opportunity to create your own role. So I am the first professional Lucas in the UK arnd Ireland so it’s really wow because I get to create and make things which doesn’t happen a lot. Especially on a tour which has been done time and time again; they tell you where to stay on a straight line but I had the chance to play with it which was amazing.

Probably the thing that I’d say that is the Oliver Ormson in Lucas is that I’ve tried to make him a bit  dorky. Just a bit silly in that embarrassing phase where you go round to your partner’s house for the first time as a teenager and you’re sort of tripping over your words cause you’re trying to impress so it’s that sort of dorkiness. He just reacts to situations and doesn’t really think about it; he’s trying to be cool so he’s a bit dorky!



Who else besides yourself would you like to see play Lucas?

Oh wow, that’s really hard! I think it would have to be, and I know it’s cliched cause he’s massive at the moment, but it’d have to be Ben Platt. You know, he’s a fellow Hufflepuff as well! He tweeted saying that Evan Hansen is a Hufflepuff and I tweeted saying so is Lucas Beineke so I think we have the same sort of taste. I think he has that character cause he’s done it everyday like that twerpiness and he would sing it like an absolute dream! Unfortunately he’d probably be much better than me but as long as I’m gone and out the picture he can happily have it! 

You’ll have to switch and be Evan while he’s Lucas! 

Yes! Please make it happen, I’ll get you tickets to the opening night if you can make it happen!


Who in the show would you say is most like their character?

I would say Cameron Blakely who plays Gomez Addams cause he is crazy. He’s full of voices and full of character and he has a little daughter himself, a beautiful little daughter who’s three or four and you can see he has that protective side that Gomez has in the show over Wednesday. But he’s also that embarrassing dad so I’d definitely go with Cameron as Gomez.



If you were one of the ancestors, what would your crazy cause of death be?


This is really cool… erm maybe something silly when I was drunk or something? Yeah something silly like falling in a lake and my ancestors prop would be a can of lager or a pint!



What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not on stage?


This sounds quite cliched but I like to keep fit cause you never know when this jobs gonna end. I do a lot of dancing, not so much in this show but I’ve danced in other shows so I try and keep that up. I don’t wanna  relax too much to think I just have to sing and act cause the next job you might wanna do could have a a tap number in it or something like that. 

Yeah just try and keep fit really, go to the gym and I’m quite a boyish boy so watch Netflix or football or play games like video games so very cliched unfortunately!


I know you’re a big Harry Potter fan, so if you could bring anyone or anything from the Potter world into our, what or who would you bring?

I would just like a wand. You know, just the elder wand would be fine, the casual elder wand! That’s what I’d bring because I was thinking about the invisibility cloak and stuff but I think after a while that might get a bit boring!

And if you have the wand you can get other stuff with it!

Exactly, like with the wand you can do crazy spells!



Well that’s a lovely segue as my next question is: what show would you wish to do if you had a magic wand?!

As I mentioned I love Dear Evan Hansen but I’ve always wanted to play Fiyero in Wicked. I watched it and thought it was really magical and cool and people always say to me “you could play Fiyero, you can do that!” so if I actually do it I can shut those people up… in a nice way 




If you could go back to any era, when would you go to any why?

I love the 80s. I was born in the 80’s, well only just by like 2 months in ’89 so I always claim that I’m an 80s child but to properly go and experience it and to actually live in that time I'd love. And I’ll see my mum and dad in their 20s which would be so weird!



Finally, what is your number one piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

There’s this amazing Bryan Cranston philosophy and he says to just act, just get yourself out there and act. Even if it’s just a local drama group, just hone your skills. Even if you’re doing an amateur production of Fiddler on the Roof you’re gonna learn things from that, you’re gonna be with people that have maybe done professional work before. So I’d say just act and be proactive and productive cause then you learn.

As professional actors we have stories of how we once did am dram and how that helped. So everyone starts somewhere. I think some people think that you come out of college and you go straight into the West End and all of a sudden you’re just a professional actor but you learn a lot of things before that. So just be creative and play and try things out, you’ll always learn things.


Do that and make sure it’s what you want to do and then pursue college or drama school which is an important route in my opinion but you can still do it without that. So go and learn, go and be proactive and just hone you’re skills.

Thank you so much to Oliver for taking the time to chat to me. The Addams Family runs at the New Victoria Theatre until the 30th September before continuing on it's tour.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Saturday, 2 November 2019

High Fidelity, Turbine Theatre | Review


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

photo credit: Mark Senior

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.

★★★★★


Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), Bristol Hippodrome | Review


Bristol Hippodrome
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th September 2017 by Isobelle Desbrow

Full disclosure this show is a must see for all, with a mixture of pure wit, funny lines and the occasional sexual innuendo underpinned by a fabulous musical score, everything hit the right notes, especially the actors.

The scene changes were smooth, and visually or musically pleasing, never a dull moment. The acting was exquisite, Cameron Blakely as Gomez was the perfect mix of enthusiasm and misguided sentimentality. Morticia played by the stunning Samantha Womack was perfectly caste, an incredible voice matched with brilliant characterisation. Carrie Hope Fletcher played a very powerful Wednesday Addams, with pitch perfect harmonies, she was a thrill to watch. The relationship she portrayed with Lukas Beineke played by Oliver Ormson was magical. ‘Crazier than You’ was spectacular with perfect vocals and staging. 

Without giving away too much Lurch certainly didn’t leave much to imagination with well timed movements and grunts, Dickon Gough is definitely a wonderful addition to the cast, especially towards the end!

A special mention must go to Scott Paige who stepped into rather large shoes to play Uncle Fester as Les Dennis was out for the evening. Scott was one of my highlights for the evening as he had wonderful vocals and characterisation, he brought so much to the character and I would love to see him one day stepping out into more of a leading role.

The music was well played and perfectly underpinned the drama of the  musical. The costumes perfectly brought to life the outrageous, kooky Addams family world, especially with the exceptionally detailed ancestors. Each of whom were played fantastically by the ensemble and it was clear how much character development had been done in the rehearsal room. They also added a whole other dimension to full cast pieces such as ‘When You’re an Addams’ and ‘Full Disclosure’.


Overall this show is witty, modern and leaves nothing to the imagination. With updated jokes, amazing vocals and spooktacular acting it is a must see for all! 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


The Addams Family (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday May 16th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

The Addams Family musical comedy first made an appearance on the Broadway stage in 2010 and has finally made its way over the pond for its UK premiere. This version of the much loved cartoon series family, sees them struggle as their daughter Wednesday falls in love with a 'normal' boy. In an attempt to make good, Wednesday organises a dinner party between the two families. What ensues are secrets, wackiness and a whole load of kooky chaos.



The production is wonderful and great to look at. Diego Pitarch's set is constantly changing and extremely layered but doesn't look overcrowded or messy and the Gothic feeling is achieved extremely well. The lighting and sound effects work well alongside it and the elaborate costumes and make up add a whole other, very effective, dimension.



Samantha Womack's Moticia is surprisingly funny and suitably dark and stiff but at times it feels she is too reliant on people already knowing the character instead of making it her own. Overall though she gives a very good performance, especially in the tango scene!



Cameron Blakely is the standout of the show as Gomez. He is passionate and energetic throughout, with a constant humour and stage presence. His little camp moments are hilarious and his voice is outstanding. His relationship with the whole cast is brilliant but especially with his daughter Wednesday.



Played by Carrie Hope Fletcher, Wednesday is witty and sharp whilst being suitably kooky. Her vocals are fantastic and she seems at ease on the stage. Her incredibly clear voice works wonderfully with large belting moments and her precise diction is notable especially during 'Pulled' which seems to be an audience favourite!



Oliver Ormson plays Wednesday's love interest, the all-American Ohio born, Lucas. The pair work well together but Fletcher is definitely the stronger of the two performance wise. Les Dennis is strong as the quirky uncle Fester and has the audience laughing with him as well acting as the narrator at points. His character does seem a little out of place at times and not developed enough to warrant a full song but Dennis pulls it off well.



Charlotte Page is hilarious as the rhyme talking mother, her voice is brilliant and she frequently steals the show! Her partner is played by Dale Rapley who is good but again feels a little under developed.



Andrew Lippa's music is full of life (and death), colour and vibrance and certainly has something for everyone. There are energetic moments (helped along by Alistair David's brilliantly slick choreography), hilarious moments and more contemplative moments which all combine for a lovely production.



This is a wonderful production which will hopefully see a West End life after its tour. There are genuine laugh out loud moments which are sure to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Overall, a stellar production.



The Addams Family is at the New Wimbledon Theatre until the 20th May before continuing its tour.



photo credit: Matt Martin

Friday, 17 July 2020

Frozen West End cast and company announced

The leading cast members and company of the West End premiere of Frozen have been revealed, as the show moves its premiere date to spring 2021.
Joining the previously announced Samantha Barks (Elsa) and Stephanie McKeon (Anna) are Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff), Craig Gallivan (Olaf), Oliver Ormson (Hans), Richard Frame (Weselton), and alternating the role of Sven, Mikayla Jade and Ashley Birchall; with Jeremy Batt, Cameron Burt, Lauren Chia, Laura Emmitt, Emily-Mae Walker (Bulda), Danielle Fiamanya (first cover Elsa), Hannah Fairclough, Matt Gillett, Joe Griffiths- Brown, Emily Lane, Justin-Lee Jones, Jason Leigh Winter, Jacob Maynard, Leisha Mollyneaux, Gabriel Mokake (King Agnarr), Sarah O'Connor (first cover Anna), Jemma Revell, Jacqui Sanchez (Queen Iduna), Jak Skelly (Oaken/Bishop), Jake Small, Isabel Snaas, Joshua St. Clair (Pabbie), Monica Swayne, and Anna Woodside. Further casting is to be confirmed.
Frozen, which has music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, opened on Broadway in March 2018 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical. It follows Elsa, who is gifted with ice-manipulating powers, and her relationship with her sister Anna as they try to run a nation.
The show is based on the highest-grossing animated film of all time, which was released in 2013 and won two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The sequel – Frozen 2 – was released last autumn.
The production, which will be presented at a refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane will be directed by Michael Grandage with choreography by Rob Ashford, set and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin, sound design by Peter Hylenski, video design by Finn Ross, puppet design by Michael Curry and musical supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus.
Michael Grandage said today: "We're thrilled to announce the company for Frozen – an incredibly talented group of people who will be creating the London premiere at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane next spring. As theatres start to open their doors again, we look forward to celebrating the spectacle of this beloved story with audiences everywhere."

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Addams Family (UK Tour), Grand Opera House | Review


The Addams Family (UK Tour)
The Grand Opera House, Belfast
Reviewed on Tuesday October 3rd by Damien Murray

This Irish and UK premiere tour production of the musical comedy, The Addams Family was an entertaining and fast-paced production of Andrew Lippa’s funny musical about a less than conventional family and its ancestors.

Right from the off, it was obvious that this was not going to be ‘One Normal Night’, as – during the overture – a finger-clicking hand appeared through the letter box; the hand of an unknown person (in this case, probably a ‘stage hand’!!).

Mainly played out on the superbly old and run-down eerie mansion befitting to such a weird and spooky family, the functional set designs, with moveable staircases and great use of the two side balconies, helped greatly with the good pace of this production.

Despite the family’s appearance, values and lifestyle, this atmospheric piece is not so much scary as it is a funny musical with great one-liners that, thankfully, are never just throw away lines for the experienced cast.

We were then introduced to a mixed bag of weird ancestors who looked almost normal when compared to the central family of the piece.


They made up a well-used ensemble, which, despite its relative lack of numbers, produced some excellent harmonies during choral pieces (e.g. 'One Normal Night' and 'Move Toward The Darkness') and provided solid support throughout in vocals, dance, movement, visuals and as a distraction during scene changes.

While the Act 1 finale, 'Full Disclosure' (Part 2) was a great production number, the orchestra and cast rose to the challenge here with the varied and difficult score, which - apart from the variety of tempo changes from one song to the next - had to cope with a degree of musical fragmentation caused by lots of start/stops throughout many songs and challenging underscoring.

While the great musicality of the tango rhythms made numbers like 'Trapped', 'Secrets' and 'Not Today' stand out here, it was the orchestra’s sheer accuracy of performance and the visual impact of the dancers in the production number, 'Tango De Amour', that combined to make this an irresistible musical highlight.

'Pulled' was another highlight because of Wednesday’s strong vocal performance, while the flamenco flavoured music of 'Let’s Live Before We Die' impressed and 'But Love' provided a little vaudeville-style distraction between scenes.

There were some soft ballads in the varied score, including the gentle, 'The Moon And Me', while 'Move Toward The Darkness' was unusual in that it is rare that a ballad is used as a finale number, but it did allow for some great choral work.It was good to see the reprise of the up-tempo, 'When You’re An Addams', being used to send all home happy after the ballad finale.

Choreography was a strong element in this production and the concepts were well-executed right from the opening production number, 'When You’re An Addams', when we knew that there was going to be no problems with dance, as this song’s varied choreography included lots of arm movements and samples of line dancing, the bunny hop and the twist. The moon ballet was well-staged ('The Moon And Me'), while it was a nice touch to use a ‘young’ Wednesday to highlight the emotions of the song during Happy Sad.


The nightmarish family in this macabre musical was effortlessly brought to life by the talented principals, including Cameron Blakely as the Latino-looking and hen-pecked husband, Gomez, who supplied some touching moments in the song, 'Happy Sad', yet also managed to deliver the song’s humorous lines on cue, while always maintaining the right comic timing to get the laughs when needed. 

Samantha Womack as the very much in-charge and matriarchal Morticia was both tall and elegant and looked the part in her long black ankle-length dress and long black hair like Crystal Gale. Boasting dead-pan looks that could kill, this was a very confident performance from a total all-rounder with a great voice and good stage presence who perfectly captured her character’s dry wit. She also proved to be a most impressive dancer, especially in the song and dance number, 'Just Around The Corner', which allowed her to show her macabre emotions of joy.

However, for me, the star of the show was Carrie Hope Fletcher’s manipulative daughter, Wednesday. This amazingly talented girl is a strong performer with a great voice and real stage presence and this was highlighted in her performance throughout, but especially during the ‘coming of age’ song, 'Pulled'.

In the absence of Les Dennis, due to illness, his understudy, Scott Paige, was more than deserving of this role and impressed greatly both in his acting, comic timing and vocal ability, especially as he was acting so much ‘out of age’ in this part. Despite playing the loveably crazy uncle, Fester, he provided lovely vocals during his gentle ballad, 'The Moon And Me' and as the show’s narrator character.

Dickon Gough had a dream role as the ever-growling zombie-like butler, Lurch, and played one of musical theatre’s great non-speaking parts exceptionally well, while Grant McIntyre, as Pugsley, played the younger brother with a grown-up attitude well.

There was good support from Charlotte Page’s fully-disclosed Alice, Dale Rapley’s typical American parent, Mal, and his college student son, Lucas, played by Oliver Ormson, while Valda Aviks’ eccentric Grandma was good, but I would like to have seen more of her character’s outspoken and irreverent attitude. 

Perfectly-timed sound effects and special visual effects like the thunder and lightening, the monster in the box and the use of individual ancestors in the portrait painting all added to the success of this slick production.

Thanks to the brilliant lighting, costumes, props, make-up and hair, this was a visually stunning show from its strong opening to its unusual ballad ending … absolutely ‘finger-clicking good’ throughout!

The Addams Family runs at the Grad Opera House, Belfast until October 7th.


Photo credit: Matt Martin