Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Cinderella (Panto), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Cinderella (Pantomime)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 6th December 2022 
★★★★

It's that time of year again (oh yes it is) where audiences flock to their local theatres to see the seasonal panto, and this year the New Victoria Theatre, Woking are providing the glitziest of night's out with their version of Cinderella.

Getting the show off to a magical start, is Jenny Gayner as the Fairy Godmother, flying out into the audience and getting the children (and let's be fair the adults too) on the edge of their seats, ready for a fantastically festive night out. From then it's full-on, non-stop action, audience participation and slapstick humour. A complete maelstrom of energy, you wonder how the cast can consistently do two shows a week until December 31st!

With panto veteran Kathryn Rooney at the helm as Director, this is a show which has something for everyone including some great comedic, as well as theatrical moments. The best comedy comes from Brian Conley as Buttons who completely knows how to work the crowd, with just the right amount of audience participation and a great number of references to his own work as well as to the local area. The wonderful step sisters Claudia (Neal Wright) and Tess (Ben Stock) not only have an astounding wardrobe of over the top, ridiculous gowns, but they also have great chemistry with one another and are thoroughly entertaining throughout their time on stage.

What works so well with this production is that it truly feels luxurious and there is a whole lot of spectacle sprinkled in with the silliness. Aesthetically, the costumes are glorious; an array of sparkle and massive head pieces that look really great. Sarah Vaughan goes to the ball in dazzling glitz and even the Prince (Samuel Wilson-Freeman) gets some cracking costumes.  

Other "wow" moments also include the end of Act One snow (always a winner at Christmas) and the real life horses which are just adorable. Pyrotechnics and confetti also add to the drama and festivity of it all and the great vocals and choreography from the cast help make it more than just a laugh a minute, no substance show. 

Of course, like with any Panto, there are aspects which might not hit personally for every audience member, but you can't deny that there's at least a moment for everyone and hearing the children of the audience in fits of laughter is enough to make you feel the festive spirit. Cinderella provides exactly what you'd expect with a Christmas pantomime and you can't really ask for much more!

Full Cast Announced for 'No Limits' at the Turbine Theatre


Sam Caldwell He/Him for Paper House Productions is pleased to announce the full cast of No Limits – A Song Cycle by Sam Thomas He/Him.
 
Directed by Dean JohnsonHe/Him, (BKLYN, LIFT), this exciting new production will open in London at the Turbine Theatre on 15th February 2023. 
 
Joining Natalie May Paris (SIX The Musical)She/Her, in the role of #DREAMER will be, Owen Clayton (Julie: The Musical and It’s In The Air), They/He, as #ROMANTIC, Hannah Lowther (Heathers The Musical, Millennials, Emojiland), She/Her, as #CATFISH, Michael Mather (Soho Cinders and But I’m a Cheerleader), He/Him as #FIGHTER, Mary Moore (Grease and Little Women) She/They, #FUNEMPLOYEDSaffi Needham (Recently graduated and making her professional debut),  She/Her as  SWING.
 
West End and Tik Tok star Hannah Lower She/Her, said “I’m so excited to be joining the original London cast of No Limits, the team have been working so hard and we’re all so excited to finally share the show with an audience!"
 
Producer, Sam Caldwell He/Him said, “I am delighted to reveal the cast for our upcoming production of No Limits - A Song Cycle at the Turbine Theatre. I can’t wait to see this talent take to the stage and bring a fresh take to this wonderful material in this brand new, exciting production. This show has been a long time coming and I am looking forward to seeing how audiences connect with it in February.”
 
Joining Director Dean Johnson, He/Him, is Musical Director Ella Ingram She/Her, Associate Director Liv Byrom She/Her, Choreographer Rhys Wilkinson He/Him. No Limits - A Song Cycle also has set design by Justin Williams He/Him, lighting design by Alex Musgrave and stage management by Jack Evans He/Him.
 
No Limits - A Song Cycle deconstructs the concept of falling behind in life. It follows a diverse cast of characters from all walks of life as they dare to believe in themselves and strive for a brighter future.
 
This powerful collection of songs sees characters let go of their anxieties, take leaps of faith, and fight for who they truly are, from confessing their dreams of becoming a rockstar to catfishing their attractive neighbour.
 
No Limits - A Song Cycle features heartfelt and queer stories. This brand-new production emphasises that we are all in the same boat, and that with enough self-belief, we can always overcome our setbacks. There truly are No Limits to your journey.
 
Tickets for No Limits at the Turbine Theatre are on sale now

First Ever Relaxed Performance For Back to the Future The Musical


Lead producer Colin Ingram, together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that Back To the Future The Musical will play its first ever relaxed performance at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 12 March 2023. Please click here to book.
 
Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but may benefit those who normally find it challenging to access and enjoy theatre. The performance will include reduced volume and lighting states with a laid-back approach to audience movement permitting and encouraging everyone to relax and respond naturally.
 
The critically acclaimed Olivier, WhatsOnStage and Broadway World Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021. The musical recently broke box office records at the Adelphi Theatre for the highest gross sales in one week.
 
Back To the Future The Musical currently stars Cory English and Ben Joyce as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ (until 3 January 2023) and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Amber Davies as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Oliver Nicholas as ‘George McFly’, Jordan Benjamin as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Harry Jobson as ‘Biff Tannen’, Sophie Naglik as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Gary Trainor as ‘Strickland’, Will Haswell as alternate ‘Marty McFly’ and ‘Dave McFly’ and Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’.
 
Tony Award winner, Roger Bart, will return to the show on 5 January 2023. His final performance in London will be 20 March 2023 after which he will lead the cast of the Broadway production, which begins performances at Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on 30 June 2023 with an official opening on 3 August 2023.
 
Also in the cast are Amy Barker, Simeon Beckett, Sia Dauda, Tyler Davis, Glen Facey, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Adam Margilewski, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Bryan Mottram, Laura Mullowney, Anna Murray, Jon Reynolds, Melissa Rose, Georgia Tapp, Justin Thomas, Charley Warburton and Tavio Wright.
 
The Original Cast Recording, released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label, is now available on all formats, including vinyl, and has had over 3 million streams. It features the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode
 
Back To the Future The Musical won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, four WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical, and the Broadway World Award for Best New Musical. The productions in London and Manchester have so far been seen by half a million people and the musical has broken box office records at the Adelphi Theatre.
 
Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, 
Back To the Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.
 
Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown.  But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.
 
Back To the Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.
 
Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).
 
Back To the Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.
 
photo credit: Matt Crockett

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

‘We Will Rock You’ Will Return to London in June 2023


21 years after it first exploded into the West End, Queen and Ben Elton’s sensational smash hit show ‘We Will Rock You’ returns to London next year for an historic, strictly limited 12-weekresidency at the London Coliseum – the same iconic stage which saw Freddie Mercury’s Royal Ballet gala performance in 1979.

Featuring 24 of Queen’s greatest hits and a hilarious script by Ben Elton who returns to the director’s chair for this London homecoming - We Will Rock You rivals the scale and spectacle of the band’s legendary live performances. Queen superstars Brian May and Roger Taylor are delighted that the show will soon be wowing London fans once again

Brian May said: “I’m thrilled we finally have this opportunity to put We Will Rock You back on stage in London, where it was born. The show’s original message of the fight to re-establish individuality in a dystopian corporate world is even more relevant now than when we began.  It will be a completely new production that will burst on to the prestigious London Coliseum stage – but the story, the humour, and of course the Queen music, will hit you harder than ever.  We WILL Rock You – again!!” 

Roger Taylor said: “Bigger, better, faster, funnier! Here we go again… yeaaaaaaaah!

Ben Elton said: “I hope somebody's squared this with English Heritage because the fabulous London Coliseum is Grade II listed theatre and We Will Rock You is gonna blow the roof off.”

First premiering at London’s Dominion Theatre in 2002, ‘We Will Rock You’ was seen by six million people over 4600 performances during an astonishing 12-year run, becoming one of the most successful musicals in West End history and the longest runner at the Dominion by a margin of nine years. It also foundunprecedented popularity around the worldplaying to a global audience of 20 million across 28 countries.

We Will Rock You tells the story of a globalized future without musical instruments. A handful of rock rebels, the Bohemians, fight against the all-powerful Globalsoft company and its boss, the Killer Queen; they fight for freedom, individuality and the rebirth of the age of rock. Scaramouche and Galileo, two young outsiders, cannot come to terms with the bleak conformist reality. They join the Bohemians and embark on the search to find the unlimited power of freedom, love and rock!

We Will Rock You is produced by Phil McIntyre Live Ltd, Queen Theatrical Productions and Tribeca Theatrical Productions.