He’s Here…- The Phantom of the Opera New Cast Review

Reviewed by Sophie Reed

Phantom of the Opera, a timeless classic that has been running on the West End for 31 years. I went to see the new cast at the evening show of the 19th of October and was thoroughly impressed. For me, it’s in my top 5 favourite musicals and I can be quite critical when it comes to the performance. Along with this performance, I’ve seen the show 3 times live on stage and this performance definitely lived up to my expectations.

The first actor I’ve got to talk about is Ben Lewis who has just taken over as the Phantom. Ben is probably most well known for playing the Phantom in the shows sequel, Love Never Dies, a performance which I have seen and wasn’t very fond of. Because of this, I was quite anxious about what he would be like as the younger Phantom. Ben is most definitely better suited to Phantom than to Love Never Dies. There was something about the Phantom score that is better suited to his voice. In addition, for someone who has only be playing the role on stage for a month, it came very naturally to him. I don’t know whether if this was because he’s played another version of the Phantom before, but if not, god he was good. My favourite part of his performance was in the Final Lair when Raoul shows up. Ben, just sits on his throne, utterly bored at Raoul’s pleas to see Christine. His ‘Your lover makes a passionate plea’ was more mocking than it was threatening. Also, in ‘Stranger Than You Dreamt It’ the difference between masked and unmasked Phantom was so clear, he wasn’t just using the mask to cover his physical problem, but also his emotional problems. It was nice to see a different take that I hadn’t seen before.

The next member of the company that needs to be discussed is Kelly Mathieson, who played the role of Christine. WHAT A VOICE! Her high notes were just perfection and so was her acting. During Notes II and ‘Wishing’ you could see how broken, confused and scared Christine was. My favourite part was when she sobbed into her cloak between the ‘and speaks my name’ line and ‘Little Lottie’ in ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ it made her seem more vulnerable, it made Wishing seem a lot more than Christine missing her father. Kelly made it seem like Christine was begging for strength. It really struck me. However, by the final lair, her Christine was feisty! She was blocking and protecting Raoul for her life. Her ‘You deceived me’ was just mind blowing, she screamed it, like she did not care anymore.  In addition, another thing I liked was the face that Kelly is a trained ballet dancer, I was almost annoyed that Christine doesn’t get a lot of dancing in the show apart for ‘Hannibal’ and ‘Masquerade’ because it would’ve given her more chance to show off those skills.

At the performance, the actor who played Raoul was the 1st Cover, Jordan Simon Pollard and he proved, that understudies are just as good as the covers. This was his first day on as Raoul and looked like he’d been playing the role for years. A favourite part of his performance was in ‘All I Ask of You’ when he dipped Christine into a kiss. It was so romantic! Another part of his performance that I liked was that you always felt liked he protected her, not just because it was his duty, but also because he really loved her. His reaction to the Phantom and Christine kissing was also utterly heart-breaking.

The other main characters were also particularly strong. Georgia Ware who played Meg Giry, brought a new innocence to a usually bland character. Paul Ettore Tabone and Lara Martins chemistry on stage make the Carlotta and Piangi romance seem more real, genuine and less staged than what I’ve seen in the past. In addition, they’re comedy timing was next to none. Siôn Llyod as Firmin and understudy Andre, Richard Kent, both held the comedy timing needed for the two managers without going too satire and over the top, like Lara done perfectly with Carlotta.

The only thing disappointing with the production would be the fact that there were some technical difficulties with the chandelier falling, some glitchy lighting. However, if you weren’t as experienced with the show, they wouldn’t have been as noticeable. I also sort of liked that it went slightly wrong because it shows that even a show that has been running for 31 years can still have problems like that.

Overall, I give this timeless classic 5 stars!

5stars

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REVIEW: The Toxic Avenger @ The Arts Theatre

Reviewed by Nathan Deane

Pollution and superheroes combined don’t sound like the most appealing subject for a musical – so as we sat in the Arts Theatre waiting for the show to start, we here hesitant to find out what was about to unfold in front of us.

The Toxic Avenger is based on a cult 80’s horror/superhero movie of the same name, which was considered so horrifying many cinemas refused to show it.

The musical, however, has had a slightly different history. The musical’s London premiere was in 2016 at the Southwark Playhouse and subsequently transferred to the West End this year. The show tells the tale of Melvin Ferd (The Third), a pro-environment scientist who falls into a vat of toxic goo, emerging as The Toxic Avenger – a green mutant with superhuman strength, aptly nicknamed Toxie. Toxie has to save the town of Tromaville from the pollution caused by the evil mayor as well as win the heart of the town’s blind librarian, Sarah.

Mark Anderson, who plays Toxie, is such a gem. It’s rare to find a musical theatre actor that plays a role as perfectly as he plays Melvin/Toxie. Mark’s singing voice is crazy amazing, his dynamics are out of this world, especially in his big act two number “You Tore My Heart Out”. His acting is so fresh, and the contrast between Melvin and Toxie is insane, they’re both the same person yet have so many differences, aside from skin type.

Emma Salvo plays Sarah, the librarian. I can’t think of any other musical theatre characters that are blind throughout the entirety of a show, so seeing Sarah is kind of like…a breath of fresh air? Emma brings an innocence to the character that helps bring the laughs. Emma stops the show. Literally. (You’ll understand what I mean once you’ve seen the show.) Her belt blows the audience out of the water, especially at the end of “All Men Are Freaks” – probably the funniest moments in the show is Sarah’s obsession with Oprah Winfrey, which I relate to a lot. I mean, who doesn’t love Oprah?!

Emma Salvo & Mark Anderson, photo credit Irina Chira

Ché Francis (as Black Dude) and Oscar Conlon-Morrey (as White Dude) have possibly the hardest job in the show, playing 5+ characters raging from the town bullies to sassy ladies Shinequa and Diane. They sing some vocally challenging, crazily written songs as well as crushing some of the fastest costume changes I have ever seen. How do they do it? I just don’t know! But they rock!!

Last but definitely not least, Natalie Hope plays Melvin’s mother, Ma Ferd, the town’s corrupt Mayor, and a nun. Her vocal ability is KILLER! She slays every song she sings, and playing 2 main characters must be a challenge…especially when you have to sing a duet…with yourself. Which, by the way, she slays. That number closes act one, and I can tell why! It’s one of the many “wow!” moments of the show.

Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Natalie Hope & Ché Francis, photo credit Irina Chira

The show is fantastic from top to toe, musically creative and the book is hilarious! Such a perfect show, and definitely my new favourite. I pray to the musical theatre gods that this show gets extended – it’s what the West End has been needing!

5stars

The Toxic Avenger runs until 3rd December.

https://toxicavengermusical.co.uk for tickets

Mad On Her! Is Back In The Heart of London

Feast your eyes upon the glamourous and glitzy cast of “Mad On Her” – 80s Jukebox musical, say Mad On Her fast- you’ll get the gimmick, Mad On Her is back after a successful short tour around the UK’s top Fringe venues including Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, and is ready to take The Heart of London by storm.
Mad On Her will play Sundays in November and December at the Above The Arts Theatre, Leicester Square, from the 5th of November to the 3rd of December, and the line up is through the roof. (5th November is Sold Out!)

Mad On Her Principal Cast includes  Emmerdale’s Sweetheart Kelsey Beth Crossley, X Factor/ Loserville’s Sarah Watson, Jade Johnson (CBBC’s Worlds End), James Colebrook and West End Power-House Laura Wilson, joining them are Jordan Todd (BGT semi-finalist) Dani Acors (Jesus Christ Superstar) Brooke Havana Bailey (Billy Elliot) Simone Kite (Moulin Rouge) Sara Latif (BBC Bollywood), Emily Shuck, Hollie Steel and Phoebe Rose White (Rent).


Mad On Her – 80s Jukebox Musical takes you on a journey through all your favourite smash hits of this ‘Glamtastic’ decade. Get your Gladrags on and Glitter up as Donna and Tina party through the nightlife and drama of 1985.
Donna, ambitious and stylish, is climbing the ladder of success. Finding ‘Mr Right’ is the last thing on her mind – little does she know he could be just around the corner.
Tina, with her big hair and big heart, is the disco diva of the boulevard. As Donna’s best friend she sets out to play cupid. Step into the nostalgia of the neon lights and “Get ready to party the night away.”

Written, Produced and Directed by Ashley Luke Lloyd.
Co-produced by Sam Ohlsson for BlackDeer Productions and Co-Written by Koryann Stevens Delves.

Tickets from £16.

https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/whats-on/mad-on-her—80s-jukebox-musical/

Review: HAIR @ The Vaults

Reviewed by Nathan Deane

When you enter a theatre to find it completely transformed into a “mini Woodstock”, you’d generally have high hopes for the show. And walking into The Vaults Theatre to see “HAIR”, I had extremely high hopes. And this show exceeded them.


From the moment you enter the auditorium, you are transported back into the 60’s. Paper garlands hang above the audience members heads as the “tribe” sit in a circle, meditating around some incense. The cast are full of energy from the top of the show right to the finale, with a huge finale involving all the audience in a big “dance along”.

Andy Coxon as Berger was perfectly cast – hilarious and quite emotional when needed. Liam Ross-Mills captured my heart as the lighthearted Woof – one member of the tribe.

Laura Johnson as Sheila particularly stood out to me, with amazing vocals that echoed through the house – particularly in her number “Easy To Be Hard”.

Robert Metson as Claude was another amazing casting choice, the transition the character makes throughout the show is lost very easily if done wrong, yet Robert demonstrated excellent ability to make that character his own. The character arc was well thought out and done perfectly.

Jonathan O’Boyle’s simplistic yet effective direction was brilliantly highlited with William Whelton’s highly energetic choreography. This is a truly immersive show, with the audience in a thrust position, so extra attention was taken by O’Boyle and Whelton in each scene and song.

As a whole, the cast were sensational. The powerhouse vocals during the show’s biggest number “Let The Sun Shine In” really brought the audience to their feet – an iconic musical theatre moment done to perfection. This show is perfect. I’ve never seen anything like it before, from the transformation of the theatre to the sensational and diverse cast. This is a show not to be missed.

Let the sun shine in and book tickets to visit the age of Aquarius.

Hair runs until the 21st January 2017. Tickets available from http://www.hair50.com

First production images of BY JEEVES released!

The Old Laundry Theatre are delighted to announce the full cast, led by Bill Champion and Nadim Naaman, of the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s light-hearted, fun musical BY JEEVES, opening on Friday 6 October – Saturday 4 November 2017 and directed by Alan Ayckbourn.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber says: “I confess that this is the musical that I privately look forward most to seeing.”

Currently starring as Raoul in Lloyd Webber‘s 30th Anniversary cast of The Phantom of The Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Nadim Naaman will play loveable chump and bachelor Bertie Wooster (Anthony in Sweeney Todd – Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop, Shaftesbury Avenue, One Man, Two Guvnors – NT at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket, The Sound of Music – The Palladium, Titanic – Princess of Wales, Toronto and Southwark Playhouse, Chess – Union. Nadim has recorded two studio albums; most recently Sides (2016), which topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart.)

And long term Ayckbourn collaborator actor Bill Champion will pay the titular role of the faithful and longsuffering manservant, Jeeves (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Broadway and West End including: Henceforward, A Chorus of Disapproval, Arrivals and  Departures, Woman in Mind, Damsels in Distress Trilogy, Absurd Person Singular, Comic Potential; also Calendar Girls, Sunset Boulevard, Fame.)

Bill and Nadim are joined by a cast of iconic Wodehouse characters in BY JEEVES with:
Jamie Baughan
– as clergyman Stinker Pinker (Kinky Boots – West End, Chicago – Amos Hart, UK tour);

Katie Birtill – as the cute and spoiled Madelaine Bassett (Monique in The Boy Who Fell Into A Book written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Dreamboats and Petticoats – UK tours.)
Howard Chadwick – as Madelaine’s controlling father Judge Watkyn Bassett (Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Brassed Off – Oldham Coliseum);
Joshua Manning – as villain and jelly tycoon Cyrus Budge (The End Of Something – Old Vic, title role in Roald Dahl’s The BFG – Birmingham Rep);
Oliver Mawdsley – as reclusive scientist Gussie Fink-Nottle (Where Is Peter Rabbit? – Old Laundry Theatre, Godspell – Jesus, Frinton Summer Theatre);
Naomi Petersen – Bassett’s sweet ward Stiffy Bing (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – West End, The Witches Of Eastwick – Watermill);
Nigel Richards – as nerdy friend Bingo Little (The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Martin Guerre, Les Miserables – all West End) and
Melle Stewart – as hedgehog lover Honoria Glossop (Goodnight Mr Tom – West End, Assassins – Menier Chocolate Factory).

A rare opportunity to see Alan Ayckbourn’s first revival in over 20 years of this jocular musical – from Broadway to Bowness!
BY JEEVES will bring back together the original creative team from 1996 including: Olivier and Tony winning Alan Ayckbourn who will direct; set designer Roger Glossop (also owner of the Old Laundry Theatre), designs a new set for the intimate 200 seat theatre and choreographer Sheila Carter. Joining the production team is musical director Steven Edis, costumes Caroline Hughes and lighting Jason Taylor.

The Old Laundry Theatre’s Directors, Roger and his theatre producer wife Charlotte Scott say: “We are really delighted to be putting on this revival of By Jeeves to be directed by Alan Ayckbourn. The original show, which re-opened the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1996, transferred to the West End and moved across the waters to Washington, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Broadway was such a fulfilling theatrical enterprise for all the creative team, cast and crew that the idea we can re-visit this piece, with its wit, pace and beautiful songs and present a large scale production at the Old Laundry Theatre (10 in the cast + a six- piece live band) is a fitting celebration for our 25th.”

Set in the 1920s and keeping the dottiness of the original PJ Wodehouse stories, BY JEEVES brings to life a cast of colourful characters, who include Bertie Wooster with his unquenchable optimism and his wonderfully supercilious butler Jeeves, renowned for his deadpan digs. The colourful characters continually and hilariously swap identities as they battle to salvage love and cover up embarrassing errors, causing confusion and mayhem galore!

Alan Ayckbourn, a man of, literally, many words with 81 plays and musicals to his name says: “By Jeeves is a party. It’s a celebration of theatre. I was always attracted by the innocence in Wodehouse and love the simplicity and characters, which I still find so refreshing.”

For 25 years the Old Laundry Theatre has been bringing professional theatre to the Lake District – here’s to the next 25!Old Laundry 25 Years Logo 1.jpg

THE OLD LAUNDRY THEATRE
Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX
Box Office: 015394 40872 / http://www.oldlaundrytheatre.co.uk
Twitter: @OLTheatre

REVIEW: Ordinary Days The Musical

Reviewed by Charlie White

I was lucky enough to be able to see Ordinary Days at the Edinburgh Fringe, a musical about four peoples day to day lives can connect with each other. It follows the story of Claire, Jason, Deb and Warren, trying to find their way in life and make some tough decisions. 

The venue was extremely intimate so it was a scaled back production but I could see it had a lot of potential.

The songs had a typical theatrical feel but with a modern edge which I thought was quite refreshing for a musical.

The cast was made up of four people. Neil Cameron was great as Warren, I think he played the role fairly vulnerably which I thought suited the character and there was a definite likability factor. The role of Deb was performed by Nora Perone who I have to say was wonderful throughout. Her comedy with the character was excellent and combined with her acting, facial expressions and lovely voice, it was great! Alistair Frederick and Kirby Hughes played couple Jason and Claire and I think they both portrayed the emotion wonderfully! I was moved by their touching performances.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see Ordinary Days before my trip to Edinburgh so I’m not sure how much they had to adapt to the festival however one thing I would say is that the ending seemed quite abrupt.

Overall it had a great base to a fresh modern musical and I see lots of potential! Would be great to see it somewhere with proper staging etc, but the cast did a fantastic job! 

4stars

In Conversation with KATY LIPSON of ARIA ENTERTAINMENT

Interview lead by Nathan Deane

From Page To Stage is a London based musical theatre festival showcasing brand new musicals, featuring staged readings, concerts, snippets of new shows and one fully produced musical by Aria Entertainment. Click here to read more about FPTS on The Thespians Blog, and click here to read about the amazing cast at this years FPTS.

The Thespians Blog were invited along to an event at The Other Palace, marking the opening of the 5th year of FPTS. This included watching some amazing performances from the new Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater musical, Some Lovers (tickets here), which looks absolutely fantastic. We also got to watch a performance by Miiko Toiviainen from the new musical XY (tickets here), which also looks amazing.

Amongst watching the amazing performances, we got to sit down with the woman behind the festival, Katy Lipson. Katy is director of production company Aria Entertainment and has produced many fan favourites, including Lizzie, The Addams Family (UK Tour), and YANK! (Off-West End). 

From Page To Stage 2017 Launch

Steven Sater (book/lyrics – Some Lovers), Chloe Carrington (Dinostory and Chicken Little), Gemma Wardle (Some Lovers), Ben Richards (Some Lovers), Jenna Innes (Some Lovers), Aaron Kavanagh (Some Lovers), Gloria Onitiri (Showcase), Miiko Toiviainen (XY), Katy Lipson (Producer – From Page To Stage).

You’ve worked with Burt Bacharach before, you did Promises, Promises back in February, so what is it like working with Bacharach again but with a completely now show that’s never been produced?

Maybe I’m playing this too casual, but I guess I feel extremely lucky to be presenting in the same year, but a new musical that’s never been put on in this country and never had a production before in the US. He’s one of the most iconic living writers thanks to this 50 year career he’s had. The songs are amazing, they’re really, really beautiful. The sound is as commercial as some of his early hit songs. I’m just really keen to see that we get this show right and move this show on. I’m more focused on nailing it and getting it right, we all want it to be successful and we want people to connect with it. If Burt was coming over I guess I would be nervous about that performance, but he’s not coming over for this first performance but he will come over when we do the show for a full run with a press night. Steven Sater’s wonderful to work with, he’s a great book writer and lyricist, he wrote Spring Awakening which was a game changer for musical theatre and one of the shows that I love, and I feel just so incredibly lucky!

Promises, Promises has some iconic numbers like “Turkey Lurkey Time” which has iconic choreography and everyone knows it, is there going to be anything as iconic in Some Lovers?

I think you’ve got some hit songs in there in a different way. Turkey Lurkey was famous for being quirky but I think there are some hits in here because they’re stunning. We’ve got some hits like Say a Little Prayer and I’ll Never Fall In Love Again and I think the album will become a hit album, rather than a song. It is an album of love songs, and it’s very arty. I assume people will get lost in the music and love it!

 This is your fifth year doing FPTS, how has the festival changed each year?

I’ve become more ambitious and more savvy and my reputation is higher so each year more and more industry come, more  and more venues come, more and more work is submitted of higher standard, I reach out to more and more established writers as well. We wouldn’t have had a Burt Bacharach musical five years ago. I raise more and more money, get more recognition. We moved from The Landor Theatre from the first two years to the Tristan Bates Theatre and now we’re at The Other Palace so I’ve learnt a lot more. I’ve learnt more about who I want to collaborate with and what I want to get out of it. Whereas in years one and two I’m establishing a brand, something that people recognise as an investible festival, whereas now we’re  starting shows out on the right track.

You’re working with Paul Taylor-Mills, another producer, whilst you’re in The Other Palace, so how has that worked out?

So Paul and I didn’t actually work together. It’s just our festival. Andrew Lloyd-Webber invited us to The Other Palace and Paul saw the repertoire we are doing but we’re an outside company that are coming in and rent the theatre, but with Andrew’s support. We all want the same things, new musicals and a safe space for new musicals to flourish and to present them.

You’re a really innovative producer, you’ve got an iconic musical which is touring right now (The Addams Family), and you’ve done Lizzie which isn’t so traditional with a blistering rock score, you’ve done Burt Bacharach, he’s only written two shows and you’ve produced them both, and this year you’re doing Hair. It’s just been leaked that you’re selling tickets to a clothing-optional performance. How did that performance idea come about?

We were approached by a naturist group. They said “oh my god you’re doing Hair and in this intimate theatre, would you consider doing a clothing optional performance?” This group had been trying to get other theatres in Westminster to do it and they all said no but we said ‘why not?’ So we made a private link that you could only buy tickets for if you were sent. Somehow, it leaked out and so we told the press that we were offering this performance. Hair is a show about being liberated, it’s a show about free love, it’s a show about having a free sexuality, free with your identity, free with who you’re marrying, interracial marriage. It’s amazing. If you see Hair, you’re going to love it. So we’re doing it for one performance and if it’s successful,  we’ll do another it’s as simple as that!

Have you had a favourite musical you’ve produced?

I think a new musical I did called Return of the Soldier was very special because it was brand new and I really, really loved it. I’ve loved doing some of the cabarets I’ve done. Also Jerry’s Girls, the Jerry Herman musical. I absolutely adored putting one two of my biggest shows so The Addams Family and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which I did in 2012. And also my latest show, The Toxic Avenger, which is absolutely mental. It’s so fun. Before Toxie (The Toxic Avenger) I didn’t do any comedy in my shows but to hear an audience erupt in laughter is an amazing feeling. My portfolio is so diverse like with YANK! which is an incredible show about the officers in the army falling in love and gay rights to Toxie which is completely un-PC and hilarious, then to The Addams Family which is a caricature of these iconic characters to Burt Bacharach. There’s no point of strategy, you gravitate towards pieces you love and they really take off and you think ‘Oh. Okay. I need to make room in my life now to make the most out of it.

 

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Hair at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

I’d really love to thank Katy Lipson for sitting down and talking with me.

From Page To Stage festival runs until the 3rd of September 2017 at The Other Palace in London. For more information and tickets, click here. 

 

Cast announced for SOME LOVERS & Further musicals at From Page To Stage 2017

ARIA ENTERTAINMENT’s

FINAL LOGO - large

Summer Festival 2017 at The Other Palace

BACHARACH and SATER’s SOME LOVERS

+ West End stars join FPTS shows & concerts

Ben Richards, Carolyn Maitland, Oliver Tompsett, Shona White, Miranda Wilford

Ben Richards returns to musical theatre in the premiere of Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater‘s SOME LOVERS – the head line show for Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage (FPTS) Summer Festival at The Other Palace. With just 12 performances, the seats will be some of the hottest musical theatre tickets in Town this summer (Thursday 24 August – 2 September 2017)!

SOME LOVERS is the new musical from Tony and Grammy Award winning writer Steven Sater (Spring Awakening), and Academy Award, Grammy Award winning pop legend Burt Bacharach – his first score for the theatre since 1968’s Promises Promises. A valentine to New York SOME LOVERS is a contemporary parable about the gifts we give one another — a love story, set over twenty years.

Four actors play two characters, Ben and Molly, caught between the present and past. Ben will be played by Ben Richards (The Bodyguard, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – West End, Footballers’ Wives, Hollyoaks); Molly by Gemma Wardle (Betty Blue Eyes – West End, Eponine in Les Miserables – West End); Young Molly is Jenna Innes (Charlotte Donne in Animus– The Bridewell Theatre); and making his professional debut as Young Ben is Aaron Kavanagh who graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this month (July 2017.)

Steven Sater says: “Burt and I came to recognise how distinct our love songs were from those ubiquitous pop anthems of young love. Our love songs seemed invariably to express a sort of disaffection, a disappointment, a dark joy, or the renewed determination of a more mature, mid-relationship romance. What if we revisited that Depression-Era classic story, The Gift of the Magi? What became of those young Christmas lovers, twenty years after their happily ever after? And that was the beginning of SOME LOVERS.”

Burt Bacharach says: “Writing songs with Steven has been a different process for me because most of the time it’s the lyrics that come first and then I set them to music. Steven is a very musical lyric writer and it is always a pleasure to take his lyrics with consummate ease and set them and feel very good about the result.”

The creative team for SOME LOVERS: Director – Katherine Hare (Co-founder of Triptic, Resident Dir Sunny Afternoon – West End); MD – Jordan Li-Smith (Ragtime – Charing Cross Theatre); Choreographer – Philip Thomas (Tick Tick Boom! – Park Theatre); Designer – Nik Corrall(Tick Tick Boom! – Park Theatre, Ass Designer Marlowe Theatre); Lighting Designer – James Smith (Ass LD Wind In The Willows – London Palladium); Sound Designer – Chris Bogg (Yank! The Musical – Charing Cross Theatre.) SOME LOVERS is produced in association with SENBLA.

Also confirmed is a terrific cast of West End performers for You Know How To Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration including: Carolyn Maitland(Ghost, Miss Saigon), Oliver Tompsett (Guys & Dolls, We Will Rock You, Wicked), Shona White (Mamma Mia, Wicked) and Miranda Wilford(Remembering Fred, Thriller Live!) in the Studio (18/08–19/08.) MD/Piano – David Randall and Cello – Sarah Bowler. Co-producer Guy James.

 

Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage (FPTS) – a ground breaking International Summer Musical Festival for new musicals at the start of their musical theatre life, runs for three weeks at The Other Palace from MONDAY 14 AUGUST to SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2017.

FPTS Summer Festival: Monday 14 August – Sunday 3 September 2017.

The Other Palace – 12 Palace Street, Westminster, London SW1E 5JA.

Ticket prices from £7.50 – £20. (SOME LOVERS: ALL tickets £20)

Box Office: theotherpalace.co.uk / 020 7087 7900 

www.frompage2stage.com 

FPTS twitter: @FromPage2Stage 

SOME LOVERS: Dates and Performance Times – All tickets £20

THURSDAY                 24th AUGUST             8pm

FRIDAY                        25th AUGUST             8pm

SATURDAY                  26th AUGUST             3pm and 8pm

MONDAY                    28th AUGUST             8pm

TUESDAY                     29th AUGUST             8pm

WEDNESDAY             30th AUGUST             8pm

THURSDAY                  31st AUGUST              3pm and 8pm

FRIDAY                        1st SEPTEMBER          8pm

SATURDAY                  2nd SEPTEMBER        3pm – 8pm

See below for full listings information for FPTS Summer Festival…..

ARIA ENTERTAINMENT’s

FINAL LOGO - large

SUMMER FESTIVAL 2017 at THE OTHER PALACE

Monday 14th August

Opening Songwriters Showcase followed by Q&A with producer Katy Lipson (STUDIO) @ 7.30PM – concert

Tuesday 15th  August

XY by Oliver Houser, developed with Hunter Bird – (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Wednesday 16th  Aug

XY (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Thursday 17th August

XY (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Friday 18th August

You Know How To Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – concert.

Saturday 19th  August

You Know How To Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm –concert.

Monday 21st August

Rebel Song by Christopher Dickins, Tom Wright & additional music Jacquelyn Hynes (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Tuesday 22nd August

Rebel Song (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Wednesday 23rd  Aug

Rebel Song (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – staged reading

Thursday 24th August

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

One Way by Ben Bonnema & Christopher Staskel, The Edinburgh 7 by Christina Tweeddale, Catherine Myers, the Kielty Brothers & Jordanna O’Neill, The Girls Of Downey Hall by Chris Burgess, Cult! by Tasha Taylor Johnson & Phil Cornwell – (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Friday 25th  August

Some Lovers  by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

One Way, The Edinburgh 7, The Girls Of Downey Hall, Cult! (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Saturday 26th  August

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production

One Way, The Edinburgh 7, The Girls Of Downey Hall, Cult! (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm – showcasing 4 x musicals in one night – 25 minutes each

Sunday 27th  August

DAY OFF

Monday 28th  August

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

Chicken Little by Jake Brunger & Pippa Cleary and Dinostory by Luke Di Somma, Mark Anderson & Erin Carter (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Tuesday 29th  August

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

Chicken Little and Dinostory (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Wednesday 30th  Aug

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

Chicken Little and Dinostory (STUDIO) @ 1pm FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ staged reading

Thursday 31st  August

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production

The Queen’s Nose by Charles Miller/Tim Sanders – (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm  FAMILY FESTIVAL5+ – staged reading

Friday 1st September

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – full production

The Queen’s Nose (STUDIO) @ 7.30pm – FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ – staged reading

Saturday  2nd Sept

Some Lovers by Burt Bacharach & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 3pm & 8pm – full production

The Queen’s Nose (STUDIO) @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm – FAMILY FESTIVAL 5+ – staged reading

Sunday 3rd  September

Closing Gala: An Evening Of Songs From Spring Awakening Creators Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater (MAIN HOUSE) @ 8pm – staged concert

 

HAIR EXTENSION! and initial CASTING for 50th Anniversary Production


HAIR‘s new 50th anniversary production is to have a HAIR extension through to New Year 2018! The show was due to run until early December but already due to popular demand the show is now extending for a further 6 weeks to SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2018 – the perfect night out especially over the Festive Season!

The iconic tribal rock musical HAIR opens at London’s fully immersive Off-West-End theatre, The Vaults, from WEDNESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2017 and is now to run to SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2018. 

Still ground-breaking at the age of 50, HAIR opened off-Broadway in 1967, so to open this genuinely new production off-West-End in 2017 is the perfect move for Hope Mill Theatre’s acclaimed production, directed by Jonathan O’Boyle – as relevant now as it was in the 60s.

1967 and HAIR‘s hippie-hood youngsters live as The Tribe, in the East Village of New York: yearning to change the world, questioning authority and the American flag. They are wild, colourful, free, sexually liberated beautiful people who join in protest and song – under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Featuring classic hit songs: Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In and Good Morning Star Shine – and the story of youth and war still resounds throughout the world making this a topical musical for the millennial generation. 2017 vividly sees the world protesting and marching, fighting for freedom of speech; from Trump to Brexit via Syria – the core spirit of HAIR.

Initial casting for this thrilling, young and moving production of HAIR includes: DANIEL BAILEY (Motown The Musical – Shaftesbury Theatre, The Lion King – Lyceum Theatre), ADAM DAWSON (Jet in West Side Story RSC Live – Stratford), JESSIE MAY (Fiona in Blondel – The New Union Theatre, Rock Of Ages – UK tour). And returning to the production are: NATALIE GREEN (Wicked – UK tour), LAURA JOHNSON (Rizzo in Grease – UK tour), SHEKINA MCFARLANE (Parade – Hope Mill Theatre, The Lion King – UK & International tour), ROBERT METSON (Ryan in Bear – Southwark Playhouse), LIAM ROSS-MILLS (Les Miserables – West End, Ben in Ushers: The Front of House Musical – Charing Cross Theatre), KORYANN STEVENS (West Side Story – Live Nation) and KIRSTEN WRIGHT (Our Seasons End – The AC Group).

Further casting to be announced, as the search continues to cast the roles of Berger, Hud and Margaret Mead!

The genuinely youthful cast will bring the original protest musical to life, in the intimate theatre seating just 200, revealing every emotion up close and personal through HAIR‘s drug fuelled journey.

Like a mini Woodstock, from the moment the audience arrive, The Vaults is transformed into a fully immersive 60s venue, with psychedelic, innovative creatives, iconic artwork and hippie flower power. With 60s themed pop up restaurants and themed drinks; plus stalls including: vintage 60s and tie dye clothes, 60s smiley badges and memorabilia, hippie wigs and flower headdresses, vinyl’s – everything needed for a legal high. The audience then move through to the theatre space for HAIR – the musical that changed the face of the modern musical.


COME JOIN THE TRIBE – HAIR

The 50th Anniversary production of HAIR transfers to London from its critically acclaimed run at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester.

VENUE: THE VAULTS (7AD, Leake St, London SE1 7NN)

PERFORMANCES: WEDNESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2017 – SUNDAY 14 JANUARY 2018

Previews: Wednesday 4/10 7.30pm, Thursday 5/10 3pm & 7.30pm, Friday 6/10 7.30pm, Saturday 7/10 7pm & 10pm and Monday 9/10 7.30pm.

TUESDAY to SUNDAY (no performances on a Monday)

Tuesday – 7.30pm

Wednesday – 7.30pm

Thursday – 3pm & 7.30pm

Friday – 7.30pm

Saturday – 7pm & 10pm New Saturday timings from 05/12/17 = 3pm & 7.30pm

Please note: Saturday show time changes to 3pm & 7.30pm in new booking period from 05/12/17-14/01/18

Sunday – 3pm

FESTIVE PERIOD PERFORMANCES AND TIMES STAY THE SAME

TICKET PRICES: £25 – £50

Age recommendation: 14+ (this show contains nudity)

BOX OFFICE: 020 7401 9603

WEBSITE: http://www.hair50.com

TWITTER: @Hair50London

HAIR Hope Mill Theatre production

***** The Reviews Hub: ‘Stunning’

***** North West End: ‘Astounding’

**** The Guardian: ‘Sweetly enticing’ – Lyn Gardner

**** The Stage: ‘Thrilling! Jonathan O’Boyle’s production left me walking on air’ – Mark Shenton

**** Northern Soul

**** Musical Theatre Review.

BEATRIX POTTER Musical Adventure Returns to Cumbria This Summer

Smash hit Beatrix Potter Musical Adventure Where is Peter Rabbit? returns for more theatrical magic this summer in Bowness-on-Windermere.

image001Following its world premiere and a hugely successful run at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere last summer, the highly acclaimed family musical adventure Where Is Peter Rabbit? devised by ROGER GLOSSOP with lyrics by ALAN AYCKBOURN and music by STEVEN EDIS, returns on Saturday 10 June 2017 for 12 weeks.

The innovative show, a visual spectacular for all the family was a sell-out last year and promises even more this summer, with two new songs including an unforgettable ballad from Peter Rabbit himself. The production is a combination of live performance, image007uplifting songs, inventive staging, projection and beautifully created puppets; all designed with exquisite attention to detail, staying faithful to Beatrix Potter’s original stories and illustrations.

The new cast of six actors are: Glenn Adamson, Becky Black, Steven Hardcastle, Suzi Holland, Vivienne Smith and Victoria Sye.  Together they bring to life the much-loved characters of Beatrix Potter’s little books including the ferocious Mr McGregor, the scheming Mr. Tod, the disagreeable Tommy Brock, the headstrong and foolish Jemima and of course the adorable Peter Rabbit.   Accompanying the cast are the famous voices of Miriam Margolyes who reads the stories of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Puddle-duck, and Trustee of the Old Laundry Theatre, Griff Rhys Jones who lends his voice to the Tale of Jeremy Fisher and of course the naughty Peter Rabbit.  There are also some surprise star appearances from lesser known characters; from Lucie and Ptolemy Tortoise, to the an enormous trout which swallows Jeremy Fisher and Kep the collie dog.  The captivating puppets are all beautifully hand crafted and operated by a shadow cast.

The enchanting music by Steve Edis and Alan Ayckbourn’s witty lyrics form a winning combination in the re-imagining of the five classic tales.  Renowned Theatre Set Designer and Director of the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Roger Glossop’s revolving stage breathes life in to the magical stories as the 60 minute production tells not just the gentle side of Beatrix Potter’s famous stories but also some of the terrifically dark, dramatic and villainous themes.

Currently shortlisted for Cumbria Tourism Event of the Year, the performance which attracted rave reviews and over 20,000 visitors to the little Theatre in Bowness last summer, is anticipating another successful season with two additional weeks of performances.

Where Is Peter Rabbit?at the Old Laundry Theatre at The World Of Beatrix Potter Attraction in the heart of the Lake District from Saturday 10 June – Sunday 3 September 2017.  Tickets available online www.hop-skip-jump.com and through the Old laundry Theatre Box Office 015394 40872.