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.

REVIEW: Soho at the Peacock Theatre

On Wednesday May 10th I attended the press night of Soho at the Peacock Theatre in London. Soho is a mix of dance, gymnastics, and circus skills following a character through a day and night in Soho. The show features iconic areas and places such as Soho Square and China Town. The show was open to the general public as well as press and so mostly felt like attending a show as normal, with an added official photographer wandering around and a backdrop for photos to be taken against.

I had no idea what to expect from the show before it started, but as we entered the auditorium the sound of a tube creaking along was played, setting the audience up for the first scene. I thought this was a good introduction to the show, instead of having generic music playing. The first part of the show was set on a tube and as soon as it began I realised this was not your typical show. A hugely diverse cast with people from the UK to Australia graced the stage covered head to toe in colourful and exciting outfits. It was immediate to me that this show would be full of life, talent, and pizzazz.

Each performer had a specialist skill to add to the performance such as handstands, martial arts, and trapeze skills which meant that nothing seemed too similar to another part of the show. A highlight for me was Leah Wolff from Canada who’s talent was the aerial hoop. Whilst she performed in most of the other scenes, the scene in Madame Jojo’s where she was the focus point was absolutely astounding. All throughout the show I was wowed by the ability each performer had not only in their skill but in the other areas they featured in, and the way they brought their talent to the stage and made it theatrical and engaging to watch.

The two acts of the show were broken down into day time and night time, with each act being split further into certain activities for that time of day. During the show I realised that all the performers were taking on different roles within each section other than Alessio Motta who’s character stayed the same throughout as we followed him through 24 hours in Soho. Whilst I enjoyed the narrative and thought it was done in a clever way, it took me a few scenes to realise we were following him instead of each scene being unrelated. Each scene was really different and I found some more interesting than others based on the content of each one and the skills that were used. I really felt engaged in the Soho Streets scene in act 1 with all the different characters and their interactions with each other, however the following scene in the Gym was much less interesting for me as I felt it seemed much more simple and less vibrant than the previous scene.

Each scene was full of music, some specially composed by Peter Coyte for the show, and other music by popular artists. I thought this worked well as it meant every now and then you would recognise the song but it wasn’t so frequent that it was distracting. The coreography along to the music had been carefully planned out and to great success.

Overall, although I found some parts of the show less engaging than others, I thought it was a very clever, talented, and enjoyable show with a round narrative starting and ending on the tube. It was a very welcome change from my typical theatre visits and a great introduction to the world or circus skills and gymnastics on stage.

4stars

Written by Zoe Rogers

Aria Entertainment’s FROM PAGE TO STAGE Festival Listing Announced!

Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage (FPTS) are delighted to announce their exciting musical concerts and the eleven new musicals selected to be showcased during their Summer Festival at The Other Palace (Monday 14 August – Sunday 3 September 2017) including: musical royalty with Tony and Grammy Award winning writer Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and Academy Award, Grammy Award winning pop legend Burt Bacharach’s new musical Some Lovers – a fully produced main house production; and titular royalty on stage in the studio, with the coming of age new family musical The Queen’s Nose by Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, adapted from the right royal author Dick King-Smith’s delightfully funny children’s book.

Fast becoming the world’s leading new musical theatre Summer Festival FPTS moves into The Other Palace, where night and day over the three weeks, the sound of music from new musicals from across the globe will be brought to life; both in the theatre and studio – and even the bar. From a record breaking 302 submissions from 15 countries, the selected new musicals will be showcased and performed by top West End performers, directors, choreographers, musicians and musical directors – showing each step of a new musical, with workshops, readings, showcases (25 minute tasters of musicals) and fully staged productions.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, owner The Other Palace says: “I am thrilled that Katy Lipson is bringing From Page to Stage to The Other Palace, in August. It buoys my hope that The Other Palace will become a breeding ground for new musicals and a genuine hub for anyone interested in musical theatre.”

The Festival will open with the slick cutting-edge Song Writers Showcase (14 Aug), giving a professional platform for some awesome new musical songs from a plethora of musical genres, very clearly showing the calibre of shows on tap for three weeks at The Other Palace.

Creating a perfect FPTS mini Family Festival in the studio (28 Aug-02 Sept), The Queen’s Nose will be one of three family shows alongside the infectious tale of Chicken Little by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary; and the first musical where the world of carnivores and herbivores clash in Dinostory by Luke Di Somma, Mark Anderson and Erin Carter.

The Festival includes darker musicals XY (15 – 17 Aug) by Oliver Houser: “whilst studying on my undergraduate psychology course, I learnt about the psychologically harmful, non-consensual corrective surgeries still performed regularly on intersex infants. It’s been percolating in me for 5 years….” – Christopher Dickens and Tom Wright’s Rebel Song (21 – 23 Aug), a topical love story adapted from the award-winning novel At Swim, Two Boys…… – and One Way (24 – 26 Aug), in which an astrophysicist is selected to go on the first one-way trip to Mars by Ben Bonnema and Christopher Staskel.

Other exciting musicals being premiered at FPTS include: The Edinburgh 7 (24 – 26 Aug) by young bloods Christina Tweeddale & Catherine Myers (from the band Honeyblood), the Kielty Brothers and Jordanna O’Neill – their musical of women’s suffrage and their fight to study medicine in 1866…. – The comedy musical by Chris Burgess, The Girls of Downey Hall (24 – 26 Aug) based on Jenny Colgan’s best-selling novel Class …. – Tasha Taylor Johnson (Feed Your Ego) and musical director Phil Cornwell’s Cult! (24 – 26 Aug) a comedy tale of an unlikely group of Doomsday Seekers…. – and One Day (28 – 30 Aug) by Ben Toth, Todd Almond and Anil Baral set in 1972 Northern Ireland: Catholic against Protestant, Irish against British, neighbour against neighbour….

And the headline show: Some Lovers (24 Aug – 02 Sept) – Bacharach’s first new score for the theatre since 1968s Promises Promises. Steven Sater says: “Love songs, that’s what I write. Burt and I had just written our first song together; and some months and any number of songs later I came to recognise how distinct our songs were from those ubiquitous pop anthems of young love. Ours seemed invariably to express a sort of disaffection, a disappointment, a dark joy, or the renewed determination of a more mature, mid-relationship romance. One day, in the heat of July in Los Angeles, as Burt and I laboured away on a Christmas song, I thought: 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.”

Burth

The first weekend of FPTS sees two special evenings in the Studio, with British composer Charles Miller in You Know How To Love Me (18 – 19 Aug). Joining him will be a host of West End artistes singing from his wonderfully surprising shows including: Brenda Bly: Teen Detective, When Midnight Strikes and The Return Of The Soldier – and Charles will be sharing his favourite behind-the-scenes stories.

And then the Closing Gala (03 Sept) and the icing on the cake of Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage Summer Festival is an evening with America’s finest: An Evening Of Songs From Spring Awakening Creators Duncan Sheik And Steven Sater. An extraordinary concert performance of Steven and Duncan’s many musical collaborations including: Spring Awakening, Phantom Moon, Nero, Alice By Heart, Umbrage, The Nightingale and A Home At The End Of The World – and maybe a sneak preview of their latest projects….. a unique ending to the world renowned festival From Page To Stage……

FPTS – From Page to Stage 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.

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

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In Conversation with circus performer DANIEL ASH about his upcoming show “SOHO”

On Friday 5th May we were lucky enough to be able to get an interview with a cast member from the innovative new show Soho (at the Peacock Theatre until 20th May), Daniel Ash. In the show Daniel’s main number is a drag aerial act.

So how did you get involved with the show?

” I was doing a circus degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts. This time last year Stufish came to the school and worked with us in our second year to do a Workshop of the show. This is where we made the first version of the show which was 40 minutes then over the last six weeks we’ve been in France turning it in to an hour and half long show. I came in to circus quite late, I actually did a science degree first.”

So what got you in to the Circus then?

“Well I’ve always loved acting growing up but I always thought I should try and get a proper job. When I left Sheffield University and finished the degree I just wanted to follow my passion so I became an actor and I did a lord of the flies tour. Then I did a cabaret course at the Roundhouse for 18-25 year olds where I worked with Marisa Carneski. I also, in Soho did a stripper competition, so the combination of these two things got me in to cabaret and stripping so the last four years I’ve been on the cabaret scene with loads of different acts. I do quite a bit of drag as well, but then I saw circus cabaret show Limbo at London Wonderground and I watched the circus artists and I thought I want to do that so I started doing evening classes. Six months after that I auditioned for circus school and got in.”

So what is the main number that you’re involved with in the show?

“Throughout the show I’m a gym boy in the Gym scene and I’m in the Berwick Street Market scene but my main number is in Madam JoJo’s in the second half. It’s a really famous cabaret club that’s been going for years with Burlesque Dancers and it got closed recently because of gentrification. Quite a lot of gay places are being closed as well for the sake of building high rise flats or something. So yeah in Madam JoJo’s I play a drag queen and I do an aerial silks number to Etta James ‘I wanna make to love to you’. The training has been quite intense with the heals on the equipment it’s very tiring and the outfit is very elaborate. I have feathers on the shoulders and big blonde wig, and I have to do my make up in twenty minutes which is quite scary.”

Where do you see this show going in the future?

“I think Stufish are hoping to take this on a world tour, which will be amazing. I’ve always been really passionate about the show, like when Stufish came to the school it was obviously right up my street with the whole drag act.”

Did they scout you or did you have to audition?

“They held auditions recently but when they came to the school, they worked with our year for the workshop, but with this version they had to do auditions. So I was in the original but with this version I had to audition. It’s a really important show, though, because a lot of places like Soho and Hackney Wick, where I live, there’s a lot of stuff being knocked down, lots of flats, lots of clubs and places where I used to perform, a really iconic gay club in Vauxhall that shut down. Someone recently said to me “Soho used to be a real hub for the gay community” but it almost feels like the gays are less visible, if you know what I mean, because places are being shut down…I feel like this show is really important and a really important celebration of Soho. I worked with someone who told me that Soho was a great community for the gays, but Soho is a great mismatch of gays, straights, lesbians and queers so the show is a celebration and warning of “try not to kill off the culture” or “don’t get too much into capitalism”. We need to protect and celebrate districts like Soho.”

What, roughly, is the story of the show?

“The story follows a “Lost Man”, he’s from abroad and come to London and he gets lost in Soho. The beginning it’s this really big, spectacular opening. The audience is presented with a train heading towards them and there’s a big commuting scene with people flying through the air and it’s pretty mad.”

Why do you think people should come and see Soho?

“I think people should come and see Soho because there aren’t that many shows out there that will blow you away ten times in the space of an hour. Every scene, there’s a spectacle. There’s an amazing trapeze couple from Montreal. There’s me, a drag queen on silks. You’ll see things that are really amazing. It’ll blow your mind. It’s a wow a minute show. It’s like a cabaret, as well. There are so many acts in the space of an hour so it’s totally worth the money. The projections are amazing, also. It’s a beautiful piece to watch.”

Any words of advice for aspiring performers?

“Never give up on your dream. It’s never too late. People will tell you it’s too late, it’s not! I was sat in my sister’s car, age 24, I actually cried because I just started doing acrobatics and I couldn’t do a cartwheel. I thought “If I can’t do a cartwheel now, it’s too late.” I can do a cartwheel now! I can climb the silks! I can do flips and dangerous stuff. With the right training, you can do anything. I know someone who started circus aged 28 and they’re still going aged 45. Never give up! It’s a long road but i’ve been doing it for five years now and a lot of it is not a lot of money or long hours but it’s all worth it when it pays off. It’s better to be happy and have less money, definitely.”

The world premiere of SOHO – it’s not just a place, it’s a state of mind…..

SOHO – a thrill ride of circus, street and theatre performance re-creating the exciting, edgy and voyeuristic world of London’s Soho!

Saturday 6 May – Saturday 20 May 2017

THE PEACOCK Portugal St, London WC2A 2HT

Performances: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm (no performances on a Monday)

Saturday matinee at 2.30pm (no matinee on 06/05/17)

Sunday performances at 2pm and 6pm

Tickets: £25 – £35

Ticket Office: 020 7863 8222 or www.peacocktheatre.com

MISS HOPE SPRINGS London Concert Followed by UK Tour!

MISS HOPE SPRINGS PUTS THE WIG BACK IN WIGMORE HALL: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

Experiencing the whirlwind of overnight success, numerous decades after she started her career, this summer will see the West End’s most unique entertainer, the eternally youthful Miss Hope Springs, make her debut at the Wigmore Hall, one of the world’s top classical music venues – which may never be the same once Hope’s sprung there on Friday 16th June 2017 at 10.00pm, followed by UK tour.

The towering blonde ex-Vegas never-say-die show-business trouper Hope brings to the stage a pantechnicon of career wrong turnings and disastrous love affairs. A truly gifted songwriter and captivating performer, Hope will be playing the piano and singing her self-penned all original songs from her brand new LP The Devil Made Me Do It. In a virtuoso performance Hope heartbreakingly moves her audience to tears and then exquisitely makes them laugh out loud. Her new LP is “really a look back over what I call my ‘Ritz to the pits’ life. It’s a trip down memory lane and a bit like that long winter I spent in Copenhagen, back in the day making ‘art films’ it’s not always a pretty sight.”

One of the new album tracks is the previously unreleased Please Don’t Desert Us at Dessert which Hope recently found in ‘her archive’ (an old shoe box under the bottom bunk of the camper-van she shares with her husband Irving and his hairdresser pal Carlos.) “It was written especially for me by Sir Noel Coward over lunch at The Pink Pelican Casino where I was a showgirl in the early sixt – I mean seventies.” Also included in her concert will be firm favourites such as Seedy Little Nightclub in Pigalle, the riotous Zodiac Lover and the truly heart-breaking Queen of Fools.

Hope is cut from the same fabulous sequinned cloth as Dame Edna, Lilly Savage and Danny La Rue, but she responds dismissively “That’s simply a bitchy rumour put about by Goldie Hawn. She’s a nice girl – but can be a little jealous… Listen, I’ve always been tall for my height – end of story!” Hope‘s celebrity fans are as glittering as her stage wear including: Marc Almond, Julian Clary, Rula Lenska, Jonathan Ross, Fenella Fielding, The Beverley Sisters and Lady Helen Windsor.

Still wearing the sequins she left the USA with in 1972, Hope tours her remarkable new show to very selective venues around the UK from June. “I’ve played in the world’s premier rooms from The Dew Drop Inn to the Cucaracha Club, but the Wigmore Hall? My mother Rusty would have been so proud (she’s not dead – we just don’t talk anymore.) Someone said I’m putting the wig back in Wigmore, I don’t know what they’re trying to insinuate, my hair is purely a reflection of my Irish/Lithuanian/Eskimo heritage – just like my double layers of thick black eyelashes…It’s all down to good genes.”

Miss Hope Springs is a truly gifted performer and songwriter, and an accomplished entertainer in the best vaudeville tradition! – Liza Minnelli’s Musical Director Billy Stritch

Wigmore Hall – Friday 16th June at 10.00 pm

Address: 36 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 2BP.

Phone: 020 7935 2141.

Tickets: £15

Website: wigmore-hall.org.uk

Chapel Arts – Friday 23rd and Saturdat 24th June at 8.00pm

Address: St. James’s Memorial Hall, Lower Borough Walls, Bath BA1 1QR.

Phone: 01225. 461700

Tickets: £20 in advance / £22 on the night

Website http://www.chapelarts.org

Astor Theatre – Saturday 8th July at 8.00pm

Address: Stanhope Rd, Deal Kent CT14 6AB.

Phone: 01304 370220.

Tickets: £20 Website: theastor.org

Wilton’s Music Hall – Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th July at 7.00pm

Address: 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB.

Phone: 020 7702 2789.

Tickets: from £20.

Website: http://www.wiltons.org.uk

The Stables – Friday 14th July at 8.45pm

Address: Stockwell Ln, Wavendon, Milton Keynes MK17 8LU Milton Keynes.

Tickets: £20

Phone: 01908 280800.

Website: http://www.stables.org

Komedia – Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July at 8.00pm

44-47 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UN.

Tickets £15 / £12.50 cons.

Phone: 0845 293 8480.

Website: http://www.komedia.co.uk

Miss Hope Springs is the creation of composer, lyricist, pianist and comic actor Ty Jeffries son of the late British screen legend Lionel Jeffries who starred in many films including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and wrote and directed The Railway Children. Ty’s formative years living in Tinsel Town lend authenticity to his multi-layered portrayal of fading glamour-puss Hope.
Ty is a classically trained pianist (Purcell School) and for the last 5 years his glittering alter ego has been starring in London’s West End top cabaret rooms and in the cabaret rooms and theatres of New York, LA and San Francisco.

REVIEW: The Life at Southwark Playhouse

This review may be slightly late, the show may have a few weeks left, BUT this is a show not to be missed.

The Life tells the story of the seedy underworld of New York City in the 80’s, most prominently it tells the story of Queen, a prostitute, and her failing relationship with ex-soldier Theodore. The songs are woven together by small sections of dialogue and acting. 

The book, by David Newman, Ira Gasman and Cy Coleman (revisions by Michael Blakemore) doesn’t stand out at all in this piece. It’s a needed piece of the show, and the show couldn’t flow without it but it was just so dull. What does stand out about the piece are the songs. The music and lyrics, by Cy Coleman and Ira Gasman really express the characters in a very tasteful way, yet the music doesn’t take away from the energy of the gogo dancers, strippers and prostitutes.

The most memorable song from the piece was “My Body” which is sung by the prostitutes, Chi Chi, Sonja, Carmen, April, Tracy, and Queen, played by Jalisa Andrews, Sharon D. Clarke, Aisha Jawando, Charlotte Reavey, Lucinda Shaw and T’Shan Williams, respectively, about how their bodies are their own properties and how they choose to use it (in this case, selling it) is not anyone else’s business. I found this number extremely empowering and I’ve not heard prostitutes being talked about in such a positive way in musical theatre. I loved it.

The standout performance for me was T’Shan Williams as Queen. She played the role with such great emotion, and she made the most of what was, essentially, a bland script. Her vocals were seriously on point in all of her songs and I couldn’t fault her performance whatsoever.

The other awesome woman in this performance was Sharon D. Clarke as Sonja, an aging prostitute who realises “the life” isn’t what it used to be. Her vocals were sensational and she really made the part her own throughout the piece. She was comedic when she needed to be as well as serious during the darker moments of the show.

Cornell S. John played Memphis, a ruthless and brutal pimp to the ring of prostitutes. He was horrifying, and sitting front row I could really the tension on stage whenever he walked on. His vocals, again, were really something and he had the right mix of frighening and funny. 

The choreography was another extremely strong part of the show. From the very beginning we’re introduced to the bustling streets of New York and the dancing was brilliant. Excellently choreographed by Tom Jackson-Graves, each little part of choreography was insanely detailed, from a shoe shine to a strip club.

Director Michael Blakemore returns to The Life after directing the show on Broadway way back in 1997. The direction was brilliant…from what we could see from it. The direction was really focused towards the front so anyone sat on one of the sides like we were usually gets the back of heads or sides of faces, however we could tell what the performers were doing because of their body language and that was an extremely strong point I felt throughout the whole show. Blakemore has directed them to have such amazing body language so that even when the character isn’t singing, dancing or saying anything you could tell exactly how they were feeling.

Overall, this show was brilliant. A little bit rough on the edges but it is very worthy of a West End transfer and if it doesn’t transfer they’ll be getting some very angry emails from me. Don’t miss this phenomenal show.

Nathan xoxo

The Life runs at Southwark Playhouse until 29th April 2017. 

THE OLIVIER AWARDS 2017 – Full Winners List!

Here is the full list of winners at this years Olivier Awards!

  1. Best Actress in a Play – Billie Piper for Yerma
  2. Best Comedy – Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
  3. Outstanding Achievement In Affiliate Theatre – Rotterdam
  4. Best Lighting Design – Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  5. Best Sound Design – Gareth Fry for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  6. Best Costume Design – Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  7. Best Set Design – Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  8. Best Supporting Actor In A Play – Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  9. Best Supporting Actress In A Play – Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  10. Best New Opera Production – Akhnaten
  11. Oustanding Achievement In Opera – Mark Wigglesworth for conducting Don Giovanni
  12. Best Revival Of A Play – Yerma
  13. Best Actor In A Play – Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  14. Best New Play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  15. Best Director – John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  16. Best New Dance Production – Betroffenheit
  17. Outstanding Achievement In Dance – English National Ballet for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells
  18. Best Theatre Choreographer – Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes
  19. Outstanding Achievement In Music – School of Rock The Musical
  20. Best Entertainment And Family – The Red Shoes
  21. Best Supporting Actor In A Musical – Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls The Musical
  22. Best Supporting Actress In A Musical – Rebecca Trehearn for Showboat The Musical
  23. Best Revival Of A Musical – Jesus Christ Superstar The Musical
  24. Best Actor In A Musical – Andy Karl for Groundhog Day The Musical
  25. Best Actress In A Musical – Amber Riley for Dreamgirls The Musical
  26. Best New Musical – Groundhog Day The Musical
  27. Special Award – Kenneth Branagh for his contribution to British theatre

Be sure to watch the Olivier Awards at 11pm, ITV on Tuesday!

Charlie & Nathan xoxo

REVIEW: Lizzie @ Greenwich Theatre

The original Danish production of Lizzie opened to nothing but five star reviews – but does the show transfer well to British audiences?

Steven Cheslik-Demeyer, Alan Steven Hewitt and Tim Maner’s heavy rock musical is based on the real life case of Lizzie Borden – who is considered America’s first murderess. She was trialled and acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. The musical explores Lizzie’s relationships with her sister, Emma Borden, her neighbour and supposed lover, Alice Russell, and her maid, Bridget Sullivan…and no-one else. 

That’s right, not even her parents are characters in this show – there are only four women. And boy, do they kill it. Danish actress Bjørg Gamst plays Lizzie Borden herself and she does it perfectly, during the first act with the shy, sheltered girl and the second act as a killer in love with the attention she’s getting. Her first song, This Is Not Love, she sings about her relationship with her father, with very poignant lyrics, especially about how he “touches” his daughter. Lizzie breaks at the end of act one, ending with the brutal slaughter of her parents (excellently portrayed by two pumpkins stuffed with spaghetti and jam among other things). She plays the break down with such passion that those poor pumpkins are all over the front row by the end of the act. Her Danish accent is very noticeable but she brings it on board as part of the character, making it work. 

US-Born Eden Espinosa plays Emma Lenora Borden, who is the mother figure of Lizzie, explained in her first song “Sweet Little Sister”. Emma leaves halfway through the first act and returns at the beginning of the second act. Eden is fierce throughout the show, and her character is always upright and proper. But Emma is also rude to anyone who isn’t her sister. Her act two belter “What The Fuck Now, Lizzie?” has Eden singing a song with so many f-bombs it’s surprising it’s not a world record. 

Bleu Woodward plays Alice Manely Russell, Lizzie’s next door neighbour and supposed lover. Alice is a secretive young lady, who explains to the audience very early on that she is besotted with Lizzie. Her biggest song, “Will You Stay?” was delivered with brilliant emotion and her voice echoed through the walls and into the hearts of the audience. Lizzie and Alice share a small, lovely kiss at the end of the song, and by the beginning of act two, they both go off stage to share some naughty fun. Alice’s emotion is captured perfectly in every song she has a main part it. During the second act, Alice is scared but also attracted to Lizzie. She betrays her love for Lizzie in court and speaks against her. 

Finally, Jodie Jacobs plays Bridget Sullivan (sometimes called Maggie by Miss Emma and Miss Lizzie). Bridget is a mischievous, comedic narrator character. Whilst Alice is always trying to stop the main action happening, Bridget is always there to make sure something does happen, no matter what. Bridget turns some of the sadder parts of the show into comedic moments, and Jodie Jacobs delivers lines and action extremely well. During the song “Why Are All These Heads Off?” she shows extreme energy as she bounces around the stage. 

The four girls together provide powerhouse vocals. From the opening number, we can tell that their voices blend extremely well. The voices shake the house along with the amazing music, provided by a six-piece rock band. The music really stands out and brings the story well into the 21st century, with rock styles varying from hair band rock to screamo. Victoria Bussert’s amazing direction was suited to each cast members style and personality. This show is a great night out, you will be jamming in your seat. A flawless production, it showcases the best that London and Denmark have to offer in a collaborative production with Aria Entertainment and Fredericia Teater. 


Lizzie is running at the Greenwich Theatre until the 12th of March.

Charlie & Nathan xoxo

REVIEW: The Girl From Mars – The Britpop Musical

Advertised as “The Britpop Rocky Horror”, The Girl From Mars is a jukebox musical currently touring rock venues across the UK. We attended their performance at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth to see the show and review it from a theatre-goer’s perspective. We actually knew nothing about this show before seeing it so our review is completely un-biased.

Our first reaction, as we walked into the auditorium (which is usually used for bands and singers), was that the set design is pretty basic, a few britpop flags dotted around and the instruments pre-set up. The logo also was on the back wall.

The show starts with a voice-over telling the tale of how the martians are, basically, dying and so they’re going to visit earth to find a male to mate with. Then we meet an alien…goddess, shall we call her? And she sings the classic song ‘Ready to Go’. We are then introduced to Sally, a barmaid, and Leon, a guitarist and vocalist for a band. The band don’t want to play rock anymore, they want to be a boyband.

Then they see something crash into the tree, and assume it’s drag racers. Suddenly the alien goddess from before appears, introducing herself as Nyah. She tells the people in the bar of her plan to mate with a male and that they cannot stop her, and to prove so she enlists the help of her pet…robot? Basically, it was a giant marionette puppet that walked through the aisle to the front of the stage, where it was quickly fought by Sally and Leon, who destroyed it with an electric guitar. Sally then locks Nyah in the cellar.

In the cellar, Sally tells Nyah that on earth it’s not just boy-girl relationships. Nyah tells the audience that she might be developing a crush on Sally with the song ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. Leon insults Sally for not killing the alien, thus ending act one.

Act two begins with an argument between Sally and Leon. Two secret agents come to rescue(?) Nyah, much to her dismay. Sally then discovers that Nyah has gone missing. In a dream sequence, we see Leon’s yearning to be a rock god with the song Common People, which brought the house down. Nyah then sings ‘Oops, I Did It Again’ by Britney Spears. Why? I actually don’t know, but it was fierce. Sally comes up with a plan that, instead of taking a man to Mars, she’ll just give Nyah Leon’s sperm. She then asks Nyah to take her back to Mars. Sally and Leon say their goodbyes, and Nyah and Sally depart earth. An agent then comes to watch Leon’s band, and everyone’s happy!

The show has many positive elements but nothing’s perfect. The show, from the very beginning was plagued with microphone and sound issues. We could barely hear the amazing vocals over the drums, yet what we could hear was amazing. From the very beginning, the choreography of the two secret agents was fierce, although sometimes they were out of sync or didn’t know what they were doing.

The show was full of well-known tunes and the (slightly drunk) audience loved to sing along and get up and dance. The encore went on for slightly longer than it should have, and there were a few times that I could feel the script tried hard to cram in as many songs as possible.

Despite this, the show had amazing energy levels, an amazing band and amazing vocals, especially coming from Natasha, who played Nyah. The company were full of talent and deserve a better sound crew! The sound crew, I can tell, were working hard but the venue was, obviously suited for a rock venue.

The show was extremely funny, and often crude. The cast also used the tech and costume mishaps as an advantage and worked them into the script. There were times when the SFX were delayed and we lost part of the story, and some lines, which were meant to be funny, didn’t get through to the audience due to the cast having problems saying them, but the audience found the mishap funnier than the actual line.

Alongside the SFX mishaps, the microphones sometimes cut out during songs and dialogue – most noticeably Niall, who played Leon, suffered with this problem.

Julia, who played Sally, also struggled with this problem but both actors worked through it like true performers.

At some points in the show, it’s easy to spot that the show was conceived in six months but then it really pulls through for a great night out. If you’re a fan of britpop, crude comedy and b-movies, this show is one not to be missed.

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Nathan & Charlie xoxo

The Girl From Mars is playing in Birmingham on the 22nd of April. For tickets and more info click here.