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

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. 

 

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.

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: School Of Rock at The New London Theatre

This show was one of the rare moments Nathan and Charlie both see the show, so there will be two parts; Nathan’s review and Charlie’s review. Enjoy!

Nathan’s Review

I’ve been following School Of Rock since it had its concert at the Gramercy Theatre in New York. The Broadway cast of children are honestly some of my favourite actors/actresses.

When SoR was announced to come to the UK, I was thrilled. I called Charlie when tickets went on sale and we booked. The seats we got were fab, I don’t even think there are any bad seats in the theatre!
The show itself lacked the WOW factor. David Fynn, who plays Dewey, was amazingly energetic and really channelled Jack Black, who played the character in the original movie. The children, on the other hand, while good actors and musicians, weren’t strong in their singing and some of the American accents were lost. Preeya Kalidas, who played Patti, was struggling with her acting at most times and I felt she wasn’t as powerful as she could’ve been. Rosanna Hyland, who played Rosalie, on the other hand, was a brilliant all-rounder and brought the show to the top of “mount rock”.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this show, so there isn’t much that I can really write about it.

Charlie’s Review

Perhaps somewhat contrary to Nathan’s review, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with Nathan that the New London theatre is so well laid out there’s not a bad seat in the house really. It feels quite open and I think it suited the show quite well. I thought the atmosphere was incredible, at times you felt like you were actually at a rock concert!

I was extremely excited to see this show as the film is one of my absolute favourites- I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it. I think the storyline, the passion for music and the comedy is just great!

Admittedly I was a bit doubtful as to whether anyone could even come close to Jack Black in the role of Dewey, but I have to say, David Fynn gave him a run for his money. He had so much energy on stage, his voice was fab, and the comedic timing was brilliant.  I loved how the show used current affairs in the comedy (for example a certain Mr Donald Trump) Also, he seemed to play off the kids really well.

The musical talent of the young actors and actresses in the show was outstanding! The band stood and watched with the audience as the kids were ‘rocking out’ live on stage.

Overall I thought the atmosphere was amazing, as  if you were at a proper rock concert! It’s definitely one to visit again at some point!

 

Charlie & Nathan

xoxo