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Theatre blogs

Theatre Blogs

01 October 2022

Theatre Blogs Theatre Blogs
  • Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)
    01 October 2022

    Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)

    One of my ongoing goals in life is to read about the Greek myths, mainly so I can answer a few more questions on University Challenge. But also so when I see a play based on, or inspired by them, I’ll have a little background knowledge to bring to the theatre. This is where I must admit this hasn’t happened yet. But in some ways, that’s the way I like it. It means I arrive at The Lyric for Iphigenia in Splott with no preconceived ideas about what I’m letting myself in for. Gary Owen’s play brings the Iphigenia…
    Summary
    Rating
    80
    Excellent

    If you want to leave the theatre shaking with rage at the injustices of our society, this is the show for you. A startingly powerful performance that will leave you breathless.

    User Rating: Be the first one !

    One of my ongoing goals in life is to read about the Greek myths, mainly so I can answer a few more questions on University Challenge. But also so when I see a play based on, or inspired by them, I’ll have a little background knowledge to bring to the theatre. This is where I must admit this hasn’t happened yet. But in some ways, that’s the way I like it. It means I arrive at The Lyric for Iphigenia in Splott with no preconceived ideas about what I’m letting myself in for.

    Gary Owen’s play brings the Iphigenia of Greek mythology to modern day Wales. As Effie swaggers onto the stage, she fills the auditorium with personality, bravado and cockiness, and a surprising amount of humour. This is a 75-minute attack on the emotions, as the play follows Effie through the literal highs and catastrophic lows of a few months in her life. From men who cheat and lie, to a system that fails her, bringing about unimaginable grief. It’s a monodrama that demands so much of its star.

    Sophie Melville has played the part of Effie before in 2015, when she won The Stage Award for Acting Excellence as well as a nomination for an Evening Standard Award for Best Actress, so it’s no surprise that she dominates the role with incredible power and skill. At first, she seems unlikeable, judging an overweight mother on her local high street and swearing at anyone who dares cross her. But Melville wins the room over soon enough. There’s a raw intensity to her performance. At times almost too much, it’s uncomfortable. Without revealing any spoilers, the final minutes are some of the most horribly heart-breaking you’ll witness on stage.

    Owen’s writing is poetic at times, with Melville veering towards rap as emotions intensify. Before coming back down to earth, as Effie addresses you once again. It’s a wonderfully compelling script, demanding yet effortless through Melville’s performance. It’s a script that drives a desire to pour over the words, to better understand how this magic has been put together. At times it’s reminiscent of Kae Tempest’s 2013 ‘Brand New Ancients’ – but it has enough of its own identity to stand alone.

    This is the largest stage the play has performed upon, and at times the style of set jars with the decorative Lyric Theatre. It cries out for a black box studio theatre. But despite this, the lighting and sound design successfully contribute to the intensity and power of the performance, which still has impact in this large space. With throbbing bass and strips of light, reminiscent of a Tate Modern installation, the sense of growing unease is never far away.

    The final moments of this play are startling. Director Rachel O’Riordan, in her programme note, says “We hope you enjoy the show. I hope you are furious”. As I leave the theatre, I feel torn between tears and anger, a volatile mix of both. Effie is ultimately failed by cuts, by our government not caring about the implications their decisions have on the average citizen. It feels strikingly raw to be watching the show in the current climate, and depressing that it probably felt just as pertinent when first commissioned in 2015. Rachel, you have your wish. I’m fuming.

    Written by: Gary Owen
    Directed by: Rachel O’Riordan
    Design by: Hayley Grindle
    Lighting Design by: Hayley Grindle and Rachel Mortimer
    Sound Design by: Sam Jones
    Produced by: A Lyric Hammersmith Theatre Production.
    Originally commissioned and produced by the Sherman Theatre.

    Iphigenia in Splott plays at Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre until 22 October 2022. More information and bookings can be found here.

    The post Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith) appeared first on Everything Theatre.

  • Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker to star in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT
    01 October 2022

    Following the spectacular success of the 2019 UK concert premiere of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, its stars Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker will reprise their roles in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT at the London Palladium for one-night-only on Sunday 7 May 2023. Full casting will be announced at a later date.

    Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO tells the story of Yurii Zhivago (Ramin Karimloo), a political idealist, physician, and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his close childhood friend and wife, and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar (Celinde Schoenmaker).

    With a book by Oscar nominee Michael Weller and lyrics by Tony nominee Michael Korie and Emmy nominee Amy Powers, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO features a sweeping score by two-time Grammy winner and Tony nominee Lucy Simon.

    DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT is directed by Jordan Murphy (Sunset Boulevard, Matilda, Mary Poppins) with musical direction by Adam Hoskins (The Secret Garden, Dr Zhivago, Camelot).

    Olivier and Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo made his name in some of the West End’s most enduring productions, most notably The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. He originated the role of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies in 2010 before making his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Miserables. Karimloo has also performed show tunes on a series of solo recordings, including his second album, 2019’s From Now On, which landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. He is currently starring as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl on Broadway.

    Celinde Schoenmaker is a Dutch actress and singer, known for appearing as Fantine in the West End production of the musical Les Misérables and as Christine Daae in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera. Other London theatre credits include Jenny Lind in Barnum at the Menier Chocolate Factory. She also played Renate Blauel in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

    The post Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker to star in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • Cast announced for HEX at the National Theatre this Christmas
    01 October 2022

    The National Theatre’s new musical Hex returns to the Olivier theatre for Christmas, after its original 2021 opening was delayed due to covid. The full company performing in this new production has been announced and will play 26 November – 14 January 2023.

    A vividly original retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Hex is a mythic, big-hearted musical that goes beyond the waking kiss. When the fairy is summoned to the palace to help the princess sleep, her spell becomes a curse, and she is plunged into a hundred-year quest to make everything right.

    Michael Elcock returns to the cast as Bert, alongside the newly cast Rosie Graham as Princess Rose, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Queenie and Lisa Lambe as Fairy. Zaynah Ahmed, Marc Akinfolarin, Christopher Akrill, Sabrina Aloueche, Sonya Cullingford, Ben Goffe, Chris Jenkins, Kalisha Johnson, Amanda Lindgren, Michael Matus, Kody Mortimer, Neïma Naouri, Mark Oxtoby, Aharon Rayner, Olivia Saunders, Sasha Shadid, Rumi Sutton and Riley Woodford complete the company.

    Access performances of Hex

    Captioned performance: Monday 19 December at 7.15pm

    BSL performance: Thursday 29 December at 7.15pm

    Audio-described performances: Thursday 2 January at 2pm with a Touch Tour at 12.30pm

    Sensory Adapted performance: Thursday 22 December at 7.15pm

    Smart caption glasses Will be available for performances of Hex from Thursday 8 December.

    The post Cast announced for HEX at the National Theatre this Christmas appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • New cast announced for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY
    01 October 2022

    MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, London’s premier dining experience, is delighted to announce the new cast arriving at Nikos Taverna on the Greek island of Skopelos. Due to extraordinary demand, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is now playing until Sunday 26 February 2023 at The O2, London.

    The new cast, who begin performances tonight include Javier Rasero as Nikos, Scarlet Gabriel as Debbie, Luke Friend as Adam, Noah Sinigaglia as Konstantina, Rosie Rowlands as Bella (at certain performances), Jamie Birkett, Caline Hampartzoumian, Robban Hogstrom, and Maison Kelley. They join existing cast members Lorraine Chappell who will continue in the role of Kate, Dawn Spence as Grandma, Allie Ho Chee as Bella (at certain performances), Claudia Bradley and Ellis Dackombe. Tamara Perks will play the role of Nina, and Oscar Balmaseda will play Fernando.

    Created by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is a unique and magical experience in a class of its own, bringing all ABBA’s hits to life more vividly than ever before! Over the course of four glittering hours, guests can immerse themselves in a spectacular musical extravaganza, a four-course Greek feast and an ABBA disco, all in one unforgettable evening of dancing, dining and singing!

    MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is set in a taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first MAMMA MIA! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and timeless ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they enjoy a gourmet Greek meal. The evening ends with a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to ABBA recordings.

    Food is at the heart of the experience and a menu has been created that delivers the finest Greece has to offer, made from the best, freshest ingredients. Guests are served a traditional mezze followed by the iconic Greek salad of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta. The main course of confit lamb shoulder and slow-cooked beef is served with roasted garlic potatoes, courgette peperonata, romesco and aromatic jus. For vegetarian and vegan guests, there is roasted cauliflower with a lemon-herb dressing served alongside a tomato stuffed with lentil ragout. A sumptuous Greek lemon cake served with confit orange skin and citrus yoghurt is the perfect end to this delicious meal. Vegan guests are served traditional loukoumades, delicious dough balls accompanied by a sweet fig jam.

    Guests can get the ultimate MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY experience with one of the available packages. The Platinum Package provides a Tier A ticket in a prime location, a meet and greet and photo opportunity with members of the cast right at your table, champagne on arrival, half a bottle of wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack. Guests can also upgrade their existing booking by adding the VIP upgrade package, taking their experience to the next level with champagne on arrival, half a bottle of Nikos house wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack.

    REVIEW ★★★★★

    Click here for tickets to Mamma Mia! The Party

    The post New cast announced for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • October 2022 New York Theater Openings: A Month of Abundance on Broadway and Beyond
    01 October 2022

    Below is a day-by-day calendar of theater opening* in October, a thrilling selection featuring eight Broadway shows (four of them Pulitzer winners, a fifth the nineteenth Broadway play in an extraordinary six-decade career), as well as much Off-Broadway theater I consider either must-see or too weird to miss (Ralph Fiennes as Robert Moses, Tonya Pinkins as Lena Younger, Heathcliff’s Catherine as a rock chick, a German-speaking Hamlet), and even exciting new digital theater (Paula Vogel launching her third season of Bard at the Gate.)
    This is a month of theatrical abundance:
    •two personal shows by popular singer-songwriters;
    •two avant-garde adaptations of beloved novels;
    •two long-running experimental companies presenting their final productions;
    •three classic plays by African-American playwrights;
    •four with all Black casts.
    There are even four different nights in October with four works of theater or more opening at the same time.

  • Glorious Mahler ‘Resurrection’ Symphony and Weston’s new Push is great fun in San Francisco
    01 October 2022

    Mahler, Weston: Golda Schultz (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), San Francisco Symphony / Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor). Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, 29.9.2022. (HS) Trevor Weston – Push (world premiere) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.2 ‘Resurrection’ Settling into his third year as San Francisco Symphony’s music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen is putting his own stamp on works closely... Read more
  • Shakespeare in Gdansk: A Vessel for Past, Present, and Future
    01 October 2022
    By Monica Payne. Monica Payne recaps the 26th international Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, where artists from around the globe adapted, deconstructed, and celebrated Shakespeare’s plays through boldly contemporary pr
  • Fall 2022 Reading List for Entertainment Professionals
    01 October 2022
    Four reads for the Fall.

    This Fall, I’m taking the act of continuing my education into my hands — literally.

    These four books each cover a different aspect of the entertainment industry. From a fictional account of an opera student balancing work and love, to a comprehensive look at the making of the hit show, The Big Bang Theory, below are the four books you’ll find me curling up with this autumn.

    1. A Very Nice Girl — by Imogen Crimp
    A bitingly honest, darkly funny debut about ambition, sex, power, and love, Imogen Crimp’s A Very Nice Girl cracks open the timeless questions of what it is to be young, what it is to want to be wanted, and what it is to find your calling but lose your way to it.

    A Very Nice Girl: A Novel

    2. Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers — by Mary Rodgers and Jess Green
    The memoirs of Mary Rodgers―writer, composer, Broadway royalty, and “a woman who tried everything.”

    Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers

    3. Innovating the Design Process: A Theatre Design Journey — by David E. Smith
    Innovating the Design Process: A Theatre Design Journey explores the process of designing for theatre and details how each part of a designer’s own process, no matter what their design specialization, can be innovated and adapted for a more confident journey and for better outcomes.

    Innovating the Design Process: A Theatre Design Journey: A Theatre Design Journey

    4. The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series — by Jessica Radloff
    The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the most popular sitcom of the last decade, The Big Bang Theory, packed with all-new, exclusive interviews with the producers and entire cast.

    The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series

    Fall 2022 Reading List for Entertainment Professionals was originally published in Players, Performers, & Portrayers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

  • The Wild Party (review)
    01 October 2022

    Spoilers ahoy! 

    Almost three years ago, I was invited to see The Wild Party, the latest musical from the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica--and I so looked forward to it!  Then, Covid hit.  But, the folks running this theatre had their plans and they kept to them!

    Andrew Lippa's musical, based a poem written in the 1920s, is really almost an operetta.  Like Evita for example it has very nearly no dialogue at all.  Instead we get one intense, entertaining, often startling, sometimes disturbing musical number after another, setting up the event of the title, and most especially our hosts--Queenie (Serenity Robb) and Burs (Hamilton Davis) a dysfunctional couple in the 1920s, a pair who came together like a pair of serpents and then tied each other into a series of emotional and sexual knots.  But when Burs goes too far, Queenie suggests a party.  It will be fun, she says, and he agrees!  Her plan however is to humiliate and hurt him, as part of this dangerous, powerful, ugly yet addictive dance they do.

    The party itself makes up the bulk of the show, and of course things do not go according to plan.  Keep in mind this is the 1920s, in the wake of the 1918 Pandemic (the most terrible in history) as well as a what seemed like a never-ending war.  Women were fighting for political rights, new artforms and styles were emerging, racial and economic tensions were sky high, while deep into Prohibition booze still flowed and subcultures defiantly flourished.  Sound familiar?

    Central to what follows are Kate (Kaitlin Doughty) and her dashing, quietly handsome beau for the evening Mr. Black (Deonte Allen).  Because Kate, frenemy of our hostess, has the hots for Burs and intends Mr. Black as bait to drive him into her arms, in revenge or a rebound.  Initially Queenie thinks this young man, who feels out of place among this bohemian crowd, the perfect catspaw, even as he himself finds her extremely charming.  

    Then, she actually starts feeling something for him, as he does for her.  Worse (or better?) Burs begins to suspect as much.  This might be a way out for them, an escape from the spiral of bitterness and lustful pain at the heart of their life together.  She wonders, can I just leave?  Why haven't I before now?  He in turn wonders why he cannot let her go, cannot even face the prospect.  

    As I suspected early on, somebody is not going to survive this party.  It will spiral into all kinds of directions, inhibitions and lies shed more swiftly (if more awkwardly) than garments as the night goes on and on and on.

    Again, the music, dance and singing is very nearly non-stop.  It helps create this amazingly decadent world, one equal parts fascinating and repulsive, beautiful and toxic, free and in some ways enslaving.  Through pretty much everything--direction by Kristin Towers-Rowles, music direction by Daniel Koh, choreography by Michael Marchak, fight choreography by Amanda Newman--the party and its members (somehow not really guests) come to vivid life.  The double triangle remains in the center ring of this circus, with all four leads wonderfully alive and real across a range of emotions and situations.  But the entire ensemble do splendidly as well.

    Some standouts include Emily Sotelo as the delightfully (?) predatory lesbian Madeleine, Spencer Johnson as the boxer Eddie, and Mirai as Mae, Eddie's mini bombshell of a girlfriend.  These and other characters get solos or sometimes numbers of their own, many of which make a kind of dream sense as the party (and show) continues, with reality slipping away, giving way to the terrifying delights of Truth.  Everyone deserves a mention--Eric Eberle, Sam Gianfala, Jonathon Saia, Steve Weber, Holly Weber, and Kelsey Weinstein

    The Wild Party plays Fridays andSaturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m  until October 9, 2022 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica 90405 

  • Review: Kinky Boots, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
    30 September 2022

    Review: Kinky Boots, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

    Kinky Boots tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Charlie Price (Matt Corner) and Lola (Keanu Adolphus Johnson), and how they encourage each other to design a range of shoes for drag queens in order to save a shoe factory. This production marks the first UK revival of the musical in a few years. While both Corner and Johnson deliver a reasonable portrayal of their characters and manage quite a nice harmony towards the end of “Not my father’s son”, there is some inconsistency in their ability to hit the high and low notes. The band and the…
    Summary
    Rating
    40
    Ok

    If the glamorous and impactful “red” was the aim of this production, it fell short and achieved “burgundy”.

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    Kinky Boots tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Charlie Price (Matt Corner) and Lola (Keanu Adolphus Johnson), and how they encourage each other to design a range of shoes for drag queens in order to save a shoe factory. This production marks the first UK revival of the musical in a few years.

    While both Corner and Johnson deliver a reasonable portrayal of their characters and manage quite a nice harmony towards the end of “Not my father’s son”, there is some inconsistency in their ability to hit the high and low notes. The band and the actors are also slightly out of synch in the opening number, meaning the show failed to get off on the right foot. This issue, although remedied somewhat later on, remained a persistent problem. In addition, the tempo of a few numbers, such as ‘Sex Is In The Heel’ and ‘Soul Of A Man’, felt slower and less energetic that they ought to have been.

    There are some questionable creative choices in this production. While the songs feel slower, the delivery of the spoken dialogues seems accelerated. Lola usually has ample opportunities to make use of dramatic pauses to intensify the tension and awkwardness among characters. However, many of these were either shorter or completely skipped over. Further, some of the iconic and impactful scenes were also removed, such as Lola being offended that Charlie had to ask whether he is a drag queen or a transvestite, and Lola’s father giving her signs of implied acceptance following her performance at the nursing home. The Lola character should be over the top sassy, demanding the attention of the room at all times. However, perhaps because of the issues raised, Johnson’s Lola fell short of that and lacked a certain charisma that is unique to this queen of drags.

    In ‘Everybody Say Yeah’, the last number before the interval, the focus ought to be on Charlie and Lola’s achievements in producing the first boots. Instead, the attention shifts to one of Lola’s Angels with the choreography temporarily paused for them to put the boots on, significantly dampening the energy on stage.

    Lola’s Angels have always been one of the highlights of Kinky Boots. From their glamourous costumes to their inhuman acrobatic abilities performed in heels. What is there not to like. While costumes designed by Amanda Stoodley for Lola’s Angels (Jay Anderson, George Lynham, Cavan Malone and Hiromi Toyooka) remain daring in this production, the same could not be said about their and Lola’s shoes. For a show on shoes and this persistent desire to admire the “most beautiful thing in the world”, Lola and her angels wore dull, black leather heels for the majority of their performance. Even the final designs in ‘Raise You Up” are all thigh high boots in different colours, underwhelming for a catwalk in Milan. In addition, it’s unclear why Lola doesn’t wear heels in Act Two until ‘Raise you up’, whilst she wears the same outfit to the factory as she does when performing at her father’s nursing home.

    Despite using materials from a critically acclaimed show, this production suffers from significant creative and direction problems. To paraphrase Lola, if red is the colour of sex, fear and danger, and signs that say do not enter, then this production only managed to achieve a shade of that ambition and is positively burgundy, leaving some gaping holes in these stiletto boots.

    Written by: Harvey Fierstein
    Music and lyrics by: Cyndi Lauper
    Directed by: Tim Jackson
    Set and Costume Design by: Amanda Stoodley
    Musical Supervision and Orchestration by: Charlie Ingles
    Produced by: Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and New Wolsey Theatre
    Head of Production for Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Christine Piper

    Kinky Boots plays at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch until 22 October. Further information and bookings can be found here.

    The post Review: Kinky Boots, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch appeared first on Everything Theatre.

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01 October 2022

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  • ’An impression of these literary figures at the height of their powers’: STUMPED – Original Theatre (Online show)
    01 October 2022

    What is it about cricket that so fascinates many of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century? Stoppard, Ayckbourn, Rattigan, Harwood, Hare and Gray all demonstrated their fondness for the game. Perhaps more than any other sport which tends by nature to be frenetic, there’s an almost leisurely and considered unfolding narrative punctuated by moments of high drama which would appeal to a writer’s sense of drama.

    Two others which fell under the game’s siren spell were Samuel Beckett (who actually has an entry in Wisden) and Harold Pinter who didn’t mince his words claiming that: “Cricket is the greatest thing that God created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either.” And it’s an imagined encounter between these two playwrights in an early 1960s pavilion in the Cotswolds that forms the backbone to Stumped. From theatre/film hybrid pioneers Original Theatre Company this is a deliberately pleasingly punningly titled short play by Shomit Dutta – himself another aficionado. It was filmed at the home of English cricket – the Lords ground – and was originally meant to be live streamed on 10 September; national events, of course, intervened. It became available on demand on 27 September.

    Fittingly the piece begins with an extended pause, a famed theatrical conceit of both writers. It then proceeds with huge debts to the works of the pair, in particular The Dumb Waiter and Waiting For Godot. Both these plays focus on a pair of protagonists patiently waiting for something to happen and a high level of expectancy over the part each one is going to play in proceedings – rather like cricket itself. The arcane laws and rituals governing the sport are also redolent of the writer’s characters and indeed the philosophy of the two men themselves.

    Beckett ritualistically keeps the score while his younger contemporary Pinter nurses an injury with a bag of frozen peas (or as he pedantically reminds his companion, petit pois). They also chat about their latest projects – Beckett’s film, called not untypically Film, and Pinter’s as yet unnamed play which will become The Homecoming. Above all, they fire goading ideas at each other and test each other’s patience as they await their turn to bat.

    In the second half we discover how their innings panned out and why Beckett has developed an injury to the head. It partly revolves around the (mis)use of the cricketing cry “Wait” as the players prevaricate in the moment about going for runs. This time the pair find themselves at night on the village green somewhat fruitlessly anticipating their futures again as they wait for a lift from a mysterious teammate who may or may not have a grudge to bear.

    I enjoyed the measured performances of Stephen Tompkinson as Beckett and Andrew Lancel as Pinter. They do not so much inhabit their subjects as give us an impression of these literary figures at the height of their powers. Tompkinson particularly has some fun with an inebriated Beckett in the second half and delivers many classy lines in a mournfully rueful and self-deprecatory manner which by all accounts captures the writer’s demeanour. Lancel gives us a sense of what Pinter referred to as “the hidden violence of cricket” as he attempts to make sense of his experience both on and off the field of play.

    David Woodhead’s slightly surreal set seems to reference Endgame – another play which focuses on two men trapped in a state of bleak existence. With that in mind I don’t think Dutta’s script quite worked in part two once the pair had been allowed to break away to a world outside and there was at least a notion that they might escape their fate. Had they been paying close attention to their own plays, of course, then they would have known that such an eventuality was highly improbable – especially as the man for whom they are waiting rejoices in the nickname of Doggo.

  • Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)
    01 October 2022

    Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)

    One of my ongoing goals in life is to read about the Greek myths, mainly so I can answer a few more questions on University Challenge. But also so when I see a play based on, or inspired by them, I’ll have a little background knowledge to bring to the theatre. This is where I must admit this hasn’t happened yet. But in some ways, that’s the way I like it. It means I arrive at The Lyric for Iphigenia in Splott with no preconceived ideas about what I’m letting myself in for. Gary Owen’s play brings the Iphigenia…
    Summary
    Rating
    80
    Excellent

    If you want to leave the theatre shaking with rage at the injustices of our society, this is the show for you. A startingly powerful performance that will leave you breathless.

    User Rating: Be the first one !

    One of my ongoing goals in life is to read about the Greek myths, mainly so I can answer a few more questions on University Challenge. But also so when I see a play based on, or inspired by them, I’ll have a little background knowledge to bring to the theatre. This is where I must admit this hasn’t happened yet. But in some ways, that’s the way I like it. It means I arrive at The Lyric for Iphigenia in Splott with no preconceived ideas about what I’m letting myself in for.

    Gary Owen’s play brings the Iphigenia of Greek mythology to modern day Wales. As Effie swaggers onto the stage, she fills the auditorium with personality, bravado and cockiness, and a surprising amount of humour. This is a 75-minute attack on the emotions, as the play follows Effie through the literal highs and catastrophic lows of a few months in her life. From men who cheat and lie, to a system that fails her, bringing about unimaginable grief. It’s a monodrama that demands so much of its star.

    Sophie Melville has played the part of Effie before in 2015, when she won The Stage Award for Acting Excellence as well as a nomination for an Evening Standard Award for Best Actress, so it’s no surprise that she dominates the role with incredible power and skill. At first, she seems unlikeable, judging an overweight mother on her local high street and swearing at anyone who dares cross her. But Melville wins the room over soon enough. There’s a raw intensity to her performance. At times almost too much, it’s uncomfortable. Without revealing any spoilers, the final minutes are some of the most horribly heart-breaking you’ll witness on stage.

    Owen’s writing is poetic at times, with Melville veering towards rap as emotions intensify. Before coming back down to earth, as Effie addresses you once again. It’s a wonderfully compelling script, demanding yet effortless through Melville’s performance. It’s a script that drives a desire to pour over the words, to better understand how this magic has been put together. At times it’s reminiscent of Kae Tempest’s 2013 ‘Brand New Ancients’ – but it has enough of its own identity to stand alone.

    This is the largest stage the play has performed upon, and at times the style of set jars with the decorative Lyric Theatre. It cries out for a black box studio theatre. But despite this, the lighting and sound design successfully contribute to the intensity and power of the performance, which still has impact in this large space. With throbbing bass and strips of light, reminiscent of a Tate Modern installation, the sense of growing unease is never far away.

    The final moments of this play are startling. Director Rachel O’Riordan, in her programme note, says “We hope you enjoy the show. I hope you are furious”. As I leave the theatre, I feel torn between tears and anger, a volatile mix of both. Effie is ultimately failed by cuts, by our government not caring about the implications their decisions have on the average citizen. It feels strikingly raw to be watching the show in the current climate, and depressing that it probably felt just as pertinent when first commissioned in 2015. Rachel, you have your wish. I’m fuming.

    Written by: Gary Owen
    Directed by: Rachel O’Riordan
    Design by: Hayley Grindle
    Lighting Design by: Hayley Grindle and Rachel Mortimer
    Sound Design by: Sam Jones
    Produced by: A Lyric Hammersmith Theatre Production.
    Originally commissioned and produced by the Sherman Theatre.

    Iphigenia in Splott plays at Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre until 22 October 2022. More information and bookings can be found here.

    The post Review: Iphigenia in Splott, Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith) appeared first on Everything Theatre.

  • Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker to star in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT
    01 October 2022

    Following the spectacular success of the 2019 UK concert premiere of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, its stars Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker will reprise their roles in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT at the London Palladium for one-night-only on Sunday 7 May 2023. Full casting will be announced at a later date.

    Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO tells the story of Yurii Zhivago (Ramin Karimloo), a political idealist, physician, and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his close childhood friend and wife, and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar (Celinde Schoenmaker).

    With a book by Oscar nominee Michael Weller and lyrics by Tony nominee Michael Korie and Emmy nominee Amy Powers, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO features a sweeping score by two-time Grammy winner and Tony nominee Lucy Simon.

    DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT is directed by Jordan Murphy (Sunset Boulevard, Matilda, Mary Poppins) with musical direction by Adam Hoskins (The Secret Garden, Dr Zhivago, Camelot).

    Olivier and Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo made his name in some of the West End’s most enduring productions, most notably The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. He originated the role of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies in 2010 before making his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Miserables. Karimloo has also performed show tunes on a series of solo recordings, including his second album, 2019’s From Now On, which landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. He is currently starring as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl on Broadway.

    Celinde Schoenmaker is a Dutch actress and singer, known for appearing as Fantine in the West End production of the musical Les Misérables and as Christine Daae in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera. Other London theatre credits include Jenny Lind in Barnum at the Menier Chocolate Factory. She also played Renate Blauel in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

    The post Ramin Karimloo and Celinde Schoenmaker to star in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – IN CONCERT appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • Cast announced for HEX at the National Theatre this Christmas
    01 October 2022

    The National Theatre’s new musical Hex returns to the Olivier theatre for Christmas, after its original 2021 opening was delayed due to covid. The full company performing in this new production has been announced and will play 26 November – 14 January 2023.

    A vividly original retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Hex is a mythic, big-hearted musical that goes beyond the waking kiss. When the fairy is summoned to the palace to help the princess sleep, her spell becomes a curse, and she is plunged into a hundred-year quest to make everything right.

    Michael Elcock returns to the cast as Bert, alongside the newly cast Rosie Graham as Princess Rose, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Queenie and Lisa Lambe as Fairy. Zaynah Ahmed, Marc Akinfolarin, Christopher Akrill, Sabrina Aloueche, Sonya Cullingford, Ben Goffe, Chris Jenkins, Kalisha Johnson, Amanda Lindgren, Michael Matus, Kody Mortimer, Neïma Naouri, Mark Oxtoby, Aharon Rayner, Olivia Saunders, Sasha Shadid, Rumi Sutton and Riley Woodford complete the company.

    Access performances of Hex

    Captioned performance: Monday 19 December at 7.15pm

    BSL performance: Thursday 29 December at 7.15pm

    Audio-described performances: Thursday 2 January at 2pm with a Touch Tour at 12.30pm

    Sensory Adapted performance: Thursday 22 December at 7.15pm

    Smart caption glasses Will be available for performances of Hex from Thursday 8 December.

    The post Cast announced for HEX at the National Theatre this Christmas appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • New cast announced for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY
    01 October 2022

    MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, London’s premier dining experience, is delighted to announce the new cast arriving at Nikos Taverna on the Greek island of Skopelos. Due to extraordinary demand, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is now playing until Sunday 26 February 2023 at The O2, London.

    The new cast, who begin performances tonight include Javier Rasero as Nikos, Scarlet Gabriel as Debbie, Luke Friend as Adam, Noah Sinigaglia as Konstantina, Rosie Rowlands as Bella (at certain performances), Jamie Birkett, Caline Hampartzoumian, Robban Hogstrom, and Maison Kelley. They join existing cast members Lorraine Chappell who will continue in the role of Kate, Dawn Spence as Grandma, Allie Ho Chee as Bella (at certain performances), Claudia Bradley and Ellis Dackombe. Tamara Perks will play the role of Nina, and Oscar Balmaseda will play Fernando.

    Created by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is a unique and magical experience in a class of its own, bringing all ABBA’s hits to life more vividly than ever before! Over the course of four glittering hours, guests can immerse themselves in a spectacular musical extravaganza, a four-course Greek feast and an ABBA disco, all in one unforgettable evening of dancing, dining and singing!

    MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is set in a taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first MAMMA MIA! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and timeless ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they enjoy a gourmet Greek meal. The evening ends with a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to ABBA recordings.

    Food is at the heart of the experience and a menu has been created that delivers the finest Greece has to offer, made from the best, freshest ingredients. Guests are served a traditional mezze followed by the iconic Greek salad of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta. The main course of confit lamb shoulder and slow-cooked beef is served with roasted garlic potatoes, courgette peperonata, romesco and aromatic jus. For vegetarian and vegan guests, there is roasted cauliflower with a lemon-herb dressing served alongside a tomato stuffed with lentil ragout. A sumptuous Greek lemon cake served with confit orange skin and citrus yoghurt is the perfect end to this delicious meal. Vegan guests are served traditional loukoumades, delicious dough balls accompanied by a sweet fig jam.

    Guests can get the ultimate MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY experience with one of the available packages. The Platinum Package provides a Tier A ticket in a prime location, a meet and greet and photo opportunity with members of the cast right at your table, champagne on arrival, half a bottle of wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack. Guests can also upgrade their existing booking by adding the VIP upgrade package, taking their experience to the next level with champagne on arrival, half a bottle of Nikos house wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack.

    REVIEW ★★★★★

    Click here for tickets to Mamma Mia! The Party

    The post New cast announced for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY appeared first on West End Wilma.

  • ‘Never a false note’: JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN – Bridge Theatre ★★★★★
    01 October 2022

    Bridge Theatre, London – until 27 November 2022

    Heavy footfalls pace overhead, enervating, raising anxiety. Anna Fleischle’s galleried grey set is half Scandi-minimo-chic, half penitentiary. Downstairs two sisters meet after 13 years’ estrangement, including five while Gunnhild’s husband served a sentence for fraud. Aunt Ella raised their child Erhart to keep him far from the scandal. Now the sisters are beginning to fight for the amiable young man, who wisely shows no wish to be owned by either.

    Clare Higgins’ Gunnhild is a stumping discontented blonde who expects Erhard to bring her back to fortune and status, and resents her disgraced husband John Gabriel who is living upstairs like a hermit. Lia Williams is Ella: skinny, ailing, drowned in a brown frock and extinguished by a rain-hat. Yet this defeated Auntie-Vera figure will, within one tense winter evening and a 100-minute show, explode into the most dramatic passion we’ve seen on stage all year. Williams will astonish us.

    On a balcony above this unhappy family scene Freda, a modest young friend of the house, plays Liszt’s dark thundering Totentanz – dance of the dead. (Daisy Ou is a professional concert pianist). Its gloom causes young Erhart to nip off to a party with a foxy older woman (Ony Uhiara) for bright lights and jollier music. John Gabriel loves the Liszt though, pacing or rocking on his makeshift bed, remembering  the heady clang of hammers on iron ore in the mines of his youth, metal wrenched from rock to build an industrial empire.

    His only remaining friend is Wilhelm, Frida’s Dad, who dreams of being a novelist and is almost as depressed as JG himself.  The two old men grumble together: Michael Simkins as Wilhelm gloriously funny in deadpan Eeyore style, JG ranting  about how “exceptional people” like him are different, all the clients he cheated would have been repaid if things had gone well, and how the world will exonerate him any minute and beg him to return and lead them. (Eerie echoes of Boris must be hastily dismissed).

    He then discards Wilhelm, supposedly for good, for being a lousy writer. “We deceived each other and ourselves” says JG coldly. But, cries Wilhelm, “Isn’t that the essence of friendship?” Never a false note. Lucinda Coxon’s reworking of the literal-translation makes it all ours. Every actor hits every note, sharp as JG’s remembered hammers.

    In great plays a scene, character or domestic confrontation can be both appalling and comic: pity, terror and barks of shocked laughter are not incompatible even within a sentence. Ibsen knew that, but in the  Norwegian rebel’s grim late works  it  takes a relaxed director and some weapons-grade actors to keep that balance. Cue Nicholas Hytner, Simon Russell Beale and Lia Williams: rescuing, for me and for good, a play I hated  last time I saw it.

    Then, the antihero drew no sympathy – a self-aggrandizing deluded fraud.   Whereas Russell Beale, under a big scruffy beige cardigan,  draws almost too much.  He drags you into the  magic in his vision of industrial growth:  iron and steel and machinery and light and power across the empire he gambled too high for.   When he says he’s a “great wounded eagle” or a young Napoleon cut down at the point of victory,  you momentarily believe the old rogue.  Until you shudder at some sudden cruel remark, or a reminder that he ruined everyone he knew except Ella.  The man’s collapsed grandeur,  his tense staccato complaint broken by occasional devastating one-liners,  all hold you riveted.  Russell Beale makes you see why Ella ,  his first and only human love, adored him before he settled for the more pliable Gunnhild. The  backwash of that love continues: she wants her darling nephew Erhart to replace him and take her family name. But when JG returns for the first time in eight years to his wife’s sitting-room, a ludicrous  and again shockingly funny three-way battle is fought over the young man’s fealty.  It concludes,  as all such battles should,  with Erhart (debutant Sebastian de Souza)  wisely sloping off to warmer lands with his foxy cougar Fanny and the musician Frida.

    And this is Norway and winter and Ibsen, so out into the storm goes our seductive, terrible, deluded miner of dreams and wrecker of women. But with that fine dramatic balance, before the inevitable tragedy we see Simkins’ adorable Wilhelm again in his bike helmet,  happy as Larry about his gifted daughter Frida having found a mentor for her presumed musical studies.  It is as if Ibsen wanted, just briefly, to reassure us that flawed visionary heroes aren’t the only kind of man available.

    Box office bridgetheatre.co.uk. To 27 Nov

    Rating five.

  • Film Review: Mrs Harris Goes To Paris (2022)
    01 October 2022
    Lesley Manville AND Isabelle Huppert in the same movie? Be still mon cœur battant. Mrs Harris Goes To Paris proves to be a gloriously delicious madeleine of a film

    “What could go wrong with buttons?”

    An adaptation of Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, an 1958 novel by Paul Gallico, Mrs Harris Goes To Paris is actually the third such version but I’m glad that this was my first. Any film starring both Lesley Manville and Isabelle Huppert feels absolutely tailor-made to my interests and fortunately this lived up to the billing. As light as a madeleine, as gaudy as a macaron and beautifully good-natured from top to bottom, it is a couple of hours of wonderfully escapist fun.

    Directed by Anthony Fabian and co-written by him with Carroll Cartwright, Keith Thompson and Olivia Hetreed, Mrs Ada Harris is a London cleaning lady whose emotional life has been on hold for years, waiting for news of her Eddie who went missing during WWII. It’s now 1957 and a telegram finally arrives but as she mourns, a set of happenstances visits a fair sum of money on her (a pools win, the release of her war-widow pension) and the gorgeous Dior dress she’d seen in the wardrobe at one of her regulars no longer seems like such a distant dream.

    It’s no more and no less than that, Mrs Harris finding a desire and then doing her best to achieve it. And though entirely fantastical, there’s enough grit, enough bittersweetness here to stop it dissolving into triteness. Handsome Parisian strangers help her at the drop of a chapeau but on arrival at the atelier of Christian Dior, the haughtiness of the director – Huppert’s wonderfully waspish Claudine Colbert – makes for a formidable obstruction. Will Ada win everyone over with her sweetness and charm and determination? What do you think? Will it also move you unexpectedly at various moments? Yes, unless you have a heart of stone.

    Jenny Beavan’s costumes are rightfully absolutely stunning, delectable and desirable. And a superb supporting cast add to the joie de vivre. Ellen Thomas as Ada’s best pal and wing woman, Jason Isaac’s irascible charm as bookie Archie, Lambert Wilson’s Marquis de Chassange who threatens to sweep us all off our feet, Lucas Bravo’s nerdy accountant André, it is all just so wonderfully charmant. Who would have thought the world of haute couture could be so heart-warming. 

  • Review: John Gabriel Borkman, Bridge Theatre
    01 October 2022
    Lia Williams, Clare Higgins and Simon Russell Beale offer an acting masterclass in the chilly wasteland of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre

    “There are different rules for exceptional people”

    I wouldn’t normally be rushing to see an Ibsen play in all honesty but the dual drivers of John Gabriel Borkman being one of his plays that I’ve never seen before and Nicholas Hytner’s production casting the ‘exceptional people’ of Simon Russell Beale, Clare Higgins and Lia Williams meant that I cautiously made a return visit to the madeleine-scented air of the Bridge Theatre.

    And they just about pull it off. The play – presented here in a new version by Lucinda Coxon – is exceptionally grim, the direction is relentlessly traditional and the staging is clinically distant. If it didn’t have the experience and expertise of this powerhouse trio of actors at its heart, it would have been too punishing for words but because it does, it just about gets away with it.    

    Russell Beale plays Borkman, a disgraced banker who has served time for embezzlement and upon release, has returned to the family he destroyed. But it is no warm home, estranged wife Gunhild dreams of the high life in front of a two-bar fire and the arrival of her sister Ella after their own alienation reignites old passions and retangles emotional connections across the board.   

    For Ella loved John Gabriel long ago, and has been providing for Gunhild and their son Erhart during their trials. And as she asks for Erhart’s companionship as she suffers from a wasting disease, everyone pulls in different directions as Gunhild wants to cling to him to avenge the past and he just wants to enjoy the venal pleasures of the present in the shape of neighbour Fanny. John Gabriel meanwhile paces aimlessly upstairs.

    Everyone is distant and miserable and though that is the point, it just doesn’t make for a gratifying theatrical experience here. To wit, the grimness of Anna Fleischle’s set design may be appropriate but the stultifying scene changes are unforgivable, even as they’re soundtracked by live piano-playing from Daisy Ou’s Frida. There’s fine acting here but I could have happily lived never seeing this play.   

    Running time: 100 minutes (without interval)
    Photos: Manuel Harlan
    John Gabriel Borkman is booking at the Bridge Theatre until 26th November
  • Review: Brown Boys Swim, Soho Theatre
    01 October 2022
    Karim Khan’s hit play Brown Boys Swim transfers from the Edinburgh Festival to Soho Theatre in great form

    “Be a coconut, be a bigot but don’t be a coward”

    Karim Khan’s play Brown Boys Swim arrives at the Soho Theatre replete with good notices and multiple award wins from Edinburgh. And on this evidence, it is clear to see why, as John Hoggarth’s production is insightful and interesting in its refreshing portrayal of young Muslim men and the unique pressures they face whilst dealing with the minor inconvenience of teenage angst as well. 

    Kash and Mohsen are sixth-formers in Oxford and have got an invite to the social event of the season, a pool party with the cool kids. Only problem is like many South Asian teenagers, they can’t swim. And setting about trying to fix it proves to be trickier than you might think (especially if you’re white) as simply being brown throws up obstacles that have to be negotiated alongside issues that bubble up between them.

    The reality of Islamophobia is presented starkly – the security guards hassling them, the pool staff demanding to search them, the assumptions from their peers that they’re drug dealers. But there’s also real power in the everyday nature of their conversation, chatting about familial expectation and the pressures to conform with things like drinking alcohol, and interest in how their ways to deal with stuff contrasts remarkably.

    Varun Raj’s Kash and Anish Roy’s Mohsen are both brilliant as they give us a beautifully convincing friendship of real depth. Raj gives us all the brashness and bravado of someone using cockiness to cover for self-doubt and Roy finds a gentler thoughtfulness for his less confrontational lad. James Button’s design does wonders in evoking the world of swimming pools and changing rooms, perfect for this achingly good play.

    Running time: 1 hour (without interval)
    Photos: Geraint Lewis
    Brown Boys Swim is booking at Soho Theatre until 15th October
  • TV Review: Magpie Murders
    01 October 2022
    With Lesley Manville in a starring role, I was always going to watch Magpie Murders and naturally, I enjoyed its twisting charms a lot

    “Why does a book have to matter?”

    Adapted from Anthony Horowitz’s hit novel, Magpie Murders is a twisting murder mystery thriller that does require you to pay at least a little attention. I’ve slipped into the habit of using (some) TV series as wallpaper, switching on a streamer and then doing something else as well and for a lot of trashy TV, that works just fine. With this show though, on Britbox, its format does mean that you might need to keep more than half an eye on it.

    Lesley Manville plays editor Susan Ryeland who receives a manuscript from her client Alan Conway, an abrasive but big-selling author, which is missing the final chapter. When Conway is found dead, she visits his home village to see if she can locate it but finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and murder on two levels, as she realises that he’s used his family and fellow villagers as characters in his own murder mystery novel. To solve the present day murder, she also needs to solve the fictional murder.

    And so we get two parallel timelines – present-day and 1955, and several of the actors appear in both and it is all entertainingly done. Conway’s detective is called Atticus Pünd, played excellently by Tim McMullan, and leads his strand well, but the real fun comes in the doubling, as Conleth Hill’s acerbic Conway has taken revenge on everyone in his life by recasting them as dopey inspectors, bitter harridans, etc etc (Daniel Mays, Pippa Haywood and Matthew Beard just a few who seem to having great fun). 

    The double unwinding means that I was properly engaged too, layers of details and red herrings threw me way off the scent and I really enjoyed the progression of both cases. Naturally, Manville is superb as Susan, with her hunky Greek professor boyfriend and tricky relationship with her sister played by Claire Rushbrook (which is bizarrely echoed in Sherwood where they played estranged siblings again). Great fun.

Theatre podcasts

Theatre Podcasts

01 October 2022

Theatre Podcasts Theatre Podcasts
  • Today on Broadway: Friday, September 30, 2022
    30 September 2022

    “Merrily” Completes Casting, William Jackson Harper to Return Off-Broadway, “Hocus Pocus” Aiming for Broadway “Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day. Any and all feedback is appreciated: Ashley Steves: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @NoThisIsAshleyGrace Aki: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @ItsGraceAkiJames Marino: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | read more

    The post Today on Broadway: Friday, September 30, 2022 appeared first on BroadwayRadio.

  • SHIZUKA @ Zephyr Theatre - Review
    29 September 2022
    SHIZUKA @ Zephyr Theatre - 7.6 out of 10 - Above Average! September 16 -October 9, 2022 www.latheatrebites.com
  • Rogue Machine presents: A Great Wilderness @ Matrix Theatre - Review
    28 September 2022
    Rogue Machine presents: A Great Wilderness @ Matrix Theatre - 8.1 out of 10 - GOOD SHOW! LA THEATRE BITES RECOMMENDED! www.latheatrebites.com
  • Today on Broadway: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
    28 September 2022

    Staunton to Lead “Hello, Dolly!” in London, “Oklahoma!” West End Dates, “Broadway Vacation” Tryout Review “Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day. Any and all feedback is appreciated: Ashley Steves: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @NoThisIsAshley Grace Aki: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @ItsGraceAki James read more

    The post Today on Broadway: Wednesday, September 28, 2022 appeared first on BroadwayRadio.

  • The Subtext: Callie Kimball’s Maine Event
    27 September 2022
    In this episode, Brian talks to a longtime friend and colleague about her circuitous path from and back to the Pine Tree State, and what that journey has meant for her as a writer.
  • Offscript: Most-Produced With Lynn Nottage & Lauren Gunderson
    27 September 2022
    On this episode we broke the news that Nottage's 'Clyde's' will be the most-produced play of the season, then welcomed her and fellow prolific scribe Gunderson on to talk shop.
  • Today on Broadway: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
    27 September 2022

    Lynn Nottage Gets Top Honors In Most-Produced Playwrights List, Netflix Drops “Bridgerton” Lawsuit, “Piazza” At Encores Postpones “Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day. Any and all feedback is appreciated: Ashley Steves: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @NoThisIsAshleyGrace Aki: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @ItsGraceAkiJames read more

    The post Today on Broadway: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 appeared first on BroadwayRadio.

  • Episode 323: Caesar Samayoa gets Broadwaysted, Again!
    27 September 2022

    Pull over your car and have a listen!

    Play along as Caesar Samayoa (@caesarsamayoa - Come From Away, Sister Act, & More) joins Bryan, Kevin, and Kimberly for tequila broadway talk, theatre games, bad puns, and gin.

    Become a supporter on our Patreon: https://bit.ly/2Q2zELG

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Today on Broadway: Monday, September 26, 2022
    26 September 2022

    ‘Ohio State Murders Adds Bryce Pinkham, ‘Fantasticks’ Star Rita Gardner Dies, Grace Visits Broadway Flea “Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day. Any and all feedback is appreciated: Ashley Steves: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @NoThisIsAshleyGrace Aki: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | @ItsGraceAkiJames Marino: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. read more

    The post Today on Broadway: Monday, September 26, 2022 appeared first on BroadwayRadio.

  • #3 Sanjeev Bhaskar
    26 September 2022

    Sanjeev Bhaskar is a national treasure, first shooting to fame with his comedy gold: Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42. Now best known for his long-standing role in Unforgotten, in this episode he takes the opportunity to discuss Ayub Khan Din's massively popular play East in East. Lucy and Sanjeev chat about his journey with understanding Shakespeare, how he learnt to access stories that were removed from his cultural background as a young boy and just why East is East cracked the mainstream market so successfully. With shout-outs to Yasmina Reza's Art, Michael Attenborough and Paul Schofield, this chat is a sumptuous journey through theatre history that eventually winds its way towards a conversation about incredible screen work and what was so remarkable about Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator climax.

    Hosted by Lucy Eaton, theatre producer and West End & screen actress best known for her role as Lucy in hit comedy ‘Staged’. Other episodes include Blackadder’s Tim McInnerny, James Bond’s Toby Stephens and Olivier award winning writer Jack Thorne.

    Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @PodHearMeOut, and watch visual clips from the show on our Youtube channel: https://bit.ly/3l7vRht

    ** Join the family by becoming a Hear Me Out Patreon! www.patreon.com/podhearmeout **

    With huge thanks in this episode to the Charlie Chaplin estate who provided us with a clip from The Great Dictator: Charles Chaplin - The Great Dictator © Roy Export SAS

    A Lucy Eaton Productions podcast.

Theatre magazines

Theatre Magazines

01 October 2022

Theatre Magazines Theatre Magazines
  • Telly Leung Stars in Concept Album of New Musical Dyseheart
    01 October 2022

    Written by Charli Eglinton, the original musical centers on a London serial killer who might just be supernatural.

  • Brandon Victor Dixon, Alex Brightman, Krysta Rodriguez, More Join Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway
    01 October 2022

    The free outdoor concert will be presented in Times Square October 2, come rain or come shine.

  • Do You Hear the People Sing? (Sydney Opera House in association with Enda Markey Presents)
    01 October 2022

    Fans of the musicals of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg will be in their element with this slick, entertaining and, at times, spine-tingling concert featuring 30 songs from their shows.

    Developed over 10 years by producer Enda Markey together with the famous French duo themselves, Do You Hear the People Sing? began life in Shanghai in December 2013 and has since been staged in Taipei and Manila.

    Do You Hear the People Sing?, Sydney Opera House, 2022. Photo © Prudence Upton

    The Australian production has been delayed several times, but has finally arrived with an impressive lineup of eight international soloists  – Michael Ball, John Owen-Jones, Rachel Tucker, David Harris, Sooha Kim, Marie Zamora, Bobby Fox and Suzie Mathers – together with a vocal ensemble of 12 and a 24-piece orchestra conducted by Guy Simpson.

    Of course, there are plenty of songs from Miss Saigon (which begin the concert) and Les Misérables (which end it), but also some numbers from Martin Guerre, The Pirate Queen and, Boublil and Schönberg’s first ever musical, La Révolution Française.

    Directed by Andrew Pole, the production is nicely put together with the soloists delivering stories and anecdotes about the musicals and their roles in them, while also introducing each other – and there is quite a bit of history on stage.

    British musical theatre star Michael Ball originated the role of Marius in the London production of Les Mis (“Imagine I’m 37 years younger and 37 pounds lighter!” he quips before singing some numbers from the show). He tells the story of how he watched Colm Wilkinson learn a new song written for Valjean one day during rehearsals. He is referring to Bring Him Home, which is given a glorious rendition here by John Owen-Jones, Ball and David Harris.

    Harris discusses working as an usher on the original Australian production of Miss Saigon and then, 13 years later, taking on the role of Chris. Owen-Jones was the youngest actor in West End history to have played Valjean, a role he also played twice on Broadway. Korean performer Sooha Kim starred as Kim in the 2016 Japanese production of Miss Saigon and played the role in the West End, as well as on a UK and international tour. Marie Zamora originated the role of Cosette in the French production of Les Mis, while West End star Rachel Tucker played the spirited Grace O’Malley in The Pirate Queen in a charity performance at the London Coliseum.

    On top of that, Guy Simpson has a long association with Miss Saigon, conducting or supervising productions in Australia and around the world – and he brings his knowledge and musical nous to bear here.

    The concert opens with an overture that references the various musicals to come, then launches into a selection of songs from Miss Saigon, beginning with a moving version of Bui Doi by Ball. Owen-Jones tears at the heart with a stunning version of Why God, Why?. Kim gives a luminous rendition of I’d Give My Life For You, then joins forces with Harris for the moving duet The Last Night of the World, while Fox goes for broke with a raunchy version of The American Dream.

    In a fascinating section, Mathers explains how Ellen’s song in Act Two underwent various rewrites, delivering a snippet of three versions before Tucker sings the most recent, Maybe, which depicts a more selfless Ellen.

    After numbers from La Révolution Française, Martin Guerre (a reworked production of which will open in the West End in 2024) and The Pirate Queen, in which Tucker unleashes her thrilling belt, the show shifts into top gear as it builds to a crescendo with a journey through Les Misérables.

    Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Michael Ball and Marie Zamora, Do You Hear the People Sing?, Sydney Opera House, 2022. Photo © Prudence Upton

    Most of the Les Mis songs are known and loved by the audience, but it’s intriguing to hear Zamora sing Eponine’s L’un vers l’autre, written for the French production, but later dropped.

    It fast becomes one highlight after another. Fox and Tucker have huge fun as the Thénardiers in Master of the House; Ball sings Javert’s Stars and then delivers an aching rendition of Marius’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables; while the exquisite, aforementioned Bring Him Home sends shivers down the spine. There are also rousing numbers by the full company,

    Markey has done a wonderful job in selecting the soloists, each of whom brings a different quality to the stage, from Ball’s warm charisma and Kim’s glowing serenity, to Tucker’s effervescence and Fox’s mischievousness. Importantly, they all have the ability to capture the emotion and spirit of a song, and convey it to the audience, even while not having the supporting context of the musical. A few embraces and hand-holding help enhance the emotion.

    Peter Rubie’s dynamic lighting adds a sense of spectacle to the occasion, despite a couple of small technical glitches in the second act.

    Do You Hear the People Sing? is a sophisticated, generous production unfolding over two and a half hours (including interval). The concert ends with the audience on their feet cheering after One Day More and Do You Hear the People Sing? with Boublil and Schönberg themselves appearing on stage to huge applause during the curtain call.

    Do You Hear the People Sing? plays in the renovated Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House until 2 October. More information here.

    The post Do You Hear the People Sing? (Sydney Opera House in association with Enda Markey Presents) appeared first on Limelight.

  • Tony Nominee Mary Bridget Davies Stars in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own October 1
    01 October 2022

    The Joe's Pub performance reimagines the text as a play infused with original blues and rock music.

  • Science Comedy Strings Attached Completes Off-Broadway Run October 1
    01 October 2022

    Carole Buggé's show at Theatre Row follows three scientists who are visited by Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Max Planck.

  • Rosaline Elbay and Peter Mark Kendall Star in Premiere of Kareem Fahmy's Dodi & Diana Starting October 1 Off-Broadway
    01 October 2022

    Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs the play, set 25 years after the car accident that took the lives of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.

  • Julia Jarcho’s Marie It’s Time Completes Off-Broadway Run October 1
    01 October 2022

    Inspired by Georg Büchner’s 1913 play Woyzeck, the three-person show plays HERE.

  • Amy Lennox and Fra Fee Depart West End's Cabaret October 1
    01 October 2022

    The two will be succeeded by Madeline Brewer and Callum Scott Howells in the London revival.

  • Previews Begin October 1 for West End Return of The Choir of Man
    01 October 2022

    London's Arts Theatre is once again home to the Olivier-nominated show.

  • Curtain Up Broadway Festival Continues With Appearances From Jelani Remy, Antwayn Hopper, Carolee Carmello, and More October 1
    01 October 2022

    The three-day event continues in Times Square with a live stream available to watch at home.

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