The National Ballet of Canada pay a welcome visit to London’s Sadler’s Wells with a new production of Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. A classic of most ballet companies, this new production features stunning choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, and was first seen in 2011. The joy of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ comes from the timeless story that so neatly adapts into new mediums without feeling forced. There can be no one coming to the piece who is unfamiliar with the basic story, and adaptation such as Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’ and Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’ both show how successful More >
Oh dear. The critics have given Viva Forever one of the worst slatings in recent memory, and its resultant poor sales have sent producer Judy Craymer into a tailspin, with rumours of heavy revisions to the book (or its being scrapped altogether) and pulling in one of the Spice Girls themselves to save the show running rampant in Theatreland. And yet seeing the production in the flesh, it feels like the critics were fairly lenient. Viva Forever is the kind of unequivocal disaster that only arrives once a decade, with every element failing altogether, often on multiple levels.
It is certainly strange approaching the Phoenix Theatre without seeing the usual Blood Brothers signage and even stranger to sit in the auditorium and not be faced with the set of Mrs Johnstone’s council house crumbling before your very eyes. Goodnight Mr Tom is the first new production at the Phoenix in 21 years since the closure of Willy Russell’s famed musical…and what a show to start off the Phoenix’s new era!
Goodnight Mr Tom, adapted from Michelle Magorian’s award novel, tells the tale of a More >
With Backbeat – a musical about the early days of the Beatles – closing earlier this year, it came as a surprise to hear that a new show focusing on the Fab Four was to play at another venue in London, with Let It Be opening this month at the Prince of Wales. I was sceptical that I would enjoy the show that much, as although I am a fan of the Beatles’ music, I thought that seeing a tribute act performing their songs would be a little tacky, and assumed that no one could fill the shoes More >
Carousel may be a musical that is not to everyone’s taste. It has every danger to be over sentimental, unrealistic and un-watchable (it clocks in at 3 hours long), and many people have issues with the message it sends about domestic violence. It is however without a doubt the finest score in the Rodgers and Hammerstein canon, and one of the only shows that can routinely bring me to tears. Any new production of this musical classic has to stand in the shadow of Nicholas Hytner’s definitive 1993 National Theatre production, but Opera North’s revival that has More >
As a long standing fan of Burlesque, and a dabbler in the performance myself I was extremely excited, yet wary, when preparing to see The Hurly Burly Show, back for a second run on the West End, this time at London’s Duchess Theatre. Let me explain my caution; until a recent upsurge in interest in the now trendy style of seductive cabaret, Burlesque was almost a bit of an underground institution, one would have to visit special Burlesque clubs or bars for an evening of comic debauchery. Now it has been commercialised and adapted for a West End crowd More >
As the eyes of the world turn to London in advance of the Olympics, the World Stages festival seeks to celebrate the capital city’s diversity, with mixed results so far. Its latest offering, The Wah Wah Girls, seeks to celebrate the diversity of the capital city with this vibrant musical set in the East End. Though the book and casting are both uneven, there’s no denying the cast’s exuberance and stellar choreography salvage the production.
Bindi (a hilarious Rina Fatania), a middle-aged housewife sits down to watch a Bollywood-style film and soon becomes a part of the story, weaving More >
The whole set up of the Southbank Underbelly site feels a bit surreal; a mushroom garden with colourful lanterns, a bar that looks like it has been lifted from a Western, dodgems as outdoor seating, and oh yes, the gigantic upside-down purple cow. Therefore walking into the Wonderground’s Spiegeltent tent to see the freakish circus, Cantina, did not disappoint.
The production of Scott Maidment and Chelsea McGuffin’s Cantina takes place in the round, with the audience sitting ‘ringside’ to the action. Initially onlookers are presented with an old time 1920’s style busking band playing tunes on antiquated instruments. The music More >
There is no perfect setting other than the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to see a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The birds flying overhead, the gentle breezes and the tall trees rustling nearby help transport you to the magical woodland forest in this tale of fairies and young love, and it certainly made this season’s showing of the classic play all the more enjoyable.
As this story has been told countless times in many adaptations over hundreds of years, it comes as no surprise that this time, another new element was thrown in – the setting More >
As this was my first trip to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, I was filled with expectations and pre conceived images of how wonderful and picturesque an outdoor theatre, surrounded by trees and singing birds, would be. These images were shattered the moment I walked into the auditorium.
Smoking rubble; among it a torn down McDonalds signs, a scrap heap Ford car, a small Statue of Liberty and to top it all off, a torn election campaign poster with a 10ft image of Barack Obama’s face looking over the chaos. Welcome to America in ruins, or director More >