The Theatre Channel returns with Episode Five, full of The Classics of Broadway sung by the likes of Bonnie Langford, Gary Wilmot and Marisha Wallace
“Tell me, why should it be true,
That I get a kick out of you”
Over four instalments last year, Adam Blanshay Productions and The Theatre Café’s The Theatre Channel managed the not-inconsiderable feat of finding its niche within the crowded marketplace of streamed theatrical content and also elevating its quality. Such is its quality with its consistently high production values, you really do get the feeling of seeing bona fide musical theatre rather than just another concert.
It doesn’t come easily though and the filming of Episode Five – The Classics of Broadway was hit particularly hard with the double whammy of the third lockdown and director and choreographer Bill Deamer having to shield. But we all know the show must go on and with Thom Southerland being brought in as co-director, this musical journey down the Great White Way arrives in fine form, maintaining that impressive standard. Continue reading “Review: The Theatre Channel – Episode Five The Classics of Broadway”
With so much uncertainty still blighting the West End, Frozen the Musical has announced that it is taking tickets offsale and postponing its premiere until a new timetable can be confirmed. But to sweeten the pill, they’ve also revealed the final members of their company.
Chris Fung and Kerry Spark will join the already announced cast, led by Samantha Barks (Elsa) and Stephanie McKeon (Anna), as well as Obioma Ugoala (Kristoff), Craig Gallivan (Olaf), Oliver Ormson (Hans), Richard Frame (Weselton), and alternating the role of Sven, Mikayla Jade and Ashley Birchall. Continue reading “News: updates for Frozen in the West End.”
The Comeback proves to be a piece of warmly inclusive comedy at the Noël Coward Theatre, perfect festive fare
“Who wants to see the Alex and Ben show?”
For someone who first became aware of comedy duo The Pin due to their impeccable Twitter content during the first lockdown, the idea of them doing a full length play seemed rather improbable given the strength of those sketches was their 70 second running time. But Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen’s credits stretch much further (you can tell I don’t listen to Radio 4…) and The Comeback actually began life at the 2018 Fringe before being pimped for this West End run at the Noël Coward Theatre.
And over and above the pleasure of being able to go to the theatre again, something sadly not true for everyone in the country and possibly not even for London for much longer, The Comeback offers the kind of warmly generous comedic thrill that feels perfect for the season. I found it to be ‘Christmas Day on the sofa’ -funny throughout, with some moments that are frankly hilarious and others that didn’t quite tickle my funnybone as much, though the beauty of comedy is that we all have different senses of humour and so you’ll just have to come and decide whether it is funny for yourselves. Continue reading “Review: The Comeback, Noël Coward Theatre”
Sasha Regan’s All Male The Pirates of Penzance proves a feast for ears and the eyes in a glorious but short at the Palace Theatre
“Here, in this our rocky den,
Far away from mortal men”
There’s a beautiful sense of homecoming to the return of Gilbert & Sullivan to the West End, even if its only for a weekend. The Palace Theatre was founded by Richard D’Oyly Carte as The Royal English Opera House in 1891 and opened with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Ivanhoe so the arrival there of Sasha Regan’s All Male The Pirates of Penzance could hardly be more apposite and turned out to be a real festive treat.
We don’t see much operetta around these days but Regan’s commitment to the cause has been admirable. It’s over a decade now since she first reinvigorated the form with this production (previously reviewed here and here), and working her way through the G&S catalogue (for my money, Iolanthe is the best), transfers, national tours and even international tours are a testament both to the enduring quality of the material and the frisson that comes from this method of interpretation. Continue reading “Review: Sasha Regan’s All Male The Pirates of Penzance, Palace Theatre”
Courtney Act and Monét X Change lead an enthusiastic drag cast in the good cheer and festive fun of Death Drop at the Garrick Theatre
“It’s going to be a classy party – there’s cheese and pineapple on sticks”
Sat in the Garrick Theatre waiting for Death Drop to start, I couldn’t help but smile. Mainly because of the PWL tunes blaring through the sound system (Kylie, Bananarama, SINITTA!) but also because of the significance of seeing a show like this open in a theatre like this. Covid-19 may have swung like a wrecking ball through theatre programmes this year but the first West End production to feature an all-drag cast is a hell of a green shoot of putative recovery (we just won’t mention anything about the looming shadow of Tier 3…).
Written by Holly Stars from an idea by TuckShop’s creative director and producer Christopher D Clegg, Death Drop is billed as ‘a Dragatha Christie murder-mystery’ but ends up close to adult pantomime as it takes itself seriously not one jot and has moments of blissfully outrageous humour. And rather brilliantly, though it features two alumni of RuPaul’s Drag Race in Courtney Act and Monét X Change, you come away just as impressed – if not more so – by drag kings and queens whose names you may not have known but who you’ll now know to look out for. Continue reading “Review: Death Drop, Garrick Theatre”
The National Theatre, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has today launched National Theatre at Home, a brand-new streaming platform making their much-loved productions available online to watch anytime, anywhere worldwide.
Launching today with productions including the first ever National Theatre Live, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Othello with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s unrivalled catalogue of filmed theatre will be added to the platform every month.
In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time through National Theatre at Home, including Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (a co-production with Fuel). Continue reading “News: NT launches new streaming service National Theatre at Home”
Sasha Regan’s All Male The Pirates of Penzance cast announced, plus second date in the West End confirmed
Nimax Theatres have added a second night for Sasha Regan’s all-male take on W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. The show will now run on Saturday 12th December and Sunday 13th December 2020 at 7:00pm.
The production was meant to open at Wilton’s Music Hall and then tour but those plans have had to be cancelled and postponed respectively. For the uninitiated, Regan’s reinvigoration of this classic is a corker, I’ve seen it a couple of times now over the years and it never fails to delight. Continue reading “Sasha Regan’s All Male ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ cast announced, plus second date in the West End”
Regions across the UK were hoping to win the lottery but with the news of Tier 2 (for now) for London, here’s some Christmas theatre news
The Donmar Warehouse announces today that it will present a special concert online to mark the festive season. LOOKING A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS will be performed in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Church (affectionately known as The Actors’ Church), in the heart of Covent Garden and premiere online for free on the Donmar’s YouTube channel on Wednesday 16 December, 7.30pm. The concert will be captioned, and an audio introduction will be available in partnership with Vocaleyes.
This hour-long concert of musical numbers, sketches and seasonal poetry will be directed by Simon Evans (Staged, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) with musical direction by Nigel Lilley (Piaf, Caroline, or Change) and production design by Grace Smart (My Beautiful Laundrette, One Night in Miami). Continue reading “News update for Christmas theatre in London”
Tickets are on sale now for Monday Night at the Apollo – a brand-new concert series taking place in front of a socially distanced audience at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. The concerts will take place at 7pm on Monday 11 January 2021, Monday 25 January 2021 and Monday 8 February 2021, and will also be livestreamed to audiences at home.
An intimate evening of conversation and song hosted by Greg Barnett (Miss Littlewood, Duchess of Malfi), Monday Night at the Apollo will see some of the West End’s best-known performers sing an eclectic mix of music from their favourite genres. Performers will share their most cherished memories and experiences from their careers, alongside performances of music which is personal to them, in a relaxed and informal theatrical celebration. Continue reading “News: Mondays in January to look distinctly brighter with Monday Night at the Apollo”
An unnecessary amount of theatre news exploded forth today, maybe everyone was just too busy watching CNN all of last week… I’m just going to rattle through it all quickly to save everyone time.
Jason Robert Brown’s Songs From A New World will play the Vaudeville Theatre for a month from 5th February. David Hunter, Rachel John, Cedric Neal , Rachel Tucker and Shem Omari James, who all reprise their roles from the London Palladium gigs in October.
The previously announced Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s A Christmas Carol has revealed its supporting cast around Brian Conley’s Scrooge. Lucie Jones, Sandra Marvin, Martyn Ellis, Cedric Neal, Jeremy Secomb, Matt Jay-Willis and Jacqueline Jossa will join him at the Dominion Theatre from 7th December. Continue reading “News: November news aplenty”