Book Review: Dear Audience

Just a quickie for this as the book is almost sold out now, but Sophie Ross and Danny Kaan’s coffee-table book Dear Audience is such a beautiful book that I’d encourage you to go and purchase one of the few remaining copies. Striving to photographically celebrate the arts industry from a wide range of performers through producers, MDs and writers, it is a nicely high-quality publication that matches that aim. 

In the interest of fairness, I can’t pick favourites from the many many names featured here, just look at the tags to see the impressive roll-call. What really elevates the book though is the inclusion of heartfelt letters from some of the participants, adding a really personal note to the whole endeavour, reminding us of the personal cost of the pandemic alongside what it has done to the sector as a whole. Track down those last copies now.

Review: The Show Must Go On, Palace Theatre/online

Featuring 18 West End musicals, The Show Must Go On is a concert to remember, featuring a whole host of theatrical talent both on and off the stage

“Just like Dolly Levi, we are back where we belong”

Showcasing 18 West End musicals that are reopening soon or in some cases, have already reopened, The Show Must Go On is a celebratory concert, gathering together so much on- and off-stage theatrical talent in aid of Acting for Others and Fleabag Support Fund.

With Bonnie Langford and Trevor Dion Nicholas hosting and gamely working their way through a multitude of rapid-fire show descriptions, the real MVPs of the night were the orchestra, under Stuart Morley’s direction, and the choir, made up of recent graduates, who enthusiastically put their voices to any number of harmonised accompaniments. Continue reading “Review: The Show Must Go On, Palace Theatre/online”

News: The Show Must Go On goes digital

The Theatre Support Fund+ are delighted to announce that, due to phenomenal public demand, the final performance of the sold-out run of THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE AT THE PALACE THEATRE will now be streamed as a LIVE broadcast on Sunday 6 June at 7pm.

Theatre fans will be given further opportunity to enjoy the show in its entirety as it is made available to watch on ‘The Shows Must Go On!’ YouTube channel for the seven days following the LIVE broadcast.

Filmed by National Theatre Live, the world’s most iconic musicals return to the West End stage with a stunning concert performance that audiences can watch from the comfort of their homes for free; exclusively via the hugely popular ‘The Shows Must Go On!’ YouTube channel:  youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon. Continue reading “News: The Show Must Go On goes digital”

Review: Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe

Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe rips the piss out of Eurovision with great affection and some seriously good tunes

“Clap and cheer like crazy people”

Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe rises like a phoenix once again, now being hosted by Liechtenstein as Craig Christie’s musical enters the streaming market with a filmed performance from the Clapham Grand. Directed with a knowing wryness by Max Bex Roberts, the shows brings together 9 European nations and the UK to work through any number of Eurovision stereotypes in highly amusing style.

The show actually does a great job of ripping the piss out of so many of the Eurovision staples around the songs as well. The show-stealingly good hosting (David O’Reilly’s Orla Aboard nailing it as Marlene Cabana), dry Eurocrats reading out the rules (Andy Coxon being adorkable), the local colour (Sooz Kempner and Scott Paige in brilliant form), the little clips before each song. And a final number by Marlene hits a surprisingly authentic emotional note which lifts the spirits just before the voting begins.

But enough, here’s the brief notes from my scorecard, from douze points to nul! Continue reading “Review: Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe”

News: The Show Must Go On line-up revealed

Theatre Support Fund+, the team behind ‘The Show Must Go On!’ campaign and MZG Theatre Productions are delighted to announce 18 West End shows and an all-star musical theatre cast coming together for a unique one-off concert in the biggest West End celebration this summer in THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE AT THE PALACE THEATRE from 2 – 6 June 2021.

All shows which appear on the iconic The Show Must Go On! design will be performing alongside Pretty Woman and a West End debut performance from Back To The Future. This will be the first time in history these West End musicals will come together for one night of pure joyous entertainment which celebrates the wealth of talent in London and includes a multi award winning creative team, over 50 performers and an orchestra made up of some of the finest musicians in London. Continue reading “News: The Show Must Go On line-up revealed”

Review: Disenchanted

Musical revue Disenchanted takes a deeper look at the lives of Disney princesses and whether happy ever after is all that

“One more once upon a time and I swear I’ll go insane”

Revisiting fairytale endings and reclaiming female historical narratives will be familiar to fans of Into the Woods and SIX but Dennis T Giacino’s Disenchanted attempts to tackle both in an ambitious if patchy musical comedy. Returning to some of the characters so familiar from our storybooks, the show gives them new voice to explain what life as a ‘princess’ is really and how the stories we’ve been told don’t necessarily reflect ‘reality’.

In some ways, this is powerfully effective. You can’t help but hear echoes of Thandiwe Newton’s recent decision in Badroulbadour’s story of how her name and ethnicity were changed in order to become a secondary character in Aladdin. Or nod at Mulan’s recognition that the reason she’s one of the only princesses not to end up with a partner is because she’s a lesbian. Throw in commentary on typical cup size and waist measurements and you see how much social conditioning has gone on through this mode of storytelling. Continue reading “Review: Disenchanted”

Musical news aplenty

Following its opening at the Watermill Theatre, a critically acclaimed sell-out tour in 2019, a highly successful Christmas season at The Other Palace in 2019, a Grammy nomination and 3 Olivier Award nominations, Amélie The Musical arrives in the heart of the West End this summer. Following the government roadmap announcement, tickets are on sale now for a socially distanced audience at the Criterion Theatre from Thursday 20 May. Olivier-nominee Audrey Brisson (The Elephantom, Pinocchio and Pericles (National Theatre), The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh), and The Grinning Man
(Bristol Old Vic)), will return to the role of ‘Amélie’.

The five–time Oscar®-nominated film will be brought to life once again by a cast of actor-musicians and set to a critically acclaimed re-orchestrated score. With music by Hem’s Daniel Messé, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé and book by Craig Lucas, Amélie The Musical is directed by Michael Fentiman. The full cast includes Sioned Saunders as Gina, Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Georgette, Rachel Dawson as Amandine/Philomene, Oliver Grant as Lucien/Mysterious Man, Chris Jared as Nino Quincampoix, Caolan McCarthy as Hippolito/Elton John, Samuel Morgan-Grahame as Joseph/Fluffy, Kate Robson-Stuart as Suzanne, Jack Quarton as Blind Beggar, Jez Unwin as Raphael/Bretodeau and Johnson Willis as Collignon/Dufayel. Nuwan Hugh Perera, Miiya Alexandra, Robyn Sinclair and Matthew James Hinchliffe complete the ensemble. Continue reading “Musical news aplenty”

News: New version of Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe to stream

Fourth Wall Live have announced the world premiere of a new online version of the cult West End Musical Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe. This irreverent, hilarious homage and celebration of the world’s best-loved song contest will be filmed at The Clapham Grand and streamed globally from 30 April – 10 May 2021 on Stream.Theatre. Viewers will be asked to vote online after watching the show (Your vote really counts!) and The Results Show will be streamed from 14 – 18 May 2021. 

Eurobeat will be hosted by David O’Reilly’s “Orla Board” as Marlene Cabana the glamorous mistress of ceremonies, with a cast led by Joanne Clifton (BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, The Rocky Horror Show, Flashdance), Tia Kofi (BBC Three’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 2), Harriet Thorpe (BBC’s The Brittas Empire, Cabaret) and Tom Read Wilson (C4’s Celebs Go Dating, BBC’s Celebrity Best Home Cook), the show will also star West End and musical theatre stars Christine Allado (Hamilton, The Prince of Egypt), Matt Croke (ITV’s The Voice, Disney’s Aladdin), Scott Garnham (Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, The Barricade Boys), Aisha Jawando (Tina in Tina, The Tina Turner Musical), Scott Paige (Cinderella, Nativity!), Claudia Kariuki, (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, School of Rock), David Ribi (Milkshake, Channel 5), comedian Sooz Kempner, Annell Odartey (WhatsonStage Awards), George Olney (Saturday Night Fever, Fiddler on the Roof), Alexzandra Sarmiento (Hamilton, Strictly Ballroom) and Jaime Tait (Motown, Beautiful). Continue reading “News: New version of Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe to stream”