Musicals update for March

So much musical casting news!

The Hope Mill Theatre’s upcoming revival of Passion opens in May with Ruthie Henshall as Fosca, Dean John-Wilson as Giorgio and Kelly Price as Clara. The company is completed by Adam Robert Lewis, Charlie Waddell, Danny Whitehead, Dalton Harris, Ray Shell, Steve Watts and Tim Walton.

Michael Strassen directs with movement director Sundeep Saini and musical director Yshani Perinpanayagam, with orchestrations by Stuart Barr, musical supervision by Paul Schofield, set and costume design by Elin Steele, lighting by Charlie M Jones, sound by Dan Samson and casting by Rob Kelly.


The new cast for Cabaret, starting on 21st March will be Fra Fee as the Emcee (replacing Eddie Redmayne) and Amy Lennox as Sally Bowles (replacing Jessie Buckley). Also joining the show will be Omar Baroud as Cliff Bradshaw and Vivien Parry as Fraulein Schneider whilst Elliot Levey as Herr Schultz, Stewart Clarke as Ernst Ludwig and Anna-Jane Casey as Fraulein Kost continue in their roles. Continue reading “Musicals update for March”

TV Review: Silent Witness Series 21

Series 21 of Silent Witness is an absolute corker, some of its strongest work in years as it touches on the profoundly personal for the Lyell team

“You interfered in my investigation”

After a couple of good but not great seasons, Series 21 of Silent Witness finally cracks the code for this iteration of the Lyell team to come up with a superb string of episodes, its best in years. For me, this is mainly because the writers identified personal stories that actually resonated, that made sense for the characters for once, instead of just being bolted onto cases of the week.

So Nikki suffers badly from PTSD from the traumatic events of the Series 20 finale in Mexico (a rare occasion where past consequences are actually played out instead of just forgotten) and her shame at seeking therapy plays a crucial part in ‘Duty of Candour’. And Thomas’ role as a father is interestingly interrogated when his daughter comes to stay, navigating the issues that arise from his ex-wife starting a new family with her new fella. Continue reading “TV Review: Silent Witness Series 21”

Some September casting news

Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, and West End star Nadim Naaman today announce that their second major stage musical, Rumi: The Musical will get its world premiere as a semi-staged concert at the London Coliseum on November 23rd & 24th 2021.

Rumi, based on a story about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi by Evren Sharma, follows Al Fardan and Naaman’s 2018 debut Broken Wings, which premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East.

Led by Ramin Karimloo (as Shams Tabrizi) and Nadim Naaman (Rumi), Casey Al-Shaqsy (Kimya), Soophia Foroughi (Kara), the London Coliseum cast will comprise entirely of performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian heritage, and will also feature a 25+ piece orchestra, conducted by Joe Davison.

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday 14 September via the London Coliseum website Continue reading “Some September casting news”

Cast and creatives announced for MTFestUK 2021

Paul Taylor-Mills has confirmed the line-up of award-winning and international performers and creatives assembled for next month’s MTFestUK 2021.

Due to open at the Turbine Theatre in London from 17-29 May 2021 before embarking on a digital tour from 31 May until 4 July, the third edition of the annual celebration of new musical theatre will showcase eight new musicals. Continue reading “Cast and creatives announced for MTFestUK 2021”

Review: The Color Purple – at home, Curve Leicester

Curve Leicester’s The Color Purple – at home sounds like a dream with an excellent cast but I’m not sure it truly benefits from being filmed

“She got them heebies and jeebies”

It is a bit of a shame that The Color Purple – at home, has to follow Curve Leicester’s exceptionally good production of Sunset Boulevard as they reimagine their planned autumn/winter season in concert form. For where the already cinematic Sunset blossomed in the marriage of theatre and film, The Color Purple doesn’t reap anywhere near the same level of benefit from this treatment. 

Part of the problem lies in the essential nature of the shows. Sunset is full of distance and estrangement which is perfect with there’s a 2m social distancing rules in place but The Color Purple is about intimacy and connection at its heart, and that is sadly – but necessarily – missing here. Continue reading “Review: The Color Purple – at home, Curve Leicester”

News: Curve to stream The Color Purple at Home

Following the success of its recent five-star production of Sunset Boulevard – at HomeCurve has announced plans to also stream The Color Purple online between Tue 16 Feb and Sun 7 Mar, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome.

Whilst the planned run of live performances is now sadly cancelled due to the uncertainty around national restrictions, Curve will safely bring together the 2019 award-winning company to stream the production for audiences to watch online. The Color Purple – at Home will be a fully reimagined concert version of the 2019 production, co-produced by Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome. Continue reading “News: Curve to stream The Color Purple at Home”

Film review: the Johnny English trilogy

Johnny English, Johnny English Reborn and Johnny English Strikes Again prove ideal brainless festive watching

“I’ve been dropped into the Kalahari Desert carrying nothing more than a toothbrush and a packet of sherbet lemons”

I don’t believe in any of my pleasures being guilty, if something makes you smile then who is anyone else to dictate whether that’s acceptable? The Johhny English film trilogy – Johnny English (2003), Johnny English Reborn (2011), and Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) – holds a special place in my heart (well, the first two do) as they formed the backdrop to a couple of great family holidays and several of the funnier lines have snuck into the family vernacular.

Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and William Davies and directed by Peter Howitt, Johnny English is an amusing entry into the series. Rowan Atkinson’s English is a hapless MI7 employee whose bumbling sees their top agent accidentally killed and then all their other agents massacred in a bomb at his funeral. As the sole agent left, he has to thwart a plot to steal the Crown Jewels and decipher John Malkovich’s comedy villain French accent. Continue reading “Film review: the Johnny English trilogy”

#StandByMeChallenge Instagram edition

Just doing my best to try and amplify some of these amazing black voices. I stand with you.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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“Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.” – Rosa Parks ⁣✊? #Standbymechallenge #Wearetired #Saytheirnames

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✊? #standbymechallenge #wearetired #saytheirnames

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Continue reading “#StandByMeChallenge Instagram edition”

Review: Caroline or Change, Playhouse Theatre

The extraordinary Caroline or Change makes the leap into the West End at the Playhouse Theatre, with a titanic Sharon D Clarke at the helm

“The Devil made the dryer.
Everything else, God made”

For the assiduous theatregoer, this is the third opportunity to catch this stirring Chichester Festival Theatre production of Caroline or Change. From its original run at the Minerva last year to the Hampstead Theatre this spring, this idiosyncratic musical now arrives in the West End in the relative intimacy of the Playhouse Theatre.

And it is an intimacy that is needed to draw you into the true shape of Michael Longhurst’s production – to be confronted with that Confederate statue, the sweltering isolation of that basement, the knots of tension on furrowed brows. The winds of change may be starting to blow across the US of the early 1960s but here in this Louisiana household, societal change has yet to filter down to the individual.  Continue reading “Review: Caroline or Change, Playhouse Theatre”