As rehearsals begin today, the cast is announced for the West End transfer of the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production (not least by me) of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman, which will extend its run at the Duke of York’s Theatre to 23 April 2022.
The 16-strong cast is: Ruby Ablett, James Bamford (Boy), Emma Bown, Charlie Cameron, Jeff D’Sangalang, Kieran Garland, Siubhan Harrison (Ginnie Hempstock), Miranda Heath, Penny Layden (Old Mrs Hempstock), Tom Mackley, Charleen Qwaye, Grace Hogg-Robinson (Sis), Laura Rogers (Ursula), Nicolas Tennant (Dad), Nia Towle (Lettie Hempstock) and Peter Twose.
Following an online concert that took place earlier this year, Kings of Broadwaywill entertain live audiences this December. The musical celebration will take place at the Palace Theatre on 9th December, just a week after the upcoming England lockdown is said to end.
It’s like the Superbowl, but for fans of musical theatre. Book your tickets at the Turbine Theatre here.
Jet Set Go! (3rd-5th February)
This show about a transatlantic cabin crew has been bopping around since 2008 so its interesting to see how it gets refreshed more than a decade late. Appearing in it this time round will be Siubhan Harrison,Lizzy Connolly,Michael Mather,Tyrone Huntley and Simon Bailey.
A return visit to Home, I’m Darling at the Duke of York’s Theatre just confirms how good a play this is and how exceptional Katherine Parkinson is
“You’re 38 and like cleaning behind cupboards”
I don’t think she’ll win but I reckon Katherine Parkinson deserves the Best Actress in a Play Olivier just for the way that she holds her head. The first act in particular is an absolute delight as she tells us crystal clear exactly how she is feeling just by the angle at which it is tilted – cringing at bad language, sussing out competition for her husband’s attention, listening to her mother…
Written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, the concept album of new musical Broken Wings marks an ambitious debut and an impressive arrival
“I remember the beauty of home”
Would you be able to name the third best-selling poet of all time? Behind Shakespeare and Laozi, it is actually the Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran. So adapting his work for the stage is perhaps something of a natural step, and an under-explored one given the Anglo-Saxon bias of the Western canon. And it feels only right that it should fall to a Lebanese man and a Qatari woman to compose a musical based on one of his most famous works.
The result is Broken Wings. A new musical which has not only released a concept album, but will play the Theatre Royal Haymarket for four nights in early August, marking the first Arabic-inspired musical to grace the West End. But is it any good? I have to say I have fallen hard for its charms, as it reveals itself to be a supremely confident piece of writing, and one which balances the melting pot of its influences with an almost classic approach. Continue reading “Album Review: Broken Wings”
A trio of West End cast recordings (well, one’s off-West-End…) show that it is sometimes hard to recapture the stage magic
Starting off with the best of this bunch, the Southwark Playhouse’s production of Working might not have seemed like the obvious choice for a cast recording but maybe the lure of a couple of new Lin-Manuel Miranda tracks was a real sweetener.
Truth is, it is the quality of the cast’s performances that make this a fantastic addition to the list of albums you need to hear. From Siubhan Harrison’s impassioned ‘Millwork’ to Dean Chisnall’s gleeful ‘Brother Trucker’, and the highly charismatic Liam Tamne nails both of Miranda’s contributions – the wilful ‘Delivery’ and a corking duet (with Harrison) on ‘A Very Good Day’.
Experience pays though, as Gillian Bevan and Peter Polycarpou take the honours with some scintillating work. The latter’s ‘Joe’ is beautifully judged, as is the former’s ‘Nobody Tells Me How’, both demonstrating the uncertainty that can come at the end of a long career, when retirement doesn’t necessarily hold the joyful promise it once did. Highly recommended. Continue reading “Album reviews: Working / Bat out of Hell / 42nd Street”
Visually striking, an anarchic take on The Country Wife at the Southwark Playhouse
“Write as I bid you, or I will write ‘whore’ on your face”
A swift run through The Country Wife as it is finishing its residency at the Southwark Playhouse this weekend and I’m not too sure I got on with it all too well. Luke Fredericks’ vibrant production for Morphic Graffiti certainly has a muscular visual appeal but I’m not convinced it offers a case for a revival of William Wycherley’s play.
Originally a Restoration comedy, it has been updated to the world of the Bright Young Things of the 1920s. And in it, randy upper class people chase other randy upper class people and… well, that’s about it. Whether through the shift in era or something more deliberate, the women of the story find themselves front and centre, particularly pleasing as it is about them asserting their sexuality.