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Friday, 14 December 2018

Paul Taylor-Mills launches MT FEST UK, a festival of new musical theatre at The Other Palace

Paul Taylor-Mills is delighted to announce MT Fest UK, a two-week festival of new musical theatre at The Other Palace from Monday 11 to Saturday 23 February 2019. The festival will present new work by both emerging and established writers, as well as programming talks and concerts from some of the most celebrated performers, writers and producers currently working in musical theatre. All tickets to events and performances will be between £10-15.

At the centre of the festival will be a Taster Menu series of eight new musicals, each presented as a 45-minute semi-staged sharing in the studio at The Other Palace. The musicals will range from brand new commissions from Paul Taylor-Mills, to re-worked Broadway shows and brand-new musicals that Taylor-Mills has developed in his role as Affiliate Producer at The Other Palace. Beyond the Taster Menu series, the festival will also feature a selection of intimate talks, performances and one-off events throughout the day, including:

BEAM Brunches, morning songwriter showcases shining a light on some of the most exciting new creators of musical theatre. Presented by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments, featuring writers discovered at the BEAM2018 showcase.

REVIEW: Murder For Two at The Other Palace (Studio)

Murder For Two claims its inspiration is part Marx Brothers and part Agatha Christie. There’s also a hefty dose of Broadway pastiche thrown in, a sub genre in its own right of which there are an increasing number of examples.

The story concerns a classic country house murder mystery. The subject of a surprise birthday party gets a different sort of surprise as he is shot dead on arrival. But by whom? All the suspects are played by Jeremy Legat, running around the set, grabbing props as he goes, to become anything from a ballerina to a choir of three nine year old boys. Ed MacArthur is the detective, desperately trying to corral all these characters so he can follow his protocol for solving the case and show his boss he’s ready for promotion. 

In a breathtaking display of energy and skill the pair also play the piano, sing and dance, for this is a musical. And although it’s on a small scale – the two actors are the entire cast and band – it has the style and panache of a full-scale Broadway show. Knowing nods and winks to various Broadway tropes are heavily signposted with references to doing ‘my big number’ and ‘the friendship song’. It’s all huge fun and the musical numbers are tuneful and even catchy.

Giles Terera joins the cast of The American Clock at The Old Vic

The Old Vic today announces that Giles Terera (Hamilton) will be joining the cast of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Hadestown) to play Robertson / Moe 3. He joins the previously announced cast Amber Aga, Paul Bentall, Greg Bernstein, Clare Burt, Flora Dawson, Abhin Galeya, Fred Haig, Jyuddah Jaymes, John Marquez, Francesca Mills, Taheen Modak, Christian Patterson, Golda Rosheuvel, Abdul Salis, Josie Walker and Ewan Wardrop.

Giles Terera’s theatre credits include The Meaning of Zong (Bristol Old Vic); Hamilton (Victoria Palace, Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical 2018); The Resistible Rise of Artuo Ui (Donmar Warehouse); The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare’s Globe / International Tour); King John (Shakespeare’s Globe / UK Tour); Pure Imagination (St James’ Theatre); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hamlet, Death and the Kings Horseman, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, Honk!, Darker Face of the Earth (National Theatre); The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); The Tempest (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Don’t Youleave Me Here (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Playboy of the Western World (Abby Theatre); Avenue Q (Noel Coward Theatre); The Rat Pack (Adelphi Theatre); Jailhouse Rock (Piccadilly Theatre / Theatre Royal Plymouth) and Rent (Prince of Wales Theatre). His television credits include London Boulevard, Horrible Histories andDoctors.Visionary director Rachel Chavkin presents Arthur Miller’s ground-breaking play about hope, idealism and anation’s unwavering faith in capitalism, opening at The OId Vic on 13 February with previews from 4 February.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

First ever 'Cast Album Karaoke' announced for Waitress

Theatre lovers who have always dreamt of singing on the West End stage will soon be able to make their dream a reality. The first ever “Cast Album Karaoke” nights will be held post-show on Tuesday 19 February and Monday 18 March 2019 at the London production of Sara Bareilles’ Waitress. For the chance to sing one minute of any song from the show – live on stage and accompanied by the show’s musical director Katharine Woolley – interested audience members just need to# sign up in the theatre before the performance.

Waitress will begin preview performances on 8 February ahead of its official opening night on 7 March at London’s Adelphi Theatre. Currently playing its third year on Broadway, Waitress will bring with it an all-female lead creative team – a West End musical first. 

Katharine McPhee will make her West End debut starring as Jenna, having played the role on Broadway earlier this year. It was also recently announced that Marisha Wallace will play Becky alongside Laura Baldwin as Dawn, with Peter Hannah as Earl and David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

REVIEW: Snow White at the London Palladium

The London Palladium for the third year running stages a spectacular Christmas variety show with the huge cast of performers linking their acts loosely with a pantomime story, Snow White, this year. It is an expensive ticket but a wonderful cast, elaborate and colourful costumes and the well lit front portal beautifully frames the production. It is a remarkable celebration of the venue and the performers who have trod the boards over the years. The show opens with a stage full of the twenty strong Ensemble singing "At the Palladium" to the tune of the Lambeth Walk with Danielle Hope as Snow White and Act 2 opens with "Here at the Palace" with dancers led by the amazing Charlie Stemp as Prince Harry. Gary Wilmot returns as the Dame, Mrs Nora Crumble and updates last year's "Tube show" into an extraordinary list of all the stars that have played the Palladium. 

As with Sunday Night at the London Palladium (1950's and 1960's) , Live from the Palladium (1980's ) and in the heyday of its pantomimes (1948 to 1987) the show bill is packed with big names who each get their chance to do their turn. Top of the Bill is Julian Clary as The Man in the Mirror with an astonishing ever more elaborate set of costumes that restrict his movement but as in previous years he delivers his unique brand of adult comedy. Opposite him this year is another star making her pantomime debut, Dawn French as Queen Dragonella who although she calls for boos is too well loved to be seen as evil, and so plays the part as herself having a laugh. 
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