Friday, 19 February 2016

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM returns to its original home, Berkeley Castle, in a new anniversary production this summer

19th February 2016 marks the 420th anniversary of the wedding between Lord Thomas Berkeley and Elizabeth Carey- the wedding for which William Shakespeare wrote one of the most successful plays in theatre history- A Midsummer Nights Dream. The play was performed for the very first time at the wedding, and in July 2016 will return to Berkeley Castle for what will be a history-making production of this play. Producer Tom Berkeley holds very close familial ties to the project as he is a descendant of the very Berkeley family for whom the play was written. 

Its a huge honour to bring A Midsummer Nights Dream, which holds such a  special place in my family history, back to Berkeley Castle. In July, history will repeat itself; never again will this play be performed at a venue so fitting on such a special anniversary- it is truly unique. This July, The Dream comes home.

Tom Berkeley, Producer

Set in the heart of a mythical forest surrounding Athens, four star-crossed lovers, a company of amateur actors and a fairy kingdom will collide to create one of the best-loved tales of falling in love- all in one night. But as we know, and as we are told; The course of true love never did run smooth.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Bright and bold; it’s a real slap in the face musical!

Bursting on stage with drag queens aplenty, Priscilla Queen of the Desert doesn’t take you on a journey but rather the ride of your life in a show that flies faster than the speed of light. Brash and garish in style and colour, this is also a show with real heart and warmth largely to some stellar performances and strong ensemble work.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty at the New Victoria Theatre

Matthew Bourne’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ re-imagines the classic fairytale with a gothic twist. This contemporary ballet, like Princess Aurora, is a thing of true beauty. Utterly captivating from start to finish, with humour delicately interwoven and a vampire or two thrown in for good luck.

This production was incredibly refreshing, and while it nods to the upstanding traditions of classical ballet, it is happy to drastically re-write the rule book on a number of things. To some, ballet is synonymous with men in tights, pointe shoes and epic acts of considerable length. This reimagining is wonderfully up-to-date and thrilling to behold. Most of the performance is carried out bare-foot by all the performers, and there is no Lycra in sight. Furthermore, the running time is just right. At just over 2 hours (including an interval), the whole audience seemed very comfortable.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

REVIEW: Grease Live!

Increasingly in the USA, networks are broadcasting live musicals. They seem to be bringing in generally good reviews and ratings boosts, however, last night’s ‘Grease: Live’ took everything to a whole new level.

Simply put, the show was electrifying; an absolute knockout.

The shining star of the evening was Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo who utterly embodied the mantra ‘the show must go on’. Hudgens tweeted on the morning of the performance that her father, Greg Hudgens, had died as a result of stage 4 cancer. With absolute professionalism and total fearlessness, she stole the show in dedication to her late father. Her version of ‘There are worse things I could do’ was spine-tingling and poignant. She offered a real layer of vulnerability to the otherwise outspoken and brazen Rizzo with enough conviction to make even the coldest heart warm.
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