Monday, 31 July 2017

FIRST LOOK: New cast joins London production of Aladdin

Matthew Croke plays the titular role. Croke's previous theatre credits include Annie Get Your Gun (Crucible Theatre), Singin' in the Rain (UK tour), and Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory). 
Jade Ewen continues as Jasmine and Trevor Dion Nicholas continues in the role of the Genie, for which he won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. 
Nick Cavaliere joins the cast in the role of Iago, while Miles Barrow plays Omar, Leon Craig plays Babkak and Daniel de Bourg plays Kassim. Don Gallagher and Irvine Iqbal continue as Jafar and the Sultan respectively. 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

REVIEW: The Hunting of the Snark at the Vaudeville Theatre

Wow, when did we all become so polite? Going to plays for “adults” on a regular basis means that I unfortunately become annoyed if a fellow theatre goer is chatting during a play or perhaps sniffling. What I noticed this week is that if you are attending a family play, those rules disappear! I love how during The Hunting of the Snark, a play for the whole family currently playing at London’s Vaudeville Theatre before going on a national tour, the atmosphere is completely relaxed and people of all ages are having fun, responding, singing along, playing with the actors and eating! New note to self: don’t take theatre going so seriously!

The musical play, written by Annabel Wigoder and directed by Gemma Colclough, is based on the “nonsense” classic poem by Lewis Carroll. It tells of a diverse group of people - the Banker, the Boy, the Butcher, the Baker, the Bellman and the knitting Beaver - who sail off to the mythical Snark Island to find the mysterious Snark – is it an animal? A monster? The crew definitely want to find out! Our hero, the Boy, even hid on the boat against his father the Banker’s orders to know the truth!

Friday, 28 July 2017

The UK tour of WONDERLAND has been cancelled.

The musical production of WONDERLAND due to take place at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre next week has unfortunately been cancelled with immediate effect. The remaining tour dates at theatres in Richmond and Bournemouth have also been cancelled. 

Sales for the production in Wolverhampton had been strong with over 4000 people due to attend. The decision to cancel has been made by the producers directly and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has just been notified of the cancellation.

Adrian Jackson CEO and Artistic Director of Wolverhampton Grand said, "Wonderland has performed in over 25 venues up and down the country and it is extremely disappointing that Wolverhampton audiences will not now have the opportunity to see it. Cancelling a production is never taken lightly and only when all other options have been exhausted. Unfortunately, in the case of Wonderland, it is understood that the production company had no other option. The Grand Theatre prides itself on the experience and customer service we deliver to our patrons and we deeply apologise for this situation which is completely outside the control of the theatre.”

A full refund will be issued to everyone who has purchased a ticket and the sales team are already contacting customers. Anybody wishing to discuss further can call the Box Office on 01902 42 92 12.

For more information on the tour of Wonderland please visit

The show had previous come under fire from the Stage after they published an article explaining the reason of the recent cancellation of shows in the Swansea Grand Theatre following a financial dispute with suppliers.

The shows were cancelled after Wonderland the Musical Ltd, which is run by Neil Eckersley, failed to pay supplier Orbital Sound. 

Read the full article on the stage website here.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

WAITRESS: Who our readers want to see as Jenna!

Recently, we saw that it was announced that Waitress would make its way over to the West End next year. Whether this is true or not, we put it to our readers who they would like to see play the lead role of Jenna, originated by Jessie Mueller, and we had such an over whelming response that we thought we'd put together an article showing the top picks!

Julie Atherton  

Best known for her roles in Avenue Q, Sister Act and Lift; Julie was suggested by @karlpiekaerts and we couldn't agree more! Her comic timing will be perfect in this musical! 

Rachel Tucker 

One of the worlds longest serving Elphaba's, her name popped up in our mentions a lot when we posted our tweet for suggestions! Although she's heading back off to America could this be the job that makes her come back? We hope so! 


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

EVITA: A look back at the history of the great women who have played the icon

EVITA is currently playing a limited run at the West Ends Phoenix Theatre, it celebrates its 40th Anniversary next year having first opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1978. As a celebration of the show, we look back at some of the woman who have played this icon around the world. Click here to book tickets.

Elaine Paige
The original Eva Peron

Patti Lupone 
The Original Eva Peron on Broadway


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

REVIEW: Candide at Cadogan Hall with the London Musical Theatre Orchestra

On Friday the 21st of July, London Musical Theatre Orchestra brought in it’s concert form Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ to Cadogan Hall. The arches of the hall are the backdrop to the talent that awaits it’s expecting audience. 

The choices LMTO have made for this concert are simply perfect from their chorus and musicians to those singing the lead parts, everything jells together so well. 

Candide follows the story of a young man who believes in Optimism and lives his life accordingly. Although through the story more and more unfortunate events happen he stays optimistic. Through wars and inquisitions, balloon rides, El Dorado, Paris, Love, heartbreak. There is so much that happens against Candide, most of which are random occurrences that it’s difficult to pin down a storyline, but it sums up as the pursuit of happiness. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Where are they now? Superstar

Ben Forster
After winning the ITV show Superstar, Ben went on to star as Jesus in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and later reprised his role in the North American tour (which was later cancelled). He went on to play Brad in the 40th Anniversary tour of the Rocky Horror Show and the televised production at the Playhouse Theatre, Magaldi in Evita & Buddy in Elf (Dominion Theatre) and is currently playing the  title role in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. 


Rory Taylor
After appearing in the how Rory went on to play Simon and covered the role of Jesus in the Arena tour alongside winner Ben Forster. He was also apart of the Australian tour and North American tour of the show. He went on to play Roger in the 20th Anniversary tour of RENT and is currently appearing in the UK & European tour of Thriller Live! where he also appeared in the West End production. 



REVIEW: Staff Room at The Bunker Theatre

My first trip to ‘The Bunker Theatre’ and I instantly felt right at home. This cool, underground, gem of a venue is a welcome haven to the hustle and bustle of London Bridge. Within 5 minutes of arriving I already wanted to come back.

‘Staff Room’.. What can I say? Three Teachers. One Staff Room. There’s not much else to it really. This play really does speak to the Netflix generation. It plays out like a sitcom on stage, a series of short scenes with bursts of conversation from the 3 teachers; Alison (Hilary Murnane), Hugo (Craig Webb) and Ria (Faye Derham).

With a minimal set consisting of 2 chairs, a small sofa, a table covered in papers and other accouterments one would expect to find in a Staff Room. The back wall is covered like a noticeboard in various sheets of paper, one of which is situated above a tea tray and reads; ‘THE CLEANING FAIRIES DON’T WORK HERE!!!’. The actors really are exposed without any elaborate set or gimmicks to hide behind.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

REVIEW: Brexodus the Musical at The Other Palace

Only a year ago one of the most dividing referendums shook Britain and is now well underwear after the triggering of article 50; this is the source Material for this week’s resident show, in the studio space at The Other Palace. 

Written by David Sherriff and Frederick Appleby, Brexodus gives us a sort of fly on the wall aspect to the last year and a bit in British politics starting with David Cameron negotiating Britain’s deal in the EU and ending after article 50. The writers have so much to be able to write about the I feel as if they have missed several tricks. To start the script could be funnier. We’ve seen politics more and more in the news to the point where politicians are becoming caricatures of themselves and so this script had to be bigger to be true satire, instead of using a pastiche of Shakespeare in the script he should have continued to develop the pacing of the humour and the portrayal of the ‘characters’ instead they are written almost too true to life and creates a harder job for the actors. 

Monday, 17 July 2017

REVIEW: And the Award goes to..! at The Water Rats

When I first opened the programme to find songs such as Confrontation from Les Miserables, Wash that Man from South Pacific and You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray my eyes rolled and the thought popped into my head of “Oh no, not another cabaret with the same old tunes in” but the way it was presented in this show was surprising and refreshing. 

The title of this cabaret reflects the theme, songs from musicals that have won Best Musical at the Tony Awards. Included are the much-loved hits that we all love when they come on shuffle on our iTunes but it also featured some not so obvious and over sung songs.

This cabaret is presented by The Out of Work Collective, this company was “established to create opportunities for those ‘out of work’ artists”. The idea behind this company and what it stands for is exactly what we need in this industry right now, there is so much talent right under our noses (or behind the merchandise counter), we need more of this kind of work to showcase this talent. 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

REVIEW: Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales at Leicester Square Theatre

In the heart of the mighty jungle a young monkey has lost his mother and needs a bit of human help to find her. Meanwhile, in the southern regions of the United States, a lady farmer is unhappy with her tiny house and seeks precious advice from the old wise man. Strolling around town in his old scruffy clothes, George The Giant longs for a makeover and some new friends. Whereas, deep under the sea, the young Tiddler is reluctant to attend fish school and makes up some wonderful stories to justify his lateness.

Born from the pens of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Monkey Puzzle, A Squash and a Squeeze, The Smartest Giant in Town and Tiddler are four lovely stories presented by the same team behind Stick Man Live.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

10 shows to take the Kids to this Summer

Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre 

Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre 

Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. 

With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Winner of 50 major international awards, including 12 for Best Musical, Matilda continues to delight audiences in London, New York, Sydney and across the United States.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

REVIEW: Grease at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

Whether you’re a musical theatre fanatic or not, chances are you’ve seen the iconic 1978 film “Grease” starring John Travolta Olivia Newton-John. Everyone knows we go together like ram-alama-lama kadingeekadingadong! The latest UK tour sees Danielle Hope (The Wizard of Oz, Les Miserables) and Tom Parker (The Wanted) tackle those world renowned roles: Sandy Dubowski and Danny Zuko respectively. In a show like Grease which is preceeded by such a cult classic film, a stage adaptation is never going to please everyone. Not everyone can be pleased – it will either be too similar to the classic film or not pay enough of an homage. Either way, directors Robert Stigwood, Paul Nicholas and David Ian, alongside choreographer Arlene Phillips have their work cut out with Grease. As performed on the West End stage when the revival re-opened in 2007, this tour takes the best of the 1950’s and reminds us that Grease is, indeed (still) the word. 

Phillips’ choreography is fabulous – it’s hugely energetic and dynamic. The “Born To Hand Jive” moves have been revived beyond recognition, as have the legendary Greased Lightnin’ fist pumps. Nevertheless, the die hard Grease fans in the stalls persisted to perform the choreography they remember from the film (!) The opening number “Grease is the Word” is one of my all-time favourites from any show. I remember being a wide-eyed 12 year old watching the choreography in awe and I’m thrilled to say the moves are the same now as they were then – clean cut, sharp and downright awesome. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

REVIEW: KlangHaus 800 Breaths at Southbank Centre

Climbing the backstairs of the Royal Festival Hall, I could feel a pungent smell of chlorine. Walking beside walls painted in white and turquoise, it felt like I was slowly immersing myself into an upside-down swimming pool.

At the top of the stairs, a man in a dark overall was waiting for my group, producing a low vibration with his throat and other sounds with his mouth. He stopped us and measured the heartbeat of one of my companions, before starting to count his own breaths with his hand . . . One. Two. Three. He told us that the we were about to share 800 breaths.

Following him to the top floor of the building, we entered a space where numerous pipes and ducting of the heating and ventilation system intertwine and form a labyrinth. Perching inside a small nook, a woman, also wearing a dark overall, was operating a console with luminous buttons. The deafening sound of the electronic percussions emphasised the flickering images projected all around. In a small space in the corner, another man wearing the same uniform was playing a bass.

Monday, 10 July 2017

FIRST LOOK: Simon-Anthony Rhoden, Verity Rushworth & David Hunter star in KINKY BOOTS

Simon-Anthony Rhoden takes on the role of Lola and Emmerdale star Verity Rushworth joins the cast as Lauren in West End hit KINKY BOOTS, which extends until Saturday 24 March 2018.

Kinky Boots, the winner of every major Best Musical award, is pleased to announce that Simon- Anthony Rhoden will take on the role of Lola and Verity Rushworth, popular with TV viewers for her role as Donna Windsor in ITV’s Emmerdale, will star as Lauren from Monday 10 July 2017. Kinky Boots, which recently played its 700th performance at London’s Adelphi Theatre, today also announces the opening of a new booking period until Saturday 24 March 2018, with tickets on sale from Friday 5 May 2017. 

Also joining Kinky Boots from Monday 10 July 2017 will be Jed Berry, Momar Diagne, Lauren Drew, Dale Evans, Jordan Fox, Rosie Glossop, Keith Higham, Ben Jennings, Georgia Louise, Emma Odell, Antony Reed and Tom Scanlon. 

Friday, 7 July 2017

REVIEW: Tiresia at Etcetera Theatre

Whoever is familiar with Ian Dixon Potter's plays, will recognise some connection between his previous work Boy Stroke Girl and his most recent Tiresia. In both cases there is a similar cliff-hanger plot where the truth unfolds slowly, without ever entirely revealing itself. Investigating the controversial opposition between how people relate with the external world with regards to their appearance and the adherence to social labels, Dixon never offers a conclusion that proves to be universally valid. Instead, he presents the matter from a variety of angles and allows the audience to form their own opinion whilst they witness elaborate but clearly exposed dialogues.

Tiresia opens with the young woman in the title role (Natasha Killam) hobbling towards a small table centre stage and soon joined by an older man named Harold (Albert Clack). They have known each other for quite a long time, but something in their friendship has recently changed. Harold is visibly astonished when he first sees Tiresia and she talks through the phases of a long rehabilitation, without ever mentioning what caused her injury. She's the protegee of a famous painter called Arthur, who has suddenly left the country without even saying goodbye to his closest friends and family. Tiresia and Arthur are closely related and snippets of their connection trickle from the various conversations throughout the play, like pieces of a jigsaw laid on a table one after the other.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

REVIEW: Sh!t-faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Leicester Square Theatre

The idea behind Sh!t-faced Showtime is simple: five classically trained musical theatre actors perform a production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with one of them – chosen in turns – who spent the hours preceding the show drinking and will inevitably appear on stage totally shit-faced. First launched by the Magnificent Bastards Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010, the original format Sh!t-faced Shakespeare has caused a mayhem around the world, allowing the creatives to expand their repertoire and explore the realm of musical theatre. 

When the lights of the Leicester Square theatre went down and the performance started, it didn't take me long to identify in Alan McHale the Guinea pig of this theatrical experiment. His wobbly attempt to follow the choreography as one of the Munchkins and the giggly mumble that replaced his lines as the Scarecrow became the main entertainment of an unpredictable Sunday evening at the theatre. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

REVIEW: Macbeth at St Paul’s Church

Sitting in the middle of Covent Garden and with miserable weather feels like a Pathetic Fallacy as I’m readying myself for Macbeth in St Paul’s Churchyard AKA The Actor’s Church. This production celebrates Iris Theatre’s 10th anniversary and promises to be a terrifying, immersive journey through the madness of the King of Scotland.

We all know the story, but if you don’t, allow me to recap: It’s the familiar tale of boy goes to war, boy and best friend meet three witches, boy is told of a prophecy that he will become king, boy tells wife, wife becomes fuelled by ambition and convinces boy to kill the king, boy kills king, boy becomes king, boy starts to go mad, boy kills best friend, boy slips even further into madness, wife goes mad with guilt, boy slips further into madness, wife kills herself due to madness, boy blames himself, boy fights friend who was born via a Caesarean, boy is killed, blah blah blah people die. 

REVIEW: House of America at Jack Studio Theatre

The long-standing myth of America as a promised land where all dreams come true is revived by Ed Thomas in his drama House of America. Set in the living room of the Lewis family, in the South Wales Valleys, it opens with a monologue where Mam (Lowri Lewis) introduces herself to the audience and expresses her concern for the slow and steady expansion of the open-cast mine that is threatening her house. Her husband left her many years ago to go to America with a new lover and she had to raise her three children on her own. Now young adults, the siblings are consumed by the lack of opportunities of their homeland and fervently dream of California and reuniting with their estranged father from whom they've never received any news. 

Mam has a big secret to keep, which is seriously affecting her nerves. Her daughter Gwenny (Evelyn Campbell) spends her days reading Jack Kerouac's On The Road and the poems of the Beat generation. Her two sons and former gravediggers Sid (Pete Grimwood) and Boyo (Robert Durbin) seek employment at the mine as a life-changing career advancement but, whereas the former is desperate to break-free from his current condition, the latter is more concerned about his mother's mental welfare. After borrowing Jack Kerouac's book from his sister, Sid initiates a dangerous role-play with Gwenny, which introduces some of the most dramatic undertones into Thomas' play and contributes to gradually transform it into a bloodied nightmare. 
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