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Tuesday, 19 September 2023

REVIEW: 42nd Street at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

The musical 42nd Street ran for five years at Drury Lane from 1984 and has been regularly revived for regional tours and West End outings ever since, so it is no surprise to find the latest production arriving in Woking on a tour that will last well into 2024 (with a Christmas trip overseas to Toronto) and to find another full house of fans looking for an entertaining feelgood night out. The real delight is that the leading lady Nicole-Lily Baisden, playing Peggy Sawyer, the chorus girl who makes good, is absolutely brilliant in her movement and dance and outshines the bigger names in the cast. Just as the 1984 West End production discovered nineteen-year-old Catherine Zeta-Jones, this production may have revealed another huge rising star of musical theatre.

Its Jukebox musical format, using a 1933 film as a base and adding other period songs, is a formulaic and cliched ‘show within a show’ story with a simple plot of a chorus girl who makes good. It succeeds due to an excellent well-drilled Ensemble, sparkling performances from the leads, slick scene transitions and elegant glittering costumes, with an energetic execution throughout and music that sweeps you along in a toe-tapping evening that is simply irresistible. Of course, the really big tap routines live long in the memory and the choreography feels fresh and exciting.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Outside the Spotlight: Seven Dials with Christina Shand | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.

It’s almost like meeting her in her backyard, as Christina knows every corner of Seven Dials in central London. Christina has spent many an hour in the area over the last couple of years. She was in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and for the past three years has worked as an instructor at Digme Covent Garden (former Another Space). By the time we meet on a sunny Monday, she’s already taught two cycle classes in the studio, and has another one later on. “It helps me to switch off.”

As we wander around the narrow streets and flashy windows of Covent Garden, we stop every now and then, still surprised by how quiet it is in the usually busy area. “It’s so beautiful here, and there’s so much around”. Does she have a favourite shop in the area? “Not really. I love a coffee, and there are so many to choose from. But things around here can also change so quickly.” 


Sunday, 15 December 2019

REVIEW: 42nd Street at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Following their 21st anniversary last year, Ovation Theatres latest production sees them tackle the tap extravaganza musical favourite, 42nd Street; currently playing its UK fringe theatre premiere at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate. 

Vastly downsizing to a cast made up of 13 compared to the recent West End production at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which consisted of an impressive cast of 58 members, Ovations adaptation can be nothing short of applauded for the mammoth challenge they have taken on; in particular within the effective use of limited space. 

Staged in a promenade setting with entrances at either end, the production was directed thoughtfully to ensure all audience members had an excellent view of each scene and number. This was particularly apparent whenever choreography was introduced throughout.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

What is closing in the West End in January?

Kinky Boots | Final Performance on the 12th January 

After almost 3 and a half years in London's West End, Kinky Boots closes its doors at the Adelphi Theatre on the 12th January to make way for the Broadway transfer of Waitress. But do not fear, Kinky Boots is currently strutting around the UK on tour so its not saying goodbye just yet! 

Bat Out of Hell | Final Performance on the 5th January 

After runs at the Manchester Opera House, the London Coliseum, Toronto and finally the West Ends Dominion Theatre, Bat Out of Hell will rock out for the last time on the 5th January. To make way for what I hear you ask? Well you'll have to wait and see. 

The Inheritance | Final Performance on the 19th January 

Playing a sold out run at the Young Vic earlier this year, this play has won the hearts of the theatre going public and has been monumental for gay writing. The closure of this play is to make room for the production of All About Eve before the much waited Broadway transfer of Dear Evan Hanson. 

Chicago | Final Performance on the 5th January 

Making this the fourth West End venue the musical has played (After the Adelphi, the Cambridge and the Garrick) we say goodbye to the musical again on the 5th January at the Phoenix Theatre to make way for the Broadway transfer of Come From Away. 

Dreamgirls | Final Performance on the 12th January 

After over two years in the West End, the Dreamgirls will be saying goodbye on the 12th January. There will be a soul spaced hole in the West End after its closure but will be replaced by the long over due production of 9 to 5. Turns out, Dreamgirls do leave you! 

42nd Street | Final Performance on the 5th January 

Just shy of two full years in one of the West Ends biggest houses, this production of 42nd Street will close on the 5th January to make way for some much needed refurbishment in the Theatre. What will replace it? Well, we here it might get a little colder in there! Lets hope they install some central heating. 

Snow White | Final Performance on the 13th January 

Now this show hasn't even opened yet, but we are so pumped to get into the Christmas mood so had to include this! Opening on the 12th December with a star cast, this show closes almost exactly a month later on the 13th January at the London Palladium. 


Monday, 17 September 2018

REVIEW: 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

One of the most beautiful and historical theatres in London’s West End is the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and perfect for the ultimate musical spectacle. Therefore 42nd Street, the 1980 Broadway hit with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble based on the 1933 hit Warner Bros film with music and lyrics by Henry Warren and Al Dubin, should be a perfect fit.

Young Peggy Sawyer is fresh off the bus from small-town America and just another face in the chorus line on Broadway’s newest show ‘Pretty Lady’. But when the leading lady Dorothy Brock gets injured, Peggy might just have the shot at stardom she’s always dreamed of.

Having previously seen it over a year ago and been blown away by the uniformity of the ensemble, I couldn’t wait to see this new cast change. 42nd Street has some consistently good areas: Mark Bramble’s direction and Randy Skinner’s choreography ensure the show looks on point, making the most of the huge Grade 1 listed, 2,196 seat theatre. Peter Mumford’s attention to detail with his lighting design literally shone through, with Douglas W. Schmidt’s set design and Roger Kirk’s costume design perfectly complementing the show. However, there were things that surprised me about the performance I saw. From a tap show that prides itself for its energy and consistency the show I saw came in two halves - act one and act two being completely different shows. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

12 production shots that describe the struggles of being in a Musical

When you get a whiff of your costume and clearly it hasn't been dry cleaned in weeks.

2016 Revival of Half A Sixpence 

When you catch a glimpse of a really fit audience member. 

2017 UK tour of Grease the Musical 

When its a double show day and your legs just say no. 

2012 production of Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 News Stories!

Our News features and articles are one of our most popular things to post, our readers love being kept in the loop and we've been known to break the news first for quite a few big things! Heres a list of our most popular news articles, some of them surprised us! Follow us on twitter to keep up to date with all of our future news posts! 

"Sheena Easton - the Grammy Award winning artist who has sold over 20 million records around the world - is to make her West End debut in the forthcoming production of 42nd Street. Easton, who remains the only artist in history to have top five records on five major Billboard charts.... " 

"Selladoor Worldwide is delighted to announce that they will tour a brand-new production of The Producers this Autumn. The laugh-out-loud musical spectacle opens at Shanghai Culture Square, prior to a 14 week tour of China. This tour marks Selladoor Worldwide’s 8th International tour since 2014..."

"The Union Theatre is thrilled to announce the cast for the upcoming production of Irving Berlin's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. GEMMA MACLEAN will head up the company as the infamous, sharp shooting Annie Oakley. Gemma most recently starred as Liz Imbrie in "High Society" at Sonning Mill not long..."


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Andrew Wright | Interview

Andrew Wright has become one of the West End's favourite choreographers recently, with productions that have astounded the public. His choreographer credits include Singin' In The Rain (Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre and The Curve, Leicester), Wonderful Town(National Tour), The Showgirl Within(Garrick Theatre), Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi(Liverpool Playhouse, Union Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) ,By Jeeves(Landor Theatre) and many many more! His performance credits include Scrooge(London Palladium), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward), Anything Goes (Drury Lane), Cats (New London), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Dominion and National Tour), A Chorus Line (Derby Playhouse and National Tour) and many more! His list of credits are endless, a career that anyone would be very jealous of! He was also nominated for an Olivier Award in early 2012 for Singin' in the Rain. Taking time out of very busy life, Andrew had the time to answer a few questions!

How did you first get into Dance?I went to a local dance school in Somerset and also danced at my main school, Millfield. However I didn't start to professionally train until the age of 17 at Arts Ed, London.

Is there any advice you'd give to any aspiring dancers out there?That there is no short cut to success. Put the hours of training in. The more skills you have to offer the better your chance of employment is.
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