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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

REVIEW: Love Goddess, the Rita Hayworth Musical at the Cockpit Theatre

‘LOVE GODDESS The Rita Hayworth Musical’ at The Cockpit is a show with admirable intentions and ultimately, a loving tribute to Rita Hayworth, one of the formidable stars of the Hollywood golden age. The passion and heartfelt for her story are undeniably present in the cast of five multi-disciplined performers, but, unfortunately, it fails to push any boundaries to make this anything more than a light retelling of the starlet's life.

It began its life as a one-woman show called ‘Me, Myself and Rita’, created and performed by Almog Pail in 2017, it has since transformed into a two-act musical. Still starring Pail as the title role, she is now joined by Simon Kane (Orsen Welles and Harry Cohn), Imogen Kingsley-Smith (Young Rita), Jane Quinn (journalist Jules Graham and Hayworth’s mother Volga Cansino) and Joey Simon (Fred Astaire and Hayworth’s Father Eduardo Cansino). The show follows the life of Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, from her days as a child dancer in Brooklyn to her breakout roles in Hollywood, her iconic portrayal of Gilda and finally her tragic defeat from Alzheimer’s disease. Intertwined within her career highlights are failed marriages, abuse and ultimately the story of a woman who never really wanted to be famous. Pail wrote the original play after her own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s which is a touching parallel and personal connection present in the work.

Monday, 26 November 2018

REVIEW: Land of Nod at the Cockpit Theatre

Moon on a Stick’s Land of Nod presents a wonderful story of questioning where we go when we fall asleep through puppetry and song. The three ‘Sandies’ help Isaac- a puppet boy- get to sleep despite numerous distractions. It has a beautiful concept but at times lacked energy from the direction. Several moments of the production could have been much faster paced as it was not entirely gripping for children as young as three.

Unfortunately, the musical element of the show was unimpressive and under-rehearsed. The sound was of bad quality and must have been difficult for the actors to hear because the songs were mostly out of time. It seemed unnecessary having one Sandy mime playing the guitar and strumming it, untuned, at the end of the song. I wasn’t sure what the purpose of this was and think it should be reconsidered for future performances. Occasionally the lyrics were lost over the backing track, which was a shame as they would have been an interesting musical break to the production if they had had more work.

Friday, 19 October 2018

REVIEW: The Distance You Have Come at the Cockpit Theatre

The Distance You Have come is a song cycle that weaves some of the famous Scott Alan songs into a story line that centres around 6 characters. We all know and love Alans music from his countless cabarets over the years featuring the crème de la crème of the West End and for this production he has pulled together yet again a stunning cast. 

The story line consists of three couples who cross paths; we have two gay couples, one we see blossom and one see we destroyed, and a straight couple in which one of them has moved on and one of them is experiencing major depression. The storyline was too complicated for such a short piece and the lack of book meant we missed a lot of information so had to fill in the blanks ourselves. It was a bit of a mess and to be honest, not interesting in the slightest. 

The cast seemed to be more in the know of the storyline then we were, and this is not a good thing. The audience like to be one step ahead of the characters, not playing catch up because we’ve missed vital information.
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