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Monday, 12 July 2021

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Hamilton And Me; An Actor’s Journal’ by Giles Terera

Recently, Olivier Award-winning Giles Terera collected his MBE from St James’s Palace for services to theatre. As if his phenomenal range of acting credits isn’t enough to garner respect, he is also a writer, producer and director. His new release ‘Hamilton and Me’ delves (in journal format) into the creative process of originating the role of Aaron Burr on the West End in ‘Hamilton’; the musical you’ve either seen and adored, or are still desperate to see! If you don’t know anything about the show, you may want to hit Google (and Spotify) hard before continuing on with this review!

This book is made up of refined entries which were written in Terera’s journal throughout his Hamilton journey; from pre-audition through to opening night, he provides the reader with the gut-punching reality of being a performer and the sheer volume of research and work which went into bringing this character to life. 

His memoirs include an array of stories about his creative brainstorming and rehearsal alongside the iconic Hamilton Team (including Lin Manuel-Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, Thomas Kail and Andy Blankenbuehler) as well as naming the stellar West End cast one by one and how they impacted his journey to creating Aaron Burr. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

DREAM CASTING: Mean Girls the Musical

Charlotte Wakefield as Cady Heron 

Fresh from her run as Polly Baker in the UK tour of Crazy for You, we'd love to see Wakefield belt out those songs as Cady Heron! 

Jodie Steele as Regina George

She has the sass and she has the voice! After seeing her blow the roof off in Heathers the Musical at The Other Palace, we think Jodie would be the perfect Regina for the London production!

Friday, 29 December 2017

REVIEW: Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre

So much had been written about Hamilton, the story of a long forgotten immigrant founding father of America, that it sold out for its opening months when it went on sale in January 2017, long before Cameron Mackintosh knew whether his refurbishment of the wonderful Matcham Victoria Palace would be complete in time. The cancellation of the first performances after a wait of nearly a year added to this anticipation and you could feel the excitement in the theatre before and throughout the show. The audience whooped and cheered at every entrance, look and song showing a familiarity with the production that is only possible in this modern internet world. For those not familiar with the style, historical background or music , the show takes time to adjust to. The opening number "Alexander Hamilton" sets the scene but too many of the words get lost.

The first half is unrelentingly fast paced hip hop and rap telling of the American war of independence and rise of Alexander Hamilton in first the army and then politics. It requires intense concentration to catch the fast talking verbose language set against the heavy rap beat and some of the cast lost the clarity of delivery in this breathless energetic non stop story telling. However in the second half that changes , the mood darkens , the music becomes more melodic, there is more light and shade and the emotional connections between characters and with the audience develops to create a much more satisfying and enjoyable piece of modern innovative theatre.
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