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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Things you might not have know about theatre...

The largest West End Theatre is the London Palladium, which has a capacity of 2,286!

The entirety of the 432-capacity Fortune Theatre would fit on the giant stage area of the Dominion Theatre. 

The Dominion Theatre is the site of the Great Beer Flood, a tragedy in 1814 which claimed 8 lives after 570 tons of beer crashed through the wall of a nearby brewery and flooded the area. 

In the final week of 2016, more than 439,000 people attended West End Shows, setting a new weekly attendance record. 

A record number of people attended West End shows in 2016, with an average of 801 people per show, the highest since figures were first taken. 

Under the pseudonym Doctor Spin, Andrew Lloyd Webber released a top 10 single in 1992 called "Tetris".

Monday, 22 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Alice Fearn, currently starring as Elphaba in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

Alice is currently playing the lead role of Elphaba in the London production of WICKED, after having previously been the standby for the role. The Woman in White (Palace), Les Misérables (Queen’s), Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic); ‘Rapunzel’ in Into the Woods (Regent’s Park), ‘Gingy’ in Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), ‘Renee’ in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy) and ‘Nancy’ in Oliver! (Watermill Theatre, Newbury). She took time out of her greenifying to have a little chat with us.

You were previously the Standby for Elphaba in the London production of Wicked, when did you find out you’d be taking over as the lead?

Well I’d been auditioning for quite a few years for the show, when I’d be able or free to do so I’d be auditioning for it. Weirdly actually, this last time I auditioned, when I got the standby, I said that was my last time I was doing it. I think that might have been my fifth time auditioning, I remember calling my mum and saying “this is the la
st time now, I can’t be put through the wringer if I’m not going to get this.” I thought this was my last time and if I get it great, if I don’t then I can move on. And thankfully I got it, then obviously a year later I got the upgrade to play the lead full time. I think I was in the kitchen with my fiancée, Gavin, who was cooking lunch and my agent called me and I knew it would be about this because I’d auditioned to play the lead again so when I was the standby I had to go back and do all the stuff again so I knew I was waiting for a phone call with a yes or a no. My agent had me on loud speaker so I did think it was something quite important because the whole office could hear, and he said I got the job and I was so shocked and surprised I think I threw the phone across the room towards Gavin and he was saying “What?! What?!” and I just said they’ve given me the part. And immediately we got a bottle of champagne out of the fridge and started pouring it because it was something I wanted for so long. So, it was a pretty good day that day!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Ian Carlyle, currently playing Four Eyed Moe in Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre

Ian is currently playing Four Eyed Moe in Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre, his other credits include Showboat (Sheffield Crucible), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK National Arena Tour), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Porgy and Bess (Savoy Theatre), Miss Saigon (UK Tour) and Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum). He took some time out of his 8 show week and answered some questions for us... 

For someone who might not know, tell us a little bit about Five Guys Named Moe? 

Five Guys Named Moe is about a guy, Nomax, who has hit rock bottom in his life.... he drinks to much, he’s bad tempered, he doesn’t look after himself, and takes everything and everyone around him for granted, especially his long suffering girlfriend Lorraine. As a result, Five Guys pop out of nowhere, and through a series of life lessons, show him the error of his ways and help him to find his way back onto the right path. 

Did you know about the show before auditioning? 

Yes. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this show and I am very lucky and honoured to finally be a part of this major revival after 25 years.

What was the audition process like? 

It was very intense, and also a lot of fun. And a lot of care was made in putting together combinations of 6 guys to find the right balance, camaraderie, and brotherhood that is central to the make up of the Moes and Nomax.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Simon Bailey, currently playing Tommy De Vito in the UK tour of Jersey Boys

Simon is currently reprising the role of Tommy De Vito in the new UK tour of Jersey Boys after having previously played the role in West End Production. His other credits include Whisper House (The Other Palace), Reverend Billy Hightower in Bat Boy (Southwark Playhouse), Man in Marry Me A Little (St. James Theatre), Liam in I Can't Sing! The X-Factor Musical (London Palladium), Raoul in Phantom of the Opera (London & National Tour) and Enjolras in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre). He took the time out of rehearsals before the show kicked off its new tour to speak to us about this upcoming production of Jersey Boys. 

You’re returning to the role of Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys after playing it in the West End, now on tour. What made you want to return to this role and show?

Jersey Boys has been one of, if not my favourite show, since it opened. Tommy is such a great character to play. After the show closed in London, I didn’t feel I was done with him! I’m so grateful to be asked back.

How do you think your interpretation of the role could change this time round? 

Well, we’ve had 8 months off so it feels fresh again – I’m also with different actors this time, so I listen and respond to them differently. That’s the best part of my job.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Chris Peluso, currently starring in The Woman in White at the Charing Cross Theatre

Chris is currently starring the the new revival of The Woman in White at the Charing Cross Theatre. He made his West End debut, direct from working on Broadway, playing Chris in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre. Since then he has gone on to star as Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat (New London), Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl (UK tour) and Death in Death Takes a Holiday (Charing Cross Theatre). His American credits include Mamma Mia, Beautiful, Wicked and Assassins. After opening the show in December, Chris takes a little time to chat to us about this revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. 

You first came over to the UK to play Chris in Miss Saigon, and have now become one of London’s favourite leading men. What made you want to hang around after Miss Saigon? 

I love London! The charming historic aesthetic is surreal. There is no greater city. Also the parks are all pet friendly! Since the majority of my life is spent with my awesome dog Peety this is a game changer. 

A lot of the shows you’ve done over on Broadway and over America are currently playing in the UK, would you ever like to return to any of these shows? 

I would love to get a change to be in Les Mis as either of the older male leads! I’d also love a change to play Gerry Goffin in beautiful some day! I love the role and the show! 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Pocket Size Picks: Our Favourite Theatre Websites!

This fairly recent creation is such a good resource for the modern day theatre fan; a huge database of performers, shows and theatres makes searching and fan girling so much easier! Put this one in your favourite tabs, its a must have! 

We are a huge fan of this website, it makes buying tickets so much easier! Not sure whether the price your paying for a ticket is worth it? Are you thinking that the cheapness/expensiveness of the ticket you're purchasing is legitimate? Log onto this website and you'll see your exact view from your seat. We don't know what we'd do without this! 

INTERVIEW: Georgia Ware, currently playing Meg Giry in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera

Georgia is current playing Meg Giry in the London Production of The Phantom of The Opera, a role she previously understudied whilst appearing in the ensemble. She made her West End debut at the age of six in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium, 2001-02), she also played Little Cosette in Les Misérables (Palace and Queen’s) and  appeared in The Nutcracker (Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House). She took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions from us at Pocket Size Theatre about her time in The Phantom of the Opera. 

Having performed as a child in the West End, what made you want to continue in the profession as an adult? 

Performing on a West End stage is the most amazing feeling and I knew from the first time that it it was what I wanted to do. I am so grateful to be able to call it my job! 

The Phantom of the Opera is ridiculously successful around the world, how is it performing in the original production?

Its incredible and so humbling to think of all of the people who have performed on this stage for the last 31 years. It is the brilliant original and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. 

What do you think makes this show so special? 

It's impossible to chose one thing. Of course the music but also the costume, the set and the music!

Before being cast in the show, what was your exposure to the musical? Had you ever seen it?

I watched the 25th anniversary on TV and I instantly fell in love with everything about it. The first time I watched the show was after I had found out I was going to be joining and that was the most amazing feeling. I couldn't quite believe I was going to be a part of it.

Monday, 8 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Lewis Griffiths, currently playing Nick Massi in the UK tour of Jersey Boys

Lewis is currently reprising the role of Nick Massi on the UK tour of Jersey Boys, having previously played the role on the 2014 UK tour. His other credits include Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing (UK tour), cover Carl in Ghost (UK tour), Chad/Dewey/Kyle & Cover Warner in Legally Blonde(UK tour), Frank in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), cover Benny in Rent Remixed (Duke Of York Theatre) and Clarence in Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre). He took the time out of rehearsals before the show kicked off its new tour to speak to us about this upcoming production of Jersey Boys. 

You are returning to playing Nick Massi after playing him on the last UK tour, what made you want to return? 

Call it unfinished business. Nick Massi is an enigmatic character to play, so I wanted to honour that and build on what I already knew.

After already going on tour with the show, what are you expecting from audiences this time round? 

Who knows, some regional audiences will turn out in droves, due to the success of the last tour, but you can’t take that for granted. Hopefully they will re-love Jersey Boys all over again.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 Interviews!

We have been lucky enough to interview some incredible performers, from all lines of work. We have collected together our top 10 most viewed interviews over our 5 years at Pocket Size Theatre and here they are! And what a selection of people we have. Click on the images to read the interviews. 


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 Features!

Our features are one of our most popular aspects of Pocket Size Theatre, from fun casting guessing games to first looks at the newest and hottest shows in town. We are known for these and our viewers love them almost as much as we love putting them together. Take a look at our top 10 most popular ones! 

Our '15 hottest...' posts are some of our most viewed posts ever! They have caused some controversy before but they are nothing but a bit of fun and an expression of our secret West End crushes! And we must be doing something right because the top 4 most viewed Features are from the same thread...

This post was said by Mark Shenton to be 'objectifying' the women feature in the post, we stand by our principles and must insist this is pure fun and a celebration of the beauty and talent in our industry. This one was especially hard, too many West End crushes!

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..."


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: Our Top 10 Reviews!

"Legally Blonde is high energy and like a high set of stairs doesn’t give you a chance to breathe. Winded by all of the talent that was on that stage Legally Blonde is entertaining and you’ll leave with all of the tunes playing through your head."

"This show was not the Royal Variety Performance, as it did lack polish and there were occasional technical hiccups, but I wouldn't have changed a single thing about it. I laughed, I cried (a lot), I smiled and I danced along in my seat. It was the perfect night out, and for anyone who loves variety, it's a must-go-to event."


Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: The top 10 worst shows we've ever seen!

This production was reviewed in October 2017 by Mark Swale, one of our regular reviewers. After personally seeing the original tour and London production this show I was really hoping this would be an exciting show so was looking forward to reading the review. However, this experience wasn't the most joyful evenings...

"This show lacked any style or vision, nothing was interesting or different... This Sell-a-Door production fails to hit the mark, a show which has potential has been miscast with poor creative decisions. Wet. And not in the way you want."

This show was reviewed by one of our harsher (but brilliant!) reviewers, Andy Edmeads. He went to see the show on tour back in May 2017 at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking and what he saw didn't seem to hit the mark. This show has some cracking numbers in but clearly, this wasn't the good kind of cracking!

"The direction was flat and formulaic... Thoroughly Modern Millie is a dire evening out and this felt like a tired and lazy production... This is a show that really is best left for low-budget am-dram companies to wheel out in an emergency."
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