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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

COMING HOME: Christopher Tendai, last seen in Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre and Artistic Director of Dance Company CTC

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

An up and coming choreographer and creative himself, as well as an accomplished West End performer, Christopher Tendai was appearing in the London production of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre. Appearing in the ensemble and covering the role of Rudolpho before the theatres shut their doors back in March 2020. Over the pandemic, he has been keeping himself very productive with his creative work but he also went on to appear in the National Theatres pantomime, Dick Whittington, in December. He was the Dance Captain and Swing on the show but the run was short-lived due to London being moved into tier 4. 

After Matilda and Dick Whittington being cut short for Christopher, he has been through his fair share of disappointments through this but he remains positive, telling us that if he could give out a piece of advice to people it would be “to take each day at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if your body takes longer to get back to where it was. We have all suffered trauma over this pandemic so make sure to be kind to yourself.” 

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

REVIEW: Cinderella at the Turbine Theatre

Pantomime at this time of year is usually a family affair but there has always existed an adult version which targets a narrower audience in which there are no boundaries. Jim Davison toured often with Sinderella and Boobs in the Wood and versions are still available online but this version from Paul Taylor Mills at the Turbine Theatre definitely does not start from the same outlook as those nineties shows. Instead his Cinderella is a 2020 socially distanced romp that soon lives up to its billing of "not for the faint-hearted". It is definitely for an 18 plus audience and you soon lose count of the use of the "F-word"s, repeated often for cheap laughs from the Battersea audience. 

The pedigree of the show bodes well. Taylor-Mills has had some creative success since he opened the tiny Turbine Theatre next to the redeveloping Battersea Power station. Jodie Prenger who co-wrote the show with Neil Hurst, found fame on the TV Talent show "I'd do anything" and has established herself as a Leading Lady in Oliver!, Annie, Spamalot and most recently in a revival of A Taste of Honey. Director Lizzie Connolly met her star of this show, Rufus Hound who plays Buttons in the West End production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrel. The cast is restricted by the rule of six so alongside Hound are a hard-working talent cast of five.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

REVIEW: Torch Song at the Turbine Theatre

It is always exciting to go to a brand new venue and see actors you have enjoyed before in excellent productions, especially in fresh reworking of a ground breaking play. So it was a pleasure to visit the brand new Turbine Theatre under the railways arches next to the swish new redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and see Matthew Needham and Daisy Boulton in a new reworking of Harvey Fierstein's acclaimed Torch Song Trilogy. Matthew Needham was outstanding at Chichester Minerva last year in Mike Bartlett's play C**k and later in the superb production of Summer and Smoke. Boulton I saw in her RADA graduation year in 2013.

Fierstein has taken his 1982 collection of plays Torch Song Trilogy in which he also starred and edited them into a three act play under the title Torch Song. While they deal with the same characters at sequential stages of the central character, Arnold Berkoff's life, they each have a different style of presentation . In the first, The International Stud, we see Arnold as a drag queen Virginia Ham, and in gay clubs seeking love and friendship where he meets Ed but it is staged in a series of monologues mainly spoken directly at the audience with virtually no interaction between the characters. In the second, Fugue in a Nursery, the action between the two couples, Laurel and Ed, and Arnold and Alan, takes place on a giant double bed in a series of short revealing cross talking exchanges that don't quite ring true. As Arnold says "I wanted a husband, he wanted a wife". But in the third, Widows and children first!, he has written it almost as an American sitcom situated in Arnold's Manhattan two bed flat. 
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