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Thursday, 4 August 2022

REVIEW: Half a Sixpence at Kilworth House

The musical Half a Sixpence first came to the stage in 1963 and its romantic story of rags to riches to rags and back to riches of Arthur Kipps became a hit for Tommy Steele on film and on stage. It's rather dated feel of class attitudes and female roles was updated in 2016 by Julian Fellows with new songs by Stiles and Drewe and it is this version that the delightful covered but open-air setting of Kilworth Theatre in Leicestershire is staging this season until 28th August. Very well staged and wonderfully choreographed this is a lively and enjoyable evening entertainment with a marvellous cast who fill the spacious stage with brilliant routines. 

Although Dominic Sibanda may not have the cheeky chappie sparkle of Tommy Steele’s original Kipps, he does bring a more nuanced performance of a young man out of his depth in a new world and as he sings in one of the new songs “In the middle there’s me”. He starts uncertainly without Steele’s bravado, but we can see his love for Ann (Laura Baldwin) and his nativity in dealing with James Walsingham (Tom Pepper) who we can all see is on the make! He moves elegantly and is at his best leading the big original numbers such as in the charming “Half a Sixpence”, the delightful “If the Rains got to fall” that closes Act 1 and the barnstorming “Flash Band Wallop” which closes the show. 

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

Sunday, 13 August 2017

INTERVIEW: Charlie Stemp, currently starring as Arthur Kipps in HALF A SIXPENCE at the Noël Coward Theatre

How much of the original Tommy Steele film and stage adaptation inspired your portrayal of Kipps?
I’m afraid nothing at all – I have still not seen it to this day. I didn’t want it to interrupt with creating the role.

How do you feel your training at Laine aided your ascension to a leading man of the West End?
It gave me the foundation on which to build my career – their solid values of respect, patience and determination have formed the way I approach my work.

How long did it take you to master the banjo? 
8 weeks – it takes longer than you think!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

INTERVIEW: Devon-Elise Johnson, currently starring as Ann Pornick in HALF A SIXPENCE at the Noël Coward Theatre

How do you feel your training at LSMT aided your ascension to a leading lady of the West End?
The training is impeccable! They really hone in on the individuality of each student. Best year of my life without a doubt.

If you had “money to burn”, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Enable my mum and dad to retire. They’re incredibly supportive – if I could give back and thanks, it would be that!

Which member of the cast and/or crew makes you laugh the most and why? 

Bethany Huckle (Flo) – she makes me howl with laughter. On two show days, her interpretive dances have us in stiches!

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