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Friday, 10 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Lauren Samuels

These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we've faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we'll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times.

Let's stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!

*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation. Please keep that in mind when reading*

Lauren Samuels was most recently seen in Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith as Popsy.  Her other credits include Sandy in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre); Cathy in The Last Five Years (Tabard); Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre & World Tour); the title role in Vampirette (Manchester Opera House); Ellie in Water Babies (Leicester Curve); Jenny in Love Story (Bolton Octagon); Jules in Bend it Like Beckham the Musical (Phoenix Theatre); Polly in The Buskers Opera (Park Theatre); Mary in Vanities (Trafalgar Studios); La Ronde (Bunker Theatre); Romantics Anonymous (the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Theatre); Rory in A Hundred Words For Snow (Arcola); Jenny in The Big Corner (Octagon Theatre) and Katherine in Henry V (Barn Theatre).

On Monday 16th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction? 

I was at home. I have quite a few friends over in America and so when the closure of Broadway happened I feared we would soon follow suit but of course, there was always a small part of me that had hope that we wouldn’t. I kept thinking surely they can’t close all theatre, surely not! It was a very sad day for everyone in the arts.

Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?

Every night before bed I make a list with specific times of what I’d like to achieve the next day. This helps me stay on track and remain focused. Every day I’ll do some sort of workout in my living room, I think it’s important to remain active and there are so many amazing free classes you can do and lots of people offering live insta workouts. I’m actually taking part in a live insta workout this Friday with Lockdown Live London! Myself and Sophie Evans will be sweating on screen for you all to follow! No mocking please...! I think it’s great we’re all engaging with each other over the socials. I am also taking part in the Leave A Light On live stream concerts in association with Lambert Jackson Productions and The Theatre Cafe. On April 13th at 6.30pm, I will be live from my living room singing you all some musical theatre and generally just having a good time for your viewing pleasure! I’m so happy that even though theatres are closed we are still able to offer our talents out there for people to remain positive and happy and entertained. On top of that, I’ve become rather obsessed with TikTok! The comedy videos keep me amused and I’m loving making them with my dog Paul.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

DREAM CASTING: Friends the Musical

If you're like me or the majority of people on my timeline, you'll have watched the entire series of Friends on Netflix a number of times. I think I may be on my 6th rerun of it?! But it got me thinking, If there was a musical who could be in it? So I took to the internet and made my dream cast list. Tweet us and let us know who you would like to see in the musical version of Friends! @PocketSizeBlog

Rachel Green | Emily Tierney 

Ross Geller | Gerard McCarthy 


Sunday, 10 September 2017

DREAM CASTING: The Devil Wears Prada the musical!

Today (noticeable nay anyone with snapchat!), The Devil Wears Prada celebrates its 11th Anniversary. We have heard rumours of a possible musical adaptation and we would LOVE to see it in London and this got us thinking who our dream casting would be! Who would be yours?! Tweets us your ideas! @PocketSizeBlog

Andrea (Andy) Sachs

Lauren Samuels

Miranda Priestly

Harriet Thorpe

Friday, 8 September 2017

Shakespeare’s Globe announces full casting for Emma Rice's new musical Romantics Anonymous

Shakespeare’s Globe is delighted to announce the full cast of Romantics Anonymous, a new musical in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse directed by Emma Rice, with book written by Emma Rice, lyrics by Christopher Dimond, and music by Michael Kooman, presented by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment. 

This funny, charming and awkward love story is adapted from the French-Belgian film Les Émotifs Anonymes written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband. The musical follows Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker inhibited by social anxiety, and Jean-René, the awkward boss of a struggling chocolate factory, in an unusual and tender love story about finding the courage to be happy. Romantics Anonymous will be the final new production directed by Emma Rice as Artistic Director of the Globe. 

Carly Bawden will play the role of Angélique, having just appeared on The Globe stage as Maria in Emma Rice’s Twelfth Night earlier this summer. Carly’s other recent theatre credits include the role of Alice in (National Theatre), McQueen (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Assassins, Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dead Dog in a Suitcase and Other Love Songs, Tristan & Yseult, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Kneehigh) and My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible). Television includes Close to the Enemy (BBC). 

Friday, 10 July 2015

REVIEW: Bend it like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre

This musical is incredibly dated, I am shocked to see how many stereotypes are used in the production. It is 2015, the vast majority of the public do not find stereotypes funny anymore. We have moved on, we do not need every single indian character to be the comic relief and a cultural stereotype that is 10 years out of date. And why were all the female footballers butch women? This is dated and actually quite offensive. I find it very lazy that the writers and director have gone down this route because its not what we need in our society and its incredibly unimaginative. Its a shame because the aunts in the show had quite a few funny moments, but because every single indian character was matched up to them in the writing it meant nothing was funny. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Where are they now? Over The Rainbow!

This year is the 10th anniversary of the programme 'Over the Rainbow', the TV reality show that searched for the role of Dorothy in the newly staged production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. This programme follows on from How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, Any Dream Will Do & I'd Do Anything, the programs that searched for the roles of Maria, Joseph and Nancy. Rival TV shows to these BBC produced series also came up in Superstar (The search for Jesus), Grease is the Word (The search for Danny and Sandy) and Fame: The musical (the search for Nick and Serena). John Barrowman, Denise Van Outen, Zoe Tyler and Bill Kenwright were all judges on the previous series but they were replaced by John Partridge, Shelia Hancock and Charlotte Church with, of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber. If you are a theatre geek like me, you'll remember these TV shows! And if you don't, you'll certainly know some of the contestants. So, where are they now? 

Danielle Hope 

Danielle went on to win the TV show and played the role of Dorothy in the new version of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. After leaving the show, she went on to play Eponine in Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre, a role she returned to in 2015. Her other roles include the title role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Birmingham Hippodrome & London Palladium); Cathy in The Last Five Years (Greenwich Theatre & The Warren Theatre in Brighton); Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour); Maria in The Sound of Music (UK Tour); Sandy in Grease (UK Tour); Sherrie in Rock of Ages (UK Tour) and most recently Betty Haynes in White Christmas (Dominion Theatre). @DanielleHope26

Sophie Evans 

Although Sophie just missed out on winning the TV show, coming second to Danielle Hope, she did go on to alternate the role of Dorothy at the London Palladium and eventually went on to play the role full time when Hope left. Since then she has appeared in Irving Berlin: From Rags to Ritzes (UK tour), Lord of the Dance (Playhouse Theatre & Lyric Theatre, Broadway), You Won't Succeed on Broadway Without any Jews (St. James Theatre) and most recently has just finished a run as Glinda in the London production of Wicked, becoming the youngest person to play Glinda in the show's history. @SophieEvans

Lauren Samuels

After coming third in the show, Lauren was the first Dorothy to hit the West End after the show, playing Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre. Her other credits include Cathy in The Last Five Years (Tabard), Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre & World Tour); the title role in Vampirette (Manchester Opera House); Ellie in Water Babies (Leicester Curve); Jenny in Love Story (Bolton Octagon); Jules in Bend it Like Beckham the Musical (Phoenix Theatre); Polly in The Buskers Opera (Park Theatre); Mary in Vanities (Trafalgar Studios); La Ronde (Bunker Theatre); Romantics Anonymous (the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Theatre); Rory in A Hundred Words For Snow (Arcola); Jenny in The Big Corner (Octagon Theatre) and Katherine in Henry V (Barn Theatre). She most recently appeared in the infamous Lyric Hammersmith Pantomime, playing Popsy in Cinderella. @Laurensamuels88

Stephanie Fearon

Stephanie got cast in Smokey Joes Cafe at the Landor Theatre after being eliminated from the show and released an album entitled 'My Parade' Her other credits since the show include Dorothy in The Wiz (Milton Keynes Theatre), Diana Morales in A Chorus Line (Tel Aviv Opera House), Ella in Run (Polka Theatre), Mimi Marquez in RENT (Greenwich Theatre) and Ruth in Molly Wobbly Tit Factory (Leicester Square Theatre) and Lisa in the West End production of Mamma Mia!. She currently runs her own business, Charlies Whiskers, which is a Doggy Daycare, Boarding and Grooming in South East London @stephfearon89

Jessica Robinson 

After the programme, Jessica gained a place at Arts Educational Schools in London to study musical theatre after Over the Rainbow and afterwards became Jessica Daley professionally. Her theatre credits include Ali in Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre); Tess in Tess of the D'Urbervilles (New Wimbledon Studio); alternated the role of Maria in The Sound of Music (UK Tour); Ensemble and cover to the role of Fantine in Les Miserables (Dubai, Manila & Singapore); Frenchy in Grease (Dubai) and Lynette in An Officer and a Gentleman (Leicester Curve & UK Tour). She was most recently seen starring in the title role in Evita in the original, Hal Prince directed, production in the International tour. @jessicacaca7

Jenny Douglas

After the show, Jenny landed the part of Meat in We Will Rock You on the touring production of the show. She has since appeared as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and the title character in Cinderella (The King's Theatre Royal); the title role in Snow White (Edinburgh Playhouse); Holly in Viva Forever (Workshop); Little Sally in Urinetown and Julia in Willy's Bitches (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); the title role in Cinderella (Gardyne Theatre, Dundee) and most recently starred as Snow White at the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee. She is also part of a vocal and piano duo, The DaCapo Daughters. @Jaydeedouglas

Stephanie Davis 

After the TV series, Stephanie went on to play Sinead O'Connor in the soap opera Hollyoaks. She left the show in 2015 and returned to playing the role in 2018. She also went onto to appear in 'Hollyoaks Later', the spin-off show to the original soap. She has since gone on to appear in Celebrity Big Brother before returning to her acting career. In February 2020, she released her debut single entitled 'Lights Out'. 

Emilie Fleming 

Emilie was the Wildcard Dorothy in the programme, after the show she went on to study Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. Her theatre credits since include Maggie in Only The Brave (The Wales Millennium Centre); Lucy in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep); Elsie in Monster: A One Woman Show (Edinburgh & Camden Fringe); Cosette in Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre); Charlotte in Oliver (The Sheffield Crucible) and Susan in Berlin - The Musical (The Bloomsbury Theatre). She most recently played Maria in the UK touring production of The Sound of Music. @emiliekfleming

Dani Rayner

Dani has graduated from Kings College London with a First Class Honours in English Language and Literature. She went on to play the title role in Sleeping Beauty at the Lyceum in Sheffield and was also seen in Aladdin as Princess Jasmine at the Liverpool Empire opposite Pamela Anderson. She has since gone on to work in marketing for companies such as Netflix and the BBC. @DaniRayner

Bronté Barbé

After being eliminated second in the series, Bronté has gone on to have a huge career in theatre. Her credits include Sharon in Cool Rider – The Grease 2 Concert (Lyric Theatre);, Momentous Musicals (UK tour); Penny in Hairspray (Kuala Lumpur/Singapore); ensemble & cover Princess Fiona, a role she later went on to take over, in Shrek (UK Tour); Jest End (Waterloo East); Nadine in The Wild Party (The Other Palace); Carol King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (UK Tour) and Light Bulb Seller/ The Little Match Girl in Striking 12 (Union Theatre). She was most recently seen playing Ado Annie in Oklahoma at the Chichester Festival Theatre. @BronteBarbieee

Amy Diamond 

After being eliminated first on the show, her theatre credits include Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Vocalist in Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show (UK Tour); Sue in Dreamboats and Petticoats (UK Tour); Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (The Grange Theatre, Northwich); Shelia in Hair (European Tour & West End Gala); Ensemble and understudy Satan Baby Jane in Tonight's The Night (UK tour); backing vocalist for Josh Groban and Celine Dion (Arena Tour); Vocalist with Giorgio Moroda (World Tour) and most recently, vocalist in Rip it Up (Garrick Theatre). @amydiamondsings


Monday, 26 May 2014

Goodbye WE WILL ROCK YOU! A look back at the productions history...

Having rocked over 6.5 million people in a record-breaking 12 years at London's Dominion Theatre, the smash hit Queen & Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You is due to close on 31 May 2014. Now the longest running show ever at the Dominion by a margin of nine years, the show takes its rightful place in West End history, sitting proudly in the Top 10 longest running musicals of all time.
The show has now been performed in 28 countries around the globe, and has been seen by a more than 16 million people.
From its opening night at the Dominion on 14 May 2002, We Will Rock You quickly became the overwhelming people’s choice of musical in the UK and overseas. In its second year at the Dominion it won top honours in five categories in the Theatregoers Choice awards presented by, including Best New Musical. In 2011, nine years after the curtain first went up, the show won the prestigious Olivier Audience Award, the only category voted for entirely by the public. The show went on to win a number of international awards for productions around the globe.


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

FIRST LOOK: Water Babies at the Leicester Curve Theatre

Directed by Ed Curtis, with music by Chris Egan, and book and lyrics by Ed Curtis and Guy Jones, this enthralling new musical, with landmark special effects, will open on 6 May, with previews from the 24 April, and run until 17 May. Cementing its reputation for staging major new musicals, Curve sets Water Babies on its journey.

Water Babies follows Tom, an orphan who is framed for a crime he didn't commit. As he attempts to get away, he jumps from the edge of a waterfall where he meets Mrs D and a whole new world of enchantment, danger and adventure.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

WATER BABIES releases Official Trailer

Directed by Ed Curtis, with music by Chris Egan, and book and lyrics by Ed Curtis and Guy Jones, this enthralling new musical, with landmark special effects, will open on 6 May, with previews from the 24 April, and run until 17 May. Cementing its reputation for staging major new musicals, Curve sets Water Babies on its journey.

Tom, our orphaned teenage hero, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit. In a desperate attempt to escape capture he is trapped on the edge of a waterfall. His only choice is to jump. Awakening in the depths of the ocean he encounters the mysterious Mrs D, and a whole new world of enchantment, danger and adventure. Desperate to get back to the girl he loves Tom must brave underwater challenges in a world beyond his wildest imagination. Together with the unlikeliest of friends he embarks on a quest to find a way back to land. However he soon finds it's not just his fate he holds in his hands, but also that of the mysterious and elusive gang of Water Babies. It's time for Tom to face his worst fears…it's time to believe in himself and that anything is possible.


Friday, 28 December 2012

The In-Between: CD Review

The In-between is an up-coming musical written by Laura Tisdall. The show follows the story of Flick who has a sister named Alice. Their parents died in a car crash when they were both young so Alice has had to become a mother figure to Flick. Flick goes off the rails and rebels against her sister and one day she finds herself in the 'in-between' which is the space between parallel worlds. Flick must decide if she wants t go back to the world she knows with her Sister or go to the world where she can start again.
Laura has released a Concept album which is something that used to be done a lot; Andrew Lloyd Webber has done this with shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.This new musical has a rock theme which means all seven tracks on the album are anthems in their own right. The thing which makes an incredible musical song is something that tells a story but then can easily stand on its own feet. The only show that I can think of which features more than about two songs with these qualities is Wicked; on this album they all have this quality.

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