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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Outside the Spotlight: Recreating first steps with Joaquin Pedro Valdes | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.

We’re going back in time, as we take Joaquin’s first steps in London again. Up until theatres closed, he was part of the UK and International tour cast of The King and I in the ensemble, and first cover Lun Tha. In 2018, he joined the UK tour cast of Miss Saigon, covering the roles of The Engineer and Thuy - the job that brought him to the UK. He joined the tour in Manchester, and continued to travel around the country. 

“Getting that call from my agent was really a dream come true. In the Philippines, theatre is limited. There are productions happening, of course, but the West End and Broadway is just a different level.” Joaquin and his wife moved to the UK together, and in fact toured together. “It was amazing to be able to experience all these cities together. It brought us to places we never thought we’d go to!”

Sunday, 6 October 2019

10 Long running shows that didn't win Best Musical at the Oliviers


The original production of Chicago in 1979 lost out on the Best Musical Award to Songbook. However the revival did win Best Musical revival in 1998. The original production ran for 600 performances at the Cambridge Theatre. The show was also nominated in two other categories at the 1979 Olivier Awards; Antonia Ellis (Roxie) for Best Actress in a Musical and Ben Cross (Billy Flynn) for Best Actor in a Musical. However The Awards went to Virginia McKenna (The King and I and Anton Rodgers (Songbook).

Starlight Express

This long running show at the Victoria Apollo ran for 7,409 performances over 18 years. The show is currently the ninth longest running West End show in History and remains the Apollo Victoria Theatres longest running show. The musical lost out on the Best Musical Award to 42nd Street in 1984. Lon Satton, who played Poppa in the original London production, was also nominated for Best Actor in a Musical but the award went to Paul Clarkson for The Hired Man.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

10 Most Iconic Mothers in Musical Theatre | Mothers Day Special

Mamma Rose in Gypsy 

Donna in Mamma Mia 

Diana in Next to Normal 


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

REVIEW: Miss Saigon at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton

One of the fantastic developments of recent decades is to see the great West End productions touring to large regional venues with the same high production values and full ensemble casts and orchestras and Miss Saigon is continuing its tour of the 2014 West End revival. The Mayflower stage is one of the largest outside London and is a natural home for three weeks for this spectacular production. 

The set designed by Matt Kinley and Totie Driver evocatively creates the dilapidated structures of Saigon during the Vietnam war and restages the amazing critical scene when the US marine helicopter arrives at the US base to evacuate the last soldiers. A combination of video and a full scale helicopter nose cockpit accompanied with realistic sound effects and flashing lights produces without doubt the highlight of the show.

The lighting design by Bruno Poet is also very distinctive and so strong that it dominates many scenes. The stage is usually dark creating shadows with the set and the performers picked out with small focused spots. It creates atmospheric settings but the lighting is too overwhelming and clever and becomes the many thing you notice in each scene.

Friday, 2 March 2018

New cast announced for UK tour of MISS SAIGON

Cameron Mackintosh today announced that from Monday 30 April Elana Martin will play ‘Ellen’ and Aicelle Santos will play ‘Gigi’ in the current UK tour of his acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical MISS SAIGON. They join Red Concepción as ‘The Engineer’, Sooha Kim as ‘Kim’, Ashley Gilmour as ‘Chris’, Ryan O’Gorman as ‘John’ and Gerald Santos as ‘Thuy’. At certainperformances ‘The Engineer’ is played by Christian Rey Marbella, and ‘Kim’ is played by Joreen Bautista.

Also new to the cast from 30 April will be Iroy Abesamis, Jonathon Bentley, Devine Cresswell, Ross Lee Fowkes, Yukina Hasebe, Rob Herron, Jade Ma, Samuel Nicholas, Pierce Rogan, Louis Stockil, Joaquin Pedro Valdes, Brad Veitch, Gabriella Williams, Zheng Xi Yong and Sian Yeo, 

Elana Martin’s West End credits include “Travesties” at the Apollo Theatre and “Merrily We Roll Along” at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Her other credits include the UK tours of “39 Steps” and “Scrooge”.

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! 

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!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

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

One of the more recent productions on the list, Mark Swale seemed to be very impressed by this production. The show, which started at the Southwark Playhouse, went on to play to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to London's West End. 

"This is a fun show and one that is needed in London at the moment. Its an alternative to The Book of Mormon and a quarter of the price. This is on our must see list so make sure you head down down to the Arts Theatre and see this whilst its around!"

The only fringe musical on the list, Salad Days played at the Union Theatre in 2017 and its success was incredible. James-Lee Campbell, one of our favourite reviewers, loved this show and we can totally see why! 

"For a couple of hours it will transport the audience away from all the doom and gloom we face day to day... Go and see Salad Days for a touch of ol’ fashioned musical theatre glamour and joy." 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

REVIEW: Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre

There is a huge hype around this show (which is closing in February 2016) and we here at Pocket Size Theatre hadn’t gotten the chance to see it yet, until we were invited by the new theatre ticketing app TodayTix. Click here for a £10 voucher for the app!

The show is stunning, I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed with it but it had so much heart and passion within it. A modern adaptation of the Opera Madame Butterfly, the story is epic. It pulls you in a doesn’t let go until the curtain falls at the end. 


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Minimal vs Actual art work!

Inspired by our feature last week, we thought it may be interesting to compare the Minimal Musical designs against some of the real designs used by the shows. Do you prefer the alternative version? Tweet us which one is your favourite, or if you like a particular design from a different production of the show then share that too! 


2012 London revival vs Minimal Musicals 


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

MISS SAIGON Gala Performance sells out within minutes as 18000 people try to buy tickets

The Gala Performance to celebrate 25 years of Boublil & Schönberg’s “MISS SAIGON” on Monday 22 September, has sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale this morning, Tuesday 26 August. Over 18,000 people tried to buy tickets when booking opened at 10.00am; an unprecedented amount for a single performance in a theatre with just over 1700 seats.

Fans who queued around the block at the Prince Edward Theatre managed to secure tickets at the original 1989 prices. Online demand was so overwhelming that it crashed the box office ticket system at 10.10am and the entire Delfont Mackintosh Theatre website shortly afterwards. The technical team restored the system as quickly as possible and the performance was sold out within minutes.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Gala Performance to Celebrate 25 Years of MISS SAIGON on the 22 September 2014

Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce that on Monday 22 September 2014 at 7.00pm there will be a Gala Performance of Boublil & Schönberg’s “MISS SAIGON” to celebrate 25 years since the musical originally premiered. The new production opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in May this year and has been a triumphant success with record advance bookings. The overwhelming audience response has been just as rapturous as the original. 

The original production opened on 20 September 1989 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it ran for 10 years and still holds the record for the longest run at that theatre. “MISS SAIGON” has been seen by over 40 million people worldwide. After opening in London, the new production most recently opened in Japan with other productions planned to open in Korea, Australia, Europe and the U.S.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Eva Noblezada has joined the line-up of artists set to perform at THE PHILIPPINE DREAM


Filipino-American actress Eva Noblezada, currently starring as Kim in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre, has joined the line-up of artists set to perform at THE PHILIPPINE DREAM - a one-off Gala at the Leicester Square Theatre this Sunday (17 August).

She joins fellow co-stars Rachelle Ann Go (Gigi), Hugh Maynard (John), and other members of the Miss Saigon company, who will be performing to raise money for the Tuloy Foundation, an organisation that cares for abandoned and neglected orphans in Manila.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

FIRST LOOK: Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre

MISS SAIGON made its highly anticipated return to the West End on Saturday 3 May 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre, playing to a full house. Its the musical’s 25th Anniversary Year and is currently booking for performances through to Saturday 20th December 2014. The cast includes Jon Jon Briones as ‘The Engineer’, Eva Noblezada as ‘Kim’, Alistair Brammer as ‘Chris’, Tamsin Carroll as ‘Ellen’, Hugh Maynard as ‘John’ and Rachelle Ann Go as ‘Gigi’. 

When tickets went on sale in September the show set a new record for the largest single day of sales in not only West End but Broadway history as well,   taking £4,402,371. 

The ensemble includes; Julia Abueva, Natalie Chua, Jon-Scott Clark, Jenny Ding, Dale Evans, Callum Francis, Ashley Gilmour, Maria Graciano, Simon Hardwick, Jack Harrison-Cooper, Matthew Jeans, Kurt Kansley, David Kar-Hing Lee, Kittiphun Kittipakapom, Mitch Leow, Ela Lisondra, Carolyn Maitland, Tanya Manalang, Christian Rey Marbella, Kanako Nakano, Thao Therese Nguyen, Saori Oda, Ariel Reonal, Jon Reynolds, Romeo Salazar, Jordan Shaw, Marsha Songcome, Eloisa Amalia Tan, Christian Tanamal, Thao Vilayvong, Amadeus Williams and Gerald Zarcilla.


Monday, 27 January 2014

Kerry Ellis | Interview

Kerry Ellis is about to return to the role of Mimi in the 20th Anniversary Concert tour of RENT, her other credits include Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria, London and on Broadway), Nancy in Oliver! (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Fantine in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre), Ellen in Miss Saigon (UK Tour), My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Merry We Roll Along (Yvonne Aenaud Theatre), Magic of the Musicals (UK Tour), Svetlana Sergievsky in Chess In Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Godspell (Palace Theatre, Mancester), Children of Eden (Prince of Wales Theatre), West End Men (Vaudeville Theatre) and Beth in The War of the Worlds - The New Generation (UK Tour). Some of her solo concerts include Kerry Ellis Sings the Great British Songbook (Shaw Theatre), Anthems (Royal Albert Hall and UK Tour), An Audience with Kerry Ellis (Shaw Theatre), The Born Free Tour (UK Tour) and Kerry Ellis in Concert (London Palladium). She has released three solo recordings; Wicked in Rock (2008), Anthems (2010) and Acoustic by Candlelight (2013). I caught up with her to talk about her appearance in RENT and her career… 

When did you realise you wanted to be a performer for a living? 
There was never a question, I was always going to perform.


Friday, 22 November 2013

Full Cast Announced for MISS SAIGON revival

MISS SAIGON makes its highly anticipated return to the West End on Saturday 3 May 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre, in the musical’s 25th Anniversary Year and is currently booking for performances through to Saturday 25th October 2014. The cast includes Jon Jon Briones as ‘The Engineer’, Eva Noblezada as ‘Kim’, Alistair Brammer as ‘Chris’, Tamsin Carroll as ‘Ellen’, Hugh Maynard as ‘John’ and Rachelle Ann Go as ‘Gigi’. 

JON JON BRIONES was in the ensemble in the original cast of “Miss Saigon” when the show opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He has since played the role of ‘The Engineer’ in his native Philippines, London, on tour in both the UK and US and also in Germany. 

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