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Friday, 12 November 2021

INTERVIEW: David Hunter, the West End star who has just released his new EP 'PLAY'

David Hunter is a name any theatre fan should know, he has now established himself as one of the finest leading men the West End has to offer. Before the pandemic, he was starring as Dr Pomatter in the West End production of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre. David other credits include Charlie Price in Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre), Captain Walker in The Who's Tommy (Prince Edward Theatre), Guy in Once (Phoenix Theatre), Isaac in The Hired Man (Leicester Curve and Colchester Mercury), Pub (The Royal Exchange), Spinach (The Royal Exchange), The Mayor in The Mayor of Zalamea (Liverpool Everyman), Horton in Seussical (Arts Theatre) and One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre & UK Tour). David is releasing his new EP 'PLAY' on all streaming platforms today! We got to chat with him about this venture. 

You released your new EP, ‘PLAY’, exclusively on cassette a few weeks ago before launching online, this has meant that all your costs for the EP were covered. You’ve said online it would take 600,000 plays to make the same amount of money. As someone who is releasing this independently, how did you get the idea to do this? 

Literally in response to those cheapskates at Spotify! They pay £0.004 a play, so after 100,000 streams of my last single, ‘The Farm Song’, I’d only made £400…and it cost me £800 to make! I knew if I wanted to continue to record and release original music, I needed to find creative ways to do it. So, I combined that need with my nostalgia obsession and boom! PLAY was born!

The boxes you released along with the cassette were the pinnacle of 90’s nostalgia, what gave you the inspiration for the design for these? 

I noticed a few artists were releasing cassettes, alongside the usual CDs and vinyl etc. but I’ve never bought one because I don’t have a cassette player. So, I thought it might be fun to package my own cassette with a player in the hope that it might start a few collections – including mine! I’ve since been scouring eBay for old tapes of my favourite bands. I threw in a load of other merch as well and packaged it all in shredded copies of Smash Hits magazine from the 80s and 90s for that extra nostalgic kick!

Thursday, 7 January 2021

When will the West End re-open?

In these very strange and uncertain times, we have been lucky enough to have performers, creators, theatres and producers up and down the country providing everything they can to entertain the public from their homes. Over Christmas, we saw a huge step forward, with numerous West End venues opening and Pantomimes all over the UK being announced. Unfortunately, all of these have now come to a close. But we must look to the future, here you'll find all the information you'll need about when and where these shows are opening in the West End. Of course, these may change but these dates really give us something to look forward to. I for one cannot wait to be back in a dark auditorium in the theatrical heart of the world! 

& Juliet

Re-opening at the Shaftsbury Theatre from the 24th September 2021. 

Back to the Future

Due to open at the Adelphi Theatre on the 20th August 2021. 

The Book of Mormon

Taking bookings from the 12th July 2021 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella

Taking online bookings from the 25th June 2021 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Come From Away

Performances at the Phoenix Theatre are suspended until the 18th June 2021, online booking from 21st June 2021. 

Thursday, 4 April 2019

REVIEW: Witness for the Prosecution at London's County Hall

We seem to be going back in time. Well, that’s certainly how I felt after leaving Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution last night, which is currently being revived for the first time in London’s West End since 1953. Director Lucy Bailey is now summoning a new generation of audiences for jury service in the unique courtroom chamber setting of London’s County Hall in an immersive, and wildly imaginative adaptation of Christie’s play.

Based on a 1925 short story and screen adaptations, Christie’s play is arguably one of her most ingenious and timeless works. With the evidence stacked completely against him, Leonard Vole faces the hangman’s noose after being accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. But will he be able to defend himself and prove his innocence against shocking witness testimony’s and his own wife?

Sunday, 15 April 2018

REVIEW: Plastic as The Old Red Lion

The Old Red Lion pub has been a place where I have seen some of the best fringe theatre; from plays to musicals the small studio space boasts a hearty CV of successful shows and its current production ‘Plastic’ is no different.

Set in some non specified estate in some non specified city, the lives of four young people are in front of us; half looking to the future whilst the other is stuck in the past. The crossover of their individual tales is like a plait in the continuum. A budding relationship between an older guy and a strained friendship between a lad who should have been popular yet held back by his strange friend are laid out for us.

Kev (Mark Weinman) used to be someone. Head of the football team, set up to move into the beautiful game professionally then let down at the last minute. Now clings on to his past by dating a secondary school girl, Lisa (Madison Clare), the popular girl who he would have been going out with if he was in fact at school. Ben (Thomas Coombes) is frankly weird, bullied to the point where he is at the point of breaking and there is a feeling of unsteadiness in him. His best, Jack (Louis Greatorex) friend has started to feel the pressure of their friendship and being tarnished with the same brush as Ben. Conflict arises, a vicious turn happens and the aftermath is disastrous (not wanting to give too much away).

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

REVIEW: Shawshank Redemption at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

A stage adaptation of one of the most critically acclaimed films of all times, based on a book written by one of the World’s most successful author’s was always going to have a lot to live up to.

It was a shame therefore this production didn’t feel like an attempt to even try and compete.  

Set in a high security prison over 20 years, much of the original story and many of the original characters remain. Fans of the film will remember warm characters with depth and variety, honest storytelling, gritty drama and well-placed light hearted moments.

Friday, 3 July 2015

REVIEW: East is East at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

An adaptation from screen to stage is never easy, especially when the subject is one of most successful and iconic British films of the last twenty years. But there is no doubt about it; this production is a great success in its own right.

Fans of the 1999 film (a play previously) will love the intimacy of this production where story-telling and characters firmly take centre stage. With a largely static set, the actors work hard together to combine minimal scene changes with fluid movement to keep the pace of the show fast and slick.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

REVIEW: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

Well, the play certainly lived up to its title. Well almost. Nonsense it most certainly was, Perfect? Far from it.

 The three superb individual performances from the production’s cast wasn’t enough to paper over the cracks of a show with a woefully confusing or non-existent storyline and tired gags.

So to start with the good; Ed Hancock as Bertie Wooster was a loveable and energetic lead with great comic timing and facial expressions with just enough restraint to stop the character being irritating. He was a wonderful narrator for this tale but was a pity there wasn’t more in the text for this talented actor to work with.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Review

Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” was published in 2003. It was the winner of more than seventeen literary awards and has now been adapted by Simon Stephens for the production that opened at the Apollo theatre in March 2013 after a successful stint at the Cottesloe with the National Theatre. It received much critical acclaim and won seven Olivier Awards including Best New Play. It has now transferred to the Gielgud Theatre where it re-opened on Monday 7th July 2014.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time follows the story of 15 year old Christopher Boone who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, and Autism. After his next door neighbour’s dog, Wellington, is killed with a garden fork, Christopher sets it upon himself to be a detective who must be “very very brave” and find out who the murderer is. As his journey takes off, we see his life at his “special school” where the kids are “stupid, although I’m not supposed to say that” (says Christopher). Despite his illnesses, Christopher is a superb mathematician and has set it upon himself to be the first 15 year old at his school to sit a Maths A-Level exam.  We also learn about his family life, and his career aspirations for the future as we follow his journey from 12:07am on the night of the dog’s murder…

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

To Kill A Mocking Bird, Regents Park: Theatre Review

To Kill A Mocking Bird was first published in 1960 and since then has never been out of print. A book about civil rights, Racial Injustice and courage; this story could have ruined author Harper Lee’s career, instead, it did the opposite. To Kill A Mocking Bird is the first of four productions that are to be staged at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park this season, after seeing A Midsummer Nights Dream at the theatre the previous year I had high expectations for this. 
The play is very touching, the audience are drawn into the characters and during the trial, really get taken into the events and become the jury. Timothy Sheader directs this production and I must say that he has done a good job of it, combined with the other design aspects of the production it was visually beautiful. He really has put a lot of emphasis on the actual telling of the story, the audience have to bring their imagination and build upon that. He’s got the ensemble to read Scouts Narration from the book which really pulls everything together and reminds you that this story is from a young persons point of view.
Jon Bausor designs the show, starting with a bare stage, expect a tree, the actors literally draw the map of the road where the play takes play on the stage with chalk. Very reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time design I thought. One thing I wasn’t loving was the backdrop, just a black background that changed colour. It was very out of place and I kind of wished they could have used their natural surroundin

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: Theatre Review

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Bit of a mouth full isn’t it?! Based on the much loved novel by Mark Haddon, This recent National Theatre production had a majorly successful run at the Cottesloe. The production was also shown throughout cinemas worldwide in the National Theatre Live programme. The production has now transferred to the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End and has extended its initial run by 14 weeks, now finishing on the 31st August.  
This touching story is about 15 year old Christopher who has Asperger Syndrome, one of his neighbours Dogs gets killed and he decides to become a detective and find out who did this, along the way he finds out things he wish he never knew and also finds his mother. Although Christopher has Asperger Syndrome it is never actually said in the play, I think it’s very important that as an audience you don’t watch the play knowing he has this otherwise it becomes an observing experience. The clever thing that Simon Stephens has clearly done in his adaptation of the production is to not make reference to it, as an audience you can clearly see this fact about Christopher but by this not being pointed out you can then freely go on the journey with the character and the experience of watching the play becomes an emotional experience and one that means you can really understand this fascinating boy.  

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

One Man, Two Guvnors: Theatre Review

One Man, Two Guvnors is a play by Richard Bean which made its debut at the National Theatre in 2011. Following this it toured the UK and transferred to the West End’s Adelphi Theatre and then later at the Royal Haymarket Theatre. Since then the production has opened on Broadway and has launched its second tour which will make international stops. 
The play is a classic slapstick comedy, following the story of Francis Henshall who has been employed by two men, Roscoe Crabbe and Stanley Stubbers. Roscoe Crabbe was meant to have been killed by his twin sisters fiancĂ© but he suddenly comes back to claim Pauline Crocker as his wife. Roscoe is of course his Twin Sister, Rachel Crabbe, in disguise. She is doing this so she can get money off Pauline’s father so she and Stanley (who killed her brother) can go to Australia and hide away from the police. 
I don’t personally like slapstick comedy as I get bored of it after two minutes however this play really brought it into the twenty first century and made it right for a modern audience, integrating audience interaction with the comedy. Richard Bean really knows who to write a comedy, he carried the humour throughout the whole show and he did it really well. At no point did I think ‘this is dragging on’ or ‘ok, next scene please’. A very talented writer. 

Friday, 28 December 2012

Jumpy: Theatre Review

Jumpy, Written by April De Angelis, opened at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court in late 2011 with the production recently transferring to the West End, opening on the 16thAugust at the Duke of York's Theatre. The story follows Hilary who is a working mum who has settled with her family in London, within the play she faces a divorce from her husband and a rocky relationship with her 15 year old daughter. The storyline made me feel like it was going to be like a soap on stage, it was far from it. April De Angelis writing in this play is fantastic, she's got a serious drama that everyone can watch and relate to but has made it into a comedy. Whilst watching it I could see a lot of myself, my family and most likely every other family in the country portrayed in this play! Very much the same sort of humour as the BBC series 'My Family'.
It is filled with laughs all throughout, however it has a very serious tone; it speaks out to anyone who's struggled at any point in their life.

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