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Friday, 6 November 2020

REVIEW: Mary Poppins: Live at the Prince Edward Theatre, 2020 Cast Recording

Live albums of any genre always pack an extra punch, and musical cast recordings are no exception. Cameron Mackintosh seems particularly fond of this approach, with both the Miss Saigon revival and Les Miserables Staged Concert immortalised in this way. Now, Mary Poppins joins the lineup, and right from the off the album delivers pure magic. An amalgamation of several of PL Travers’ stories, it’s a refreshing take on a screen-to-stage adaptation, and proves that there is always room for fresh ideas.

The combination of the original Sherman Brothers’ music, and the works of British Musical Theatre pairing George Stiles and Anthony Drewe results in a perfect score. The opening sequence (Prologue / Chim Chim Cher-ee / Cherry Tree Lane / The Perfect Nanny) is bursting with nostalgia but also finds its own identity, rather than replicating previous productions. In fact, that tends to be the theme for the entire album, which is decorated with new songs, orchestrations, harmonies, lyrics and dance breaks. It’s such a treat to hear a large orchestra nowadays, particularly when shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables (the concert being an exception) have scaled back over the years, and new shows like Dear Evan Hansen and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie use just five or six pieces. For this production, William David Brohn’s orchestrations are pure 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, 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.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Jersey Boys the Musical: Theatre Review

Before making it over the West End, Jersey Boys was already a hit over in the States. The Broadway production opened in 2005 and is now the 19thlongest running Broadway show. The show started its first National Tour at the end of 2006 and after this, productions opened in Chicago, Las Vegas, Australia and New Zealand.
The West End production opened in 2008 at the Prince Edward Theatre where it is still playing. The show features songs from the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli to tell the story of their journey to stardom; you see how the group was formed, their rise in fame and eventually their breakup.
The show has been divided up cleverly into 'four seasons' in which each member of the group narrates each section.
The production is directed by Des NcAnuff who seems to really understand how to stage a production, he really worked with this show well and his direction really complemented the story, as did Sergio Trujillo's choreography.
The scenic design was interesting, at first I thought it looked a bit pants but the lights, screens and other small pieces of scenery made each location different and in the end it really worked, Klara Zieglerova did a great job. Very Clever.
Jess Goldstein did a perfect job on the costume design, everything seemed spot on and I kind of wanted to take some of the outfit's home!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Mamma Mia! the Musical: Theatre Review

Mamma Mia! is a musical based around the songs of ABBA, It first opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999 and later transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. The musical will be moving to its third home in September to the Novello Theatre. A film version of the musical starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and many more Hollywood names was released in 2008 and is the UKs highest ever grossing film.
The story follows Sophie, who is getting married to her Fiancé Sky, She wants her father to be present at her wedding but she doesn't know who he is. She steals her mother's diary and reads the entries from the time when she was conceived and she finds out she has three possible dads. She invites them all to the wedding and when her mother, Donna, finds out they are all at her hotel she goes mad! The production is directed by Phyllida Lloyd who does a brilliant job at working with the set which was designed by Mark Thompson, the set is two white curved walls that move around to create different locations. This clever piece of design makes the production for me; too much set would have ruined this musical so Marks designs work brilliantly within this show. Howard Harrison also produced a fantastic lighting design in this show; it worked remarkably with the other design aspects of the production. Although the design is very simple, it's perfect. Something that people often don't think about when watching this production is how such a simple design could work as great as it did.
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