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Sunday, 30 May 2021

COMING HOME: Serina Mathew, soon to be appearing in Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Savoy Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

Before the theatres closed, Serina Mathew was appearing in the London premiere of the musical version of the classic hit movie, Pretty Woman. With the show only just making its debut in town before lockdown, she will be returning to the production when it reopens at the Savoy Theatre on the 8th July 2021. 

Serina has previously appeared on the UK tour of Fame in the ensemble and covering Carmen, Miss Bell and Miss Sherman, as the Havana Girl in Guys and Dolls at the Kilworth House, played Buffy and covered Pearl in the German production of Starlight Express and played Rimpy and covered Jess in the West End premiere of Bend it Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

REVIEW: 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre

Based on the 1980 movie starring Dolly Parton this loveable comedy has transferred from screen to stage. Judy Bernly (Chelsea Halfpenny) is forced to find work after her husband runs off with this secretary. Her new boss Franklin Heart Jr (Brian Conley) mistreats his female coworkers terribly with abusive language, harassment and sexual remarks. Having had enough Judy along with her two coworkers Violet Newstead (Caroline Sheen) and Doralee Rhodes (Natalie McQueen) storm out of the office and bond over their fantasies of revenge on their sexist boss.

Overall the stage adaptation is bright, colourful and heart warming all at the same time. From the second the first alarm bell rings in the opening number 9 to 5 there is a sense of intrigue in the air. The show is packed with a perfect balance of uplifting and emotionally charged musical numbers perfect for all generations from young children to grandparents. The clever use of Dolly Parton's video messages really does give it that final personal touch. However the shows backbone is pure comedy and you can feel this in the audience throughout. The show is littered with brilliant one liners and relatable references, constantly gaining genuine laugh out loud moments from the audience.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

REVIEW: 9 to 5 at the Savoy theatre

After a mildly successful UK Tour a few years ago, 9 to 5 The Musical has hit the West End and moved into the Savoy Theatre.

Since opening in February, ticket sales have soared and the show has become a hotspot for hen parties and ‘ladies nights out’ - something which has been great for the producers; yet, painfully infuriating for regular theatre goers.

Since the UK Tour, there have been a lot of changes to the design of the show which sometimes works well and sometimes not so much. The show is set in 80’s and the set reflects this but the costumes toward the end of the show give much more of a 60’s feel. The use of screens around the stage and at the back of the stage really compliment the basic, moveable set and scene changes are slick and effective.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

REVIEW: 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre

9 to 5 originally ran on Broadway 10 years ago with Megan Hilty, Stephanie J Block and Allison Janney in the leading roles. This was followed closely with a UK tour production, similar to the broadway production but with a few tweaks and song changes. What is amazing is that it has taken 10 years for the show to finally make it to the West End, ever since I first heard the cast recording I have been dying to see it come to London, I got my wish and it is running at the Savoy Theatre in a ‘strictly limited season’. 

Inspired by the original 1980 film starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, 9 to 5 tells the story of three work colleagues who find themselves having to conjure up a plan whilst they kidnap their boss and take over the office, running it the way it should be. 

The show is very relevant to whats going on in our world today; equality is a big factor to this show and its portrayed in such a crude way by Franklin Hart, Jr (played by Brian Conley) that it is shocking. Although the issues are important unfortunately the writing doesn't handle them in the best way, it comes across a little too crass when it could be a little more subtle. Franklin often tells random jokes over the course of the show that are sexist and they just feel like they’re in there for show and not for any contribution to the story. 
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