Published in The Stage November 5, 2020
“No day but today, no day but today.” The last lines of Jonathan Larson’s 1993 musical Rent have surely never felt quite so applicable: opening night here is also closing night.
Continue reading “Review: Rent, Hope Mill Theatre”
Published in The Mail on Sunday on March 17, 2019
As American as, well, apple pie, this Broadway musical is adapted from the 2007 film about a small-town waitress stuck in an abusive marriage who pours her dreams into the pies she makes. Continue reading “Review: Waitress, Adelphi Theatre”
‘Remember us from your GCSEs?’
It’s Henry VIII’s six wives – and they’re back, bitch, to re-tell ‘her-story’ as a slick, sassy girl band. Think Euro-pop remixes of ‘Greensleeves’, Anne Boleyn spouting tweenage text-speak (‘everybody chill/it’s totes God’s will’), and K-Howard warbling #MeToo tales of gropey employers. Continue reading “Review: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre”
This 1982 cult musical has always been a potty favourite: hapless florist Seymour cultivates an alien plant with an appetite for human flesh – a Faustian pact that wins him fame, fortune and Audrey, the girl of his dreams. Continue reading “Review: Little Shop of Horrors, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre”
It may not open till next month, but the first release of tickets for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre are already entirely sold out. However thousands more are on sale today from 8.30am, at the same time as a first-look photograph of the cast is unveiled.
The level of love for the musical has surprised its star, Imelda Staunton – but then, it hasn’t had a full staging in London since 1987. The story of the Weismann Follies’ vaudeville showgirls, who return to the theatre they performed in 30 years previously, features standards such as ‘Losing My Mind and ‘I’m Still Here’, and garners serious devotion among Sondheim fans.
Continue reading “Imelda Staunton on the National’s new blockbuster musical Follies”
You’d have to have a heart dry as an old sunflower seed not to moved by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical version of The Calendar Girls. Based on the – by now very familiar – story of a Yorkshire WI group who posed for a nude calendar to raise money after the husband of one of their members, Annie, died of cancer, the musical follows the hit film and play of the story (both also by Firth). But it proves a tale that still has the capacity to raise a smile – as well as funds for Bloodwise, a cancer charity. Continue reading “Review: The Girls, Phoenix Theatre”
Cancer. It’s not an obvious subject to make an actual song and dance about. But that’s what performance artist Bryony Kimmings has done, writing her first ever musical on the subject. Continue reading “How do you make a musical about cancer?”
This semi-staged production is the second musical-in-an-opera-house collaboration between ENO and the GradeLinnit Company, following Sweeney Todd last year; this time, it’s star-powered by Glenn Close. She’s making her West End debut as Norma Desmond, the faded, reclusive star of the silent screen who enlists a screenwriter named Joe (Michael Xavier) to work on her come-back project, a movie of Salome. Continue reading “Review: Sunset Boulevard, London Coliseum”
“If there’s anything worse than a staunch woman … S-T-A-U-N-C-H – there’s nothing worse, I’m telling you. They don’t weaken. No matter what. ” So said “Little Edie” Beale in the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens – but generations of viewers have not agreed with her, taking this staunch woman fully to their hearts. So much so that it spawned a hit musical. Continue reading “Grey Gardens: how a hit musical adapts the cult 1975 documentary”
Only the imagination of Gruff Rhys could have come up with this singular show. He expands his 2007 album Candylion into a psychedelic fable – for all the family! Billed by National Theatre Wales as a “theatre gig”, live music propels the story, with the audience standing or moving about the space. Continue reading “Review: The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, SSE Swalec Stadum”