04 Jan 2013
in Music, Theatre
Tags: Landor Theatre, Shona Lindsay, Taylor- Rowan and Hughes, Your Presence
Taylor-Rowan & Hughes are a musical theatre writing duo. Their musical ‘Kandy Kottage” was showcased in October 2012 and following further development will be shown on 14th March 2013 as part of The Landor Theatre’s musical theatre writing festival.
Shona Lindsay has starred on stage and screen since she was 11 years old. She has appeared in shows such as Annie, The Phantom Of The Opera and Singing In The Rain to name a few. She lends her beautiful voice to Taylor-Rowan & Hughes’ Christmas song Your Presence.
Taylor-Rowan & Hughes wrote this song for a musical theatre loving audience tired of hearing the same Christmas songs. Your Presence is a perfect song for musical theatre goers. The lyrics are beautiful and easily relatable. I can imagine hearing it on stage, yet it’s versatile enough to be found on a Christmas album along with the other Christmas classics. Your Presence is a beautiful love song which builds stunningly throughout. Shona Lindsay was the perfect choice for this song.
Although I may not be able to make the date for ‘Kandy Kottage’ at The Landor, I shall be looking out for more from Taylor-Rowan & Hughes in 2013. With an album in the pipeline something tells me that Taylor-Rowan & Hughes will be sticking around for some time yet…
You can download Your Presence on iTunes for 79p. It’s worth the money!
Check out the new musical theatre writing festival From Page To Stage at The Landor Theatre HERE
For more on Taylor-Rowan & Hughes, click on the image of Your Presence!
03 Jan 2013
in Theatre reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: 2013, Ian Gledhill, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jeffrey Holland, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Paul Zerdin, Robyn Mellor, Shireen Jordan, The Mayflower
“Its high tech nature makes it one not to miss..”
I thought I’d seen my pantomime until next pantomime season, but then I kept hearing glowing reviews of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Mayflower, Southampton. So taking advantage of the Christmas/New Year break I booked some tickets.
Southampton’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk is traditional pantomime with cringeworthy jokes (but of course!) and the usual audience involvement. However, this production is incredibly high tech with 3D sequences which cause much screaming from adults and children in the audience. The cast are very talented and include Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Lee Mead and Paul Zerdin.
Julian Clary, as the Spirit of the Beans, has incredible stage presence and star quality. His costumes are ridiculous but amazing, something only Julian Clary could pull off! He has some fantastic one-liners which luckily go over the heads of most of the audience members. I enjoyed his banter with the other cast members. Nigel Havers plays Fleshcreep brilliantly and he works incredibly with Julian’s Spirit of the Beans. Lee Mead as Jack Trott sings the song I don’t think he’ll ever get away from, but also proves he can sing trickier songs very well. He’s an endearing Jack. Paul Zerdin, a ventriloquist is incredibly charismatic and binds the production together fantastically as Simple Simon with the aid of Sam the puppet and a baby at some point too! His interactions with the young children in the audience is very natural and funny. Jeffrey Holland, Shireen Jordan and Ian Gledhill make small but good contributions to the production too. Robyn Mellor is a brilliant Princess Apricot. Her voice is incredibly strong, she is a perfect princess.
This pantomime is worth taking a trip to see. Its high tech nature makes it one not to miss and Julian Clary really does shine.
05 Dec 2012
in Theatre reviews, UK Tour
Tags: 2012, Alex Nee, American Idiot, Billie Joe Armstrong, Casey O'Farrell, Green Day, Michael Mayer, Thomas Hettrick, Trent Saunders, UK tour
“The direction is fantastic as it really captures the dark mood and paranoia of the time.”
Green Day’s album American Idiot is a spectical. Each track tells a story following on from the next so it really does set itself up to theatrical interpretations. The stage adaptation is co-written by band singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. American Idiot: The Musical originally opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre followed by a year long run on Broadway and it is now embarking on a UK tour.
American Idiot’s plot centres around Jonny, Will and Tunny, (Alex Nee, Casey O’Farrell, Thomas Hettrick) three rebels desperate for a cause post 9-11 in small town America. The direction is fantastic as it really captures the dark mood and paranoia of the time. Through Green Day’s songs the trio seek a purpose and come up short. Alex Nee as Johnny becomes the musical’s focus as he juggles both love and heroin.
The American touring cast are energetic and give everything to the show and are incredible to watch. Trent Saunders as St Jimmy is a great alter ego for Alex Nee’s Johnny, although for me personally, Trent’s voice wasn’t quite my cup of tea singing the very difficult Green Day songs. I loved Alex’s voice and he was incredibly charismatic.
The musical is full of songs from the American Idiot album with some added songs and is well worth watching if you’re a Green Day fan. I really enjoy Green Day’s music and I think once you take the show for what it is you will enjoy it! It’s not a complex piece, but it’s enjoyable. The cast are never going to sound as good as Green Day do, but they do a damn good job!
Oh, I should also warn you, that being Green Day’s music it does include sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. I saw quite a few unhappy theatre-goers somewhat offended by the language and explicit nature!
02 Dec 2012
in Fringe Theatre, Theatre reviews
Tags: Cinderella, David Ganly, Hammed Animashaun, Joel Horwood, Julie Atherton, Lyric Hammersmith, Mel Giedroyc, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Sean Holmes, Sophia Nomvete, Steven Webb, William Ellis
“I think one of the funniest things was to watch the cast try NOT to laugh at each other.”
It’s that time of year again! I know some theatre-goers find pantomime very tacky but I can’t resist a good pantomime. The Lyric Hammersmith was calling me this year. Two reasons… Julie Atherton and Steven Webb. Julie and Steven are two of my favourite performers so I was really looking forward to going!
This production of Cinderella was written by Joel Horwood and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and directed by Sean Holmes. It’s an incredibly witty, silly but lovable interpretation with some of the classic Cinderella ‘moments’ involved but much more modernised with ‘current’ songs (e.g. Gangham Style and Wings) included. Cinderella had some real laugh out loud moments, some Christmassy magic (obviously) and very naughty jokes for the adults in the audience.
Julie Atherton played Cinderella beautifully. She has such great comic timing and a unique singing voice. Cinderella’s ‘All By Myself’ was the only opportunity for Julie to really unleash her voice, which she did brilliantly! Her chemistry with Steven Webb as Buttons was fabulous. Their real life friendship translates wonderfully on stage. Steven was fantastic as Buttons. He got plenty of laughs and was incredibly charismatic, he really got the audience going.
Mel Giedroyc was simply fantastic as Ms Hardup, Cinderella’s step mother. She was brilliantly evil and really worked the audience. She was funny and wonderful at the adlibs.
Hammed Animashaunt and David Ganly were brilliant as the Ugly Sisters. They were as OTT as can be! William Ellis was a great Prince Charming and Sophia Nomvete impressed me with her Fairy Godmother/Dandini roles.
I think one of the funniest things was to watch the cast try NOT to laugh at each other. They seem to be having a fantastic time together and the fun they’re having is infectious! I recommend going to see Cinderella at the Lyric. It was just a fun way to spend a few hours!
30 Sep 2012
in Reality tv, Specific performers
Tags: 2012, 2013, Afnan Iftikhar, Ben Forster, David Hunter, I Do, Jeff Anderson, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jon Moses, Kerry Ellis, Kooman & Dimond, Nathan James, Niall Sheehy, Rocky Horror, Rory Taylor, Seussical, Snow White, Superstar, Tim Prottey-Jones, Tommy
- Theatre- Ben was voted for as the winner of Superstar and played Jesus on the arena tour. Ben will play Brad in the UK tour of Rocky Horror from 20th December 2012- 23rd February 2013. Ben will return to the role of Jesus in 2013 for some further arena tours.
- Theatre- Rory will be playing Simon and first cover Jesus in the upcoming world tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
- Concerts- Rory will be the special guest of Kerry Ellis at the Hippodrome Casino from 1-6th October. Rory will also be in the 20th anniversary concert of Rent which opens in Manchester on 25th April 2013. Rory will appear at the After Show at Hippodrome Casino gig on 13th February 2013 performing with Tim and David.
- Theatre- Roger was in the West End premiere of You Can Do It at Leicester Square Theatre on Sunday 7th October 2012 with further dates to be announced.
- Theatre- On 12th November 2012, David was Cousin Kevin in a one night only production of Tommy at the Prince Edward Theatre. It is possible that the show will have a full run in 2013. David was Horton the Elephant in the new London production of Seussical at the Arts Theatre. David will be in The Curve, Leicester’s production of Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man.
- Concerts- David performed cabaret on 18th November 2012 at Battersea Barge and at West End Fest. David will appear at the After Show at Hippodrome Casino gig on 13th February 2013 performing with Tim and Rory.
- Concerts- Nathan has continued to gig as he did prior to the show. Concerts have included West End Fest and a free Michael Jackson concert at Canada Square Park. Nathan toured America with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in The Lost Christmas Eve. He will support Ruthie Henshall on her Welsh dates of her tour in March 2013.
- Theatre- Jeff was in the ensemble of the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. He was the first understudy for Jesus.
- Theatre- Jon played Prince Valiant in Worthing’s Sleeping Beauty pantomime. He will be the Prince in the Easter tour of Rapunzel which starts on 28th March 2013.
- Music- Jon has just released his first EP for Big Hand Records.
- Theatre- Niall was in Anglo the musical from 14-25th November 2012 at Bord Gais Energy Theatre. He was the Prince in Snow White from 12th December 2012- 13th January 2013 at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin. Niall will perform in The Route To Happiness at the Landor Theatre from 19-24th February
- Theatre- Tim was in the ensemble of the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. He was the first understudy for Judas. Tim will play Michael in the 2 actor musical “I Do, I Do” at Riverside Studios in London from 5-7th December 2012.
- Concerts- Tim performed on 2nd December at Out of Our Heads in London, a show with music from Kooman and Dimond. He was a guest at Lauren Samuels concert in Eastbourne on 8th December 2012. Tim will appear at the After Show at Hippodrome Casino gig on 13th February 2013 performing with David and Rory.
- Music- Tim will do some gigs with his band Straight On Red in London and the Midlands.
- Theatre- Afnan will play Dandini in Bradford’s pantomime Cinderella from 15th December 2012.
16 Sep 2012
in Theatre reviews
Tags: 2012, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Daisy Amphlett, Damien Walsh, Harrison Spiers, Howard Goodall, Kane Oliver Parry, Laura Darton, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, The Hired Man
“The cast are talented singers but amazing actors who really portray the emotion of the piece beautifully.”
The musical theatre students of Mountview Academy of the Arts are currently performing in Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a huge Howard Goodall fan so when I knew Mountview were putting on a production it was pretty much a given that I went! The show finishes tomorrow. It’s worth trying to see if there are any tickets left as the production is truly stunning.
The plot centres around John Tallentire (Kane Oliver Parry), his wife Emily (Laura Darton) and their family during 1898 and 1921. The stories are told by focusing on the family and the trials and tribulations of events that impact their lives. The Bernie Arts Centre is a fantastic space for The Hired Man, it’s interesting to see the difference having that more space has in the production. Having previously seen it at The Landor Theatre I was worried it would lose its intimacy but it doesn’t.
The casting of this musical is superb. There are some incredible lead performers with such strong voices and brilliant acting skills. Having a bigger ensemble and more girls in the production works really well, the harmonies are beautiful.
I thought Kane Oliver Parry was fantastic as John Tallentire. His voice is brilliant and he had great chemistry with Laura Darton as Emily Tallentire. Laura’s voice is also fantastic, but I was drawn to her acting in particular. Daisy Amphlett as May, John and Emily’s daughter was great and made the audience laugh. Harrison Spiers as the son of John and Emily is also impressive. Damien Walsh plays Jackson Pennington who is the son of the farmer John works for and the man who Emily falls in love with. I thought Damien was fantastic, he had great chemistry with Laura as Emily, you really believed in them.
The incredibly strong cast are supported by a wonderful ensemble who add to making Howard Goodall’s music so spine-tingling brilliant to listen to. The cast are talented singers but amazing actors who really portray the emotion of the piece beautifully. I can’t wait to see Girlfriends from the Mountview students in a few weeks time.
25 Aug 2012
in Theatre reviews
Tags: 2012, Adam Cork, Alecky Blythe, Claire Moore, Clare Burt, Daniel Simpson, Dominic Rose, Duncan Wisbey, Hal Fowler, James Doherty, Kate Fleetwood, Linzi Hateley, London, London Road, Michael Shaeffer, National Theatre, Nick Holder, Nicola Sloane, Olivier Theatre, Paul Thornley
London Road is a thought-provoking piece of theatre…..”
Photo by Mark Douet
London Road has moved from the Cottesloe Theatre, where it opened last April into the Olivier Theatre as part of the Travelex £12 season. I kept meaning to see the show last year but never got round to it, so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to see the show. I didn’t think it was a perfect piece of theatre. At times, some of the dialogue is just too repetitive for me and it feels slightly too long, however, it does make you think. It’s worth going to see with an open mind and seeing what you make of it.
London Road paints a portrait of the Suffolk community in a state of shock at the murder of five prostitutes in 2006. London Road does not focus on the murderer or the victims, but the community and how it affected them. Some of the members of the communities words were recorded and edited by Alecky Blythe during the trial of the murderer and then set by Adam Cork to music. What is so unique about the music is the amount of ’ums’ and ‘ers’ included. It’s hard to explain why the music works. It just flows naturally like one comes to expect in everyday conversation.
The cast includes Kate Fleetwood who is the Neighbourhood Watch Events Organiser who came up for the idea of London Road in Bloom, the way to move forward after the terrible events;. Nick Holder, Nicola Sloane, Linzi Hateley and Duncan Wisbey, Claire Burt, Hal Fowler and Paul Thornley as committee members. Paul Thornley plays a window cleaner, James Doherty and Claire Moore are keen line-dancers. Other members of the company are Michael Shaeffer, Dominic Rose and Daniel Simpson.
There are 52 other parts including policemen, journalists, lawyers, paparazzi etc all played by members of the company. All are played brilliantly by a wonderful company portraying the lives of the members of the community in the aftermath of such an awful event.
I didn’t expect humour in the show, but through the interactions of couples, including long married couples, there are conversations and typical ‘old married couple’ behaviour that make you smile in spite of the subject matter.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like London Road as a musical. Before seeing the show I thought it would work better as a play but in my opinion it does work as a musical, the cast sing their way to living with the past and moving on to the future. London Road is a thought-provoking piece of theatre which concentrates on building and surviving a terrible ordeal by coming together as a community.
22 Aug 2012
in Theatre casting news
Tags: Pete Gallagher, Tom Parsons, Tim Prottey-Jones, Giovanni Spano, Tim Minchin, Jon Tsouras, Brian McCann, Bob Harms, Krysten Cummings, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chris Moyles, Jeff Anderson, Ben Forster, Melanie Chisholm, Alex Hanson, Gerad Bentall, Michael Pickering, Michelle Antrobus, Jack Booth, Alice Capatani, Ian Carlyle, Leon Craig, Christos Dante, Stephen John Davis, Keisher Downie, Ffion Emyr, Lily Frazer, Ryan Gibb, Zoe Green, Claire Ivory, Sam Jackson, Jack Jefferson, Sia Kiwa, Antony Lawrence, Leon Maurice-Jones, Alana Murrin, Tim Newman, Rhiannon Porter, Adam Pritchard, Gala Robles, Lucas Rush, Benedict Smith, Russell Smith, Adam Strong, Ali Temple, Alex Tucker, Marie Walker, Russell Walker, Karlene Wray
The full cast for the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar has been announced. As picked by the public Ben Forster is Jesus, with Tim Minchin as Judas, Melanie Chisholm as Mary Magdalene and Chris Moyles as King Herod.
Other members of cast include Alex Hanson as Pilate, Pete Gallagher as Caiaphas, Gerad Bentall as Annas, Michael Pickering as Peter and Giovanni Spano as Simon Zealotes .
Jeff Anderson from the Superstar programme will be in the ensemble and First Cover Jesus. Tim Prottey-Jones who also competed in the programme will be in the ensemble and First Cover Judas.
Other members of the ensemble include Michelle Antrobus, Jack Booth, Alice Capatani, Ian Carlyle (Second Cover Jesus), Leon Craig (First cover Herod), Krysten Cummings (First Cover Mary), Christos Dante, Stephen John Davis, Keisher Downie, Ffion Emyr, Lily Frazer, Ryan Gibb, Zoe Green, Bob Harms, Clare Ivory, Sam Jackson, Jack Jefferson, Sia Kiwa, Antony Lawrence, Leon Maurice-Jones, Brian McCann, Alana Murrin, Tim Newman, Tom Parsons, Rhiannon Porter, Adam Pritchard, Gala Robles, Lucas Rush (Second Cover Judas), Benedict Smith, Russell Smith, Adam Strong, Ali Temple, Jon Tsouras, Alex Tucker, Marie Walker, Russell Walker and Karlene Wray.
18 Aug 2012
in Theatre reviews
Tags: 2012, Adam Ellis, Amelia Adams Pearce, Bonnie Langford, Christopher Luscombe, Eric Idle, Hannah Malekzad, James Nelson, John Du Prez, Jon Culshaw, Jon Robyns, Kit Orton, Michael Burgen, Monty Python, Paul Bullion, Rachel Knowles, Rob Delaney, Robin Armstrong, Spamalot, Tim Bonser, Todd Carty, West End
“ a very enjoyable afternoon at the theatre…”
I’ve recently seen Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Harold Pinter Theatre, it has transferred there for 7 weeks after a UK tour. I have to say I’m not a Monty Python fan. Why did I go? Well, I’m always up for seeing shows I haven’t seen before to give them a chance. I’ve seen some right gems with that logic and whilst Spamalot wasn’t a gem for me, I still had a very enjoyable afternoon at the theatre.
Spamalot is (lovingly) ripped off from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a book by Eric Idle and score by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, complete with show girls, a cow, French people and a killer rabbit. It’s completely ridiculous, but what do you expect with Monty Python? With something like this I think if you go in with the mindset that you are going to see something silly and just enjoy it for what it is then I believe you have a great time.
I thought all of the cast were incredibly strong. Jon Culshaw as King Arthur played the role brilliantly. His impressions (of course) were very funny and spot on. I absolutely adored Kit Orton as Lancelot. He has great stage presence and made me laugh out loud at many moments. Jon Robyns amused me as Sir Galahad. A stand out performer of the knights for me was Rob Delaney as Sir Robin. His performance of the song ‘You Won’t Succeed In Showbiz’ It was a stand out musical number with relevant references to the Olympics and Boris Johnson! I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed by Bonnie Langford. She was a brilliant diva with a fantastic voice and great comic timing.
Spamalot isn’t a show for every theatre-goer. It’s ridiculous… but if you go with it you might just find yourself having a good time.
03 Aug 2012
in Theatre casting news
Tags: Ben Freeman, Hayley Gallivan, Katie Rowley Jones, Louise Dearman, Louise Plowright, Lucy van Gasse, Sam Lupton, Wicked
It was stated in the Daily Mail that Louise Dearman is to take on the role of Elphaba in Wicked (London) from October 2012. Louise will be making Wicked history as the first actress to play both roles.
I personally think Louise’s voice is flawless and her voice could easily tackle the songs. The big test for Louise is probably proving that she can act the role of Elphaba which is completely different to Glinda. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fine and I can’t wait to see her in the role.
Other cast members include Ben Freeman as Fiyero. Ben is best known for being in the soap Emmerdale although he has had musical theatre experience including The Sound Of Music, Dreamboats and Petticoats and Legally Blonde.
Louise Plowright will be Madame Morrible. She originated the role of Tanya in Mamma Mia and has been in Oklahoma and 42nd Street.
Sam Lupton will play Boq. He has just finished in the UK tour of Avenue Q and will make his West End debut in Wicked.
I am extremely excited about Katie Rowley Jones coming back to Wicked to reprise her role as Nessa Rose. She was my first Nessa Rose and I can’t wait to see her in the role again.
Hayley Gallivan will be the standby for Elphaba. I love Hayley’s voice and this is a massive role for her to take on. Lucy van Gasse will take on the standby role for Glinda.
I think there are some exciting additions to the new Wicked cast and I look forward to seeing them take on their roles!