Review: "Jesus Chris Superstar" at the Barbican Theatre

Review: "Jesus Chris Superstar" at the Barbican Theatre

As someone who doesn’t know the show at all, I can’t really say I know it any better now. I only knew the odd melody before and I really think knowing the lyrics in depth would have helped me to connect with the characters. This is a version of the show that’s for people who know the show well. There were some people in the audience who were singing along to every word and looked like they were loving life, but I would strongly recommend listening to a cast recording before going to see this production.

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Review: ‘Grease: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Grease: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s 1971 musical ‘Grease’ has had a long and successful history, bolstered largely in part by the well-known 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. In spite of this, the stage version doesn’t enjoy as many major revivals as its contemporaries and can more often be seen performed in schools and by community groups. Now, however, the Curve Theatre in Leicester has revived the musical for a brand new tour that promises to bring audiences closer to the feel of the musical’s original roots.

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Review: Club Tropicana UK & Ireland Tour

Review: Club Tropicana UK & Ireland Tour

The 1980s is a much loved and nostalgic era for a vast percentage of Britain. Maybe the politics were questionable, along with some of the fashion choices, however all in all the 80s was a decade which many people reminisce and boast about. Therefore could the latest 80s inspired jukebox musical, “Club Tropicana", live up to the bust of colour and hype that comes with this decade? I headed along to Scotland's answer to Broadway, the Edinburgh Playhouse, for the answer.

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Stunt Casting is Becoming an Issue in the UK.

Stunt Casting is Becoming an Issue in the UK.

Everyone loves seeing a “celebrity” in their local theatre, this could be the person in question featuring in a musical, play or even a pantomime. However, in recent years stunt casting has become an increasing tactic used by producers to increase ticket sales. Is this tactic stopping new talent being showcased within the UK’s theatres?

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Welcome to the "Historemix"

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  • Austin Russell

The theatre scene is about to have a new player slowly but surely making itself known in the American ranks. Developing and mastering itself over across the pond in Edinburgh, and then in London, this show has taken a patriarchal history, and turned it on its head. By focusing on the six wives of Henry VIII, SIX has given a new voice to iconic and influential women, who have seemed to been forgotten in history, outside of their marriage to King Tudor. Through the plot of this show, audiences are able to hear from each one of them in a score that forces all to ride a roller coaster of perspective, style, and genre. 

With music ranging from the pop-icon style in “Ex-Wives,” to the polka-house combo in “House of Holbein,” to the Iggy Azalea-esque rhythms of “Get Down,” listeners get to hear a musical that truly becomes a celebration of femininity. 

This celebration has caught the eyes and ears of critics and audiences alike from all over, with people such as Entertainment Focus stating:

“As soon as the show starts – genuinely – the second we see the six leads (because they are all leads) in all their resplendence we know we will not be disappointed. I say ‘we’ because the rapidity and seamlessness with which this production creates a sense of collectivity among us watching is artful and thrilling – bordering on magic.”

Currently open at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in what is seeming to look like a New York try-out, and with a cast album already released from the Original cast, the cult following of this show is right on the horizon. 

Hear me now. Do yourself a favor. Listen to this show. Get behind it. This show, now more than never, needs to thrive. There is power in women. And the female voice has been shut out for too long. 

This show is going places. And I am calling it now.

#WeAreSix

Review: ‘Be My Baby’ at the Leeds Playhouse

Review: ‘Be My Baby’ at the Leeds Playhouse

The Leeds Playhouse Pop-Up Season is almost drawing to a close, and as the theatre moves towards the completion of its major refurbishment over the coming summer months, it is welcoming audiences for its final Pop-Up production. Featuring the female members of the Leeds Playhouse Ensemble, and produced in association with Mind the Gap, Amanda Whittington’s play ‘Be My Baby’ is the final major play of the theatre’s current season.

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Review: ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ has well and truly become a classic of the British musical repertoire, and has been moving audiences around the world for over thirty years. After spending twenty-four years in the West End and touring nationally and internationally since, I looked forward to seeing the musical in its current guise, produced by Bill Kenwright, at its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: "Rock of Ages" (UK & Ireland Tour)

Review: "Rock of Ages" (UK & Ireland Tour)

One thing that musicals lack, is a shift in structure. Mainstream musicals mainly always follow a linear plot structure, which have a very Stanislavskian style.  “Rock of Ages” completely tears that expected formula apart. Till Saturday 4th May, the UK and Ireland touring production is playing Edinburgh’s answer to the west end, the Edinburgh Playhouse.

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Review: 'Abigail’s Party' - UK Tour

Review: 'Abigail’s Party' - UK Tour

Mike Leigh’s 1970s kitchen sink drama, “Abigail’s Party”, is back on tour with an all new production and cast. Following the story of the troublesome couple, Beverley and Laurence, inviting their neighbors, Sue, Angela and Tony round for a get together. All this is happening, while Sue’s daughter, Abigail is having a house party down the road. What could possibly go wrong?

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Review: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ at Leeds Playhouse

Review: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ at Leeds Playhouse

The refurbishment of the Leeds Playhouse is well underway, and as the theatre accelerates towards its completion later this year, its Pop-Up Theatre space is now playing host to its most physical production yet: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, adapted from Jules Verne’s novel by Toby Hulse. Directed by Alexander Ferris, I looked forward to seeing this production’s take on the classic novel.

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Review: ‘Kinky Boots the Musical’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Kinky Boots the Musical’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Julian Jarrold’s 2005 film ‘Kinky Boots’, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, was a hit with audiences after bringing a heartwarming story of acceptance to the screen against the backdrop of an unusual setting. Eight years later, the film was adapted into a musical and premiered in Chicago before transferring to Broadway and beyond, building on the film’s legacy and becoming a hit in the process. Now, a new regional tour is making its way around the UK, and I managed to catch the show on its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: 'Matilda The Musical' - UK & Ireland Tour

Review: 'Matilda The Musical' - UK & Ireland Tour

You see maggots, in this world there are two types of musical, the winners and the losers, and since seeing “Matilda The Musical” in London, back in 2013, plus another two times since, it has been considered the ultimate winner to me. Now it is touring the UK and Ireland, and no surprise, tens of thousands of people are flocking to their nearest theatre to see this stonking hit. To see how the tour compares to the stunning London production, I attended it’s press evening and opening night, at the biggest theatre of its run, the Edinburgh Playhouse.

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Review: ‘Rough Crossing’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Rough Crossing’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Playwright Tom Stoppard has penned some of the most sparkling comedies and dramatic works throughout his career, including perhaps his most famous works ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ and ‘Arcadia,’ and has also penned the screenplays to ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘Parade’s End.’ Now, one of his lesser-known comedies, ‘Rough Crossing,’ is receiving a revival by Bill Kenwright Productions after two major productions in the last thirty years. Currently, on a national tour, I caught the show during its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Peter Cattaneo’s 1997 film ‘The Full Monty’, written by Simon Beaufoy, has gone on to become something of a cultural phenomenon, becoming one of Britain’s most successful and memorable films. Now over twenty years later, during which time the film has been adapted into a musical and seen a renewed surge in interest thanks to more recent films like ‘Magic Mike’, Beaufoy’s 2013 play based on his original screenplay has made a return to the stage. 

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Review: 'The Girl on the Train' - U.K. & Ireland Tour

Review: 'The Girl on the Train' - U.K. & Ireland Tour

“The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins, is the latest novel to get a stage adaptation. And this adaptation is pretty special seeing as the novel in question has been a soaring hit since it was released in 2015. Following its huge popularity, fans wanted more, causing a film adaptation to be released the following year (October 2016). And now it has been adapted into a stage play, which is currently touring the UK & Ireland. I attended the press night at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre eagerly awaiting to see how this story would translate onto stage.

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Review: ‘Benidorm Live’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Benidorm Live’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

ITV’s beloved television series ‘Benidorm’, now over twelve years old, really has become a smash hit sitcom phenomenon. After its humble beginnings as a short series following the idiosyncratic mishaps of the Garveys, a northern family who venture on numerous holidays in an all-inclusive Costa del Sol resort, the series continued to evolve over a further ten seasons. Now, as the show is available to stream on Netflix, creator and writer Derren Litten has adapted his series for a new medium: the stage. Featuring some of the show’s mainstay characters, I was intrigued to see how the show had made the transition to a live setting, now entitled ‘Benidorm Live’.

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Review: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” - U.K. Tour

Review: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” - U.K. Tour

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a musical which was originally a theatre in education production, which toured schools. Nowadays, it is known for being a juggernaut of a musical which is a huge asset to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s library of creative credits. The musical has toured for the best part of fifty years, so audiences in the UK are very familiar with the music and the story. Therefore, in 2019 there has surely been some work done to the new UK touring production, to make this musical accessible to a new generation of younger audiences. To find out, I attended the press evening, in Scotland’s answer to Broadway, the Edinburgh Playhouse.

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