Review: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

‘Saturday Night Fever’ is an enjoyable, energetic and exciting adaptation of the classic film. It doesn’t feel like a cash-in or a rip off of its source material; instead, it makes for not only a unique theatrical experience that builds on its legacy, but also for a brilliant trip to the theatre.

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Review: "Dirty Dancing" at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: "Dirty Dancing" at Leeds Grand Theatre

Since its success in 1987, ‘Dirty Dancing’ became a cultural phenomenon when it was released to cinemas worldwide. Its timeless coming-of-age narrative, which also tackled issues of class, loyalty and family, has meant that its continued success has continued to endure. In 2004, the film was adapted for the stage – but would this, like many modern screen to stage adaptations, be just another show trying to ride on the coattails of its filmic predecessor and fail to add anything to its legacy? I headed to the Leeds Grand Theatre to catch the UK revival on its national tour to find out.

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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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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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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: ‘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: ‘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: ‘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: "Ghost The Musical" - UK & Ireland Tour

Review: "Ghost The Musical" - UK & Ireland Tour

Overall, this musical is good for audiences looking for a fun and lighthearted evening/afternoon of entertainment, however, for the “Ghost” motion picture super fans, this may not be for you, as it is definitely directed in a different tone while keeping with the same story. This show does however, showcase some fantastic talent, who put their all in to providing you, probably the best production of this musical in recent years.

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Review: "Jersey Boys" - UK & Ireland Tour

Review: "Jersey Boys" - UK & Ireland Tour

“Jersey Boys” Is a musical which has been touring the UK time and time again. It is one of the most iconic stage musicals of the 21st century and audiences have been lapping up the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons for fifteen years. And unbelievably, I had never seen the musical until this evening (Wednesday 20th February), in Edinburgh’s answer to Broadway, the Edinburgh Playhouse. So, did this hyped musical live up to expectation?

The story of “Jersey Boys” follows the bandmates of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi. It shows the roots of the bands, the trials they endured (literally), their personal life and of course how they created the iconic music that the world has come to love.

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