U.K. Review: "Hadestown" at the National Theatre

U.K. Review: "Hadestown" at the National Theatre

Some of my favourite reviews in the past have often been theatrical adaptations of works from a variety of sources, primarily film, television or literature. You can imagine my intrigue and excitement, then, when I had the opportunity to review a folk opera concept album adaptation from a respected and admired singer-songwriter. Any guesses? I am of course talking about Anaïs Mitchell’s ‘Hadestown’, the musical adapted from her 2010 album of the same name, recently reworked with director Rachel Chavkin and premiering at the National Theatre of Great Britain before heading to Broadway. 

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A UK review in [exactly] 250 words: “Jane Eyre” at Watermill Theatre

A UK review in [exactly] 250 words: “Jane Eyre” at Watermill Theatre

“Jane Eyre” is well-acted by a cast of only three. The title role is played by Rebecca Tebbett, whose performance is suitably grounded and down-to-earth, whilst still being immensely likable. Wreh-Asha Walton and Alex Wilson play all of the remaining characters, which is quite a feat. They switch between the roles deftly, and perform all of them with great conviction.

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U.K. Review: ‘Rain Man’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

U.K. Review: ‘Rain Man’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

I’ve noticed a recent trend in the rise of pieces of theatre inspired by stories from across the States, as well as productions actually brought over from there too. It almost seems as if British directors are seeing the merit in finding and understanding the universal power of narratives from other cultures, and seeing how they interweave with our own narratives and culture. On that note, I popped into the Leeds Grand Theatre to check out The Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company’s latest adaptation of the classic MGM film ‘Rain Man’.

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U.K. Review: "Cilla: the Musical" at Leeds Grand Theatre

U.K. Review: "Cilla: the Musical" at Leeds Grand Theatre

Back in 2014, Jeff Pope’s hit TV series Cilla caught the hearts of the nation in its touching telling of the early days of Cilla Black’s storied career. The humble beginnings and hardships encountered by the late and celebrated singer made for an inspiring dramatic narrative, which was also shaped by the defining sound of the 60s and changing societal attitudes towards gender. I couldn’t help but feel the inevitability of Pope’s TV series becoming a stage musical, and sure enough, I was delighted when it was announced that the musical was embarking on a new tour after a successful run earlier this year - and I looked forward to seeing how the performances had grown and developed over time.

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U.K. Review: "Mother Courage and her Children" at the Albion Electric Warehouse

U.K. Review: "Mother Courage and her Children" at the Albion Electric Warehouse

Red Ladder Theatre Company celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. From their beginnings in street theatre to becoming one of the most respected theatre companies around today, there’s always been a sense of urgency and vitality with their pieces, primarily brought about by Artistic Director Rod Dixon. Whether it’s creating a new piece of work or finding the urgency in an existing text, Red Ladder has always been poised to accomplish the task. For Red Ladder’s 50th Anniversary, Dixon has made the decision to bring Bertolt Brecht’s classic anti-war play Mother Courage and Her Children to the Albion Electric Warehouse in Leeds, where they also fairly recently staged the critically acclaimed The Shed Crew. On a cold and drizzly autumn night, I huddled into the old warehouse to engage with Red Ladder’s latest offering. 

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U.K. Review: "Rain Main" - U.K. Tour

U.K. Review: "Rain Main" - U.K. Tour

The hit 1988 motion picture about the Babbitt brothers has been adapted into a stage show by The Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company. The story follows Charlie Babbitt JR as he discovers he has an older brother who has inherited his father’s estate and millions of dollars. However, Charlie’s older brother, Raymond, has autism, which makes him a nuisance to his little brother, especially when Charlie takes him on a road trip in a bid to get the inheritance he believes he deserves.

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U.K. Review: "Calendar Girls - The Musical" : U.K. & Ireland Tour

U.K. Review: "Calendar Girls - The Musical" : U.K. & Ireland Tour

This musical is one of the funniest and most moving musicals in the world right now. The cast and creative team make this the best possible production it can be. It’s a realistic British musical which showcases a true story of woman coming together and powering through. This is an easy 5/5 star review for Calendar Girls the Musical. Catch it while it’s at Capital Theatre’s Festival Theatre until Saturday 13th October:

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A U.K. Review in Exactly 250 Words: "Trial by Laughter" at the Watermill Theatre

A U.K. Review in Exactly 250 Words: "Trial by Laughter" at the Watermill Theatre

Trial by Laughter, playing at Newbury's Watermill Theatre, is a witty and enjoyable play – albeit less remarkable than some of the Watermill's previous productions. This play is entirely what you would expect from a comedy by creators Ian Hislop and Nick Newman (respectively editor and cartoonist for Private Eye). Trial by Laughter doesn't just indulge in satire, it relies on it.

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A U.K. Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Eris" at London’s Bunker Theatre

A U.K. Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Eris" at London’s Bunker Theatre

Currently playing at London’s Bunker Theatre, Eris follows the story of Seán (Cormac Elliot), as he tries to find the most disruptive boyfriend possible to bring to a family wedding. As he struggles to move on from his last relationship, relying on the help of his friend Callista (Ashling O’Shea), Seán confronts family, prejudice … and Tinder.

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U.K. Review: "Still Alice" - U.K. Tour

U.K. Review: "Still Alice" - U.K. Tour

Currently playing at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre is Still Alice, which brings the issues of living with Alzheimer's disease to stage. It follows the life of Alice Howland, her husband John, and their two children. It follows the destruction this disease causes, how it impacts the families of those who have to suffer losing precious memories of loved one's names and the life they once led.

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A U.K. Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Square Rounds"

A U.K. Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Square Rounds"

Currently playing at London’s Finborough Theatre, Square Rounds is a clever, quirky play which is for the most part very enjoyable. The first act is a lot stronger than the second, changing with more ease between the comedic and the sinister elements of the show. The second act, conversely, seems bogged down with the historic details of this story’s more tragic elements, and some of the show’s character is lost towards the end.

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U.K. Review: "Road" at Leeds Playhouse

U.K. Review: "Road" at Leeds Playhouse

Jim Cartwright’s acclaimed play Road has long been considered one of the greatest representations of a struggling 1980s Britain, where communities banded together to fight against the drudgery and monotony of the often bleak daily grind via the channel of whiling away the midnight hours with drinking, partying and sex. In short, Road marks a turning point in British history, where new cultural resilience gave rise to something greater, more developed and poised to tackle new challenges. The same can be said of the newly renamed Leeds Playhouse, which has now entered its brand new season, and while the old building is currently being refurbished, they’ve taken over one of the old scenery workshops and transformed it into a pop-up theatre space. Minting this new space is the aforementioned Road, directed by Amy Leach.

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U.K. Review: "Calendar Girls" at the Leeds Grand Theatre

U.K. Review: "Calendar Girls" at the Leeds Grand Theatre

The unforgettable, moving story of a group of members from one of the Women’s Institute’s Yorkshire branches has been inspiring viewers, and more recently audiences, for over fifteen years. I am of course talking about the story of Calendar Girls, which found life and widespread attention and success in the form of Nigel Cole’s 2003 film, with a screenplay by Tim Firth. In 2008, the film was adapted into a successful film, and ten years on, it’s found its way back onto the stage, this time in the form of a musical. With Firth returning to his work, the writer paired up with Gary Barlow to bring the vibrant story of the triumphant women to a theatre at the heart of Yorkshire: the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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U.K. Review: "Waiting for Godot" at The Lyceum, Edinburgh International Festival 2018

U.K. Review: "Waiting for Godot" at The Lyceum, Edinburgh International Festival 2018

During this year's festival there are so many new productions, however, there is also a momentous amount of already existing plays/musicals being performed. It's difficult to pick from the varied catalogue of productions. Therefore, I decided to see a new production of the Samuel Beckett classic, Waiting for Godot, as even though I have performed snippets of this show, I have not seen the play performed in full.

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Review: "Propeller"at The Pleasance Courtyard during the Edinburgh Fringe

Review: "Propeller"at The Pleasance Courtyard during the Edinburgh Fringe

In this modern age, we see younger generations become disengaged with the world around them. Rather than focusing and talking about important issues, they would rather discuss who won Love Island, what the Kardashians named their latest child and boast about the latest snapchat filter. However, at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Scottish Drama Training Network’s ensemble have devised a brilliant piece of theatre with their director, Caitlin Skinner, which emphasizes that the younger generation should feel empowered to make a move if they feel dissatisfied on issues that matter to them. 

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A UK Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Sweet Charity" at the Watermill Theatre

A UK Review in [exactly] 250 Words: "Sweet Charity" at the Watermill Theatre

Sweet Charity, currently playing at Newbury's Watermill Theatre, is a fun, immersive and completely unique production. Performed by a very strong cast of thirteen actor-musicians, this show will draw you in, make you laugh, and surprise you more than once.

Sweet Charity is not at all what you would expect from a 1966 musical. The Watermill Theatre's production of this classic feels fresh and new, and draws out relevant, topical themes (particularly gender equality), whilst maintaining a fantastically fun, jazzy and mischievous vibe.

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UK Review: "Summer Holiday: The Musical"

UK Review: "Summer Holiday: The Musical"

The iconic 1963 film Summer Holiday, starring a young Cliff Richard, will have undoubtedly provided some relief to the rain-sodden Brits in the more than likely cold February of its release that year. In recent years, building on the success of the much-loved film, its story has found a new life on stage, having now been adapted into a musical. As I walked into the Leeds Grand Theatre, where I managed to catch it on its national tour, I looked forward to experiencing the summertime vibes the show promised to drench its audience with – I’m sure this would definitely make it the hottest summer we’ve had in England for a very long time…

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