Alkaline Review

Park Theatre – until 4th August

Review by Heather Chalkley

12th July

5*****

The dips are on the table, Nick (Alan Mahon) is already drinking and Sophie (EJ Martin) is freaking out. She is desperate to get things back on track with her old friend Sarah (Claire Cartwright), concerned Sarah is being ‘groomed’ by the new boyfriend Ali (Nitin Kundra) to become a Muslim extremist. What more could you add to a perfect evening at home entertaining friends? Throw in a few amphetamines, plenty of alcohol, some frank talking, the appearance of Ali’s ex-wife (Reena Lalbihari) and a sick child and you have Alkaline!

From the outset the Director Sarah Meadows cleverly set the play to feel like you were listening through the living room window, to one of those everyday conversations you never see. It makes you question yourself. Is it just my family who has these discussions? Do we hide our ignorance with arrogance and pretend to be knowledgeable and cosmopolitan? By expressing our derogatory views about the plight of the victims of austerity/racism/sexism, how many of us are showing our arrogance and need to check our privilege?

The questions for me continue. Which character was actually being honest? Martin expressed Sophie’s fears with a naivety, laying bare the ignorance fed her through an all white middle class upbringing. She showed her as a vulnerable, lost and confused character not knowing what to do about any of it. Cartwright gave Sarah calmness and strength, a sense of sadness that others cannot be pleased for the happiness her new faith has given her. She was honest about the difficulty others have accepting her and her relationship and fearful about telling her family.

Mahon portrayed the ‘jack the lad’ veneer of Nick, bringing humour in to lighten difficult moments. The scene with him sat on the ‘naughty step’ made us all laugh out loud. Kundra captured well the uncomfortableness and contained anger felt by Ali, particularly when talking about his children.

To pack everything in to the 90 minutes, the writer Stephanie Martin, ensured not a superfluous word was spoken. The intensity drew you in and engaged the audience throughout. The acrid dialogue, which I suspect reflects what happens in so many homes across Britain, accentuated the fight that Sarah had. To prove that she had found her ‘Alkaline’ through Islam, the place within where she could be content, safe and happy.

Alkaline is an all round thought provoking, relevant and intense piece.

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Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret Review

Barbican Theatre – until 29 July

Reviewed by Judith Black

4****

It is said that the ripple from a butterfly’s wing will have an irredeemable effect on the far side of the world.

And so it is that I find myself in the Barbican as a consequence of a visit, six decades ago, to a second-hand bookshop in Melbourne, by the schoolboy Barry Humphries.

An impulse purchase of a stack of sheet music in an old case, moved the musically illiterate Humphries to decode his find. The result, finally is Weimar Cabaret, here, now, in 21st century London.

Playing ‘himself’ for a change, the notoriously chameleonic and hilarious Humphries, at one point in silk pyjamas, meshed personal memories with fascinating revelations from the Weimar era; the history, the composers and their lives.

This captured trove of music from Weimar Germany — an experimental mix of jazz and classical — reveals itself to be an invigoratingly energetic combination of the thrilling and original; symbolic of a time of frivolity, artistic freedom and appreciation.

Featured composers range from the relatively well-known Hindemith and Weill, to the more obscure Paul Abraham, Jaroslav Ježek and Wilhelm Grosz.

All of this is illustrated by the rich and versatile vocal performance of cabaret artist Meow Meow, accompanied by the excellent Aurora Orchestra, on a range of instruments from banjo to 1726 Stradivarius. Musical director, Satu Vänskä, on violin and vocals was outstanding. A particular highlight was Meow Meow’s interpretation of Schulhoff’s Sonata Erotica [1919] a vocal orgasm, if you like.

Giving us comedy, history, music and cabaret, the now elder-statesman Humphries hosts yet another perfect night’s entertainment.

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FIRST LOOK AT DON’T TELL ME NOT TO FLY CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THEATRE

FIRST LOOK AT DON’T TELL ME NOT TO FLY CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THEATRE

Underbelly, 4-27 August at 5pm / tickets here

  • First look at Janie Dee (FolliesHello Dolly!), Danielle Hope (BBC’s Over the RainbowGrease), Ria Jones (Sunset BoulevardCats) and Claire Sweeney (ChicagoLegally Blonde) in Don’t Tell Me Not To Fly, brand new production on Edinburgh Fringe
  • A joyous show celebrating women and their limitless potential, featuring West End and Broadway hits as well as an exclusive insight into the artists’ professional lives
  • A new show from Underbelly Productions at the newly reopened McEwan Hall in Bristo Square, Edinburgh from 4 until 27 August at 5pm.

 

Promotional images are released today for Don’t Tell Me Not To Fly, a brand new Fringe show from Underbelly Productions, taking over McEwan Hall at 5pm daily from 4 August!

 

Joyously celebrating women in theatre and their limitless potential, the show features West End leading ladies: Janie Dee, Danielle HopeRia Jones and Claire Sweeney, performing much-loved songs from West End and Broadway musicals as well as pop hits and sharing an exclusive insight into the performers’ on and off stage lives, all accompanied by live piano and spectacular projections.

Each day a celebrated West End star will take centre stage to perform:

Janie Dee: 4-6 August

Claire Sweeney: 7-13 August

Danielle Hope: 14-20 August

Ria Jones: 21-27 August

Hear how they took the spotlight and let their voices soar!

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There’s a new Dorothy in town – Bonnie Langford to join 42nd Street

THERE’S A NEW DOROTHY IN TOWN!

BONNIE LANGFORD

TO HEADLINE SPECTACULAR SHOW

Bonnie Langford, the much-loved star of stage and screen, is to join the cast of 42nd STREETthe spectacular homage to the world of musical theatre, as the production extends its residency at Theatre Royal Drury Lane for a final time, through to Saturday 5 January 2019.

 

Bonnie will join the show on Monday 3 September, straight from her headline-making role as Carmel Kazemi in BBC’s Eastenders. Her previous starring credits in the West End include GypsyChicago and the original London production of Cats.

 

Bonnie has had an outstanding career which has embraced success in theatre, television, film and radio in both Britain and America. She made her theatre debut in the West End at the age of seven in Gone with the Wind at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, starred in Gypsy opposite Angela Lansbury which also enjoyed a highly successful run on Broadway, and has made a wealth of appearances across TV and film. Her full biography follows below.

Following the conclusion of 42nd Street’s triumphant residency at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Saturday 5 January 2019, the refurbishment of the theatre  (announced earlier this year) will commence.

This new production of the show, the dazzling and romantic fable of Broadway, opened on Tuesday 4 April 2017 in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and to widespread acclaim across the media. It has since been seen by almost one million people and has won numerous awards. It recently celebrated its 500thperformance.

The show includes an all-singing, high-kicking cast of over 50 and some of the greatest songs ever written, such as ‘We’re In The Money’, ‘Lullaby of Broadway’, ‘Shuffle Off To Buffalo’, ‘Dames’, ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, and ‘42nd Street’.

 

The production is directed by the show’s co-author Mark Bramble (whose other hit shows include BarnumTreasure IslandThe Three Musketeers, The Grand Tour) and director of many award-winning previous productions of 42nd Street on Broadway and around the world.

 

Bonnie will star alongside Tom Lister who plays the role of ‘Julian Marsh’, Clare Halse, who plays ‘Peggy Sawyer’ and Ashley Day as ‘Billy Lawlor’.

The cast also includes:

 

Jasna Ivir is ‘Maggie Jones’, Graeme Henderson is ‘Andy Lee’, Christopher Howell is ‘Bert Barry’, Bruce Montague is ‘Abner Dillon’, Mark McKerracher is ‘Mac/Doc/Thug’, Emma Caffrey is ‘Anytime Annie’,  Matthew Goodgame is ‘Pat Denning’.

42nd Street is presented in London by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade together with The Global Group of Companies for Gate Ventures with Executive Producer Johnny Hon.

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LAMBERT JACKSON ANNOUNCES COMPETITION OFFERING WINNER THE OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM IN THERE’S NOTHIN’ LIKE A DAME – 100 YEARS OF WOMEN IN MUSICAL THEATRE AT CADOGAN HALL

LAMBERT JACKSON ANNOUNCES COMPETITION OFFERING WINNER THE OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM IN

THERE’S NOTHIN’ LIKE A DAME –

100 YEARS OF WOMEN IN MUSICAL THEATRE AT CADOGAN HALL

Lambert Jackson announces competition to find future musical theatre star, offering the winner an opportunity to perform in its debut show There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame – 100 Years of Women in Musical Theatre a celebration of women in musical theatre.

Louise DearmanRia JonesAlexia Khadime and Rachel Tucker come together to perform songs from some of the most famous female roles over the past century, from classics like Rogers and Hammerstein to modern smash hits, from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Schwartz.

The winner will be selected to join this incredible group of leading ladies and will perform a solo to an audience of up to 950 people at the beautiful, historic Cadogan Hall on Thursday 30 August.

The competition is open to all women. Entrants must be available on Wednesday 29 August and Thursday 30 August for rehearsal and show.

To enter, simply submit a one minute video recording of any musical theatre song to eliza@jacksonlambert.co.uk by Monday 30 July at 12pm.

The winner will be selected by a judging panel including Collabro’s Jamie Lambert, CEO of Lambert Jackson, and Eliza Jackson, Creative Director of Lambert Jackson. The winner will be notified by Monday 6 August.

 

There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame – 100 Years of Women in Musical Theatre

Cadogan Hall

5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

 

Box Office: 020 7730 4500 

www.cadoganhall.com

               

Cadogan Hall

Thursday 30 August, 7.30pm

 

Tickets: from £28

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FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHEFFIELD THEATRES’ CHRISTMAS MUSICAL, KISS ME, KATE

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHEFFIELD THEATRES’

CHRISTMAS MUSICAL, KISS ME, KATE

 

CRUCIBLE

A Sheffield Theatres Production

KISS ME, KATE

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Sam and Bella Spewack

7 December 2018 – 12 January 2019

Director: Paul Foster; Designer: Janet Bird; Choreographer: Matt Flint

Musical Director: James McKeon; Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson

Sound Designer: Mike Walker; Casting Director: Will Burton CDG; Fight Director: Kate Waters

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces the full cast for Paul Foster’s major revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Foster directs Delroy Atkinson (Gangster 1), Edward Baker-Duly (Fred), Cindy Belliot (Hattie), John Conroy (Baptista), Dafydd Emyr (Harrison Howell), Dex Lee (Bill), Rebecca Lock (Lilli), Ross McLaren (Gremio), Joel Montague (Gangster 2), Adam Rhys-Charles (Hortensio), Amy Ellen Richardson (Lois), Matthew Whennell-Clark (Ralph) and Layton Williams (Paul), with Jessica BuckbyRonan BurnsLouis GauntRuby Greenwood,  Tash Holway (also Assistant Choreographer and Dance Captain), Jennifer Louise Jones,  Bobbie LittleEmmanuele N’ZuziSimon Oskarsson and Clancy Ryan. The production opens on 12 December, with previews from 7 December, and runs until 12 January 2019.

From the Golden Age, a riotous, romantic musical comedy to make your heart soar. It’s opening night for feuding divorcees Fred and Lilli as they star in The Taming of the Shrew. But as the curtain rises, gambling, gangsters and mistaken identity conspire to create chaos.

Paul Foster directs this lavish and sensational celebration of theatre featuring some of Cole Porter’s finest songs: So In LoveBrush Up Your Shakespeare and Too Darn Hot.

Delroy Atkinson plays Gangster 1. His theatre work includes Sylvia (The Old Vic), Present Laughter (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Firm (Hampstead Theatre), Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Albion (Bush Theatre), All My Sons (Royal Exchange Manchester) and The Amen Corner (National Theatre). For television, his work includes The Morgana Show, Sherlock, Small Island, My Family, After You’ve Gone and No Heroics; and for film, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales, Still Crazy, Rivers of Blood and Fish Out of Water.

Edward Baker-Duly plays Fred. His US theatre credits include the Broadway production of The King And I; and the Off-Broadway production of Peter And The Starcatcher. His West End theatre work includes The King and I,The Wizard Of OzGone With The WindSouth PacificWest Side StorySalad Days. UK: Rookery NookNoises Off, Anyone Can Whistle, The Lady Vanishes, Copacabana, The Pirates of Penzance, Singing in the Rain, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night and The Mikado. For television, his work includes Shades Of Blue, Billions, Elementary, The Blacklist, Royal Pains, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Micro Men, New Tricks and Yes Prime Minister; and for film, Heidi Queen Of The Mountain, DeLovely, Botched, The Circle and Welkome Home.

 

Cindy Belliot plays Hattie. Her theatre credits include Sweet Charity (Nottingham Playhouse), Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre), Motown (Shaftesbury Theatre), Fela (Broadway, National Theatre London and USA tour), The Hurly Burly Show (Garrick Theatre), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria).

John Conroy returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Baptista – he previously appeared in Translations, Me and My Girl and Guys and Dolls. His extensive theatre work also includes Half a Sixpence (Chichester Festival Theatre and Noel Coward Theatre), Top Hat (UK tour), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre), Take Flight (Menier Chocolate Factory), Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse) and Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). His television work includes Women on the Verge, Atlantis, Pay and Display, The Mrs Bradley Mysteries and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Dafydd Emyr play Harrison Howell. For theatre, his credits include Kick The Breeze (BAC), Man of Fire (Cwmni Whare Teg), Amdani (Script Cymru), and Pinocchio and Danny The Champion Of The World (Sherman Theatre Co). For television, his work includes Lazarus Ladies, Old Scores, The Famous Five,  A Touch Of Love, Excalibur: The Search For Arthur, Realms Of Gold Young Dracula, Doctor Who, Da Vinci’s Demons, Bastard Executioner, The Windsors, Lleifior, Mae Gen I Gariad and Amdani; and for film, Natural Justice and Carrie’s War.

Dex Lee plays Bill. His stage work includes Oklahoma! (Grange Park Opera), Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch Theatre), The Wild Party (The Other Palace), Grease (Curve, Leicester), Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Royal Court Theatre), In The Heights (King’s Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), Hairspray (UK tour), Carrie (Southwark Playhouse) and The Scottsboro Boys (Garrick Theatre).

Rebecca Lock returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Lilli – she previously appeared in Oliver!. Her other theatre work includes Heathers (The Other Palace), Moonfleet (Salisbury Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre), Committee (Donmar Warehouse), Mary Poppins (UK tour), Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre), Dear World (Charing Cross Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along (Theatr Clwyd), The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre).

Ross McLaren play Gremio. His theatre work includes It Happened in Key West (Charing Cross Theatre), Elf (Theatre Royal Plymouth and Lowry Theatre), Top Hat, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Kilworth House Theatre), The Wiper’s Times (Arts Theatre), Big the Musical (Plymouth Theatre Royal) and Singin’ in the Rain (Théâtre du Châtelet). His film work includes Muppets Most Wanted and The Reunion.

Joel Montague plays Gangster 2. His theatre work includes Fat Friends (UK tour), School Of Rock (New London Theatre), Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre), The Producers (UK tour), Urinetown (St. James Theatre and Apollo Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show and Sister Act (both UK tours). For television, his work includes Girlfriends, Girls in Love and In Suspicious Circumstances.

Adam Rhys-Charles returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Hortensio – he previously appeared in Anything Goes (also UK tour) and Oliver!. His other theatre work includes Follies (National Theatre), Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre and UK tour), Mrs Henderson Presents (Toronto), Mary Poppins (UK tour) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent’s Park Open Air).

Amy Ellen Richardson plays Lois. Her theatre work includes Sweet Charity (Nottingham Playhouse), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (UK tour), Singin’ in the Rain, She Loves Me, Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Into the Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Royal Festival Hall), Follies (Royal Albert Hall), Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory and Harold Pinter Theatre) and Crazy for You (Novello Theatre); and for film, Les Miserables.

Matthew Whennell-Clark returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ralph – he previously appeared in My Fair Lady. His theatre work includes Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre), Carousel (ENO), 42nd Street, Singin in the Rain (Théâtre du Châtelet), Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre, UK tour, Phoenix Theatre) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

Layton Williams plays Paul. Hs theatre work includes Hairspray, Rent, The Car Man, Lord of the Flies (UK tours), Thriller (Lyric Theatre) and the title role in Billy Elliot. For television, his work includes Bad Education, Postcode, Beautiful People and Benidorm; and for film, Bad Education.

Paul Foster returns to Sheffield Theatres where he previously directed Annie Get Your Gun. His other theatre credits include The Light Princess and Sweet Charity (Cadogan Hall), A Little Night Music and Laurel and Hardy (The Watermill Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (The Watermill Theatre and UK tour) Bette Midler and Me (St James Theatre), Flora the Red Menace (Edinburgh Festival), Bells are RingingDarling of the Day, Crimes of the Heart (Union Theatre), A State Affair (MTA), Cowardy Custard (Yvonne Arnaud and UK tour), The Vagina Monologues (UK tour) and Little One (Royal Court Young Writers Festival). His radio credits include Britannicus.

 

Season at a Glance

LOVE AND INFORMATION

Until 14 July

 

SONGS FROM THE SEVEN HILLS

18 July – 21 July

 

STEEL

13 September – 6 October 2018

 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

28 September – 20 October 2018

 

CLOSE QUARTERS

25 October – 10 November 2018

 

KISS ME, KATE

7 December 2018 – 12 January 2019

 

 

RUTHERFORD AND SON

8 – 23 February 2019

 

HANG

21 February – 9 March 2019

 

STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE

15 March – 6 April

West End:

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE

Apollo Theatre

Booking until  April 2019

 

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Disney’s West End shows Aladdin and The Lion King announce summer pop-up experience in London

DISNEY’S WEST END SHOWS ALADDIN AND
THE LION KING ANNOUNCE SUMMER POP-UP EXPERIENCE IN LONDON

Disney’s hit West End musicals Aladdin and The Lion King have today announced that a summer Pop-Up will open its doors to Disney fans old and new in Covent Garden throughout August. Located at 25 Long Acre in the heart of Theatreland, the Pop-Up will be open every day from Tuesday 31stJuly until Sunday 26th August with a host of free interactive experiences and special events to enjoy.

Within this unique space guests will be able to explore the iconic masks, puppets and costumes from the Tony-Award winning The Lion King up-close and learn about the inspiration behind many of the show’s impressive designs. Guests will also have the opportunity to step inside a specially-created ‘Cave of Wonders’, where they will be able to take a photo with the legendary lamp from Aladdin.

The fun continues around Covent Garden’s Piazza where visitors are invited to delve into a treasure hunt to uncover four magic lamps – each offering a clue to an Aladdin themed puzzle. Those who unscramble the message can take home a limited edition poster as their well-earned reward.

In addition to this, a variety of free events will take place daily within the Pop-Up including performances from cast members of the two West End shows, puppetry demonstrations and stage makeup masterclasses, as well as vocal and movement bite-sized workshops to get a first-hand flavour of the shows’ music and choreography. The full schedule is available to view at www.disneyonstage.co.uk and access to events is available on a first-come first-served basis.

This summer Disney UK celebrated the second anniversary of Aladdin in the West End, which opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in June 2016, while The Lion King enjoys its 19th triumphant year at the Lyceum Theatre.

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SCHOOL OF ROCK – YEAR THREE CAST BEGIN TERM

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING

S C H O O L   O F   R O C K  –  T H E   M U S I C A L

YEAR THREE CAST BEGIN TERM AND 350,000 NEW TICKETS RELEASED

WWW.SCHOOLOFROCKTHEMUSICAL.COM

From 22 August 2018, term will begin for the year three cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Olivier award-winning production of School of Rock – The Musical at the newly named Gillian Lynne Theatre. Today sees the release of a further 350,000 tickets for this hit West End production, now booking to 20 October 2019.  Based on the iconic film of the same title, School of Rock – The Musical sees the kids from Dewey’s band compete in the legendary Battle of the Bands and embrace the power of rock!  

 

Craig Gallivan will lead the cast in the role of Dewey Finn with Laura Tebbutt as Rosalie Mullins, Alan Pearson as Ned Schneebly, Michelle Francis as Patty DiMarco and Jake Sharp who will play Dewey Finn at certain performances.  The remaining adult cast comprise John AddisonNick ButcherRob FalconerMartina IsiborClaudia KariukiJessica Louise ParkinsonRichard MorseAndy ReesHannah StrattonAlex Tomkins and James Wolstenholme with swings Paul KembleJessica KirtonBilly Mitchell, Catherine Morris and Andy Prosser.

 

As well as the show entering its third year in the West End, in October this year an Australian production of School of Rock – The Musical will open at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.  The Broadway production continues at the Winter Garden Theatre and the US national touring production is currently booking to September 2018.

 

Joining the adult cast are three teams of twelve kids, who make up Dewey’s band, and play live at every performance.  From 22 August 2018 the kids cast comprise Albert Atack (ten years old from Sheffield), Amos Mayland (ten years old from Cornwall) and Oscar Rice (eleven years old from London) who will play Zack; Jamal Ahmed (twelve years old from Surrey), Jasper Bew (eleven years old from London) and Nayan Gupta (ten years old from Sheffield) who will play Freddy; Noah Gupta-Wright (twelve years old from London), Alfie Humphreys (eleven years old from Bedfordshire) and Tom Kochalski (twelve years old from South Wales) who will play Lawrence; Carys John (ten years old from Wiltshire), Amelie Leatherland (twelve years old from Brighton) and Ellie Wilcox (eleven years old from Essex) who will play Katie; Jack Gale (eleven years old from Hertfordshire), Jakub Kopec (eleven years old from Surrey) and Jensen York (twelve years old from Warwickshire) who will play Billy; Amelie Green (eleven years old from London), Anya Hewett (ten years old from County Durham) and Éibhleann Rose McCormack (ten years old from West Sussex) who will play Summer; Kaylah Black (twelve years old from London), Sara Sheen (twelve years old from Manchester) and Charis Claresta Tetteh (twelve years old from Essex) who will play Tomika; Adam Djazel (ten years old from London), Harley Gallacher (twelve years old from Kent) and Stanley Voss (eleven years old from Buckinghamshire) who will play James; Calypso Bailey (twelve years old from Essex), Ellie Kit Jones (ten years old from London) and Shani Roberts (ten years old from Essex) who will play Marcy; Harry Linacre Brown (ten years old from London), Charlie Gallacher (twelve years old from Kent) and Samuelle John-Brown (twelve years old from Buckinghamshire) who will play Mason; Jasmine Brightmore (eleven years old from London), Lia Summer Higgs (eleven years old from Essex) and Shaye Temple (eleven years old from London) who will play Shonelle; Zoe Coleman (twelve years old from London), Aoife Connelly (ten years old from Essex) and Frankie-Mae Garner (eleven years old also from Essex) who will play Sophie.

 

Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

 

School of Rock – The Musical features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes.  School of Rock – The Musical is directed by Laurence Connor with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

 

Continuing the search for the opportunity to ‘join the band’, further kids open auditions will take place later this year in Plymouth on 8 September, in Manchester on 22 September, in London on 17 and 18 October for musicians, and on 13 and 15 November for ensemble. If you are between 8 – 12 years old and play a rock instrument (guitar, bass, piano, and/or drums) or sing, registration and further details can be found by contacting Jessica Ronane Casting at rock@jessicaronane.com or at www.schoolofrockthemusical.co.uk/auditions.

 

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 hit film School of Rock was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance.

School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Theatre:                    Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW

Dates:                       now booking to 20 October 2019

Running time:            approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

Box Office:                020 7087 7750

Performances:           Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sundays at 3pm

                                Captioned performance 20 September 2018 at 7.30pm

                                Signed performance 11 October 2018 at 2.30pm

                                Please check website for Christmas schedule

Prices:                       from £15.00

Student rush tickets for £10 on Wednesday evening

All ticket prices include a £1.50 restoration levy.  No booking fee via official box office channels

Website:                    www.SchoolOfRockTheMusical.co.uk

Twitter & Instagram: @SchoolofRockuk

Facebook:                  facebook.com/schoolofrockmusical

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Back To Where Review

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre – until 14 July 2018.

Reviewed by Antonia Hebbert

4****

Will loves Jane. Jane loves Will. But Will is an Aussie whose UK visa is going to expire because he can’t get the work he wants. So they get married, for convenience, to give themselves time to decide whether they really want to be together. And things start to go wrong.

Back To Where was created through improvisations by Hannah Hawkins (Jane) and Vincent Andriano (Will), with writer-director Colin James. They must have dug deep: the play is very truthful about relationships, at times painfully so. It consists of Will and Jane talking through the night, on a camping trip in the Welsh hills where they are stuck without food or water. (Confession time: due to a snarl-up on the railways, I missed the first 30 minutes so can’t say exactly how they came to be there.)

That might sound rather limited, but for the audience in the tiny Jack Studio Theatre, this is a riveting and intense evening. Will and Jane look back through good times and bad, and express exactly the contradictions and difficulties in relationships even when they are very close: the fun, the awkwardnesses, the way couples can find each other simultaneously lovable and maddening, the crossed wires, the difficulty of listening and expressing oneself. It’s funny, alarming (Vincent Andriano as angry Will), excruciating (because it’s so true) and poignant – Will and Jane won’t find easy answers.

This is the first production from the New Tricks Theatre company, which aims to put on new and inspiring works of theatre. It’s a cracking start.

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Dusty Review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – runs until 14th July 2018.

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth

5*****

Sheffield theatre fans are lucky enough to be in one of the 4 places that Dusty will be making a stop at. A new musical, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way while you are watching it. The producer, Eleanor Lloyd even asks the audience for feedback in the programme and provides an email address, stating that feedback will shape it’s development, however, this piece feels like it has already been developed and polished to the nth degree.

Whether you are a Dusty fan or not, it really doesn’t matter. You will either find yourself reminded of her colourful but sombre story or find yourself learning about this poignant character. The story starts on her journey to the number 1 spot with huge success and popularity throughout the UK. Dusty’s personal life takes centre stage with her relationship exposing some of her less desirable character traits, fuelled by her alcoholism. The story line is emotive and touching; towards the end you really can start to empathise with Dusty. It is clear how much pressure she was under to always be number one and compete with the young and upcoming stars.

Katherine Kingsley plays Dusty, and what a performance it is… she has perfected her hand movements, mannerisms and her stunning voice is very close to being a duplicate. Kingsley has real stage presence and when on stage, often she is all your eyes are drawn to. Hats off to her for portraying her character through some really tough subject matters which must be challenging as an actress, including some rather shocking racism.

There are some famous names on the stage in the shape of Rufus Hound and Roberta Taylor, both cast excellently. A less well known name comes in the shape of Joanna Francis, playing Lois. Lois is Dusty’s girlfriend and some of the duets that they perform together are just perfection. Francis’ voice is just beautiful and lights up the stage with her sweet sounds.

A real highlight of this show is the impeccably trained, well rehearsed chorus. The dancing is absolutely on point with extreme energy all the way through. Credit to the choreographer, Tim Jackson. Each character on stage has something to offer and during the performance of ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This’ they really do steal the show. It has to be said that this is aided with the magical effects on stage created by Tom Pye (set and costume design).

Dusty comes highly recommended, a truly marvellous, entertaining show packed with all the things that you would hope to find inside a musical.

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