Dinosaur World Live

Regents Park Open Air Theatre – until 9 September

Reviewed by Lottie Davis-Browne

5*****

Growing up in the early 1980s my first introduction to dinosaurs was friendly cartoon character – the aptly named “Denver – The Last Dinosaur”. It wasn’t until the 1993 movie “Jurassic Park” that I was able to see a more realistic dinosaur to truly appreciate these prehistoric beasts in their full glory, however growing up with two sisters my interest in dinosaurs was somewhat extinct before it even started.

Flash forward to the present day to a sunny Friday afternoon when I had the pleasure of attending Dinosaur World Live – an interactive touring production, in London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, with a dinosaur obsessed three year old boy.

With advances in puppetry in live theatre (thanks to a certain War Horse!) I was expecting great things – and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

This final venue of the tour is set against the stage set for the current production of “Little Shop of Horrors”, Dinosaur World Live opens with Miranda (Elizabeth Mary Williams) introducing herself to the audience, engaging with the young audience from the second she enters the stage, telling us how her parents met in prehistoric times – “the early 1990’s” whilst working at the National History Museum together and that her first experience of meeting a dinosaur was as a young child whilst out picking blackberries. She explains how she ended up washed up on an island without her parents – using a large wooden toy boat which is passed into the audience how Miranda explains how she came to live on an island with dinosaurs.

There’s instantly a relaxed atmosphere from the moment the story starts, with children being picked out to help at various points in the fifty-some minute production. The audience are shown a dinosaur egg which is getting ready to hatch and encouraged to shout Miranda if they spot any signs of movement from it.

Soon Miranda is introducing us to several dinosaurs – so cleverly pupeteered that even the older audience members are quickly mesmerised by what appears to be actual real live dinosaurs! The attention to detail is outstanding – you can actually see the scales in their skin and the several different colours which are captured in the sunlight beautifully.

There’s baby Tamora – a young female Tyrannosaurus who loves to play with a ball and squeaky dogs toys! Her favourite foods are chicken – and other dinosaurs! She lives on the island with her mum, Titus. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek word meaning “Tyrant Lizard” whilst “Rex” is the Latin word for King.

We also met (amongst several other dinosaurs) Gertrude – a Giraffatitan (meaning “giant giraffe”) who ways up to 43 tons (five times as heavy as a T-Rex) and the colourful Juliet – a Segnosaurus (meaning “slow lizard).

Throughout the story, Miranda gives the audience lots of simple facts about each dinosaurs, from what they like to eat, how their bodies are structured and where they originate from. There’s plenty of audience interaction aimed at the hundreds of dino-enthusiatic children. The show is both visually stunning and educational. A rip-ROARing success of a production!

The fifty-some minute production (no interval) seemed to be over so quickly (in the best possible sense) but with the chance to meet the dinosaurs up close and personal afterwards made this an utterly ROAR-some day for the whole family.

Whilst every other theatre production has a strict no-photography policy, the audience were encouraged at the beginning to take as many photos as they liked – and to share them on social media (@dinoworldlive on Twitter and Instagram), to which of course I took hundreds and eagerly added my own (Instagram) the following day when I had slept off the excitement of having met these prehistoric creatures in the flesh.

For tickets and information for the rest of the tour, please see dinosaurworldlive.com and follow on social media (@dinoworldlive).

 

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR WORLD STAGE PREMIÈRE OF HIGH RIDIN’

FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR WORLD STAGE PREMIÈRE OF HIGH RIDIN’

 

Em-Lou Productions and King’s Head Theatre present the world première of

High Ridin’

By James Hogan

 

Directed by Peter Darney

 

King’s Head Theatre
4 September – 22 September 2018

Em-Lou Productions today announces full casting of world première of James Hogan’s High Ridin’ at the King’s Head Theatre. Peter Darney directs Linda Beckett (Ivy), Tom Michael Blyth (Stan) and Chicho Tche (Ronnie). The production opens at the King’s Head Theatre on Thursday 6 September with previews from Tuesday 4 September and runs until Saturday 22 September.

“What did you do with the drugs?”

“Dumped’em in a field.”

“Are you serious? The cows are jumpin’ over the Moon, Mars and fuckin’ Jupiter!”

Teenager Ronnie hitchhikes North to search for a job and a new start. Ex-bouncer Stan, just out of prison, gives him a lift. But not where Ronnie thought he was going.

Instead, Stan speeds off the motorway to a deserted house on the moors. But neither Ronnie nor Stan get what they were looking for…

An unlikely love story of two men who don’t live likely lives.

James Hogan’s plays include Peacefully in his Sleep (Gate Theatre), The Guest Room (Not the RSC Festival/Old Red Lion), Venetian Gold (Official Edinburgh Festival/Kings Head Theatre) and Ivy & Joan (The Print Room/Jermyn Street Theatre).

Linda Beckett plays Ivy. Her theatre credits include Blithe Spirit (The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre), The Playboy of the Western WorldShe Stoops to Conquer (UK tour), Breezeblock Park (Derby Theatre), It’s a MadhouseA Taste of HoneyCloud NineOur Day Out (Everyman Theatre Liverpool) and The Secret Diary ofAdrian Mole, (Phoenix Arts Theatre/Wyndham’s Theatre). Her television credits include Play for TodayFirst of the Summer Wine; and for film, High Hopes and Secrets and Lies.

Tom Michael Blyth plays Stan. His theatre credits include Significant Other Inc (The Pensive Federation), The Mighty Oak Conqueror (One Festival), Hard Times (Oldham Coliseum Theatre) which he was nominated a Manchester Theatre Award, The Father (West End/UK tour) and The Duchess of Malfi (New Diorama Theatre).

Chicho Tche plays Ronnie. Love’s Labour’s Lost (RSC/Brighton Fringe) and Ninis Hair Salon (New Wimbledon Theatre); and for television he plays series regular Nick in School Hacks.

Peter Darney directs and writes. His credits include multi award winning 5 Guys Chillin’ which he wrote and directed (King’s Head Theatre/Soho Playhouse, New York, which won Edinburgh Festivals Best LGBT Play 2016 and the Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival – published by Oberon Books), The Drag (Arcola Theatre), The Revengers TragedyEdward IIArden of Faversham (The Rose Playhouse), Pinocchio (Sutton Theatres), Signal Failure (Soho Playhouse, New York/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Frank Sent Me (King’s Head Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Theatre503), Githa (St James Theatre/York Theatre Royal), Tom’s Midnight Garden (Orchard Deane Garden Theatre), 6 Degree’s (Soho Theatre), Frank Sent Me (Soho Theatre, Best Play 2012 Writer’s Avenue) and Beautiful Thing (Battersea Arts Centre).

High Ridin

Listings

King’s Head Theatre

115 Upper Street, N1 1QN
Box office: 0207 226 8561

www.kingsheadtheatre.com/

 

Performances:

Tuesday 4 September – Saturday 22 September 2018

 

Tickets: £16 – £26

Previews: £11

New Strat Announced for BAT OUT OF HELL – THE MUSICAL in London

BAT OUT OF HELL – THE MUSICAL

ANNOUNCES JORDAN LUKE GAGE

AS THE NEW STRAT

Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is excited to announce Jordan Luke Gage will be taking on the lead role of Strat from 3 September.


Gage made his West End debut as Hoffman in the show, whilst also performing as an alternate Strat to Andrew Polec.


Gage commented on taking on the role: 

“I’m overwhelmed to be taking over the iconic role of Strat in Bat Out Of Hell. Being part of this incredible show and company has been a life-changing experience for me and I have learned so much from working with the extraordinary talent that is Andrew Polec. I want to thank everyone at Bat out of Hell for giving me this opportunity and to thank Andrew for his support and friendship. He has been an outstanding Strat, a deserved winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award and an inspiration. I wish him love and every success on his journey. I’m so excited to get started! I feel honoured and humbled to be given the chance to sing Jim Steinman and Meatloaf’s stunning score and to work with the wonderful people who make up the Bat family; the company, the production and creative teams, the crew and, of course, the fans. Rock and Roll dreams DO come true!”


Simon Gordon who performs as Esquivel in the show will continue to be the alternate Strat.


Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in 2017, and has been seen by over 650,000 people to date. It began previews at its latest home the legendary Dominion Theatre on Monday 2 April, with a gala performance on 19 April 2018. It is now booking through to 5 January 2019.


Andrew Polec’s final show starring as Strat in Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical at The Dominion, London will be on Saturday 1 September.  Tickets are available here:

https://batoutofhellmusical.com/london/tickets-london/ 

More exciting news about Andrew will be announced very shortly.


Bat Out Of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 50 million copies worldwide.  16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which contained the massive hit I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).


For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out Of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.


Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland.  Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.  It scooped the ‘Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award’ for Best Musical in 2017.

Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical has book, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, direction by Jay Scheib, choreography by Emma Portner, with musical supervision and additional arrangements by Michael Reed, set design by Jon Bausor, costume design by Jon Bausor and Meentje Nielsen, video design by Finn Ross, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, sound design by Gareth Owen, orchestration by Steve Sidwell, casting by David Grindrod CDG, fight direction by Stuart Boother and musical direction by Robert Emery.


Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox & Tony Smith.

 

Website:  www.BatOutOfHellMusical.com

Twitter & Facebook:  @BatTheMusical

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical

 

Dominion Theatre

268-269 Tottenham Court Road

London W1T 7AQ

Performances:  Mon-Sat at 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinee at 2.30pm (N.B.  Performances will be at 2.00pm & 8.00pm on Saturday 8 September)

 

Tickets:  from £15.00

Box Office:  0845 200 7982

Current Booking Period:  to 5 January 2019

Running Time:  2 hours 40 minutes (including interval)

Christmas 2018/19 Performance Schedule

Mon 17 December – 7.30pm

Tue 18 December – 7.30pm

Wed 19 December – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Thurs 20 December – 7.30pm

Fri 21 December – 7.30pm

Sat 22 December – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

 

Mon 24 December – No Show

Tue 25 December – No Show

Wed 26 December – 7.30pm

Thurs 27 December – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Fri 28 December – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sat 29 December – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

 

Mon 31 December – 7.00pm

Tues 1 January – 7.30pm

Wed 2 January – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Thurs 3 January – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Fri 4 January – 7.30pm

Sat 5 January – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Flash Dance the Musical Review

Churchill Theatre, Bromley – until 18th August 2018

Reviewed by Elizabeth Smith

3***

Flashdance – The Musical tells the story of Alex, a welder by day and club dancer at night, with ambitions of attending the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy. The back drop to the story is her love affair with the bosses son, the potential redundancies of her co workers and the ambitions of her friend Gloria to become a MTV dancer.

Alex is played by Joanne Clifton of Strictly come Dancing fame. She surprised me with the fact she could sing with power and feeling, while acting a role of the feisty, determined character, nice to see there is more to the dancer than you may first see. Of course her dancing was amazing and performed with so much energy and poise.

Alex’s love interest is her boss Nick Hurley, of the Hurley family who own the factory Alex works in. He is sent in to cut the work force and falls for Alex who rebuffs his advances at first but he wins her over. Although he does give a large donation to the Dance academy to ensure her entry but that part of the story didn’t quite get resolved in the story. Nick was played by Ben Adams, of boy band A1. He had a lovely singing voice, very boy band, which works in this modern musical.

Alex’s friend Gloria, Hollie-Ann Lowe, wants to be a MTV dancer and decides to dance in a rival night club but the punters want a little more than she is, at first, willing to give. Her character shows how a dream can turn into a nightmare when drink and drugs help you through. Hollie-Ann Lowe gave a convincing performance as Gloria. Dammiliegh Foster plays Tess, her voice was a power house when she sang “I Love Rock N Roll” and a dancer who draws your attention. Sashaa Latoya who plays Louise, nurse to Hannah, Alex’s mentor. Her surly attitude gave great humour.

Rhodri Watkins, played Andy, and stood out for me with his performance of a young father of 3 trying to do the best he could when facing redundancy and what a mover in the dance scenes.

If you love dance this show hits all the spots, unfortunately I felt the script was slightly padded out with fluff when it could have expanded on some of the other characters.

Over all, the dancing was fab and inspired me to skip to the car.

Casting Announced For Ian Hislop & Nick Newman’s New Satirical Play ‘Trial By Laughter’

CASTING IS ANNOUNCED FOR IAN HISLOP AND NICK NEWMAN’S NEW COMEDY

TRIAL BY LAUGHTER

THE PRODUCTION WILL OPEN AT THE WATERMILL THEATRE, NEWBURY FROM THURSDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2018, BEFORE HEADING ON A UK TOUR

Following the sell-out success of The Wipers Times in the West End and across the country, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have once again taken inspiration from real life events for their new play Trial by Laughter, based on their critically acclaimed original BBC Radio 4 drama of the same nameThe production is a Trademark Touringand Watermill Theatre co-production, playing at The Watermill for six weeks from Thursday 20th September – Saturday 27th October 2018. Following this, it will be heading on a UK tour visiting Guildford, Ipswich, Cheltenham and Brighton, with further venues to be announced.

In 1817 bookseller, publisher and satirist William Hone stood trial for parodying religion, the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. In 2018, the satirists Ian Hislop and Nick Newman rediscover this forgotten hero of free speech and ask if just over two hundred years later our press has any greater freedom.

The cast includes Helena Antoniou (Lady Hertford), Philippe Edwards (Sidmouth), Jeremy Lloyd (Prince Regent), Peter Losasso (Cruickshank), Nicholas Murchie (Justice Abbott/Duke of York), Joseph Prowen (Hone), Eva Scott (Lady Conyngham/Sarah)Dan Tetsell (Lord Ellenborough).

Satirist, writer and journalist Ian Hislop has been the editor of Private Eye since 1986. He has frequently appeared on Question Time (BBC One), and since 1990 has been team captain on BBC’s Have I Got News For You. At Private Eye he works alongside life-long friend Nick Newman, an award-winning cartoonist and writer, who alongside his role at Private Eye, has been pocket cartoonist for The Sunday Times since 1989. As a scriptwriting duo, Ian and Nick’s work includes five years on Spitting Image (ITV), Harry Enfield and Chums (BBC Two), and My Dad’s The Prime Minister (BBC One), as well as the film A Bunch of Amateurs and The Wipers Times, which won the Broadcast Press Guild Award for single drama, and was nominated for a BAFTATrial by Laughter is Ian and Nick’s third play to be co-produced with The Watermill Theatre, with an adaptation of A Bunch of Amateurs and The Wipers Times playing there in the last few years.

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman said:

“In an age of ‘fake news’ and increased censorship, free speech and press freedom are still under threat as they were 200 years ago when William Hone took on the might of Royalty and a bullying Tory government. Hone dared to ask ‘Is laughter treason?’ – raising issues which are as relevant now as they were then. It’s a tale of lawyers, lechers and libel – with added sedition and blasphemy. It is immensely exciting to bring this world to life on stage, with this funny, inspiring and true story of a satirical David versus Goliath.”

 

Trial by Laughter is a Trademark Touring and Watermill Theatre production and is directed by Caroline Leslie. It is designed by Dora Schweitzer with lighting design by Matt Leventhall and sound by Steve Mayo.

 

The Wipers Times, also produced by Trademark Touring and The Watermill Theatre, tours again from 28 August, transferring for a second time to the Arts Theatre in the West End in October where it plays a limited season until 1 December 2018.

 

TRIAL BY LAUGHTER – FULL TOUR DATES AND LISTINGS INFORMATION

 

Thursday 20th September – Saturday 27th October                                     Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Monday 29th October – Saturday 3rd November                                        

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Monday 5th November – Saturday 10th November                                    

The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Monday 12th November – Saturday 17th November                                   Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Monday 19th November – Saturday 24th November                                  

Theatre Royal, Brighton

AWARD-WINNING CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCE BRAND NEW SONG, UPDATED SCRIPT & FINAL CASTING FOR THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF HEATHERS THE MUSICAL OPENING IN THE WEST END FROM 3 SEPTEMBER ­ 24 NOVEMBER 2018

AWARD-WINNING CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCE 

BRAND NEW SONG, UPDATED SCRIPT & FINAL CASTING 

FOR THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF 

THE SASSIEST SHOW IN TOWN!

STARRING CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER

OPENING IN THE WEST END

FROM 3 SEPTEMBER – 24 NOVEMBER 2018

 

 

Heathers the Musical is bigger and better than ever before! The award-winning creative team behind the smash-hit musical are thrilled to announce a brand new song has been written into the show ahead of it’s West End debut at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, along with multiple re-workings to the script.

 

Following extensive work across the run of it’s European premiere at The Other Palace, the creators of Heathers – The MusicalLaurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy, alongside director Andy Fickman, have written an original new song for leading lady Carrie Hope Fletcher. The new song, ‘I Say No’ and updated script were added into the final week of performances at The Other Palace, offering audiences a sneak peek ahead of the show’s transfer to the West End in September.

 

Paul Taylor Mills said: “Two years ago Andrew Lloyd Webber and I set on a mission to create a space in the UK where musicals could be tried and tested with audience feedback at the heart of that development. I am so pleased to say that a year and a half later we have been able to see Heathers go from The Other Palace studio, to the main house, to the West End. This isn’t a new idea with many major American musicals affording themselves an out-of-town try out in order to refine the material before the version the team want to present is ‘cooked’!

 

Over the last few weeks the creative team and I have been working hard to make changes to the production, including a new number for Veronica at the end of the show, and some script changes to Act II. We’re delighted with the work that has been done and that the show was able to finish its the run at The Other Palace as the definitive version of Heathers. 

 

We feel fortunate to have had this incredibly useful space to develop the show and would like to thank our audiences for affording us this opportunity. It’s crucial that we develop a practice in the UK for this to happen in order to ensure the genre of musicals in this country continues to prosper.”

 

The 2018 Class of Westerberg High will be graduating to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited 12-week run, from 3 September 2018, with Carrie Hope Fletcher reprising her celebrated role as Veronica Sawyer.

 

Also returning to the cast as the school’s reigning ‘It Girls’ – The Heathers are Jodie Steele (Chandler), T’Shan Williams (Duke) and Sophie Isaacs (McNamara), alongside Jamie Muscato as rebellious transfer student Jason Dean (JD), Chris Chung (Kurt Kelly), Dominic Anderson (Ram Sweeney), Jenny O’Leary (Martha Dunnstock), Rebecca Lock (Ms. Flemming), Jon Boydon (Kurt’s Dad), Alex James Hatton (Officer Milner), Charlotte Jaconelli (Stoner Chick), Lauren Drew (New Wave Girl), Olivia Moore (Young Rerepublicanette), and Sergio Pasquariello  (Officer McCord).

 

They will be welcoming Hugh Maynard (Ram’s Dad), John Lumsen (Hipster Dork) and Merryl Ansah (Drama Cub Drama Queen) to the cast for the West End premiere.

 

Greetings and salutations. Welcome to Westerberg High, where popularity is so very a matter of life and death, and Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day.

 

But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams finally start to come true.

 

Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…

 

Based on one of the greatest teen films of all time, the 1988 cult classic starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The award-winning writing team, Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde, Bat Boy) and Kevin Murphy’s (Reefer Madness,Desperate Housewives) hit musical adaptation has enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and New York, and finally arrived in the UK for its European premiere on 9 June 2018, following a rapturous response to its 2017 workshop at The Other Palace.

 

Heathers – The Musical is directed by acclaimed screen and stage director Andy Fickman, with choreography by Gary Lloyd, design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound by Dan Samson and casting by Will Burton. The production is produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor Mills.

 

Heathers – The Musical, which recently finished it’s European premiere at The Other Palace, is the highest grossing show at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre, having sold over 20,000 tickets across the run and having sold out prior to its opening gala performance. It is the first show in the theatre’s history to move from a studio workshop to a main house production and it now becomes The Other Palace’s first West End transfer, having reached a brand new audience; 70% of which are under the age of 30. The production will continue to develop and celebrate its younger and more diverse audience by offering over 15,000 seats at £25 across the West End run.

 

LISTINGS

HEATHERS – THE MUSICAL

THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET

3 SEPTEMBER – 24 NOVEMBER 2018

 

*Please note the updated schedule of press performances*

*Reviews embargoed until 00.01 on Thursday 13 September*

 

Performances:

Monday – Saturday – 7.45pm

Thursday & Saturday – 3.00pm

 

Ticket Prices: From £25.00 – 150+ £25 tickets at every performance. 

 

Groups: 10+ £55 seats reduced to £39.50, Monday to Thursday evenings and midweek matinees. The group rate is subject to availability and not valid for week commencing 22nd October.

 

Day Seats: A limited number of seats are available at £25 from 10am in person at the box office on the day of the show. Maximum 2 tickets per person.

 

Address: Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

 

Box Office: 020 7930 8800

 

Website: www.heathersthemusical.com

    www.trh.co.uk

 

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:

@HeathersMusical

@TRH_London

#HeathersLondon

#HowVery

Further Casting Announced – Peter Pan at Richmond Theatre

FURTHER CASTING TO HOP ABOARD THE JOLLY ROGER IN RICHMOND THEATRE’S SWASHBUCKLING PANTOMIME, PETER PAN!

Richmond Theatre announces Jon Clegg (Britain’s Got Talent), Rachel Stanley (Les Misérablesand Harry Francis (The Book of Mormon) to join previously the announced Robert Lindsay in his pantomime debut for the theatres’ second pantomime staged by Qdos Entertainment, PETER PAN from Saturday 8 December – Sunday 6 January 2019.

 

Jon Clegg will be joining cast as Captain Hook’s befuddled side-kick, Smee. Best-known for his appearances in the final of the eight series of Britain’s Got Talent Jon will bring his brilliant celebrity comedy impressions to Neverland!

Rachel Stanley joins the cast as the Magical Mermaid. Rachel is currently appearing in the UK Tour of An Officer and A Gentlemen. Her other recent stage credits have seen her on stage in Scrooge The MusicalThoroughly Modern Millie and Legally Blonde. No stranger to family entertainment Rachel last-year toured the UK with Birmingham Stage Company in Gangsta Granny. Rachel featured in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables.

Harry Francis joins the cast as the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan. Harry has recently been seen as Tom Thumb in Barnum, Mendel in Fiddler on the Roof, Elder Thomas in The Book of Mormon, and Mark in A Chorus Line as well as touring in the Matthew Bourne production of Edward Scissorhands.

 

Multi award-winning actor of stage and screen, Robert Lindsay will make his pantomime debut starring as the dastardly Captain Hook. The BAFTA, Tony and two-time Olivier Award-winning actor has enjoyed a hugely successful career starring in the popular BBC sitcom My Family and Citizen Smith as well as numerous Shakespearean adaptations including A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About Nothing and starred opposite Laurence Olivier in King Lear. His further television roles include Galavant, GBH, Hornblower, Jericho, Friends and Crocodiles and Gideon’s Daughters, both by Stephen Poliakoff.

With tickets soaring out of the Box Office, audiences shouldn’t leave it any longer to embark on the Jolly Roger and set sail for Neverland for this year’s sensational, swashbuckling show!

M O T O W N T H E M U S I C A L FINAL WEST END PERFORMANCES APRIL 2019

M O T O W N   T H E   M U S I C A L

FINAL WEST END PERFORMANCES APRIL 2019

In advance of major refurbishments taking place at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Motown The Musical will conclude its run on 20 April 2019 having celebrated over 1330 performances since its London premiere over three years earlier in February 2016.  With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue, book by Motown founder Berry Gordy and directed by Charles Randolph-WrightMotown the Musical tells the story behind the legendary classic hits.  In October this year a previously announced UK tour will begin and in January 2019 Motown the record label will mark its sixtieth anniversary.

The production features a fifteen-piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop!  In The Name of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine.  With just $800 borrowed from his family, Motown founder Berry Gordy, goes from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul, discovering and launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more.  Motown the Musical uncovers the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation.  

Motown the Musical received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York with Berry Gordy and legendary Motown artists Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wilson, Gladys Knight andStevie Wonder attending opening night.  The show began its West End run in February 2016 withGordy, Robinson and Wilson once again supporting the production.

Motown the Musical has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook and dance arrangements by Zane Mark.  Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Peter Hylenski and video by Daniel Brodie.  UK Associate Director is Tara Wilkinson, Conductor & UK Associate Music Supervisor is Gareth Weedon, UK Associate Set Designer is Andrew Edwards and UK Associate Lighting Designer is Alistair Grant and UK Sound Associate is Chris Full.

Motown the Musical is produced in the West End by Kevin McCollumDoug MorrisBerry Gordy and Adam Spiegel.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Theatre:                           Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8DP

Dates:                              booking to 20 April 2019

Performances:                    Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

Prices:                              Tickets from £20 plus £15 Lottery tickets available online

No booking fees via www.motownthemusical.co.uk, over the phone on 020 7379

5399 or in person at the Shaftesbury Theatre Box Office.

Box Office:                         020 7379 5399

Website:                           www.motownthemusical.co.uk

Twitter:                            @MotownUK

Facebook:                         MotownMusicalUK

Madagascar the Musical Review

Manchester Palace Theatre – until 18 August 2018

Reviewed by Lottie Davis-Browne Date

4****

Following in the footsteps of Dreamworks “Shrek” which was reworked into a well-loved stage musical, the latest screen-to-stage adaptation comes from Dreamworks 2005 movie Madagascar, from the team at Selladoor.

Telling the tale of a group of unlikely friends at New York’s Central Park Zoo; hypochondriac Melvin (Jamie Lee-Morgan) the Giraffe, Marty the Zebra (Antoine Murray-Straughan), the hip and funky hippo Gloria (Timmika Ramsey), and the pride of Central Park Zoo, Alex the Lion (X-Factor’ 2016 Winner Matt Terry), whom upon celebrating Marty’s tenth birthday, he (Marty) begins to wonder what life is like outside the zoo and dreams of living “in the wild”. Marty’s thoughts are distracted by the zoos penguins (Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private) who are secretly planning their very own great escape. Marty then decides to follow them and escape and is shortly pursued by the rest of his friends.

Soon the animals are causing havoc in Grand Central Station, but Alex – not realising humans do not understand animals – is mistaken for an aggressive dangerous animal and is shot with a tranquilliser gun and his friends rounded up into shipping crates on a boat to be transferred to a zoo. But it isn’t long until disaster strikes and the friends end up washed up on a beach – in what they presume is another zoo, that is until they meet a conspiracy of lemurs, who inform them that they are indeed in the wild – the “wipe yourself with a leaf” type of wild. I won’t spoil the rest of the story as I am sure most people have seen the animated movie of Madagascar, but what I will say is that the story remains true to the original movie with similar running times (a total of 1 hour and 50 minutes – perfect for younger children which of course this production is particularly aimed at).

The main stage set comprises of stacked wooden shipping crates which Central Parks Zoo to the tropical island of Madagascar, with the island of Madagascar being the main story setting comprising of palm trees and the distant sound of the ocean.

What really makes this production stand out and memorable are the fantastic costumes and puppets – from the lovable penguins which are so cleverly done you soon fail to notice the talented puppeteers, but particularly Melman the Giraffe (Jamie Lee-Morgan – an experienced puppeteer, having been the head puppeteer for Joey, the horse in War Horse, as well as the Giant in James and The Giant Peach) and the somewhat comical costumes (giving Matt Terry an impressive six-pack as Alex the Lion) and the voluptuous Gloria the hippo. There’s plenty of child friendly humour throughout and although at first I was surprised at how quick Act One was over, I recalled the movie running time and found that the two are similar but found this refreshing as compared to some other musicals I have seen that has young children as the target audience, it was great to have one that did not have such a long running time as I know how younger children can struggle to stay awake for evening performances that run well past their bed times.

The songs – other than the popular “I Like To Move It” from the original movie were less memorable, with the only other stand out song being “Best Friends” – a duet between Alex and Marty. The audience – myself included – particularly loved dancing along to “I Like To Move It” – with King Julien (Jo Parsons) providing the majority of the laugh-out-loud moments, even adding some “flossing” into his dance routines as he showed Manchester how to “Move It!”

Matt Terry is loveable as Central Park Zoos’ most popular animal resident, proving that not only can he sing, but he can act and dance – all whilst wearing a tight fitting lion costume and huge lion feet! I particularly loved Lee-Morgan as the over thinking, over worrying Giraffe – probably because I saw a lot of myself in his character, but it was Parsons as King Julien who really won the hearts of the audience, bringing in so many side-splitting moments as the eccentric King of the Lemurs.

The show is fast-paced, high energy and laughs-a-plenty making it the perfect treat for the long Summer Holidays.

Classic musical Side Show comes to the CLF Art Cafe

Pint of Wine Theatre Company present:

Side Show

October 2nd – 28th, CLF Art Cafe (The Bussey Building)

 

In the debut production from new theatre company Pint of Wine, Lauren Edwards and Katie Beudert will star as Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton in classic musical Side Show, playing at the CLF Art Cafe at the Bussey Building for selected dates in early October 2018.

Based on the true story of Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. With book and lyrics by Bill Russell (Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens) and music by Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls), Side Show follows their progression from England to America, around the vaudeville circuit and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie Freaks.

Casting has been confirmed for the production, including Lauren Edwards (Parade, Frogmore Papermill) and Katie Beudert (Gatsby and Romeo & Juliet, The Union Theatre) as Violet and Daisy Hilton, Matthew James Nicholas (Terry), Barry O’Reilly (Buddy), Akmed Khemalai (Jake), Joe Brown, Daniel Gosselin, Kathryn Hyde, Nathalie Joel-Smith, Sandra Murray, Hannah Parker Smith, Olga-Marie Platt, Alona Walsh, Stephen Russell and Tristan Ward.

Pint of Wine is an innovative theatre company that provides opportunities for artists, technicians and practitioners to push the limits on how theatre should be done. We seek to challenge the conventions on how theatre should be presented and look to be disruptive in what is understood of and expected from the London fringe theatre scene. We look to be creative in our choice of source material and to question how and where works are to be presented, always examining how to best engage with a modern audience. We will seek to innovate and not to repeat, and, by this, bring fresh approaches, new stories and surprising productions to audiences.

Side Show is Pint of Wine Theatre Company’s debut musical. The production, under the direction of Dom O’Hanlon, will feature new costume designs by Lemington Ridley (2016 BroadwayWorld UK / West End Awards Nominations for Best Costume Design, Ragtime), set design by Roberta Volpe with musical direction by Ben Papworth and choreography by Becky East.