The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 film South Pacific is bought alive on the stage currently touring the UK by the Chichester Festival Theatre. A powerful love story set on an island in the South Pacific during World War II.

The audience tonight were treated to such delights of iconic songs such as ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair; and ‘I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy’.

The musical performances were enchanting, the choreography was mesmerising, which was all put together by Ann Yee, the theatre’s choreographer.

You are hooked from the opening scene where Sera Maehara (Liat) is dancing alone on the stage as if she is engulfed in water, she’s a young Tonkinese girl whose mother later offers her up to marry a Lieutenant from the US. You find yourself following her movements from her fingers to her toes, the lines that her body makes are 10 out of 10.

The main characters are played in this production by Julian Ovenden (Emile) and Gina Beck (Nellie) their voices are outstanding and they are real stage superstars of musical theatre.

Stage scenery and lighting went from bold bright revolving sets and flooring to the dim, romantic setting of the Polynesian Island of Bali Ha’i the latter of which you can’t help getting completely emerged within.

One of my favourite scenes for pure entertainment would have been when the song ‘There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame’ was performed by the marines, the Seabees. Amazing choreography by all the males throughout this number appreciated by the audience with such a raucous applause.

All were extremely talented although I feel that an extra mention is well deserved for Douggie McMeekin (Luther Billis) his is perfectly cast for this role, he brings laughter and comedy to his character, has a powerful voice and carries off a grass skirt and bikini bra top rather well!

All in all, soaring melodies, explosive choreography and some delightful upcoming child stars, the cast and orchestra really raised the roof this evening.

When Darkness Falls Review

Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury – until 1 October 2022

Reviewed by Gemma Gibson


Four ghost stories, two men, one chilling secret.

Pamela Raith

I’ve never been sure whether I believe in ghosts, but for 90 minutes, When Darkness Falls had me unashamedly converted.

James Milton and Paul Morrissey’s spine-chilling production left me on the edge of my seat, drawing me into a world of dark, unproven history with endless twists and turns. 

The play begins with a stormy night on the small island of Guernsey. Here, a young paranormal expert joins a sceptical history teacher to record the first in a series of podcasts, exploring the area’s incredible folklore and paranormal history.

Starring Peter Duncan and Daniel Rainford, it doesn’t take long before disturbing tales and truths reach the surface, and the pair learn more about each other than they could have ever imagined. 

The sheer storytelling power of Rainford, playing ‘the speaker’, had the audience fully gripped and transported to that small classroom in Guernsey, and then wherever his terrifying tales took us, making us all believe that, perhaps, ghosts actually do exist. 

The haunting stories of past, present and future had the audience echoing the reactions of Duncan, playing the increasingly rattled John Blondel who, despite being only one of two men onstage, filled the space effortlessly with this big, formidable role. A history teacher clearly with a complex history.

As the speaker, Rainford’s stories of paranormal activity had the audience glued to the stage, frightened but alert and questioning. Cowering in my seat, I couldn’t look away even if I wanted to. 

The minimalistic – but cleverly done – use of sound, set and lighting not only amplified happenings onstage, but put paramount focus on the pair’s exchange of powerful stories and anecdotes. 

The dialogue between the pair anchored the production with a sense of realism, the fast pace causing emotions and pulse to run high, for both audience and cast, with every new shocking folklore tale. 

Inspired by true events, When Darkness Falls is built on powerful, electric storytelling, weaving and confusing what is real with frighteningly realistic legends yet to be proven.

The production had the audience guessing what would come next, but by the end we were all reflecting on our own history and those unthinkable, locked away moments – our own ghosts perhaps.

Rock Of Ages Review

Grand Opera House, York – until Saturday October 1st 2022

Reviewed by Janina Cairns


Rock of Ages is a rock anthem comedy musical set in the mid to late 80’s. The era of big hair and loud rock, leather trousers and short shorts. Rock of Ages gives you the story of Drew (Sam Turrell) an aspiring rock star and of Sherrie (Gabriella Williams) an aspiring actress. Their story is the old “boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, it doesn’t work out, they get back together, all live happily ever after”. However, it is far from boring. Their on-stage chemistry is wonderful to watch, and they play their parts brilliantly. Drew (Sam Turrell) is a busboy in the Bourbon Room and he begins by persuading his boss to allow Sherrie (Gabriella Williams) – who has just arrived into town – to be a waitress there.

Intertwined with this comedic love story, is the rebellious rock club called the Bourbon Room – which is owned by Dennis Dupree (Kevin Kennedy) and its fight to keep it from being developed along with the rest of Sunset Boulevard. The Bourbon Bar is due to be demolished for development by German developers – a father, Hertz Klinemann (Vas Constanti) and his son Franz (David Breeds). To try to save the club, Dupree (Kevin Kennedy) decides to bring in rock star Stacee Jaxx (Cameron Sharp) for his farewell gig before going solo.

All of this is told via a very talented and incredibly funny narrator, Lonny Barnett (Joe Gash). Lonny (Joe Gash) is a larger than life, slightly rude narrator who sings, dances and acts alongside the rest of the cast. He interacts and talks directly to the audience throughout the show which engages the audience well and doesn’t detract from the storylines in any way. Very cleverly and expertly done. The cast is brilliant in this show, but Lonny (Joe Gash), for me, was the cherry on the top.

The set was eye catching. It looked like the indoor of a rock bar for most of the show. Massive speakers display double as doors. Scaffolding doubling as balconies (so to speak) to give a lovely multi-level performance. Live music occasionally wheeled in and back. Costumes capture the era well. The whole show is punctuated with lines from fabulous rock anthems. From bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Europe and Slade to name only a few. Anthems like “We Built This City”, “Every Rose has its Thorn”, “Wanted – Dead or Alive” and many, many more and the cast all sang them powerfully. Their voices were so powerful, at times that they shocked us with their long-held notes or when a male cast member reached a really high note.

When the whole audience engages with the show, you know it’s a winning performance. This show had everyone (that was able) on their feet at the end. I haven’t laughed out loud at a show for a very long time, and I was laughing from the first 5 minutes. So, if you fancy a really good laugh and a little bit of head banging, then this is the show for you.





Today, as it celebrates its 8th anniversary in the West End, The Play That Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award-winning smash hit announces an extension to the mayhem and chaos at The Duchess Theatre, with tickets now on sale until 29 October 2023.

The Play That Goes Wrong is the longest running play at The Duchess Theatre (since the theatre opened in 1929), and the longest running comedy in the West End. In addition, the accident-prone members of the Cornley Drama Society are hit (by objects or each other) 35 times during each performance, which means the West End casts of The Play That Goes Wrong have been struck 99,820 times over the last 8 years (officially) making it the biggest HITshow.

Awarded the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy, the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a Tony Award for the Broadway transfer, The Play That Goes Wrong continues to delight audiences in the West End and around the world. The show’s success is a testament to the hard work and determination of a group of drama school graduates who became friends, set up a company under the name ‘Mischief’ and created an extraordinary body of work. The Play That Goes Wrong shows no signs of slowing down since its first performance at The Old Red Lion nearly 10 years ago with only four paying customers. Since then, it has played to an audience of over two million and now has productions in over 30 countries.

Cast: Tomisin Ajani (Trevor), Jaouhar Ben Ayed (Dennis), Ashh Blackwood (Annie), Anya de Villiers (Sandra), Tendai Humphrey Sitima (Robert), Scott Hunter (Max), Oliver Mott (Jonathan), and Mikhail Sen (Chris). The company is completed by Roisin FaheyCharlie RichardsStuart Vincent, Emily Waters and Jack Whittle.

The Play That Goes Wrong is co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields and is directed by Mark Bell, with set designs by Nigel Hook, costumes by Roberto Surace, lighting by Ric Mountjoy, original music by Rob Falconer, sound design by Andy Johnson, the associate director is Sean Turner and the resident director is Amy MilburnThe Play That Goes Wrong is produced in the West End by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd.

Twitter:                @playgoeswrong

Facebook:           The Play That Goes Wrong

Instagram:           @playgoeswrong

Twitter:                @MischiefComedy

Instagram:          @MischiefComedy

TikTok:                  @MischiefComedy



Duchess Theatre, 3-5 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5LA

Box Office: / 0330 333 4810



Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm

Saturday at 2:30pm

Sunday at 3:00pm & 7:00pm


2 hours including an interval



Please note children under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age.


Tickets from £22

Prices include booking fees of £2.50, applicable to online & telephone bookings. All tickets include a £1.25 Theatre Restoration Levy.

In penance for 8 catastrophic years in the West End, The Play That Goes Wrong are offering a free meal with £52 tickets booked on Sunday – Thursday performances until 15 December. For full details and terms please visit:



Sunday 6 November 2022, 7:30pm

Audio Description:

Friday 9 December 2022, 7:30pm

Sunday 5 March 2023, 3pm

Friday 22 September 2023, 7.30pm

Sunday 15 October 2023, 3pm


Sunday 21 November 2022, 3pm

Friday 3 February 2023, 7:30pm 

Sunday 17 September 2023, 3pm

Friday 6 October 2023, 7:30pm

BSL interpreted:

Sunday 15 January 2023, 3pm

Friday 24 March 2023, 7:30pm

Friday 8 September 2023, 7:30pm

Sunday 1 October 2023, 3pm



MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, London’s premier dining experience, is delighted to announce the new cast arriving at Nikos Taverna on the Greek island of Skopelos. Due to extraordinary demand, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is now playing until Sunday 26 February 2023 at The O2, London. Tickets for the new booking period are on sale now.

The new cast, who begin performances tonight include Javier Rasero as Nikos, Scarlet Gabriel as Debbie, Luke Friend as Adam, Noah Sinigaglia as Konstantina, Rosie Rowlands as Bella (at certain performances), Jamie Birkett, Caline HampartzoumianRobban Hogstrom, and Maison Kelley. They join existing cast members Lorraine Chappell who will continue in the role of KateDawn Spence as Grandma, Allie Ho Chee as Bella (at certain performances), Claudia Bradley and Ellis DackombeTamara Perks will play the role of Nina, and Oscar Balmaseda will play Fernando.

The musicians are John Donovan, Luke Higgins, Kathryn Tindall, Steve Rushton and Luke Roberts.

Created by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is a unique and magical experience in a class of its own, bringing all ABBA’s hits to life more vividly than ever before! Over the course of four glittering hours, guests can immerse themselves in a spectacular musical extravaganza, a four-course Greek feast and an ABBA disco, all in one unforgettable evening of dancing, dining and singing!

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is set in a taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first MAMMA MIA! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and timeless ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they enjoy a gourmet Greek meal. The evening ends with a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to ABBA recordings.

Food is at the heart of the experience and a menu has been created that delivers the finest Greece has to offer, made from the best, freshest ingredients. Guests are served a traditional mezze followed by the iconic Greek salad of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta. The main course of confit lamb shoulder and slow-cooked beef is served with roasted garlic potatoes, courgette peperonata, romesco and aromatic jus. For vegetarian and vegan guests, there is roasted cauliflower with a lemon-herb dressing served alongside a tomato stuffed with lentil ragout. A sumptuous Greek lemon cake served with confit orange skin and citrus yoghurt is the perfect end to this delicious meal. Vegan guests are served traditional loukoumades, delicious dough balls accompanied by a sweet fig jam.

Guests can get the ultimate MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY experience with one of the available packages. The Platinum Package provides a Tier A ticket in a prime location, a meet and greet and photo opportunity with members of the cast right at your table, champagne on arrival, half a bottle of wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack. Guests can also upgrade their existing booking by adding the VIP upgrade package, taking their experience to the next level with champagne on arrival, half a bottle of Nikos house wine and a MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY merchandise party pack. 

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY has music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (some songs with Stig Anderson), and a story by Calle Norlén, Roine Söderlundh and Björn Ulvaeus, with the English book by writer, comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

The London version of MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, which originally opened in Stockholm in January 2016, is co-directed and choreographed by Stacey Haynes and Roine Söderlundh, with set designed by Bengt Fröderberg, lighting designed by Patrick Woodroffe, sound designed by Gareth Owen, costumes designed by Annsofi Nyberg, music supervision by Robin Svensson and casting by David Grindrod CDG for Grindrod Burton Casting.

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is executively produced by Björn Ulvaeus and produced by Sally Davies for U-Live.


Hackney Empire presents





Hackney Empire has today announced the cast and creative team for their Christmas 2022 pantomime, Mother Goose, which opens on 19th November, running until 31st December. Tickets are now on sale from

Kat B (Jack and the Beanstalk and The Wiz, Hackney Empire) will star as Billy Goose, alongside Ruth Lynch (making her professional debut) as Priscilla the Goose, Holly Mallett (Andy and The Odd Socks, Glastonbury/UK Tour; Notflix: The Improvised Musical, Soho Theatre) as Jill Purchase, Tony Marshall (Casualty (1993 – 2021); Jitney, Old Vic/Leeds Playhouse) as Squire Purchase, Rebecca Parker (Cats, West End; Crazy For You, West End) as Demon Queen, Ope Sowande (Moulin Rouge, Piccadilly Theatre; The Lion King, International Tour) as Jack Goose, and Gemma Wardle (Les Miserables in Concert, Gielgud Theatre; Fame, Cambridge Theatre) as Fairy Fame.

They join previously announced Olivier award-winning panto royalty Clive Rowe, starring in his 15th pantomime at Hackney Empire as Mother Goose. Clive also returns to direct this year’s pantomime, alongside Will Brenton (Writer), Steven Edis (Composer and Song Writer), Cleo Pettitt (Costume Designer), Renell Shaw (Musical Director: Orchestrations and Arrangements), André Fabien Francis (Choreographer), David W Kidd (Lighting Designer) and Yvonne Gilbert (Sound Designer).

The pantomime Mother Goose was created for Hackney Empire regular and Music Hall legend Dan Leno, who first played the title role in 1902. 120 years on, Hackney are proud to present the mother of all pantomimes to conclude their 120th birthday year.

What would you do if you found a magical goose who lays golden eggs?! That’s exactly what’s in store for Mother Goose, and she soon discovered that this priceless talent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! Packed full of all your favourite pantomime ingredients, this reimagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale is the perfect festive treat. Expect larger than life characters, gloriously outrageous costumes, incredible live music, uncontrollable laughter and loads of audience participation… oh yes, there definitely is.!

The 2022 festive season will burst into life with the 23rd Hackney Empire pantomime, providing joy for all the family, and in some cases, a vital introduction to the magic of theatre.

UK Theatre Awards | Nominees Announcement

Nominations announced for the UK Theatre Awards 2022

  • Leeds Playhouse leads nominations with nods in five categories, whilst The
    Crucible Theatre, Sheffield receives two Best Director nominations
  • This year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award will go to Sarah
    Holmes, former Chief Executive of The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich
  • Legally Blonde and Six star, Courtney Bowman will host the ceremony, taking
    place on Sunday 23rd October

Wednesday 28th September: Today, UK Theatre announces the nominees for this
year’s UK Theatre Awards, the only nationwide awards to honour and celebrate
outstanding achievements in theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland by UK Theatre members.

With nominees from across the length and breadth of the UK, this year’s shortlist
showcases the creativity, originality and resilience of theatre. Leading the
nominations with five nominations across categories including Best Performance in
a Play, Best Play Revival and Director is Leeds Playhouse.

Meanwhile, The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield has received two nominations in the
Best Director category, for Rock/Paper/Scissors (Elin Schofield, Robert Hastie,
Anthony Lau) and Typical Girls (Róisín McBrinn), with four female directors
nominated for this award.

Elsewhere, actors Giles Terera and Henry Goodman go head to head in the Best
Performance in a Play category, for The Meaning of Zong and Murder on the Orient
respectively, with Eithne Browne (Maggie May) and Leah St Luce (Black
) also offering strong competition in the category.

The exceptional work created by each of this year’s nominees demonstrates that
there is no better time to support local theatre.

Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the winners will be announced
on Sunday 23rd October, during a lunchtime ceremony at London’s Guildhall. The
event will be hosted by star of the stage, Courtney Bowman (Everyone’s Talking
About Jamie, Six, Legally Blonde

UK Theatre Joint Presidents, Stephanie Sirr and Jon Gilchrist said,

“Following an incredibly challenging few years due to the pandemic, theatres across
the UK have had to work harder than ever to continue to provide for their local
communities: to keep their doors open and to keep making the inspiring work they
present. Theatres provide so much more than just entertainment. In towns across
the UK they are often a central hub; a space for people to feel welcome and
included. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we come together on the 23rd
October to recognise and celebrate everything that they do.

This year’s nominations reflect a multifaceted variety of voices, highlighting the
diversity and quality of shows presented across the UK. It is brilliant to see so much
upcoming talent among the nominees as well as all four nations being represented.”

Nominations are split into new ‘On Stage’ and ‘Off Stage’ categories, as part of a
refresh of the Awards in 2019 instated to reflect the contemporary priorities of the
UK’s theatre industry. As part of this, UK Theatre members now have more
involvement in the nomination process, can put forward shows and individuals for
nomination and can submit an application for an Off Stage award.

Nominations for the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre were announced last month with
Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, Leeds Playhouse and New Wolsey
Theatre in Ipswich making the shortlist. The winner will be revealed on the 23rd
October as part of the ceremony.

The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award has
been revealed as Sarah Holmes, former CEO of the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
Sarah was selected by the board for constantly championing access and inclusion,
spear-heading the post of Agent for Change and applying challenging criteria to her
own programming policy with a “nothing about us, without us” policy around
inclusion. Sarah’s tenure saw the New Wolsey become a founding partner on
Black-led theatre initiative Eclipse, and D/deaf and disabled collective Ramps on the
Moon, which has now been running for over 7 years.

The UK Theatre Awards are sponsored by: Harbottle and Lewis, John Good Ltd,
Nyman Libson Paul, Settingline Production Management, Spektrix, Theatre Tokens,
Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical, Unusual Rigging, and White Light
The full list of nominations is available here.

UK Theatre Awards – On Stage Theatre Categories

Best Design
Dracula: The Untold Story – Leeds Playhouse – Design by Laura Hopkins, Projection
and Video Design by Simon Wainwright
Into The Woods – Theatre Royal Bath – Design by Jon Bausor, Video Design by Will
Duke, Costume Design by Antony McDonald
Life is a Dream – Edinburgh Lyceum – Design by Georgia McGuinness

Best Director
● Jessica Daniels – The Mozart Question – A Barn Theatre production in association with
Bob & Marianne for Anthology Theatre and The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
● Robert Hastie, Anthony Lau, Elin Schofield – Rock/Paper/Scissors – The Crucible, Studio
and Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
● Natalie Ibu – The White Card – A Birmingham Rep, Leeds Playhouse, Northern Stage &
Soho Theatre co-production in association with HOME Manchester
● Róisín McBrinn – Typical Girls – The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Best Musical Production
Billy Elliot – Leicester Curve
Now is Good – Storyhouse, Chester
Whistle Down the Wind – The Watermill Theatre

Best New Play
Cherry Jezebel – Liverpool Everyman
How to Bury a Dead Mule – Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Mugabe, My Dad & Me – A co-production by ETT, Brixton House & York Theatre
Royal in association with Alison Holder

Best Performance in a Musical
● Charlie Stemp – Crazy for You – Chichester Festival Theatre
● Divina de Campo – Hedwig and the Angry Inch – A Leeds Playhouse and HOME
● Nicole & Kyla Fox, Emme & Eden Patrick, Sienna & Savannah Robinson – Identical – A
Nottingham Playhouse and Kenny Wax Ltd co-production

Best Performance in a Play
● Eithne Browne – Maggie May – Leeds Playhouse
● Henry Goodman – Murder on the Orient Express – Chichester Festival Theatre
● Leah St Luce – Black Love – A Paines Plough and Belgrade Theatre Coventry
production, in association with tiata fahodzi
● Giles Terera – The Meaning of Zong – A Bristol Old Vic Production

Best Play Revival
Jitney – A Headlong, Leeds Playhouse and Old Vic co-production
The Mountaintop – A Royal Exchange Theatre Production
Translations – An Abbey Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast Co-Production

Best Show for Children and Young People
Beauty and the Beast – A New Vic Production
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World – Kenny Wax Family Entertainment
in association with MAST Mayflower Studios
Petula – A National Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and August012

Best Supporting Performance (in a musical or play)
● Nicola Hughes – Into The Woods – A Theatre Royal Bath Production
● Robert Jackson – Brief Encounter – A Stephen Joseph Theatre, Octagon Theatre and
Theatre By The Lake co-production
● Nishla Smith – Kes – An Octagon Theatre and Theatre By The Lake co-production

UK Theatre – Achievement in Opera
● Scottish Opera for Candide
Glyndebourne for the Poulenc Double Bill
● Richard Mantle for the last year at Opera North, which epitomizes the work Richard has
achieved over his tenure
● Music Theatre Wales and Britten Pears Arts production of Violet at Buxton International
Festival at Buxton Opera

UK Theatre – Achievement in Dance
● William Tuckett’s Then or Now for Ballet Black, exquisitely melding poetry, dance, light
and sound into an intimate work that gently touches big themes of our times
● The dancers of Rambert for their ability to inhabit any choreographer’s vision, as a
company of unique, versatile, incredibly skilled performers
● Dan Daw for The Dan Daw Show, a kinky, joyful, unapologetic and vulnerable
celebration of oneself and one’s body

UK Theatre Awards – Offstage Categories

Digital Innovation
Chichester Festival Theatre
English Touring Theatre
Sadlers Wells

Excellence in Arts Education
Lyric Theatre Belfast
Ambassador Theatre Group

Excellence in Inclusivity
English Touring Theatre
Graeae Theatre Company
Scottish Opera

Excellence in Touring
Graeae Theatre Company
Northern Ballet
Scottish Opera

Workforce Award
Ambassador Theatre Group
The Marlowe
Mercury Theatre

Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre
Sarah Holmes – Former CEO, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The Osmonds – A New Musical Review

Brighton Theatre Royal – until Saturday 1 October 2022

Reviewed by Sue Bradley


Remember Alan, Wayne, Jay? No? How about Merrill? Still nothing? Now add in Donny, Marie and ‘Little Jimmy’….. ah yes, arguably the most famous musical family of all time; certainly in our lifetimes. The Osmonds.

Narrated and written by Jay (played by Alex Lodge), the youngest of the original four brothers in the performing group, we are taken through a whistle-stop tour of their lives. From their first public appearances as a barber-shop quartet in 1958, with the eldest of them only 9, through the almost unbelievably successful years in the early to mid 70’s, now with Donny and Marie, and on to the low point in the 80’s when they nearly lost everything, before finally recovering by concentrating on what they did best; entertaining as singers and dancers.

In recent years we have seen a number of ‘boy-bands’ become extremely successful, but many of them owe their singing style and dance moves (and even some of their songs) to the sensation that was The Osmonds.  And, unlike today’s boy-bands, each of the ‘boys’ were talented multi-instrumentalists as well as singers and dancers. It may be hard to believe it is almost 50 years since they were all over our screens!

In this show we learn very little about the individual characters within the family – we have to draw our own conclusions about who these talented boys/young men and woman were and how they coped with the twin pressures of public adulation and a Drill-Sergeant-like father demanding perfection. More detail about this would have made the show more interesting and accessible to any audience members who were not Osmonds fans. 

Interestingly, although famously a Mormon family, religion plays no direct part in this show – the nearest we get to understanding its place in their lives is their family motto ‘Faith, Family and Career’.

You will hear all the hits and, dependent upon how much of a fan you were (or are), some of the slightly less well known songs and rest assured, you will find yourself unable to resist humming or singing along to ‘Let Me In’, ‘Love Me For A Reason’, ‘Paper Roses’, ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ and of course, ‘Puppy Love’.

The sound production was excellent – although we never see them, there is a full live band somewhere backstage and they provided a more or less flawless backing for the singing and dancing. And, although there is probably not a stand-out voice amongst these performers (although Marie, voiced by Georgia Lennon, has a fine country voice), their ensemble singing is very strong, with one or two acapella (voice only) sections which are astonishingly good (despite there being 3 understudies on the night this review took place).

It is in the very nature of The Osmonds for this show to have a ‘Middle Of The Road’ character but don’t be put off by that – the production values are extremely high, and if you are an Osmonds fan you will find yourself joining the rest of the audience by getting to your feet and giving the performers the standing ovation they have worked so hard to deserve.



Following Birmingham Royal Ballet’s critically acclaimed season of Carlos Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote in Birmingham earlier this year, the Company returns to Birmingham Hippodrome from 21-22 October to delight audiences with the premiere of the triple bill, Into The Music. Celebrating the marriage of music and movement, it has been an ambition of BRB’s Director Carlos Acosta to stage Into The Music since he announced his first season just before the pandemic. The programme showcases neo-classical and contemporary ballets, celebrated international choreographers rarely seen in the UK, BRB’s orchestra the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and the fresh direction Carlos Acosta is setting for Birmingham Royal Ballet.

The programme brings together international artists from across the world and features UK and world premieres and rarely seen work. It showcases The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra, which is also Britain’s busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia frequently also plays for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet, the Kirov, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet and more.

The triple bill opens with Jiří Kylián’s magnificent Forgotten Land which illustrates why Kylián is one of the most revered choreographers of the 20th century, with a gripping journey into memory and loss set to Benjamin Britten’s magnificent Sinfonia da Requiem. A work in which all of the choreography derives directly from the music, Britten, who grew up in East Anglia surrounded by the sea, dedicated the composition to his parents. Kylián has therefore used the idea of the everlasting presence of the ocean as a life-giving and life-taking force, as a main theme for his choreography. He also took inspiration from Edward Munch’s painting Dance of Life, in which the woman in three stages of her life is clearly present, echoing the three sections of the music.

Next, choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple and composer Mikael Karlsson team up for the world premiere of a Ballet Now commission Hotel offering a surreal journey into the secrets and lies that live behind closed doors. Morgann will work with her collaborative partner Jessica Wright to bring their experience in film to create a playfully interactive, multimedia live performance using pre-recorded and live camera work projected onto the scenery. The performers will interact with the on-stage cameras which themselves drive the narrative; they are characters in themselves, allowing audiences behind the doors of the Hotel and into the secret lives of the occupants. Hotel features Stage Design by rising star Sami Fendall, for which she won the Linbury Prize, and brand new composition from Mikael Karlsson, whose music has been performed in concert halls, opera halls and at festivals across the globe. Karlson has released over twenty albums with works for orchestra, chamber works and soundtracks ranging from pop and film music to sound collages, dance scores and avant-garde concert music.

And to close, a work by the late and prolific German choreographer Uwe Scholz. Scholz choreographed more than 100 choreographic works for major companies and venues before his untimely death in 2004. He worked regularly with classical repertoire – and never more dramatically than in his setting of Beethoven’s vibrant The Seventh Symphony, famously described by Wagner as ‘the apotheosis (pinnacle) of the dance’.

Carlos Acosta said: ‘We were delighted to bring our Don Quixote to packed houses at Birmingham Hippodrome and cannot wait to return later this year with our ambitious triple bill Into The Music. It’s been my ambition to programme this triple bill ever since I joined the company and it will showcase some of the most important contemporary and classic choreographers as well as UK and world premieres, so I’m very excited to share it with Birmingham audiences.’

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Autumn Season at Birmingham Hippodrome continues from 26-29 October.with the return of Coppélia.

Love conquers all in Sir Peter Wright’s joyous classic brought back to the stage by Birmingham Royal Ballet for the first time in five years, with Léo Delibes’ glorious score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

When eccentric toymaker Dr Coppélius leaves his greatest creation, the doll Coppélia, on his workshop balcony, she’s soon causing quite a stir in the village. Comic chaos is unleashed as Dr Coppélius tries to bring Coppélia to life in this timeless classic.

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Noughts & Crosses Review

Richmond Theatre – until 1 October 2022

Reviewed by Carly Burlinge  


Richmond Theatre brings you Noughts and Crosses written by the award-winning writer Malorie Blackman adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz.  

Sephy (Effie Ansah) is a Cross – A rich girl from a high classed family, whose father Kamal (Daniel Norford) works as home secretary within the British Government. Her best friend in the world on the other hand is Callum (James Arden). The son of the housekeeper that works for Sephy’s Family and is a Nought, meaning for them, their worlds are very much divided. With The Crosses being Black people having power and wealth and the Noughts being White people undervalued – and poverty-stricken. But as this friendship grows also does their love for one another and when they are told to stay away from each other due to a disagreement and Callum’s mother being fired. It becomes almost impossible for them to stay apart and they begin to meet in secret for three years to continue what they both hold so dearly to one another. 

But as situations arise and these two very different worlds collide is their friendship and romance enough in a world full of privilege and power, terrorism, racism and distrust that so desperately want to keep them apart. 

The staging opened with a very powerful statement and symbol of noughts and crosses hanging over the middle of the stage in red lighting alone in darkness.  

I especially enjoyed the dramatic moments on stage when all went into slow-motion using simple props around the stage to make the whole scene intense with strobe-lighting to really give a full affect. 

Noughts and Crosses offered a compelling thought-provoking drama regarding the struggle within social-divide that was effective and gripping to watch. I enjoyed this production from start to finish definitely one to go and watch.