Gary Williams and Friends “At The Movies”. A benefit concert for TheatreMAD the Make A Difference Trust.

Gary Williams and Friends “At The Movies”.  A benefit concert for TheatreMAD the Make A Difference Trust.

Sunday 21st May.

Pizza Express, The Strand.

Doors 6.30pm Show 8.00pm

Described as “old school virtuosity,” by Time Out, star of the West End’s ‘Rat Pack’ Gary Williams celebrates some of Hollywood’s greatest musical moments.

Dipping into pop, bossa nova and swing ‘At The Movies’ relives classic Hollywood moments from Mary Poppins, Love Actually, Toy Story, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the Jungle Book and Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas. ‘At the Movies’ spans Hollywood music from the 1930s through to the 70s including the hits of Fred Astaire, Stevie Wonder, the Bee Gees, Joni Mitchell, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee and Walt Disney. The London Evening Standard described Gary as “the UKs leading standard bearer for the super-cool era” and Oscar winning composer Don Black said, “In a world of Pop Idol mediocrity Gary Williams shines like a dazzling beacon.”

Gary will be joined by friends Joe Stilgoe, Sarah Eyden, Bounder & Cad , Lynn Ruth Miller,Glenn Macnamara & Greg Scott

Gary Williams is a singer, writer and broadcaster described by the London Evening Standard as “the UK’s leading standard-bearer for the supercool era”. He starred in the West End’s Rat Pack, has recorded eight albums and wrote ‘Cabaret Secrets’, a book on stagecraft called “an invaluable guide” by Playbill.

Joe Stilgoe is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter described by the Scotsman as a “sheer joy”. He’s appeared in jazz clubs from New York to Berlin to Kuala Lumpur, including sell-out runs at legendary London venue Ronnie Scott’s. He has appeared as featured soloist with orchestras, including the BBC Concert Orchestra, John Wilson Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia, Lahti Symphony, and the RTE Orchestra in Dublin.

Bounder and Cad is the musical comedy duo whose mischievous lyrics 10 Downing St tried to censor… until their jazzy tunes had the PM dancing. They have entertained two princes, two PMs, and been hailed for their “laser sharp wit”.

Lynn Ruth Miller has been dubbed the new Joan Rivers of Fringe Comedy at The Edinburgh International Fringe. She is a regular at the San Francisco Punchline, The Stand in Scotland and The International in Dublin and at 83 is proving that aging has been amazing. Time Our said, ‘Miller is a personable and charming presence onstage, with generations of wit and experience….’

Greg Scott is a the violin showman, who has performed with Bryan Ferry, kd Lang and as a soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Greg’s debut album “DUEL” reached Number 1 in the UK Classical Charts.

Sarah Eyden was first soprano with The Swingle Singers enjoying international concert touring and five album recordings. Toured Europe and USA with Steve Reich & Musicians, and performed as a soloist with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and classical ensembles throughout Europe. Sarah is currently a member of Access All Arias, a three part harmony girl group.

Glenn Macnamara was described by Timeout as “The UK’s finest swing singer”. He’s performed with The Len Philips Big Band, The Mike Richards Big Band, for The Duke and Duchess of Wessex at Hampton Court Palace and played Frank Sinatra in The Rat Pack in Dublin. The Guardian described his as an “amazing young talent.”

Becoming Mohammed, Pleasance Theatre

Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF

Tuesday 2nd – Sunday 21st May 2017

Inspired by director Annemiek Van Elst’s experiences of her brother converting to Islam, the world premiere of Becoming Mohammed comes to Pleasance Theatre. The play explores what it takes for a Western man to become a Muslim, and for his family to come to terms with his choice

When Sara knocks on her brother’s door after two years, she hardly recognises the man in front of her. Thomas has grown a beard, gets up at the crack of dawn, and dates a girl in a Hijab. They attempt to rekindle their childhood friendship, but Thomas hasn’t told his sister everything yet…

Annemiek van Elst comments, When my little brother converted to Islam, it came as a shock; he started to reject our family traditions and follow the Sharia law. What could have been a breaking point became a difficult but beautiful journey of acceptance, which inspired the making of Becoming Mohammed. We believe that, now more than ever, there is a need to represent narratives around Islam in a positive light, and that conversion should be seen not as a threat but as an opportunity to build connections. Through our show, we aim to offer support to converts and their families, and to contribute to creating a more tolerant society.

Becoming Mohammed has been created in direct consultation with Islamic communities in both London and Rotterdam, and is being supported by a cultural facilitator, Nabihah Islam. In an effort to open up a dialogue and understanding between Western and Islamic communities, half of all performances will begin with a short forum theatre workshop. The company will also host post-show Q&As on Friday evenings and will share their research interviews with reverts and Islamic leaders online.

Becoming Mohammed is supported by Arts Council England

Romeo & Juliet / Twelfth Night Review

Greenwich Theatre 18 – 22 April, UK tour to May.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Merely Theatre’s Spring tour is coming to an end, but if you’re anywhere near the remaining venues, grab your tickets now. You’re in for a treat.

Merely Theatre are a genderblind rep company full of energy and passion. 10 actors work in male/female pairs to rehearse each part, and 1 actor from each pair takes part in each performance. A cast of 5 results in a lot of multi-roling and amalgamation of roles, and it’s mind-boggling how comfortable these actors are with the text. The energy on stage is palpable. The joy of performing blasts off the stage, and the audience are encouraged to interact, adding to the contagious atmosphere of creativity. This is the closest I’ve seen in an indoor theatre to the inclusiveness of being a groundling at the Globe.

I saw both productions in a day, with the same cast in each, and left the theatre each time with an idiotic grin on my face. Twelfth Night’s gender bending was turned on its head, with an all-female cast apart from Olivia (Luke Barton), which made her self-imposed isolation more moving. The glorious buffoonery of Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek was the highlight of the production, with Hannah Ellis and Luke Barton’s physical comedy keeping the audience in stitches. Ffion Jones’ reveal of Malvolio’s yellow stockings is worth the ticket price alone. The simple staging, with only black and white curtains as a backdrop and a bench carried on for a couple of scenes, kept the focus on the actors and their lines. The constant exits and entrances through the curtains for a quick change had the feel of a bedroom farce, and worked brilliantly in this fast, funny and slick production.

I’ve never been that fond of Juliet, and usually lose interest once Mercutio dies, but Merely Theatre’s stripped back Romeo & Juliet had me gripped from start to finish. This is a Juliet who acts her age, full of teenage certainty, and Emmy Rose’s performance was a joy to watch. The chemistry between the doomed lovers was believable and heart-breaking. There was still time for lots of business with the audience before the tragic ending, and Tamar Astor as Nurse squeezed every ounce of comedy from her role. I couldn’t figure out why the character felt so familiar until my friend pointed out that, in her tabard, she was the spitting image of Miranda Hart in Not Going Out – and just as funny. The death scene was particularly sensitive, again portrayed simply on an empty stage, drawing gasps from the younger members of the audience. This is a moving and inspired production, fizzing with energy and passion.

I can’t wait for Merely Theatre’s next productions and tours (maybe give us Welsh a treat too next time? This would work brilliantly at The Sherman). This is an exciting company who are obviously loving their work and doing a magnificent job spreading the love of Shakespeare around the country.

5 May: Uppingham Theatre

10 May: The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead

22 – 23 May: Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St Anne’s

24 – 25 May: Theatre Royal Wakefield

Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales | Leicester Square Theatre | 8 July – 3 September 2017

Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX

Saturday 8th July – Sunday 3rd September 2017

Adapted from the bestselling books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), it’s now time for Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales to swim up the Thames and into Leicester Square Theatre for a summer full of fun!

Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from the best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Funky moves, toe tapping tunes and giggles are guaranteed.

Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales is produced by the newly founded Freckle Productions whose shows aim to be vigorous and challenging; engaging both hearts and minds to fire the imaginations of young audiences who may be experiencing theatre for the very first time but also changing the awareness of what performance can be for regular followers.

Founder Jennifer Sutherland comments, I am delighted to be welcoming Tiddler back to The West End as the original book celebrates the 10th anniversary of its publication and The Smartest Giant in Town celebrates its 15th anniversary. Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales has delighted audiences in London, across the UK and also internationally since 2011 and this production brings the best of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s work together on the stage.

To call this show lively would be a whopping understatement. Packed with gleeful songs and jolly good fun (The Guardian).

The Magic Paintbrush at The Civic, Barnsley

Artstrust Productions presents Springs Dance Company’s

The Magic Paintbrush

The classic folktale of imagination and greed is brought to life for children using dance, video and a beatboxing-inspired soundtrack

Directed by Nathan Stickley | Choreographed by Darren Ellis
Touring until May 2017

A vibrant storytelling adventure with a quirky urban soundtrack, The Magic Paintbrush is a new dance show leaping, splattering, swirling and boogying onto stages across the UK. The tale of a young person who is given a paintbrush that magically brings paintings to life is given a zingy new energy by choreographer Darren Ellis, whose own dance company Darren Ellis Dance is known for collaborations with companies such as Richard Alston Dance as well children’s shows including Meeting Mr Boom! With a beatboxing-inspired soundtrack and video design accompanying four dancers, The Magic Paintbrush has been created for everyone aged 3+, and will be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Once upon a time in a grey, colourless world, someone is scribbling. As the young girl paints, her drawings appear on the surfaces of the theatre where they wiggle to life before magically floating out in 3D form. Can our imaginative young artist vanquish the mighty shadow of greed? Inspired ancient and modern versions of the Chinese folktale and exploding with energy, surprises and giggles, this is The Magic Paintbrush as never before.

Director Nathan Stickley said, “The Magic Paintbrush is a modern retelling of an old folk tale – a girl who is given a magic paintbrush brings joy and hope to a bleak world. We’ve created an imaginative production that keeps on inspiring both children and adults long after coming to see the show. Our audiences haven’t stopped talking about the shows’ magic and surprises.”

Nathan Stickley is an acting teacher and an associate director for an independent film company. He’s been working with young people for over fifteen years, creating new theatrical works for audiences of all ages in multiple schools and academies across the South East.

Darren Ellis’s choreography for children includes The Selfish Giant for Springs Dance Company and Meeting Mr Boom!, commissioned by The Place and produced by Artstrust. Other choreography includes Unentitled, a collaboration with Barbara Dougan Taylot, After Effects (commissioned by Dance Digital), Sticks and Bones (developed through The Place’s Choreoroam and toured in the UK and internationally), and From the Waist Up (Place Prize commission). He is currently developing a new show with inflatable objects for young audiences with Theatre-Rites and a new project inspired by the 1970’s cult Sci-Fi movie Silent Running with Greenwich Dance.

Formed in 1979, Springs Dance Company is one of the longest established contemporary dance companies in the UK. Reaching thousands of people each year through a unique and diverse programme, the company tours across the UK and internationally, and has an outstanding and highly praised education programme that includes workshops in schools and in the community, a year-long apprenticeship scheme that nurtures and trains young dancers, and an annual summer school.

Artstrust Productions is a centre for ideas and innovation in contemporary dance and educationsituated in Greenwich. Since 2006 Artstrust has created an environment where ideas, careers, creative partnerships and diversity of contemporary dance practice can survive and flourish. Artstrust Productions works locally, nationally and internationally to identify, develop and present breakthrough independent dancers and choreographers and provide a hub where independent artists can connect to a professional, creative and interactive dance network in which they can edify their work. As well as The Magic Paintbrush, Artstrust Productions are also touring Bouncing Cats & Boom Boom Pups.

@Artstrust | @SpringsDC | #magicpaintbrush | www.artstrust.co.uk

Running Time: 45 minutes | Suitable for ages 3+

Company Information

Directed by Nathan Stickley                   Choreographed by Darren Ellis
Produced by
Martin Collins                   Springs Dance Company Artistic Director Ruth Hughes

Cast

Naomi Cook, Hannah Rochelle, Charles Washington and Emily Yong

Listings information

 

14 Jan              The Marlowe Theatre, Kent
The Friars, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2AS

                        11.30am & 2.30pm | £9
www.marlowetheatre.com | 01227 787 787          

11 Feb              The Brewhouse, Taunton
Coal Orchard, Taunton TA1 1JL
11am & 2pm | £8, £28 family ticket

                        www.thebrewhouse.net | 01823 283244

5 Mar                Jacksons Lane, London

                        269A Archway Road, London N6 5AA

                        3pm & 5pm | £9.95

                        www.jacksonslane.org.uk | 020 8341 4421

11 Mar              The North Wall, Oxford

                        South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN

                        11am & 2pm | £8 (£6 concs)

                        www.thenorthwall.com | 01865 319450

25 Mar              New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

                        Civic Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 2AS

                        11am & 1.30pm | £8 (£5 concs)

                        www.wolseytheatre.co.uk | 01473 295 900

 

14 May             The Civic, Barnsley
Hanson St, Barnsley S70 2HZ
3pm | £8 (£6 concs, £5 child)
www.barnsleycivic.co.uk | 01226 327000

Supported by artsdepot, Foyle Foundation, and Arts Council England.

Studio shows at York Theatre Royal

The Best of the Fringe

Studio shows at York Theatre Royal

25 – 28 April 2017

 

This spring, York Theatre Royal has lined up a series of one-nighters performed in the theatre’s fabulous studio space.

25 April, 7.45 pm

Words & Whippets featuring Kate Fox

An evening of poetry in the company of some of the north’s finest poets. Join stand up poet Kate Fox, a familiar face on BBC One, BBC Two and Radio Three, who will perform her wonderful funny, yet poignant work. She is joined by fellow poets Andy Bennett, Hannah Davies and punk performance poet Henry Raby who will also be the compère for the evening.

Tickets £7

26 April, 7.45 pm

In Tents and Purposes

Viscera Theatre and Anna Haigh Productions Ltd

Roxy Dunn (Channel Four’s Babylon; BBC Three’s Top Coppers) and Alys Metcalf (The Play that Goes Wrong), tell a time-hopping story, which explores whether our lives are predetermined or shaped by our choices.

“One of the most enjoyable theatrical experiences I’ve encountered so far this year at the Fringe.” (The Scotsman 2016)

Tickets £14

27 April, 7.45pm

Scary Shit

Rhiannon Faith and Maddy Morgan share their experience after attending CBT sessions in order to learn more about themselves and find a future free of fear. A transition from Scary Shit, to recovery and healing illustrated with outrageous dance, theatre, comedy and therapy.

Tickets £14

28 April, 7.45pm

Octopus

Paper Tiger productions and Greenwich Theatre

A celebration of the power of punk, Octopus is an anarchic new comedy about Britishness and whether anybody knows what it is.

Set in a post Brexit dystopian world, Octopus explores internal borders and what it is like to be a foreigner in one’s own land.

Tickets £14

OVERWELMING DEMAND BRINGS CURIOUS INCIDENT BACK TO NEWCASTLE

OVERWELMING DEMAND BRINGS

CURIOUS INCIDENT BACK TO NEWCASTLE

 

The National Theatre’s multi award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is set to return to Newcastle Theatre Royal due to popular demand, following a sell-out visit in 2015.   Be mesmerised once again Tue 30 May – Sat 10 June 2017.

 

Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received seven Olivier Awards in 2013 including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.  The show’s first phenomenally successful tour was seen by almost 400,000 people nationwide, continues to play to packed houses in the West End and is currently being rolled out to US shores.

 

The show tells the story of Christopher Boone, who is fifteen years old.  He stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, which has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington.  He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.  He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers.  But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

 

 

National Theatre producer Kash Bennett said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic  reception from audiences around the UK and Ireland when we toured The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in 2014-15, and are delighted to be taking this beautiful and inventive show to new venues and making return visits to others.’

 

The production is directed by Marianne Elliott, an Associate Director of the National Theatre where her productions have included:Husbands and Sons, the record-breaking War Horse (co-directed with Tom Morris), The Light Princess, Port, Season’s Greetings, All’s Well that Ends Well, Harper Regan, Saint Joan (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award for Theatre), and Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Award for Best Director).  Marianne was consultant director on The Elephantom for the National Theatre and also directed Sweet Bird of Youth for the Old Vic with Kim Cattrall.   Marianne’s next show for the National Theatre is Angels in America which began rehearsals in January.

 

Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children and won two BAFTAs. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. His poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador in 2005, and his last novel, The Red House, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2012. His latest book is The Pier Falls, a collection of stories. He lives in Oxford.

 

Simon Stephens’ new translation of The Threepenny Opera, directed by Rufus Norris with Rory Kinnear as Macheath opened at the NT’s Olivier Theatre in 2016.  His other plays for the National Theatre include:  Port at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre , Harper Regan and On the Shore of the Wide World (co-production with Royal Exchange, Manchester: Olivier Award for Best New Play).  His many other plays include Carmen Disruption, Heisenberg,  BirdlandBlindsidedThree Kingdoms, Wastwater, Punk Rock, Seawall, Pornography, Country Music, Christmas and Herons; A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with Robert Holman and David Eldridge); an adaptation of Jon Fosse’s I Am the Wind and Motortown.  His version of A Doll’s House for the Young Vic transferred to the West End and then New York in 2014. Simon is an Associate at the Lyric, Hammersmith and the Royal Court Theatre.

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tue 30 May – Sat 10 June 2017 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Wed 2pm (not 31 May) Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm). Tickets are from £14.50 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

 

Funny Girl The Musical Review

Edinburgh Playhouse – until 22 April 2017

Fanny Brice, the real life performer and titular Funny Girl in Jule Styne’s 1966 Broadway musical, was a Jewish “ugly duckling”New Yorker in a sea of glamorous chorus dancers.

Funny looking and funny enough to raise a laugh, she carved her own niche and became famous as a comedian and singer. Telling the story of how Brice became the highest paid performer on all of Broadway, Funny Girl The Musical revolves around the charisma of its central character.

Very few have taken on this role since Barbra Streisand defined it in the 1964 Broadway production and subsequently in the much-loved film of the same name, but Sheridan Smith truly makes it her own – and with such style and class.  Brice’s charm and gift for playing the clown are written into the plot, but so is the underlying tension in her fairytale marriage to smooth-talking gambler Nicky Arnstein (played by Darius Campbell in Edinburgh and Chris Peluso on the rest of the tour).

Smith brings out the contradictions, the grim determination, the vulnerability and the gutsy aspects of Fanny Brice and she can do that with just a few facial expressions.  Her transformation from wide-eyed teenager to experienced star is a joy to watch. She captures beautifully the awkward juxtaposition of being loved on stage by thousands and being sat alone moments later.  Smith’s voice is beautiful, it aches with conviction. Her tremendous rendition of People is amazing and spine-tingly moving.. Her final big weepie, Don’t Rain on My Parade – reprised in her dressing room; her marriage in ruins at her feet – is both elegy and battle cry. .

Darius Campbell plays her absentee gambler husband Nick Arnstein with equal parts smugness and charm. Their relationship is something of a seesaw – when they first meet he is the big deal, the man with the money and the contacts. Soon, like most gamblers, he loses more than he wins and the balance shifts as Fanny’s star eclipses his.  There are some super interactions between the couple include their lovely and quite quirky duet You are woman, I am man

Rachel Izen is a delight as Fanny’s mum Mrs Brice and alongside Joshua Lay’s warm and charming performance as the her friend Eddie Ryan. Jennifer Harding’s Emma, Fanny’s aide, is a nicely understated performance

An 11 piece orchestra delivers with richness aplenty under the musical baton of Ben Van Tienen.  Filling the Playhouse auditorium with Chris Walker’s stunning orchestrations

Inevitably with the story of a rise to fame, romantic climax, then the murky disintegration of the marriage, the first half is exhilarating and the second is flatter. But it’s in the quiet tatters of the marriage that Smith brings out the steely strength beneath Brice’s comic bravado.

Michael Mayer’s sharp and thoughtful direction, along with the energy and joy of the entire cast means that this is a complete piece, not merely a vehicle for Smith, as wonderful as she is.  The colourful lighting design, by Mark Henderson, has an air of elegance about it that makes it feel so intimate and close. The understated but beautiful set, designed by Michael Pavelka, lends itself perfectly for making the performances the main focus.  Matthew Wright’s costumes are luscious, Brice’s wedding dress in Sadie Sadie is particularly beautiful

The cast all seem to be enjoying themselves which helps the audience enjoy the show too and Smith in particular, appears to be having a complete ball with the comedy aspects of the show

The show ends on the high of a rapturous well deserved standing ovation and proves that Sheridan Smith is truly “the greatest star”

Rent Review

York Theatre Royal – until 22 April.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson

Oh My God, so Rent is the best thing I have seen in the history of my reviewing. The hit musical known for its song Seasons of Love is having its 20th anniversary tour of the UK and came to York Theatre Royal.

 

The musical set in New York City in the 1990s explores issues of homelessness and the AIDS epidemic, so you know there’s a lot of emotion involved with the story. The Main Characters are Mark and Roger, two men who live in a rundown flat unable to afford the rent. The whole plot is gripping funny and also devastating. The perfect balance of all 3 is what gives this musical the flare on top of the biggest most delicious cake you will ever see.


As far a acting goes I can’t even comprehend on how good the whole entire cast was from the main actors to the chorus/homeless people.  But I must shout out to the solo artist Jenny O’Leary in Seasons of Love who hit those whistle notes with pure force and perfection. One person who stole the show for me was Layton Williams who plays the drag queen Angel.  If that name sounds familiar it may be because of his role on Bad Education.  Drop all that at the door though, his stage presence and confidence on stage just blew me away, the song Today 4U was both amazing to watch with Williams dancing very well on stage whilst also delivering this amazing song.  The dance gave me bad anxiety watching because there were so many moments where one wrong move could mean a serious accident on stage, but he pulled this number off and throughout the rest of the show he just stood out.

 

I have to say that the person who played Maureen was unable to perform and her Understudy Christina Modestou was absolutely fantastic and if she is the understudy and can perform like that on stage it just blows you away for her dedication and ability to perform. But like I said the whole cast was amazing and everyone. Everyone. Was just perfect.


Another thing that just blew my mind was the stagecraft with the frames of building being moved on stage and the use of levels on the stage.  With everything looking urban and run down it took us to New York and set the feeling throughout the whole entire play – one of the best moments on how good the use of the set was just before the interval where they are about to celebrate Christmas and these Christmas lights come out and hang over the actors heads.


I cannot stress this enough, go and see this show, if you’re busy move your plans you don’t want to miss this. If it’s fully booked in York don’t worry it still touring, I would travel the length of the planet to go and see this again. This is one of the best things I have seen in my whole entire life and I’ve seen a lot of shows – this just blew everything out the water. Now go and watch this masterpiece now!

Dreamboats and Petticoats Review

Grand Opera House York- until 22 April.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield bring their production of Dreamboats and Petticoats, a 50’s and 60’s inspired musical, to York.

It tells the story of teenager Bobby (Alisair Higgins), and how he was in a group, for all of 5 minutes, thanks to super cool Norman (Alastair Hill). We see unrequited love, and Bobby’s love of music and his experience of love and relationships with Laura (Elizabeth Carter), Sue (Laura Darton) and his best friend Ray (David Luke).

The set complimented the theme, covered in posters of the rock ‘n’ roll stars of the time. I particularly enjoyed the use of the dodgems, which made an appearance a couple of times during the show. Set changes were seamless with all the cast members facilitating this. It was all live music and the band, “The Conquests”, played on a platform in the background, as well as appearing centre stage for certain pieces. They were one of the highlights for me and had a lot of stage presence, especially Jay Osbourne on lead guitar.

Every one of the cast performed with passion and they all looked like they were having a ball, which is infectious and made it more enjoyable for the audience. They were certainly a multi-talented cast, singing, dancing, and acting through the whole show.

We are treated to over 40 songs from the era, most of which I had heard before, and had a few of the audience singing along to themselves, me included to a couple of tunes, I’m sad to say, especially if anyone has heard me sing before.

The biggest highlight for me were the 2 acapella performances that the whole cast delivered, they really showcased the talent of the whole cast, Palisades Park was just lovely.

Although a lot of the audience were of a certain age, and certainly seemed to enjoy their rock ‘n’ roll I would say it appeals to anyone who enjoys a bit of music and fun, and certainly by the end most of us were up singing and dancing along.

Showing in York until Saturday 22nd April.