Saturday, January 16

London

The Corporate Knobs – Online @theSpaceUK
London

The Corporate Knobs – Online @theSpaceUK

Earl & Grace Productions’ The Corporate Knobs is a short comedy variety show exposing the truth about life in corporate America and how the pandemic has changed corporate work lives for better and worse. Performed by Lori Hamilton, the show opens with a short film showing the shady history of company, Landalor Industries as it grew from a small family business to the government’s main irresponsible disposer of nuclear waste. Diane Prenderghast (Lori Hamilton) is the exhausted and HR Director who leads us through our journey with the company. COVID, she tells us, has made many of us realise that we hate our jobs, but no one wants to quit when they can get a severance package, so she runs a short course in how to be a bad manager so that you can get fired and paid off. Or, if you ...
Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert – Online@TheSpaceUK
London

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert – Online@TheSpaceUK

Melanie Gall, a Canadian opera singer who works internationally bringing the singers and songs of the past back to life, now focuses on the greatest of French musical icons: Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel. The concert is not impossible because of the music, but because these two legends never worked together or even met. Piaf (1915-1963), her adopted name causing her to be nicknamed “The Little Sparrow” was born into Parisian poverty, a daughter of street and circus performers. Brel (1929-1978) was born in Brussels and is considered to be the master of the modern chanson. Vocalist Gall clearly feels both affinity and affection with the music associated with both artists, and despite not being a native French speaker her diction is impeccable, mining the meaning deep within her song cho...
Twenties – Online @theSpaceUK
London

Twenties – Online @theSpaceUK

Funny and relatable, Charlotte Anne-Tilley’s production Twenties, from @theSpaceUK’s new line up of online shows, explores the trials and tribulations of young adulthood from the perspective of 21-year-old Hope. Mostly performed as a monologue interwoven with dialogue, wide-eyed and determined Hope (Charlotte Anne-Tilley) tells the story of leaving her small town life in Cheshire for the bright lights of London. As Hope tells her parents the news, their reaction was certainly one of the most relatable moments in the show. Hope’s concerned mother (Jess Parsons) listing every potential danger she may encounter in London whilst her distracted father (Harry McMullen) responding with indifference, felt pretty bang on to how many parents may react when their child decides to move away. An...
An Evening with David Bedella – Crazy Coqs
London

An Evening with David Bedella – Crazy Coqs

Opening with an exciting musical song, I presumed that David Bedella would take us on a journey through his award-winning résumé. A little Frank-N-Furter here, a Max Martin song from &Juliet over there.  I was surprised. Instead, we were served an array of music genres, all with the velvety vocals that Bedella delivers. The cabaret had the air of a sophisticated dinner party, with the guests being treated to a song or two from the host. We were given the story behind the choices; from an aspiring country career to his mother’s favourite song. Sitting on a barstool, delivering titbits directly to camera, the performance felt relaxing and intimate. It’s clear that Bedella is a very natural storyteller; through the conversation and the songs themselves. The rapport between per...
Uncle Vanya – BBC iPlayer
London

Uncle Vanya – BBC iPlayer

An evocative play about family resentments and tensions in a changing world. Adapted by Conor McPherson, Directed by Ian Rickson The theatre production for this Chekhov play was halted in March this year due to COVID-19 but the production was filmed in London’s Harold Pinter Theatre, released in cinemas and is now available on the BBC. What we see is an accomplished filming of a theatre production rather than a film/TV adaptation, as all the action takes place in one room and there is a distinct lack of intrusive camera work. The play is adapted by Conor McPherson and directed by Ian Rickson and with a strong cast they have managed to create an event very similar to visiting a theatre for a classic play. The set is wonderfully dark and rustic in its faded grandeur. There is a goo...
Pirates of Penzance – Palace Theatre
London

Pirates of Penzance – Palace Theatre

Of all Gilbert and Sullivan's works, Pirates of Penzance is probably the best known and one of their most popular, having been a hit since it first opened in New York in December 1879. Since then, it has been interpreted and re-interpreted - and Sasha Regan 's award-winning production is one of the very best. The "men playing women" trope has, of course, been around for many centuries, in Shakespeare and in panto. It depends on the talent of the actors to make the conceit work.  And work it does, the all-male cast adding an additional layer of whimsy to what is already a marvellously funny operetta. The story hinges on its subtitle "The Slave Of Duty".  After a miscommunication leads young Frederic to be indentured to the dastardly Pirates of Penzance, he delights in his free...
Dick Whittington – National Theatre
London

Dick Whittington – National Theatre

It’s always a courageous move to update a traditional piece of theatre but it’s especially courageous to update a pantomime when generally the audience have an ‘inkling’ of what to expect. However, this is what Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd had in mind for their production of The National Theatres 2020 version of Dick Whittington. Having first premiered at The Lyric Hammersmith in 2018, the production had been updated for 2020. Filmed following only its fourth preview performance on 15th December this year due to Government lockdown restrictions, the National Theatre pulled off an incredible feat in filming the pantomime. With some work still in progress, their wish to share the panto for free was based on acknowledging that all components of theatres have been massively affected by ...
December – Old Red Lion Theatre
London

December – Old Red Lion Theatre

Bag of Beard Collective in conjunction with ORL Theatre serves up this quirky, sometimes sinister but ultimately highly enjoyable show written and directed by ORL artistic director Alexander Knott. The play is basically another take on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol but instead of Scrooge taking centre stage, Knott cleverly focuses on the ever put upon and downtrodden Bob Cratchit (Ryan Hutton). Knott imagines him taking a journey to possible futures ahead, through encounters with vagabonds, spirits and ghosts. For fans of the Dicken’s characters there is definitely some fun to be had in this inventive adaptation and even though it has its very dark and sometimes quite surreal moments (think disco sparkle flairs, Bowies Fashion and Cuban heels) you cannot deny the sheer energ...
We Need A Little Christmas – stream.theatre
London

We Need A Little Christmas – stream.theatre

With a massive part of the population currently unable to visit a theatre or concert venue, many charities that rely on Christmas donations are turning to the internet to spread some Christmassy joy while raising some much-needed funds. This particular concert is raising money for Shelter and Crisis at Christmas. Hosted by Denise Welch and Amy Hart, We Need A Little Christmas opens with the song of that name from the musical Mame, and then takes us on a Christmas journey from traditional offerings like Silent Night, to modern classics such as Mary, Did You Know? and newer Christmas music from Coldplay, and everything in between…finishing up with Lee Mead’s new Christmas single, In My Arms For Christmas. With direction by Michael Strassen and musical direction from George Carter, this o...
Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown – Kings Head Theatre
London

Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown – Kings Head Theatre

Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown at the Kings Head theatre in London (online) streams to our homes this month in time for Christmas. Put together by the Charles Court Opera, they throw a romping frolic through the tulips of fun with bawdy humour and all the ingredients of a great traditional pantomime with a boutique vibe, plenty of zany antics and a shake up of the usual panto story. There couldn’t be any better tonic for this year. Bright stylish costumes, bold characters with a swap of gender roles, Snow White is played in baseball boots by John Savournin who also wrote the hilarious script. The Wicked Queen is played sumptuously evil by Jennie Jacobs, it’s impossible to tell her age but she has a fantastic stage presence, her costume is amazing with a huge white fur...