Thursday, August 6

REVIEWS

Dear Beryl – The Moonlighters Collective
REVIEWS

Dear Beryl – The Moonlighters Collective

Dear Beryl is a work in progress piece from The Moonlighters Collective, presented as part of Command Fringe Festival, a line-up of online performances being showcased over one weekend. Social media influencer Lyla (Amy Allenby) is on the brink of creating the life she’s always dreamed of when she finds herself trapped in a prison of sorts and unclear as to how she has got there. Also present is the mysterious Ruth (Hannah Roze-Lewis) who is clearly from a different social circle and apparently unaware of the workings of the modern world. Lyla wants answers to her current predicament, but Ruth appears determined to keep what little knowledge she may have of their current situation to herself. As Lyla explains the marketplace nature of current technology to Ruth, where everything com...
Myles Away – Chronic Insanity
REVIEWS

Myles Away – Chronic Insanity

Chronic Insanity has been making theatre since 2012.  Set up by Nat Henderson who, in typical small theatre company fashion, combines many roles such as playwright, director, performer, costume designer, make up artist and still finds time for her Artistic Director role and studying for her Masters in English Studies.  Her Co-Artistic Director Joe Strickland is also a good juggler and combines being an up and coming director with being a writer, producer and performer whilst researching for a PHD looking at Future Experience Technologies with a focus on Drama and Performance.  Their interest in this area has prompted them to look at a slightly different approach to theatre using technology to give the ‘theatre goer’ interactivity so that each viewer may have a slightly diff...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Globe
London

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Globe

As part of the BBC Culture in Quarantine season, we are offered a selection of Shakespeare’s plays performed at two of the UK’s most well known theatres for Shakespeare.  Written in 1596, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a regular feature in theatres’ Summer calendars for their Summer season.  We have seen many adaptations of this play as theatres become more creative, but this version is like the making a cocktail, the ingredients can be the same, but it is how much of each ingredient that creates its individual flavour.  In Emma Rice’s first play as Artistic Director of The Globe, we were treated to a feast of energy and colour.   The play positively buzzed with excitement as we experienced an adventurous modernised version of this much-loved play. The play is...
Beethoven’s Fidelio – Royal Opera House
London

Beethoven’s Fidelio – Royal Opera House

Recorded just prior to lockdown and largely unedited, conductor Antonio Pappano introduces a new production of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, from the Royal Opera House, a story of risk and triumph against a backdrop of revolution, with Tobias Kratzer’s new staging, including some dialogue changes, bringing together the dark reality of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution and the conflicts of the modern age to illuminate Fidelio’s inspiring message of a common humanity. This is very much an opera of two halves with Act One in period as Leonore (Lise Davidsen) attempts to locate her husband, Florestan (David Butt Philip) who is a political prisoner incarcerated in a secret dungeon and subject to torture from the governor of the prison, Don Pizarro (Simon Neal). To secure a...
Virtual Viewing: Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Tangled: The Musical’
REVIEWS

Virtual Viewing: Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Tangled: The Musical’

I confess I am somewhat a Disney aficionado. From the heart-warming, family-friendly stories, to the toe-tappingly catchy songs, anything that bears the moniker ‘Walt Disney’ is almost guaranteed to be a winner for me. So, when the chance came to review Disney Cruise Line’s original stage production of Tangled: The Musical, I jumped at the chance. Being able to see a brand new Disney stage production in the inner sanctum of a Disney cruise ship – without having to shell out an eye-watering amount for the privilege – was too good of an opportunity for a Disneyphile like me to pass up. Cruises start from £1,078 for a 3-day excursion (yes, really!), so to be able to watch these once exclusive shows without winning the lottery is a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity (probably the same stat...
The Sleeping Beauty – Royal Opera House
London

The Sleeping Beauty – Royal Opera House

‘I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream’. Most people will know the song from Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ but how many people know that the music was actually written 70 years prior to the film’s release and the lyrics were added in 1959 for Disney? Tchaikovsky’s music for the ballet ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ was written in 1889. For anyone who may have never heard of any version of this fairytale before, it tells the story of Princess Aurora. Starting with her christening day, when Carabosse interrupts the ceremony and places a curse on the new princess, meaning she’ll prick her finger on her birthday and die. Luckily, the lilac fairy manages to lessen the curse, to put Aurora and the kingdom into a deep sleep for 100 years, only to be woken by true loves kiss. The ballet consists...
The Showstoppers (Socially Distanced) Improvised Musical
REVIEWS

The Showstoppers (Socially Distanced) Improvised Musical

In this bizarre new world that we find ourselves in artists are being creative in finding a new way to perform to give the gift of entertainment to their audience.  The Showstoppers have been busy trying to keep going with such great shows as the ‘Alternative Eurovision Song Contest’ which saw The Showstoppers and guests represent a country, in a battle to win the Eurovision crown.  In a bid to move their show from online into more of a studio environment where they could all at least be in the same room albeit socially distanced and shielded behind plastic screens; The Showstoppers got together to do what they do best – improvise a musical. Tonight, the Showstopper team were Ruth Bratt, Adam Meggido, Justin Brett and Ali James, with Andrew Pugsley introducing and acting a...
The Weir – Irish Repertory Theatre Online Series
REVIEWS

The Weir – Irish Repertory Theatre Online Series

The Irish Rep was founded by Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore and opened in 1988 with its first play Sean O’Casey’s ‘The Plough and the Stars’.  Thirty-one years later, it is still the only theatre in North America to bring Irish plays to New York. ‘The Weir’ was written by Conor McPherson and after seeing his adaptation of ‘Uncle Vanya’ in London, I was interested to see if he would lend his keen wit to this production.  Originally staged in 2013 and then re-staged in 2015, the play won an Olivier Award for Best Play and three of the original cast members (John Keating, Sean Gormley and Dan Butler) have returned for this digital version of the production. Set in 1997 in a country pub in Ireland, Brendan (Tim Ruddy) owns the local pub whilst also running his farm. ...
Carousel – Lincoln Centre
REVIEWS

Carousel – Lincoln Centre

One of the joys of lockdown has been the opportunity to see shows that were missed due to timing or location.  The enjoyment of these productions has been slightly bittersweet as theatres have remained dark and the industry has faced incredible hardship.  However, the latest government announcement provides some hope for the future as audiences accustom themselves to social distancing, and producers figure out how to make it financially viable.  The Lincoln Centre’s 2013 production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel seems appropriate in tone for the new normal with its hopeful rather than happy ending.  The show is not without its issues for a contemporary audience, particularly in its handling of domestic violence, but the Lincoln Centre production cel...
Faust – Royal Opera House
London

Faust – Royal Opera House

Everybody knows the tale of Faust although Gounod’s popular five-act, Parisian grand opera from 1859 is in fact adapted from Michel Carré’s play ‘Faust et Marguerite’ which was itself based on Part I of Goethe’s epic poem Faust. Very much reflective of the nature of Second-Empire Paris at that time, the obvious question is whether its themes remain relevant and recognisable to a 21st C audience. Director David McVicar wisely recognised that human nature doesn’t really change and the issues of sensuality and hedonism, religion and morality, bourgeois consumption versus socialist redistribution, to name but a few at the heart of this opera, continue to go hand in hand, and his richly layered 2004 production for Royal Opera House brilliantly captured these through the artificial edifices ...