Friday, May 27

REVIEWS

Rambert Dance – The Lowry
North West

Rambert Dance – The Lowry

Rambert is a contradiction of dance. Britain’s oldest dance company, created at the turn of the 20th Century, with a 40year legacy of some of the best examples of modern, contemporary dance within the dance world. Whilst Rambert is putting the finishing touches to a new tour of an adaptation of Peaky Blinders, tonight we have a company exposed (almost literally in one piece), showcasing three pieces of pure dance, stripped of any in-depth narrative, instead a celebration of the art form they have dominated for decades. Our first piece, Eye Candy, choreographed by Imre and Marne van Opstal, is an exploration of modern beauty standards and its positive and negative impact on us. Dancers wearing specially designed body suits to give the impression of nudity (minus private parts) kick a...
The Scandal at Mayerling – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Scandal at Mayerling – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Considering the months of uncertainty, the arts have faced after the past two years, Scottish Ballet’s Scandal at Mayerling is not just a feat of performance, but a tremendous achievement. Delivering such an astonishing piece of performance art is no small undertaking, and in doing so, the company demonstrate their strength as world leading company. The scandal of the ballet’s title rocked Europe. In a small shooting lodge on the outskirts of the Viennese woods, the politics of Europe changed forever- it’s the rarely spoken catalyst of World War I. A Crown Prince with divergent political views could have changed the course of history if he had inherited the crown, but here he is, as the ballet ends, reliant on morphine, obsessed with his mistresses and lying dead with his lover. This i...
Legally Blonde – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
London

Legally Blonde – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

It’s inspiring when women want to be more than a pretty face, which is the popular appeal of Legally Blonde. Based on the 2001 movie, Lucy Moss has revamped the story for today’s audience, while still keeping the nostalgia cues alive for those who love the original. The plot is simple: boy ditches girl because she’s not clever enough for him and his glittering Harvard Law School career. Girl decides to prove him wrong and turns her fun, party life around securing a place at Harvard where the plan is to win back the douche-bag by proving she’s not an air-head, but a totally ass-busting-legal-whizz. For me, that’s the first (of many) yawning stereotypes and a source of friction, but I tried to set my morals aside and get into the fizzy, fun time. This is a big stage production and the...
Wuthering Heights – King’s Theatre Edinburgh
Scotland

Wuthering Heights – King’s Theatre Edinburgh

Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights takes its form as a creative and all together magical adaptation of the 1847 Emily Bronte novel: Wuthering Heights. It’s serves to tell the story of two young lovers whose social status, race and upbringing become their own downfall. Heathcliff (Liam Tamne) is a young man found and adopted at Liverpool docks only to live his life in the shadows due to his ethnic background and darker features, when he meets adoptive sister Catherine (Lucy McCormick) he falls in love with the strange and mentally unstable young lady. Unfortunately, Catherine has other ideas and instead of pursuing her romance with Heathcliff she marries another man to attain her rank in society and so Heathcliff vows to get his revenge on those he blames for the loss of his happiness. This...
As You Like It – Liverpool Playhouse
North West

As You Like It – Liverpool Playhouse

In their 30th anniversary production, Northern Broadsides, under the direction of Laurie Sansom, bring a bold approach to Shakespeare’s most musical and much-loved comedy. Unfortunately, we are met more with a misguided fantasy than a great production. In a stylish but stifling court, where the Duke (Tom Shaw) is all powerful and brute strength is championed over basic human decency, the high-spirited Rosalind (Em Williams) and devoted cousin Celia (Isobel Coward) are no longer welcome. When they escape into the forest in disguise, accompanied by Touchstone (Joe Morrow), they bump into the recent object of Rosalind’s affection, Orlando (Shaban Dar), who has fallen foul of Oliver (Aron Julius) but is supported by Adam (Claire Hackett), leading to an elaborate game of fluid identity w...
Boeing Boeing – Theatr Clwyd
Wales

Boeing Boeing – Theatr Clwyd

London Classic Theatre has brought back a West End and Broadway hit, and the famous Marc Camoletti play feels fresher than ever. With a new tour production directed by Michael Cabot, Boeing Boeing is farcical and outrageous in all the right ways. Paris, 1962 and Bernard has it all. An architect with a fancy apartment, he boasts of his perfectly organised life. Most organised is his love life. Never wanting to be bored, Bernard has three fiancées, all air hostesses with different airlines (so as never to overlap). But on one stormy evening, Bernard is in for a night of shock and surprises. With the maid having to stay on top of the lies, and the return of an old friend in the apartment, can Bernard keep his wits about him and the ladies none the wiser? The award-winning comedy has a ...
Teechers Leavers ’22 – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Teechers Leavers ’22 – Hull Truck Theatre

Zoom, Netflix, Wordle, Covid 19, sanitising, face masks, Til Tok were all clues that playwright John Godber’s production Teechers, first performed in 1987, had been brought up to date with his re-imagined version - Teechers Leavers ’22. The Hull Truck Theatre was very well attended on Tuesday evening, as theatregoers not only looked forward to watching this rewrite, but also to the fact that Godber had been honoured with having the theatre’s Studio space renamed the Godber Studio. I arrived early on the night so I could be privy to the, admittedly short and sweet, speeches by the production’s director, Mark Babych, and Godber, in what is this popular theatre’s 50th anniversary year. Then it was showtime. As the lights dimmed, the deliberately unfussy stage setting came into view,...
Magic Goes Wrong – Birmingham Hippodrome
West Midlands

Magic Goes Wrong – Birmingham Hippodrome

Mischief Theatre is back and back with a bang, literally, well a puff of smoke in this case. Their new show Magic Goes Wrong has arrived at The Birmingham Hippodrome where much havoc is being caused. Right from the start as you wait in your seat for the show to begin the actors break the fourth wall, (a trademark of Mischief Theatre) and are already up on-stage causing chaos. The resultant effect is bursts of laughter from the audience. This show is centred around a magic fundraiser, and everyone has an act. Every character manages to reel you in, testing all your emotions. But of course, nothing runs smoothly and there is blood, sweat, and tears. Amongst all the drama and farce there is still a clear narrative to the show which is easy to follow.  The story is fantastically wr...
Happenings – Hope Theatre
London

Happenings – Hope Theatre

Since I started writing for North West End UK, I’ve spent longer than the average person sitting in small theatres above pubs watching plays about mental health. This suits me down to the ground – I like theatre, I like pubs, and I’m really delighted that we live in a society where mental health is being explored through the arts. To my mind, this can only lead to better understanding, greater empathy, higher quality conversations, and ultimately more support. I have the utmost respect for people who are brave enough to write about or portray their own lived experience onstage, and I will keep supporting this movement to create safer spaces and common points of reference for those conversations. All that aside, Happenings didn’t have the profound effect on me that the synopsis suggeste...
The Play That Goes Wrong – Liverpool Empire
North West

The Play That Goes Wrong – Liverpool Empire

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society has finally found the play for their member numbers and the time has come for them to put it in front of an audience, but are they ready? Mischief Comedy’s The Play That Goes Wrong focuses on the Drama Society’s performance of Murder at Haversham Manor and is two hours of guaranteed laughs and enjoyment. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, it is a comedy and a piece that will stand the test of time, as there is no actual time period mentioned throughout the piece. The comedic timing is absolutely spot on and to be able to deliver the piece straight-faced, whilst standing in exactly the right place at the right time, so as not to mess up any of the cues definitely takes a special type of skill. Just when you think nothing el...