Friday, December 3

East Midlands

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham
East Midlands

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham

What a lot of scenery! If you like scenery this is the show for you! Acres it, yards of it flash by one after another - flat trees, flat doors, flat clouds, flat waves all causing this reviewer to wonder how they manage to store it all in the wings rather than consider the show. There really was a lot it… “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” is almost a Disney classic or if you work for Disney it’s a classic. It’s one step below “Mary Poppins” but quite a number of steps above “The Fox and the Hound” adapted from the novels by Mary Norton (who despite having invented the whole thing doesn’t seem warrant a credit in the programme…) and, of course, from the movie with Angela Lansbury. And like all good movies it moves and this stage adaptation from Michael Harrison attempts to move with the same v...
The Color Purple – Curve@Home
East Midlands

The Color Purple – Curve@Home

Based on the seminal prize winning novel by Alice Walker and later filmed by Steven Spielberg, Curve@Home in association with Birmingham Hippodrome presents this theatre in the round version of the award winning production. The Color Purple is a sprawling story about friendship and personal triumph through adversity as the main character Celie (played by the amazing T’Shan Williams) makes the journey from the dark heart of abuse and misery to the glories of personal fulfilment, kindness and love. In short, the story is about change and the power that it gives to the individual. It’s also a story about connection and the importance of community and family. This musical version (book by Marsha Norman with music by the fabulous Brenda Russell, Allee Willis & Stephen Bray) cleverly ...
Sunset Boulevard – Leicester Curve Online
East Midlands

Sunset Boulevard – Leicester Curve Online

As it toured the country, Leicester Curve’s 2017 production was praised by audiences and critics alike. Now, the team has come back together and filmed the musical for home viewings, whilst the theatres it visited sadly remain closed. Nikolai Foster’s artistic take on the iconic show has elevated the plot, and in doing so, has created an even more captivating piece. The first number embodies the chaos and desperation of late-40's Hollywood, set to the familiar melodies of Webber. “Did I hear that chord sequence in Joseph, or was it Jesus? Or have I just heard it earlier on in this song?” Webber’s signature style is stamped onto the show from the get-go. Another thing that is noticeable straight away is the appeal of the leading man. Narrating directly to camera, Danny Mac (White Christ...
The Color Purple – Digital Concert
East Midlands

The Color Purple – Digital Concert

The Color Purple – Digital Concert features reflections and performances from the cast and creative members of the 2019 Made at Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome co-production. This digital concert was recorded remotely over the Summer and commissioned to mark Black History Month. Directed by Tinuke Craig with Musical Direction and Piano by Alex Parker, the concert includes seven songs from the show including Brown Betty, African Homeland, The Color Purple and the stunning I’m here. In between songs we have cast and creatives talking about how important the show is, how it tackles many issues, especially those of which black women have had to go through and in some ways, still are. About the coming together of people and finding the strength within, and within your community to...
My Beautiful Laundrette – Curve Theatre Leicester
East Midlands

My Beautiful Laundrette – Curve Theatre Leicester

Britain in the 1980’s – a time of division and change and this is the setting for an adaptation and stage revival of Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay from that era. First off, I must say that it hasn’t worn that well and suffers from some shameless stereotypical characterisations that modern audiences would find hard to accept. Having said that, the company under the direction of Nikolai Foster provide a lively and thoughtful rendition of Kureishi’s script and most of the acting is fine throughout. This is a recording of a dress rehearsal for the actual stage show from 2019 and it does show somewhat – the sound quality is poor and the staging does seem a little slapdash, which is a shame because I’m sure the actual performance would’ve been so much better (there is a fuller review in our...