Friday, May 27

London

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...
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 Rocky Horror Show – Richmond Theatre
London

The Rocky Horror Show – Richmond Theatre

A spectacular, innovative, and fun rock and roll musical, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is a guaranteed party and enjoyable evening for all. The popular and timeless classic songs are of course featured, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn It Janet, and the entertaining, wacky, and fabulous Time Warp, that is sure to leave audiences feeling overwhelming elation. Before the show begins, you can feel the electric atmosphere in the building. This cult classic, first premiered in 1973, has a huge following of all ages, with many in the audience dressed in cosplay and in the spirit of the characters in the show. There was huge anticipation before the show began, and as soon as the instrumental of Time Warp began, the audience was captivated. The show opened with the character of Bet...
Everyday – New Diorama Theatre
London

Everyday – New Diorama Theatre

Deafinitely Theatre’s Everyday, commissioned by New Diorama explores the term witches as a group of people come together on the new moon to refresh, revive spirit and release from the traumas they have experienced.  Newcomer Aislinn is open and eager to explore with others to help them heal but struggles to admit her recent trauma but with watching her friend be brave, she too can come forward and release from the bind. Deafinitely Theatre is deaf theatre company which was really incredible to see a story for a deaf audience that wasn’t about being deaf but about life, their complexities and surviving relationships with toxic people. It’s a story we don’t often see in theatre and felt really warming to be a part of that audience and to broaden my horizon of different theatre. Paired wi...
Kabul Goes Pop – Brixton House
London

Kabul Goes Pop – Brixton House

Brixton House is a sparky new venue, in the centre of ever-gentrified Brixton, boasting superbly friendly staff. So, it’s a bit of a shame and a tragic oversight that the seating in the theatre is cramped, awkward and after a short time, quite uncomfortable. The café bar, in contrast, is a spacious, beautiful area with designer sofas and room to ponder, luxuriate and roller-skate, should the mood take you. Like going from EasyJet to private jet.  With Kabul Goes Pop starting 25 minutes late, it meant many in the audience were already antsy and wishing to stretch their ligaments before a shape had been thrown or a poetic word spoken. The unfortunate delay gave us time to ponder the impressive set, which was a high-tech mock up of a flashy TV studio featuring video screens and more ...
Dirty Dancing in Concert- Eventim Apollo
London

Dirty Dancing in Concert- Eventim Apollo

The timeless classic, Dirty Dancing, hit the cinema screen once again celebrating the film’s 35th anniversary at Eventim Apollo on 19 May 2022. But this time, it returned with a powerful live band to give the audience ‘the time of their lives…’ Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, the 1987 summer romance was brought to life by Lionsgate, TEG MJR, GEA Live and the producer of the stage musical version of the film, Karl Sydow. The audience cheered as the concert performers took centre stage and started their rendition of ‘Be my Baby…’ while the opening credits played on the screen. Set in Catskills resort in the summer of 1963, the film portrays the summer romance of Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayz...
My Fair Lady – London Coliseum
London

My Fair Lady – London Coliseum

It’s hard to believe that ‘My Fair Lady’ is rapidly approaching its 60th anniversary.  The classic tale, based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play ‘Pygmalion’, hasn’t been seen in London since the National Theatre’s Oliver-winning production in the early 2000s.  Director Bartlett Sher’s 2018 Broadway production has now taken up residence at London’s Coliseum, where it plays until late summer.  But is the story of plucky Eliza Doolittle’s transformation from common flower girl to sophisticated socialite at the teachings of Professor Henry Higgins still as “loverly” as it once was? The world has changed massively in the decades since the play and subsequent musical were written, in terms of attitudes towards women and gender equality, and in this regard “My Fair Lady” does ...
Get Dressed! – Unicorn Theatre
London

Get Dressed! – Unicorn Theatre

Get Dressed! is an inventive, fun, and friendly show which tells the story of a young girl (Marieme Diouf) and her father (Joseph Barnes-Phillips) navigating family life. The show explores a young girl finding her identity through her wardrobe, her surroundings as she learns how to dress herself. The show is energetic and warm, with the set being used to its fullest, allowing for the actors to move around and interact with each other playfully. Amongst the set is a bed, climbing frame, a chest, climbing wall and the most interactive of all, the washing machine. Diouf moved around the stage effortlessly, making it believable that the stage was her home. Lighting and sound was used beautifully throughout, working well with the staging, and allowing the audience to be fully engaged in ...
Bliss – Finborough Theatre
London

Bliss – Finborough Theatre

This is a new play by Fraser Grace, based upon a short story written by Andrey Platanov in 1936, and tells the story of Nikita Firsov, a soldier returning from the Russian Civil War in 1921. It is a portrayal of what we would now call the effects of battlefield PTSD, but which at that time was not specifically recognised, and also shows the grim reality of life for the rural peasantry in Russia at this time of famine and political upheaval. The pace of the play mirrors the harshness of the prevailing conditions. It is slow-moving, with many pauses, and everything about the production contributed to depicting the dreariness and struggle of the life of the characters. The acting was universally excellent. Jesse Rutherford as the returning soldier, Nikita, and Bess Roche as the girl to wh...
Much Ado About Nothing – Network Theatre
London

Much Ado About Nothing – Network Theatre

Network Theatre’s take on Shakespeare’s enemies to lovers play is refreshingly modern and original. Beatrice and Benedict’s disdain for each another and their vow of celibacy soon dissolves as their friends conspire to matchmake them. As their defences unravel, the two face feelings of vulnerability and openness. This play is particularly suited for an LGBTQ+ interpretation because of those feelings and the heightened uncertainty that those in LGBTQ relationships may face. It begins with a series of snippets of Beatrice and Benedict together, making the tension in their relationship an undercurrent throughout the play. The whole cast conveyed the story and its confusing plot effectively. The playful dynamic between Naomi Bowman’s Beatrice and Lio Lylark’s Benedict was exciting to w...