Sunday, October 24

West Midlands

Dirty Dancing – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

Dirty Dancing – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Originally performed in London in 2006 this show has toured numerous times. It’s a joy to see it back on the road once again. The Houseman’s spend their vacation at Kellermans resort where everyone is shown a good time. Baby is entranced by the dancers Penny and Johnny and soon gets caught up in their world. This will be a summer she will never forget. While the storyline may not be the most in depth it still manages to touch on peoples’ preconceptions, unwanted pregnancy, racism and growing up. Of course, the main theme is love and redemption. Musically this is a blend of soundtrack and live music performed by the onstage band and company. Colin Charles (Tito Suarez) opens act 2 in style whipping the audience into an even higher state of excitement and Samuel Bailey (Billy Koste...
The Rocky Horror Show – Alexandra Birmingham
West Midlands

The Rocky Horror Show – Alexandra Birmingham

Let the Party and the Sounds Rock On! With all vim, vigour and verve of a lady half her age “The Rocky Horror Show” rocks up horrifically at the Alexandra Theatre and, with a well aimed stiletto, crashes through the stage door and struts her sassy chassis before the goggle-eyed, costume-clad, schlock-worshipping clan of the Rocky fans like the mothership returning home laden with every wicked vice and indecent indulgence your little earthling mind could dream of. Since it slithered from Richard O’Brien’s unfettered imagination somewhere back in the early seventies “Rocky” has evolved, expanded, regenerated and reinvented itself time and time again like an indestructible life form from those beloved 50’s movies it seeks to parody and continues to prove itself unabashedly brash, unash...
Hairspray – Birmingham Hippodrome
West Midlands

Hairspray – Birmingham Hippodrome

The John Waters film “Hairspray” has always struck me an odd source for a Broadway musical stemming from the sub-sub-cultural independent movie starring the Ricki Lake and the unsettlingly bizarre Divine. Waters films were, and perhaps still are, deliberately shocking, subversive and cheaply shot. But musicals have been created from odder sources - cats and trains spring to mind. Since 2002 “Hairspray - the musical” has delighted audiences on Broadway and West end and beyond with noted performances from Michael Ball and Brian Conley. So far, it’s ticking all the right boxes and a fun night seem to be ensured…Okay, so the place was full of engaged, delighted and whooping fans intent on a good night and a good night they had, though I’m not sure the show was entirely responsible for it. The...
The Woman in Black – Regent Theatre
West Midlands

The Woman in Black – Regent Theatre

It is always great to see a show that is so well established in theatres. Having been viewed in the West End for over 30 years, Susan Hill's ‘Woman In Black’ has its routes firmly embedded on the stage. Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation ensures that this chilling, eerie story continues to put fear in to the most fearless of audiences. For those that may not be aware, and without giving the game away, the story is essentially about the retelling of a traumatic occasion in Lawyer, Arthur Kipps life and he asks ‘The Actor’ (Anthony Eden), to tell his tale. With a silent woman in black appearing when you least expect it, it is clear she is intent on seeking revenge. With just two speaking actors in the performance (Anthony Eden and Robert Goodale) the gripping tale is retold as the reality o...
Heathers the Musical – The Alexandra
West Midlands

Heathers the Musical – The Alexandra

After a successful run in the West End, the long-awaited Heathers the musical tour reaches Birmingham for a week. Based on the 1989 film of the same name starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, this production had a very appreciative audience on its feet. Veronica longs to be one of the cool girls with the Heathers rather than a nobody. When she gets her wish, she realises it isn’t all she dreamed. A night with new boy “J D” means her life will never be the same as they take on the school together. This show is bright and colourful with original up-tempo songs. The subject matter however is dark and thought provoking. There are many difficult subjects covered throughout the show, bullying, homophobia, sexual assault, bulimia, and the main topic of suicide. Although serious topic...
Everyone’s Talking About Jamie – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

Everyone’s Talking About Jamie – The Alexandra, Birmingham

“Everyone’s Talking About Jamie” was greeted by wild, enthusiastic audience from its devoted followers at the Alex in Birmingham. They whooped, hollered, cheered and even applauded an unscheduled show-stop. They loved it. Clearly the way to approach this show is with the soundtrack firmly in your head and a determination to enjoy yourself no matter what.We were back! The theatre was packed with expectant, eager people made up of a demographic who rarely make up the majority of a theatre audience. This is all good. All positive stuff. However, a few things jarred. The young performers who form the larger part of the cast consistently talked through laughs and applause that so much was lost. The sound was slightly awry in parts, but this being opening night will probably settle. The drama w...
Rock of Ages – Alexandra Theatre
West Midlands

Rock of Ages – Alexandra Theatre

Part rock gig, part romp down memory lane, the new tour of Rock of Ages has landed, ready to make the UK ‘feel the noize’ and indulge in some heavy metal headbanging. Tonight, we’ve been transported from the centre of Birmingham to the heart of Los Angeles, the Sunset Strip. We meet the regulars of the Bourbon Bar; an insalubrious rock joint being faced with extinction as a villainous German duo look to demolish and develop the gritty Strip into a gleaming European vision of modernity. Underneath this shadow we meet barback Drew who is instantly smitten with the wholesome new girl in town Sherrie, and the show follows their budding ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship as they navigate the standard fare of missed opportunities and misunderstandings as well as their attempts to make i...
Grease – Regent Theatre
West Midlands

Grease – Regent Theatre

It maybe rapidly approaching Autumn but there are still a few Summer Nights to be had at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent this week. Directed by Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director for Curve, the musical classic ‘Grease’ and its infamous score are totally prepared to entertain audiences on stage with an all-new cast. For those very few individuals who may not have experienced Grease previously, it is essentially a 50’s High School love story, starring the leather clad, cool dude 'Danny Zuko' (Dan Partridge) and the innocent, girl next door, 'Sandy Dumbrowski' (Georgia Louise). They reunite in their final year at Rydell High. It may be a love story on the surface, but it is also very much a story about teenage friendships, peer pressure, sexual relationships and personal challenges. P...
What’s Love Got To Do With It? A Tribute to Tina Turner – Regent Theatre
West Midlands

What’s Love Got To Do With It? A Tribute to Tina Turner – Regent Theatre

If you are a star that is known instantly by your first name ‘Tina' and have a musical career that spans more than 50 years, then you really don’t need much of an introduction. However, one lady who should be applauded is the one and only Elesha Paul Moses, performing songs by Tina Turner. Brought to the stage by the producers who brought us the fabulous ‘Whitney, Queen of the Night’, this show was a celebration of Tina Turner’s career. ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’, is certainly the perfect return to the theatre for most audiences post lockdown. Jam packed with Tina’s hits it provided the audience with an uplifting, extremely energetic, feel-good show that is undoubtedly a wonderful tribute to the great Tina Turner. There are often strong opinions one way or another about tribut...
Rooms – Birmingham Hippodrome
West Midlands

Rooms – Birmingham Hippodrome

I don’t think there are enough jaw-droppingly awesome words in my vocabulary to say how absolutely astonishing this production is. If you see one show this year Rooms should be it. Imagine if you will, sitting in a train carriage and glimpsing into a series of lit rooms on a dark night. You can see the goings-on, the occupants, the lives – but only for a brief tantalising moment. Now imagine stepping into that room; literally being in that room, such is the power of the close cinematography. Rambert’s 17 brilliant dancers will literally transform your life into their lives as their stories unfold over 36 scenes and involving 100 characters. Captivating and beautiful, funny and dark, their stories will surprise you, engulf you and become a part of you. Shot as if you are in the r...