Thursday, May 30

Tag: Drew McOnie

Jesus Christ Superstar – Bradford Alhambra
Yorkshire & Humber

Jesus Christ Superstar – Bradford Alhambra

When Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a rock opera with a provocative title about the last days of Christ one potential investor described it as ‘the worst idea in history’ so with no-one willing to put it on a stage they stuck it out as a platinum selling double album….and the rest is history. Britain’s greatest musical theatre duo loosely based Jesus Christ Superstar on the Gospels and for a show no one wanted it ended up setting a record for the longest run in London. I have a simple proposition for what makes a great musical, and that they always need a minimum of two showstoppers – preferably one at the end of each half – but this is packed full of the duo’s best tunes. Everything’s Going to Be Alright, I Don’t Know How To Love Him, Herod’s Song and Gethsemane are all killer...
Jesus Christ Superstar – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Jesus Christ Superstar – Wolverhampton Grand

Now on its umpteenth resurrection in fifty or so years, “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to the Grand in Wolverhampton in this very sombre and earnest production from Regents’ Park. The stark set inevitably dominated by a cross is cloaked in darkest from the outset and peopled with gray and black clad actors. We don’t see a fleck of colour till Act Two. The first ten minutes or so has a feeling of grudging obligation which slowly modulates into something more engaging. Of course, it’s splattered with well-known tunes throughout, and each is dutifully deployed under Michael Riley’s tight musical direction with Hannah Richardson as Mary giving us a beautiful rendition of “I Don’t Know How to Love him”, which, as musical aficionados love to point out, bears more than passing resemblance to Men...
Nutcracker – Tuff Nutt Jazz Club
London

Nutcracker – Tuff Nutt Jazz Club

Drew McOnie's latest choreographic endeavour, ‘Nutcracker’, is a contemporary dance show that breathes new life into the beloved festive classic. In a bold departure from tradition, McOnie's production takes audiences on a wild-spirited adventure that is as delicate and sophisticated as it is daring and mature, offering a fresh perspective on the iconic holiday ballet. This reimagining, staged at the brand-new venue, Tuff Nutt Jazz Club within London's Southbank Centre, is not only a feast for the eyes but a celebration of diversity and self-acceptance that opens the door to those who may have previously felt excluded from the magic of "The Nutcracker." One of the most striking features of McOnie's rendition is its redefined cast of characters. Clara, typically portrayed as an upper-cl...
Jesus Christ Superstar – Liverpool Empire
North West

Jesus Christ Superstar – Liverpool Empire

High expectation was felt amongst the sell-out crowd and this performance lived-up to and exceeded its title as a classic of British musical theatre. Tom Scutt (set and costume) and Drew Mconie (choreography) brought something new and exciting to this particular production. The industrial feel of the set, the paring back to bare metal really added to it and allowed those performing to shine and the multipurpose props were a savvy touch. Also, the movement elements of this piece were really impressive. Rugged, grounded and grungey would be the terms I would use, which brought a new take to the show to highlight the turmoil and obsessive themes of the story. All cast members gave their all in the physical demands of the routines which paid off, and their energy was felt right to the back...
Jesus Christ Superstar – Palace Theatre
North West

Jesus Christ Superstar – Palace Theatre

It’s a musical institution, and it’s been given a brand new lease of life..Jesus Christ Superstar at Manchester's Palace Theatre as part of this UK Tour, starring the incredible Ian McIntosh as Jesus, is unquestionably the most creative rendition of this iconic musical that I have ever had the privilege of witnessing. From the moment the logo emblazed curtain rose, we were presented with a cast of awe-inspiring talent and jaw-dropping theatricality.Directed by Timothy Sheader; this reimagined Rock Opera composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice delivers a totally different experience than I was expecting; it’s modern and refreshed, it feels like I’m watching the musical for the very first time again.Ian McIntosh's portrayal of Jesus was nothing short of divine. His powerful voice and c...
Bugsy Malone – The Rep, Birmingham
West Midlands

Bugsy Malone – The Rep, Birmingham

This revival production, originally seen in the West End in 2015, has come to Birmingham for two weeks, in the summer holidays, as part of its first professional tour. Bugsy Malone first started life as a musical film where it’s use of child actors playing every role as adults, made it stand out from the crowd. Keeping to this idea, seven of the principal roles are played by children. The adult ensemble takes all the other roles filling the stage and performing with the principals in the musical numbers. Set loosely in prohibition America, Bugsy Malone transports us to the age of gangsters, flappers and mob rivalry. However as this is a family friendly show, the gangs are running a soda business and the guns fire “Splurge” the next step in custard pie weaponry. Fat Sam’s Speakeas...
Bugsy Malone gets first ever professional UK tour
NEWS

Bugsy Malone gets first ever professional UK tour

Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Birmingham Rep and Kenny Wax present a revival of Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s universally acclaimed, sell-out production of Bugsy Malone which will open at Theatre Royal Bath with performances from 2nd July 2022, followed by Birmingham Rep from 27th July 2022, prior to a major national tour including Southampton Mayflower from 30th August 2022, with further venues to be announced. The world-famous musical Bugsy Malone is based on the hit 1976 movie by Alan Parker whose long catalogue of films have won nineteen BAFTA® awards, ten Golden Globes® and six Oscars®. Packed with instantly recognisable songs from Oscar®-winner Paul Williams including My Name is Tallulah, You Give A Little Love and Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, Bugsy Malone is a masterclass of musical co...
Northern Ballet: Merlin – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Northern Ballet: Merlin – Hull New Theatre

I wonder if professional ballet dancers, after a performance, head straight for the Voltarol to rub on to their aching limbs. Well, after watching the ballet Merlin, on Wednesday night, at Hull New Theatre, I really felt I, too, would be heading for the Voltarol, to rub onto my aching arms - so vigorously had I applauded. Luckily for me, pain relief wasn’t needed, but my goodness, the Northern Ballet company has really gone to town with this production. A read through the programme informs us Merlin brings together a creative team working with Northern Ballet for the first time. And, with no disrespect to any of the company’s other productions, this new input really has worked its magic. The story of the mythical wizard is told in such a way, I didn’t know what to concentr...
Northern Ballet are back with three Yorkshire shows
NEWS

Northern Ballet are back with three Yorkshire shows

Northern Ballet are back with a trio of shows including a brand-new production of Merlin, the return of David Nixon’s bodice ripping Dangerous Liaisons and the world première of a new children's ballet Pinocchio.  Merlin will be one of the first productions created during the pandemic to visit theatres across the country. Following its world première in Nottingham in September, Merlin tours to Hull New Theatre, Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Leeds Grand Theatre.  Created by the British choreographer Drew McOnie, Merlin tells the tale of a young and inexperienced sorcerer mastering his magic to unite a warring kingdom. The ballet explores Merlin’s teenage impulses and his quest for acceptance set against a backdrop of conflict and divide. For Olivier winne...
Carousel – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
London

Carousel – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Walking into the atmospheric surroundings of an open-air theatre is always a joy, never more so than with the anticipation of seeing one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most popular musicals. Carousel is undoubtedly a classic and was even voted the best musical of the 20th Century by TIME magazine. Written in 1945, the story is a simple one: young millworker Julie Jordan meets bad-boy and serial womaniser carousel barker Billy Bigelow and is immediately smitten. So much so that she risks her livelihood just as he's also given the sack. Living on the generosity of family and friends, their situation goes from bad to worse when Julie tells Billy she's pregnant and he becomes desperate to provide for his family and is willing to risk, and lose, all. Carly Bawden is a charmingly innocent Juli...