Saturday, August 13

Tag: Hull New Theatre

The Play That Goes Wrong – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Play That Goes Wrong – Hull New Theatre

The last time I saw The Play That Goes Wrong, presented by the Cornley Drama Society, Winston the dog (an integral prop in the production) had done a runner then, too. It was the same on Monday evening at the Hull New Theatre, meaning Trevor, the society’s lighting and sound operator (Gabriel Paul), had to ask for our help in finding, or even replacing, the errant mutt. The stage setting for the society’s production of Murder At Haversham Manor was not quite ready at “curtain up”, so chaos ensued immediately, with a hapless audience member (or was he a stooge?) having to help out. The setting is a 1920s manor house, home to Charles Haversham (Steven Rostance), on the occasion of his engagement to Florence Colleymore (Aisha Numah). Unfortunately, Charles is discovered dead as a...
Les Misérables – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Les Misérables – Hull New Theatre

I was not surprised when the applause rang out at the Hull New Theatre on Friday evening for the spectacular that is Les Misérables. What did surprise me, however, was that the applause from the audience in the jam-packed theatre started before the show had even begun after a disembodied voice reminded us to turn off our phones and enjoy the show. Let me start my review by showing my appreciation for the amazing stage setting which brought to life the uprising by the poor of Paris, in 1832. Marvellous costumes, dramatic lighting, sounds and rousing music from talented musicians conducted by Ben Ferguson, all helped to create a production that took my breath away. But all the above would be nothing without actors who, to a man, woman and child (or children in this case, stars o...
Jersey Boys – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Jersey Boys – Hull New Theatre

So engrossed was I in the storyline during my third viewing of Jersey Boys (I’ve seen it once before as a reviewer and once as a civilian) at the Hull New Theatre on Wednesday evening, that I almost forgot to do my reviewer-ly duty, and check out the scenery, lighting, musicians, costumes etc etc. The story of the rise, fall and rise again of four young American boys from New Jersey, who became the worldwide rock stars Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, was told with humour, passion, anger and regret to name just a few of the emotions expressed by a super-talented cast of individuals. And when they were lost for words, their singing took over - and what singing! Michael Pickering’s portrayal of Frankie Valli was spot on - close your eyes and it could have been the legend himself...
Lord of the Dance – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Lord of the Dance – Hull New Theatre

Irish dance phenomenon Michael Flatley can add yet another standing ovation to his tally, after his creation, Lord of the Dance, astounded and mesmerised, yet puzzled, the Hull New Theatre audience, on Tuesday evening. I say “puzzled” because I, for one, have no idea how human feet can move that fast. And to the same beat, at the same time. Billed as “25 years of standing ovations”, it was in 1996 that Lord of the Dance tap-danced its way onto a Dublin stage and has now been seen by more than 60 million people. The Hull show opened with a huge video screen as a backdrop, showing Flatley’s performances throughout his career and, though not dancing live on the night, one later screening was so amazing, it could have been him on the Hull New Theatre stage. The video screen played...
The Cher Show – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Cher Show – Hull New Theatre

People may think the life of a theatre reviewer is one of freebies - free show tickets, free programmes, free interval drinks. But every so often, expenses are incurred and that was my lot after watching The Cher Show at the Hull New Theatre on Tuesday evening. The expenses? Well, I enjoyed the spectacular so much, back home I downloaded every Cher hit I could find - and, at 99p a pop, it created a sizeable dent in my pocket money! But I will get such enjoyment listening to Cher’s songs after being reminded of her wonderful career so far, in a glittering show that did more than justice to her musical legacy. Aided and abetted by a very atmospheric stage setting, lighting and live music from a talented group of musicians, plus, costumes to absolutely die for throughout, the sto...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Hull New Theatre

Within two minutes of Bedknobs and Broomsticks hitting the Hull New Theatre stage on Tuesday evening, the stage setting fell apart. An almighty cock-up? No, just the most amazing and dramatic opening of any theatre production I have ever witnessed. It was breath-taking and the whole musical continued in the same vein throughout. Take a bow, set and illusion designer, Jamie Harrison, not forgetting the associate scenic and puppet designer Kenneth MacLeod (more of the puppets later). We in the packed theatre were transported to the dark years of the Second World War, hence the aforementioned stage setting collapse, the result of bombing on the London home of the Rawlins family. The three children, orphaned in the tragedy, are packed off to the safety of the countryside. Thirt...
SIX The Musical – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

SIX The Musical – Hull New Theatre

It took just 80 minutes on Tuesday evening, for King Henry VIII’s six wives to tell us how they really felt about their marriages to the Tudor royal. They got their chance when the musical Six came to Hull New Theatre and, boy, they didn’t hold back. In costumes to die for (no pun intended for the three wives who popped their clogs while married to the King), they burst onto the jazzily-lit stage eager to spill the royal beans, not in the language of old, but in today’s speak, thank goodness. At first, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the glorious costumes - they really were fantastic with their amazing shapes, stiffening, glitter, shoulder pads, peplums, platform boots, fishnet tights, glow-in-the-dark ruffles and, on one occasion, modern sunglasses. We all probably know the li...
Opera North: Carmen – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Opera North: Carmen – Hull New Theatre

“Enjoy the screaming ab-dabs!”, were my opera-hating husband’s parting words as I headed for the Hull New Theatre on Thursday evening to watch Opera North’s production of Carmen. I’ve seen several of this company’s operas, in the line of duty, but never Carmen, so, blocking out hubby’s words, I vowed to watch with an open mind. Before “curtain up” an Opera North representative took to the stage to explain that there were Ukrainian and Russian cast members, who were all horrified by the current events in the Ukraine, and would we please be upstanding while the orchestra played the Ukrainian National Anthem. It was a reflective and sombre start to what turned out to be a colourful and riotous production. Set in 1830’s Seville, Spain, the opening scene featured drunken soldiers a...
Shrek the Musical – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Shrek the Musical – Hull New Theatre

I haven’t a maternal bone in my body, but, on Tuesday evening when a seven-year-old Shrek was cruelly abandoned by his parents, I actually felt stirrings of sorriness for the poor little mite. This tear-jerking scene heralded the start of Hessle Theatre Company’s production of Shrek the Musical at the Hull New Theatre and, heartstrings firmly tugged, I settled down to see how the green baby-ogre fared. In 2020, Covid wreaked havoc with the original release date of this amateur show so, out of mothballs, would it still have the same allure? Well, don’t let the word “amateur” put you off - this crew are as good as any professionals I have seen. The energetic cast, dressed in the most wonderful costumes, sang beautifully, danced and acted their hearts out, keeping a well-attended th...
The Addams Family – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

The Addams Family – Hull New Theatre

Writing this review, I am happily singing along to just one of the catchy ditties that entertained us at the Hull New Theatre on Tuesday evening, courtesy of The Addams Family’s musical comedy. “Death is just around the corner”, sung by the family matriarch, Morticia (Joanne Clifton of Strictly Come Dancing and The Rocky Horror Show fame), though morbid in content, was sung in such a joyful way, I’ll be humming it for days. From the start, the amazing stage setting held its own with the equally amazing cast, being suitably spooky, with smoke and lightning strikes both adding to the atmosphere. Aided and abetted by wonderful live music emanating from the orchestra pit, we knew we were in for a treat. And as the familiar finger clicks by “The Thing” started proceedings, it was ghou...