Thursday, July 7

Tag: Liverpool Empire

School of Rock – Liverpool Empire
North West

School of Rock – Liverpool Empire

I left School of Rock at the Empire on Tuesday a mixture of feelings: on one hand, I was buzzing with the energy of a fantastic show, with an electric finale and ultimate feel-good vibe. On the other hand however, I was deflated - knowing I will never, nor have ever been, as equal-parts cool and insanely talented as the child cast that were on the stage tonight. Because as Andrew Lloyd Webber himself assured us at the start of the show, yes, they do play their own instruments live! The story follows the film almost exactly. Dewey Finn (Jake Sharp) is living with, and sponging from, his best friend Ned Schneebly (played exquisitely by Matthew Rowland) and his long-suffering girlfriend Patty (Nadia Violet Johnson). He has been threatened with eviction by the pair, as well as being kicked...
Singin’ in the Rain – Liverpool Empire
North West

Singin’ in the Rain – Liverpool Empire

Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh? The stage production of what is arguably one of Gene Kelly’s most famous films, Singin’ in the Rain, is once again making its way around the UK once more and is continuing to entertain audiences, just as it did in the 1950s. With such a famous score, including the titular track, ‘Good Morning’, ‘Moses Supposes’ and ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’, to name but a few, the musical really does make the film come to life right in front of your eyes. In 1927, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are at the height of their fame as silent movie stars. Their latest movie is a massive smash hit, and they are about to start working on the next film, when news reaches them, about Warner Brothers’ next film – a talking picture. What can they do to maintain their stardom and what...
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Liverpool Empire
North West

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Liverpool Empire

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical show collaboratively written by musical theatre legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber, based on an Old Testament bible story. For those not familiar with the story, it is about Jacob who has a large family of twelve sons.  He has more affection for one of his sons, Joseph, and favours him over his eleven brothers. He has a special multi-coloured coat made for him and this causes jealousy among the brothers, so they decide to sell Joseph into slavery; after doing so they take his beautiful multi-coloured coat back to their father telling him that his beloved son has been killed. Joseph has an ability to interpret dreams and his predictions for people had proved correct prior to being in captivity.  This comes to the n...
Derren Brown: Showman – Liverpool Empire
North West

Derren Brown: Showman – Liverpool Empire

Forget Hugh Jackman, the greatest showman of our generation without a doubt is Derren Brown. The prominent illusionist rose to fame in the early 2000s, starting with the TV show Mind Control and other shows such as Trick of the Mind and his specials Sacrifice, Miracle: Faith or Fiction and The Push are currently available to stream on Netflix, with more available on All4. He has always stated that he is able to manipulate the mind and use psychology to work out people’s actions. More often than not, he is able to do exactly what he says and has stunned audiences worldwide. In today’s fickle age, over 20 years after his rise to fame, he is still as popular with audiences and able to stun them to silence in awe at what he does. Unfortunately, I can’t go into detail about what we w...
The Play That Goes Wrong – Liverpool Empire
North West

The Play That Goes Wrong – Liverpool Empire

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society has finally found the play for their member numbers and the time has come for them to put it in front of an audience, but are they ready? Mischief Comedy’s The Play That Goes Wrong focuses on the Drama Society’s performance of Murder at Haversham Manor and is two hours of guaranteed laughs and enjoyment. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, it is a comedy and a piece that will stand the test of time, as there is no actual time period mentioned throughout the piece. The comedic timing is absolutely spot on and to be able to deliver the piece straight-faced, whilst standing in exactly the right place at the right time, so as not to mess up any of the cues definitely takes a special type of skill. Just when you think nothing el...
The Rocky Horror Show – Liverpool Empire
North West

The Rocky Horror Show – Liverpool Empire

Well, what a hoot! From start to finish this show was an absolute rollercoaster of mayhem, laughter and double-entendres! The Rocky Horror Show – more of a phenomenon now since it first braced the theatres nearly 50 years ago (since 1973)- has become the biggest cult musical of all time. Richard 0’Brien’s wacky story of how two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet, when by a twist of fate, find their way into a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, meet the charismatic Dr Frank ’n’ Furter and change their lives forever, has taken on a new life of its own. I have seen the show a couple of times and thought it’s time I educated my 17-year-old son into the world of “The Mind Warp” and to the craziness that is the Rocky Horror Show. ...
Waitress – Liverpool Empire
North West

Waitress – Liverpool Empire

I’ll be honest, they had me at “all-female creative team”. I’d heard such a buzz about Waitress, but aside from some passionate warblings of “She Used to Be Mine” on many an am-dram stage, it wasn’t one I had quite gotten around to learning about, and so I was going in blind. Adapted from the film by Adrienne Shelly, the show features a heart-manipulating score by Sara Bareilles that takes the audience through a full spectrum of emotions across both acts. I will say that at times some lyrics got a little lost in the mix, which is a shame as there were some amazing laugh-out-loud moments, and real gut punches in the words that I could make out. The live band were set at the back of the stage, with members occasionally popping up elsewhere to build the story - such as a sultry cello narr...
Madam Butterfly – Liverpool Empire
North West

Madam Butterfly – Liverpool Empire

If captivating story arcs of love, deception and tragedy are your thing, you don’t want to miss this. The timeless plot of Madam Butterfly takes your heart on an emotional rollercoaster and showcases the human voice in a way that must be heard to be fully appreciated. How are The Welsh National Opera delivering a production that brings this to the fore as well as evolving the interpretation of Puccini’s masterpiece? Directed by Lindy Hume, the new tour provides an altogether more gritty – more realistically raw – interpretation of an opera that has stood the test of time. Some people may feel the traditional expectations of opera shouldn’t be tampered with or be apprehensive about how such a work could be adjusted effectively; this is the mindset I held upon first seeing this revised v...
Anything Goes – Liverpool Empire
North West

Anything Goes – Liverpool Empire

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now God knows, anything goes. Last years’ Olivier Award nominations were proof that Cole Porter’s 1934 musical hit is a timeless classic and can still please audiences today. This new touring production also shows, that with the right casting, it can raise the roof on large theatre venues. Set on the SS American, as it sets sail from New York to England, the press and passengers on board are complaining that there are no celebrities to make this trip worthwhile and worth the price of the ticket. Unbeknownst to them, there are stowaways and gangsters hiding in plain sight aboard and chaos, of course, ensues. With storylines that follow four main characters, it’s easy to think you’d get confused with the multip...
Mamma Mia! – Liverpool Empire
North West

Mamma Mia! – Liverpool Empire

Everyone is familiar with the ‘Mamma Mia!’ films but not everyone has seen the stage show upon which they’re based; I’m lucky enough to have seen it many times, the first time being the London premier in 1999 when I was blown away by the production, the songs and the energy of the cast.  Based around the songs of Swedish pop legends ABBA, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is now a box-office worldwide musical phenomenon. The feel-good musical is presently playing in both the West End and Broadway and has countless touring versions performing world-wide. The show was originally conceived by English producer, Judy Craymer and written by Catherine Johnson, with director Phyllida Lloyd, these being the collaborative creative force behind what was to become an unprecedented commercial success; it premie...