Saturday, February 4

Tag: Opera House

<strong>Ellen Kent’s La Boheme – Opera House, Manchester</strong>
North West

Ellen Kent’s La Boheme – Opera House, Manchester

Producer Ellen Kent has created a niche in the theatrical world over the last three decades, importing the best of traditional ballet and opera from Eastern Europe to be staged here in the UK. Given the ongoing war in Ukraine and subsequent political upheaval, it is a testament to her tenacity that she has managed to bring 'The Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre' from war torn Kyiv, on a Spring tour to the UK, beginning at Manchester's Opera House. The small company of approximately a dozen, supplemented by local young artists and supported by a full orchestra, will be showcasing classic works by Puccini and Verdi over the next four months; Madama Butterfly, Aida and La Boheme. Ah, 'La Boheme'! At this point I have to confess my history with Puccini's impossibly romantic story of doo...
Madama Butterfly – Manchester Opera House
North West

Madama Butterfly – Manchester Opera House

What a privilege to be able to see one of Puccini’s most iconic operas, in one of auditoriums built for such a performance – at the Opera House in Manchester. I was so delighted to see this (even if it was on a school night!)  and as it was a packed house so were a lot of people. The set was stunning, with the Japanese pagoda and trees across the stage and as the curtain rose we were taken to a mountain top village in Nagasaki, where life was simple, traditions obeyed and love was strong. Lieutenant Pinkerton of the American Navy, awaits his bride to be, the 15 year old naïve Cio-Cio-San, and is shown around his mountain top home by the marriage broker Goro. The American is joined by the American Consul Sharpless, who has adept knowledge of Japanese traditions and knowing that ...
<strong>The Mousetrap – Opera House, Manchester</strong>
North West

The Mousetrap – Opera House, Manchester

At the conclusion of every performance of Agatha Christie's 'The Mousetrap, the murderer steps forward and asks the audience to 'keep the secret of whodunnit locked in your heart', an appeal that has proved remarkably resilient given that this tour marks its 70th anniversary and it remains the longest continuously running show of any kind in the world. With nearly 29,000 performances since its premiere in 1952 you could forgive audiences if they tired of it, but a packed opening night in the vast Manchester Opera House, is testament to its enduring popularity. Confession time, as a critic who has been attending theatre for well over 40 years, I have never seen 'The Mousetrap', the rodent has eluded me all these years and whilst it will never be on my theatrical bucket list, the complet...
<strong>Bugsy Malone – Opera House, Manchester</strong>
North West

Bugsy Malone – Opera House, Manchester

Grab your sequins, pin-striped suits and splurge guns because Bugsy Malone is in town! This sparkling revival is packed with glamour, amazing choreography and a cast of future musical theatre stars. If you weren’t already aware, the show is performed by a complete cast of young people, however this is no school nativity, far from it in fact. The plot, light though it may be, follows the much-loved Bugsy Malone (Gabriel Payne) a penniless past boxer who just wants to take his new love, Blousey (Delilah Bennet-Cardy) to the shining lights of Hollywood to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a star. Bugsy gets mixed up in the New York gangster war of Fat Sam (Albie Snelson) and Dandy Dan (Desmond Cole). Custard pies are flung as rivalries flourish, but things get serious as the gangs ...
Jersey Boys – Opera House, Manchester
North West

Jersey Boys – Opera House, Manchester

The swinging 60s, what a time to be alive! The first man walked on the moon, England won the World Cup, and of course Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons became international sensations. However, their journey to fame wasn’t always as slick as their harmonies, as is presented in the stage musical, Jersey Boys. As the curtain goes up, the audience are greeted with a rendition of the classic ‘Oh What a Night’, which really sets the tone for the evening. However, this has a more contemporary twist on the classic hit. On this night Frankie Valli was played by Ryan Heenan, who I was surprised to learn was the understudy for the role. He was absolutely sublime and a perfect fit for the character. Singing mostly in falsetto is very difficult, especially for a male, but he did a great job an...
South Pacific – Opera House, Manchester
North West

South Pacific – Opera House, Manchester

Chichester Festival Theatre has become known for taking on some of the most challenging classics and transforming them into a triumph. Director Daniel Evans’s lively reappraisal of South Pacific is no exception. On one of Manchester’s hottest days on record the audience was transported to the South Pacific where US troops were occupying a Polynesian island in the WW2 conflict with Japan.  The opening scene sees nurse Nellie Forbush (Gina Beck) on a coffee date with Emile de Becque (Julian Overden), a middle-aged plantation owner that she recently met at the officer’s club. De Becque is an ultra-suave Frenchman with a murderous past but despite this we see young nurse Forbush failing madly in love with him. The US troops are kicking their heels while restlessly waiting for th...
The Play That Goes Wrong – Manchester Opera House
North West

The Play That Goes Wrong – Manchester Opera House

When going to the theatre, I always love to see a ‘comedy farce’ more than anything else; I enjoy a good drama as much as the next person, but I find that farce comedy just works so well in a theatre environment and there’s one company that stands out above all the rest for being masters of the farce; this is of course the Mischief Theatre Company. Set up back in 2008 by a group of talented theatre students; This company has had great success on stage and on screen and perhaps their best known production and most successful is; The Play That Goes Wrong which is without doubt the best of farce and currently back at Manchester Opera House for one week only! The production first debuted in 2012 at The Old Red Lion Theatre in London and now just over a decade later; the original cast ha...
The Cher Show – Opera House, Manchester
North West

The Cher Show – Opera House, Manchester

After six decades of a career encompassing pop and film stardom, political activism and television success, it was a no-brainer that the life of Cherilyn Sarkasian, aka Cher, would eventually make the transition to a stage musical. Now, the 2018 Broadway show (with a significant overhaul courtesy of Leicester Curve Theatre) lands at Opera House in Manchester to a rapturous reception on press night. The audience here is knowledgeable and primed (unlike at Sunderland Empire, where people left the theatre when they realised it wasn't Cher performing!) and they were not to be disappointed in the depth of detail with which the show represents her early life. Cher has long been a spokesperson for LGBTQ+ rights and her story of early marginalisation, mistreatment and oppression is a story tha...
The Barricade Boys – Opera House, Manchester
North West

The Barricade Boys – Opera House, Manchester

Believe it or not it’s the Barricade Boys 7th Anniversary tour of ‘Bring him Home’, originally the brainchild of Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield who wanted to create an audience experience that was much more than just songs from the shows. Having first performed at the Charing Cross Theatre in 2015, the group have successfully progressed providing entertainment on cruise ships, various well known UK television shows, Broadway and numerous other venues. The 2022 cast consists of the original founders Scott Graham and Simon Schofield joined by Craig Mather and Kieran Brown; all male vocals have a huge accolade of west end successes. Liam Steel choreographed the tour bring it nicely in line with the Les Miserable theme as it was Liam who was the choreographer for the Les Misérables movi...
The Addams Family – Opera House, Manchester
North West

The Addams Family – Opera House, Manchester

Dinner is served this week down at the Opera House in Manchester. Hosting are the most ‘normal’ family you’ll ever hope to meet! Matthew White directs with music and lyrics from Andrew Lippa. Wednesday Addams has met the love of her life, Lucas Beineke and following their secret engagement has organised dinner to allow the two families to meet and to pick the perfect moment to reveal their news. During dinner, other secrets are revealed, and the evening does not go exactly as the young lovers planned. Scott Paige returns to the show after a short break to narrate the story as Uncle Fester. Paige owns every scene he appears in with exemplary comic timing and facial expressions. Ryan Bennett as larger than life butler Lurch takes his time on stage before captivating us all at the clim...