Tuesday, November 29

Tag: The Alexandra

Derren Brown: Showman – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

Derren Brown: Showman – The Alexandra, Birmingham

I promised Derren I wouldn’t tell you anything. Well, it wasn’t just me - there were about fifteen hundred of us. All sworn to secrecy which, to be fair, doesn’t allow me much scope to tell you about the show, but let’s have a bash anyway. So, Derren Brown has been beguiling, bewitching and bewildering us with brash bravado and unashamed chutzpah for over twenty years offering a self-proclaimed blend of "magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection, and showmanship” and last night at the Alex in Birmingham he certainly provided examples of all of those in equal measure. He proved himself a master of reading body language and facial ticks to an uncanny and unsettling, Sherlockian level. He sniffed out someone’s childhood accident after a few minutes of looking them over. Did he read it o...
Cluedo – The Alexandra
West Midlands

Cluedo – The Alexandra

If you love classic board games, then you are in for a real treat because the detective board game Cluedo, a fan favourite has been made into a play. This play is a brand new comedic whodunnit. The Hasbro board game has had several versions and has seen many alterations over time. There was also a 1985 hit film called CLUE based on the game itself. This new stage play is directed by Mark Bell who is known for The Play That Goes Wrong, another comedic spoof on stage. This is no different and is just as farcical and nonsensical, however, this only adds to the experience, I could clearly hear the audience in hysterics at almost every other line spoken. The plot occurs on a dark, stormy evening at a country house where Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs Peacock, Reverend Green, Mrs Whit...
Dreamboats and Petticoats – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

Dreamboats and Petticoats – The Alexandra, Birmingham

“Petticoats and Dreamcoats’” first incarnation arrived in theatres over eleven years ago and happily and squarely hit their target demographic straight in the bulls’ eye. It was preppy and fun and joyous and brought back many memories for those who lived through the years portrayed. This latest re-incarnation is ten years on as is its target audience and perhaps a little less eager to jump to its feet. This is a show holding great memories for those who were there - particularly Butlins’ and a youth club - but holding little else for the rest of us. The plot is scant and characters merely cyphers - but what holds it together is the music and, though the choices are not the most memorable of the period, there are a few great tunes to bop to. If you can still bop. “Lipstick on Your Colla...
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – The Alexandra
West Midlands

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – The Alexandra

If you want some adventure, then all you must do is open those wardrobe doors and step into the Alexandra Theatre where The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Tour has transported itself to town.  This lavish retelling of the classic 1950’s novel by CS Lewis has had a revamp from director Michael Fentiman, whose theatricalisation of the time-honoured novel has been in rehearsal; this production itself is based upon Sally Cookson’s acclaimed stage adaptation that premiered in Leeds late in 2017 before finding a London home 2 years later at the Bridge Theatre. The book is a favourite for many and Fentiman brilliantly navigates the mythical, and magical atmosphere onstage. The production features an incredible ensemble who really took the phrase ‘triple threat’ to a whole new level....
Fatal Attraction – The Alexandra
West Midlands

Fatal Attraction – The Alexandra

This well-known thriller based on the film of the same name, comes to Birmingham this week to bring a touch of romantic drama. Beth and Dan have a happy life until she spends a weekend at her mother’s and Dan goes to a bar. From here Dan (Oliver Farnworth) makes a series of bad decisions, the first being to have dinner with a beautiful lady in the bar, Alex (Kym Marsh). Will Dan be able to keep his weekend activities secret, or will Alex reveal the truth as she gets more desperate for him to stand up to his responsibilities. There is a tension throughout the play, partly because most people have an idea where this is going. There are audible reactions when there is mention of a pet rabbit and when a phone number is handed over. Adding to this tension the sound design keeps you on ed...
Death Drop – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

Death Drop – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Having started life in the West End, Death Drop comes to Birmingham to bring its unique twist on the murder mystery genre to brighten the city. It is 1991, the Lady of Shantay Mansion invites a seemingly random group of personalities to celebrate a special anniversary. However, on this stormy night strange things soon start to occur. As secrets are revealed, will anyone make it out alive? I have never seen a show like it, it brings the art of Drag (be it Queens or Kings) into a mainstream theatre. The lines of gender are blurred, all you see are larger than life characters as they fill the stage with their performances, and it works, it makes you wonder why this hasn’t happened before. This is part pantomime, with slap stick and tongue twisters, part musical with a couple of crac...
9 to 5 The Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham
West Midlands

9 to 5 The Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham

After an enforced break, this feel-good musical takes to the road again, stopping off in Birmingham for a week. Based on the 1980s film of the same name and of course, the iconic song, this show tells the tale of three woman (Doralee, Violet and Judy) with office jobs, struggling to get noticed in a man’s world. Their boss, Franklin Hart Jnr, has views that (hopefully) are outdated in the workplace today. Can the ladies get him to take them seriously? Being set in the 1980s, everything is of the era. The costumes, hair and make-up instantly transport you right back, as does the pared down set. Clever use of projection does the leg work for the scene setting allowing for a few well placed furniture items to create the location. The set changes create a choreographed musical interlude...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham
East Midlands

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham

What a lot of scenery! If you like scenery this is the show for you! Acres it, yards of it flash by one after another - flat trees, flat doors, flat clouds, flat waves all causing this reviewer to wonder how they manage to store it all in the wings rather than consider the show. There really was a lot it… “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” is almost a Disney classic or if you work for Disney it’s a classic. It’s one step below “Mary Poppins” but quite a number of steps above “The Fox and the Hound” adapted from the novels by Mary Norton (who despite having invented the whole thing doesn’t seem warrant a credit in the programme…) and, of course, from the movie with Angela Lansbury. And like all good movies it moves and this stage adaptation from Michael Harrison attempts to move with the same v...
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 opens UK Tour in Birmingham
NEWS

Rock of Ages opens UK Tour in Birmingham

Following a sell-out tour in 2018/2019, the producers of the smash-hit ROCK OF AGES are delighted to announce the cast and Kevin Clifton’s return in the role of Stacee Jaxx. The tour will open at The Alexandra, Birmingham from 9th September 2021. Full dates and casting can be found at the website www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk Kevin Clifton thrilled audiences as Stacee Jaxx on the 2018/2019 ‘Rock of Ages’ UK tour and he is so excited to be back, reprising the role in 2021. Kevin is best known for being a professional dancer on BBC1's 'Strictly Come Dancing’. In seven years on the show Kevin reached the final a record five times - winning four glitter balls including the main show Glitterball trophy in 2018 with Stacey Dooley - before leaving in 2019. Since then, Kevin has gone on to appea...