Sunday, February 25

Tag: Wolverhampton Grand

2:22 A Ghost Story – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

2:22 A Ghost Story – Wolverhampton Grand

We should have known Danny Robin’s career would have led him up the cemetery path towards the dark side of the racks when one of his first forays into entertainment was the kids tv show, Young Dracula. The signs were all there. We should have sought the help of a vampire slayer when we had the chance, but no. Danny grew into an adult with a penchant for the paranormal, a weakness for the weird, a taste for the terrifying and an urge for the uncanny. As a young stand-up he may have died many times, but in the afterlife, he seems to have reincarnated himself as a presenter of the hauntingly addictive and truly unsettling TV and radio reality series, “Uncanny”. Those of us who hid behind a cushion as each ghostly tale throttled our imagination will approach this play with trepidation, angst ...
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Wolverhampton Grand

Everybody’s Talking About Finton! Rarely do you get the chance to witness an understudy triumph in a role, but tonight at the Grand was once such moment. Finton Flynn slipped into the title role with big heels to fill which he did with aplomb. A joyous, buoyant comic performance tempered with a well judged dash of poignancy made this performance in equal parts outstanding and endearing. He exploded with assured confidence and squeezed every drop out of line and every lyric. Certainly, a performer to look out for. Elsewhere Rebecca McGinnis more than held her own as Jamie’s long-suffering mother nailing a beautiful ballad in act two. She forms a great comic partnership with Shobna Gulati whose comic heritage is well-known. And Talia Palamathanan is a total delight as Priti and nails ...
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...
Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Wolverhampton Grand

Exploding both literally and figuratively on the stage at the Grand last night, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” follows in the confident footsteps of its predecessor Broadway-smash, “The Play That Goes Wrong”. Riddled with Mischief theatre’s trademark mania, chaos and panto-like pandemonium from the off and a litany of misfires, missed cues, mistakes and madness - the evening provides a string of cracking sight gags and slapstick. Whereas their predecessor opted for a murder mystery to parody here we have the well know family story which, much to the actor’s distress, the audience seem to think is a panto. The joy of Mischief theatre is the dedicated attention to detail, gags woven so adeptly into the script with many callbacks to previous set-ups making for a fantastically joyous evening with no ...
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Wolverhampton Grand

Without doubt British Author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Good Omens and The Sandman) is one of the greatest storytellers in the world. His intriguing and beguiling tales are in turns science-fiction, fantasy, surrealism, horror, magic realism and have appeared as novels, comic books, audio theatre, films, television and now stage. Playwright Joel Harwood together with director Katy Rudd have adapted the award-winning book in an equally award-winning play which appeared at the Dorfman, the Royal National Theatre’s smallest theatre back in December 2019 to stunning acclaim and, though the touring version seems a somewhat pared down version of the original, it’s easy to see why it is so popular. Photo: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg It begins with a single man returning to his childhood home, standin...
The Woman in Black – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

The Woman in Black – Wolverhampton Grand

Like the elegant yet phantasmagorical lady of the title, this play glides before us with confidence and aplomb unfurling a cornucopia of thrills, spills, shocks, jolts and moments of truly unsettling terror. This is not fairground spookery, this is not a tuppenny ghost ride. This is your genuine ghost story with every trope you would expect and lots more you wouldn’t. Since this ghostly apparition first shimmered into existence at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1987 you may be forgiven for thinking the years had not treated her well and the dust and spiderwebs may have gathered and everything had started to creak a little. But no. This version from PW Productions is as sharp, as fresh and as tight as if this were its premier. The adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel has overshadowed its sou...
Unexpected Twist – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Unexpected Twist – Wolverhampton Grand

“Oliver Twist” has, over the intervening years since Charles Dickens first published it in 1837, been through many twists, turns, adaptations and revamps not least of which was Lionel Bart’s 1963 version picking the pockets of millions of cinema and theatre goers from that day to this. There have been TV series, animations and doubtless slews of associated merchandise for which poor Charlie never saw a penny. Yet another manifestation emerged from the soupy fog of Victorian London at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton last night as Roy Williams’ adaptation of Michael Rosen’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” was presented to us in the form of “Unexpected Twist.” This version attempts to draw parallels between an urban modern school locale and the novel. We have our school c...
Mother Goose – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Mother Goose – Wolverhampton Grand

Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian is a game old dame bounding on stage in frock after frock of increasing absurdity with all the energy of a pro half his age in a pot pourri of panto panache. This is glorious, engaging, gormless, beguiling and simply joyous. Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian nails the part, the panto and the people with all the precision of a seasoned pantomimer but this, it seems, is one of his first goes (He has Twankied for us before now, apparently). It is a masterclass in drollery, wit, timing, slapstick sprinkled with two poignant moments of deft and touching drama. For a moment he tells of his days as a child in Bolton visiting a theatre for the time and being entranced by, of course, pantomime and as he tells us the tale the frock and wig just seem to vanish and a gentle, nostalg...
Strictly Ballroom – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
West Midlands

Strictly Ballroom – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Back in 1992, director Baz Luhrmann brought the world of competitive ballroom dancing into the cinematic spotlight with his hit film ‘Strictly Ballroom’.  Covered in fake tan and sprinkled with sparkles, the lovingly satirical Australian film offered an entertaining glimpse into a high-pressured world with its on-stage rules and off-stage dramas.  It half-inspired the title of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and has since gone on to inspire its own stage musical.  First seen in the UK in its Leeds tryout prior to a short-lived West End run, the production has been reworked and is now midway through a successful UK tour. Scott Hastings (played by ‘Strictly’ favourite Kevin Clifton) has grown up in a family of dancers, craving the freedom to dance his own steps and frustrated in b...
Tim Rice: A Circle of Words – Wolverhampton Grand
West Midlands

Tim Rice: A Circle of Words – Wolverhampton Grand

Can you feel the love tonight?  Well, you certainly could on Thursday (9th February 2023) in Wolverhampton, as one of Britain’s greatest lyricists - Sir Tim Rice - took to the stage of The Grand Theatre for a one night only spectacular. The audience relished at the chance to hear Sir Tim recount, first-hand, how he fashioned lyrics to some of the most famous Disney and musical theatre songs of all time.  Rice has truly conquered the world of entertainment and he brought along his Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT) statues to prove it.  But, throughout an evening where we got to learn about the man behind the awards, his modesty really shone through. As well as acting as compère for the evening, Sir Tim sang some of his original lyrics to the tune of what would become...