Let’s admit it, when we think of the classic 1980 smash hit film, we can’t help but picture leg warmers, over enthusiastic wannabes and dancing on cars throughout New York City. I am pleased to report that last night’s performance of Fame - The Musical at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield evoked much more depth within the narrative explored. This tour is designed to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the well-loved film, and celebrate it does indeed! The entire theatre was a buzz from the moment I entered to the moment I left. As soon as we took our seats in the packed theatre, we were transported to the electrifying yet slightly bleak streets of New York City, with a soundscape of car horns, frantic chattering and thick traffic perfectly setting an atmosphere for the performance ahead.
Outrageous comedy and political commentary are combined to amazing effect in They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! by Italian playwright Dario Fo, adapted by Deborah McAndrew and directed by Conrad Nelson at the York Theatre Royal. The play focuses on struggling, working-class housewife Anthea (Lisa Howard), who, prior to the first act, takes part in a protest at a local supermarket. The protest, however, soon becomes a violent riot.
Have you ever had that moment where you snap back to reality and realise you’ve just been sat there gobsmacked and for goodness knows how long? Well that is exactly what happened to me when I went to see Miss Saigon on Saturday evening (6th October)! I don’t think I had quite realised what I was about to experience – but my oh my, I won’t get over this for a while! I knew the score from the countless times listening to it, I knew the story and I had seen the recent theatrical DVD release, but NOTHING compares to being sat in the theatre watching it unfold in front of you.
That old saying “You learn something every day” certainly rang true for me on Monday night when I learned that Jacqueline’s late husband could fit three fingers into his nostril.
Impressive eh? But not something I’ll be trying in a hurry.
The Jacqueline in question is one of the lovable characters in Benidorm Live!, showing at Hull New Theatre this week as part of a national tour.
Where you are raised defines you in so many ways which is especially true for Him and her who are the only two kids born in a remote North Yorkshire village.
Charley Miles’ debut play based on her own experiences of growing in an insular place debuted at the Playhouse two years ago in the intimate Barber Studio, which suited it more than this much larger Pop Up theatre space.
All I could do was shake my head in disbelief at what I was witnessing on the stage of Hull New Theatre, on Friday night. Writing this, I am still in shock.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was making its Hull debut and judging by the rousing ovation at the end, it was a huge success. But I’m jumping ahead.
Founded in 1974, The Trocks, as they have affectionately come to be known, consist of male ballet dancers only, gathered from every corner of the world.
From Surprise, Surprise to Blind Date, Cilla Black became a firm favourite as a staple of British television. But what came before that, how was this household name status achieved? Cilla - The Musical is more than a jukebox, in a similar vein to Carole King's Beautiful, Cilla - The Musical is a biography of the rise of an iconic entertainer and singer. Following the early life of an ordinary Liverpool teenager, from Scottie Road, Priscilla White, who dreams of stardom and within 10 years, at the age of 25 achieves just that. From her days of performing with friends in clubs around Liverpool, including the Cavern Club and the Beatles, up to and including the tragic death of her manager and friend Brian Epstein. This production enthrals.
Just five people with five totally different personas, appearances and backgrounds, kept a packed Hull Truck Theatre enthralled on Tuesday night, as the cast of Abigail’s Party took to the stage.
For those of us who can remember the 1970s, the stage was truly a trip down Memory Lane – the record player with smoky-brown, see-through plastic lid; pineapple chunks and cheese on toothpicks, stuck into half a grapefruit covered in tin foil, to name but two.
I bet I wasn’t the only one who felt a rush of nostalgia.
There is something slightly surreal when the first three rows don safety goggles as performance artist Selina Thompson sets about a big lump of pink salt with a sledgehammer.
Thompson may be observing the rules of our safety first times, but this intense hour long performance is the exact opposite of that as she reflects on an epic journey she took retracing the transatlantic trade slave that cost millions of lives. A trade which she reflects is the bloody basis of Europe’s riches even today.
There was a real buzz in the air tonight at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield for the official press launch of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and after witnessing this incredible re-imagining of the literary genius’ work you can see why! The fact of the matter is that Sheffield Theatres has done it again!!
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres has taken one of William Shakespeare’s best known works and wilfully and creatively re-imagined it. It was contemporary, rich, refreshing and exactly how Shakespeare’s work should be performed.
One of the many smart touches in this imaginative version of Bertolt Brecht’s classic anti-war text is sending the audience down into the cold, dusty bowels of a Leeds warehouse to promenade with Mother Courage as she drags her cart on an endless journey round the cauldron of conflict.
It would all too easy for Britain’s sole remaining radical theatre company to indulge in tired agit-prop, but instead director Rod Dixon and his team craft a vibrant, dark piece that is utterly relevant in a world that seems determined not to learn the lessons of our violent history.
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