Towards Zero was written by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, first published as a novel in 1944 and reworked as a play a decade later. It revolves around a summer gathering of friends and family at the lavish home of a wealthy widow, Lady Tressilian, a frail, but sprightly and spirited gal, hilariously played by Garrick veteran, Pat Williamson, who delivers some classic one-liners. “You should never let your affairs interfere with your marriage.” (I suspected her straight away.)
Given the chaos that currently engulfs our daily political life, it is interesting that the Royal Exchange have chosen to open their new season with Macbeth, dissecting the mind of an ambitious leader as they gain, wield and finally lose power. Add Lucy Ellinson playing the eponymous role as a Queen warrior in an overtly modern setting, and we have the potential to explore this classic text from a very different angle, an opportunity that is unfortunately only partially realised.
You know you have seen a good show when the audience sing the title song as they walk away from the theatre back to their cars, busses or trams home. That is exactly what happened tonight on Oxford Road after the opening night of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 arrived at the Palace Theatre.
Roberta (Hannah Ellis Ryan) and Danny (Danny Solomon) meet in a near-deserted downtown bar. They both dislike and distrust people and shy away from human interactions, but both are inexplicably drawn to each other, possibly because they recognise a kindred and damaged spirit.
‘Rent’ is set in Lower Manhattan and tells the story of a group of struggling, impoverished artists living under the shadow of HIV/AIDS and also facing eviction. When it closed in 2008, it was one of the longest running shows on Broadway. It ran for eighteen months in the West End.
Meighan Youth Theatre celebrated its tenth anniversary tonight by performing a selection of songs from fifteen of its productions from the very first (“Aladdin”) to the most recent (“Chicago”). Performers old and new were on the stage tonight, demonstrating the wealth of astounding talent which is in abundance within this company.
Jerry Springer The Opera is based on the TV show with the same name. It is offensive, off-beat and energetic. It does properly push the boundaries until you are wondering how they get away with it! You can see why in 2005 major controversy arose due to its television broadcast. This production is a revival by Northern Ricochet Productions.
‘Chicago’ - full of razzle dazzle, glamour, murder...and all that jazz. Set in the 1920s in the heady world of jazz and booze, it is the story of two murderesses: Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly and their obsession with fame and celebrity. It is a cynical swipe at society which is relevant more than ever today (various reality TV shows spring to mind which I won’t name).
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