Last night I had the privilege to go and see my first murder mystery play at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, an adaptation of Ruth Rendell’s 1977 novel A Judgement in Stone, acclaimed as one of her greatest novels it tells the story of the Coverdales who end up being found murdered in their manor home in the West Country, leaving the audience to wonder whodunit.
At 23 I’m not the most likely of people to love all things 60s. But growing up my mum was a Mod so some of that love has been passed down to me. With that said, The Small Faces weren’t a band I knew a lot about. Nevertheless, I was still excited to see the swinging sixties brought to life on stage last night. I was expecting your typical Jukebox Musical where the storyline is created to surround the music of the band. However, what we as an audience are greeted with is the story of the late and great Steve Marriot.
Despite never having seen the film, nor read the book, I knew enough about the hype around The Woman in Black, to know to be terrified. In fact, I think a lot of my fear and nerves for this show came from other people’s reactions when I said I was going to see it, “Oh, you’re going to scream so much!”. I am scared of everything, so this wasn’t a surprise to me.
Grease most definitely is the word as one of the most famous musicals in existence makes its way into Stoke-on-Trent. The show that was voted Britain’s favourite musical, is the one that Stoke wanted last night as the theatre was packed with excited people young and old. It was amazing to see so many young faces at the theatre and this was the perfect show to get them involved. The show which is chocked to the brim with famous songs that ever person has in their back pocket and at points you could hear people singing along. On entrance to the auditorium you are greeted by a huge pink neon sign of the iconic logo linked to the show. This is used impressively to start the show and set the mood instantly.
The Regent Theatre is transported to Philadelphia in 1977 to play witness to a murder, a miracle and a musical as Craig Revel Horwood’s production of Sister Act is brought to Stoke. Practically every knows this heart-warming story of a singer trying to find her way in the world of Soul Music but the way she ended up going was completely different. The film is now rated as a classic starring the comedy genius that is Whoopi Goldberg. Does the film transfer to a musical? Yes it does, with bows and whistles and throw a tambourine or two in there for good measure.
The Regent Theatre is playing host to a very hazardous guest this week as the Olivier award winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong comes to Stoke-on-Trent. The second you walk into the auditorium you are greeted to an incredibly impressive set which resembles a 1920’s stately home. Only later on in the show do you realise just how impressive this set truly is.
Stoke-on-Trent said Thank you for the Music last night as the Regent Theatre is playing host to Mamma Mia for two weeks. The show which features the music of Abba has been running in London for many years and even made into a film with Meryl Streep as Donna.
The Regent is sent into the swinging sixties this week as we are transported to Essex in 1961 for the 10th anniversary tour of ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ the musical that is based on the hit CD which topped the charts for several weeks when it was first released. The show features many famous songs from the time period including ‘Runaround Sue’ and ‘Da Doo Ron Ron.’ There was a large amount of songs in the show that I didn’t recognise but I suppose that being twenty three I wouldn’t know all the songs from the 1960’s.
Stoke was graced by the West End smash Funny girl last night. The show is about the life of actress Fanny Brice and has had nothing but praise during its West End run. With this in mind, I couldn’t wait to see the show when it hit the Regent stage and I have fallen hook line and sinker in love with every detail of the show. It is a theatrical masterpiece there are no other words to describe it.
The Potteries have been graced this week by the musical adaptation of the film most famous for its pottery throwing scene. The show adapted from Ghost the film has had mountains of success since it opened a few years ago in Manchester including a West End run and another tour. The theatre was packed last night with people of all ages excited to see the spirt of Ghost brought to life.
I was fortunate enough to see this production of Sister Act last year at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, and although I was impressed by it there were a few areas where I felt it could have been improved. Tonight, I was thrilled to see on the whole this production has flourished and grown as a result of its time on the road.
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