Review: 5***** The Band The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury @TheBandMusical @marlowetheatre @garybarlow

 

#Tweetingit – 5***** a nostalgia-fuelled show, filled with Take That hits, and a touching, tear-jerking, comical and highly entertaining storyline about friendship, loss, and fandom – what more can you possibly want?

Firstly – this is a long review. If you get to the end, thank you for your Patience.

“Another Jukebox musical? Please no” I hear you shout. But stop right there. This is no standard jukebox musical. For starters, it is Take That, and I won’t have them being put in the same (juke)box as everyone else. Secondly, there are some writing, directing and musical powerhouses behind this show. Finally, the storyline is perfect – and I challenge anyone to not enjoy it.Five To Five 1-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqAzMJJg5VNQe2kPfFotnYyMAIyw8V_v79fnIz2T-nYFU

The Band came about following the reality TV Show – Let It Shine where Gary Barlowe and a panel of experts looked for 5 boys to star in a new musical based on Take That Songs. Subsequently, Five to Five were born – staring AJ, Curtis, Nick, Sario and Yazdan.

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Review: 2** Gallowglass – Norwich Theatre Royal – @MGTheatreCo @TheatreRNorwich

 

From the pen of one of the world’s greatest thriller writers, Ruth Rendell (writing as Barbara Vine), comes a tale of kidnap and murder (eventually!).

When Joe was saved from the path of a London tube, it wasn’t without consequence – his rescuer, Sandor, told him “your life belongs to me”. Taking advantage of Joe’s learning difficulties and consequential inability to stand up for himself, Joe becomes Sandor’s servant – his Gallowglass. 2 (2)Sandor tells Joe the ‘story’ of a once kidnapped princess in Italy – but it soon becomes clear that this is no story and history is about to repeat itself . Sandor moves to the Suffolk countryside, where scared Nina lives with her third rich husband, in preparation to kidnap her all over again. 

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Review: 3*** for newbies. 4**** for fans. Steptoe and Son Museum of Comedy @museumofcomedy ‏

 

Steptoe and Son, for those unaware (as I was), was a long-running British television show active from 1962-65, and again from 1970-74. I must admit that whilst not the biggest fan of the genre, (if I wanted to listen to barely comprehensible Cockneys, Steptoe Hi Res 1 CaptionI could just go see my family) the show was a fantastic homage to the original series, excellently encapsulating the spirit and mannerisms of the original cast and bringing a slice of post-war London into the modern day.

As an insight into the now anachronistic concept of rag-and-bone men, it is fascinating – especially with the choice of stories that seamlessly introduce and expound on the premise. The evolution from Steptoe and Son to shows like Only Fools and Horses is clear, and also books like Danny, the Champion of the World. The fact of the matter is that they exemplify a fundamentally British spirit of gallows humour; because you’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?

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Interview: Joe Ball, the Director of Revolution and Artistic Director of Exit Productions @VaultFestival @exitprodu @Kraydius

Last night I was lucky enough to go to The Vaults Festival to see Revolution – an immersive/interactive gaming experience. A review of this will follow but
I was lucky enough to speak Joe Ball, the Director of Revolution and also Artistic Director of Exit Productions.
But first – here is an overview of the show:
In a more and more connected world politics still manages to be something that truly divides us. Revolution gives an audience of complete strangers a fun and engaging way to interact around politics in an action-packed game environment. Audiences will find the game aspect of the performance familiar as there are echoes from classic board games but at the same time Revolution is new enough to keep everyone on a
level playing field. We use this game format to engage the audience in the tactics of the Revolution. 2By splitting the audience into three distinct factions we pit audience members (often friends) against each other to try and take over our digital map of London. This leads to alliances, coalitions, backstabbing, spying and worse, just like regular politicking. At the same time as placing strategic orders, the factions must come up with policies that they wish to see in the new world before they present them to the room and try and defend them. Adding to the gameplay but also engaging an audience in politics. Testing their ideals and the way that they present them in the forge of public opinion.
And now for the questions.

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Review: 3*** Austen the musical at Mirth, Marvel and Maud @MirthMarvelE17 @AustenMusical

When I was offered the opportunity to review Austen the musical, I approached the evening with hesitancy and intrigue. 

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Hesitancy, because I’m always a little tentative when it comes to musicals –I’ve just never been a fan off all-singing narratives. 

And intrigue, because I had a chance to learn a little bit more about the author whose work I have spent many an hour ogling over.  Intrigue won, and I’m happy to report, there was as much speech as there was song.

The opening number certainly set the tone. The lyrics forged a beginning, middle and end to the production; underpinning the notion that Austen’s taxed heart was the influence for her writing. As the summary indicated, the play unveiled the most influential points of Austen’s life – from snubbed proposals, to reciprocated love stolen by the unabashed hands of death – identifying moments where certain characters or plots could have originated. This unveiling, however, although autobiographical, touched on much more than Austen dear diary moments.

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Review: 5***** The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time @curiousonstage @marlowetheatre

#tweeting it: 5***** An emotional, poignant and, in parts, funny portrayal of the struggles of people with autism. This production is astonishing

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted for stage by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s mystery novel, is very much a work about obsessions.curious 3 The more obvious of these obsessions are those of the protagonist, Christopher, portrayed quite amazingly by Scott Reid, who we meet crouched on the floor next to the corpse of the titular dog at the beginning of the play. They are clear and laid out, elucidated in character monologues, ably assisted by some fantastic LED based set design.

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Review:5***** Briefs @LdnWonderground @Briefsfactory

#Tweetingit – 5***** Naked men cavorting around the stage thrusting and gyrating + filthy jokes – alright then!

This is the fourth time around for this Briefs show – although you would never know it. The boys bring back their own particular brand of male burlesque to the UK. briefs_webWonder Ground on the South Bank is the perfect home for the, back flipping, groin thrusting, eye watering anarchy, for which this troupe is known.

Whilst waiting for the action to begin with hip hop thundering through the circus tent and red lights on the suitable named ‘thrust’ staging the feeling of excitement and anticipation in the crowd is palpable. It is clear from these awaiting fans that they’re all in on the joke and know exactly what’s coming. Everything starts with a fantastic feather fan piece to INXS, the dancing is on point and the clothes soon start disappearing, which set the tone for the evening.

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Review: 5***** Sister @ovalhouse

The Ovalhouse has been a part of the London theatre scene for over 50 years, and is patronised by people such as Pierce Brosnan. But with shows like Sister being being performed here, it doesn’t need the famous names to draw people in.sister-born-mad-ovalhouse-copyright-ludovic-des-cognets-4-600x350

Sister is the new play by Born Mad, a theatre company led by director Rebecca Hanbury and composer Alex Groves and unsurprisingly, there is a strong audio focus in the production. Lines are often echoed throughout, and the scene are represented as if the actresses are being recorded at the time; it encapsulates the spirit of the lines and stories being used and adds a fluidity to proceedings.

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Review: 2** Broken Strings @TabardTheatreUK

A stone’s throw from Turnham Green tube is the charming Tabard pub, with William Morris inspired interior and a cozy fairy-lit garden, providing a lovely spot for a gin and tonic, and to see two seasoned performers offer an emotionally charged evening – hopes were high! The intimate studio theatre perched above the pub seats just 75, the audience is greeted with an impressive set, a near exact replica of a domestic interior, expertly designed by Michael Leopold.

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Interview: Suz Mountfort and Kerry Adamson @gingerline @ChambersofFlav

 

 I was lucky enough to get a few minutes with Gingerline’s creators to ask how they go about what they do. Im also even more lucky to be able to say that tonight I am off to a taster session of the newest installment of Chambers of Flavour – a multi dimensional immersive food and drink experience which comes to London in September

What made you decide to mix theatre with food and drink?

gingerline-2My partner, Kerry Adamson, and are both have a huge love for amazing food, great performance and unusual experiences. I’m a massive foodie, and Kerry is a performance artist so to us it made sense to combine our two worlds in order to create what was initially amazing dinner parties which would transform the way people eat out. We started out in our kitchen hosting pop-up supper clubs playing around with this performance meets art meets music meets food and along the way invented what is now popularly known as ‘immersive dining’ and what Gingerline is now today.

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