A post re: Rift’s Macbeth with a mention about Playhouse Pickings
Richard III, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden – Review
#Tweetingit – review in 140 characters: 4* Winter of discontent + my kingdom for a horse = Richard III alfresco style.
The Iris Theatre could not have picked a better home than St Paul’s Church for their interactive, immersive approach to Shakespeare’s work. Built by stage designer Inigo Jones, the church has a sense of majesty that naturally lends itself to the gripping tale of Richard III. With its combination of historical fact and dramatic licence, the story reads like a Hollywood blockbuster complete with roman numerals in its title. However, a movie scriptwriter would struggle to invent such a heady mix of ambition, betrayal and revenge.
The action begins with the final scene from Henry VI Part 3 where Prince Edward, heir apparent is slaughtered at the Battle of Tewkesbury. This sets in motion a train of events charting Richard’s pursuit of power and ultimately, the throne of England. The audience are led through the gardens to view individual scenes as the story develops. Much of the action takes place in front of the main church doors with teasing glimpses of a wonderful interior. The story cranks up a gear with the death of Edward IV and accession of his 12 year old son Edward. Richard is charged with care of his nephews, the uncrowned Edward V and younger brother Richard. With the Princes safely ensconced in the Tower, Richard machinates with cohorts Sir William Catesby, Duke of Buckingham and Lord Stanley. The audience enter the church to eavesdrop their deliberations. The interior has an awe inspiring splendour that lets us believe we are in 15th Century London; unlike exterior scenes, where passing jets and car alarms annoyingly break the atmosphere.
Edward IV’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville is soon declared invalid, leaving his successors without right to the throne. Seemingly, there is nothing standing in the way of Richard’s kingship. He is crowned in 1483 and the Princes mysteriously disappear from the Tower. However, storm clouds are gathering as fragile alliances crumble and Richard faces rebellion. As the sun set on a perfect summer evening we were summoned to encampment at Bosworth. Richard prepared to do battle with the army of Henry Tudor, his rival to the throne. The audience became Richard’s warriors as he issued a clarion call to arms. We all rushed to view the exciting fight scenes. I suddenly thought, where’s my sword? I want to give Henry Tudor a good thrashing! Assuming he was the bad guy? In such turbulent times how could anyone judge when the lines of morality continually blurred. Richard is one of the most misrepresented figures in British history and continually divides opinion. However, history can only be as truthful as the person writing it. Richard was no better or worse than his contemporaries.
The cast was magnificent in their respective roles, unfazed by heavy costumes which must have been stifling in the heat. David Hywel Baynes was excellent as the scheming, murderous Richard. By curious paradox, he was also quite likable, enjoying a lively rapport with the audience. Some of the cast doubled up in cross gender roles. For example, Mark Hawkins was particularly good as the cocksure Sir William Catesby and truly scary spectre of Queen Margaret; Dafydd Gwyn Howells was a commanding Henry VI and matronly Duchess of York. Space doesn’t allow me to name check the entire cast but Laura Wickham was mesmerising as Queen Elizabeth, grieving for her lost Princes.
My only real qualm concerned seating arrangements in the performance area. There was invariably a mad scramble as the show moved around the venue. People jostled each other for the best seats which seemed unnecessary. Staff set out deck chairs as it became obvious that older members of the audience needed to sit down. Patrons lugging bags of shopping around seemed to further exacerbate the problem.
The Iris Theatre deserve a massive hi-five for making Shakespeare sexy. Some might say it always has been, but this show makes the Bard’s work just that bit more accessible. An excellent programme also provides a much needed aide memoire to a tangled period of Britain’s history. At 3 hours 20 minutes, Richard III is Shakespeare’s second longest play. I didn’t notice the time until the show finished – that’s the hallmark of a great production.
Author: William Shakespeare
Director: Daniel Winder
Producer: Tara Finney
Box Office: 020 8144 1898
Booking link: http://www.iristheatre.com/Contents/IrisShows/NewStylePage/richard-iii/richard-iii.html#tickets
Booking until: 25 July 2014
Review: The Anorak, Hope Theatre,Upper Street, Islington
#Tweetingit – review in 140 characters: 3*s – Misogynist + loner coping with rejection = compelling journey into the mind of a mass killer.
Established only last year, the Hope Theatre aims to showcase emerging new writing talent, and boldly presents the disturbing tale of Mark Lepine, perpetrator of the Montreal Massacre in 1989. Like all pub theatres, the performance area is tight and claustrophobic, but not helped by an airless, stifling atmosphere. Windows were therefore open which meant audience and performer were contending with the sound of traffic rumbling past. There is no graduated seating, so views can also be severely restricted. In spite of these drawbacks, this piece was always going to deliver the goods.
Mark Lepine found infamy on 6th December 1989, when he strolled into the Ecole Polytechnic of the University of Montreal with a semi automatic rifle and hunting knife, taking the lives of 14 women and becoming Canada’s most hated and perhaps misunderstood criminals. The piece is a 90 minute monologue performed by the excellent Felix Brunger. In essence, the monologue is a suicide note, damning the hand which life has dealt him; his father leaving, the parade of rejection, the misfit square peg trying to fit into a round hole. But worst of all, his ineptitude with women; the focus of his anger. Every man that’s ever walked this earth has been rejected by a woman at some point in their lives. so why would simple disappointment turn into anger and lust for revenge? This is what The Anorak aims to explore.
The audience is cleverly separated by gender as they enter the performance area, and I sensed the mind games had already begun. Our perpetrator takes centre stage coldly announcing the names of his victims as he goes. He then addresses the male side exclusively without a sideways glance to female side. His delivery is jovial, almost friendly but punctuated with occasional lapses into mania. He describes his upbringing, resulting loneliness and resentment towards those who he believed had wronged him. As he plots the milestones of his life with forensic precision, the pressure slowly cranks up to the darkest of December days. Unsurprisingly, the perpetrator turns his attention to female members of the audience as he describes in graphic detail how he dealt with ‘feminists’ in his midst.
Whilst Adam Kelly Morton has written a solid, well researched piece of work, it doesn’t give us any real insight into the mind of a mass killer. Perhaps nothing ever could? But the portrayal of Mark Lepine could be describing anyone from Ted Bundy to the Yorkshire Ripper. Could we then conclude that environmental factors for such individuals are always going to be similar? Felix Brunger never fails to convince as the pathetic, inadequate and ultimately evil Lepine. Although slightly built with a quietly spoken voice, he conveys natural menace with great physicality and presence. It’s not a cheery way to spend an evening, and your mood certainly won’t be lightened by the experience, but its power to grip and enthrall the audience is undeniable.
Author: Adam Kelly Morton
Performed by: Felix Brunger
Director: Matthew Gould
Producer: Brungergould Productions
Box Office: 0207 478 0160
Booking until: 26 July 2014
Review: Macbeth – RIFT – Secret Location, London
An in depth review of RIFT’s – Macbeth
#Tweetingit – review in 140 characters – 5* An incredible, overnight, immersive experience in Borduria; a place where, once you have been, you’ll definitely want to visit again.
Macbeth doth murder sleep
24 hours ago, I left the RIFT which had opened near a tower block in East London. I was dazed, confused and pretty tired. I was leaving with 100 Bordurian (pounds ?) in my pocket, dual nationality; having received my Bordurian passport on arrival, one of my own dark thoughts written on a piece of paper and the overwhelming urge to have a yak’s milk latte. I had just spent the last 13 hours at Balfron Tower, desperately trying to keep a grasp on reality, immersed in the newest RIFT production – Macbeth.
Macbeth takes place around this atmospheric abandoned tower block where RIFT have created a fantasy-fictional space; a mixture of a dystopian and utopian world where you question whether you are awake or asleep. Never just a neutral spectator, you may have your hands washed by a witch, end up spooning with Lady Macbeth, be complicit in murder after being asked to wash away the blood from the bathroom or, like me, do something random like teach a porter to curtsy. All of this is completed with all the usual Macbeth themes; betrayal, lies and plenty of blood. But unlike any other adaptation which you may have seen, we are here for the night – a Macbeth sleepover.
Do you remember the last sleepover you had? My last one was when I was about 12. We did the usual girly things but part of it included writing letters to one another… about the people in the room; betrayal – tick. When someone who wasn’t supposed to read them, did, I am sure I must’ve told them that it wasn’t meant in the way it was written; lies – tick. Then we played Zombies, running around a dark house playing a game similar to hide and seek until someone ran into a wall and cut their head open; blood – tick. So I felt pretty ready for my Macbeth sleepover, “visceral experience.” However, it was more than I could ever have prepared for.
Arriving at Balfron Tower, you are greeted by the Border Control – headed up by Uri – to be processed ready to go through the RIFT. Having received your passport, Uri escorts you and your eight other theatre flatmates, to the place where the RIFT has opened and here the play begins. Walking through a dank underground carpark, in almost complete darkness except for a fire at the end of the passage, I am grabbed by the hand by a witch and led ahead of the others toward the fire. We, alongside Banquo and Macbeth encounter the witches for the first time. Surprisingly, they are speaking Shakespeare’s words – I had expected a modernisation of the speeches but you soon begin to realise they have stuck to the text fairly closely. Yes, there is some necessary adlibbing as the audience chat to the characters, alongside some additional scripted sections too but the classic speeches are all still there. People who don’t like “modern versions” of Shakespeare will probably still appreciate this as it’s not an interpretation, set on a spaceship or any of those other bizarre adaptations, it’s just a more intimate, intense, immersive restyling of the classic.
After meeting the witches, the play continues around the building. We are carefully led around by our fabulous guide, Piotr, played by David Loumgair, who I cannot praise enough. The Bordurian guides are not just there to shoo you between rooms; they are part of the whole set up. They get to know everyone’s names and what they are like, they encourage you to get to know each other, they ensure you are topped up with a glass of wine whenever possible but they also watch the drama unfold with you; genuinely shocked at what is unfolding before them and eventually they get conscripted into the army. Their role must be incredibly difficult given that they have to rigorously maintain their Bordurian accent and established character for the entirety of the night’s performance. Piotr did all of this to perfection. Given the crucial nature of the guides’ role, your experience will be uniquely affected by the guide you are paired with.
When the story is unfolding so close to you, the acting has to be perfect and this was most certainly the case; every single person in the cast was excellent. There are three sets of cast members so I can only speak for the ones I saw. Macbeth (Matthew Neal) made for an excellent protagonist and the fight scenes were perfectly choreographed by Yarit Dor. Lady Macbeth (Elly Condron) was particularly good during her sleepwalking scene – although earlier in the production when she wasn’t mad, some of her movements and facial expressions seemed a little over-the-top considering we were so close to the action rather than watching from an auditorium.
The moment of the evening for me was the killing of Lady MacDuff (Louise Torres-Ryan) and her child. This was the only time we saw her but she managed to utilise the intimacy of the space perfectly to produce a “hushed row” of utmost intensity that was powerful without being over-the-top. At the argument’s apex I found myself in the centre of the encounter as Lady MacDuff was overpowered by the scariest looking man I have ever seen. In the corner was the bloodied, beaten body of her child. It was horrifying and genuinely made me gasp, to the point where I was relieved when Piotr, concerned for our safety, removed us from the situation .
Logistically, this show is extremely difficult. All of the 90 participants need to experience everything. This isn’t a show where, depending where you are, dictates what you see. As a result, there are times when you are left to watch the TV in your flat to fill the gap when the actors are not actually with you. The first occasion was a program about Urivision – a competition to become fictional and enter the RIFT. This was funny at first but was quite farcical and dragged on a bit long. We also watched some breaking news about the war and a loop of the Bordurian military climbing the stairs while the war was being fought in each room. At midnight, when we were all so tired, this was also a little long. However, this isn’t the overwhelming thing that I have taken away from it and you soon wake up when the drama begins again.
As the war comes to an end, you are taken to the bar to see the victorious King Malcolm and at this point – around 1:30 – you can either go to bed or continue partying with the hard-core theatregoers until 2am, when the bar closes. You are then left to sleep until around 8am when you can go to the roof for breakfast and to see the stunning and unique views of the city.
The detail to which the RIFT team have gone with this production is admirable; the bar, the restaurant, the flats where the composition takes place, all of which have been impressively decked out with no detail left unturned. Pickled onions in the bar, Scottish-based books in the living room and a picture of the current King in every room you enter.
One of the only things I would change would be to suggest they invest in a tea urn in Borduria for late in the evening – I knew if I had another glass of wine I would drop off but a cup of tea would’ve been great.
Unfortunately, Macbeth is sold out, but if more dates are added, get those tickets. Not only will you see something truly unique, you will also behold the fabulous morning views of London from the roof of the tower during breakfast. This production has been put together with such care and meticulous attention to detail while every actor displays consummate professionalism throughout and eminently talented. However, it will not be for everyone – some people won’t be up for 12-hours of theatre. However, being in the RIFT, in the intense world of Macbeth, is one of the most exhilarating experiences that theatre can produce. RIFT are true masters of site-specific immersive theatre and I have no doubt that this is going to go down in immersive theatre history alongside Punchdrunk’s Drowned Man.
Finally – next time I go on holiday, perhaps I won’t be mentioning anything to passport control about my dual nationality. Maybe I did lose my grasp on reality after all but at least I didn’t get torn apart by the RIFT or lose a limb.
Please see https://playhousepickings1.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/dos-and-donts-of-going-through-the-rift-macbeth/ for some suggested Do’s and Don’ts of going through Macbeth
Writer: William Shakespeare
Directors: RIFT – Felix Mortimer and Joshua Nawras
Adaption: Thomas McMullan,Gruff
Producers: Natasha Phillips, Dominique Bull,Bertie Watkins, Francesca Duncan, Tilly Fletcher, Annie Jenkins
Designers:Jasper Sutherland, Fern Blevins, David Myers, Barnabus Ianni, Florence Hazard, Eloisa Henderson-Figeuroa, Isabelle Carreira, Anna-Louise Hale, Tom Coxon, Simmone Klein, Andy Broadhurst ,Ashleigh Latter, Rebecca Hallen
Soundtrack: Sami El-Enany
Film: Balan Evans, Adlib Films, Guido Cavaciuti
Fight direction: Yarit Dor
Do’s and Dont’s of going through the RIFT Macbeth
How to make it through the RIFT in one piece…
‘Tweetingit – post in 140 characters – Want to survive the RIFT? Just a few tips from someone who (just about) made it out alive
Dos and Don’ts of The Rift – Macbeth
- Do put some effort into your passport. Don’t worry, you are not going to be picked on for writing something interesting, it just makes passport control more fun.
- Do get to know your theatre family. It is a long evening with times where you are left on your own in your flat. If you don’t chat to one another, it is going to be an even longer night and particularly uncomfortable when you bed down together.
- Don’t eat any of the skinny peppers unless you have plenty of water in front of you or are fond of a vindaloo. I was nominated to test them to see if they were hot, the first one was just a sweet red pepper. I dove in, grabbed the green one – which promptly blew my head off.
- Do chat to the cast members when prompted. When you’re in the bar, it is usually a time to relax and natter to your group, the actors in there and you guide. Make the most of it. It really creates a fun atmosphere – a wonderful juxtaposition to the murder and tension you’re about to witness.
- Don’t be uptight. Relax, lose your grasp on reality and have fun. For much of the evening, you are almost a passive participant and so if a witch grabs your hand or you are moved into a room to hide, go with it. I promise, nothing scary is going to happen. If you are one of the few who is led off for one reason or another, it will be for a very short time and you won’t miss a thing. You’ll also not be put in any uncomfortable situations (unless you end up in bed with Lady Macbeth that is) there are no blind folds, no bags on heads and no-one hiding in the cupboards.
- Do take a bottle of water for the night. Unless your RIFT family have finished a glass of wine or other beverage while in your flat and left the glass behind, you’ll struggle to find a receptacle to drink from.
- Don’t forget to go to the loo before you get there. There are no toilets when you arrive and you’ll have to wait until you get to your flat to go. There will also not be many opportunities to smoke. My tip would be to wait until the siege. You will be spending a long time watching the Breaking News on the TV – this is the perfect time to head outside, look at the stunning view across London and have a sneaky fag.
- Do eat something before you go – especially if you don’t like borscht. I was pleasantly surprised by dinner and would now happily have it again (maybe Uri – the border controller – can get me the recipe) If you are a hardcore carnivore or used to a big meal, you will want to take a sneaky snack in your bag for before bed.
- Don’t wear skinny jeans or anything you’ll be uncomfortable sleeping in. Many of my group had been sensible and brought with them some PJ bottoms to change into.
- Do get caffeinated – it’s a long evening and you don’t want to start to wane, miss anything or not enjoy it because you’re too tired.
- Don’t have anything too strenuous planned the following day, you will be tired. You will not be up for mountain climbing or entering the Brain of Britain
- Do be prepared to be cut off from the outside world. I managed to keep hold of my phone (sorry Uri) so I could call home to say I was safe when I went to bed. However, you’re supposed to hand it over to be locked away and they will try to persuade you to do so (so if you want to contact home before bed, take a tablet or other device with WiFi for this purpose.
- Do enjoy it. There is nothing like this experience anywhere else and if you are one of those lucky few who have managed to get themselves a ticket, make the most of it. And if you haven’t managed to get a ticket, make sure you do for the next RIFT production.
See the full review here: https://playhousepickings1.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/review-macbeth-rift-secret-location-london/
News: Playhouse Pickings’ first quote
#Tweeting it – news item in 140 characters –EEEEEEEEEEE Playhouse Pickings’ first quote on a theatre poster for Thriller Live in the Metro
and Evening Standard
So, I have to say, I am a bit excited – as you may have gathered from my #Tweetingit! As you will see from the picture below ( I have been unable to upload all four pictures for some reason…to be done later), Playhouse Pickings has been quoted for a Thriller Live poster in the Metro and Evening Standard this week.
Thank you to the PR company for picking my quote and hopefully, this will not be the last.
News: Overnight Macbeth? Tonight at an undisclosed location
Rift – Macbeth
#Tweeting it – the premise in 140 characters – An audience immersed into Shakespeare’s classic for a full 12 hours in a secret location? Anything could happen
“OVERNIGHT MACBETH?” This is the reaction I have had from nearly everyone when I have told them about this new ground-breaking production of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays by RIFT.
We will be immersed, for 13 and a half hours, in a disused tower block somewhere in east London – I, as yet, do not know exactly where I am bedding down tonight.
This undisclosed location will play host to this “visceral experience” where we, the participants, will feast with the Macbeths, meet the witches in an underground car park and sleep (for at least some of the evening) on the 27th floor.
Writers and Directors Felix Mortimer and Joshua Nawras are known for their remarkable productions such as O Brave New World and a one-to-one retelling of Kafka’s The Trial which was told across four locations.
A little bit of me is scared about the prospect of a 12 hour performance, what on earth kind of state will I be in tomorrow? But it is also very exciting; will I be confided in about a plot to kill someone, will Lady Macbeth befriend me before going crazy or will I be woken in a strange location by the ghost of Banquo? However, the idea of waking up to the London skyline and having breakfast while discovering whether the battle has been lost or won something which I am very much looking forward to.
A review will follow (although, I may be in a dazed state in the morning so I can’t guarantee how clear it’ll be….the website says you will leave questioning ideas of space and status; dystopia and utopia; waking and sleeping so along with the sleep deprivation – even though you do have time to sleep, I can’t see that it will be good sleep – my review could be …interesting)
More information: http://macbeth.in/collections/macbeth
Review: Thriller Live
Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue
#Tweetingit – review in 140 characters: 5* Shamone + Hee Hee + Aaoowh = an incredible 2 hours of entertainment.
Walking down Shaftsbury Avenue I pondered exactly what ‘Thriller Live’ would deliver? A simple jukebox musical; a biographical piece with songs thrown in for good measure or a ‘stars in their eyes’ revue featuring a succession of lookalikes? In reality, it had elements of all three, but the extra ingredient was the energy displayed by an eager new cast paying tribute to the incomparable Michael Jackson. The Lyric is a beautifully set theatre slap bang in the middle of Shaftsbury Avenue. The seating is sumptuous and sightlines almost perfect, a rare quality for a theatre of its age.
The show wisely restricted the biography to a five minute segment at the beginning with occasional reference points along the way. The songs were presented in broadly chronological order, and started with a brief medley of hits from the Jackson 5 and then traced through the Jacksons era featuring the seriously funky ‘Blame it on the boogie’ and ‘Shake your body’. They swept through ‘Off the wall’, ‘Thriller’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Dangerous’ albums with an exhilarating sureness of touch and confidence. This was in no small part due to a talented, enthusiastic cast making light work of songs and routines they obviously know backwards.
The choreography was largely original interspersed with moves pioneered by Michael. Straight impersonations were also used sparingly. There was a portrayal of Michael as a precocious child star and during his sequinned glove phase. The latter role was played by the outstanding David Jordan, who not only looked like Michael, but sounded and moved just like him. I hate to single out individual performers because the entire cast were brilliant, but a big shout also has to go out to Cleo Higgins (ex-Cleopatra) and Haydon Eshun (ex-Ultimate KAOS) who showed real affinity for the songs. The six piece band was tight and just kicked it from start to finish. The track selection was pretty much on the money, although there were some surprising choices like ‘This place hotel’, an obscure track from the Jacksons’ ‘triumph’ album; and ‘dancing machine’, a minor 70s hit from Jackson 5 days. But there was no room for ‘Blood on the Dancefloor’ or ‘Remember the Time’? These are but minor quibbles and I promise to take my anorak off now.
Some may question whether this type of show belongs in the West End at all? Does a live concert sit comfortably with heavyweight plays like the Royal Court’s production of ‘Let the Right One In’, playing just next door at the Apollo? The fact the show is still going strong after six years might make this question redundant to some. But it still seems to be an issue for the purists among us. Personally, I think a show like this is what makes the West End a great entertainment centre. It proves British theatre is truly eclectic, innovative and diverse, catering for all tastes.
This is entertainment in its purest form, but it’s also a reminder of how a great talent was snatched away at a stupidly young age. If you have a pulse, you must go and see this show. It’s the freshest, funkiest show in town. The Prince of Pop is dead but Thriller is live and well!
Guest Reviewer: Brian Penn
Directed & Choreographed by: Gary Lloyd
Musical Director: John Maher
Set Designer: Jonathan Park
Lighting Designer: Nigel Catmur
Sound Designer: Chris Whybrow
Producers: Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.
Box Office: 0844 482 9674
Booking link: https://tickets.nimaxtheatres.com/WebPages/EntaWebShow/ShowDatesCombo.aspx
Booking until: 19 April 2015
My previous review starring Zoe Birkett:
Review: Cats, The Marlowe, Canterbury
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Choreographer: Gillian Lynne
Director: Trevor Nunn
Originally Posted: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/cats-marlowe-theatre-canterbury/
#Tweetingit: Review in 140 characters – A timeless classic which both adults and children alike will love
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a timeless classic. Cats ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway, making it the second longest running show ever on Broadway. It has won 7 Tonys and 2 Olivier Awards, has been made into a film and performed all over the world. Adults and children alike can enjoy something about this show. The last time I saw it, I was 12. I loved the giant junk yard set; spotting bits of old household furniture, enlarged to show the perspective of the cats, the actors as cats fascinated me with their incredible costumes and make up and well observed feline qualities. Now as an adult, I appreciate the music, the words and dance. I never realised before how balletic the show is, how demanding it must be on the cast and how impressive it is that they can sing some seriously challenging songs and harmonies while leaping around the stage.
However, it appears that this is not the view of many. Most people are either a cat lovers or a dog lovers and matching this trend are those who either love or hate Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical. It seems a lot of people see this as a bit of an odd musical with no real story other than that a group of cats have got together to sing, dance and finally be chosen to be reincarnated – yes that’s right – reincarnated!
The story revolves around a clowder of cats celebrating the jellicle ball. On one night a year the group of Jellicle Cats meet to celebrate and tell stories while waiting for their spiritual leader, Old Deuteronomy, to select one them to journey to the Heaviside Layer and ascend to the next realm. While the cats are waiting for this to happen, the audience are introduced to them all and are told their life stories.
Despite Memory being the number everyone remembers from the show, Mr Mistoffelees is the stand out song of the night. Joseph Pulton as Mr Mistoflees .does an impressive job as the quintessential ballet dancing cat. Wowing the audience with his wowing the audience with his dance prowess, he certainly matches all of which the song proclaims about him.
Other exciting numbers include that of the acrobatic and very likeable petty criminals, Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, played excellently portrayed by Benjamin Yates and Dawn Williams. Despite there notable height difference, they worked together to produce some remarkable tumbling and aerobic dancing. While the Gumbie trio, Abigail Jaye, Clare Rickard and Chaelen Ford. pulled off beautiful harmonies with ease, creating a sounds similar to that of The Andrews Sisters. And of course is the opening number – Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats which cannot be forgotten.
The entire cast are seriously accomplished. Away from the lead roles were three in particular who I couldn’t tear my eyes from when they graced the stage. Cassie Clare as Cassandra the Egyptian Sphinx made her professional stage debut in an impressive way wither playful, mysterious and elegant take on the role. While elsewhere in the female cast was some sensational ballet moves from The White Cat – Hannah Kenna Thomas. The “chorus” actor who stood out for me was Alonzo played by Adam Lake. His dancing was perfect, strong and sexy while his flips, tumbles and feline qualities were perfectly performed. I would like to see him in a bigger part on another occasion.
The only criticism I have is that some of the songs are now a tad prosaic. After hearing the first couple of lines you could probably guess most of the rest of the tune especially since many of them have hints of Joseph about them. However, this doesn’t stop them being beautiful songs with some seriously challenging harmonies and high notes.
If you are a fan of musicals, a dance lover or want some nostalgia and a fun and easy show to watch, this is definitely for you. If you want a solid story and narrative then it really isn’t. There’s definitely life in the old Cat yet and I can see it continually falling its feet for a long time to come.
Runs until: Saturday 28th June 2014 and then continues to tour
Bathhouse! The Musical extended by popular demand
Good news folks!
The extremely popular Bathhouse! The Musical has had its time at Above the Stag, Vauxhall extended until the 9th August 2014. Tickets will be on sale shortly.
Playhouse Pickings’ review can be found at https://playhousepickings1.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/review-bathhouse-the-musical/
Tickets can be found at : http://www.abovethestag.com/