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Jul 10th

Totally Tina @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Totally Tina

As the most successful Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner has received eleven Grammy Awards, including eight competitive awards and three Grammy Hall of Fame awards. With combined album and single sales of approximately 180 million copies worldwide, she’s sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer, reached No 17 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of greatest singers of all time and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She’s currently working on a new musical based on her life called ‘Tina’.

Worldwide Event Productions have created a faithful representation of Tina Turner’s iconic shows as Totally Tina features a fantastic live band, authentic dance routines and lots of gorgeous costume changes throughout.  Voted the UK’s Official No 1 Tribute to Tina Turner by the Agents Association of Great Britain at the 2016 National Tribute Music Awards, Justine Riddoch morphs into Tina with incredible vocals, mannerisms, gestures and dancing.

Being a singer myself, I always admire tribute acts as I know just how hard they have to work to get the vocals right and you have to be a very accomplished singer to achieve success.  Justine has been in the business for over 26 years and in 2002 won ‘Stars in their Eyes’ as Anastacia and her  subsequent, ‘Justine is Anastacia’ show was in great demand.  As Anastacia’s sales waned, Justine realised it was time to reinvent herself again and set about transforming herself into Tina Turner.

The show that we now see has been honed to perfection and Justine is the ultimate entertainer, engaging the audience quickly, bantering with them and the band and owning the stage with her energy, presence and dynamic vocals.  All the biggest hits are covered from River Deep, Mountain High, Private Dancer, Steamy Windows, Nutbush City Limits, Proud Mary through to Simply the Best.  Justine looks absolutely stunning in a series of glorious sequinned dresses and impossibly high heels, that I haven’t a clue how she moved around the stage in, but I had serious shoe envy!  What a pair of pins she has too and lead guitarist Jimmy singing ‘Hot Legs’ was a perfect song choice, as Justine looks exactly like Tina in her mini dresses.

This really is a fantastic evening and you’d swear that you were watching the real Tina in action.  For further details of the show, with video clips and tour dates visit www.totallytina.co.uk

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

8.7.17

@yvonnedelahaye

 

 

 

May 31st

A Judgement in Stone @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

A Judgement in Stone Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

As a jobbing actor I know only too well that to be able to keep working in the business is extremely tough, particularly for middle-aged women when the unemployment rate is 95%!  The balance of male to female roles is about 3 to 1, so to find a play with several good roles for women is rare. Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, Bill Kenwright’s new  company The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, seeks to redress the balance with a new production adapted from one of the most celebrated works of the writer often hailed as the successor to Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement In Stone.

Rendell was first published in 1964 and was awarded a CBE in 1996. Her prolific output included film and TV as well as 80 novels and one of the genre’s most famous characters, Chief Inspector Wexford. Widely considered to be one of Rendell’s greatest works, A Judgement in Stone is loved for its brilliant rendering of character, plot and motive, and is undoubtedly Rendell at her thrilling best.

Featuring an all star cast, Sophie Ward (Young Sherlock Holmes; Heartbeat) stars as Eunice Parchman who struggles to fit in. When she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper the very reason for her awkwardness, long hidden and deeply buried, leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood - on Valentine’s Day. Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels a lifetime of deceit, despair and cover-ups which, when revealed, brings a shocking revelation almost as ghastly as murder itself.

Attempting to solve the crime is Andrew Lancel (Coronation Street; The Bill), as Detective Superintendent Vetch, ably accompanied by Ben Nealon as Detective Sergeant Challoner, who gives a convincing performance as the observant side-kick.  Former 60s pop idol Mark Wynter plays the pompous George Coverdale, married to his second wife, Jacqueline (Rosie Thomson), who, with the two youngsters Giles (Joshua Price) and Melinda (Jennifer Sims), all meet a gruesome end.

The play opens with the arrival of the detectives, then features flashbacks as we meet all the characters in the days leading up to the crime.  There are lots of cross-over entrances and exits, which can be hard to follow at times, but generally it works.  Suspects Deborah Grant (Not Going Out; Bergarac) is very energetic as the bible-bashing Joan Smith, with Blue band-mate Antony Costa ‘givin’ it large’ as the ex-criminal gardener and Shirley Anne Field (The Entertainer; Saturday Night Sunday Morning) as the elderly cleaner usurped by the arrival of the new housekeeper.

The production is directed by Roy Marsden who is best known as an actor, particularly in his role as Commander Adam Dalgliesh in Anglia TV's P.D. James series, which he played for 15 years. His recent work for Bill Kenwright includes directing a UK tour of Susan Hill’s The Small Hand and the debut production for The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, Rehearsal For Murder.

If you enjoy a good ‘Whodunnit’ featuring actors you know, then this may appeal to you.  Personally, I found the play a bit too melodramatic at times, but to give Bill Kenwright his due he really does keep a lot of actors employed and continues to give audiences choices.

Performances at The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury:       

Tue 30 May – Sat 3 Jun

                                        Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm, Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office:                         0844 871 7607 (Bkg fee. Calls 7p per min plus phone company’s access charge)

Groups Hotline:               0844 871 7614

Access Booking:               0844 871 7677 (Bkg fee)

Online Booking:               www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (Bkg fee)

 

A JUDGEMENT IN STONE - UK TOUR DATES 2017

Mon 5 – Sat 10 June                                                                          

Palace Theatre, Southend                                                                 

 

Mon 12 – Sat 17 June                                                                        

Derby Theatre, Derby                                                                       


Mon 19 – Sat 24 June                                                                        

Theatre Royal, Glasgow      

                                                               

Mon 26 June – Sat 1 July                                                                   

New Victoria Theatre, Woking                                                          


Mon 3 – Sat 8 July                                                                               

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

                                                    

Mon 10 – Sat 15 July                                                                          

Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate                                                          


Mon 17 – Sat 22 July                                                         
               

Regent Theatre, Stoke                                                                       

 

Mon 24 – Sat 29 July                                                                         

Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes                                           


Mon 31 July – Sat 5 August                                                               

Theatre Royal, Newcastle                                                                  

 

Tues 19 – Sat 23 September                                                             

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry                                                              

 

Mon 25 – Sat 30 September                                                             

Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                                                

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

30.5.17

@yvonnedelahaye

May 11th

King of Pop - The Legend Continues

By Yvonne Delahaye

King of Pop - The Legend Continues Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

It’s an astonishing 8 years since the ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson died tragically from a drugs overdose, administered by his physician Conrad Murray who was subsequently charged with ‘involuntary manslaughter.’  The worldwide outpouring of grief at the loss of such an icon hadn’t been seen since Princess Diana’s death in 1997.  MJ was a singer, songwriter, dancer, producer and philanthropist whose contribution to music, dance and fashion made him a global superstar for over 40 years.  His album Thriller is still the best selling album of all time, selling over 65 million copies worldwide.

Tribute acts have to work incredibly hard to sound like the artist they’re portraying, but to also get the facial looks of MJ, Navi must have gone to extraordinary lengths to look like his idol.  MJ actually used Navi to promote albums/concerts or act as a decoy for him to avoid the relentless pursuit of press and fans.  MJ hired Navi to sing at two of his birthday parties and gave him a standing ovation, describing his performance as ‘incredible’, so that personal endorsement gives him the credibility fans crave to ensure MJ will never be forgotten.  Navi is regarded as the ‘World’s No 1 MJ Tribute’ and has been touring his MJ show for 28 years.

This tour features MJ’s incredible guitarist, Jennifer Batten, who toured with MJ on three sell-out world tours.  Initially hand-picked to play on the Bad tour, MJ was so impressed that she joined him on the road for the next 10 years, playing on his Dangerous and History tours to more than 4.5 million fans worldwide.

It was good to see families in the auditorium, with very small children who weren’t even born when MJ was alive.  The ages in the theatre looked as though they spanned eight decades, which is testament to the enduring, all encompassing appeal of his music.

Navi’s a good entertainer and engages the audience chatting to us throughout the show and making jokes.  There were clearly a few problems with his mic and ear piece in the first half, which meant he was a bit drowned out by the band, but thankfully those issues were all resolved in the second half.  Then we were able to really appreciate his vocals and feel we were actually watching a real MJ concert, as he sang some of my favourites Bad, Thriller, Black and White, Billie Jean, Man in the Mirror and the lovely You Are Not Alone with everyone on their feet clapping, singing and dancing along.

Opening the show could perhaps have been a bit more spectacular, to build some excitement and anticipation of Navi’s arrival rather than him just coming on from the side maybe some smoke, lights arriving from the back centre stage would be more effective. It would also have been good to see more of MJ’s iconic ‘Moondance’, but it didn’t spoil the overall enjoyment  and a good time was had by all!

For tour details and bookings go to. www.atgtickets.com

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

10.5.17

 

@yvonnedelahaye

Apr 27th

Jane Eyre @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Jane Eyre

Written by Charlotte Bronte and published in 1847, this tale of the eponymous heroine Jane Eyre, has frequently been adapted for film, radio, television and theatre, and has inspired a number of rewritings and reinterpretations.

Four years ago, Director Sally Cookson got the green light from Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, to devise a two-part version of this classic novel.  Sally says ‘the film’s portrayal of Jane has missed the point.  This is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss. I was struck by how modern Jane seemed – her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself.  She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.’

With the help of Mike Akers (dramaturg), Sally began the process of devising a new piece of theatre, focusing not only on the Jane/Rochester relationship, but Jane’s early years living with her spiteful aunt, being sent to a Christian school and her coming of age.  It took 8 weeks of collaboration with a group of actors to devise the two shows, enabling them to get to the heart of the story and characters in a theatrical way. 

Following the run of the two shows, the Artistic Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris invited them to take their version of the show to the NT.  They agreed to distil it into a single show, retaining its epic quality, but honing and tightening to make a more intense experience, which runs to around three and half hours with interval.  

Nadia Clifford, gives a powerful performance of emotional depth and insight in the title role.  The ensemble cast work their socks off to play a variety of roles, including a rather lovable dog who made me smile whenever I saw him.

The wooden set with a series of levels and ladders worked very well to represent the various locations throughout the show.  It’s certainly an exciting and innovative piece of theatre that captures your imagination, even if some of the devices appeared rather stagey.  The only few things I found jarred were Mr Rochester’s swearing when he first met Jane (not sure if that was in the book?!) and the decision to include Noel Coward’s song ‘Mad About the Boy’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, which both seemed out of place.

Jane Eyre runs at The Waterside until Saturday 29th, with further tour dates and booking details on:

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/jane-eyre-2017/

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

26/4/17

 

@yvonnedelahaye

Mar 30th

Thoroughly Modern Millie @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Thoroughly Modern Millie tickets

What a joy it is to see a good old fashioned musical, with sumptuous costumes, an incredible set, brilliant choreography, dancing, singing and acting.  This musical has them all in abundance and you cannot fail but to be captivated by its warmth, energy and humour.

Strictly come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton, proves that she’s a very talented ‘triple threat’ and gives a delightful performance as Millie.

It’s New York in 1922 and naive Millie Dillmount arrives from the small town of Kansas, immediately getting mugged and losing all her money.  She bumps into Jimmy Smith (Sam Barrett), who gives her the number of a hotel to stay in, where he says the landlady will be understanding of her predicament until she finds work.  All is not quite as it seems though, as the wicked landlady, Mrs Meers (brilliantly played by Lucas Rush) is actually selling her tenants into the white slavery trade, with great acrobatic support from Damian Buhagiar and Andy Yau as the Chinese boys charged with carrying out her evil deeds.

Being ‘thoroughly modern’ in the 1920s, meant that Millie was in search of a rich husband and sets her sights on her new boss, Mr Trevor Graydon (Graham MacDuff), who is oblivious to her charms.   Graham has a chance to shine in the second half, shamelessly over-playing being extremely drunk and getting a lot of laughs in the process.

Jenny Fitzpatrick, as Muzzy Van Hossmere, has the most amazing voice, as does Lotty Somers who stepped in to play Miss Dorothy and seized the chance to make her mark. 

Based on the 1967 film which was written as a vehicle for Julie Andrews and co-starred Mary Tyler Moore, the stage musical opened on Broadway on 2002 and went on to win 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  The West End version opened in 2003 and starred Amanda Holden, with Maureen Lipman and Marti Webb sharing the role of the devilish Mrs Meers. 

It’s glamorous, glitzy and glorious fun, and puts the ‘E’ back into ‘Entertainment!’

For tour dates and tickets please visit http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/thoroughly-modern-millie-2017

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

28.3.17

 

@yvonnedelahaye

Mar 24th

The Matt Monro Story @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Click for more details and to book tickets for The Matt Monro Story at Theatre Royal Brighton, Brighton

‘Surely you’re too young to remember Matt Monro?’ a lady asked me after the show.  I explained that my parents had been fans of ‘The Man with the Golden Voice’ and played his music a lot, so how could I not have fallen in love with that silky smooth voice?

The Matt Monro Story is not just a tribute to Britain’s answer to Frank Sinatra, it’s a very personal journey which has taken his son, Matt Monro Junior, 30 years to put together.  The show features him singing some of his father’s iconic songs ‘Born Free’, ‘Walk Away’, ‘Portrait of My Love’ to name but a few. 

Matt Monro Junior opens the show singing with a 3 piece band and then introduces Danni Bentley, who narrates the life story of Matt Monro Senior, to a backdrop of pictures and video footage.  Danni also has the chance to show off her beautiful voice singing ‘Yesterday’ and later duets with MMJunior. 

It’s a very interesting life story, as Matt Senior was born in Shoreditch in London in 1930 and was first noticed while serving in the British army in Hong Kong.  His singing career took a long time to really take off, as he worked his way around the clubs and his first few records failed to make a mark.  Strangely enough it was a Camay soap commercial that got his gorgeous voice noticed and his partnership with George Martin and EMI eventually gave him his first huge hit with ‘Portrait of My Love’.

Matt’s signature tune, ‘Born Free’, almost got cut from the film, but thankfully it was kept in and went on to win an Oscar for best song.  The first Bond film to feature a title song ‘From Russia With Love’ especially written for the film, was sung by Matt and set a trend which continues to this day.

Matt Monro achieved international fame, making albums in Spanish as well as English and in the Philippines he filled a stadium of 26,000 people and had to put on 4 more shows selling those out too.

Tragically, Matt Monro’s life and career were cut short as he developed liver cancer and he died in 1985 at the age of 54.

Frank Sinatra dubbed Matt ‘The singer’s singer’ and his rich, velvety voice is so effortless and full of emotion, I defy any singer not to be amazed at his natural, untrained skills with perfect breath control and phrasing.  His son admits that it’s impossible for him to compete and emulate his father, but it doesn’t matter as this touching, very personal celebration of the great singer is very moving. The video footage of Matt Monro Senior singing ‘Softly as I Leave You’ had me welling up, as it brought back memories of my dearly departed parents.  Whatever age you are, if you’ve never even heard of Matt Monro I urge you to listen to this track to hear something very extraordinary and special.  The show is very emotional and it’s a gentle evening of nostalgia for music lovers everywhere.

Further dates can be found http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-matt-monro-story/

Reviewed by:

 

Yvonne Delahaye

21.3.17

@yvonnedelahaye

Feb 28th

Round the Horne @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Round The Horne Tickets at Victoria Hall,

“Oh, Mr Horne! How bona to vada your dolly old eek!”

If you were around between 1965 to 1968, you may recognise this line from the biggest radio programme in Britain at the time, the ground-breaking Round the Horne.  For half an hour every Sunday afternoon, audiences of up to 15 million people would gather around the wireless to listen to Kenneth Horne and his merry crew get up to all sorts of mischief.

With its infamous movie spoofs and hilarious regular characters such as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock and Julian and Sandy, Round the Horne was one of the biggest and best radio comedy shows of all time.  Over 50 years since it began it still earns new fans every year and with packed theatres around the country to see the tour, set in the BBC’s Paris Studios, its success is assured for years to come. 

This is the end of the 50th anniversary tour which has been running since 2015 with three U.K. tours and eight weeks in London. The cast were all excellent at recreating the iconic characters portrayed in the radio show, though Colin Elmer deserves a special mention for perfectly emulating  Kenneth Williams’ voice and mannerisms.

Kenneth Horne - Julian Howard McDowell

Kenneth Williams - Colin Elmer

Hugh Paddick - Alex Scott Fairley 

Betty Marsden - Eve Winters 

Douglas Smith - Alan Booty

SFX/Musician - Miles Russell 

The show was compiled, produced and directed by Tim Astley who set up Apollo Theatre Company in 2010, after graduating from Guildford School of Acting.

Personally, I didn’t know the radio shows so a lot was lost on me, but the almost full theatre whooped at familiar lines and characters they recognised.  What I loved, as an actor myself, was that all of the actors seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves which made me wish I was up there with them!  We certainly need to see more comedy on stage and it’s a compliment to the clever writing of Barry Took and Marty Feldman that it still works to this day.

The tour ends on 1st March at The Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.  Tim Astley says ‘It is entirely possible that we may produce a 'Round the Horne' show again in the future but for now there are no immediate plans.’

For further details of all their productions, go to www.apollotheatrecompany.com

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

27.2.17

 

@yvonnedelahaye

Feb 21st

Dreamboats and Petticoats The Musical @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Dreamboats and Petticoats Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Inspired by the smash-hit multi-million selling CD albums Dreamboats and Petticoats One, Two, Three, Four and Five, the West End sell-out sensation Dreamboats and Petticoats The Musical is celebrating its 10th anniversary tour and features some of the greatest hit songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era. These include Let’s Dance, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Shaking All Over, Bobby’s Girl, Little Town Flirt, Only Sixteen, Runaround Sue, Happy Birthday Sweet 16, Let It Be Me, Great Pretender, C’mon Everybody, Let’s Twist Again and many more hits from music’s golden era!  Dreamboats and Petticoats The Musical  was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2010 for best new musical.

The dazzling success of the first five albums in the Dreamboats and Petticoats series sent the message loud and clear. With over 4 million copies sold and several weeks at the Number One spot in the compilation charts, the Great British public were saying that they didn’t just want to listen to pure nostalgia: they’d love to see it as well. Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the writers behind TV classics Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesmen and Shine On Harvey Moon, the show features classic tracks from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, and many more. Dreamboats and Petticoats The Musical is produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield in association with Universal Music.

Set in 1961, emotions are running high as young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win a national song writing competition – and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue! But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock‘n’roll fame beckons.

The role of Laura was played by Chloe Edwards-Wood for this performance and she totally owned the part, playing the love-sick schoolgirl who transforms into a beautiful young woman.  Alistair Higgins plays spotty teenager Bobby, who pursues glamorous Sue (Laura Darton) who in turn is pursuing cool dude Norman (Alastair Hill), who can have his pick of girls and ignores her advances.

Whatever era you grew up in, we all remember the music of that time and it defines who we are now with the memories it creates.  Being a teenager is probably the most difficult period in all our lives, with raging hormones and the juxtaposition between being a child and an adult creating conflict as we strive to work out our place in the world. This show gives a good insight into a time long before the internet, when youth clubs reigned and this was probably where you met your first love.

It’s a fabulous way to spend a winter’s evening and the energy, vibrancy and sheer talent of all the cast ensures that you have a really great night out. 

The talented cast includes:
Jimmy Johnston as Phil/Older Bobby, Gracie Johnson as Donna, David Luke as Ray, Henry Alexander as Colin, Jay Osborne as Richard, Rob Gathercole as Jeremy, Lauren Chinery as Babs, Josh Tye as Derek, Sheridan Lloyd as Andy, Billy Stookes as Barry, Mike Lloyd as Frank/Slugger, Stephanie Hackett as Daisy/Brenda, Alan Howell as Eric

The show continues at Aylesbury Waterside until 25th February, so there’s still time to call the Box Office, on  0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) or visiting www.atgtickets.com/Aylesbury   (bkg fee).

And for the next few months to:

27th - 4th March
Palace Theatre, Manchester
6th - 11th March
Orchard Theatre, Dartford
20th - 25th March
Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, Southport
3rd - 8th April
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Further tour dates can be found on www.dreamboatsandpetticoats.com

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

20.2.17

@yvonnedelahaye

 



Feb 8th

The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Following the successful tour in 2015 of The National Theatre’s production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the play makes a welcome return to the Waterside Theatre from 7th-11th February. The play is adapted by Simon Stephens from  the novel of the same name by Mark Haddon and is directed by Marianne Elliott. The story concerns a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbour's dog that is investigated by 15 year old Christopher Boone, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and explores his complicated relationships with his parents, interspersed with advice and support from his school mentor, Siobhan.

The play received seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design and five Tony Awards on Broadway including Best Play.  The play's West End Theatre debut was 2 August 2012 at the Royal National Theatre, playing in the round. It transferred to the Apollo Theatre in 2013, but following a roof collapse it closed down. It reopened on 9 July 2014 at the Gielgud Theatre, where it will continue until 3rd June 2017. A Broadway theatre production debuted at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on 5 October 2014. It won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Play, the 2015 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. 

I saw the live screening of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a few years ago and was enthralled by the clever set, which the cameras showed from different angles, enabling the audience to see the action from other dimensions.  It’s a really amazing piece of ensemble theatre and I remember thinking how wonderful Una Stubbs was to be throwing herself around the stage, when she was then 75! 

In this tour, playing the demanding central role of Christopher Boone is Scott Reid, who is currently appearing in BBC1’s comedy Still Game. Scott totally inhabits the role and gives an energetic, committed performance that allows us to experience the inner turmoil of Christopher’s world.  The cast all work hard to create a range of characters and the action moves along at a pace.  I was disappointed that some of the actors seemed to be struggling to project in the space at The Waterside and a few of the performances were rather weak. 

What really makes this play work is the incredible set and the production is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.  The Associate Director is Elle While.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time allows the audience to experience life from the perspective of a mathematical genius, who happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome, giving us an insight into his turmoil and struggles.  It was good to see so many teenagers in the audience and to hear them raving about the play at the end, so if it helps bring about more tolerance in our society then this play should continue running for years.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Tour of the UK and Ireland 2017

Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury                                  7 – 11 February

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh                                    20 – 25 February

Grand Theatre, Leeds                                               28 February – 4 March 

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury                                   6 – 11 March

Theatre Royal Bath                                                    14 – 25 March

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton                            27 March – 1 April

Nottingham Theatre Royal                                        4 – 15 April 2017

Grand Opera House, Belfast                                     18 – 22 April

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin                            25 – 29 April

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff                              2 – 6 May

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield                                         9 – 20 May

New Theatre, Oxford                                                  22 – 27 May

Theatre Royal, Newcastle                                         30 May – 10 June

Bristol Hippodrome                                                   13 – 17 June

Theatre Royal, Plymouth                                          26 June – 1 July

Birmingham Hippodrome                                          3 – 8 July

Venue Cymru, Llandudno                                         11 – 15 July

Cliffs Pavilion, Southend                                           17 – 22 July

Liverpool Empire                                                        25 – 29 July

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford                                     31 July – 5 August

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                              8 – 12 August 

King’s Theatre, Glasgow                                            14 – 19 August

Norwich Theatre Royal                                              29 August – 2 September

Milton Keynes Theatre                                               4 – 16 September

 

Check with individual theatres about dates and prices     

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

7th February 2017

@yvonnedelahaye

Jan 19th

Gaslight @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Click for more details and to book tickets for Gaslight at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Written by Patrick Hamilton in 1938, Gaslight is one of the greatest thrillers of all time.  Frequently performed by amateur groups, the play can sometimes be turned into melodrama.  Set in fog-bound London in 1880 in the upper middle class home of Jack Manningham and his wife Bella, the scene opens late afternoon being the time ‘before the feeble dawn of gaslight and tea’ as Hamilton wrote in his notes.

Bella has recently moved to a new house with her husband Jack, but she has started to misplace objects and is worried that she may be losing her mind as her mother did.  Jack leaves her alone every evening as he visits the town, but mysterious footsteps are heard overhead and a ghostly flickering of the living room gaslight makes Bella believe she may be going mad. Does the terror exist in her imagination or are dark secrets living in her home? The surprise arrival of retired Detective Rough leads to a shocking discovery that will shake her respectable Victorian marriage to its core.

The play was turned into a British film in 1940 with Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard and Frank Pettingel.  Encouraged by the success of the play and film, MGM bought the remake rights, but with a clause insisting that all existing prints of Dickinson's version be destroyed, even to the point of trying to destroy the negative, so that it would not compete with their more highly publicised 1944 remake  starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten. It was also released under the title Angel Street.

Having seen the films and the play on stage many years ago, I was curious to see how it would be staged in this new touring production.  This suspensful thriller can easily be turned into a Victorian melodrama, but this production keeps it truthful with controlling husband Jack playing on Bella’s vulnerabilities and insecurities.

Acclaimed TV and stage actress Kara Tointon has a natural radiance and warmth that makes her very watchable in everything she does and as Bella begins to lose her grip on reality, Kara gives a compelling , multi-layered performance. BBC 1 ‘s ‘Merlin’ star  Rupert Young joins Kara as husband Jack Manningham and in the second act we see more of his sinister, menacing traits. Bringing some light comedy to this darkly twisted thriller, is multi-talented Keith Allen as Detective Rough.

The production has an authenticity that draws you in and the first half raced along.  Even though we’re kept in the picture throughout, the play still has the ability to surprise. It also provides an interesting observation of human frailties and the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

The play tours to Woking, York, Brighton and Richmond and tickets can be booked at:

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/gaslight

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

16.1.17

 

@yvonnedelahaye