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Sep 27th

Our House, King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Madness broke out at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow last night – Madness of the best possible kind!

 

For some people, it might appear to be “madness” to fork out up to £50 for a ticket to see a show that you might never have heard of before.  I can understand that; a visit to a live theatre event is a luxury for most of us.  It’s a lot out of your monthly pay packet and sometimes it can be something of a gamble.  But this is a show that is exciting, engaging, full of life, packed with music that you’ll love and probably already know and with a storyline which has proven its pedigree.  You’d be mad not to go and see it!  But sadly, the King’s was only half-full last night.  Glasgow … you’re missing a bargain!

 

The story has similar themes to that smash hit Brit-flick from the 90’s, “Sliding Doors”.  Joe Casey (played by the fabulously talented Jason Kajdi) is a typical 16 year old kid who makes decisions that will affect the rest of his life on a daily basis.  The show splits into two separate narratives when Joe is faced with a decision that will change his world.  He takes his girlfriend (Sarah played by Sophie Matthew) to a building site to get a view of their London neighbourhood from the scaffolding.  When police sirens sound, what should Joe do?  Should he run … or should he stay to face the music?

 

Talking of music … Joe’s worlds (both of them) are accompanied by a fantastically raucous soundtrack from 80s pop legends; Madness.  From “Baggy Trousers” to “Welcome to the House of Fun”, “Embarrassment”, “Driving in my Car”, “My Girl” and, of course, “Our House”, all are delivered with real conviction and a sympathy to the story.  “It Must Be Love” was a beautifully crafted scene.  Choreography from Fabian Aloise was brilliantly bonkers and true to the inspirational soundtrack.  “Wings of a Dove” was my favourite – I know this because I grinned until it hurt!

 

Performances were superb across the board.  It was one of those shows where you feel that the entire cast completely gel and deliver an energy greater than they should be able to combined.  From the first beat to the last body-pop the cast gave their all.  Jason Kajdi was an outstanding lead in this role. Full of energy, talent and above all a likeable character in both halves of the story.  Sophie Matthew was ideal as Sarah. Pretty, principled and brainy in equal measure she kept Joe on the straight and narrow ... more or less.  George Samson was a believable bully as Reecey and his dance ability stood out even in this exceptional company.  Sidekicks Billy Roberts, Will Haswell, Jessica Niles and Etisyai Philip were given a chance to shine and shine they did with funny individual characters which contrasted well.

 

This is a show that really needs the Sound department to be on their game.  There were a couple of hiccups but nothing major.  I do have to complain that the balance was a little too much in favour of the band over lyrics.  Lighting was dynamic if a little repetitive but the clever set and (hopefully not trademarked) use of sliding doors was very effective. For Theatre buffs, the costume changes for lead character, Joe, are worth the ticket price alone!

 

Don’t miss this show.  I think that there are offers to be had online so search around and get twice the fun for half the price!  An awesome night’s entertainment that you’d be mad to miss!

 

 

Listings Information

 

Our House

 

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

 

Tuesday 26 -Saturday 30 September

 

Mon-Sat eves, 7.30pm

 

Wed & Sat matinees, 2.30pm

 

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge

 

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

Aug 23rd

Sophie at The Lion and Unicorn (Camden Fringe)

By Cameron Lowe

‘Incomprehensible to most …unbreakable to two

 

 

 

 “Sophie’s love saves me in so many ways..."

 

Sophie opens to the Peter, Paul and Mary song Puff The Magic Dragon’, the lyrics to which tell the story of an ageless dragon and his playmate, Jackie Paper, a little boy. Jackie grows up but in the process loses interest in his imaginary, creative playtime, and in so doing leaves Puff behind. "A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys" is thought to mean that it was only "little Jackie Paper" who grew up, holding a great significance in the play overall.

 

In the set-up we see Julia Pagett, sister to Sophie sifting through a collection of photographs, among which she finds a scrunched up piece of paper, a memory-trigger; ‘but what can it represent?,’ we ask ourselves.

 

It definitely appears to stir something deep inside of her, till she averts her focus back to what she is doing but it isn’t too long before she has to expel the fiery ball of fury she has allowed to build up, at which point too the music rapidly slows down, till it comes to a complete standstill; comparable, you could say with a wind-up toy, that is void of all momentum.

 

The intro, sans dialogue, for a good few minutes is used as a valuable dramatic device, to help a necessary level of tension to mount, whereupon the music possibly resembles the slowing down of someone’s heartbeat, or blood pressure.

 

The play seems to hold two principal themes, the first being identical twins, which always brings with it a curiosity, and yet most people cannot admit as to why.

 

‘She’s in everything I do.” 

 

I guess, perhaps, it is because the world we live in expects a difference among individuals, in their appearance and behaviour. Therefore, when two individuals are a tight match, our perceptions of how the world is made up is challenged immediately.  And these likenesses then set off a variety of reactions – both negative and positive, needless to say we continue to be drawn in. Why, some people retain an element of jealousy toward twins, in regards to how close their social interaction can be.

Pagett takes ahold of her emotions once again after a splendidly truthful outburst, she then draws reference to the bike on stage, just one in a few props. A symbol one might say of Sophie’s euphoric liberation.

A second theme is introduced, the unpredictability of depression, and the importance of its power never being underestimated, at which point we witness a definite change in mood as the play becomes considerably darker: and to sum up the writings of Rich Larson:

‘… depression and cynicism. ..go hand-in-hand, along with ..anxiety. ..the three ..eat hope ..quickly ..’ leaving behind despair. ‘despair is exhausting ..we keep it to ourselves to (not) be a burden’

 Until it becomes too much. It doesn’t matter who you are, depression can cause you to feel isolated, and at worse it can result in you dying without anyone by your side.

Yet society has us believe that passive thoughts are transitory and so less dangerous than those which are active.

It can be unclear as to when we should intervene but severe symptoms of depression can be unpredictable. It, therefore, is better to be seen to overact than to not act at all.

What might be deemed as a passive thought should be acknowledged as it can be a sign of a darkness looming up ahead.

Sophie is an eloquently written, passionately performed piece, which successfully brings out the idea that despite even the kinship between twins, every one of us is an individual, and we, as individuals, drive the passive and active thoughts inside our heads.

 

Let the rawness of Sophie break the stigma surrounding mental health.

 

Sophie will continue to run as part of The Camden Fringe Festival until Sun 27 August 2017.

*A donation box will be available after the performance to raise money for MIND in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Or donations can be made online at http://www.justgiving.com/sophie-play

 

Sophie

 

A new play

written and performed by Julia Pagett

directed by Keir Mills

lion and unicorn                                                                                

link to The Camden Fringe Festival 2017:http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=1058

 

Review writer © Tremayne Miller

Aug 11th

Flashdance the Musical, Kings Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

80s revival musicals seem to come as frequently as downpours in August but this one is remarkably true to the original movie and has a rock solid cast to boot!  The bosses at Selladoor decided to launch this UK Tour in Glasgow and the local audience responded enthusiastically to this honour.

 

You can get a feel for the cultural impact of a movie by the number of times it is copied, mimicked or lampooned in other media.  With its iconic dance sequences, gritty characters and dark humour, Flashdance ticks all of the cult boxes … try typing Flashdance into Youtube to see what I mean!  So, a musical version of the movie might seem almost inevitable … but a successful conversion from celluloid to live theatre is far from certain and this revived production would have to work hard to match the grit of a tour almost 10 years ago.  Thankfully, the producers of Flashdance the Musical have not let us down.

 

At its heart, Flashdance is a story about achieving acceptance and respect.  By day, Alex (played by Strictly’s Joanne Clifton) is a female welder in “Steel Town” Pittsburgh working hard to be respected in the male dominated culture.  By night she is an exotic dancer in a ‘respectable’ joint.  She has aspirations to train at a dance conservatory but fears prejudice against her background.  Nick (played by pop icon, Ben Adams) is the son of her daytime boss.  He is immediately attracted to Alex but she has a rule about “dating the man who signs her pay cheques”.  This unlikely love affair is set against a gritty backdrop of mass unemployment, drug abuse and mobsters.

 

The musical avoids wallowing in its 80s roots by using down to earth costume and street language.  Matt Cole’s choreography adds real character to the piece with dazzling break dances contrasting well with ballet sequences.  Hairography was suitably present and even the slick scene changes were augmented with a dance accompaniment – sceneography?  Video projection was used effectively to change mood and depict thoughts feelings and dreams.  The score from Robbie Roth and Robert Cary develops character and helps to move the story along.  It has many changes from the last tour but still features original movie hits like “Maniac”, “Manhunt”, “Gloria” and “Flashdance - What A Feeling”.  The sound was suitably rocky and loud but sometimes overpowered the lyrics – especially in chorus numbers.

 

Onstage performances were superb throughout – although some minor characters suffered from a lack of consistency in accents.  Ben Adams really hit the high notes and delivered a convincing performance although, by the end of the evening, his signature nasal vocals did grate a little for me.  The entire cast showed impressive dance capability and, in some cases, eye watering flexibility!  The show was deservedly headlined, though, by leading lady Joanne Clifton who truly led from the front with her genuine triple threat skills on show.  You'd be a maniac to miss this.

 

Listings Information

Flashdance – The Musical

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Monday 7-Saturday 12 August

Mon-Sat eves, 7.30pm

Wed & Sat matinees, 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

 

TOUR DATES              

 

King's Theatre, Glasgow 04 AUGUST-12 AUGUST 2017

Empire Theatre, Sunderland 11 SEPTEMBER-16 SEPTEMBER 2017

New Theatre, Oxford 18 SEPTEMBER-23 SEPTEMBER 2017

Regent Theatre, Stoke 25 SEPTEMBER-30 SEPTEMBER 2017

New Theatre, Wimbledon 02 OCTOBER-07 OCTOBER 2017

Empire Theatre, Liverpool 16 OCTOBER-21 OCTOBER 2017

Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells 13 NOVEMBER-18 NOVEMBER 2017

Opera House, York 27 NOVEMBER-03 DECEMBER 2017

Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 04 DECEMBER-09 DECEMBER 2017

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh 15 JANUARY-20 JANUARY 2018

Palace Theatre, Manchester 29 JANUARY-03 FEBRUARY 2018

Victoria Theatre, Woking 19 FEBRUARY-19 FEBRUARY 2018

Princess Theatre, Torquay 26 FEBRUARY-03 MARCH 2018

DeMontfort Theatre, Leicester 26 MARC-31 MARCH 2018

Theatre Royal, Brighton 09 APRIL-14 APRIL 2018

Hippodrome, Bristol 25 JUNE-30 JUNE 2018

Milton Keynes, Theatre 16 JULY-21 JULY 2018

May 12th

Grease The Musical at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

Review by Christopher Lowe

Grease is the word this spring at the King's Theatre Glasgow as David Gilmore directs this production of the smash hit musical.

It's 1959 and America is teetering on the brink of liberation driven by the power of rock 'n' roll and sexual freedom.  Tough guy, Danny Zuko, meets angelic Sandy Dumbrowski for some summer luvin' over the school holidays. When back at high school, things don’t seem so sweet as Danny tries to play it cool in front of his mates. After much frustration and determination, Sandy decides to put on those leather trousers and flashy red heels and she decides to grab her man.

As one of the most famous and loved musicals Grease is hardly a show that needs headline names to succeed.

“The Wanted” star, Tom Parker, appears in his element in the iconic role of Danny; full of charisma and rebellious charm. He works incredibly well with his partner, Danielle Hope; both with stunning vocals and fantastic theatre presence.

Eastender,Louisa Lytton, plays Rizzo with great success and her previous experience as an actress comes to the fore in this key dramatic role.

The cast members all had great energy throughout the performance. Everything about the show was a real trip down memory lane either for fans of the 70’s movie or fans of the original era! The choreography was on point, the character portrayals were terrific, the lighting was mesmerizing and the music was,as you would expect, crazily catchy.

By the end of the evening the audience were all singing and dancing and having such a great time. It is a very enjoyable, fun and energetic production. I would find it very difficult to believe that anyone would not be pleased with this show. It is a classic and you can't go wrong!

Grease The Musical

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tues 9 May-Sat 20 May

Mon-Thu eves, 7.30pm

Fri, 5.30pm & 8.30pm

Sat, 5pm & 8.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

 Images by Paul Coltas courtesy of Ambassadors Theatre Group

Apr 19th

The Wedding Singer - King’s Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Jon Robyns and Cassie Compton lead a talented cast in a musical adaptation of the hit movie.

 

Marriage may be going out of fashion but romance will never die.  So it came as no surprise that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore scored a huge hit back in 1998 with the celluloid version of “The Wedding Singer” featuring the perfect union of slushy love story and nostalgic 80’s comedy.  Who would have guessed, though, that this almost formulaic movie could become a fantastic 21st century musical?

 

The show is remarkably true to the original movie including all of the quirky characters, retro comedy and tear inducing romance.  Robbie (Jon Robyns) is a wedding singer who believes in the perfect match.  Together with his band, “Simply Wed”, he seeks to contribute to each couple’s perfect day.  He meets waitress, Julia (Cassie Compton) at one such wedding and unwittingly falls for her.  Julia becomes engaged to her greedy, straying boyfriend just as Robbie is dumped by his bizarre rock-chick girlfriend.  Robbie loses his faith in love but, together, Julia and band mates Sammy (Ashley Emerson) and George (Samuel Holmes) make him believe in true love once again.

 

Jon Robyns played an affable Robbie with his clear vocals hitting the high notes and fitting the requirements of the role perfectly.  He was supported by a great cast.  Cassie Compton was the definitive ‘girl next door’ who would never be swayed by 80s greed.  She certainly delivered the sweetness of the role and ably sang many memorable numbers … but, as written, the character is a little 2 dimensional and it needs a performance twist to lift it out of the ordinary.  Roxanne Pallett took a night off but was energetically replaced by Tara Verloop as Julia’s waitress friend, Holly.  Tara rocked this soundtrack layering on talent and verve like it was going out of fashion!  Ray Quinn did his substantial fan-base proud as greedy trader, Glen with an unerring nasty-boy character portrayal.  “All About The Green” was certainly a highlight. Ruth Madoc earns a mention as Robbie’s scene stealing Grandma Rosie.

 

Among the ensemble, the stand out performer for me was Mark Pearce.  His characterisations lifted scenes throughout the show with every appearance delivering a new ‘face’.  A little more of this from the cast would lift the show to a new level.

 

Set and lighting were eye catching and very effective. Scene changes were slick – although some remnants of props from previous scenes were occasionally left onstage – a serious theatrical “no-no”.  The pacey and surprisingly varied (considering the era) original score was delivered with flair but the sound balance occasionally overpowered some vocals.  Recognisable chords and riffs from the music and movies of the time delighted those of us old enough to remember the 80s as something other than the ‘decade that style forgot’! 

 

This is a delightful uplifting musical which ticks all the boxes to produce a monster hit.    I rate it up there with the likes of “Footloose” and “Sunshine on Leith”. 

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

King's Theatre Glasgow:

Tues 18-Sat 22 April 2017

Tues & Thurs, 7.30pm

Wed, 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Fri, 5pm & 8.30pm

Sat, 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Box office: 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee applies)

 

Mar 9th

The Play That Goes Wrong at Theatre Royal, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

 

 

There are many famous stories of things going wrong in theatrical productions; Lawrence Olivier's very first professional performance started badly when he tripped through a door frame on his very first entrance. John Barrymore - drunk and rambling through a performance - forgot his line and staggered to the wings to ask the prompt "What's the line?". The prompt (obviously having had enough of Mr Barrymore's adlibbing and drunken behaviour) quickly responded with "what's the play?".

 

Mischief Theatre have realised how much everyone enjoys to see these little "mishaps" and have created a hilarious show that throws in as many theatrical calamities as you can imagine!

 

Featuring a show within a show, The Play That Goes Wrong tells the story of Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society's production of Murder At Haversham Manor. This looks like a classic murder mystery, but before the show even starts there seems to be a problem. Seeing the stage manager in the audience looking for their lost dog and the technician looking for his lost CD is a great set up to the evening that lies ahead. With an open stage you get a chance to see the 'crew' setting up for the show with toolboxes on stage and various bits of set being repaired (including a particularly troublesome mantel piece above the fire!). If you get a chance - read the first few pages of your programme too. It has been designed to include some brilliant details from Cornley Polytechnic and gives you some insight into the onstage dynamics that adds an extra layer to the whole show.

 

So far, so funny, but once the actual play kicks in - the humour is ramped up even more. Some small physical gags start the show off gently and this builds with some overacting, dropped lines and missing props that set up so many funny moments throughout the show. As with Les Dawson's piano playing - you have to be very good to then cleverly be able to play 'badly' and make it interesting and funny. I could not single out one actor involved as this is very much an ensemble piece that relies on every actor playing their part exceptionally well. The timing involved in getting the physical gags/falls/effects correct and safe is no small task and the set design and stage crew play a huge part in the success of this show under the swift direction of Mark Bell.

 

As actors become indisposed due to injury (usually happening onstage) stage crew are flung on in their place - using the script before the pages are sent flying, leading to some brilliant comic exchanges. Wall hangings on the set start to fall creating a brilliant physical gag that garnered huge applause from the audience on more than one occasion.

 

This review may seem very vague, and there is very much a reason for that. Unlike many murder mysteries where you are asked to keep the secret of who committed the murder - that is the least important thing in this show - the secret I want to keep is of every brilliant moment of this play! It has so much humour and is so excellently executed that words would not do it justice. If you watched their Christmas TV production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong, then you'll have a small indication of what the writing team of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields are about. However you should note that The Play That Goes Wrong was their first - and in this instance, the original is most definitely the best. Trust me, just take my word and buy a ticket - you can thank me later!!

 

The Play That Goes Wrong

Theatre Royal, Hope Street, Glasgow

Mon 6- Sat 11 March 2017

Mon-Sat Evening, 7.30pm

Thu / Sat Matinee, 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to 7p per min plus phone company's access charge

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

Feb 21st

Sister Act at The Alhambra, Bradford

By Cameron Lowe

 Review by Graham Clark

The last time that Alexandra Burke was in Bradford was to open the Broadway Shopping Centre,the X Factor winner is now back in the city playing the disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. So, under protective custody she is hidden in a place that she will not be discovered - a convent!

 

It was always going to be a test playing such a commanding role (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the original film version) but Burke pulls it off with ease. Her facial mannerisms are are a treat.

 

It is a feel good show set in Philadelphia in the mid 70's when disco was king and Deloris was more into Donna Summer than the church.

 

Deloris finds solace in the convent choir.  Mother Superior (Karen Mann) is a complete contrast to Deloris. The smooth talking man about town who turns into the murderer, Curtis, is played by Aaron Lee Lambert who also doubles up dressed up as a percussionist playing nun in the shows band.

 

Police officer Eddie played by Joe Vetch strikes up a relationship with Deloris who has a new identity as Sister Mary Clarence. The choir go on to be so successful that they gain media attention that advertises the whereabouts of Deloris so that Curtis and his sidekicks  know where to find Deloris (the disco diva turned Nun)!

 

The dance routines are infectious, the songs seem to be pastiches of disco classics but holding it all together is Alexandra Burke who is always the star of the show.

 

Sarah Goggin as Sister Mary Roberts comes to the fore during the evening, her singing voice perhaps a little too shrill at times. The underdog of the choir, she provides the comical role of the night.

 

There are influences of other 70's shows too like Saturday Night Fever with Police officer Eddie doing a good John Travolta impression at some points in the show.

 

With her new identity blown, Deloris decides to stay with the nuns and sing for a performance in front of the Pope.

 

As the title of one of the songs says, "Look At Me I'm Fabulous Baby", this is a fabulous show.  A standing ovation from the audience was rightly deserved.   Fabulous.

 

 

Runs until Saturday 25 February 2017

 

www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

 

Telephone: 01274 432000

 

Feb 7th

Thoroughly Modern Millie at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Review by Chris Lowe

 

Thoroughly Modern Millie is a 1967 American musical and romantic comedy film which came to broadway in 2002. The story focuses on a naive young woman who finds herself in the midst of an adventure pursuing her goal of marrying a rich man.

In New York City, 1922 Millie Dillmount (Joanne Clifton) is driven to find work as a stenographer to a wealthy businessman (Graham MacDuff) who she plans to marry. Millie befriends a sweet girl named Miss Dorothy Brown (Katherine Glover) an orphan who has checked into the Priscilla Hotel where Millie also resides. Unknown to Millie and Dorothy, their hotel owner Mrs. Meers (Michelle Collins) is selling her tenants into "white slavery".  At a friendship dance in the hall, Millie meets a paperclip salesman Jimmy Smith (Sam Barrett) who she takes an instant liking to.

Joanne Clifton delivered a wondrous performance as Millie. She can dance with zest and she certainly can sing with that bold, brassy voice and a flawless delivery which allowed the show to soar.

Sam Barrett plays a great supporting character and you can feel the connection between Millie and Jimmy from the start. His voice was extraordinary, dancing skills were striking and he paired very well with Joanne Clifton.

The funniest performer would have to be Millie's boss played by Graham MacDuff. His acting was incredible and his dancing was staggering to watch but it was his comedic performance which stole the second half of the show. The funniest scene of all time would be when Mr. Graydon has had a bit too much to drink; his portrayal of his inebriation is nothing short of hilarious and had the audience in stitches.

Overall I cannot fault any of the cast members and musicians or the production value. The set had a nice aesthetic, the choreography was pristine and each cast member delivered their own unique performance with precision. This is a musical not to be missed!

LISTINGS

Thoroughly Modern Mille

Mon 6-Sat 11 Feb 2017

Mon-Sat eves, 7.30pm

Wed &Sat mats, 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

 

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

Dec 9th

Cinderella – King’s Theatre, Glasgow (until Sun 8 January 2017)

By Cameron Lowe

Why are Pantos like hospitals? Because the audience are always in stitches! You can keep that one – have it for free!  ‘Tis the season for corny jokes and Glasgow’s King’s Theatre Pantomime, Cinderella, has them by the bucketload thanks to the hilarious talents of writer, Eric Potts (much better than my effort above).

 

If you thought that Panto was dead, get yourself along to the King’s theatre and get yourself re-educated.  There is plenty of hilarity for all ages on stage and a top knotch soundtrack of up-to-date tunes to keep even the greenest of Grinches tapping their feet.  Choreography from Ian West is first class, too, keeping a great balance of contemporary steps and classic promenades to show off those lavish costumes.  The whole production has a very high quality feel while director, Morag Fullerton, keeps up the machine gun pace admirably as those quick fire jokes are delivered like bullets from a gattling gun!  Cinderella’s trnsformation is magical and her coach and horses are worth the ticket price alone!

 

The principal cast of characters delivered on all fronts.  Gregor Fisher and Tony Roper rightfully stole the show as Euphimia and Lavinia (“Lavvy” for short); the ugly sisters but they were not left to carry this show.  Des Clarke continued to keep the share price of Red Bull high with his high-energy portrayal of Buttons and Elaine Mackenzie Ellis ensured that all her couplets were rhyming as the Fairy Godmother.  Gary Lamont was outstanding; showing off both comedic and singing talent as the ‘just-camp-enough-to-be-hilarious’ Dandini.  Meanwhile, the romantic lead roles played by Gillian Ford (Cinderella) and Josh Tavendale (Prince Charming) ensured that the narative was delivered while entertaining our ears with impressive vocal talent.

 

It was an absolute joy to attend this performance and I left feeling that my laughter muscles had had a good workout.  You cannot beat this show for a great family night out this Christmas.  Treat yourself to some Christmas Cheer at the King’s this year!

 

 All images courtesy of the King's Theatre, Glasgow. 

Listings Info:

 

CINDERELLA

 

KING’S THEATRE GLASGOW

Fri 2 Dec 2016 – Sun 8 Jan 2017 (please call box office for full details)

 

Access Performances:

Captioned Performances – Wed 14 Dec, 1pm & Wed 21 Dec, 7pm

Sign Language Interpreted – Fri 16 Dec, 11am & Mon 19 Dec, 7pm

Audio Described – Tue 3 Jan, 1pm

Relaxed Performance - Fri 6 Jan, 11am

Box Office: 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)

Schools and group bookings: 0844 871 7602

Calls cost 7p per min, plus your phone company’s access charge

 

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

Oct 20th

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Kings Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

 

The show certainly bursts onto the stage with a bang (bang), but can you believe the hype?

 

Seven years on from my first sight of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on tour and I must confess that the “wow” factor has diminished a little.  It’s still a great show with many positive elements and little to say that is actually ‘wrong’ with it … but the action was not quite as gripping for me as the first time around (and, before you suggest otherwise … I wasn’t 12 when I last reviewed the show!).

 

Even if the car had been a huge disappointment, the show would have proved itself as to be a good piece of musical theatre.  The sizable cast of adults and children filled the stage with energetic performances, solid vocals and entertaining dance routines.  The large scale set added a childlike sense of drama as it dwarfed everything and provided a dynamic backdrop for the extensive use of animated projections.  Choreography was characteristic and entertaining in equal measure and flawlessly executed throughout – including a musical theatre favourite – a tap routine!  The adapted script was bold in both cuts from and additions to the original 1968 movie screenplay and delivered rounded characters who were quickly lovable (or loathable) as required.

 

As I said; very little to complain about.  Picking nits I might suggest that some principal characters lacked a little verve and there was a sense that the show lacked freedom as everything had to click along at a fixed pace to match the projected animations.  But this was a small criticism of a polished (and expensive looking) gem.  It’s true to say that this is a family show which is firmly aimed at the younger members of the family.  There was the occasional double entendre (Spotted Dick was mentioned twice!) but this is no Shrek in the script department.

 

The score is packed with childhood favourites like Toot Sweets, The Ol’ Bamboo and Truly Scrumptious and the principal cast together with the large and talented ensemble delivered all to a good standard and to the delight of the audience of young and old alike. Headliners Jason Manford (Caractacus Potts), Phill Jupitis (Baron) and Claire Sweeney (Baroness) don’t disappoint while Charlotte Wakefield proves to be a sweet Truly Scrumptious (pun intended).

 

But the car … oh, the car is the star (as they say)!  Take every wish that you may have dared to fanaticise upon for the delivery of your childhood dream Chitty and it is produced as a reality on stage.  There is a seemingly endless escalation of awesomeness as the car performs one miracle after another from its first spotlight reflecting reveal through a speeding countryside journey to a jaw dropping slow motion fall from a clifftop!  Chitty deservedly takes the final bow at the end of the show to the strains of the Superman movie theme!  WOW!

 

If you have kids (or can ‘borrow’ one) don’t miss this fantastic show … its fantasmagorical!

 

Listing Information

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

King’s Theatre Glasgow

Wed 19-Sat, 29 Oct

Wed-Sat eves,7.30pm

Wed (26 Oct), Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)