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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

Mar 21st

Northanger Abbey at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ production of Jane Austen’s late 18th century novel may only have three backlit panels and a couple of benches to set the scene, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the performances of a young and vibrant company.

I was completely enthralled by the story of the teenage Catherine, who thinks life is like one of the Gothic novels she so loves to read. But through her adventures while taking the waters in Bath and her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, we see her develop and grow into an admirable young lady who, of course, looks set to live happily ever after.

It’s a wonderful part for a young actress, for though Catherine and her friends are somewhat immature and vacuous, she goes through so many changes, and Eva Feiler plays her so well, beginning as an awkward child and becoming a loving and lovable companion.

Eva not only has Jane Austen to thank for her role, but also accomplished writer Tim Luscombe, who has already adapted two of Jane Austen’s novels and manages to condense a classic with 30 characters into a play with only eight actors.

While retaining the essence of the book, he presents it as a lively, theatrical and often funny entertainment which has intrigued me enough to want to read the original. The characters walk, talk and act as if in the 1700s but they appear fresh and can easily be identified with young people today.

Joe Parker gets my vote as the most obnoxious, swaggering, selfish youth John Thorpe who lies through his teeth to get what he wants. Annabelle Terry lights up the stage with her vitality as Isabella but this so-called friend of Catherine’s soon shows her true colours as manipulative and selfish and I loved her petulant outbursts.

In complete contrast, Henry Tilney, the object of Catherine’s affections, and his sister Eleanor, are blonde, beautiful and sweet-tempered, and Harry Livingstone and Emma Ballantine play them to perfection. Quite the opposite is their father General Tilney, and Jonathan Hansler’s portrayal as a gruff, mean and selfish man would make him at home in any story of monsters.

Talking of monsters, the play sometimes reverts to scenes from Catherine’s favourite book, The Mysteries of Udolpho, as her imagination runs away with her, and this gives director Karen Simpson carte blanche to have a bit of fun. Melodrama rules as thunder bellows, lightning flashes, and strange, bent, hooded figures scurry around the stage wielding daggers.

Credit must also go to Mark Dymock who is kept pretty busy as lighting designer, and though I feel there is a little too much dancing, movement director Julie Cave certainly puts the members of the cast through their paces with authentic-looking dances of the day.

Northanger Abbey continues at the Theatre Royal Windsor until March 25

Box Office: 01753 853888

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

The tour then continues:

April 3-6: Northcott Theatre, Exeter

April 1-13: Derby Theatre

May 2-6: New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

 

May 9-13: The Dukes, Lancaster

Mar 17th

Improbable Fiction

By Clare Brotherwood

Well, this production certainly isn’t run of the mill (excuse the pun). In fact, the best way to describe it is that it is weird and wonderful.

Alan Ayckbourn’s observational skills are legendary and turn mundane domestic lives into celebrated comedies. But his 69th play, first performed in 2005, couldn’t be wackier.

I really don’t want to give too much of the plot away as the element of surprise is electrifying. But it involves a writing group and the stories they are writing or the ideas they are having, however well or badly these are and however well or badly they are developing the characters.

It’s a stroke of genius.

I had looked upon the first act as an introduction to a group of rather mismatched, sad characters who all have crosses to bear.

Arnold, who is hosting the meeting while having his bedridden mother banging on the floor every so often, tries his best to keep everyone happy, but he’s got his work cut out, what with cynical Jess (Julie Teal), insecure Grace (Angela Sims), creepy Clem (Ben Porter), and volatile Brevis (Laurence Kennedy). Only vivacious Vivvi (Sarah Lawrie) and sweet Ilsa (Rhiannon Handy) lighten the proceedings. But it was as if they were all treading water and I knew it couldn’t continue. As the interval approached I wrote in my notebook ‘I have no idea what is to come’. And what does happen you could never imagine!

It’s a complicated piece for every member of this sterling cast. Only Andrew Bone remains the likeable but somewhat confused Arnold who, nevertheless, has to deal with events beyond anyone but Alan Ayckbourn’s imagination. Everyone has to work so hard in so many different areas, from playing different characters from different time zones, which means adopting different mannerisms and ways of speaking, to the quickest costume changes I’ve ever encountered. There isn’t even any respite for Matthew Biss on lighting.

I don’t know how long I’ve been reviewing at The Mill but it’s got to be around 15 years, so before I move to Edinburgh to continue reviewing and to be a theatrical landlady I had hoped my last visit would be particularly memorable. And thanks to Ayckbourn veteran, director Robin Herford and his amazing cast, it was. But then, the Mill’s productions usually are. People come from miles around (the couple sitting next to me had travelled 46 miles from Bicester) to experience the dinner theatre’s award-winning hospitality, and I wholeheartedly thank artistic director Sally Hughes, marketing and administration officer Vanessa Hicks and the rest of the staff for so many years of unadulterated pleasure.

Improbable Fiction is at The Mill at Sonning until May 6.

Box office: 0118 969 8000

 

www.millatsonning.com

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 21st

Ding Dong Murder Me On High!

By Clare Brotherwood

Back in the day, The Questors Theatre in Ealing was synonymous with The Art of Course Acting, a sort of precursor to The Play that Went Wrong, which is so popular today.

Questors is an amateur theatre group and member Michael Green drew upon his experiences to write a book on the subject before taking The Course Acting Show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then into London’s West End.

There are aspects of this talking Scarlet (why do they have to italicise, underline and not cap up?) production which brings me in mind of course acting. Obviously Ding Dong… is a spoof, but it’s not done well enough to be admired.

David Callister, as the aptly named Sgt Pratt, is the only one to get my vote with his Malapropisms and double entrendres. It must be so difficult to have to keep dropping the wrong words into the dialogue, and he does it so well, even when he corpsed during Windsor’s first night and then said, ‘I don’t know what I am talking about any more’. It was the highlight of the evening.

The opening night audience seemed to enjoy it well enough, and that’s the main thing, but I found it all too silly and the characters too transparently over the top.

The action takes place in the home of Sir Walton Gates, where his family are gathering together for Christmas (I was just beginning to put Christmas behind me!). Enter Sgt Pratt and his sidekick WPC Potter, collecting for the police benevolent fund, and chaos ensues. In the mix there are guns going off, sub plots and imposters, but I was inclined to agree with another theatregoer who queried, ‘Is this supposed to be for adults?’

Only Anna Brecon as Lady Gates appears believable (well, mostly), with a cool sophistication (well, mostly) which brought me in mind of Samantha Bond. I’ve always liked Jeffrey Holland, and his portrayal of the creaky old Lord is passable. Oliver Mellor (Dr Matt in Corrie) does well to irritate us as the cocky James Washington, but the others are just too silly. Natasha Gray as Sir Walton’s PA Morag McKay brought me in mind of Dr Finlay’s Janet (for those old enough to remember) with her high pitched pseudo-Scottishness, but Carly Day ladles on so much affectation as Sir Walton’s excitable daughter Emma that, half the time, she is inaudible. And there were knowing chuckles when someone refers to Archie Gates’ (played by Neighbour’s Mark Little) ‘ridiculous Australian accent’.

This is the world premiere of this production, and apparently there are many other misadventures involving Sgt Pratt. Good luck to him, and his creator Peter Gordon. With this company they need it.

Ding Dong Murder Me on High! is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb 25.

Box Office: 01753 853888.

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

It then continues touring:

Mar 13-15: Grand Theatre Swansea

 

Mar 17-18: Garrick Theatre, Lichfield

Feb 15th

Henceforward... at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

Alan Ackybourn really is astonishing. His characters have often been ordinary, even boring, people whose lives usually go no further than their suburban gardens. And yet, through his powers of observation and his unrivalled talent he makes them into roles which have had audiences transfixed for over 50 years and have professionals and am dram societies alike clamouring to perform his plays all over the world.

But Henceforward… is a world away from suburbia. And its characters are, well, not of this world. No breathing Ayckbourn’s magic into the lives of dull little families here. Instead, the actors are challenged with bringing to life and living with a robot, and a dysfunctional one at that.

The play premiered in 1987 and was the first time Ayckbourn used a robot in the storyline. Eleven years later, in Comic Potential, his second robotic character won Janie Dee three awards only ever bestowed on one other actor before or since… Judi Dench.

There are certainly award-winning performances in this production but, first, to the set the scene. Henceforward… takes place in the not too distant future when society has broken down and thugs called The Daughters of Darkness police the area where composer Jerome Watkins lives in a dingy tower block with steel shutters on the windows. It’s totally unnerving. Though written 30 years ago Ackybourn’s vision was extraordinary and nowadays is way too close for comfort. The grey, concrete walls and drab surrounds of Roger Glossop’s set is unsettling.

The play is also extremely funny. Jerome has an android, model no NAN 300F (listed in the cast as Herself!), which a neighbour gave him for spares, but though he refers to her/it as ‘a load of old scrap’, he has programmed her to walk (after a fashion) and talk (after a fashion) - with hilarious consequences. We must surmise that Jacqueline King, who plays Jerome’s unpleasant and forceful ex-wife Corinna in the second act, is indeed NAN, and, therefore, she should be praised for both monumental performances. I could never tire of watching what NAN gets up to next. Just the anticipation is pure joy.

But King is not the only actress who has to walk the walk and talk the talk of NAN. In the first act Laura Matthews plays Zoe, an escort hired by Jerome to play his fiancée so as to make his ex-wife think he has a stable home where his daughter Geain can visit. Beaten up by the Daughters of Darkness, Zoe’s various emotional states, which range from highly entertaining to down-right moving, are superbly drawn by Matthews, but there is more to come in the second act when she too becomes NAN.

There is a great deal of underlying darkness to this play, but it is so well balanced with great humour and strong characters including Nigel Hastings as the all too human Mervyn and Jessie Hart as Jerome’s complex daughter. King and Matthews understandably command the stage, but Bill Champion will stick in my mind as the troubled, humourless Jerome whose one, blind obsession loses him the thing he was looking for but had all the time.

Superbly (of course) directed by Ayckbourn himself, the production could not work without video designer Paul Stear’s special effects.

Henceforward is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb 18.

Box office: 01753 853888

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Further dates include:

 

Feb 22-25: Cambridge Arts Theatre

Feb 8th

Kiss of Death at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

After many decades as a theatre reviewer, nowadays when someone asks me what play I’ve just seen I often can’t remember! But such is Simon Williams’ gift for playwriting that his previous productions are lodged firmly in my brain and I’ve found them hugely enjoyable. Unfortunately, Kiss of Death will be memorable, but not for the right reasons.

The trouble is, this talking Scarlet production is woefully under-rehearsed. On the opening night the actors were speaking their lines rather than performing them and there were issues with the sound, including lack of projection, while the set, which is little more than a mishmash of chairs, adds nothing to the ambience. In fact, there isn’t any. It’s a travesty that a production which carries the name of such a distinguished actor as Williams is allowed to be performed in such an unfinished state.

It’s not as if the cast don’t know what they are doing. All four members have solid backgrounds. David Janson has appeared in everything from The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night to TV comedies ‘Allo ‘Allo and Keeping Up Appearances, and from working with the RSC to panto, while his daughter Ciara Janson spent three years in Hollyoaks before making her West End debut. And Peter Lovstrom and Davies Palmer both have many film, TV and stage credits. Yet they failed to make their characters or the storyline in any way believable. Only Ciara Janson shows any form of emotion.

It’s a complicated, imaginative plot, with many twists, and, done properly, would be a spine-tingling psychological thriller, if a little off-beat. It all centres on actress Zoe Lang (Ciara Janson) who finds herself auditioning to be the bait for a real life serial killer, but even when the sardonic murderer reveals himself there is no real feeling of menace, and two policemen handling such a big case shouts a tight budget! In this state it also feels disjointed; it’s very slow to start – building up the tension, I kindly thought, but I soon realised it was because it lacked pace.

Let’s hope Patric Kearns, director, designer and artistic director of talking Scarlet, takes a hard look at the production and puts things right. I have always admired Williams’ writing – both his plays and novels – and I wouldn’t want anyone to judge him by this one.

Kiss of Death is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb 11

Box Office: 01753 853888

 

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

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