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Jun 13th

Dreamboats & Petticoats - King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Sean Stirling

Do you wanna dance? If the answer is “yes” then the King’s Theatre, Glasgow is the place to be this week where the 1960’s juke box musical, Dreamboats & Petticoats, makes its triumphant return as part of its current UK tour.

Dreamboats started life as a series of compilation albums featuring hit songs from the likes of Roy Orbison, Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Chubby Checker, to name but a few. Music of this era has been successfully imitated on stage in musicals such as Grease and Hairspray but the songs that gave inspiration for these shows now have their own vehicle in this musical which is jam packed with over 40 of some of the greatest chart toppers of the 1960’s.   Included among these treasures are To Know Him Is To Love Him, Bobby’s Girl, The Great Pretender and Let’s Twist Again. The score also features a couple of original songs written especially for the production, which you would find hard to believe that weren’t standards of the era.

The plot is streamlined in order to join this musical cavalcade together.  We are transported back to a time before snapchat, fidget spinners, bottle flipping and dabbing when being a teenager meant you went to your local youth club to play rock and roll (or table tennis) and learned how to deal with the turmoil that is young love.  Schoolboy Bobby (Alistair Higgins) longs for an electric guitar so that he can join a band to impress the older and sassy Sue (Laura Darton).  Sue has her eye set on the band’s newest front man, Norman (Alastair Hill) but his attention is purely focused on himself.  Meanwhile schoolgirl Laura (Elizabeth Carter) wants to be Bobby’s girl.

Alistair Higgins is an endearing Bobby with the warm baritone of a young Elvis Presley and the tender falsetto of Frankie Valli.  Elizabeth Carter is a sweet Laura with a voice that could melt even the coldest heart.  Laura Darton and Alistair Hill are matched well in a relationship reminiscent of Kenikie and Rizzo in Grease.  Jimmy Johnston, who you might recognize as playing Will Parker in the filmed production of the National Theatre’s ‘Oklahoma’, holds proceedings together in his dual roles of Bobby’s dad and older Bobby.

The principals are also supported by an amazing quadruple threat company who not only play minor characters, but are also the fantastic onstage band, often playing instruments and dancing at the same time.  They also provide backing vocals throughout the show.  Two songs in the production are performed a cappella by the full company and the results are heavenly.  This production is to be highly commended for its use of live music.

The design is simple but effective making use of album covers and advertisements of the era.

The audience members at Monday evening’s performance lapped all this up and were up on their feet, dancing, singing and cheering along to the rousing finale.

Dreamboats & Petticoats

Monday, 12th June - Saturday, 17th, June

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

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 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 22nd

The McDougalls, Chaos At Christmas - Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, December 2016

By Jon Cuthbertson

 

The McDougalls present a fun and festive family show filled with laughter and song.

The McDougalls

The McDougalls are already a little bit of a cult hit with the kids of Inverclyde and Ayrshire – and the kids of Glasgow are catching on too after their recent trip to the Theatre Royal. Aimed at the pre-school market, the shows are mainly set around songs that the young people can join in with, performed by larger than life characters who move it along in story form.

In this latest production, Chaos At Christmas, there are many classics that even I remember from my childhood (although with some new verses on to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I had to rely on the 3 year old beside me to help me with the actions and words!) and some new songs that I believe are written specially for the McDougalls.

The McDougalls themselves are Max (played by one of the show’s creators, Ryan Moir), Maisie (Colleen Garrett) and Auntie Aggie (the show’s other creator, Ruairidh Forde). They are joined throughout by various other characters such as their, rather large, pet rabbit Morag (played by Euan Barker in one his many skin character guises) and wee cousin Shug (a second role for the versatile Ruairidh Forde). Each character is lively,colourful and full of energy.

 

The simple story follows the family on Christmas Eve as they prepare for Christmas Day itself, however nothing quite goes to plan. Shug has been rehearsing the wrong song for the school nativity and has the wrong costume (his monkey onesie may look cute, but just won’t do when it’s a donkey in the nativity), Aunt Aggie has ruined the turkey and Morag has eaten the carrot that was to be left for the reindeer!

Each of the performers have their moment to shine - Max has been praticing his piano and so we get to see Ryan Moir's musical talents here. Maisie sings a gentle version of Little Donkey to Cousin Shug (and manages to keep a room full of rowdy toddlers enthralled in silence as she sings - a very brave decision to take in a show like this and one that worked extremely well) giving us the chance to hear Colleen Garrett's vocals. Ruairidh Forde's moment to shine was during one of the most interactive parts of the show - 8 kids were chosen to come up to help play Santa's reindeer for a song. As Aunt Aggie, Mr Forde spoke to each of the children and had a little joke or quip ready for any of the answers they threw at him (and trust me, kids of that age can say pretty much anything!). With appearances from a snowman and from Santa (who arrives through the fireplace, having been stuck up the chimney - cue for a song? Of course!) and even some magical snow for the show's finale, there is festive fare aplenty. 

The McDougalls wrap up the show by telling the audience "We're the McDougalls and we've had fun!". Well, they weren't alone - the audience seemed to have had a ball.

Having grown up watching Cilla and Artie in the Singing Kettle, this seems like exactly the kind of show I'd want to see as a child now - a sophisticated Singing Kettle for 2016. With the colourful sets, the energetic characters and the wonderful music this is 5 star family fun!

 

Listings

Harbour Arts Centre Irvine

 

Friday 16th December 6.30pm

Sunday 18th December 1pm (SOLD OUT)

Sunday 18th December 3pm

Sunday 18th December 6.30pm

Wednesday 21st December 6.30pm

Thursday 22nd December 6.30pm

Friday 23rd December 6.30pm

 

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/artist/harbour-arts-centre-tickets/976948

(booking fee applies)

for more dates see www.mcdougallstheatre.com

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 5th

Sister Act at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

Review by Cameron Lowe

 

Sister Act is raising spirits at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre this week!

 

Based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, this musical has found its shining star in Alexandra Burke.  Having thoroughly enjoyed Ms Burke’s performance in the recent tour of The Bodyguard I had high expectations for this production which were quickly surpassed.  Alexandra Burke is “Heaven sent” to play the role of Deloris Van Cartier!

 

The show itself has a fantastic blend of comedic characters and a score that hits the high notes with original songs from Alan Menken (famed for Disney’s musical revival in the 90s) which fit the late 70s era perfectly.  The story puts our heroine in ‘peril’ but the delivery from Director Craig Revel Horwood is very light hearted.

 

There are some brilliant supporting performances.  Sarah Goggin shines as Sister Mary Robert – the mousy quiet nun who finds her voice – and what a VOICE!  Those who are new to this show may be surprised by the laughs generated by the ‘bad guys’ who hunt our heroine down while she seeks shelter in the convent.  The laughs come loudest from the performance of Sandy Grigelis as “TJ” – the nephew of the gang leader whose strange habits are said to “skip a generation”!  Karen Mann delivers some impressive “wow” moments as Mother Superior.  The power and vocal range of this diminutive performer was phenomenal.

 

The production is well presented with a very solid looking church interior and balcony designed by Matthew Wright.  This was swiftly (and minimally) converted into a bar, police station and street exterior as required.  The only element that didn’t quite work for me was the ‘confession scene’ which I think might have been better served by a simple confessional truck.  The sound and light show was seamlessly delivered and suitably atmospheric.

 

But back to Alexandra Burke who completely in-habit-ed the role of Deloris (#punsareNOTweapons).  I expected the vocals to be flawless and impressive (they were) but I was equally impressed with Ms Burke’s comic timing and her high energy delivery of the character as Deloris lifted the spirits of everyone around her.  A fabulous performance from an all-rounder leading lady. 

 

You MUST see this show!  There is nothing quite as entertaining as a nun in a sparkly habit singing and dancing to a hip hop beat!!

 

 

SISTER ACT – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

 

Tues 4 Oct-Sat 8 Oct

 

Tues-Sat eves, 7.30pm

 

Wed & Sat mats, 2.30pm

 

Please note Alexandra Burke will star in evening performances only

 

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

 

 

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

 

 

Sep 16th

CATS at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Review by Suzanne Lowe

 

Cats holds a special place in my heart having seen it in the past countless times.  Being an avid lover of all things “dance” this show ticks all the boxes for me.

 

The show is based on the book of poems from T.S. Elliot’s “Old Possums’s Book of Practical Cats” a childhood favourite of its creator Andrew Lloyd Webber.  A completely “sung through” musical it has the added challenge for all characters, except “Old Deuteronomy” and “Grizabella”, to be accomplished dancers.

 

From the opening number, the iconic dance moves did not disappoint.  High energy and great vocals draw you into this show from the start with the exceptional level of dance awe inspiring.

 

Lucinda Shaw (Jennyanydots) gives a superb performance of The Old Gumbie Cat accompanied by her impressive troop of tap dancing Cats.

 

I was slightly bemused by the revamped version of The Rum Tum Tugger.  Having been a big fan of the original version and character this hip hop/rap style number didn’t sit well with me.  My first thought was “If it ain’t broke…….”  However my much younger companion who was experiencing Cats for the first time was completely enthralled by this number.  Marcquelle Ward (Rum Tum Tugger) produced some impressive dance moves even if it was not quite to my taste.  I felt the characters normally strong presence was perhaps diminished by the changes.

 

Marianne Benedict’s (Grizabella) moving performance of the iconic song “Memory” was a particular highlight of the night.  Her outstanding vocals ensured that the audience gave the longest applause I have heard in a long time for a solo number.   Joe Henry and Emily Langham (Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer) delighted the crowd with their high impact routine while still delivering impressive vocals.  Lee Greenway’s (Skimbleshanks) performance of the railway cat was a joy to watch.  Always a crowd pleaser this was excellently backed up by the Cats Chorus.   Mr Mistoffelees, played by Shiv Rabheru, executed a visually entertaining phenomenal dance routine.  His impressive “spin” skills a particular highlight.  Special mention also has to go to The White Cat played by Sophia McAvoy.  A joy to watch her beautiful transitions between moves and exceptional balancing skills were a particular favourite of mine.

 

I did however, feel that the first half of the show seemed to be a little less impressive than that of the second.  Perhaps this was due to finding myself in the Gallery.  A little high up to be drawn into the cat like movements which are always carried out superbly by cast members.  Although looking down from that height gave a great view of the overall dance numbers anything happening upstage on raised levels could not be seen.  I think perhaps this did spoil the spectacle that is “Cats”. 

 

Overall, another superb performance of “Cats” by the cast and well worth seeing.  However to immerse yourself fully in this show it is well worth spending the extra money on good seats.

 

CATS – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tues 13 Sep-Sat 17 Sep

Tues-Sat eves, 7.30pm

Wed, Thurs & Sat mats, 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost up to7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)