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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)

 

Feb 5th

Run the Beast Down at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Ben Aldridge. Image by Billy Rickards. (4).jpg

Ben Aldridge as Charlie

When I looked up, I saw him. Burnt orange, bright against the summer woods. He stood grandly on all fours, the King.

The Finborough Theatre, dedicated to new writing as well as rediscoveries of forgotten classics, presents the first play by writer, director and musician Titas Halder. Run the Beast Down is a fantasia about urban foxes, a surrealistic dream performed by Ben Aldridge, painted in a symphony of sound and lights. 

After being fired from his lucrative city job, Charlie finds his flat in a redeveloped council estate deserted - his girlfriend has left him. Suffering from insomnia after this double blow, Charlie begins to confuse reality and fantasy as he drifts into a world of dreamlike memories and hallucinations.

Charlie first introduces his neighbourhood - the elderly Mrs Winter who is worried about her cat Peter, named after her husband. The cat has disappeared and she fears that the foxes might have got him. But it might have been the feral kids on the estate whose aggression level is so high that they seem capable of anything. When he finds Peter savaged on his doorstep, Charlie starts to investigate and meets the Silver Man, Mrs Winter's brother. We also learn about Charlie's life as a banker - his mates and their local watering hole, a pub decorated with stuffed wildlife. An internal investigation ends Charlie's career.

As Charlie's sanity begins to deteriorate, he sees Mrs Winter's cat as a reincarnation of her husband, and even the stuffed animals in the pub gain special significance. He keeps contacting his ex-girlfriend assuming that she needs his help, which shows a somewhat obsessive behaviour. Eventually, the protagonist, who believes that he once met the King of the Foxes in the forest, starts identifying with the urban foxes, who have lost their natural shyness yet retained part of their feral nature as their disturbing shrieks echo through the night.

Under Hannah Price's creative direction, Ben Aldridge begins his performance at a leisurely pace, increasing the suspense and speed as the intense drama reaches its climax. He plays all the characters in his story including Mrs Winter and the King of Foxes. An online DJ, Chris Bartholomew, provides the musical soundscape, designed by ANoR (Andy & Fraser) and the inventive lighting design by Rob Mills and Robbie Butler add to the narrative.

A unique production that should not be missed.  

By Carolin Kopplin

Until 25th February 2017

Finborough Theatre

118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box office: 020 7244 7439

e-mail admin@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Running time: 70 minutes with no interval.

Image by Billy Rickarts.