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Feb 28th

This is Elvis @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

This Is Elvis Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

The enduring appeal of Elvis ‘the Pelvis’ (over  40 years after his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 42) makes it hard to believe that in 1968 he was considered to have had his day.  It had been 7 years since his last concert in Hawaii and his popularity had been eclipsed by the Beatles and other British bands.  A string of average movies and songs left him in the shadows, but when a special TV show was broadcast in December 1968, his career was reignited. 

Elvis’s notorious manager, Colonel Tom Parker, negotiated a fee of $1.25 million with NBC for the TV show and subsequent album.  Producer/director Steve Binder taped Elvis in a small room singing old hits, gospel and classic rock and roll songs, musically supported by close friends in front of a very close audience.  Four one-hour sessions were recorded with Elvis dressed in black leather and spliced together to make the final TV show.

The TV show was such a huge hit that it became known as the ’68 Comeback Special, as it rejuvenated Elvis career.  Taking full advantage of his renewed popularity, Colonel Parker secured Elvis a four-week engagement at the International  Hotel  in Las Vegas and the rest, as they say, is history!

The first act of This is Elvis recreates all the dramas surrounding the filming of the iconic TV show, building a picture of his relationships with Priscilla and Colonel Parker, up to rehearsals before opening night at Vegas.  The second act gives us a full-blown concert as performed by Elvis at The International Hotel, Las Vegas, featuring a plethora of hits from That’s All Right Mama, Viva Las Vegas, Blue Suede Shoes, It’s Now or Never, The Wonder of You to Jailhouse Rock and many, many more.....

Canadian actor/singer Steve Michaels totally captures Elvis’s vocal dexterity, exciting stage presence and charisma.  His performance is so authentic you can almost believe you’re in the presence of The King himself!  With a superb ensemble cast of talented actor/musicians, the show takes us down memory lane and sparkles with the magic of an everlasting icon.  Elvis was definitely ‘in the building’ and if you’re a fan, this show should not be missed!

The show runs at The Waterside until Saturday 3rd March.  For tour dates and booking please visit http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/this-is-elvis/

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

26.2.18

@yvonnedelahaye

Feb 27th

The Weir at The Richmond Theatre

By Douglas McFarlane

The Weir

 

The Weir is the name of a pub in Dublin which in turn was named after a nearby waterway. The characters in the pub congregrate at a slow pace. It's the countryside after all, where things move a little slowly.  The characters come to life one by one as they tell a variety of different stories each more stranger than the next. 

The stories continues throughout the 90 minute play, without an interval, and as they unfold they gently lull the audience to being part of their intimate environment. 

This is a play that has been performed around the world since 1997 and won an Olivier Award for best new play two years later. So it certainly had potential. However as it's a very quiet play, any audience movement or noise can be heard. Additionally, the female character, Valerie, was supposed to be from Dublin, but in this performance she was played as an English woman.

Having said that the two lead actors who took on most of the dialogue, delivered some great character interpretations and made this play worth seeing.  The audience on a cold wintry night were certainly warmed up after this evening's performance.

The Weir is on at the Richmond Theatre this week, before heading to the Arts Theatre in Cambridge.



Review by Douglas McFarlane

Feb 27th

The Play That Goes Wrong at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

If there is a play in existence with a more apt title than “The Play That Goes Wrong”, I have yet to see it!  Mischief Theatre have crafted 100 minutes of mirth and mayhem that had me laughing until I hurt … and then I laughed some more!

This week, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre plays host to a play within a play as a fictional group of not-so-talented am-dramers  (the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society) present “The Murder At Haversham Manor” as the accurately titled “Play That Goes Wrong”.  And boy, does it go wrong!

Before curtain up we are treated to a performance of outstanding incompetence as the “stage crew” attempt to set the stage.  From the opening introduction by Director “Chris” (stiffly portrayed by Jake Curran) we are in no doubt that we are about to be “entertained” by a troupe bearing a remarkable heritage of disastrous am-dram flops. 

The curtain rises and we are entertained by shameless overacting from the players with outlandish and unconvincing characters and a broad disrespect of “the fourth wall”.  This is all delightfully OTT and delivered to wring maximum laughs from the outset.  But this would become tired quite quickly … if the writers did not have an endless supply of acting faux-pas and theatrical cock-ups waiting in the wings; each one more calamitous than the last!  Prop mix ups, prat falls, disintegrating sets, dropped lines, slapstick, badly timed entrances … every single one a disaster in its own right; enough to send any self-respecting amateur fleeing from the stage.  Yet, these are all presented in one show in all of their awkward, heart stopping, nightmare inducing glory.  And we laughed so hard!

Kazeem Tosin Amore (as Robert playing Thomas Collymoore) gives a great comic portrayal of the victim’s school chum with a particular highlight as he tries to break a dialog loop through purple faced rage and mouthfuls of ‘white spirit’.  Elena Valentine (as Sandra) gives a delightfully unconvincing performance as femme fatal Florence Collymoore and becomes the victim of some spectacular physical gaffs.  Bobby Hirston is the prat-fall king as Max (playing Cecil Haversham) and Benjamin McMahon is the youthful Dennis who is superbly miscast as the aging Perkins.  Catherine Dryden develops her character beautifully to hilarious effect as Annie (the somewhat reluctant crew member cum understudy).  Jake Curran was excellent (as Chris playing Inspector Carter), particularly as he broke down over the audience’s reaction to his response to a lost prop.  I’m laughing out loud as I type this … LEDGER!

Direction from Mark Bell expertly balanced the tight timing required for such a complex piece of physical theatre with just enough leeway for the actors to thoroughly enjoy the performance and give the audience a feeling that everything was fresh.  Nigel Hook’s set design was inspired; adding significantly to the laughs.  Despite all of the superlatives above, the script from Mischief Theatre’s own writing team of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields was truly the star of this outstanding show.

A special mention has to be made of the production programme.  It really is worth every penny is very funny in its own right.

If you fancy a really good, wholehearted belly-laugh (and who doesn’t need a laugh these days) get your tickets to this hilarious show now.

Photos by Robert Day

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 26 Feb - Sat 3 Mar 2018

Mon-Sat 7.30pm

Wed & Sat, 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 OR ... catch the show at Edinburgh's Fesival Theatre from 12-17 March 2018

Feb 23rd

A Passage To India: The Park Theatre, Finsbury Park

By Elaine Pinkus

Based on the novel A Passage To India by EM Forster, adapted by Simon Domandy and performed by simple8.

It is pre World War 1, at a time of British imperialism and colonialism. Forster’s A Passage to India was an observant critic of the assumptions made by those who settled into this vast nation of many cultures. The unearned holding of power and the misdirected autocracy of the British, demeaning those whose land they usurped, is made clear through their bigoted and racist attitudes and behaviour, performed with conviction by simple8.  India was a country keen to have its own independence but also a  land of many cultures and castes where social diversity, intolerant of each other, prevented that very dream.

Having seen the David Lean film of the novel with its vivid scenery, beautiful costumes and vibrant colour, I was sceptical of it being produced as a play in so small a theatre space. How would it be effective? How could it be convincing? And yet it was! Simplistically set on a stage whose colour represented the dust and the sand, we were transported through the power of suggestion and imagination to the magnificence of the colourful sunsets, the Maribar hills, the bleak and dangerous Maribar caves, the torrential rainfall and the hanging mangoes. We travelled on elephants and horses, shook unsteadily in train carriages and shared the fearful sensations of the echoes that resonated even after we had left the claustrophobia of the caves. And yet there was no technology, no super-imposed film effects. This entire production, in its seeming simplicity, allowed us to suspend reality and uphold belief. But this was not simplistic. It was carefully directed by Sebastian Armesto and Simon Dormandy via the excellent collaborative physicality of the company whose numerous tableaux captured the essence of India.  

Forster’s novel was inspired by Whitman's poem of the same name which held that the physical journey to India is only a prelude to the spiritual pathway to God. A notion held by the goodly Mrs Moore (Liz Crowther) and the earnest Dr Aziz (Asif Khan). But this spirituality cannot be achieved in a country that lacks its own harmony in its diversity; a people who cannot hope to connect with the British colonisers who do not understand India's mystery. Just as the many castes and cultures of India fail to unite in their common desire for independence, so too do these disconnected peoples fail to harmonise. Those who have taken and assume the power see the Indians as a sub-class, inferior to their own and with whom they cannot socialise or integrate but rather use for their own ends.

Credibly portrayed are the contemptible and despicable Callenders (Matthew Douglas and Hannah Emanuel), McBryde (Christopher Doyle) and Turton (Nigel Hastings). Clearly they do not intend to live alongside the Indian people. Rather thay will govern them. Genial college master, Cyril Fielding (Richard Goulding) strives to bridge that gap but is in part naive and misguided and achieves only to disappoint Aziz (Asif Khan) who has tried desperately to close the divide but does not understand the nuances, hypocrisy and twisting turns of the British, despite the warnings of his more aware associates whose contempt of the oppressors is evident. Ultimately Aziz's eyes are opened: 'you cannot be friends with the English'. There too is Adela (Phoebe Pryce) who in her priggish and proper manner claims she truly wishes to befriend and know the Indians rather than be a tourist in India. Nowadays we might accuse her of self delusion.

A Passage To India - The Company. Photo by Idil Sukan_preview.jpeg

 The Company

At its start and throughout the production is the atmospheric music of Kuljit Bhamra, performed by Kuljit Bhamra and Phoebe Pryce and variations of lighting (Prema Mehta) which create the burning heat of Chandrapore and the claustrophobic darkness of the Maribar caves. And so the scene is set. We are in Forster’s (and Whitman’s) India. The mood is set and the mystery of India is evoked.

A Passage To India - Kuljit Bhamra and Meera Raja (live music). Photo by Idil Sukan_preview.jpeg

 Kuljit Bhamra and Meera Raja

Against this and at the core of the novel/play is the harsh echoing of the caves, performed by the company who beat wooden poles on the stage boards and whose voices slowly gather to a screaming crescendo. This is an echo that suggests madness, fear and terror, that reduces everything to nothing and yet is everything. Mrs Moore (Liz Crowther), in her search for God and reason is shaken beyond her wits; Adela hallucinates and imagines an experience that causes her to make false accusations against the only Indian individual with whom she has tried to make a friendship. And so begins the downward spiral that culminates in a severing of any hope of partnership of the two cultures and serves only to ignite the already smouldering resentment that hovers so close to the surface.

Some may find the performed echo to be annoying and bothersome. It is lengthy and loud. However, I believe that it achieved its purpose. It was maddening, almost deafening at times, but it enabled our imagination to transcend into the terrifying experiences of these two women.

A Passage To India - Liz Crowther (Mrs Moore). Photo by Idil Sukan_preview.jpeg

Liz Crowther (Mrs Moore)

This question at the heart of A Passage to India challenges us today just as it did a hundred years ago. With their new adaptation of Forster’s masterpiece and a diverse company of fourteen, simple8 finds in the past a mirror for our own divided times, carefully re-imagining this ground-breaking novel for contemporary Britain.

Simple8 is an award winning ensemble company who specialise in creating innovative and bold new plays - all performed on a shoe string. The sincerity of their performance in A Passage To India and their commitment to the portrayal made effective Dormandy's adapted piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it and left the theatre deep in thought.

A short postscript, the running time for this production is 2.5  hours including a 20 minute interval. The age guidance given is 7+. On a personal note, I do not think this production would suit young children and would recommend it to an adult audience.

(Whilst writing this review, I would like to add that my recent visits to the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, have been highly rewarding and I would recommend this theatre for its exploration into different writings and productions.)

Photography: Idil Sukan

A PASSAGE TO INDIA

Venue: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP

Dates: 20 Feb – 24 Mar 2018

Age guidance: Suitable for 7+

Performances: Tue – Sat Evenings 7.45pm, Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm

Parents & Babies: Wed 21 Mar, 1pm

Prices: Previews £18.50, Tue-Thu & Sat Matinees Standard £20.00 - £29.50, Concessions £18.50 - £22, Child £15, Young Patrons £10 (20 – 27 Feb)
Booking: www.parktheatre.co.uk / 020 7870 6876

*10% telephone booking fee, capped at £2.50 per ticket.

Feb 22nd

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Louise Winter

Reviewed by Louise Winter 20th February 2018Tour poster Carole King

This musical takes us from King's teenage years, around 1958, to the release of the 'Tapestry' album and her subsequent performance at Carnegie Hall in 1971. It's a short period of her life under the lens here but goodness did she pack in a hell of a lot!

King really was a gifted young woman with an incredible talent for songwriting. She knew she had something to share and when she was sixteen recorded 'The Right Girl' to showcase her talents to prospective labels. Falling for Gerry Goffin and marrying him in 1959 meant these two brilliant writers formed a personal and professional partnerhship. Taken on by the impresario Donnie Kirshner at the Brill Building they became part of his songwriting business and together wrote for The Shirelles, (Will You Love Me Tomorrow), Bobby Vee, (Take Good Care of My Baby) Little Eva, (The Locomotion), The Drifters (Up on the Roof), and The Monkees (Pleasant Valley Sunday). Others who recorded Kings music are The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and the list goes on. As a solo artist she has recorded 25 solo albums; Tapestry, the first, was at number one for 15 weeks in the US, sold over 25 million copies and remained in the charts for six years.

This show depicts what must have been a hugely exciting time professionally and doesn't shrink from the drama of her personal life with Goffin and his infedilities and mental health issues. King had two children with Goffin and despite divorcing him in the late sixties continued to work with him intermittently over the years. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Working in the Brill Building at the same time as King and Goffin were Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. The friendship and 'competetive' drive of the two couples is a central theme to the storyline.

Carole King Weil and Mann

Image copyright Graig Sugden

Bronté Barbé as King has a cracking voice when she really lets go but is a little shrill and fast with her dialogue at times. Kane Oliver Parry as Goffin is a good match for Barbé and they work well on stage together. Amy Ellen Richardson as songwriter Cynthia Weil is wonderful and her relationship with Barry Mann (Matthew Consalves) is a source of much of the humour; they have the best lines among some very funny ones throughout. Weil and Mann had some major hits too with 'On Broadway', 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling', 'We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place', which all feature in the show

Carole King Craig Sugden

image copyright Craig Sugden 

Centre to this show is song after song after song, performed by a very energetic ensemble moving the story on dynamically. They have numerous parts and are chopping and changing characters  throughout. Strong of voice and exuding confidence, they bounce on and off the stage as The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Righteous Brothers. 

A really good evening out with a crowd pleasing playlist and a high energy cast who are committed making this a show well worth seeing.

Plays MK Theatre until Saturday 24th Feb and then continuing on tour

Tickets from 

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/beautiful-the-carole-king-musical/milton-keynes-theatre/

Box office 0844 871 7653 Booking fee applies

Feb 21st

The Case of the Frightened Lady @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Following the phenomenal success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, which sold approximately two million tickets over a decade of first class productions, comes a new chapter from Bill Kenwright’s Classic Thriller Theatre Company. The Case of the Frightened Lady by Edgar Wallace is adapted by Antony Lampard and directed by Roy Marsden with design by Julie Godfrey, lighting design by Chris Davey and sound design by Dan Samson.
 
Edgar Wallace is one of the most popular and prolific crime writers of the 20th Century and the brains behind the iconic film, KING KONG. Having written more than 150 detective novels throughout his career Edgar Wallace’s gripping page-turners are regarded as the bedrock of the modern thriller and The Case of the Frightened Lady remains one of his most celebrated works.
 
Featuring TV favourites Gray O’Brien (Coronation Street, The Bill, Casualty) and Rula Lenska (Rock Follies, Doctor Who, EastEnders); Denis Lill (The Royal, Only Fools and Horses), Charlie Clements (EastEnders), Philip Lowrie (Coronation Street), April Pearson (Skins), Ben Nealon (Soldier Soldier) and Glenn Carter (Jesus Christ Superstar). The cast is completed by Callum Coates, Owen Oldroyd and Rosie Thomson.
 
When Inspector Tanner is called in to investigate a ruthless murder at Mark’s Priory, the grand ancestral home of the Lebanon family, he quickly discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. The household is controlled by the family physician, the footmen behave more like guests than servants and the secretary Isla is afraid for her life. As Tanner moves closer to the heart of the mystery he uncovers a shocking and closely guarded secret…
 
The whole production takes places in the grand entrance to the Lebanon home where initially a fancy dress party is taking place.  Someone gets murdered and the detectives arrive to try and solve the crime.  It’s not a gripping play and with only one set, which overwhelms the stage and without different levels or seating to add interest and action, it’s hard to engage.  Vocally it wasn’t easy to hear a lot of the actors either, I’m not sure if there were technical issues, but it all felt very pedestrian and I actually didn’t care ‘whodunnit’!
 
If you enjoy seeing some of your favourite TV actors live on stage, the play runs at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre till Saturday 24h February Box Office, call 0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) or visit atgtickets.com/Aylesbury and continues touring, www.atgtickets.com for details.
 
Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
19/2/18

 

@yvonnedelahaye

 

 

 

Feb 20th

RADIUS Playwriting Competition 2018

By Carolin Kopplin

Spotlight on Humanity:
Radius Playwriting Competition 2018

Radius Playwriting Competition 2018 has now been launched in tandem with the Radius YouTube Channel. Judges of the competition are Neil McPherson and Sue Healy, Artistic Director and Literary Manager of London's Finborough Theatre, and the winning script is guaranteed a reading in the Finborough's prestigious Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. There will be a prize of £500. Entry is free.

 

Radius provides high-quality drama scripts to churches and community groups. In addition to a collection of original takes on the Christmas and Easter stories, we specialize in plays that ask searching questions about how life should be lived, and we avoid offering easy answers.  Past winners of Radius playwriting competitions include Cell Talk by Dana Bagshaw, about the medieval women mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and Red Star by Les Ellison, exploring the astronaut Yuri Gagarin’s failure to cope with the pressures of celebrity.

 

Submissions should be emailed to info@radiusdrama.org.uk by 5 pm on 1 May, 2018.  The winner will be announced on 23 July 2018. Entries should last between one and two hours in performance and may be on any subject. Entrants should be UK residents and the winner will work with a dramaturg at the Finborough Theatre to develop the play for the Vibrant Festival in October 2018.

 

More information about Radius's playwriting competition, YouTube Channel, our unique script collection and other initiatives can be found here

Feb 20th

New Season for March-June 2018 Announced at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Our second season of 2018 – the 150th year of the Finborough Theatre building – features new writing with two European premieres from award-winning playwrights from Canada and the United States, and a UK premiere from controversial German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth in his fourth production at the Finborough Theatre including a performance in German; two rediscoveries from the 1980s – the first professional UK production since 1980 of a musical from the composer of Half A Sixpence, and a classic feminist play by Sarah Daniels; and, as part of our 150th birthday series, a London premiere in English from celebrated French dramatist Paul Claudel who was born 150 years ago.

The season opens with the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus, a shocking new play which blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America, playing for a four-week limited season from 27 March–21 April 2018. It is accompanied by the UK premiere of Rolf Hochhuth’s Death of a Hunter, playing Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 1-17 April 2018, including a performance in German on Tuesday, 10 April.

The season continues with the long-overdue rediscovery of the feminist classic Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels, last seen at the National Theatre as one of their '100 Most Significant Plays of the 20th Century', playing 24 April–19 May 2018. It plays alongside Gracie by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Governor General’s Award. The European premiere of this one-woman play about growing up in a religious cult plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 29 April–15 May 2018.

The season culminates with the return of our ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series with the first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere of The Biograph Girl, a joyous musical celebration of Hollywood's glorious era of silent film, by Warner Brown and David Heneker, the composer of Half A Sixpence, playing from 22 May–9 June 2018. It plays concurrently with the return of our Finborough150 series, celebrating the 150th birthday of our building, with the London premiere in English of Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel, the celebrated French author who was born 150 years ago. It plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 27 May–5 June.

By popular request, we have moved to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address  remains www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Telephone bookings are now on a new number 01223 357851 which is free to call. There are no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there is now a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "Our new season features another eclectic season of work with writers from the UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany including hard-hitting new writing, musical theatre, and unique rediscoveries including another play celebrating our 150th birthday. Our work was also recognised in the recently announced shortlist of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the prestigious award given annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Of ten finalists, three made their UK debut at the Finborough Theatre (Colleen Murphy, Fiona Doyle and Anusree Roy).” 

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Feb 9th

Forever Dusty - Theatre Royal Windsor and touring

By Kate Braxton

It’s only fair to set the scene here and say I am an out and out Dusty fan. I live in a cottage behind her grave and have been hugely anticipating the arrival of Forever Dusty at Theatre Royal Windsor this week - a reviewer's life is Forever Uncomfy...

…This biographical new show has set off on tour with Strictly Theatre Entertainments, and ‘entertaining’ sums it up, in a beehive. It’s nostalgic, dramatic and a simmering pot of emotion from start to finish. Phew!

We’re stepped apace through Dusty’s life story by a script of chapter-style scenes, cataloguing her meteoric rise from shy Irish schoolgirl, Mary O'Brien, through fame and adulation, yet we are also a party to some of her darker periods overshadowed by mental illness, addiction and private struggles with love. The overriding feeling is that she was untouchably brilliant, yet humanly vulnerable. It’s hard not to be empathetic.

Both Springfield’s famous and lesser-known songs drive the narrative in this five person show, and although she physically bears little resemblance to Dusty, the big white boots are filled admirably by Katherine Ferguson. If the characterisation felt a little shaky through Act 1, there is very much a sense of ‘owning it’ come the latter part of the show.  She delivers sequences of magic, including her full rendition of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’, the heady, lingering  'Look of Love', and we get the full force of her performance during ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself' as Katherine's Dusty is driven to her knees by the unmanageability of her life.

Mvula Tampa injects additional power to the production as Dusty’s ‘hidden’, and apparently long-suffering African-American lover, Clare. Her vocals are terrific, her stage presence, quite mystifying. In many of their scenes together, I was perhaps over-drawn to the intrigue of her performance and this ‘dunno what to make of this’ feeling was amplified in their duets, since the pair’s voices compete pretty hard for attention. In many ways, Clare personifies the controversy and conflict in Dusty’s life, so that element of unprettiness is strangely acceptable.

In stark contrast to this emotional heat – and I think for some respite to the audience’s nervous system from writers Jonathan Vankin and Kirsten Holly Smith - the more one-dimensional characters of Dusty’s brother, Dion/Tom and American Producer, Jerry, are given a safe pair of hands in the shape of Josh Harris.  Ashlea Lauren and Samantha Palin also provide strong additional support through musical numbers and anecdotal scenes.

A terrifically balanced selection of musical numbers is crisply delivered by musical director, Pete Dodsworth and his on-stage band, who sadly, but per the direction and writing, remain relatively detached from the stage work.

The unchanging set and simple production values focus all of our attention on the full company’s action and interaction.  With a little sharper attention to the dialogue flow, and some fine-tuning to the shared vocal balance, I believe the show has the potential to be something spectacular in performances to come. 

Runs at Theatre Royal Windsor from Weds 7 - Saturday 10th Feb

  • Show Times
  • Wed – Sat 8pm, Thu 2.30pm, Sat 4.45pm

 
Box Office: 01753 853 888 (10am - 8pm Monday - Saturday)
Feb 7th

Crazy For You

By Trevor Gent

High energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous, the acclaimed Watermill Theatre production of Crazy for You is the ultimate feel-good musical. Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers stars in this multi-award winning, romantic comedy, featuring a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. Book by Ken Ludwig.

Crazy for You charts the troubled love story of Bobby (played by Tom Chambers), son of a wealthy New York banking family and frustrated Broadway hoofer, and Polly (Charlotte Wakefield), daughter of the proprietor of a failing theatre in Deadrock, Nevada. Sent to close the theatre down, Bobby falls for Polly and, in the guise of a Hungarian impresario, decides to save the theatre by putting on a show. The show also starrs Claire Sweeney in the role of Irene Roth.

Mistaken identities, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.

The production is well worth its West End billing and is certainly a show stopper of a musical, a real feel good treat with energetic dance routines, fabulous costumes , comic moments and ofcourse some great song and dance numbers. The live on stage musicians added  to the experience as it is something you do not always see on stage. Tremendous entertainment.

There are some blind spot issues for people sitting on the sides of row due to blocked effects on the stage and so actors could not been seen when performing there, which was frustrating and disappointing. However, overall the experience was very pleasurable and this is certainly one I can recommend.

Unfortunately no production photos were provided for the performance but some can be found on the tour link http://www.crazyforyoutour.com/

 

 

The first touring performance of this production was at Plymouth Theatre Royal on Thursday 17th August 2017.

 

The show continues at the Swan Theatre High Wycombe until Saturday 10th February (Box office 01494 512 000) and then at the following locations:

 

13th to 17th Feb - Truro, Hall for Cornwall - 01872 262466

20th to 24th Feb - Ipswich, Regent Theatre - 01473 433100

27th Feb to 3rd Mar - Llandudno, Venue Cymru - 01492 872000

6th to 10th Mar - London, New Wimbledon Theatre -  0844 871 7646

20th to 24th Mar - Milton Keynes Theatre -    0844 871 7652        

27th to 31st Mar - Aberdeen, Her Majesty’s Theatre -  01224 641122

3rd to 7th Apr - Edinburgh, Playhouse - 0844 871 3014

10th to 14th Apr - Bradford, The Alhambra Theatre -     01274 432000      

24th to 28th Apr - Sunderland, Empire - 0844 871 3022

1st to 5th May - Swansea,  Grand Theatre - 01792 475715

8th to 12th May - Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre - 01902 429212

15th to 19th May - Woking, New Victoria Theatre - 0844 871 7645

29th May to 2nd June - Brighton, Theatre Royal - 0844 871 7650

4th to 9th June - Leicester, Curve - 0116 242 3595