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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 29th Oct 2013 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

Who would have thought that nearly 60 years after the film was released in 1954, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers would appeal to today’s audiences?  I was curious to see whether the storyline would still work and the answer is a resounding ‘yes it does’.  Ok you have to allow yourself to escape into the story and believe in a time when a chat-up line like ‘I need a wife, will you marry me’ in the first few minutes of meeting, was normal!  The theatre was packed and judging by the applause and cheers at the end of the show, there can be no doubt that audiences still love this charming yarn.

Set in 1850s Oregon, this classic American musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers  tells the story of Adam, the eldest of seven brothers living in the rural backwoods, who goes to town to get himself a wife. Convincing Milly to marry him that very same day, he forgets to mention he has six brothers - all living together in his cabin. Milly decides to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam has what he thinks is an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness - they will kidnap the women they want! 623C3284.JPG
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
is packed with 16 timeless classics, including Bless Your Beautiful Hide, A Woman Ought to Know Her Place and Goin’ Courtin’. This new production is directed and choreographed by Broadway’s award-winning Patti Colombo, who The Wall Street Journal describe as “one of the finest musical-comedy choregraphers in the business”. I have to agree, as the ‘Social Dance’ was certainly the highlight of the first act, with amazing choreography and dancing that was so slick and acrobatic it took your breath away.623C4214.JPG
Patti Colombo’s choreography for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Goodspeed Opera House received a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography and The Elliot Norton Award for the National Tour. She received an Emmy nomination and American Choreographapher's Award for Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby on US TV and she also choreographed the original Tony-nominated Broadway production. She choreographed national tours of Doctor Dolittle starring Tommy Tune and Seussical, the Musical with Cathy Rigby. She received L.A. Drama-Logue Awards for Drood (West Coast premiere), On the Town, Most Happy Fella, and West Side Story.

Sam Attwater (Adam) landed his first TV acting role in 2009, playing Ricky in Hollyoaks. The following year he joined EastEnders and its online spinoff, EastEnders: E20, as Leon Small. Sam is also a singer and won Dancing On Ice. He recently played Brad Majors in the 40th anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show and also appeared in the stage musicals Dreamboats and Petticoats in the West End, Tonight's the Night and 20th Century Boy.

Helena Blackman (Milly) runner-up in BBC1’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? was Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy at the Wales Millennium Centre, Dorothy in an acclaimed run of The Wizard of Oz at Leicester Haymarket Theatre, she toured the UK as Nellie Forbush in Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, she played Gertie in Noel & Gertie at the Cockpit in London and was in The Secret Garden at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Set Design is by Anna Louizos, Lighting Design Nick Richings, Sound Design Jezz Helens, Musical Supervisor Martin Hughes, Musical Director Bruce Knight, Associate Director/Choreographer Karl Warden.

 The show is produced by Paul Nicholas, Peter Frosdick and George Critchely. As well as being a very successful actor, Paul Nicholas has produced many shows including: Jesus Christ Superstar (concert version), The  Pirates Of Penzance (UK tour), Grease (West End & Broadway - Tony Award nomination for Best Revival 2008), The Rocky Horror Show (directed by Paul Nicholas), Ain't Misbehavin' (West End), Singin' in the Rain (UK tour), Evita (UK tour), Chess (UK tour), Happy Days (UK tour), Saturday Night Fever (London Palladium & Minskoff Theatre, New York), Producer, co-adapter Tale of Two Cities (UK tour), Jekyll & Hyde (UK tour), Keeler (directed by Paul Nicholas), Jest End (Players Theatre and Jermyn Street Theatre) Keeler Producer/Director (UK Tour),The Tale Of Two Cities musical (Charing Cross Theatre). His latest West End production is WAG! The Musical at Charing Cross Theatre.

Peter Frosdick’s producing credits over the past 18 years include major national tours of: 42nd Street, South Pacific, Anything Goes, Singin' In The Rain, Disney's Beauty and The Beast, Jekyll And Hyde, Carousel, Barnum, Fiddler On The Roof, Pirates of Penzance, Murdered To Death, Keeler and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, which also played in the West End. His latest West End production is WAG! The Musical at CharingCross Theatre. George Critchley is the Producer and Artistic Director for PMA Productions Ltd. He has produced over 60 plays, musicals and pantomimes.

If you've seen the film and enjoyed it, then I'm sure you'll love the stage show.  Don't expect to see the role of Adam played like Howard Keel though as Sam Attwater looks great, but he doesn't have the same powerful voice or projection.  Helena Blackman has a beautiful soprano voice and makes the role her own as the feisty Milly. The film was produced on a low budget and yet went on to become one of the best loved MGM musicals of all time.  It has an innocence and charm that leaves you with a warm glow. In the words of Howard Keel ‘the film was magic and it still astounds today’ and the stage show has just the right feel good factor we're all in need of!
Book your tickets now at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre Box Office 0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) or visit (bkg fee)

Performances:   Mon 28 Oct – Sat 02 Nov  Mon 7.45pm Tues – Sat Eve 7.30pm, Thu & Sat Matinee 2.30pm
Tickets:   £10 - £29.50  
Box Office:   0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking: (bkg fee)

The tour continues:
 5th-9th November Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
11th-16th November Grand Theatre, Blackpool
18th-23rd November Empire, Sunderland
25th-30th November Kings Theatre, Glasgow
For 2014 dates please visit the website

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. Seven Brides is a classic full of great characters and timeless songs. I'm looking forward to seeing it again in Glasgow. Thanks for your review!
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