March 24, 2013
A round-up of reviews of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London
One of the most anticipated shows of the year has opened in London, as the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon had it’s UK premiere at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Thursday night (21 March 2013).
The producers of the show, written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone plus Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, have not allowed themselves to be complacent about the London opening following its New York success: they have run a long, expensive marketing campaign for the show in the run up to its opening, which has paid off in a sold-out first booking period, and a second booking period now open and selling well.
Part of this marketing push was to sell the show based on its Broadway hype rather than on the reaction of UK critics, who have remained a wild card in terms of their reaction.
The good news is that it has been mostly positive, with the critics who enjoyed it really enjoying it. But the big three key newspapers, the Guardian, Telegraph and Mail, were slightly less impressed with the show.
Read a round-up of London reviews for The Book of Mormon, below.
March 8, 2013
A round-up of reviews of The Audience starring Helen Mirren at the Gielgud Theatre.
Helen Mirren follows her acclaimed on-screen performance as Elizabeth II in a new play by The Queen writer Peter Morgan, charting the 60 years of weekly audiences the Queen has granted her Prime Ministers.
Award-winning director Stephen Daldry directs Mirren and an all star cast of British Prime Ministers through the ages including Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Edward Fox as Winston Churchill, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown, Paul Ritter as John Major and Rufus Wright as David Cameron. The Equerry is Geoffrey Beevers and the role of Young Elizabeth will be played by Bebe Cave, Maya Gerber and Nell Williams.
Read reviews of The Audience, below, from the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Evening Standard and more.
February 25, 2013
A round-up of reviews of Macbeth starring James McAvoy at the Trafalgar Studios in London.
The reviews are in for Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios, the first production of ex-Donmar associate director Jamie Lloyd’s new company. Acclaimed actor James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement) stars as Shakespeare’s Macbeth alongside Claire Foy as Lady Macbeth.
Olivier Award winner Jamie Lloyd directs this nihilistic vision of chaos, played out with breathless momentum and visceral passion. Jamie Lloyd’s production sees Shakespeare’s darkest tale play out in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war. Under a toxic fog, Macbeth begins his tormented struggle for power fuelled by ambition and paranoia. Set to be the hottest ticket of the year.
Read reviews of Macbeth, below, from The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent, Express and more.
February 23, 2013
A round-up of reviews of A Chorus Line at the London Palladium.
Reviews are in for the major new revival of Tony award-winning Broadway musical A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, featuring the late Marvin Hamlisch’s score and a brand new production by Bob Avian.
Starring Scarlett Strallen as Cassie, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Diana, John Partridge as Zach and Leigh Zimmerman as Sheila, critics have been kind to the show, with most reviews raving about both the show and production.
In A Chorus Line, auditions are underway for a new Broadway musical. For everyone present, it’s the chance of a lifetime. It’s the one opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of – to have the chance to dance. Told through captivating song, riveting drama and stunning choreography, the auditionees describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.
Read reviews from The Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail and more.
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November 29, 2012
Reviews round-up of Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory
The reviews are now in and it’s 4 and 5 stars all round for Maria Friedman’s directing debut of Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory. No stranger to Sondheim, Friedman has moved with ease from front of stage to behind it with a sparkling new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s once rather neglected musical.
She has assembled a powerful troupe of players to bring Sondheim’s musical about three friends to life, including Damian Humbley as Charley Kringas, Olivier award winner Jenna Russell as Mary Flynn and Mark Umbers as Franklin Shepard. Plus Josefina Gabrielle as Gussie Carnegie, Glyn Kerslake as Joe Josephson, Clare Foster as Beth Spencer and Zizi Strallen as Meg Kincaid.
Based on the play by Kaufman and Hart, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical charts the turbulent relationship between three friends, Franklin, Charley and Mary, over three decades. Starting in 1980 and travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including ‘Good Thing Going’, ‘Not a Day Goes By’ and ‘Old Friends’.
Reviews below from The Telegraph, Guardian, Evening Standard – more to follow.
November 28, 2012
Reviews round-up of Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre is on a theatrical roll with its hit musical Singin’ in the Rain currently wowing audiences in the West End, and Sweeney Todd picking up best musical at Sunday’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Their latest transfer is Kiss Me, Kate, which garnered great reviews in Chichester earlier this year and now delivers all over again at the Old Vic Theatre (until 2 March 2013).
Trevor Nunn directs this new production of classic Cole Porter musical which features a fabulous cast including Hannah Waddingham, Adam Garcia, Alex Bourne, David Burt and Clive Rowe.
But what do the critics think? See reviews below from the Telegraph, Evening Standard, FT and more.
October 10, 2012
A round-up of reviews of Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre starring Will Young and Michelle Ryan.
Kander & Ebb’s musical masterpiece CABARET opened in the West End last night, in a starry revival of Rufus Norris’s stylised 2006 production featuring pop star Will Young and EastEnders and Bionic Woman actress Michelle Ryan.
Set during the last days of Germany’s Weimar Republic, Will Young stars as the Emcee of Berlin cabaret den The Kit Kat Club. He is joined by Michelle Ryan as cabaret singer Sally Bowles, a role made famous by Liza Minnelli in the Oscar-winning movie, plus Sian Phillips as Fraulein Schneider and Matt Rawle as Cliff.
Once again choreography is by Javier De Frutos and design by Katrina Lindsay.
Check out what the critics made of Cabaret, below. Reading this on a tablet or iPhone? Click here.
September 26, 2012
A round-up of reviews of Jesus Christ Superstar – UK Arena Tour.
A major new arena production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar has hit the UK, and reviews are now in.
The show divides critical opinion quite starkly, with a number of critics loving the spectacle and show’s modern-day setting against the backdrop of the Occupy London protesters, but others finding the volume and the scale of the show working against the material. Most critics praise the performances.
Celebrating 40 years since the show first opened in London’s West End, the show’s lead role of Jesus has been cast from recent ITV talent show Superstar – with Ben Forster crowned the winner. He is joined by comedian and writer Tim Minchin as Judas, former Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and former Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles as King Herod.
The show is touring the UK including the O2 Arena in London, Glasgow SECC, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, Manchester Arena, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Birmingham National Indoor Arena, Liverpool Echo Arena, Nottingham Capital FM Arena and the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
See reviews below including from The Guardian, Telegraph and Independent. Viewing this on a tablet or phone? Click here.
April 9, 2012
Enjoy a special ticket offer to see this sparkling new production of Noel Coward’s hilarious comedy Hay Fever at the Noel Coward Theatre, starring Lindsay Duncan and Jeremy Northam.
Directed by Howard Davies, Noel Coward’s classic comedy, which is now playing, appropriately, at the Noel Coward Theatre in London, has enjoyed rave reviews from the critics including FIVE STARS from the Telegraph and Daily Mail.
A glittering cast includes Lindsay Duncan as Judith Bliss and Kevin R McNally as her husband David, Jeremy Northam as Richard, Olivia Colman as Myra Arundel, Sam Callis as Sandy, Freddie Fox as Simon, Jenny Galloway as Clara, Amy Morgan as Jackie and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Sorel.
Coward’s 1924 comedy of bad manners sees double-Olivier winner Lindsay Duncan return to the Master’s work following her acclaimed 2001 performance alongside Alan Rickman in Private Lives.
March 25, 2012
A round-up of reviews for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre in London starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
The acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which played last year in Chichester to packed houses, has transferred into the West End.
Starring Michael Ball as Sweeney Todd and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett, the show is playing at the Adelphi Theatre, directed by Jonathan Kent and designed by Anthony Ward.
See below for a round-up of reviews, including The Guardian, Telegraph, Evening Standard and Variety.