Monday, 27 May 2019

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical | Aldwych Theatre


It’s no secret that jukebox musicals sell. Pluck out a well-known artist, throw in their top hits, add the plot of their rise to success - marketed as the untold true story, of course - and you have yourself a success. Right? 

TINA, based on the life and music of the acclaimed Queen of Rock’n’Roll, opened with its worldwide debut in the West End just over a year ago to mixed reviews from the critics, three Olivier nominations and a whole lot of positive word-of-mouth. A huge amount of the buzz around TINA championed Adrienne Warren, who originated the titular role, and is set to reprise the role as the show opens on Broadway later this year. With big thanks to London Box Office for providing tickets, I finally headed to Aldwych Theatre to see what the fuss was all about.
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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Farzaneh and the Moon - Matt Wilven


I haven’t written a book review in a while. In fact, it’s been over a year. Wow. It’s not that I’m not reading – I’ve managed around 20 books since – but with the dwindling amount of time I have available to dedicate to this space, theatre has taken precedence. However, having reviewed and adored his first novel, The Blackbird Singularity, I couldn’t turn down the chance to join Legend Press's blog tour for Matt Wilven’s new book.
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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Emilia - Vaudeville Theatre


Have you heard of Emilia Bassano? Outside of this play’s growing reputation, it’s unlikely. If I count the number of times I studied Shakespeare and his male contemporaries from secondary school to the end of my literature degree, I run out of fingers and toes. But how many times was Emilia Bassano’s name mentioned? Perhaps once in passing, when speculating the subject of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, his ‘Dark Lady’. Perhaps not. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s exceptional play sets out to change that, and gloriously succeeds.
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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Waitress - Adelphi Theatre


Of all the theatre I have seen over the last few years, Waitress has had possibly the most consistent and heartiest presence in my life. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why. It’s not the most innovatively crafted or poignant show that I’ve seen. And it doesn’t do much to challenge or subvert what has come before it. But there’s something about the combination of all its elements – or ingredients, shall we say – that blend together into an irresistibly sweet recipe. (Sorry, but apparently baking wordplay is compulsory when writing about Waitress).
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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Come From Away - Phoenix Theatre


Beyond the strength of the production, I was struck by two questions when thinking about how to present my thoughts on Come From Away:
  1. Is art/entertainment based on 9/11 and such events exploitative and distasteful or educational and poignant? 
  2. Does ‘hype’ hinder the extent to which you can enjoy something?
And I’ve spent the last few days flitting between the two possible angles for this post, without coming to any conclusion on which approach to take. 
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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

i stopped...when - VAULT Festival


Though I’m yet to share my 2018 round-up (I will finish it before 2020…), one theatre memory that immediately comes to mind and undoubtedly makes the list is my trip to VAULT Festival. Not only was it my first experience of this eclectic arts festival, but I saw Nicole Acquah’s brilliant play, For A Black Girl – a theatre highlight of the year. As I vowed to return to VAULT Festival come 2019, it seemed only fitting that I revisit to see Acquah’s latest venture, i stopped…when.

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