Since opening at London's Duchess Theatre in 2014, Mischief Theatre's The Play That Goes Wrong has gone from strength to strength in the West End, quickly becoming one of the most popular on stage comedies in recent years. The show has gone on to receive a number of awards, including the Olivier and What's on Stage awards for best new comedy and the Broadway World Award for best new play. It has also recently made the big move to Broadway. With the main idea of the show being a play inside a play as the audience is invited to enjoy a performance by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, the comedy only grows and grows as more begins to go horribly wrong for the cast and crew of 'Murder at Havisham Manor'. Continue reading
If there was one way that Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber could really show off his belief that music and that learning to play a musical instrument can be life changing for children, it is by making a musical of the 2003 hit movie ‘The School Of Rock’. In the movie, the children of Horace Green are given rock instruments by a stand in teacher and suddenly discover all of this talent and potential that they may not have realised they had before. Playing their instruments gives them the confidence to be who they really are and stand up to their pushy parents. The whole idea that music as a whole can have a huge impact on children’s lives is brought to life by the cast of children playing their rock instruments live on stage every performance.
For the last few months, it has been hard to miss the Phoenix Theatre as you take a stroll down Charing Cross Road. A literal ray of sunshine even on the darkest day, covered in beautiful sunflowers and flickering lights, grabbing your attention as you pass. The theatre has been playing host to The Girls, a musical based on the true story of the calendar girls, a group of women of the WI who stripped off for a charity calendar after one of their husbands sadly passes away from cancer. From the musical theatre team of Gary Barlow and David Pugh, The Girls seemed to fit perfectly into the West End since it opened in January, but this weekend sees the show close sooner than expected.
Having opened to critical acclaim at the Shaftesbury Theatre last February, Broadway hit Motown the Musical has had audiences dancing in the street as they leave the theatre for some time now, and I decided that it was finally time for me to go and see what all the fuss was about. Telling the story of the owner of Motown Records and his best known signing Diana Ross, I had heard so many good things, and whilst I did thoroughly enjoy the show, I can’t say that it met with all of my expectations.
It’s one of the big ones. One of the big shows that comes to mind when you think of the West End. Les Miserables has been running in London for nearly 32 years now, and it is still as popular as ever. Its a story of love and friendship at its heart, a battle for power and the surge of revolution, fighting for a better life. With it’s sweeping score complete with some of the most famous songs in musical theatre songs, it is no surprise that Les Miserables is still standing strong in the West End and has gone on from London to take the world by storm.
When walking down the Strand, it is hard to miss the entrance to the grand Savoy Hotel, yet it is surprisingly easy to miss the more hidden entrance to the adjoining Savoy Theatre. Yet, with a building side covered in the large and glittering signage for this Broadway transfer musical, it certainly reaches out to grab your attention. Dreamgirls tells the story of a young trio of girls from Illinois who become singing sensations, and their trials and tribulations along the way, including romance, race tensions and the competitive side of the musical industry where songs are stolen and changed with the target of being top of the charts.
Every now and again, if you are lucky, something comes along that has the power to make you so happy that your cheeks ache from smiling and a lump comes to your throat. Something that fills you with so much joy that it just leaves you wanting more of it, like a addiction that you can’t quite control. For me, that something comes in the form of a show. And that show is Half A Sixpence. I think that I was around six or seven when I first watched the film version staring Tommy Steele in the role of Arthur Kipps, and ever since then I have loved it. I believe that it was watching that film that made me fall in love in musicals. I fell in love with the idea of people bursting into song and dancing down the street. I still smile whenever I hear Flash Bang Wallop being played on television and watching the film has always been a little treat for me, becoming lost in the world of Sixpence for a couple of hours. And musicals have been a huge part of my life ever since watching the film. Last year I was lucky enough to see Tommy Steele in a production of The Glen Miller Story, and at one point he came onto the page with a big grin on his face, wearing a red and white pin stripe suit and I just smiled, thinking yes that’s Arthur Kipps.