Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review: Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
I originally wasn't going to see this show, but I managed to find some time and headed to Radio City Music Hall. The show was very, very odd, but I am nevertheless glad I saw it. It was a really weird mix of events. One second we had a stage full of dancing Santa's and the next it was all religious with camels. It was even weirder than The Rocky Horror Show! I personally wasn't keen on the storyline, but I am sure it would've been appealing to younger kids. I think a way to put this show is that it was very Disney. I'm surprised that at the end of the show they didn't say "Have a magical day!" (Disney World joke). I didn't think Charles Edward Hall as Santa Claus was very good as he couldn't really sing. He also didn't seem to have big presence. Radio City Music Hall is massive and to play Santa you need to have a big presence. If I were the director I would've made it just The Rockettes as they were phenomenal! It's a shame, The Rockettes are so good, but sadly the rest of the show ruins it for me. I just didn't connect with it. There were so many different storylines! They should've perhaps picked a better storyline and just stuck with it. Another thing which I think is worth flagging up is that they need to let people in earlier. Because the queue was so big outside not everyone got in on time and it was annoying constantly having people being seated throughout the show. There were also loads of people getting out of their seats and then returning. This was very distracting! They also allow people to take pictures, which I don't object to, but as most people used their phones as cameras I constantly saw people taking breaks to text. I don't understand why people pay money to see a show, but then just spend the time texting. It just seems such a waste of money if all someone's going to do during the show is text! I really loved 'The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers', especially the ending of the dance. Despite it's major flaws, I am glad I went to see this show as it is certainly an experience and it's one that I think everyone has to do at least once.

The featured star of Radio City Christmas Spectacular is, drum roll please... THE ROCKETTES!


The Rockettes were amazing, each of them all had so much talent! I really hope one day they do a show in London as I know they're amazing talent would be really appreciated in London.

Now for my final verdict on Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I give Radio City Christmas Spectacular... 


It may not have many stars, however I am sure little kids would love this show.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

This concludes my amazing New York holiday! I am so happy I got to see all these stunning shows whilst I was in New York! I will now be doing a London theatre marathon so join me next time when I will be reviewing Guys and Dolls.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Lazarus

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Lazarus.
Lazarus is a show I have been wanting to see for so long. I wasn't too familiar with David Bowie's music, but being the massive How I Met Your Mother fan I am I just had to see Cristin Milioti live. I was a bit weary due to mixed reviews, but I loved this show! Many people have said that they don't understand the storyline, but for me that is the greatest thing about the show. You can assume your own storyline. I have a theory that the play is set in a mental asylum and I have found major evidence to back this up. There are so many different ways you could interpret the show. I loved the music, especially 'Life on Mars'. The set was basic, yet successful. The lighting was well done. There were a few screens on the stage which are very clever. The cast were all spectacular, but cast members who stood out for me were Michael C. Hall as Newton, Cristin Milioti as Elly, Michael Esper as Valentine and last but certainly not least Sophia Ann Caruso as Girl. All of them were astounding at acting and singing. When they announced that the show would last two hours without an interval I wasn't too sure, but it went by very quickly and didn't need an interval. Michael C. Hall is brilliant in his role and was perfectly casted. This was a really good role for Cristin Milioti as it showed a side to her acting ability that we hadn't seen before. Michael Esper has a really nice voice and his rendition of 'Valentine's Day' is lovely. It is hard to believe Sophia Ann Caruso is only 14 as she has a stunning voice. She has a bright future ahead of her! The only thing I have to criticise about the show is that I really wasn't keen on the first 15 minutes and if I had been the director I would have edited it.

The featured star of Lazarus is, drum roll please... CRISTIN MILIOTI!


Cristin was amazing! It takes a very good actor to portray someone with a mental illness. She also has a really nice voice.

Now for my final verdict on Lazarus. I give Lazarus... 


It is understandable that this show is sold-out as it is truly amazing. I would love to hear other peoples theories on what the show was about.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Hamilton

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Hamilton.
At Christmas I was surprised with a ticket for Hamilton for Boxing Day. This is possibly the most hyped musical of all time and I can gladly say it is the best musical I have ever seen. The music, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is phenomenal! My favourite songs are 'My Shot', 'What'd I Miss' and 'The Room Where It Happens'. The cast are all stunning and seem to have great chemistry. The cast included Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler Church, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds and Jonathan Groff as King George. The show is about the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. From bastard orphan to Washington's right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country's first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past. The way the story is told is amazing. The choreography is amazing and has a massive impact on the story. The sets, costumes and lighting are all very well done. My favourite costume is King George's. Lin-Manuel is insanely talented and he seemed to have a connection with Alexander Hamilton and personally I think that's what made his performance so remarkable. Leslie Odom Jr. has  such a lovely voice which is obvious to anyone who listens to him sing 'Dear Theodosia'. Philippa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones are outstanding as Schuyler sisters. They could definitely start their own girl group and I am hopeful that they will all get Tony nominations. Daveed Diggs is an astounding performer and is probably one of the best supporting actors I have ever seen in a show. Jonathan Groff has perfect coming timing and a lovely voice. I think that he really deserves a Tony nomination. The show had me laughing and in floods of tears. It's such an amazing show! I could go on more about how much I love it, but I'll stop there. The only criticism I have for the show is that I got so confused with Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds as they were played by the same actress. Until I looked on Wikipedia, I thought that Mario Reynolds was Peggy. Maria plays a crucial point to the storyline, so thinking she's one of the Schuyler sisters confused things a bit.

The featured star of Hamilton is, drum roll please... LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!


Lin-Manuel Miranda must be one of the most talented people of Earth to have written all of Hamilton and then star in it. He is an astonishing actor, an exceptional singer and a marvellous dancer. He has to win the Tony for Best Leading Actor!

Now for my final verdict on Hamilton. I give Hamilton... 


I know Hamilton is mostly sold out, but the odd tickets pop up every now and then so I urge people to try their very best to see this amazing show.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Lazarus.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Review: Fun Home

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Fun Home.
Fun Home is a show I have been wanting to see for a very long time so finally on Boxing Day I managed to visit the show. Sadly, it was the worst musical I have ever seen. This show did not deserve a single nomination, let alone winning 6 awards! In my opinion all of these awards should have been given to Something Rotten which is a far superior musical. Perhaps if this were a high school production I wouldn't have minded, but being a Broadway show charging £120 per ticket I was hoping for something a little better. All the casting was very poor and the only good cast members were Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison and Gabriella Pizzolo as Small Alison. The storyline is dull and boring. For those who would like to know the synopsis it is: After her father dies unexpectedly, Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. The chemistry between all the actors was non-existent. The songs were very forgettable and I found it hard to remember any of the songs after the show. Everyone talks about how amazing Michael Ceveris is, but I thought he was awful. He couldn't act, he couldn't sing, god knows how he won a tony over Brian d'Arcy James! I also didn't think the costumes and set were that fantastic. After the show I couldn't get over what rubbish I had seen. On the positive side, Emily and Gabriella had really nice voices and there were 1 or 2 nice songs. Oh well, not all shows are going to appeal to my taste!

The featured star of Fun Home is, drum roll please… EMILY SKEGGS!


Emily had a really lovely voice and was a good actor. I find it a shame that Emily is in this production as it is really a waste of her amazing talent.

Now for my final verdict on Fun Home. I give Fun Home… 


In my life, I had only ever seen three other two star shows, so I hate to do it but if I dislike a show this much I have to. 

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Hamilton.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: King Charles III

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of King Charles III.
I have been wanting to see this show for SO long! Originally I was going to see the show in the West End, but sadly never got the time. Then the show went on a UK tour and I was going to see it at Richmond Theatre, but the day it was on I had already booked to see Jesus Christ Superstar. Shortly afterwards I was planning to see it at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guilford, but the Guilford trip seemed like such a chore. Finally I managed to see it and what a great place to watch the show, Christmas Eve in New York. The synopsis of the show is: The Queen is dead: after a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule? This play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain's most famous family. It was a very well written script by Mark Bartlett and such an amazing idea. I believe Mark Bartlett may be a soothsayer as this seems like something that may happen. The set was simple, but powerful. The play brings up some very interesting topics that really get the audience thinking. The costumes and lighting was fantastic. King Charles III is very well casted. Cast members who stood out for me were Tim Pigott-Smith as Charles, Oliver Chris as William, Richard Goulding as Harry, Lydia Wilson as Kate, Margot Leicester as Camilla, Tafline Steen as Jess Edwards, Miles Richardson as James Reiss, Adam James as Prime Minister Tristran Evans and last but certainly not least Anthony Calf as Mark Stevens, Leader of the Opposition. The actors transported us to Buckingham Palace. The only piece of criticism I have for this show is that it ran on for 15 minutes too long. The show, including the interval, lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes. There were moments which dragged on and I think cutting it down a little would do the show some good.

The featured star of King Charles III is, drum roll please… TIM PIGGOT-SMITH!


Tim is absolutely phenomenal! He puts so much passion into the role of Charles, especially in act two. I really hope Tim gets a Tony nomination as he really deserves it!

Now for my final verdict on King Charles III. I give King Charles III… 


King Charles III an amazing show and very deserving of it's Olivier Award for 'Best New Play'. I encourage everyone to see it while it's still on Broadway!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Fun Home.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Review: Misery

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Misery.
When I decided what shows I was going to see for my theatre marathon Misery was near the top because I wanted to see Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, nevertheless due to reading a few bad reviews I decided to pull out. However I wanted to see a matinee and Misery seemed to be the best show on that had a matinee today. I'm very glad I went to see this show and I don't know why I was worried as it was great! The show was very well directed and the revolving set was beautifully designed. The storyline is a very clever one and one that my heat pounding throughout. The synopsis is: Successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued from a car crash by his 'Number One Fan,' Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads the manuscript to his newest novel and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new 'Misery' novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and if he does not make her deadline, it will. It was very well scripted and had a clever use of humour. The use of props was done extremely well as was the injury make-up. The length was good as it wasn't too long or too short. I was on the edge of my seat through out the entire play and the way the tension was built up was good. The cast featured Bruce Willis as Paul Sheldon, Laurie Metcalf as Annie Wilkes and Leon Addison Brown as Buster. Many reviewers have criticised Bruce Willis, which I can't really understand as I thought he was extremely well casted. Laurie was utter perfection in this role and showed amazing versatility.

The featured star of Misery is, drum roll please… LAURIE METCALF!


Laurie is stunning in this role! I am 85% sure Laurie will win this years Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Play as she really deserves this award because she is truly amazing!

Now for my final verdict on Misery. I give Misery… 


I am surprised that this show got the reviews it did as I really enjoyed it and I am sure the show would be appreciated more in London.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing King Charles III.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: School of Rock (Broadway)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of School of Rock.
I wasn't originally planning to see this during my theatre marathon but I am certainly glad I did as it is a phenomenal show! The music is very well composed and my favourite songs in the show are 'If Only You Would Listen' and 'Stick It to the Man'. The lighting, costumes and choreography were amazing and I have a feeling Natasha Katz will get a Tony nomination and possibly a win for her lighting design. All the sets were very well designed, with the classroom set being the most effective. Cast members who stood out for me were Alex Brightman as Dewey Finn, Spencer Moses as Ned Schneebly, Mamie Parris as Patty Di Marco and all the kids. The children were all insanely talented and I am sure that they all have bright futures! I think Alex Brightman was perfect casting and I doubt there is anyone near as good as him. The synopsis for School of Rock is: Down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet. When he discovers his students' musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. I found the story quite moving and it was really interesting as I have never seen the movie. I think perhaps the first 20 minutes could be edited as for that period of time I wasn't too keen on the show. Many people have been saying that Sierra Boggess is miscast in the role of Rosalie Mullins. I don't think she is miscast, however I do think that there are many people that would have done a better job. If it were me I would have probably cast Jennifer Nettles. This show has a really lively feel and it managed to cure my jet lag from my flight from England to America. It's in my top 3 favourite Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and I am sure this show will be enjoyed by many people.

The featured star of School of Rock is, drum roll please… ALEX BRIGHTMAN!


Alex is absolutely mesmerising in this show! He has great comic timing, he's an amazing singer and an exceptional actor, what else could you want in a leading actor?

Now for my for my final verdict on School of Rock. I give School of Rock… 


Apparently School of Rock will be transferring to London soon so I will be certainly counting down the days!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Misery.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Review: In the Heights

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of In the Heights.
In the Heights has been a show I have been dying to see ever since the show opened at Kings Cross Theatre. That fact that it had been nominated for 9 Whatsonstage Awards made me want to see it even more. I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. The choreography is absolutely stunning. It is definitely the best choreography I have seen all year. The show certainly has the feel-good factor and I am sure it could be enjoyed by all ages. The cast were really superb and gave a fresh energy to the stage. Cast members who stood out for me were Lily Frazer as Nina Rosario, Joe Aaron Reid as Benny, Jade Ewen as Vanessa, Eve Polycarpou as "Abuela" Claudia, Cleve September as Sonny, Philippa Stefani as Daniela and Josie Benson as Camila Rosario. The costumes and lighting were really well done. I enjoyed most of the music, with my favourites being 'Benny's Dispatch', 'No Me Diga' and 'Everything I Know'. I thought it was mostly well casted and all the actors gelled well together. Lily and Joe, playing the characters of Nina and Benny, had really good chemistry. It was Philippa's first night in the role of Daniela and she was stunning. She had impeccable comic timing and was a great dancer. I felt really wrapped up in the show and I felt like I was 'In the Heights'! The storyline was very clever. For those who haven't seen In the Heights yet here's the synopsis: A journey into Washington Heights, one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities – a place where the coffee is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. I feel act one could have had a lot more dialogue as it took me half an hour to realise who was related to who, who was friends with who, etcetera, etcetera. Act two was a lot stronger and was far superior story-wise. Overall though, this is a stunning show and is a must see.

The featured star of In the Heights is, drum roll please... LILY FRAZER!


Lily is a phenomenal actor and singer and her voice really comes alive during the song 'Everything I Know'. She has been nominated for a Whatsonstage award so I urge everyone to vote for her as she really deserves this award! 

Now for my final verdict on In the Heights. I give In the Heights...


I hope perhaps In the Heights could move to a West End venue so it could be seen by more people!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

I have some VERY, VERY, VERY exciting news. Look out New Yorkers, I am heading to the The Big Apple! I will be doing a Christmas theatre marathon and reviewing several shows. But wait, it gets even better! When I return to England I will be doing a New Year theatre marathon where I will reviewing even more shows so stay tuned and make sure to check out all my new reviews! Join me next time when I will be reviewing School of Rock.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Review: The Old Friend

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Old Friend.
I had kind of mixed expectations about this show. I'd only read two or three lines about the synopsis so I wasn't too sure what I was in for. I am glad to say I was very impressed! The acting was amazing and the show was very well cast. The cast featured James Ifan as Ant, Jennifer Whitehall as Sarah, Lucy Pearson as Lindy and Ethan Taylor as Jez. The cast were all insanely talented and I hope to see them all in more shows soon. The set was simple, but very effective. The synopsis for the show is: Running away from her failing relationship, Sarah seeks solace with an old friend from her past. With the help of Lindy and a local barman, can Sarah make the necessary choices to escape the constraints of small-town life and start again? It was very cleverly written and I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire play. There are not many shows that have that effect on me nowadays. I really felt I was transported to the character's world and the actors made you believe you were actually in the bar with them. It really deserves a West End transfer as it is far superior to a lot of shows I have seen in the West End and on Broadway. The length of the play was spot on and it was good that it didn't drag on like certain plays. The final scene was very well portrayed and even reduced my Mum to tears! The play gives us two different tellings of boyfriend and girlfriend Jez and Sarah's argument. The play doesn't tell you which side is true which is what I found one of best parts of the show as it left me very curious. I could not find a single thing to fault this show as it is utter perfection!

The featured star of The Old Friend is, drum roll please... LUCY PEARSON!


Lucy's acting was phenomenal and she really showed a lot of emotion in the final scene. I am certain that we will be seeing Lucy in more shows soon.

Now for my final verdict on The Old Friend. I give The Old Friend... 


Sadly this show only appeared at this theatre for a few days, but hopefully we will be hearing about a West End transfer soon!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing In the Heights.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Review: Cinderella

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Cinderella.
I have been going to see Richmond Theatre's pantos ever since 2008. Some of their pantos are great (Peter Pan, from 2009 and 2013, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, from 2009 and 2014, and Sleeping Beauty, from 2010), however some are not so good (Aladdin from 2012 and Cinderella from 2011). I really, really hate to be negative, but this was the worst panto I have ever seen. The material seems to have been recycled from previous years and the company who put on these pantos appears to be running out of ideas. Hayley Mills, who they have tried to use to bring in audiences, seems to be exhausted after just one night. She did not look happy up onstage and it was obvious she was having problems with the choreography. Past pantos have had a musical number, here and there, but lasts nights show featured 8 or 9 songs! It did not fit whatsoever. Are they trying to create a panto or a musical? The sets and costumes were not as good as they have been previously. Peter Pan in 2013 had some magnificent costumes! Cinderella wore a maids costume which later turned into her ballgown, however firstly she was not at all comfortable and kept fidgeting and secondly the dress made her look as though she had a huge midriff and didn't quite work. This panto seems to be directed at mainly age 6 and under, but they had various adult jokes. If you want to make a show that childish, it doesn't work to have adult jokes. Usually pantos are for all ages from 1-100. I'm so sad that the Richmond pantos have stooped this low, but hopefully next year will be better. Anyway, enough negatives, lets move onto the positives! The ponies pulling Cinderella's carriage were absolutely adorable. For me, the ponies were the best part of the show! They have a bit in the show where 4 young children from the audience come up on the stage which I also thought was a good part of the show as the children were quite comical. Cast members who stood out for me were Chris Jarvis as Buttons, Matt Rixon as Rita, Andrew Deberyshire as Prince Charming and both the adult and child ensemble were very good. I found act two to be a little better than act one. I really hope the production team for next years panto take this all into account and I pray that next years panto will be better.

The featured star of Cinderella is, drum roll please... CHRIS JARVIS!


I do think Chris Jarvis is a good entertainer, even if I'm not overly keen on the production he is in. He has great comic timing and brings cheer. 

Now for my final verdict on Cinderella. I give Cinderella... 


Last night was only the first night, so hopefully the show will get better as the month goes on. 

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Old Friend.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Dec 2015)

Hey readers!
It's time for my updated review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Charlie has always been one of my favourite shows in the West End so when the cast changed for the show I knew I really wanted to see it again. Sadly it has taken me quite a long time to see the show again, but luckily I finally made it the other day. This is a great show for both the young or old. The costumes, set and choreography are all excellent. All the songs are great, but my personal favourites are 'It Must Be Believed to Be Seen' and 'Pure Imagination'. All the sets in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory are very well designed and the special effects are mesmerising. Cast members who stood out for me are Derek Hagen who was understudying as Willy Wonka, Barry James as Grandpa Joe, Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs. Teavee, Mark Oxtoby who was understudying as Mr. Salt, Paul J. Medford as Mr. Beauregarde, Kraig Thornber as Grandpa George, Claire Carrie as Grandma Josephine and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina. Comparing the new cast to the old, Derek, who is actually the 2nd understudy for Willy Wonka, is by far my favourite Wonka and is better than Alex Jennings and Douglas Hodge. He played the role with such passion, he had a lovely voice, he had clear diction, he was just perfect for the role. It puzzles me that he doesn't do the role full-time as the show is just wasting his talent. If they ever transfer to Broadway they HAVE to cast Derek as Willy Wonka. Mark Oxtoby, who was understudying, was just as good as Clive Carter in the role of Mr. Salt. Sadly I didn't feel Andy Brady and Rebecca Seale, who were understudying, were as good Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass in the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Bucket. They were still really good, but didn't quite have the same emotion in the roles. Craig Thornier, Claire Carrie and Myra Sands were just as good in the roles of Grandpa George, Grandma Josephine and Grandma Georgina as Billy Boyle, Roni Page and Nia Fisher, who was understudying when I went in April. Act one was never that good, but last time I visited this show act one had improved so much, but sadly it seems to have reverted back to being a little dull. Act two more than makes up for it, but act one still needs to be fixed. Personally I would start the show with a more upbeat number than 'Almost Nearly Perfect'. They need an upbeat opening number like 'Welcome to the Renaissance' from Something Rotten. I also feel the song 'If Your Mother Were Here' should be shortened as it really drags on and is too depressing for this kind of show. Act one goes on for far too long and needs to be shortened. I still love this show and will probably go again when there is another cast change.

The featured star of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is, drum roll please... DEREK HAGEN!


As I have said before, Derek is phenomenal in this role and far superior to Douglas Hodge and Alex Jennings. Hopefully one day Derek will be cast full-time and more people will see him in the role. 

Now for my final verdict on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I give Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... 


Charlie may have gone down one star, but I still can't deny it's a great show and will be enjoyed by families for years to come.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Cinderella.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Review: The Phantom of the Opera (West End)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Phantom of the Opera. 
After seeing the Broadway version of Phantom earlier this year, which wasn't all that good, I was a bit weary of seeing Phantom again. After months of contemplating I decided to revisit Phantom, this time in London and I am very glad I did! The whole performance was magical and reminded me what an amazing show Phantom is. For those who haven't seen the show, the storyline is the tragic love story of a beautiful opera singer and a young composer shamed by his physical appearance into a shadowy existence beneath the majestic Opera Paris House. Cast members who stood out for me were John Owen-Jones as The Phantom of the Opera, Nadim Naaman as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, Charlotte Vaughn who was understudying as Carlotta Giudicelli, Michael Matus as Monsieur Richard Firmin and Philip Griffiths who was understudying as Monsieur Gilles André. I feel that is better directed on the West End than on Broadway and that the choreography is slicker in the West End. The orchestra were amazing and the costumes were very well designed. Comparing the cast to Broadway, John Owen-Jones was far better than Jeremy Barbour in the role of Phantom. John just showed more passion in the role and was a better actor. Kaley Ann Voorhees, who was understudying in the role of Christine on Broadway, was better than Celinde Schoenmaker. Kaley was suited to the role a lot better. Nadim Naaman, from the West End production, was superior to Jeremy Hays, from the Broadway production, in the role of Raoul. Jeremy wasn't bad, but Nadim is perfect casting and hard to beat. Charlotte Vaughn was much better than Broadway's Carlotta, Michele McConnell. Charlotte was an amazing singer and better in every way. Broadway's Madame Giry, Linda Balgord, was a little bit better than Jacinta Mulcahy, but neither are amazing. Kara Klein as Meg Giry on Broadway was better than the West End's Meg, Alicia Beck. Both Monsieur Firmin and Monsieur Andre, played by Michael Matus and Philip Griffiths in the West End and Tim Jerome and Laird Mackintosh on Broadway, were better in the West End. The West End duo just had more enthusiasm and had much better comic timing. Paul Morrissey, from the West End, was better in the role of Ubaldo than Christian Šebeck, but Christian isn't much to compete with. I'm so glad I got to see Phantom yet again and I hope to see it for the 5th time soon.

The featured star of The Phantom of the Opera is, drum roll please... JOHN OWEN-JONES!


John Owen-Jones is an amazing singer, we all know that, but for me what makes him superior to all other Phantoms is his acting. He brought me to tears at the end of the show. He is by far by favourite Phantom and I am so glad he has returned to the show.

Now for my final verdict on The Phantom of the Opera. I give The Phantom of the Opera... 


Phantom is currently one of the best shows in the West End and I urge people to see the show before John Owen-Jones leaves.

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be doing an updated review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Friday, 20 November 2015

Review: The Play That Goes Wrong

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Play That Goes Wrong.
I saw this play last year on a school trip and loved it so much I just had to go back! I can with certainty say that is one of the funniest things in the West End right now. It is extremely funny! The storyline, for those who don't know the play, is: The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call. The cast included Harry Kershaw as Chris, Adam Byron who was understudying the role of Robert, Niall Ransome as Dennis, James Marlowe as Max, Laurence Pears as Jonathan, Bryony Corrigan as Sandra, Matthew Cavendish who was understudying as Trevor and Laura Kirman as Annie. The cast seemed to gel really well together and all had perfect comic timing. The cast did change earlier this year, but this cast are just as good! The way the characters are represented is very good. For example, one character is portrayed as a real thespian and another character is portrayed as trying really hard to be a good actor, but often had mispronunciation with words. The production I saw of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' tried to achieve what 'The Play That Goes Wrong' had, but failed miserably. It's really hard to achieve what this production has. The costumes and the set were incredible, as was the direction. I love this show, but there are a few things that irritate me about the production. Sadly I felt some of the jokes went on for far too long. For example, one of the characters is looking for a 'ledger' and can't find it. He then goes onto repeat the words 'a ledger' about 20 times. I also feel that the things going wrong could be a little more spaced out. Something usually goes wrong every 10 or 20 seconds, however I perhaps would have edited that to have something go wrong every minute or two. I seem to be in the minority here though. The show is currently booking till the 11th of September next year and I am sure it will run in the West End for quite some time.

The featured star of The Play That Goes Wrong is, drum roll please... JAMES MARLOWE!


James Marlowe is absolutely hilarious in the role of 'Max'. I felt he was the glue that held the show together, he was so funny! Most of the times I laughed in the show, was at his jokes and the way he delivered them.

Now for my final verdict on The Play That Goes Wrong. I give The Play That Goes Wrong... 


For anyone who needs a good laugh right now I suggest you go to the Duchess Theatre and get yourself some tickets!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing the West End version of The Phantom of the Opera.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Review: Mamma Mia

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Mamma Mia.
I had been to see Mamma Mia two years ago and it is certainly a lot better than I remember it! The show really has the fun factor which makes it enjoyable to watch for the whole family. When I looked at my programme I had a piece of paper telling me that there were going to be a few understudies performing. I have to admit, when I saw this piece of paper I was a bit wary as understudies can be hit and miss. I can luckily say that I was very, very wrong! The understudies were absolutely incredible and I am really surprised they don't do the roles full-time. The storyline is clever, funny and moving. For those who aren't familiar with Mamma Mia's storyline, here it is: Donna, an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter's wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother's past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day. Cast members that stood out for me were Shona White who was understudying as Donna Sheridan, Jasmin Colangelo who was understudying as Sophie Sheridan, Jo Napthine as Rosie, Mazz Murray as Tanya, Richard Trinder as Sam Carmichael, Charles Daish as Bill Austin, Alasdair Harvey as Harry Bright, Alex Jordan-Mills who was understudying as Sky and last but not least Brad Veitch who was understudying as Pepper. The ensemble were also really good. Something that really pulled the show together was everyone's chemistry. The fact that this great story goes along to ABBA's music is the icing on the cake. My three favourite songs in the show were 'Dancing Queen', 'The Winner Takes It All' and 'Take a Chance on Me'. The choreography was amazing and very slick. I loved the costumes and found the set to be simple but effective. The only thing about the show that I have to criticise is that during certain songs they had ABBA singing on a backing track. I felt this was a shame as all the cast had lovely voices and it was not necessary. Apart from that this is a great show and I am so glad I went to see it as I left the theatre in a really jolly mood.

The featured star of Mamma Mia is, drum roll please... SHONA WHITE!


I was having trouble deciding weather to give featured to Shona or Mazz, but at the end of the day Shona stole the show. She was amazing! I find it devastating she is not playing the role full-time as she is phenomenal!

Now for my final verdict on Mamma Mia. I give Mamma Mia... 


I really recommend Mamma Mia as it is so much fun. It's such a great show and I hope to see it again soon!

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Play That Goes Wrong.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Review: Hairspray

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Hairspray.
I am a massive fan of the film version of Hairspray so as soon as I heard that Hairspray was coming to Wimbledon I just had to see it. Sadly there were quite a few problems with this production, but it was nevertheless great fun. The storyline for those who aren't familiar with Hairspray is: It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way. I love all the music, with my favourite song being 'You Can't Stop the Beat'. I thought that the set and costumes were absolutely stunning. I feel that the show sends a great message across saying that you can do anything, no matter your weight, the colour of your skin or how you look. I enjoyed the jail scene at the beginning of act one as this is a scene that isn't featured in the movie. I also enjoyed the scene where the character 'Motormouth Maybelle' sings 'I Know Where I've Been', but this was mainly due to Brenda Edward's phenomenal singing voice. I also thought all the ensemble were very good, especially in act two. Cast members who stood out for me were Freya Sutton as Tracy Turnblad, Tony Maudsley as Edna Turnblad, Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle, Lauren Stroud as Amber Von Tussle, Dex Lee as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Peter Duncan as Wilbur Turnblad and Karis Jack as Little Inez. Sadly I feel some of the actors within the cast did overact  a little and at times I felt like I was watching a pantomime. For some reason the accents just didn't work with various actors, especially with Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle and Ashley Gilmour as Link Larkin. Instead of doing normal American accents, they decided to do cheesy accents which in my experience most American people don't sound like. It's such a shame that Ashley came across as having difficulty with his accent because he was so talented with his singing and dancing. I don't know if a dialect coach was used but it really could have been useful.. In the movie version the character of Penny is portrayed as a bit ditzy, however in this production she was portrayed really dorky, which for me didn't work. I also feel some of the actors need to brush up on their comic timing a bit. I really wasn't keen on act one, but luckily act two got so much better and was a lot of fun.

The featured star of Hairspray is, drum roll please… BRENDA EDWARDS!


I saw Brenda a few years ago in 'We Will Rock You' where she was amazing, so it was no doubt she'd still be amazing! Originally I was going to give featured star to Dex, but after hearing Brenda sing 'I Know Where I've Been' I couldn't not give her featured star. 

Now for my final verdict on Hairspray. I give Hairspray… 


I was only going to give Hairspray three stars due to act one being not so good, but I have decided as act two was amazing this show deserves four stars.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Mamma Mia.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (UK Tour)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is my favourite show of all-time, it's exciting funny and magical, so when they announced it was closing in the West End I was mortified. Luckily it was announced that they would be touring the UK. I had pretty low expectations as I was worried they would ruin this amazing show, however it was certainly better than I thought. It was far from perfect, but it was a nice effort. The storyline of the show is: Conman Lawrence Jameson is set to come crashing down with the arrival of larger-than-life Freddy Benson - a conman of an entirely different order. Soon realising the town ain't big enough for the both of them, the two find themselves going head to head in the con of their lives, pulling out all of the stops in a bid for the affections of millionaire soap heiress Christine Colgate. Little do they know what they've let themselves in for. I am glad that it still has most of the hilarious comedy that made me love the show so much in the West End. I feel the funniest part of the show was the song 'Oklahoma?', but I think this is mainly due to the fact that Phoebe Coupe, who sings this song on the tour, puts so much energy into the song. The costumes and set are very inventive and clever. The direction and choreography, by the mastermind Jerry Mitchell, are phenomenal. The ensemble were very good indeed and it was obvious there were some really strong singers and dancers amongst them. Cast members who stood out for me were Noel Sullivan as Freddy Benson, Carly Stenson as Christine Colgate, Gary Wilmot as Inspector Andre Thibault and Phoebe Coupe as Jolene Oakes. Comparing this cast to the cast in the West End, Michael Praed sadly was not as good as Robert Lindsay. He just didn't seem to have the same charm. Michael also seemed to really struggle on the musical numbers. It's a shame because you could tell he was trying really hard. Noel Sullivan was not quite as good as his proceeder, which was Alex Gaumond, either. Noel was really, really good, but Alex to me is and always will be Freddy. Carly Stenson was just as good as Alice Fearn (who was the understudy the night I went to see it in the West End) in the role of Christine Colgate. Geraldine Fitzgerald wasn't as good Bonnie Langford. She also tried really hard but just didn't have the same comic timing, which Bonnie Langford was master of. I hate to say this, but Ben Fox was better than Gary Wilmot. The reason I hate to say that is because Gary was amazing in the role and he brings a whole new life to the character. Phoebe Coupe was 100x better in the role of Jolene than Lizzy. She gave the perfect performance and turned the role Jolene a little psychopathic, which I thought was very clever. One thing that did annoy me about the cast was that there were some annoying facial expressions. The show didn't have quite the charm it did in the West End, but they made a really good effort and I applaud them for that.

The featured star of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is, drum roll please… NOEL SULLIVAN!


Noel was perfectly casted. I read a review the other day criticising him and praising Michael Praed so it's pretty obvious I have different tastes to that person as I thought Noel was incredible. He's a great actor and has a really, really nice voice.

Now for my final verdict on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I give Dirty Rotten Scoundrels… 


People who know and love the West End version may be a little disappointed, but I am sure anyone who doesn't know the show will love this version!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Hairspray. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now finished touring.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Review: War Horse

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of War Horse.
I saw War Horse three years ago and have been wanting to go back for a long time, so yesterday I finally went and I was totally blown away! The synopsis for those who haven't seen the show is: At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. The story is really clever and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. There were times the play felt so real I actually forgot I was in a theatre. It's a really moving piece that takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions.. The staging, set and lighting are all amazing. The horses are portrayed with puppetry and never before have I seen such convincing puppets. They just looked so life-like. The cast were very strong, but cast members who stood out for me were Simon Jenkins who was filling in as Albert Narracott, Colm Gormley as Ted Narracott, Jayne McKenna as Rose Narracott, Simon Wolfe as Arthur Narracott, Patrick Fleming who was filling in as Billy Narracott, Dominic Hodson as Captain Nicholls and last but certainly not least the people who puppeteered Joey and Topthorn. I had no idea that Simon Jenkins and Patrick Fleming were understudies due to the fact that they were incredible in their roles. I didn't realise until I got home and looked in my programme that they were understudies. I also found the 'New London Theatre' to be a lovely venue and very well organised. I am so sad that this show is closing in March and beg people to go to this amazing show before it closes!

The featured star of War Horse is drum roll please, SIMON JENKINS!


I still haven't quite gotten over the fact that Simon is only the understudy as he was so convincing in the role. I hope someday Simon will play the role full time, either before the show closes in the West End, on tour or in a different country. He has so much talent and I hope to see him in something soon, weather it be War Horse or something else.

Now for my final verdict on War Horse. I give War Horse… 


This is a show for all ages and I would recommend this show to anyone and everyone.

Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer