Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review: Buckets

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Buckets.
It has been three years since I had been to the Orange Tree Theatre. Earlier this year when I went to The Spoils I started chatting to Jesse Eisenberg. He asked me where I came from in England and when I told him "Richmond" he told me that he always used to go to the Orange Tree Theatre. So ever since then I have been meaning to go back to the Orange Tree Theatre. I was very glad I went because this was a very interesting play. The storyline was about how from the logical case for kissing immediately, to the crisis of filling a free afternoon, buckets is a warm, wise and witty take on a universal dilemma – how do you deal with the fact that time always runs out? The play splits life into 27 short scenes which offers us a look at decisions, observations and so many more things. The scenery was was very good and I thought it was very clever the way they used a slide as loads of different things. I thought it was good how they made it both a comedy and a drama. Most of the plot was about facing mortality and it is the kind of play that makes you think very deeply about life and death. The great cast consisted of Jon Foster, Tom Gill, Charlotte Josephine, Sarah Malin, Rona Morison and Sophie Steer. There was even a little bit of singing involved where the local choir came onto the stage which was good. I had two favourite scenes. One was where a baby was just about to be born, but first the baby must talk to 'Living Vessels Incorporated' where they asked him if he wants to know how long he will live for. My other favourite was when a girl, Sam, was about to jump in front of a train but then someone comes to mug her. After the mugger realises what Sam was about to do she actually saves her. The choir, who were standing behind me during this scene, made a soundscape of the train which really made the play intense. This was a very, very clever play and I am really sad that last night was it's last night at the Orange Tree Theatre. I really hope that the play tours or goes to the West End as it a truly magnificent show.

The featured star of Buckets is, drum roll please… CHARLOTTE JOSEPHINE!

It was very hard to choose the featured star for Buckets but in the end I chose Charlotte because Charlotte's scene where she about to jump in front of the train was portrayed with so much in-depth feeling it was phenomenal. I found it hard not to cry during that scene.

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

I wish I could have done this review earlier to recommend the show to more people, but I was still very glad I had the chance to see it and once again hope that it transfers to the West End.

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 Elephant Man.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Review: Constellations (UK Tour)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Constellations.
Now this was actually very, very interesting to see as it was almost the same script to the Broadway version, but seemed rather different. Joe Armstrong was playing Roland and was a lot better than Jake Gyllenhaal. He seemed to suit the role a lot better and said his lines a lot more convincingly than Jake Gyllenhaal and was very funny during the comedic parts. Louise Brealey was portraying Marianne and unfortunately wasn't as good in the role as Ruth Wilson. She was still really good, but Ruth was so magnificent in this role is was very hard to beat. One problem was that Louise seemed to playing with her hair a bit too often. I don't know if this was on purpose or accidental but it got quite annoying. Overall they gave the show their all and had great chemistry that was even better than Jake and Ruth's. As before, I loved the simple set of the balloons and I really think it suits the show. They have added one scene where Roland and Marianne talk in sign-language which I thought was quite clever. I do still feel the script should add on an extra 20 minutes because it is still very short (an hour and 10 minutes) and I know after they are finished touring they are going to the West End so I think before they start in the West End they could make the show an hour and a half. I also feel before they go to the West End they could clarify the storyline a bit. I understood the storyline as I had seen it before, but as I was leaving the theatre I heard several people saying they didn't understand the storyline and what was going on. If anyone reading this review would like to know what the storyline is it is: One relationship, infinite possibilities; Constellations is an explosive play about free will and friendship. Sparked by Roland and Marianne’s first encounter, the boundless potential of their connection leads us through a heart-breaking love story of endless invention. I feel the show has kind of lost it's spark as on Broadway Ruth made the show become really alive. I actually hope if I ever see Constellations again Joe will be playing Roland and Ruth will be playing Marianne as that to me would be my dream cast!

The featured star of Constellations is, drum roll please… JOE ARMSTRONG!

Joe was absolutely spectacular in this role and portrayed the role of Roland so convincingly. He put a lot of depth into switching from comedy to tragedy and has a lot of talent.

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

I was wondering weather to only give it three stars but I had a think about how genius the play is that I just had to give it 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 Buckets.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now finished touring.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Review: Bend It Like Beckham the Musical

Hey readers.
It's time for my review of Bend It Like Beckham the Musical.
At first I was umming and arring about coming to this show because I'm not the biggest fan of football. Eventually I decided to go because I really wanted to see Jamie Campbell Bower. I was really, really glad I went because this was an incredible musical. It's the kind of show that will make you laugh and cry, it's absolutely magnificent. The storyline was great. It was about Jess facing the most important decision of her life; live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenage footballer is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of opportunities opens up before her. But as the day of her sister's traditional Indian wedding approaches, Jess needs to pick sides. What made the show amazing was the actors. They were having so much fun performing, unlike some shows, and that made it really fun to watch. Their energy was really good. The wonderful cast included Natalie Dew as Jess, Lauren Samuels as Jules, Jamie Campbell Bower as Joe, Sophie-Louise Dann as Paula, Sejal Keshwala who was filling in for the role as Pinky and if I had not read the sign outside saying she was the understudy I wouldn't of known so well done to Sejal, Jamal Andréas as Tony, Tony Jayawardena as Mr. Bhamra, Natasha Jayetileke as Mrs. Bhamra and Raj Bajaj as Teetu. The costumes were also really colourful and fun. The staging of the football match was portrayed very cleverly with lighting and sound. The integrated dancing with the wedding and football match worked very well. The musical numbers were great and they had some really strong singer within the cast. I really hope a soundtrack comes out soon. The topics covered were very cleverly portrayed and we really got a taste if the Indian values and customs. I would recommend this show to anyone, young or old, weather you are a football fan or not.

The featured star of Bend It Like Beckham the Musical is, drum roll please… NATALIE DEW!

This was quite a tough decision to make but in the end I decided on Natalie. She is extremely talented. She can act, she can sing, she can dance, she's incredible! 

Now for my final verdict on Bend It Like Beckham the Musical. I give Bend It Like Beckham the Musical… 

I really hope this is a show that will play in the West End for years and years and I beg them to make a soundtrack as the music is great. 

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Constellations.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review: Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Peter Pan.
I had never actually been to the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, so this to me was quite an experience. It is by far one of the loveliest theatres in the West End. And with a lovely theatre comes a lovely show. Peter Pan was incredible! I had never seen the original Peter Pan by J.M Barrie, I had only ever seen pantomime versions so this was rather extraordinary for me. It is just such a unique and quirky play and it's something that people would have never seen in any other play. The adaption of the play incorporates the First World War and the Battle of the Somme whereby Wendy Darling is a nurse at the military hospital and her two brothers, John and Michael, are wounded soldiers. They also used props around the hospital to create Neverland, for example hospital beds are transformed into mossy banks, pyjama bottoms are transformed into fish and a pair of ladders transform into the snapping jaws Tick-Tock the crocodile. Directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel are absolute geniuses for coming up with all these ideas for props and the World War incorporation. The sets and costumes were just fantastic. They had a magnificent cast which include Hiran Abeysekera as Peter Pan, Kae Alexander as Wendy Darling, David Birrell as Captain James Hook, Patrick Osborne as John Darling, Thomas Dennis as Michael Darling, Rachel Donovan as Tinker Bell, Beverly Rudd as Mr. Smee, Eben Figueiredo, George Bukhari, Thomas Pickles, Richard James-Neale, Jacob James Beswick and Chris Lew Kum Hoi as The Lost Boys and Carl Prekopp, Okorie Chukwu, Owain Gwynn, Jonathan Holby, Arthur Kyeyune and Joe Swain as The Pirates. The fight scene towards the end was great and their timing was impeccable. I thought it was great that Peter would sometimes fly into the audience as it really made the audience feel part of the show. I also thought the way they did Tinker Bell was really great and funny. However there were some instances where I couldn't understand what Tinker Bell was saying so maybe they should just clarify that a little bit more. Overall this was a stunning show and I really hope when it finishes at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre it will transfer somewhere else so I can see it again.

The featured star of Peter Pan is, drum roll please… KAE ALEXANDER!

Kae portrayed this role faultlessly. I'm so glad I got to see her in this role because she is probably one of the best Wendy Darlings there has ever been in theatre. 

Now for my final verdict on Peter Pan. I give Peter Pan… 

Peter Pan closes in three days so I urge people to run and get tickets ASAP before it's too late.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Bend It Like Beckham the Musical.

Thanks for reading.

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Review: Miss Saigon (Jun 2015)

Hey readers!
It's time for my updated review of Miss Saigon.
Miss Saigon is one of my all-time favourite musicals so it was, as usual, a pleasure to watch. Since my last review they have had a major cast change so I thought it would be good to compare them. Unfortunately Chris Peluso wasn't as good as Alastair Brammer in the role of Chris Scott. It's just that Alastair used to just put so much energy and emotion into the role, it's hard to live up to. However Chris still was very good and had great chemistry with Eva (Kim). Tyler Maynard wasn't performing as John Thomas last night and in his place was Aaron Lee Lambert, who I can certainly say was a lot better than Tyler. I just preferred the way Aaron portrayed the character. Once Tyler leaves the production I really hope Aaron gets the role of John full time. Siobhan Dillon wasn't performing either as Ellen and in her place was Claire Parrish. I don't know what Siobhan is like in the role, but I know 100% that Claire was a lot better than Tamsin Carroll who was playing Ellen previously. Claire had such a powerful voice and I find it surprising she is only the understudy. I hope that she also one day gets the role of Ellen full time as she is a real asset to the show. Sangwoong Jo is the new Thuy, but unfortunately he is not as good as Kwang-Ho Hong. The problem is that Sangwoog Jo didn't seem ruthless enough. Kwang-Ho Hong was like a grizzly bear and Sangwoog Jo was more like a beagle puppy. He was however a very talented singer. As before Eva Noblezada, Jon Jon Briones and Masha Songcome as Kim, The Engineer and Gigi Van Tranh were amazing. They had an incredible ensemble who could all sing and dance. The staging and scenery is great and I still think the helicopter scene in act two is done so well. I still also think that the music is wonderful. I do feel the new cast still could use some extra rehearsals and I am sure once they have done so this musical will be perfection.

The featured star of Miss Saigon is, drum roll please… EVA NOBLEZADA!

Out of the three times I have seen Miss Saigon this is the best Eva has performed. This was a hard one between Jon Jon and Eva but I really think Eva deserves it this time as she has such a mesmerising voice.

Now for my final verdict on Miss Saigon. I give Miss Saigon… 

I do still think a few of the new cast need a few extra rehearsals but overall this is still an amazing musical and I hope it is a show that goes on for years in the West End.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Peter Pan.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Monday, 1 June 2015

Review: Thriller - Live

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Thriller - Live.
This is yet another show that I haven't seen in a long time but have come back to review it. I am very glad I went back to see it as this is an excellent show. The singing and dancing are absolutely incredible. They have some very talented people in their cast. The lead vocalists include Haydon Eshun, Cleopatra Higgins, Dajiow, Tyrone Lee and Rory Taylor. The ensemble were also very good and this show really shows off their dancing ability. The songs including Dajiow, who was supposed to be portraying Michael Jackson, were a pleasure to watch. Thriller was put on very cleverly. The staging of the show was very good as well and I enjoyed the audience participation as I think it is good to get the whole audience up on their feet and make them feel part of the show. I do however feel with this show they could've made it a little better than they have. I feel they could perhaps make it into a show about Michael's history like Jersey Boys? I know this would go down a storm on both West End and Broadway. Perhaps it is time Thriller - Live had a revamp? Also I think if it did have this revamp and made the show about Michael Jacksons history I think it should star Dajiow as Michael Jackson, as he is a very talented singer and dancer. I think that the encore went on for far too long. It was three songs! An encore should just be one song, not three songs that feel like they go on forever. They try and keep the audience up on their feet for all this so this didn't really work. Overall though it is still a lot of fun and I am sure any Michael Jackson fan will love this show.

The featured star of Thriller - Live is, drum roll please… DAJIOW!

Dajiow is very, very talented! If the show takes my advice about the revamp then I really hope they cast Dajiow as Michael Jackson as he is the perfect person for this role.

Now for my final verdict on Thriller - Live. I give Thriller - Live… 

This is definitely a show for all Michael Jackson fans so I advise all MJ fans to go and see this show ASAP.

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 doing an updated review of Miss Saigon. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has had major cast changes since this review.