Friday, 31 July 2015

Review: Dear Lupin

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Dear Lupin.
I was very keen to see James Fox live onstage in the new West End play: Dear Lupin. I am sad to say I was let down. I really hate to say it but in my view Jack Fox cannot act. This seems to be a classic example of when a son thinks he can act just because his parent(s) are famous actors. It kind of reminds me of a kind of a Paris Hilton-Kathy Hilton. I know Jack was trying his hardest and perhaps this may have been the problem. Jack's character gets quite badly ill, but Jack didn't play this with much emotion so I ended up not really feeling sorry for him. I also found that I didn't find it very funny. There were parts where people were laughing and I was like "Wait… was I supposed to laugh there?" I sniggered about once or twice and that was it. The play seemed to really lack the emotion from the actors during the really sad scenes. I shed one tear, but if it had been acted properly I would have had a lot more tears. The intro was James Fox's character taking a 'Mastermind' quiz about himself. Was that supposed to be funny? Because if so mission failed. I also found the play itself wasn't that interesting, the storyline was pretty basic. This could be fixed if they added sharper scenes. However enough negatives, lets move on to the positives! The way they used the set was very clever. At one point they used a desk and lamps to portray a car. I thought James Fox was good as Roger. The one or two times I sniggered were at his lines. I also like the sound effects, they were very clever. The dialogue was also fairly good in certain places. Overall though I was not very impressed but wish James and Jack luck with the rest of their run.

The featured star of Dear Lupin is, drum roll please… JAMES FOX!


I really think James tried his best, so kudos to him for that. I think he is a very funny actor and I really hope he moves on to better stuff after this show.

Now for my final verdict on Dear Lupin. I give Dear Lupin… 


I thought about giving it two stars, but to be fair it was only their second preview. To get anywhere near a good review there's a lot they need to change.

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 Romeo and Juliet.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review: Three Days in the Country

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Three Days in the Country.
I had been waiting quite a while to see this show because I wanted to watch Mark Gatiss live onstage. I was glad to say I was not let down. It is a drama, but it was very funny. The storyline is: Russia. A beautiful country estate. The mid-nineteenth century. A handsome new tutor brings reckless, romantic desire to an eccentric household. Over three days one summer the young and the old will learn lessons in love: first love and forbidden love, maternal love and platonic love, ridiculous love and last love. The love left unsaid and the love which must out. It was a very clever concept. I thought the costumes were very realistic and the set really suited the play. It was clever how by just moving two or three objects the whole room was changed. The amazing cast included John Light as Arkady, Amanda Drew as Natalya, Lily Sacofsky as Vera, Lynn Farleigh as Anna, Debra Gillet as Lizaveta, John Simm as Rakitin, Gawn Grainger as Schaaf, Royce Pierreson as Belyaev, Mark Gatiss as Shpigelsky, Nigel Betts as Bolshintsov, Nicholas Bishop as Matvey and Cherrelle Skeete as Katya. I did feel most of the performances were better during act 2, but that may just be my opinion. Amanda Drew's and Lily Sacofsky's performances in act 2 were spectacular and really captivating! I also thought the sound effects were good. It was very well casted, especially with Mark Gatiss. Most of the show was great, but there were some parts that really should be changed. First of all I feel the child playing the son of Arkady and Natalya was not right for the role. He really lacked depth and seemed to show no emotion. I also feel there were WAY too many subplots that never really went anywhere. The play at sometimes seems to got a little off-track. I think the ending could be perhaps modified as I feel there are a few things that weren't concluded. One other small thing is that they could have made more references to Russia as I sometime forgot I was watching a play based in Russia. Overall I really enjoyed this and would just like to comment quickly about how great the National Theatre is. It may be one of the nicest theatre's in the West End.

The featured star of Three Days in the Country is, drum roll please… JOHN SIMM!


There were many actors who great at some bits, and not so great in other bits. John was excellent throughout. Every line he said had so much emotion. I had never actually seen John Simm in any TV shows or movies before but will be sure to watch some now.

Now for my final verdict on Three Days in the Country. I give Three Days in the Country… 


I recommend any John Simm or Mark Gatiss fans to see this show as this really showcases their talent.

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 Dear Lupin.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: American Idiot

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of American Idiot.
IT'S MY 50TH REVIEW! YAY! I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who has read any of my reviews, this blog wouldn't be happening without you guys! Anyway, on with the review! This show was actually quite an experience for me as I had never heard of Green Day, the band which the songs from the show come from, before and don't really listen to rock music that often. I had actually come to the show to see Amelia Lily who is making her West End debut. She was absolutely incredible and is a true star. She has now shown us another star quality of being able to act and dance. I was actually sad that she didn't have a slightly bigger role but was still very happy to have seen her in this role and I hope to see her in more West End shows. Another actor I hope to see in a show again is Natasha Barnes who also had a spectacular voice. The storyline for those interested is about three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world. Its hit songs include 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams,' '21 Guns,' 'Wake Me Up When September Ends,' 'Holiday' and the title track 'American Idiot' from Green Day's 2004 Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album. The emotional turmoil that the teenagers are in after 9/11 is really captivating and sad but true. The cast bring a lot of passion and emotion to the stage and it is nice that everyone in the cast had their moment in the spotlight. The cast included Aaron Sidwell as Johnny, Steve Rushton as Will, Alexis Gerred as Tunny, Amelia Lily as Whatshername, Natasha Barnes as Heather, Raquel Jones as The Extraordinary Girl and Lucas Rush as St. Jimmy. There were however a few things that I think could be a lot better. First of all I think the first half an hour either needs to be cut or changed drastically as all I felt the first half an hour was mainly running around the stage crazy with finger gestures. I also think the show was very confusing in parts. It may not be as confusing as some reviews I've read make out to be, but it could still be a bit clearer. One bit that I didn't understand was that *SPOILER ALERT* St. Jimmy is actually Johnny's alter ego. When Johnny gave up drugs and St. Jimmy killed himself I didn't understand that that was supposed to be a metaphorical death. I think this could be made a bit clearer because it is absolutely genius. Overall this show was great and I recommend it to any Green Day or Amelia Lily fans.

The featured star of American Idiot is, drum roll please… ALEXIS GERRED!


Alexis is absolutely incredible in this role. I did think about giving featured to Aaron, who was also incredible but in the end I decided it should go to Alexis. He portrays this role with so much emotion and it is really convincing. Well done to Alexis!

Now for my final verdict on American Idiot. I give American Idiot


The cast in this are really good and I hope to see all of them in the West End again soon.

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 Three Days in the Country.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Review: Sunny Afternoon

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Sunny Afternoon.
I was very, very eager to see this show after it had won the Olivier Award for 'Best New Musical'. I was certainly not let down as this was one heck of a show. The music was incredible. I can definitely see why it also won the Olivier Award for 'Outstanding Achievement in Music'. The Kinks, who the musical is about, was before my generation so I didn't know much about them, but this was a very fun history lesson. I felt like I was transported back to the 60's, I was so immersed in the storyline. Not only did it teach stuff about The Kinks, it also taught me various knowledge about the 60s. It has really made me interested in looking up more about The Kinks. I have listened to a few of the original songs and the cast sounded identical to them. The portrayal of the relationship between the brothers (Ray and Dave Davies) and the friendships among the band were also very good. The director, Edward Hall, has put this show together very, very well. The set was another thing that was brilliant and there was a strip of the stage that came out to the audience, which is kind of what there would be in a concert arena. It also had some hilarious bits, as well as some very sad bits. Cast members that I think stood out are: John Dagleish as Ray Davies, George Maguire as Dave Davies, Ned Derrington as Pete Quaife, Adam Sopp as Mick Avory, Vince Leigh as Larry Page, Jason Baughan as Eddie Kassner, Lillie Flynn as Rasa, Silas Wyatt-Barke who was understudying the role of Robert Wace and last but certainly not least Tam Williams as Grenville Collins. There were a few things that could be changed though. One thing was the girls who played Ray and Dave's sisters then later played screaming girls swooning over the band. They could have made the characters look a little different as this was rather confusing. I also feel it was a bit too long (2 hours and 45 minutes) and they could cut the show down by 15 minutes. Also at some points in the show it may have been a little bit too loud as I was there at a matinee and there were a lot of elderly people around me who had their hands over their ears at certain bits. Apart from that this is an astonishing show and I know any Kinks fans will love this show.

The featured star of Sunny Afternoon is, drum roll please… JOHN DAGLEISH!


I must give a salute to the casting director because John was perfectly cast in this. He could act, he could sing, there is no way to fault his performance whatsoever. Also, congrats to him on his Olivier Award!

Now for my final verdict on Sunny Afternoon. I give Sunny Afternoon… 


Any Kinks fan would be brainless not too see this amazing musical, so if you're a Kinks fan run to the theatre and buy your tickets NOW!

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing American Idiot

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

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

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Review: Memphis

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Memphis.
A show that received 9 different Olivier Award nominations was a show that I just HAD to see! I'd always been meaning to go so as soon as Matt Cardle joined the cast I has no excuse but to go and see the show. This was his first night so I was a bit wary whether nerves would get the better of him. Since then I have very, very much eaten my words. He was, by far, the best part of the show. He seemed to gel really well into the cast. The cast included Matt Cardle as Huey Calhoun, Beverley Knight as Felicia Farrell, Rolan Bell as Delray, Simon Ray-Harvery who was the understudy for Gator, Jason Pennycooke as Bobby, Claire Machin as Gladys and Mark Roper as Mr. Simmons. With Simon the understudy for Gator last night, his voice was incredible but the problem was his character was supposed to be black and yet he was mixed-race. However nice his voice was, he seemed out of place. The cast were very good singers and there were some very catchy songs in the show. The choreography was very good and I can see why it won it's award. The costume and set were very authentic for the era and you were transported back to the 1950's. It had a very moving storyline that follows the fictionalized life story of young, white radio disc jockey Huey Calhoon growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. An unlikely hero with a great love of the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for 'race records' creates a new white audience for African-American music. His personal life transcends the race line as well, when he falls in love with a beautiful black singer - with dramatic consequences. It was also good how they added bits of comedy and drama. One thing was that I feel they did have a few too many songs. There were some bits that were like "Oh come on, you could've just said that in one line without a whole song." I know some people say that's the whole point of a musical but I feel this was a musical with a few too many songs. Apart from that it was a very good show and Matt Cardle was truly amazing.

The featured star of Memphis is, drum roll please… MATT CARDLE!


If this was how amazing Matt was on his first night, I can't imagine how great he will be after a month! His acting, singing and dancing were all incredible. You could tell he had put a lot of effort into the show and it has certainly paid off!

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


When Memphis has to close at the Shaftesbury Theatre I really hope it transfers to another theatre because this show is worth seeing just to hear Matt Cardle sing!

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 Sunny Afternoon.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review: The Elephant Man

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Elephant Man.
I was so happy to finally see this as I was planning to see it on Broadway originally, but then decided I'd wait until it came to the West End. There have been so many times where I have said "OK, I'm going to see The Elephant Man today" and then never got round to it. I was not disappointed as this was a rather interesting play. It is based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man and tells the story of a 19th-century British man who became a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When the renowned Dr Treves takes Merrick under his care, he is astonished by the man’s brilliant intelligence, unshakable faith and, most of all, his resounding desire for love and understanding. He introduces Merrick to the beautiful actress Mrs. Kendal, who is deeply touched by this pure and genuine soul. As a complex friendship blossoms among the three, Treves and Kendal struggle to protect Merrick from a world of questionable intentions. It was a very emotional play that showed us how cruel life can be for disabled people. The cast were amazing, but some I distinctly remember are Bradley Cooper as John Merrick, Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. Kendal, Alessandro Nivola as Dr. Frederick Treves and Anthony Heald as Ross and Bishop How. It was very clever that Bradley Cooper, instead of using prosthetic make-up, used his body to show the disfigurement of John Merrick. The English accents of the cast were incredible and I salute their dialect coach because he/she has really done wonders. It was a great show, however there are a few things that could be changed. I was sitting in the upper-circle and sometimes found it quite hard to hear Alessandro as there seemed to be a lot of his lines that he mumbled. He just didn't seem to have a good stage presence. Bradley and Patricia were really clear with everything they said so this could be something Alessandro needs to work on. I also feel they could add a little bit more of depth and excitement with some of the scenes as I think that a few of the scenes got a bit tedious. Apart from that this was a fascinating play and I am very surprised Skylight beat it winning the 'Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.'

The featured star of The Elephant Man is, drum roll please… BRADLEY COOPER!


Bradley portrayed this role so cleverly and really made the audience feel sorry for his character, John Merrick. I am sad he didn't win a Tony for his role, but hopefully he will win an Olivier award for this role.

Now for my final verdict on The Elephant Man. I give The Elephant Man… 


I recommend any Bradley Cooper fan to run and see this show as I know any BC fan will love this show.

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 Memphis. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.