Saturday, 29 August 2015

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. 
I have been dying to see this for ages. When I was in New York I almost went to see 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' but then decided to go see 'The Phantom of the Opera' (very bad mistake!) so when I saw TCIOTDITNT had tickets left for last night I got some tickets and rushed to London. I was certainly not disappointed, the show was great. The special effects were absolutely stunning, especially during the scene where the lead character Christopher imagines he is an astronaut. The choreography is excellent so kudos to Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for that. The storyline is: Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world. It was very moving and mostly very well written. Christopher has unspecified behavioural problems and I think it is a great play to help people understand behavioural problems such as Aspergers and Autism. The cast were superb, but people who stand out for me are Kaffe Keating as Christopher John Francis Boone, who I was very surprised to find out was actually the understudy as he was spectacular, Nicolas Tennant as Mr. Boone, Mary Stockley as Mrs. Boone, Rebecca Lacey as Siobhan and Jacqueline Clarke as Mrs. Alexander, Posh Woman and Voice Six. The graphics and lighting was also great. There are a few things that could be changed in the show however. At times I felt the narration was a little too much and I also found the storyline a little predictable. I also felt the show was occasionally a bit far-fetched and also some scenes dragged on a bit. Apart from that the show was great and I think it will run on both the West End and Broadway for a very long time.

The featured star of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is, drum roll please… KAFFE KEATING!


Kaffe was amazing in this role. I find it a real shame that he is not doing this role full-time and I hope someday he will acquire the role full-time, on either West End or Broadway.

Now for my final verdict on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I give The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time… 


I think this would be a great show for anybody with friends or relatives who have behavioural problems to help them understand it better, or just anyone who wants a great night out!

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 Kinky Boots. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Monday, 17 August 2015

Review: The Who's Tommy

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Who's Tommy.
I'd heard so much about The Who's Tommy so when it was announced that they were doing a revival I just had to go along. The cast were great, especially Ashley Birchall as Tommy, James Sinclair as Captain Walker, Miranda Wilford as Mrs. Walker, Giovanni Spano as Cousin Kevin and John Barr as Uncle Ernie. There were some strong triple-threats among the cast. This was a minimal production of The Who's Tommy, but the way they used the set and the props were very clever. The storyline for those who don't know The Who's Tommy is: After witnessing the murder of his mother's lover by his father, Tommy is traumatized into catatonia, and as the boy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbours. But as an adolescent, he is discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball, a talent that breaks through his catatonia and puts him on the path to international superstardom. The story in act one is great, but act two just seems to have a bit of a weak storyline. I think act two needs to be cut by at least 20 minutes. I must admit I was getting a tad bored during act two but still loved act one. The choreography was very, very good so I must say well done to the choreographer Mark Smith because he has done an amazing job. I didn't actually know The Who's music before seeing the show, except 'Pinball Wizard', but after seeing the show I will be sure to look into The Who as I really loved their music. They had a live band onstage which I thought was good and at the end the guitarist had a guitar solo which was incredible. According to my Dad the song 'The Acid Queen' is supposed to be the highlight of the show, however I didn't feel Carly Burns, who was playing the role, didn't have the voice to play The Acid Queen. Even though the stage was quite small, I feel they could have had a few more props. A pinball machine is supposed to be one of the main points in the show, but this show didn't have a pinball machine. It kind of seems like doing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory without the Chocolate Factory. However, I feel the cast did exceptionally well with what they had so kudos to them!

The featured star of The Who's Tommy is, drum roll please… ASHLEY BIRCHALL!


Ashley was phenomenal in this role. His singing was extraordinary, his dancing was amazing, he was perfect for this role. If The Who's Tommy ever comes to the West End I hope Ashley will be playing the role.

Now for my final verdict on The Who's Tommy. I give The Who's Tommy… 


The Who's Tommy is only on for another six days so I recommend any fans of The Who to rush along and see this show before it closes.

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 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. 

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Review: Bye Bye Birdie

Hey readers!
It's time for my review Bye Bye Birdie.
I was particularly looking forward to seeing Bye Bye Birdie as this was my second invite to review a show. I was glad I was invited because the show was great! It is a lot better than some of the stuff you see in the West End *cough* Cats *cough*. Bye Bye Birdie is the story of rock star Conrad Birdie who is the biggest artist to top the charts. Women love him, men want to be him and teenage girls around the country scream with glee at the mere mention of his name. But when the United States Army drafts Birdie, manager Albert Peterson sees his meal ticket preparing to fly the coop, much to the delight of longtime love Rose Alvarez, who can’t wait for Albert to ditch the music business and become an English teacher. Desperate for a publicity stunt big enough to help them survive Birdie’s departure, Albert and Rose hatch a plan: send Conrad to small-town America to plant his goodbye kiss on one lucky fan for the entire world to see. Their selection of super fan Kim Macafee sends the wholesome enclave of Sweet Apple, Ohio into chaos. Kim’s boyfriend Hugo can’t take the humiliation of his girlfriends televised lip-lock. Rose can’t take another minute of Albert’s distracted ways. And Sweet Apple can’t take its teens riotous rebellion, inspired by the arrival of bad boy Birdie. Will Sweet Apple ever be the same? All the cast were great, but cast members who stood out for me were Liberty Buckland as Rosie Alvarez, Abigail Matthew as Kim MacAfee, Harry Hart as Henry MacAfee and The Mayor, Stephen Loriot as Randolph MacAfee, Benedikt de la Bédoyère as Hugo Peabody and Jayne Ashley as Mae Peterson and Ursula Merkle. The songs were very catchy and when I woke up this morning I was singing 'We Love You Conrad'. It was very funny, with the funniest lines said by Henry Hart, who had excellent comic timing. The choreography was very, very good, but perhaps a little too ambitious for such a small space. I was sometimes a bit concerned for the actors safety that they were going to fall on me. I felt the introduction was a little confusing and I think this could possible change at the beginning I didn't have a clue what was going on. Usually in shows act two is slightly better than act one, however I felt with this show act one was stronger the act two. I think that the show could possibly be cut by 10 or 15 minutes by taking out the songs 'Shriner Ballet' and 'Spanish Rose' as I thought these songs didn't really have a point. I think this show may need to be in a slightly bigger theatre as my main problem with the show is that the theatre is too small for what they are trying to achieve. Apart from those problems for a pub theatre show this was brilliant and would recommend it to anybody who wants to see a great show Off-West End.

The featured star of Bye Bye Birdie is, drum roll please… ABIGAIL MATTHEWS!


Abigail had an incredible voice. At first I couldn't decide who I should pick; Liberty or Abigail but in the end decided to go with Abigail as she had a remarkable voice and I hope to see her in the West End soon.

Now for my final verdict on Bye Bye Birdie. I give Bye Bye Birdie… 


I don't visit pub theatres that often, but after seeing what great shows you can see at pub theatres I am going to try and go more often.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Who's Tommy.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review: The Trial

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Trial.
I was a bit nervous to see this because my Dad kept on telling me that he'd read the book and it was boring as hell. I am very glad to say he was wrong. I loved The Trial! I read a review on London Theatre Guide saying that The Trial is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I have to say that I like marmite. The show is 2 hours without an interval and Rory Kinnear stays onstage the whole time. These 2 hours really show off his amazing talents. You're not going to believe this, but the stage was a conveyor belt! Every time they had a scene change the old set would disappear and a new set would come out. I found this a very clever way of doing set changes. The sets were all very good. Excluding Rory Kinnear, the actors played several roles each but with different costumes, makeup and voices I literally thought they were different people. The storyline for those interested is: K. lives a waking nightmare. Visited at home by state agents on his birthday, accused of an unspecified crime, K. is bewildered by spiralling layers of bureaucracy – and the more sinister motives which lurk beneath them. From my perspective, the point of the story was everyone is guilty and everyone is watching. The play is so captivating, I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. The great cast included Rory Kinnear as Josef K, Kate O'Flynn as Tiffany, Female Guard, Rosa, Chastity, Cherry and Girl, Hugh Skinner as Kyle and Block, Sian Thomas as Mrs. Grace and Doctor, Marc Antolin as Law Student and Flogger, Steven Beard as Uncle Albert and Magistrate, Richard Cant as Male Guard, Assistant and Tudor, Sarah Crowden as Mrs. Barrow and Information Officer, Charlie Folorunsho as Bank Clerk and Defendant in Tattooist, Neil Haigh as Bank Clerk and Defendant in Information Office, Suzy King as Bank Clerk, Faye and Phone Voice and Weruche Opia as Comptroller, Bank Clerk and Defendant. Something that I thought was very clever was that there were several lines that they repeated, but in different contexts. My friend who came and saw the show seemed to find the plot a bit difficult to follow. I understood mostly everything, but just so there's no confusions perhaps they could've made some scenes clearer. I feel there were some parts about the play that seemed a little pointless so perhaps they should take those bits out and just shorten the play by about 15 minutes. Overall I am very glad I saw this show and was very happy to have seen Rory Kinnear live onstage.

The featured star of The Trial is, drum roll please… RORY KINNEAR!


I couldn't believe he had managed to stay onstage for the whole of 2 hours. It looked like such hard work but this play really does showcase Rory's great talents.

Now for my final verdict on The Trial. I give The Trial… 


If you are a Franz Kafka or Rory Kinnear fan I would definitely recommend seeing this show before it ends on August 22! 

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 Bye Bye Birdie.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Review: Calamity Jane

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Calamity Jane.
I had tickets booked for The Trial last night and wasn't too sure what to do during the day so I decided to get standby seats for Calamity Jane. I was very pleased I did because this show was MAGNIFICENT! It was one of the best things at Richmond Theatre this year. The music is great. There was one particular song 'Careless With the Truth' which has been stuck in my head ever since I left the theatre. All the songs were very well written and are all very catchy. The cast were spectacular. The cast played their own instruments and it was very clear there were some very talented musicians within the cast. The cast included Jodie Prenger as Calamity Jane, Tom Lister as Wild Bill Hickock, Alex Hammond as Danny Gilmartin, Sophia Ragavelas as Katie Brown, Anthony Dunn as Henry Miller, Sioned Saunders as Susan and Bobby Delaney as Francis Flyer. There was not a single weak link throughout the whole cast. All the cast had great comic timing, especially Tom Lister. The way they used the set was very clever, for example they used a piano and some whips to make a horse and carriage with the help of some coconuts to create the sound. The storyline for those interested is: In the wild-west outpost of Deadwood City, 1876, we find the sharpshooting tomboy, Calamity Jane surrounded by cowboys, townsfolk, and the famous Wild Bill Hickok. After a mix-up in the talent pool at Deadwood's saloon-theatre, Calam goes to Chicago to import to Deadwood the glamorous actress, Adelaid Adams, but returns by mistake with her maid, Katie Brown instead. The choreography and costumes were also very good, with the costumes being very realistic to what they would've worn back in 1867. I also felt it was very well casted, particularly Jodie Prenger. The only thing that could use a bit of work is the accents that occasionally slipped out and also were sometimes hard to understand. Overall I loved this show and hope to see it again some day.

The featured star of Calamity Jane is, drum roll please… JODIE PRENGER!


Jodie was amazing in this role! I saw her 6 years ago in her role as Nancy in 'Oliver!' and she is just as amazing as she was 6 years ago. Her voice is absolutely astonishing! I hope to see her in a show again soon.

Now for my final verdict on Calamity Jane. I give Calamity Jane… 


Sadly Calamity Jane is only on till the 8th August and then ends it's tour. I beg everyone to go and see it before it ends as this is an amazing production.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Trial.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now finished touring.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: Romeo and Juliet

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Romeo and Juliet.
Funnily enough, I knew the story of Romeo and Juliet really well and yet had never seen it live. I was really happy I got to see it as it was absolutely stunning. It was the best play I have seen in ages. The actors were extraordinary! The amazing cast included Samuel Valentine as Romeo, Cassie Layton as Juliet, Tom Kanji as Friar Laurence and Benvolio, Steffan Donnelly as Mercutio, Prince Escalus and The Apothecary, Sarah Higgins as The Nurse, Lady Montague and Balthasar, Matt Doherty as Tybalt, Montague, Paris and Peter, Steven Elder as Capulet and Friar John and Hannah McPake as Lady Capulet and The Chorus. It was very well casted. They added some music to the show which I thought was a great addition to the play. I thought Samuel Valentine and Cassie Layton as Romeo and Juliet had great chemistry and were a very believable couple. The scenes were so captivating and intense. I felt like I was transported back to 1300's Verona. At the point in the play where Juliet pretends to be dead, Cassie was incredible. She stayed so still and lifeless, it was quite scary to witness. The staging was also very good and I thought the fight scenes were very well choreographed. I also found certain parts throughout the show to be very funny. It's a spectacular show, but I think there is one thing they could possibly change. The actors portray two or three characters each and this got quite confusing at bits. For me the most confusing was that at times I thought Tybalt, Montague, Paris and Peter were all the same character. Perhaps they should have a bigger costume change or add more makeup. *SPOILER ALERT* At the end of act two Tybalt is killed by Romeo but my Mum actually thought it was Count Paris that had been killed. Apart from that one small thing this show is stunning and I guarantee that anyone who sees this show will have their socks blown off.

The featured star of Romeo Juliet is, drum roll please… CASSIE LAYTON!


This was such a hard choice. The whole cast were so good. At one point I did think about giving everyone a joint-featured star but then decided to stick to my only one person can have featured star rule. Cassie was astonishing in this role, she was born for this role! I was so glad I got to see her do this role and hope to see her performing in the theatre again soon.

Now for my final verdict on Romeo and Juliet. I give Romeo and Juliet… 


Romeo and Juliet is finishing it's tour in Glasgow and will be there from 4-8th August, so what are you waiting for? Run and get your tickets NOW!

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Calamity Jane.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now finished touring.