Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Review: Photograph 51

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Photograph 51.
I had seen a few of Michael Grandage's productions in the past, Peter and Alice, The Cripple of Inishmaan and A Midsummer Night's Dream, so I knew this show would be great and I was not wrong. This is a very interesting play. The synopsis is: Does Rosalind Franklin know how precious her photograph is? In the race to unlock the secret of life it could be the one to hold the key. With rival scientists looking everywhere for the answer, who will be first to see it and more importantly, understand it? Anna Ziegler's play looks at the woman who cracked DNA and asks what is sacrificed in the pursuit of science, love and a place in history. I felt the show really sent an interesting message about how there is a lot of sexism in science, especially in the 50s. The cast were amazing and really gelled well together. The cast included Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Campbell Moore as Maurice Wilkins, Joshua Silver as Ray Gosling, Edward Bennet as Francis Crick, Will Attenborough as James Watson, Patrick Kennedy as Don Caspar. Casting director Anne McNulty really knew what she was doing. I found the set, lighting and costumes all to be amazing. The way they used the stage was great. I did not know about Rosalind Franklin's contributions to science before so this show is a great history and science lesson. However I do feel there is something I would change. Towards the end of the play *SPOILER ALERT* Rosalind becomes unwell and if this were a normal play I would have been crying, however I didn't. I don't know if this was down to the playwright, the director or Nicole Kidman but they were trying to make the audience feel sorry for this character at the end, but they seem to have done it the wrong way. Nevertheless I think this is a great show and I recommend it any fan of Nicole Kidman.

The featured star of Photograph 51 is, drum roll please… NICOLE KIDMAN!


Nicole had so much charisma onstage, she suited this role so well. This role isn't as meaty as the others, but Nicole turned that around and showed us her professionalism. 

Now for my final verdict on Photograph 51, I give Photograph 51… 


Photograph 51 has two months left in the West End, so catch it while you can!

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 Ticking.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Jesus Christ Superstar.
I have been waiting a long time to see this and I was certainly not disappointed. The music and lyrics, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, are absolutely stunning. I know some people may disagree, but I actually think this is Andrew Lloyd Webber's best musical (yes, even better than 'The Phantom of the Opera'). The set design couldn't have been better, it was magnificent. The superb cast included Glenn Carter as Jesus Christ, Tim Rogers as Judas Iscariot, Rachel Adedeji as Mary Magdalene, Johnathan Tweedie as Pontius Pilate, Cavin Cornwall as Caiaphas, Alistair Lee as Annas, Edward Handoll as Peter, Kristofer Harding as Simon Zealotes and Tom Gilling as King Herod. It was very well casted and Glenn Carter was a complete pleasure to watch. The show was so gripping, I was sitting at the edge of my seat throughout the whole show. Rachel Adedeji gives a powerful performance, with her amazing vocals really showing during the song 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'. It was really funny seeing her in this show after watching her on X Factor in 2009 and I hope to see her in another show again soon. I also thought Johnathan Tweedie had a very nice voice and that Tom Gilling had great comic timing. I felt the lighting was exceptionally well done. The orchestra were also excellent, especially the keyboard, guitar and drums. Cavin Cornwall had the perfect voice for Caiaphas and I heard many people at the interval discussing how good his voice was. There is absolutely no way to fault this amazing show and if this show is coming to a venue near you, I encourage you to leave your computers now and run to the theatre.

The featured star of Jesus Christ Superstar is, drum roll please… GLENN CARTER!


With so many good cast members this was a hard decision, but for me Glenn stole the show. His voice is outstanding and he was so believable in the role I forgot I was in a theatre and felt I was with the real Jesus Christ.

Now for my final verdict on Jesus Christ Superstar. I give Jesus Christ Superstar… 


I think the West End definitely needs a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar so I really hope to see this show again in the West End soon.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Photograph 51.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Review: The Rocky Horror Show

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Rocky Horror Show.
I had never been to The Rocky Horror Show before, so this was certainly an experience. The music, composed by Richard O'Brien, is amazing! My favourite song is 'The Time Warp'. The show was very well casted. Cast members who stood out for me were David Bedella as Frank N. Furter, Ben Forster as Brad Majors, Haley Flaherty as Janet Weiss, Richard O'Brien as The Narrator, Jayde Westaby as Magenta and Usherette, Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff and Richard Meek as Dr. Everett V. Scott and Eddie. Richard O'Brien, to my surprise, had a really, really nice singing voice. I had never heard him sing before so that was a nice surprise. I thought Ben and Haley were well matched as they had great chemistry. I really felt the show transported all the audience back to the 1970s. I also thought the costumes are great. This is a show that is absolutely timeless. I have to admit though, I really wasn't very keen on act one. I was really bored during act one but luckily act two livened up tremendously and was great fun. The storyline for those that don't know The Rocky Horror Show is: Brad and Jane find themselves at the mercy of Dr Frank N. Furter, a 'sweet transvestite' who shares his latest creation and gives them a night they'll never forget. One thing that I found a little bit off-putting was that several audience members were yelling stuff to the actors during the show. I'm not too sure if that's supposed to be a gimmick that the audience yell out stuff but I just found it really irritating. Apart from that I think this is a fun, exciting show and I hope to see the show again when it tours.

The featured star of The Rocky Horror Show is, drum roll please… DAVID BEDELLA!


This was a really hard decision for me and at one point I was going to give featured star to Ben, but David was just so phenomenal onstage I had to give him featured star. His performance was captivating. I hope I see him in this role again. I also just wanted to say a quick belated happy birthday to him! 

Now for my final verdict on The Rocky Horror Show. I give The Rocky Horror Show… 


After act one I was only going to give this show three stars but thanks to act two the show was upgraded to 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 Jesus Christ Superstar.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

*Please note this show has now closed.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Importance of Being Earnest.
I thought I was seeing The Importance of Being Earnest, I ended up seeing a play about a group of people performing The Importance of Being Earnest. They have turned the original play into a show about an amateur dramatic theatre group trying to put on the show, in a kind of 'The Play That Goes Wrong' way. Sadly though The Importance of Being Earnest + The Play That Goes Wrong = one of the worst shows I have ever seen. I have heard that The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the best plays ever written, so why on earth would they change it? The characters are portrayed by actors in their 50s-70s which doesn't really work well. For me the 4 lead roles should be played by actors in their 20s. There were some really cheesy lines when they were preparing to put on the play just for cheap laughs. I don't think this 'idea' of a group of older actors putting on this famous play works and I also didn't think the play was very well directed. There were some people in the audience who were laughing their heads off, and I felt like saying "What is there to find funny?" It did not appeal to me at all. My Mum begged for us to leave at half time but I wanted to stay so I could do a review. I was hoping to see The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet in the West End but this production of the show has put me off seeing the play again. Anyway, moving onto the good points, I thought the actors were very, very good. The cast included Martin Jarvis as Tony, Nigel Havers as Dicky, Carmen Du Sautoy as Maria, Christine Kavanagh as Ellen, Siân Phillips as Lavinia, Rosalind Ayres as Wendy, David Shaw-Parker as Fergus and Nigel Anthony as George. I find it such a shame these talented actors are wasted on this awful production. I thought the set and costumes were good. I found act two to be a little bit better than act one but it still wasn't perfection.

The featured star of The Importance of Being Earnest is, drum roll please… NIGEL HAVERS!


This was a hard decision for me as at one point I was going to give featured star to Martin Jarvis but in the end decided to go with Nigel Havers. He showed a good range of acting and I feel he is wasted in this show.

Now for my final verdict on The Importance of Being Earnest. I give The Importance of Being Earnest… 


I was originally going to give this show two stars, but the fantastic actors in this show have managed to save it.

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 Rocky Horror Show.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Review: Matilda the Musical

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Matilda the Musical.
I was thrilled about seeing Matilda as from 2012-2013 I saw the show 7 times. I however haven't seen it in two years so to see it again after those years was really funny. The girl playing Matilda, Anna-Louise Knight, was by far the best Matilda I have ever seen. She was an outstanding actor, singer and dancing. For me she carried the show. I was not keen on 2/3 of the cast, which I will talk about later, so for me Anna-Louise was the star of the show. I think the set and choreography are both incredible, as is Tim Minchin's music. For those that don't know the story of Matilda here it is: Matilda is a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life. I think the show sends a great message across about how you should stand up for what's right, no matter how small you are. Cast members who stood out for me were Anna-Louise Knight as Matilda Wormwood, Craige Els as Miss. Agatha Trunchball, Charlotte Scott who was understudying as Miss. Jennifer Honey last night, Will Kenning as Sergei and Children's Entertainer and Jason Winter as Rudolpho. Craig had superb comic timing and Jason was an amazing dancer. The show is also very funny in places. I sadly think though that Matilda is slowly burning out. They seem to be running out of child actors as last night they had actors who were playing 5 year olds but they looked much older. I realise they can't get real 5 year olds, but at least kids who look young. The casting of James Clyde and Kay Murphy as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood would not have been my choice. James kept on overacting so badly that every time he spoke I cringed. Kay didn't project her voice too much as I was in the third row of the stalls and sometimes struggled to hear her. I can't imagine what it was like for everyone in the upper-circle. Also during the song 'Loud' Kay was really out of time with her dancing, but this perhaps wouldn't have been so noticeable if Jason hadn't been as good as a dancer as he was. One final problem was that both Mrs. Wormwood and Michael Wormwood's wigs didn't seem to fit properly. For some reason Matilda didn't have the same spark as it had two years ago and should perhaps it has run it's course.

The featured star of Matilda the Musical is, drum roll please… ANNA-LOUISE KNIGHT!


As I said before, I really feel Anna-Louise pulled the show together. Unlike Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, she was casted perfectly so kudos to Jessica Ronane for casting Anna-Louise. She has a bright future ahead of her!

Now for my final verdict on Matilda the Musical. I give Matilda the Musical… 


Matilda the Musical is still a very good and clever show, even if some of the cast aren't perfection.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Importance of Being Earnest.

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

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

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

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Review: Kinky Boots

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Kinky Boots.
WOW! Just WOW! This show was spectacular. I knew it would be a good show, but I didn't realise how good. Inspired by a true story and based on the Miramax film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price who has reluctantly inherited his father's Northampton shoe factory. Trying to live up to his father's legacy and save the family business from bankruptcy, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he's meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discover that when you change your mind, you can change the world. The show sent a really good message across about accepting people for who they are. The songs were brilliant with a lot of them being very catchy. Earlier today I had 'The Most Beautiful Thing' stuck on my brain. Composer Cyndi Lauper has done a great job. Jerry Mitchell has also done a smashing job with directing and choreographing. The costume designs were amazing, especially the 'Kinky Boots'. There was no weak link within the cast, they all gelled so well together. Cast members who stood out for me were Killian Donnelly as Charlie Price, Matt Henry as Lola/Simon, Amy Lennox as Lauren, Jamie Baughan as Don, Michael Hobbs as George and Jeremy Batt, Arun Blair-Mangat, Marcus Collins, Luke Jackson, Adam Lake and Javier Santos as the Angels. It was nice surprise to see Marcus Collins was in the cast as I am a big X Factor fan. The show was very moving and very funny. The only thing I would change is that in one scene Charlie asks his friend Harry to help him and Harry says yes, but then Harry disappears and there is no mention of him whatsoever. I would probably take Harry's scene out as it is a bit of a waste of time. Overall this show is good all-round family entertainment and I really recommend this show as it is currently one of the best West End musicals.

The featured star of Kinky Boots is, drum roll please… KILLIAN DONNELLY!


This was a such a hard decision for me. Originally I was going to give featured star to Matt Henry but after hearing Killian singing 'Soul of a Man' it would've been a crime not to give him featured star. He is acting was extraordinary and his singing was incredible. I'm so glad I got to see Killian in this role and he gives the show his all.

Now for my final verdict in Kinky Boots. I give Kinky Boots… 


I have a feeling this is a show that will be very successful. I hope I will be seeing the show again soon.

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

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Matilda the Musical.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer