Monday, 20 February 2017

Review: The Kite Runner

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Kite Runner.
I went to this play having little to no knowledge of it beforehand, only knowing that it was set in Afghanistan. I had no clue what I was in for! It is a really gripping play, that is very emotional and heartbreaking. The show takes us on an emotional roller-coaster, where it seemed to have one sad thing after another (don't worry about that though, there are moments of happiness). Despite it being a really sad show, it is absolutely thrilling to watch! It's a really inspiring tale and delivers some very true to life messages, one being that some of the foolish decisions that are made as children help to form the adult. I know several instances of this with people I know. The main character Amir, makes some very bad mistakes as a child but it is truly inspiring how as an adult he picks himself up and puts all the wrong he had done right again. Some mistakes were too late to fix, but there were still chances for him to, as the play says, "become good again". The show doesn't have a 'fairytale ending', but it ends on a somewhat happier note than the rest of the play had been which worked well I thought. It leaves the audience wanting more and their minds are wondering as to what will happen to the characters. The cast were absolutely phenomenal! A very strong group of actors have been assembled for the show and there are no weak links. They are all able to portray fascinating characteristics, with some actors even with double roles. The cast gelled fantastically well together. Cast members who stood out were Ben Turner as Amir, Andrei Costin as Hassan and Sohrab, Nicholas Karimi as Assef and Emilio Doorgasingh as Baba. The lighting and costume design was great and serviced the show well. The set design was minimal, but this does not make the show inferior in the slightest. Though this minimal set, it was able to transport the audience into many different locations. The show comes across as being very well directed by Giles Croft, which adds to the shows success.

The featured star of The Kite Runner is, drum roll please... BEN TURNER!

Ben is stunning in the role of Amir. The character changes a lot throughout the show and faces many struggles which is excellently conveyed by Ben. So much happens to Amir throughout the show and Ben has no weak points during any of it!

Now for my final verdict on The Kite Runner. I give The Kite Runner...

I give this rating because it was a show that deeply touched my heart, which is something I haven't experienced with a show for a while. I was at the edge of my seat throughout and could not tell what would happen next.

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

Thanks for reading!

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Wild Party

-The Reviewer

Friday, 17 February 2017

Review: Early Adventures

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Early Adventures. 
I was kindly treated out to Richmond Theatre by a family friend to see this show, so beforehand I had no clue what type of show I was seeing, which was the same for my friend. It began and I soon realised it was a dance show, which was unexpected, but enjoyable nevertheless! I don't think I've been to fully danced show since around 2011. Early Adventures is brilliant, it features the best dancing I have seen in a while. The show features a team of top-quality dancers who excellently carry out the choreography. I liked the scene changes, as it helped to keep the show fresh and interesting. There are four sets and I thought each of them worked very well, as did the lighting and costume design. I particularly liked the use of puppetry during 'Town', which brought a lot of fun to the show. The best sequence of dances was during 'The Infernal Gallop', as it had the best choreography and had elements of a story. I found this part to be the most exciting of the show. The main point of the show is its excellent dancing, so if you are a fan of dance I would highly recommend this, as the group of dancers in this show are phenomenal! Sadly, I feel the show started off a little bit weak, as 'Watch With Mother' didn't have any choreography that was particularly stunning. That sequence isn't bad, it just isn't as great as what is yet to come in the rest of the show. My other negative is a tiny nitpick and not even really about the show, but I wasn't a fan of that the intervals totalled at half an hour. There are two intervals, each being 15 minutes. I understand that set changes have to be done, but I feel that 10 minute intervals would have been a better idea, as that would've cut the running time of the show.

The featured star of Early Adventures is, drum roll please... MARI KAMATA!

This was a hard decision to make, as all of the dancers were excellent and they were all on an equal parr, but I if I had to choose I thought Mari stood out the most. She is an exceptional dancer!

Now for my final verdict of Early Adventures. I give Early Adventures...

I give this rating because it was something that was really different to what I usually see, which was a nice surprise. It's not quite a 5 star, but it still shows off some of the best dancing I have ever seen.

Think it should've got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should've got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing The Kite Runner.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Basic Theatre Awards 2016/17

Hey readers!
I am happy to finally announce that The Basic Theatre Awards will be returning! *excited squee* It really does not seem that long ago since I first launched the awards last year. Time certainly does fly! 2016 was a great year for shows and I was able to see some wonderful shows, some of which were in New York. It also amazes me that I reached my 2 year anniversary of the blog over a week ago. I will be posting the nominees on my Twitter account (@TheReviewer23), so hopefully you will have a rough idea of who you are planning to vote for.

Do not miss your chance to vote! Last year I reached 100 votes so I am hoping to top that. If there is an actor or show you would like to win then please, please, please spread the word! If there is a category you wish not to vote in, just leave it empty. Here is the link to vote:

Good luck to all of those nominated and may the best actors, actresses and shows win!

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Early Adventures.

-The Reviewer

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review: The Mousetrap

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Mousetrap.
This amazing play has been running for 65 years-the longest running production in all the world. It is even older than my Mum is! I've always wanted to see it, but for some reason I never did. Finally, I was able to change that on Saturday evening (sorry if I'm a little bit late to the party!). This is an experience that everyone needs to see at least once. It's up there with all the top tourist attractions (having said that, this is a lot better than the majority of tourist attractions). The show follows a 'whodunnit' premise, keeping tension, suspense & mystery through the entire show. Personally, I love solving things, so I really enjoyed attempting to work out who the murderer was. It's fascinating to watch the show slowly unwind. To keep the tradition, I won't post who did do it, but I will say I did have my suspicions about the person who ended up being the murderer. Having said that, I feel it could have gone any which way. As they say, "suspect everyone". One aspect of the show which I didn't expect to be so good was the set design. I adored the set design and I thought it was one of the best I have seen in ages. Clearly a lot of detail was put into it, I was very impressed. I also liked both the costume and lighting design. The show has been going for such a long time, and yet I didn't find it to be dated in the slightest. If I'm honest, there are newer shows which come across as more dated than this! The show has a fantastic cast which I think helps to keep the show "fresh". The St. Martin's theatre was one of the two West End theatre's I had never been to (the other being the Ambassadors Theatre). The theatre was lovely and was reminiscent of a museum, due to having certain features of the show's long run around the theatre. It was amazing to have finally seen this show and I'm glad I can finally cross it off my list!

The featured star of The Mousetrap is, drum roll please... SIMON HAINES!

This was a tough choice, as I thought that all of the cast were wonderful, but Simon stood out the most. He seemed to have the most depth to his character and it seemed like Simon had put a lot of work into the character.

Now for my final verdict on The Mousetrap. I give The Mousetrap...

I give this rating because, it's not quite a 5 star, it however does not fail to thrill and I had a blast!

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

Join me next time when I will have a big announcement for the blog!

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Monday, 13 February 2017

Review: Nice Fish

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Nice Fish.
As some of you may have read in my review of Half a Sixpence, my American friend @BroadwayBobNYC came to visit and he is a huge Mark Rylance fan so he did not want to miss this. Sadly though, I didn't feel this show 'worked'. I felt that there wasn't enough of a storyline for an hour and a half play, so it left me wanting a lot more. Don't get me wrong, there were some good bits in the show, but I felt bored in quite a few places throughout the show. It didn't seem like I could get my teeth into the storyline. This may be enjoyed by some, but Nice Fish failed to interest me. The show features elements of philosophy, but sadly there weren't  any parts that really gave me a lot to think about, nor did I think there was a meaningful message that I took away. The show originated in America, where I hear it did well and I can see why; the show is set in Minnesota and makes many references to the state. The show came across as being very American, and that's why I'm not sure it is suited for the London stage. Sure, there are some American themed shows which I think will work well here (Hamilton), but there are some which I think are better suited to a certain audience with a different sense of humour. I have no doubt this play will be liked by many, it just wasn't my type of show. I did think the acting was excellent. The show featured Mark Rylance as Ron, Jim Lichtscheidl as Erik, Raye Birk as Wayne, Kayli Carter as Flo and Bob Davis as The DNR Man. They are all perfect for their roles and give superb performances. The lighting design was amazing. The show uses blackouts to differentiate between scenes and this is extremely effective. The blackouts would only be a few seconds, and yet the actors will have changed places and the set will have moved in perfect timing. It was incredible! I loved the use of puppetry, especially when they used it before the show. Finally, I also really liked the final scene and the way it was carried out. It was tough to write this review, but as I say, it may not have been a bad play, it just wasn't to my liking.

The featured star of Nice Fish is, drum roll please... MARK RYLANCE!

Mark Rylance is so perfect for this role. His character lacks intelligence and he portrays this extremely well. His comic timing is always on-point. I've heard so much about his stage appearances, so it's great to finally witness one.

Now for my final verdict on Nice Fish. I give Nice Fish...

I give this rating because even though it wasn't my cup of tea, I thought the acting, lighting design and puppetry were great!

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

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

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Half a Sixpence

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Half a Sixpence.
My American friend @BroadwayBobNYC came to London last week really hoping to see some West End shows. He made a list of what he wanted to see and at the top was Half a Sixpence! I accompanied him to the show and we both adored this musical. It's a really fun show! After the long week I'd had, it was the perfect show to lift my spirits. It's a show that has a lot of heart, which I think will be great for all ages. The show has many wonderful aspects, one being it's wonderful score, which I believe for the majority was written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. My favourite song from the show is 'You Never Get Anything Right', which I haven't been able to get out of my head. The music is excellently carried out by a fantastic orchestra. The choreography by Andrew Wright is definitely the strongest point of the show, especially during the song 'Pick Out a Simple Tune'. During this same song, props such as spoons are used as musical instruments which is done amazingly. It really worked well for the song! I was also a fan of the costumes, which were very good for the era the show was portraying. The show uses a revolving set, which I think was brilliant and was very suited to the show. Cast members who stood out were Sam O'Rourke who was understudying as Arthur Kipps, Ian Bartholomew as Chitterlow, Devon-Elise Johnson as Ann Pornick and Jennifer Louise Jones who was understudying as Helen Walsingham. I really loved seeing how the story unfolded and it was so interesting to see how the characters develop throughout the show, especially Arthur. As I mentioned, there were two understudies playing the night I went and they were both phenomenal. I would not have known that they were understudies. I thought act two was a lot better than act one, as it featured a lot more "wow moments". The only negative thing I have to say about the show is that I feel it got off to a little bit of a weak beginning. As there are some really spectacular production numbers throughout the whole show, I was just a little disappointed they didn't have a better first 20 minutes. That's only a nitpick though as the show is excellent. 

The featured star of Half a Sixpence is, drum roll please... SAM O'ROURKE!

Gary is outstanding as Arthur! I know I always talk a lot about how amazing understudies are, but this performance was sensational. Gary does everything right, a phenomenal actor, a phenomenal singer and a phenomenal dancer. He is perfection in this role.

Now for my final verdict on Half a Sixpence. I give Half a Sixpence...

I give this rating because it's so much fun, and as I said, it was just what I needed after a long week! It doesn't get my top rating, due to the beginning being a little weak, but it is still exceptional. 

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so, comment below.

Join me next time when I will be reviewing Nice Fish.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer