• Sondheim's Follies is a monster hit at the National Theatre
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Follies at the National

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Follies at the National

What do you need to know about Dominic Cooke’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre? It’s a great big, sumptuous, stellar hit.

I was lucky enough to see a preview myself this past weekend – standing ovation – and give a surprisingly alert-looking Dominic a hug afterwards. Any nerves he may have […]

  • Clockwise from top left: Mrs Orwell, Salad Days, Boom and King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe
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    My (non-Edinburgh) theatre diary: Salad Days, Mrs Orwell, Boom and Cowboy Rufus

My (non-Edinburgh) theatre diary: Salad Days, Mrs Orwell, Boom and Cowboy Rufus

It’s not just umbrella festival programmes, as I blogged earlier, that keep myself and other London theatregoers busy in August. Here’s a round-up of some of the other plays and musicals I’ve seen recently that are worth a look. Get booking if any tickle your fancy – all are limited seasons finishing in the […]

From Page to Stage Q&A podcast and photos: How is the international scene changing for new musicals?

Two years ago, I chaired the opening night discussion at the third annual From Page to Stage festival of new musicals founded by Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson. The central question on that occasion was “are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?” And the central answer was no. Amongst the suggestions made by the audience […]

  • Sheila Atim & Shirley Henderson in Girl from the North Country; Ilan Galkoff and The Diary of Adrian Mole cast
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    Musicals diary: Spoonful of Sherman, Adrian Mole, Girl from the North Country

Musicals diary: Spoonful of Sherman, Adrian Mole, Girl from the North Country

Most of nights last week was devoted to just one play, Preethi Nair’s Sari: The Whole Five Yards, which I’m trying to help find a future life. But I have managed a few memorable evenings over the past fortnight that I can also recommend: Bob Dylan-inspired Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic, […]

  • Discussing the creation of new British musical Superhero at post-show Q&A at Southwark Playhouse. © Anthony Kelly
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    Q&A podcast and photos: How new British one-man musical Superhero took flight

Q&A podcast and photos: How new British one-man musical Superhero took flight

How many creatives does it take to make a one-man musical? The answer can be “quite a few”. And that it is in the case of SUPERHERO, the British one-man – or rather “one-dad” – musical now receiving its world premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

At a post-show Q&A I chaired after last night’s performance, I was joined […]

  • My theatre diary w/c Sunday 25 June 2017: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Hamlet, The Quentin Dentin Show, West End Live
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    My theatre diary: West End Live, Lady Day, Hamlet and Quentin Dentin

My theatre diary: West End Live, Lady Day, Hamlet and Quentin Dentin

My theatre week last week started and ended with musicals.

My partner Peter and I rushed back from our – rather too work-filled – fortnight in Mallorca just in time for West End Live. It’s incredible how much this free, two-day event has grown in its 13-year history. Having started out with a handful of […]

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    Q&A photos and podcast: Swinging Sixties-style with new musical Pete ‘n’ Keely

Q&A photos and podcast: Swinging Sixties-style with new musical Pete ‘n’ Keely

A string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. James Hindman’s 2000 Off-Broadway musical two-hander Pete ‘n’ Keely gets its European premiere at Tristan Bates Theatre, where it’s now runs to 20 May 2017. The production, directed by Matthew Gould, stars David Bardsley and Katie Kerr as the […]

  • Clockwise from top: Guards at the Taj, Sea Fret, Junkyard and Waiting for God.
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    My theatre diary: Guards at the Taj, Junkyard, Waiting for God and Sea Fret

My theatre diary: Guards at the Taj, Junkyard, Waiting for God and Sea Fret

Here’s a round-up of productions I’ve seen it recent weeks which I haven’t already covered in Press Passes (do please dance your way as soon as you can into seeing both An American in Paris and 42nd Street in the West End) or other blogs. What do all four of these have in common? […]

  • The Life at Southwark Playhouse until 29 April 2017
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    What if The Life characters met their peers in Guys & Dolls & 42nd Street?

What if The Life characters met their peers in Guys & Dolls & 42nd Street?

One little postcode in New York City has been attracting a lot of stage real estate in London in recent years: the blocks around Times Square. The area is, of course, well known to theatre lovers around the globe as Broadway – both the physical street and the wider showbiz environment it encapsulates – […]

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    Photos, video & podcast: Creating a musical out of wartime prejudice in Miss Nightingale

Photos, video & podcast: Creating a musical out of wartime prejudice in Miss Nightingale

What a great way to get the Bank Holiday weekend off with a swing. Last night, I hosted a post-show Q&A at MISS NIGHTINGALE. This original British musical is now in its sixth iteration – musicals, as Sondheim says, aren’t written but re-written – since starting life as a short piece in Ipswich and […]

  • Carousel at the London Coliseum
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Alfie Boe & Katherine Jenkins in Carousel

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Alfie Boe & Katherine Jenkins in Carousel

After successes with Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd, English National Opera continues its annual headline-grabbing foray into musical theatre with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel.

As with the previous ENO musicals of the past two years, this production is produced by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade (who are also behind the current big-budget production of another Broadway classic, […]

  • The cast of 42nd Street. © Brinkhoff & Mogenburg
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about 42nd Street (and Kate Middleton!)

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about 42nd Street (and Kate Middleton!)

The second massive New York import in less than a month, 42nd Street brought its lullaby of Broadway to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane last night. In addition to their transatlantic journeys, An American in Paris and 42nd Street are both dance-based shows – with big budgets (£8 million is the word on the latter), huge casts […]

  • Joanna Riding in The Girls; Dominic Rowan and Tracy-Ann Oberman in Stepping Out
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    Bra-waving, toe-tapping and female solidarity: The Girls and Stepping Out

Bra-waving, toe-tapping and female solidarity: The Girls and Stepping Out

If you’re seeking life affirmation, celebrations of female solidarity (of a quintessentially British variety) and general uplift, my two current West End recommendations that tick all three boxes are The Girls, Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s new musical adaptation of the story of the Calendar Girls from Yorkshire, and Maria Friedman’s revival of Richard […]

  • An American in Paris has burst onto the West End stage
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about An American in Paris

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about An American in Paris

Here’s what London is crying out for: an escape to Paris. And not the Paris of Marine Le Pen or any other modern foes and woes, but the sumptuous Hollywood Golden Age version now bursting into technicolour life onstage at the West End’s Dominion Theatre via New York and, yes, appropriately, Paris.

It’s a slew […]

Off-West End musicals diary: The Sorrows of Satan and The Wild Party

Not long left to see two Off-West End musicals I can recommend: The Wild Party at The Other Palace and The Sorrows of Satan at Tristan Bates Theatre.

The Wild Party has, of course, created waves not least for being the inaugural production of The Other Palace, the St James Theatre as was, given a quick […]

  • Lizzie post-show Q&A at Greenwich Theatre, 23 February 2017
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    Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

The American gothic rock musical LIZZIE, which is now receiving its UK premiere in a limited season at London’s Greenwich Theatre, opens and closes with a nursery rhyme I memorised in my own American youth about the real-life 19th century crime:
“Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she […]

  • The cast of The Girls includes Joanna Riding, James Gaddas, Claire Moore, Claire Machin, Sophie-Louise Dann and Debbie Chazen
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Gary Barlow & The Girls

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Gary Barlow & The Girls

In his review this morning, Michael Billington has – to borrow a phrase from Meat Loaf – taken the words right out of mouth. At last night’s West End premiere of The Girls, I was telling anyone within listening distance that, after already remarkable success as a film and a stage play (both also […]

  • Zoe Doano in Death Takes a Holiday. © Scott Rylander
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    Musicals diary: Death Takes a Holiday, Promises and Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Musicals diary: Death Takes a Holiday, Promises and Sorcerer’s Apprentice

A few thoughts on musical productions I’ve seen recently, with my on-the-night tweet thoughts further below.
Promises, Promises
Less than a week left to see this rarely seen Broadway musical – the first London production, in fact, since its 1969 West End premiere. I have fond memories of the Oscar-winning 1960 film The Apartment, which starred […]

  • Me and Mark Shenton in the middle with some of our amazing Awards volunteers: James Lawrence, Claire Ackling, Tina Foote and critic Kate Maltby
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    Behind-the-scenes: My Critics’ Circle Awards experience and Glenda Jackson crush

Behind-the-scenes: My Critics’ Circle Awards experience and Glenda Jackson crush

A year ago when blogging about the annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, my headline was “Critics’ Circle Award winners: Are they the only ones that make sense anymore?”

I didn’t know then that Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chair Mark Shenton would go on to ask me to produce these awards, nor that, in a moment […]

The power of the poetry in The Wild Party onstage

Stage shows based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem The Wild Party are like buses. Ahead of next month’s much-anticipated UK premiere of the Michael John LaChiusa’s musical version, directed by Drew McOnie and starring Frances Ruffelle at the re-branded Other Palace (currently the St James Theatre), comes this month’s two-hander performance care […]

  • Critics' Theatre 2016 highlights included: Harry Potter, Groundhog Day, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Yerma, King Lear, the all-female Shakespeare Trilogy and Iphigenia in Splott.
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    The list of lists: Was there a consensus on the best of #theatre2016?

The list of lists: Was there a consensus on the best of #theatre2016?

Last week I was more on schedule with rounding up lists of critics’ tips for the best theatre coming up this year. But in truth, as I’ve been organising the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards ceremony on 31 January, as well as working with My Theatre Mates’ to announce the Also Recognised shortlists soon after that, […]

The list of lists: The best theatre coming up in 2017

What are the hottest shows coming up this year? Based on the ones that are most likely to appear on top picks’ lists in my round-up of commentators’ round-ups, they are:

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Trump-tweeted hit Hamilton;
Ivo van Hove’s production of Obsession, starring Jude Law at the Barbican;
the New York transfer of The Glass Menagerie, directed by Harry […]

My top #theatre2016 plays, musicals & performances

Ahead of rounding up various publications #theatre2016 highlights, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my own theatregoing year and my favourite plays, musicals, performances and other events.

My lists are not in the least bit definitive: they represent only my personal opinions on the shows I’ve managed to see. There are two shows not […]

  • Coming up at the National in 2017: My Country, Ugly Lies the Bones, Twelfth Night and Angels in America.
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    How much have I been missing the National Theatre? 5 NT shows for 2017

How much have I been missing the National Theatre? 5 NT shows for 2017

The National Theatre used to be one of my favourite theatregoing destinations, but I’ve only been a handful of times in recent years. This hasn’t been an intentional omission on my part. When I left WhatsOnStage, I dropped off the NT’s opening night list (which is understandable), and with other commitments and financial restraints […]

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    Press pass: Everything you need to know about Amber Riley in Dreamgirls

Press pass: Everything you need to know about Amber Riley in Dreamgirls

It’s taken 35 years, but Broadway hit Dreamgirls, inspired by the story of The Supremes, finally received its West End premiere last night (14 December) at the Savoy Theatre. Was it worth the wait? Based on most overnight reviews, the answer is a – very very loud (possibly over-amplified) – YES!

And as for Glee […]

Musicals (in SE1 1RU) diary: She Loves Me and Muted

I have become even more spoilt for choice for theatre on my doorstep with the arrival of my SE1 neighborhood’s newest venue, The Bunker. This subterranean black box is so close to another one of my locals – the Menier Chocolate Factory – that it shares the same full postcode; it’s converted from an […]

  • Rachael Wooding and George Maguire in Another Night Before Christmas; Naomi Todd and Colette Eaton in Her Aching Heart
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    My musicals diary: Her Aching Heart and Another Night Before Christmas

My musicals diary: Her Aching Heart and Another Night Before Christmas

I saw two two-hander musical gems this past weekend: Her Aching Heart at the Hope Theatre in Islington and, on the opposite side of town, Another Night Before Christmas at the Bridge House Theatre in Penge. Though they’re on different ends of London’s north-south axis, these two lovely pub theatres have a lot in common, […]

  • The ensemble perform Elevator Song from WIGMAKER. New Songs 4 New Shows at the Lyric Theatre, 28 November 2016. © Scott Rylander
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    New Songs 4 New Shows: Douglas Hodge is one to watch (not just for his acting)

New Songs 4 New Shows: Douglas Hodge is one to watch (not just for his acting)

A new musical – especially one not based on a film and/or arrived from Broadway trailing Tony Awards – is always a risky proposition. One received way of establishing a level of recognition and excitement for a piece before it opens is to “get the music out there” first.

Technologically speaking, getting the music out […]

  • Lazarus AD Ricky Dukes, Sara Reimers and Michael Peavoy at The Beggar's Opera Q&A. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Nearly 300 years on, why does The Beggar’s Opera still resonate?

Photos and podcast: Nearly 300 years on, why does The Beggar’s Opera still resonate?

There’s something in the water with The Beggar’s Opera at the moment. Lazarus Theatre’s new, modern-dress, 80-minute version at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre is the third major London presentation of the story of womanising highwayman Macheath this year.

Dougal Irvine’s musical The Buskers Opera, set in post-Olympics London with a Boris Johnson-like mayor (premiered on the day […]

  • David Fynn and the West End cast of School of Rock. © Tristram Kenton
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    Press Pass: Everything you need to know about School of Rock The Musical

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about School of Rock The Musical

Here’s everything you need to know about last night’s West End premiere of School of Rock: The Musical in a nutshell: Andrew Lloyd Webber has a monster hit on his hands; the show is both a return to hit factory form for the Lord and also not at all what you’d expect from a Lord; […]

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    10 couples over 16 years: Looking back on The Last Five Years in photos

10 couples over 16 years: Looking back on The Last Five Years in photos

Update: Since first tweeting this morning, the response to this piece has been fantastic, and I’ve been alerted to more pairings. I’ve added one into the main list (taking my original 9 to 10) and am trying to include all others in the tweet list below as they come in. Tweet me @TerriPaddock if […]

Quirky musicals on my doorstep: Side Show and Moby Dick

The (new) Union Theatre and Southwark Playhouse are always a pleasure to visit – not least because both venues are practically on my doorstep, within a ten-minute walk. At the moment, they’re both showing quirky, seldom-seen musical revivals.
Moby Dick!

I lost track of the number of times that people told me Moby Dick! is “bonkers” on […]

  • Emma Hatton interviewed by Terri Paddock at Crazy Coqs, 13 October 2016
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    Photos and podcast: Coq-tales with Emma Hatton and Anna-Jane Casey

Photos and podcast: Coq-tales with Emma Hatton and Anna-Jane Casey

I’m delighted to be able to deputise for my friend and My Theatre Mates co-founder Mark Shenton for two dates of his weekly West End chat show in October. Coq-Tales and Conversations takes place each Thursday or Friday afternoon as part of the Live at Zedel season, programmed by renowned American composer Scott Alan, […]

Press Pass: Everything you need to know about Murder Ballad

As a vehicle for the combined – and considerable talents – of Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Norman Bowman, Murder Ballad is made to order.

In this sung-through rock musical, Hamilton-Barritt plays the jaded narrator (and some key ancillary characters) to the story of Ellis’ New Yorker Sara caught between her muscly and menacing ex-boyfriend […]

Podcast: Showcasing Caro Emerald and new musical That Man

That Man musical had two performances only at London’s Hippodrome Casino yesterday (20 September 2016) and, after the first one, I chaired a post-show discussion in front of an audience of industry guests to talk about the show’s journey to date and where it might go from here.

Yesterday’s presentation – though cast to the […]

  • Starting out as cheerleaders: Lauren Samuels, Ashleigh Gray and Lizzy Connolly in Vanities at Trafalgar Studios. © Pamela Raith
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    Cheerleaders get a bad rap: Vanities and four other musicals with pep

Cheerleaders get a bad rap: Vanities and four other musicals with pep

Starting out as cheerleaders: Lauren Samuels, Ashleigh Gray and Lizzy Connolly in Vanities at Trafalgar Studios. © Pamela Raith

Cheerleaders generally get a bad rap. When I went back to the States for my twenty-year high school reunion a few years ago, I witnessed first hand just how bad that rap can be.

There was a […]

  • Clockwise from top: Groundhog Day, Children of Eden and Allegro.
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    My musicals (and market) diary: Groundhog Day, Allegro, Children of Eden

My musicals (and market) diary: Groundhog Day, Allegro, Children of Eden

This instalment of my theatregoing recommendations could be called not just my musicals diary but my musicals-on-my-doorstep diary. All three shows – Children of Eden, Allegro and Groundhog Day – are playing at what I consider neighbourhood theatres, within five to ten minutes’ walk of my front door: Southwark Playhouse (more like two minutes), […]

  • Andy Karl stars as Phil Connors in endless repeats of Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
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    Press pass: First Groundhog Day reviews + Tim Minchin interviews & features

Press pass: First Groundhog Day reviews + Tim Minchin interviews & features

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Could the dream team behind multi award-winning, all-over-the-globe hit Matilda – director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell – possibly strike gold again with their very next musical? Judging by reactions of the first batch of reviews for Groundhog Day, the answer is a resounding […]

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    My musicals diary: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Go-Between, The Fix

My musicals diary: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Go-Between, The Fix

July was a big month for Q&As for me so I’ve been a little pre-occupied by follow-up blogs on those. But in addition to musicals I’ve hosted events at – I’m Getting My Act Together and Through the Mill, both of which have now completed their strictly limited runs at, respectively, Jermyn Street Theatre […]

  • Through The Mill Q&A. © Anthony Kelly
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    Photos and podcast: Going Through the Q&A Mill with three Judy Garlands

Photos and podcast: Going Through the Q&A Mill with three Judy Garlands

I first saw – and adored – Through the Mill when it premiered at the London Theatre Workshop (then above a pub in Fulham) last year. I was delighted when the show, which revolves around three pivotal periods in the life of Judy Garland, announced its transfer to the – much larger, more centrally […]

  • Landi Oshinowo, Nicholas Colicos and Rosanna Hyland at I'm Getting My At Together's post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: I’m Getting My Act Together with Landi Oshinowo and co

Photos and podcast: I’m Getting My Act Together with Landi Oshinowo and co

Last seen in London in 1981, when its premiere production ran at the West End’s Apollo Theatre after success Off-Broadway, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road has returned 35 years on for a limited season at Jermyn Street Theatre, where Landi Oshinowo takes on the role of pop star […]

  • Jade Ewen, Dean John-Wilson, Trevor Dion Nicholas and the cast of Aladdin. © Disney
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    Press pass: All the Aladdin reviews, the biggest star on the purple carpet + show trailer

Press pass: All the Aladdin reviews, the biggest star on the purple carpet + show trailer

The first-night bookers could never have imagined that the timing of Aladdin’s West End opening could feel so incongruous with what’s happening in the real world. For producers Disney themselves, it’s been a week of sadness and horror: a boy killed by an alligator at their resort in Orlando, Florida, where, of course, 49 […]

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    Manchester’s Menier is born: Look inside the new Hope Mill Theatre

Manchester’s Menier is born: Look inside the new Hope Mill Theatre

I’ve long been a fan of Katy Lipson at Aria Entertainment and have followed her fast-growing career with great interest. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to physically follow her to Manchester, where she’s recently branched out into venue programming and management with the team behind the city’s newest fringe venue, the Hope Mill Theatre. […]

  • Cast Lauren Samuels, Natasha Cottriall and Maimuna Memon at the post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Talking politics and musicals at The Buskers Opera

Photos and podcast: Talking politics and musicals at The Buskers Opera

The Buskers Opera, set during the London 2012 Olympics, is inspired by John Gay’s 1728 The Beggar’s Opera which, amongst other works, has also inspired Brecht’s 1928 piece The Threepenny Opera, revived later this month at the National Theatre.

But while the basic structure and characters are owed to Gay, the zany genius of The Buskers Opera […]

Mourning Show Boat: Why do great shows close early?

When the news came in late yesterday that, just a fortnight after opening, Show Boat had posted West End closing notices, I was both shocked and not the least bit surprised.

To be clear, Daniel Evans’ Sheffield Crucible production isn’t shuttering immediately at the New London Theatre, where it opened on Monday 25 April, following […]

Toxic treatment: 7 horror films that should be musicals

I’m not a great one for horror films: I scare way too easily. Even Shaun of the Dead gave me nightmares, and no, I’m not kidding about that.

I’ve never seen any of the original Troma cult classic screen incarnations of The Toxic Avenger, which launched in 1984, but I’m happy to report that the […]

  • Sheridan Smith and the Funny Girl company at the Savoy Theatre
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    Press Pass: All the (new) reviews and opening night news from West End Funny Girl

Press Pass: All the (new) reviews and opening night news from West End Funny Girl

Just a fortnight ago, bets were already being placed on Glenn Close to secure the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her commanding turn as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard – but I’d say all bets are off again. Sheridan Smith as asserted her claim to declare “I am the […]

  • Sunset Boulevard: Glenn Close with (l-r) Michael Xavier, Julian Forsyth and Xavier again
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    Press pass: All the reviews on Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond and Sunset Boulevard

Press pass: All the reviews on Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond and Sunset Boulevard

As I round up the overnight reviews of Sunset Boulevard, I can’t stop Norma Desmond’s signature diva song, “With One Look”, spooling round and round in my head. I have a feeling it may stay there for awhile.

On Sunday night, the Olivier Awards felt the absence of some of the artists involved in Sunset Boulevard […]

My frenetic night live-tweeting the 2016 #OlivierAwards

After my frustrated efforts to both attend and tweet from the Olivier Awards nominations announcement back in February, I concluded that it was impractical to even attempt to attend this year’s ceremony and stand a chance of covering it with my various theatre media hats on. So instead I booked myself – thanks very much […]

British musical theatre has just had its Woodstock moment: I was there

This time last week I was coming down from the buzz of BEAM:2016. Today, as I was re-reading my notes and other people’s write-ups for this blog, I received news on casting for The Toxic Avenger, starring Mark Anderson (who I saw performing at Beam) and produced by Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson (one of the […]

  • Remarkable debut: 13-year-old Adam Bregman, who had his own Bar Mitzvah in October, stars in the title role
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    Bar Mitzvah Boy: How do you turn a famous musical flop into a smash hit?

Bar Mitzvah Boy: How do you turn a famous musical flop into a smash hit?

I have all sorts of bias when it comes to Bar Mitzvah Boy: my friend Lara Stubbs stars (as the somewhat spoilt, Jewish princess older sister of bar-mitzvahed boy in question); the show is directed by Stewart Nicholls, with whom I worked last summer on Robbie Sherman’s Love Birds; and it’s produced by the […]

  • Cedric Neal (left) leads the Motown cast as Berry Gordy
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    Press Pass: All the Motown reviews plus starry livestream, news and interviews

Press Pass: All the Motown reviews plus starry livestream, news and interviews

Yes, I am posting this #PressPass at gone 4am – blame those incessant Motown hits that keep spinning round and round and round my head after attending tonight’s (technically, now last night’s) West End premiere of the Broadway hit, Motown the Musical.

You will know, of course, that this is the (company?) bio-musical telling the […]

  • Tracie Bennett leads the troupe as Mrs Henderson in Mrs Henderson Presents
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    “I clapped so hard I dented my ring” + Press pass: All the reviews and news on Mrs Henderson Presents

“I clapped so hard I dented my ring” + Press pass: All the reviews and news on Mrs Henderson Presents

I gave Mrs Henderson Presents a very enthusiastic response at the curtain call of last night’s West End premiere – so enthusiastic that, as I tweeted at the time, I dented my ring. This is not good, it was my favourite ring, but I couldn’t help myself and I don’t begrudge the show. (A […]

Andy Capp rediscovered: Ought he to be ashamed of himself?

I had an image in my mind of Andy Capp – the flatcap pulled low, fag and beer in hand cartoon image, that is – but didn’t know too much about him. Though I was always aware of the existence of Reg Smythe’s internationally famous comic strip, now celebrating its 60th year, I don’t […]

  • Students from The Guildford School of Acting perform extracts from the 2013/14 Perfect Pitch Award winner, ODD, by Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth
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    What happens when you cross Dragons’ Den with new musicals?

What happens when you cross Dragons’ Den with new musicals?

In November, I blogged about three ‘new’ musical schemes, including The S and S Award, which was held at the St James Theatre. On Friday, I was back at the St James covering another great scheme – and award – to add to the list.

The Perfect Pitch Award, co-presented by Theatre Royal Stratford East, […]

  • Mona Golabek performs The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the St James Theatre
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    A very personal Holocaust memorial: The story behind The Pianist of Willesden Lane

A very personal Holocaust memorial: The story behind The Pianist of Willesden Lane

My partner and I saw, and were deeply moved by, The Pianist of Willesden Lane when it had its London premiere at the St James Theatre last Friday.

The play is based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival, written by Mona Golabek (with Lee […]

  • The cast of Martin McDonagh's Hangmen
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    Critics’ Circle Award winners: Are they the only ones that make sense anymore?

Critics’ Circle Award winners: Are they the only ones that make sense anymore?

The annual best of lists are always a good indication of who’s likely to triumph at the Critics’ Circle Awards, which were presented this afternoon at the Delfont Room in the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre. Understandably so as it’s critics who, by and large, draw up those lists and critics only – […]

  • Grey Gardens' American writing team: Scott Frankel (music), Michael Korie (lyrics) and Doug Wright (book) at a post-show Q&A at Southwark Playhouse, chaired by Mark Shenton
    Permalink Grey Gardens' American writing team: Scott Frankel (music), Michael Korie (lyrics) and Doug Wright (book) at a post-show Q&A at Southwark Playhouse, chaired by Mark ShentonGallery

    Composing Grey Gardens: “It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present”

Composing Grey Gardens: “It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present”

The American writers of Grey Gardens are clearly delighted with the European premiere production of their musical (See Also my #PressPass round-up), now being staged at London’s Southwark Playhouse in a limited, six-week (and already sold-out) season. “We feel enormously blessed,” said composer Scott Frankel, at a post-show Q&A, chaired by My Theatre Mates’ colleague […]

  • Grey Gardens at Southwark Playhouse. Clockwise from top left to right: Jenna Russell, Sheila Hancock, Aaron Sidwell, Rachel Anne Rayham, Jenna Russell, Sheila Hancock. © Scott Rylander
    Permalink Grey Gardens at Southwark Playhouse. Clockwise from top left to right: Jenna Russell, Sheila Hancock, Aaron Sidwell, Rachel Anne Rayham, Jenna Russell, Sheila Hancock. © Scott RylanderGallery

    Press pass: All the reviews and more from Grey Gardens‘ European premiere

Press pass: All the reviews and more from Grey Gardens‘ European premiere

Producer Danielle Tarento and director Thom Southerland have created another Off-West End mega-hit musical. In fact, Grey Gardens has broken all box office records at Southwark Playhouse where it has already sold out, eclipsing the pair’s other much-loved Broadway musical reclamations at the same address over the past five years: Grand Hotel (2015 – […]

  • Clive Rowe reprised his "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" for the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013
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    Why Nicely Nicely Johnson is no longer ruined for me (though Clive Rowe remains a giant)

Why Nicely Nicely Johnson is no longer ruined for me (though Clive Rowe remains a giant)

For years Guys and Dolls has been all but ruined for me: that’s what happens when you are lucky enough to see a definitive production and performance. I speak, of course, of Richard Eyre’s legendary National Theatre revival of this 1950 roadway classic. And, what’s more, I didn’t even see the original. (Much referenced by other […]

Press pass: Everything you need to know about Guys & Dolls

The 2016 West End season got off to a rollicking start this week with Wednesday’s opening of Guys and Dolls, the latest Chichester Festival transfer to the Savoy Theatre, which follows fast on the heels of the last CFT transfer of another Broadway musical revival, Gypsy. It was a surprisingly star-studded, red carpet affair for […]

  • Clockwise from top left: Matt Henry in Kinky Boots, John Heffernan in Oppenheimer, Greg Hicks and Peter Bourke in Clarion, Derren Brown in Miracle and Noma Dumezweni in Linda
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    Year in Review: More Top 10 #theatre2015 lists from me and my Mates

Year in Review: More Top 10 #theatre2015 lists from me and my Mates

After rounding up various publications’ #theatre2015 highlights yesterday, it’s time to reflect on my own year in the stalls (well, mainly in the stalls, occasionally in the dress circle).

I don’t pretend for a minute that these lists are definitive of the theatregoing year overall; they represent only my personal opinions on the shows I’ve […]

  • Lia Williams and Angus Wright in Duncan Macmillan's reimagining of Oresteia
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    Year in Review: The best of the best of #theatre2015 round-ups

Year in Review: The best of the best of #theatre2015 round-ups

After my two-week Christmas roadtrip in the US, I’m finally back at my desk and able to catch up on all the 2015 UK theatrical year round. Have you been keeping up in my absence?

Fear not either way, because once again – and as promised on Twitter – I’ve rounded up the round-ups to […]