• 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 […]

  • Wonderland_CruellaVsAnna_dec15
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    Makes me wonder: Why isn’t Anna Francolini a household name?

Makes me wonder: Why isn’t Anna Francolini a household name?

“Who are you?” It’s the only real question, according to wonder.land via Lewis Carroll. But the main question that kept running through my mind while watching the Damon Albarn musical at the National Theatre the other night was: “Who is Anna Francolini?” Or more precisely, why isn’t she a bigger star?

Anna has been performing […]

Why do we love celebrating Stephen Sondheim so much?

Next weekend, the 85th birthday of American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim will be marked (albeit, somewhat belatedly – his actual birthday was on 22 March) in grand, celebratory at the West End’s 2,000-seat Theatre Royal Drury Lane, care of the Sondheim Society.

The company of HEY, OLD FRIENDS! An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen […]

  • The Jewish Contribution to Broadway: How many of these composers and lyricists can you name?
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    Can you succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews? Maybe not…

Can you succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews? Maybe not…

We owe the phrase “you won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews” to Spamalot – so it only officially entered the theatrical lexicon circa 2005 when the Monty Python musical opened on Broadway (and I first heard it live a year later, when it had its West End premiere at the […]

  • Is Imelda Staunton the best Momma Rose ever?
    Permalink Is Imelda Staunton the best Momma Rose ever?Gallery

    Press pass: ‘Once in a lifetime’ Gypsy extends with ‘pocket diva’ Imelda Staunton

Press pass: ‘Once in a lifetime’ Gypsy extends with ‘pocket diva’ Imelda Staunton

This morning, producers confirmed that – on the back of a shedload of new five-star reviews from last week’s West End opening – Jonathan Kent’s Chichester Festival production of Gypsy, “starring Imelda Staunton as the indomitable Rose”, has extended its booking until 28 November 2015 at the Savoy Theatre.

Having consumed the first shedload of […]

  • 1973: Angela Lansbury, in her last London stage appearance prior to Blithe Spirit in 2014, starred as Rose at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre, in a cast that also included Bonnie Langford as Baby June
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    10 unmissable Mommas … that I nonetheless missed. How many have you seen?

10 unmissable Mommas … that I nonetheless missed. How many have you seen?

Is Imelda Staunton the best Momma Rose ever? She’s absolutely the best Momma Rose I’ve ever seen – but, then again, she’s also the only Momma Rose I’ve never seen.

Yes, my not-so-guilty confession is this: I’ve never seen Gypsy before…

I say that without much guilt because, incredibly, Jonathan Kent’s current critically acclaimed Chichester Festival […]

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd pie shop

Last year, Tooting Arts Club’s site-specific Sweeney Todd – staged in Harrington’s, one of London’s oldest pie shops – topped myriad critics ‘best of #theatre2014’ lists. And, with its new iteration bringing it to a (slightly) wider audience, I reckon it’ll top many more best of lists for #theatre2015 – including mine.
“For any community […]

  • James Corden and Emily Blunt play the Baker and his Wife in Into the Woods
    Permalink James Corden and Emily Blunt play the Baker and his Wife in Into the WoodsGallery

    Is Into the Woods one of the best stage-to-screen musicals of all time?

Is Into the Woods one of the best stage-to-screen musicals of all time?

I’m jealous of guests attending the UK gala screening of Into the Woods tonight at London’s Curzon Mayfair cinema. Not for the celeb-spotting, paparazzi-dodging, canape-scarfing or any other red carpet reason. But simply because they get to watch this fantastic, fantastical film.

Indeed, I’ll extend my envy to anyone booking to see Into the Woods this weekend or […]

Spoiler alert: My favourite Forbidden Broadway spoofs

Forbidden Broadway was just what the doctor ordered for me the other night – I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

The renowned Broadway institution (going since 1982) has been slightly Anglicised and specially tailored for the West End in 2014 – Cameron Mackintosh, Elaine Paige, Robert Lindsay and revivals of Evita and Cats be warned (you’re […]