Terri Paddock

"Queen of theatre post-show talks", social media & content marketer

  • David Walliams with child stars of the RSC's musical adaptation of his 2008 novel The Boy in the Dress. © RSC
    Permalink David Walliams with child stars of the RSC's musical adaptation of his 2008 novel The Boy in the Dress. © RSCGallery

    David Walliams on getting the RSC’s ‘stamp of approval’ with The Boy in the Dress musical

David Walliams on getting the RSC’s ‘stamp of approval’ with The Boy in the Dress musical

During rehearsals for The Boy in the Dress, I spoke to David Walliams about his inspiration for the original story, his burgeoning career as a children’s writer and how he feels having his work adapted by the RSC.
  • My post-show talk with Richard Shelton at Sinatra: Raw at Wilton's Music Hall, London, on 22 October 2019. © Peter Jones
    Permalink My post-show talk with Richard Shelton at Sinatra: Raw at Wilton's Music Hall, London, on 22 October 2019. © Peter JonesGallery

    Sinatra: Raw post-show video and photos: What makes Frank Sinatra such an enduring icon?

Sinatra: Raw post-show video and photos: What makes Frank Sinatra such an enduring icon?

Despite singing the songs of Sinatra since he was a teenager in Wolverhampton, Richard Shelton was turned down multiple times for a part in concert show The Rat Pack. So when he was invited to audition for the much darker play with music, Rat Pack Confidential, he went in angry and impatient... and finally got his man. 
  • Anita Harris, Kara Lily Hayworth & John Partridge at the Cabaret post-show Q&A chaired by Terri Paddock on 29 August 2019 at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, the first stop on a nationwide tour
    Permalink Anita Harris, Kara Lily Hayworth & John Partridge at the Cabaret post-show Q&A chaired by Terri Paddock on 29 August 2019 at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, the first stop on a nationwide tourGallery

    Q&A video and photos: How does the musical of Cabaret differ from the film?

Q&A video and photos: How does the musical of Cabaret differ from the film?

I’ve seen Rufus Norris’ multi-award-winning revival of Kander & Ebb’s Broadway musical classic Cabaret twice before in the West End: when it first opened at the Lyric Theatre in 2006 and when it returned for a run at the Savoy Theatre in 2010. It now kicks off a brand-new tour and it’s more powerful than […]

  • The company of Queen of the Mist at the post-show Q&A chaired by Terri Paddock at Charing Cross Theatre on 20 August 2019. © Peter Jones
    Permalink The company of Queen of the Mist at the post-show Q&A chaired by Terri Paddock at Charing Cross Theatre on 20 August 2019. © Peter JonesGallery

    Queen of the Mist Q&A video and photos: Why should we have more Michael John LaChiusa in the UK?

Queen of the Mist Q&A video and photos: Why should we have more Michael John LaChiusa in the UK?

Michael John LaChiusa was on his way back to the States by the time I chaired my post-show Q&A at the West End (and UK) premiere of his musical Queen Of The Mist – but I wonder if his ears were burning badly en route?
A central part of my discussion – with director Dom O’Hanlon, musical […]

  • Cedric Neal, Tyrone Huntley, Andy Mientus & producer Brian Zeilinger at The View Upstairs post-show Q&A at Soho Theatre on 3 August 2019. © Peter Jones
    Permalink Cedric Neal, Tyrone Huntley, Andy Mientus & producer Brian Zeilinger at The View Upstairs post-show Q&A at Soho Theatre on 3 August 2019. © Peter JonesGallery

    The View Upstairs video and photos: What happened in New Orleans on 24 June 1973? Why should we remember?

The View Upstairs video and photos: What happened in New Orleans on 24 June 1973? Why should we remember?

I had just enough time to wipe away my tears – I was sobbing – at the end of The View Upstairs before jumping up after the curtain call to announce this post-show Q&A at Soho Theatre.
My family are from Louisiana and I’ve been to New Orleans countless times, but it’s thanks to London theatre […]

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    Q&A photos and video: What would the late Michel Legrand think of this chamber version of his musical Amour?

Q&A photos and video: What would the late Michel Legrand think of this chamber version of his musical Amour?

I’m in love with love… or more precisely with Amour, as in the lushly romantic Michel Legrand musical fantasy now receiving its UK professional premiere at Charing Cross Theatre.
Amour is set in 1950 in post-war Paris where shy civil servant Dusoleil (Gary Tushaw) lives alone and works diligently in a dreary office. To pass […]

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    The Ministry of Biscuits Q&A video and photos: Sharing biscuits and a love of G&S with Philip Reeve and co

The Ministry of Biscuits Q&A video and photos: Sharing biscuits and a love of G&S with Philip Reeve and co

Charming, delectable, delicious. And those are just the custard creams… It’s not often I get offered biscuits at the post-show Q&As I chair, but at a show called The Ministry of Biscuits, it would have seemed remiss not to.
Since its 1998 premiere, this delightful musical has been scaled down to a bijou four-hander performed by […]

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    The Showstoppers Q&A video and photos: ‘Just give us something with heart’ say the musical improv masters

The Showstoppers Q&A video and photos: ‘Just give us something with heart’ say the musical improv masters

I’ve been following the insanely talented improv geniuses of The Showstoppers for most of their eleven years. How do they do it? I still can’t really fathom it, but I was pleased to gain a few more insights – and a new well of admiration – after chairing a post-show Q&A with them this […]

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    Songs for Nobodies Q&A video and photos: How did Caroline O’Connor motivate Bernadette Robinson?

Songs for Nobodies Q&A video and photos: How did Caroline O’Connor motivate Bernadette Robinson?

How does it feel to have a one-woman show written especially for you by one of your country’s leading writers? Pretty damn good, according to Songs for Nobodies’ Bernadette Robinson – though, to be clear, there was nothing passive about this privilege in her case.
In the post-show Q&A I chaired with Robinson at the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre […]

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    Hot Gay Time Machine Q&A video and photos: Celebrating birthdays, coming out and locker-room cocks

Hot Gay Time Machine Q&A video and photos: Celebrating birthdays, coming out and locker-room cocks

You know you’re at a different type of theatre experience when you find yourself singing along – loudly – about how much we all love looking at cocks in the locker room. (Even when you’ve never been in a cocker-room.)
The party spirit for Hot Gay Time Machine starts before the performance as co-stars Toby […]

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    Fanatical Q&A video and photos: How & when did sci-fi geekery became so cool?

Fanatical Q&A video and photos: How & when did sci-fi geekery became so cool?

One of my favourite reviews of Fanatical, the new British musical currently receiving its world premiere season at London’s Playground Theatre, opines: “It will remind you why you love whatever it is that you’re a fan of”.
This warm, big-hearted, unashamedly geeky show is indeed “a love letter to fandom”, and at last night’s post-show […]

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    Q&A video and photos: How to Catch a Krampus and celebrate the best of British drag

Q&A video and photos: How to Catch a Krampus and celebrate the best of British drag

How much do you know about the British tradition of drag? British drag artists are the “punks of performance”, according to Ginger Johnson, who has written, directed, designed and performs in a show that brilliantly illustrates and celebrates this tradition.
How to Catch a Krampus is the latest offering from Sink the Pink. After a decade of […]

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    Looking for Gatsby Q&A video and photos: How does F Scott Fitzgerald’s story look from Daisy’s perspective?

Looking for Gatsby Q&A video and photos: How does F Scott Fitzgerald’s story look from Daisy’s perspective?

Swift but swinging! We had less than twenty minutes for last night’s post-show Q&A for new musical Looking for Gatsby but – taking a leaf out of this incredible company’s book – we made the most of it. It’s amazing how much you can ground you can cover when you’re up against the clock!
What happens […]

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    Midnight Q&A video and photos: What would you do if the secret police knocked on your door?

Midnight Q&A video and photos: What would you do if the secret police knocked on your door?

So often with the news these days, parallels are drawn with our turbulent political times and the fascism that swept across Europe in the 1930s, and the question is asked: what would you do if…?
Last night, I and the audience at the Union Theatre travelled back to the 1930s care of Midnight, in which […]

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    Unexpected Joy Q&A video and photos: How can we find common ground through musical theatre?

Unexpected Joy Q&A video and photos: How can we find common ground through musical theatre?

Can musical theatre help us find common ground with those with whom we disagree? If so, Unexpected Joy is undoubtedly the musical to do it. 

Set in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Unexpected Joy is the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions and a week together where change is in the air. Joy, a baby boomer […]

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    Six Q&A video and photos: Which other historic female figures should get the musical treatment?

Six Q&A video and photos: Which other historic female figures should get the musical treatment?

Adrenaline still pumping as I type this! SIX The Musical was the undisputed hit of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and it’s now transferred back to the West End’s Arts Theatre for an extended run at the Arts Theatre, where it had a handful of showcase performances over the Christmas/New Year period.

I first saw the show […]

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    Knights of the Rose Q&A video and photos: Defining the new ‘rockspeare’ genre and celebrating understudies (sort of)

Knights of the Rose Q&A video and photos: Defining the new ‘rockspeare’ genre and celebrating understudies (sort of)

On Wednesday afternoon, Jennifer Caldwell was working in the box office at the Arts Theatre, where new musical Knights of the Rose is currently playing. That night, with less than three hours’ rehearsal and having never even seen the show all the way through, she was onstage playing one of the female leads. As […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Little Voice makes a big impact at the Barn

Q&A video and photos: Little Voice makes a big impact at the Barn

Are women punished in drama for liking sex and drink? What has modern classic The Rise and Fall of Little Voice got in common with Greek drama? What’s the secret to vocal impressions?

I was delighted to return to Cirencester this weekend to chair my third consecutive post-show discussion at the pioneering Barn Theatre. For this […]

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    It Happened in Key West Q&A video and photos: But did it ACTUALLY happen? (Yes)

It Happened in Key West Q&A video and photos: But did it ACTUALLY happen? (Yes)

Andrew Lloyd Webber came up twice in conversation at last night’s post-show for It Happened in Key West. The second pertained to the title of the show which, many years ago, when Jeremiah James was first inspired by a late-night television documentary about Carl von Cosel. James had originally wanted to call this musical Love Never Dies… […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Why are we still so fascinated by these Sirens of the Silver Screen?

Q&A video and photos: Why are we still so fascinated by these Sirens of the Silver Screen?

If you had to choose just three Hollywood legends to build a theatre show around, who would you choose? For Sirens of the Silver Screen, Beth Burrows selected Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. At last night’s post-show discussion at the Tabard Theatre, she explained why she did, how much fun she had researching […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Why has Italy largely forgotten what happened at San Domino?

Q&A video and photos: Why has Italy largely forgotten what happened at San Domino?

Before the performance at Tristan Bates Theatre, the 16-strong company of San Domino entertain theatregoers in the bar with some jaunty patriotic songs, with which they lead them into the auditorium. It’s somewhat akin to the chilling scene in Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret when the Hitler Youth sings “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”.

Inside the auditorium, we […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Things are blooming with The Secret Garden at Cirencester’s new Barn Theatre

Q&A video and photos: Things are blooming with The Secret Garden at Cirencester’s new Barn Theatre

The Barn Theatre’s inaugural production of The Secret Garden extended by a fortnight – which very helpfully allowed me to fit another trip to Cirencester and a post-show Q&A into the diary. And I’m so glad.

Three weeks on, it was wonderful to revisit this beautiful, new, 200-seat theatre and this stunning, folk-influenced production in […]

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    Q&A video and podcast: How did Miss Nightingale fly into its perfect venue at the Hippodrome?

Q&A video and podcast: How did Miss Nightingale fly into its perfect venue at the Hippodrome?

When I chaired my first post-show Q&A at Miss Nightingale a year ago, I thought its home then was ideal: The Vaults, in its labyrinth beneath Waterloo Station, so like an air raid shelter, seemed to perfectly fit the setting of London during the Blitz. But now that it’s moved to the London Hippodrome, it’s […]

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    Rothschild & Sons Q&A podcast and photos: Broadway legend Sheldon Harnick on why the Jewish story must be told

Rothschild & Sons Q&A podcast and photos: Broadway legend Sheldon Harnick on why the Jewish story must be told

The Jewish story must continue to be told, Sheldon Harnick told me and a packed house at London’s Park Theatre after Tuesday night’s performance of Rothschild & Sons, for which he wrote the lyrics to the music by late collaborator Jerry Bock.

My post-show Q&A with Sheldon, and the UK premiere of Rothschild & Sons the night […]

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    WATCH: My thoughts on Mary Stuart, Oranges & Elephants and other #TimesUp shows

WATCH: My thoughts on Mary Stuart, Oranges & Elephants and other #TimesUp shows

It’s natural that your reactions to shows are filtered through the prism of the current social and political climate. And savvy theatres, of course, seek to judge the mood and programme accordingly.

In the case of Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo, #TimesUp, the BBC pay gap furore and all related issues around sexual misconduct and gender inequality, […]

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    History has its eyes on us all: My joy and sorrow at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

History has its eyes on us all: My joy and sorrow at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

I feel incredibly privileged to have been “in the room where it happens” to see the European premiere of HAMILTON last night at the West End’s Victoria Palace Theatre.

There is so much to love about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster hip-hop musical about one of my homeland’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, not least a glorious British cast, under the assured stewardship of […]

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    WATCH: My thoughts on Off-West End musicals Miracle On 34th Street, The Little Match Girl, The Woman in White and Barnum

WATCH: My thoughts on Off-West End musicals Miracle On 34th Street, The Little Match Girl, The Woman in White and Barnum

Does this count as a vlogmas? Probably not, but here’s my attempt at a theatre diary vlog in any case, which includes two Christmas shows!
The emphasis is on Off-West End musicals I’ve seen recently, all of which have things to recommend them – Miracle on 34th Street and The Little Match Girl to […]

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    Making musical history: Privates on Parade, Ordinary Days and The End of History

Making musical history: Privates on Parade, Ordinary Days and The End of History

Three Off-West End musicals I’ve seen in the past few weeks – well, two musicals and a play with music – have served up slices of modern history to entertaining effect.

The end of The End of History is nigh – and I don’t mean North Korean nuclear threats, though perhaps Kim Jung-un will feature in […]

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    Acts of theatre resistance: Insignificance, The Lorax, Young Marx, Imagine This, Bernarda Alba

Acts of theatre resistance: Insignificance, The Lorax, Young Marx, Imagine This, Bernarda Alba

Understandably, as theatremakers and audiences try to make sense of our turbulent times, political plays are de rigueur – and it’s not just ones written by James Graham either. And even productions that you wouldn’t categorise as such, inevitably take on political overtones when filtered through our consumption of daily headlines. I’m not sure if every […]

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    Musicals diary: Hair, Five Guys Named Moe, Young Frankenstein

Musicals diary: Hair, Five Guys Named Moe, Young Frankenstein

In the past month, two musicals have got me up on my feet and dancing all the way out to the bar. At Five Guys Named Moe, I joined a conga line at the interval after attempting to singalong Calypso-style to “Push Ka Pi Shi Pie”. At Hair, I flailed around at the finale to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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? […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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), […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 – […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]