Tag Archives: Musical

Amélie – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Amélie:The Musical is based on Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 Academy Award-winning movie about eternal altruist Amélie Poulain, whose desire to help others, through a series of simple acts of kindness, prevents her from finding love. Amélie escapes her dysfunctional childhood and unhappy home life to work as a waitress in a Paris café where she encounters a rag-tag bunch of bohemian misfits, whose lives she sets out to make that little bit better. This 2019 musical version has been significantly re-worked for the UK tour after a less-than-successful and hugely curtailed run on Broadway in 2017, where it ran for only 56 performances after a hefty 27 days of previews.

Any production has to compete with the visually arresting movie and the tobacco-stained design by Madeleine Girling, with gorgeous lighting by Elliot Griggs, largely succeeds in distancing itself from the iconic big-screen version and establishing itself as its own visual entity. It does however exploit many Gallic clichés in its presentation of the Montmartre café where the action takes place. That said, it is an absolute treat to behold.

The film is a series of quirky vignettes from Amélie’s childhood to her life in Paris (the journey necessary to understand Amélie’s future motivations) and as a result there’s a lot of time spent establishing the back story, resulting in the first act of the musical taking its time to come together and hit its stride. The second act is more cohesive and as a whole it manages to almost replicate the entire movie storyline in the confines of a small-scale, fixed set, an impressive feat.

There are an astonishing 35 musical pieces in total, and if any gripe remains with the show, it’s the lack of variety in style and tone of much of the music, motifs are repeated just a tad too often. Yes, many are gorgeous, and they are perfectly played and sung by the actor/musicians, but many add nothing and arrest the progress of the narrative rather than advance it.

The cast are universally first class, Audrey Brisson (Amélie), a Cirque du Soleil veteran is a less soft but compelling version of our heroine and Danny Mac as the object of her unrequited admiration Nino, is sure-footed throughout.

Amélie seems to have largely overcome its previous faults. It’s a tad too long, something which seems to be endemic in most musicals, and there are a few too many musical intervals, but it looks beautiful and is imaginatively staged, with a plethora of tiny, quirky details to delight. And where else can you see ‘Elton John’, some people-sized, singing and dancing figs,  a suicidal goldfish, a Brazilian carnival dancing gnome and a leading lady coming and going by flying lampshade?

Runs until 24 August 2019 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub 

REVIEW: The Rocky Horror Show – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

There are few other shows so beloved or so enduring as the Rocky Horror Show. It’s a summer Monday evening and the theatre is packed from floor to rafters with fans clad in their best Columbia, Magenta, Rocky, Brad, Janet and even a few Frank N. Furter costumes for the latest tour of this nearly 50-year-old show.

The audience is in full-on participation mode and the excitement before curtain up is tangible. The second the Usherette (a fabulous Laura Harrison, who also doubles up as Magenta) steps onstage, the audience is raring to go. Every infamous call back is on cue, every moment for joining in is taken – this is a crowd that knows every word and every step to every song and is here to enjoy the night to the fullest.

There are many reasons why Rocky Horror has been performed almost continuously since its creation in 1973 – the big hits come thick and fast, the dialogue is cheeky and cheesy in equal measure, it never takes itself seriously, but the talent and commitment of the cast and the quality of Richard O’Brien’s genius writing means that under the 1950s B-Movie veneer, this is a show of quality.

Boy band royalty, Blue’s Duncan James steps into Frank’s glittered platforms and satin corset and boy does he give it his all. From entrance to exit he looks like he’s living his best life and judging from the ear-splitting reception from the audience they are loving every minute along with him. James is ably supported by dance royalty Joanne Clifton, who again demonstrates how multi-talented she is, singing and acting as Janet and there’s strong support from a fine-sounding James Darch as Brad. While Rocky Horror veteran and fan-favourite Kristian Lavercombe is indisposed tonight, his understudy Andrew Ahern is a revelation as Riff Raff and Philip Franks, arguably one of the finest narrators in the world of Rocky Horror, returns.

There are few shows that pack more entertainment into two hours, and few that stand up to repeat viewing like Rocky Horror. Hands-down one of the best musicals of all time and with this first-rate cast, it would be a crime to miss it.

Runs until 17 August 2019 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub

REVIEW: Hair – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

While Hair has lost its shock value and the antics seem risible to a 21st Century audience, the celebratory and catchy songs still stand the test of time and the committed cast of this 50th Anniversary tour throw themselves fully into the action.

After a 15 minute delay and an unannounced change of leading man, we’re whisked to 1967 New York, where the shadow of the Vietnam War looms over the whole of the US, but particularly the East Village,where Berger (Bradley Judge) and his band of subversive misfits are railing against the world. It’s only Claude (Paul Wilkins) who doesn’t fully buy in to the Hippie counterculture, conflicted between turning on, tuning in and dropping out (to paraphrase Timothy Leary) and fulfilling his duty to his country after being drafted into the Vietnam War.

The plot is scant and there are times when the dialogue is reduced to merely shouting out anti-establishment phrases, so the songs need to be strong to sustain interest. There are plenty of stand-outs: Aquarius, Easy to be Hard, Good Morning Starshine, Let The Sun Shine In and the title track Hair, to name a few. The only gripes would be that there are so many of them – several could be chopped without being detrimental to the show. There’s also a lot less audience interaction – this is not as immersive as expected, at times, it seems more fun for those on stage than for the audience.

The design by Maeve Black, complimented by Ben M Rogers’ lighting does evoke a trippy hippie camp and the costumes are largely on point, these are the final dates of a long tour, so the increased tattiness adds to the atmosphere.

The energetic and accomplished cast clearly give their all and play a large part in bringing the audience in. 

It doesn’t have the impact that it once had and the shock value has gone, even the full-frontal nudity barely raises an eyebrow, but it stands as a window to another time and provides some insight on a pivotal time in social history. It is still worth seeing as a cultural landmark – it, and the shows that followed in its wake, widened the boundaries, gave voice to the youth of the day and changed the theatrical landscape forever.

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub.

WHAT’S ON SEPTEMBER 2019 – Paddy’s Market: A New Music for an Old Market

Paddy’s Market: A New Music for an Old Market

A TRAM Direct & Arts Enigma Production present Paddy’s Market: A New Music for an Old Market
Written by Paul Moore
Directed by Isobel Barrett
Original Music by Michael McEneny

“Hawfaperrashoos?
Haw hen, you hen! In yer nice tweed coat! Haw hen, you hen! Come see what I’ve got!”

The iconic “Paddy’s Market” flea market is brought back to life, in true “Parliamo Glesga” style. Controversially shut down by City Council in 2009…The end of an era! Join “Big Malkie and Gallus Alice” and take a trip down memory and bargain lane.

Cobbles full of characters and patter, deals and wheels in motion, when real Glasgow was about their bread, their butter and their livelihood.

“A show that does Glasgow proud”

Available to book online or by calling Rutherglen Town Hall on 0141 613 5700.

Date: 12 Sep 2019

Time: 7:30pm

Cost: £15.00 / £13.00 conc

Venue: Rutherglen Town Hall

NEWS: ONCE, THE MULTI AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY AND WEST END MUSICAL COMES TO GLASGOW

KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

MONDAY 13 JULY – SATURDAY 18 JULY 2020

One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, Once is to run at King’s Theatre Glasgow next year as part of a UK tour.

Based on the critically acclaimed and much-loved film, Once will be staged at the city centre venue from Monday 13 July until Saturday 18 July 2020.

Once tells the uplifting yet yearning story of two lost souls – a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician – who unexpectedly fall in love. Following their relationship across five short days, big changes happen to both of them in little ways. Celebrated for its original score including the Academy Award-winning song Falling Slowly, Once is a spell-binding and uplifting story of hopes and dreams.

The cast will be led by Daniel Healy as Guy and Emma Lucia as Girl, who return to the roles after receiving critical and audience acclaim in the production’s premiere last year at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Daniel Healy is a singer-songwriter, musician and actor, who has co-written songs for multi-platinum artist Ronan Keating including the single Breathe, which topped the BBC Radio 2 Playlist. Theatre credits include Backbeat and Once, both in the West End. Emma Lucia made her professional debut as Marilyn and understudying Carole King in the UK Tour of Beautiful, before taking on the role of Girl in Once.

LISTINGS

Once

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 13 – Sat 18 Jul 2020

King’s Theatre

Mon-Sat, 7.30pm

Thu & Sat: 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

NEWS: Mamma Mia! Returns To Glasgow

THE WORLDWIDE SMASH HIT MUSICAL MAMMA MIA!  RETURNS TO THE KING’S THEATRE FROM

TUESDAY 7 – SATURDAY 25 APRIL 2020

The sensational feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! returns to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow for a two week run from Tuesday 7 until Saturday 25 April as part of a UK & International Tour celebrating 20 years since MAMMA MIA! premiered in London in April 1999.

From West End to global phenomenon, MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with a sunny, funny tale of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads unfolding on a Greek island idyll.

To date, it has been seen by over 65 million people in 50 productions in 16 different languages.  In 2011 it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China.  MAMMA MIA! became the 8th longest running show in Broadway history where it played a record-breaking run for 14 years. MAMMA MIA! continues to thrill audiences in London’s West End at the Novello Theatre where it will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on 6 April 2019.

Produced by Judy Craymer, MAMMA MIA! The Movie became the highest grossing live action musical film of all time upon its release in 2008.  A second film, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, opened in July 2018 and is the most successful live musical movie sequel of all time.

Judy Craymer, Creator and Producer of MAMMA MIA!, said: “We’re so happy to announce that MAMMA MIA! will be returning to Glasgow as part of the 20th year celebrations since the musical first opened in London’s West End. It is a truly special year, and we can’t wait to reunite the Glasgow audiences with the feel-good story and irresistible music of ABBA.”

James Haworth, Theatre Director at the King’s, said: “What a treat it is to welcome back MAMMA MIA!  to Glasgow. Our audience absolutely loved this show when it played for four weeks in December 2017 and I’m sure they’ll love it even more this time round.”

LISTINGS

MAMMA MIA!

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 7 – Sat 25 Apr 2020

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648*

*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access rate

NEWS: SIX: The queens return to Glasgow

THEATRE ROYAL, GLASGOW

TUESDAY 5 – SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2019

From Tudor wives to pop princesses, the queens are going on tour!

Following acclaimed success at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, West End smash hit musical SIX will run at Theatre Royal, Glasgow this winter from Tuesday 5 November until Sunday 10 November as part of a UK tour.

The story tells of the six wives of Henry VIII who take to the mic to tell their own personal tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st century girl power. The songs from the show have proved to be a chart storming sensation with weekly streams totalling more than 1.5million. These Queens may have green sleeves, but their lipstick is rebellious red. Think you know the rhyme, think again… Divorced. Beheaded. LIVE!

The cast, yet to be announced, are backed by the show’s all female band, The Ladies in Waiting.

SIX is the phenomenon everyone’s losing their head over. The show’s 2018 debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe hastened its West End transfer which opened in January 2019. The production is currently enjoying an open-ended run at the Arts Theatre playing to sold out houses. And now the Queens are going on tour.

SIX writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss said:

“We are SOOOO excited and thrilled and grateful that we get to share the story of these badass Queens – and the UNREAL talents of these women – with so many more people all over the UK! We’ll see you there!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!”

SIX is written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, with Direction by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage.

 

LISTINGS

SIX

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Tue 5 – Sun 10 Nov 2019

Tue-Thu: 8pm

Fri: 6pm, 8.30pm

Sat: 2.30pm, 8pm

Sun: 2pm

REVIEW: Made in Dagenham – The New Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

A fictionalised version of the true story of the sewing machinist’s strike at Ford’s Dagenham plant in 1968, where the female workers walked out in protest against unequal pay for equally skilled work, Made in Dagenham is based on (but not wholly a copy of) Nigel Cole’s 2010 film of the same name. It drops many of the movie characters, introduces some new ones and expands parts of the storyline only touched on in the film version.

The stage version had a short, and somewhat problematic life in the West End in 2014, this time it’s tackled by the students of the Dance School of Scotland. What is always guaranteed from this unique school is quality, total professionalism and commitment to any work they tackle, however, the issues that plagued the musical’s short run in the West End remain. The book takes what feels like an eternity to get anywhere and the score, while lively in part, lacks the standout tunes that make a successful production ( Stand Up) the show closer, is the only one that gets near. It’s laudable that any show gives voice to women and to a life-changing moment in British history, but it’s unsubtly done, too caricatured and over-long.

That said, there’s terrific work from Charlotte Power (meant to play the role later in the week, but stepping in due to illness) as Rita O’Grady – the heart and soul of the dispute and the force behind the law change in 1970. The supporting cast of women (played by these high school aged pupils) also manage to breathe believable life into their parts, steering them clear of exaggeration and keeping them wholly realistic. The boys, while portraying men from an utterly different era, one of out-right sexism and derision towards woman, play it a lit bit too broad, too stereotypical, a little too out-there comedic. One wonders if these were directorial choices, or dictated by the script.

There were also issues to overcome with a band that totally overwhelmed the singers at points, (the venue can’t be blamed as it was purpose built for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with world-class acoustics) and poor and rushed diction (nerves may be to blame on this opening night) that rendered a lot of the script inaudible.

The sheer energy and vitality with which the company attacked the material, elevated it above the source material, and one can’t fault the commitment of each and every performer. With better material to work with this company of performers are sure to go far.

REVIEW: The Music Man – Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock

Runway Theatre Company again prove their worthy position at the top of the tree of amateur companies in Glasgow, reviving Meredith Willson’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning, little-seen, musical theatre classic, The Music Man, with aplomb. A timely choice too, with the announcement that in 2020, Hugh Jackman will lead the first Broadway revival in nearly two decades.

It’s 1912 and the people of sleepy River City, Iowa really don’t know what’s in store for them when smooth talking swindler Harold Hill rolls into town. However, Hill’s plans to con the innocent townsfolk are foiled when his heart finally starts to rule his head.

Old-fashioned in the nicest possible way, this is a light-hearted, undemanding tale with a bunch of quirky characters and two of musical theatre’s most enduring tunes: the oom-pah-pah-ing 76 Trombones and the much-loved classic ballad, Till There Was You.

Its old-fashionedness is both its strength and its weakness. The public’s appetite for nostalgia is sated with the homely, feel-good storyline, the period costumes and score. However, the hokey dialogue has aged badly and the heightened characterisations required by the script, render it too caricatured at times. That said, any criticisms of this production are entirely at the hands of the source material not the actors or musicians.

This is a show with a rousing chorus, the ensemble fill the auditorium with the biggest, most glorious sound you will have the pleasure to hear, and the quartet comprising Tom Russell, Ross Nicol, Cameron Leask and Bob McDevitt are just heavenly sounding. Brendan Lynch (Harold Hill), once again proves to be an adept leading man and a true triple threat, and Catherine Mackenzie (Marian Paroo) is a beautifully toned soprano. The costumes are of an excellent quality. The set and lighting are functional and easy on the eye and the transitions, especially in a theatre with no fly tower, are smooth and pacy. The child actors, of which there are many, are drilled to perfection as are the dancers – it’s unusual in an amateur production to have such universal quality.

A warm and comforting and very welcome blast from the past that will leave audience members of all ages thoroughly entertained.

Runs until Saturday 18 May 2019

 

NEWS: 9 to 5 Returns to Glasgow King’s

Currently playing in London’s West End, the producers of 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL have announced the musical will play the King’s Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 October 2019. Casting will be announced soon.

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL features a book by Patricia Resnick, the legendary film’s original screenwriter, and an original Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-nominated score by country legend and pop icon Dolly Parton. It tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the women manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? Inspired by the cult film this hilarious new West End production is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL is written by Patricia Resnick, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. It is directed by Jeff Calhoun, choreography by Lisa Stevens, design by Tom Rogers, lighting design by Howard Hudson, sound design by Poti Martin, video design by Nina Dunn, original arrangements by Stephen Oremus & Alex Lacamoire, original Broadway orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin, musical supervisor, reductions & extra arrangements by Mark Crossland, musical direction by Andrew Hilton and casting by Victoria Roe.

Dolly Parton presents 9 to 5

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 8 – Sat 12 Mar

Tue-Sat, 7.30pm

Wed, Thu, Sat: 2.30pm

0844 871 7648*

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

*calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 

« Older Entries