Tag Archives: Sam Attwater

REVIEW: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

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A show based upon the short story The Sobbin’ Women by Stephen Vincent Benet, itself based upon the Roman myth of the rape of the Sabine women, wouldn’t appear to be the basis for an ideal night’s musical entertainment, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers running this week at the King’s Theatre is a good old-fashioned, high-energy romp of the highest quality.

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Image by Geraint Lewis

Backwoods boy Adam Pontipee (Sam Attwater) comes to town to find a wife, in a few short hours he meets and marries the orphaned Millie (Helena Blackman), a sparky gal with a dream of a better life. Adam takes Millie to his mountain home where she finds that she and her new husband are not alone, Adam’s six uncouth and unkempt little brothers live there too. Millie sets about making the best of her lot and the best of her new family, turning them into eligible young men.

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Image by Geraint Lewis

There are of course a few ups and downs in this country idyll but it isn’t the slight plot that drives this show, rather the highly intricate and beautifully executed dance routines choreographed by Patti Colombo, chief amongst them the glorious ‘Social Dance’. The cast have to be commended for the athleticism, energy and commitment they bring to the piece. Helena Blackman has a top-notch voice worthy of any West End stage and whilst Sam Attwater’s voice lacks a bit of belt it is highly melodic with a beautiful tone that’s easy on the ear. Much of the cast are fresh from stage school and a few leave an excellent impression: Sam Stones delivers a nice comic turn as wayward brother Frank and Pip Hersee as Ephraim is a fine dancer. The male ensemble too are of uniformly excellent quality and the sound the male cast members make when they sing as one is a treat for the ears. If one criticism has to be levelled at the performance then it is the poor diction of many of the cast which renders much of the dialogue incomprehensible.

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Image by Geraint Lewis

Praise must also go to the set design by Anna Louizo, complemented by Nick Richings atmospheric lighting which is nicely evocative of 19th Century Oregon, there’s a town, a log cabin, a pine forest and even an avalanche thrown in for good measure.

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Image by Geraint Lewis

This may be an old-fashioned romp but this timeless classic could never be accused of being out of date. Thoroughly entertaining, highly recommended – as good as it ever was.

Runs until Saturday at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow

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

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There are few shows with quite the same level of audience devotion as The Rocky Horror Show, and forty years later I’m happy to report that the madness is still well and truly alive: with the audience providing as much spectacle as the show, it really is a night out at the theatre without comparison.

The B-Movie pastiche storyline stands the test of time and is as appealing as ever. The music here though is the highlight – I defy anyone not to sing along to Sweet Transvestite, Hot Patootie and of course, The Time Warp. The whole thing is infused with such fun that you can’t fail to be carried away on the magnificent, mad roller coaster.

Oliver Thornton Sweet Transvestite Rocky Horror ShowITV Superstar winner Ben Forster (Brad) and Roxanne Pallet (Janet) both deftly manage the transition from virginal couple to depraved disciples of Frank, and both have the chance to showcase their fine voices which more than match the pulsating band. Stage and TV veteran Philip Franks as The Narrator turns in a genuinely witty performance, fully embracing the camp madness of it all – adeptly fending off the very vocal asides of the Glasgow crowd both scripted and unscripted. Rhydian Roberts is the titular Rocky and its more his pectoral muscles that are on show rather than his vocal ones here, but he carries it off the role with sufficient skill. Kristian  Lavercombe as Riff Raff is a revelation, coming closest to embodying the spirit of the show’s original creator Richard O’Brien than you’re likely to see, and with his powerful voice, he seems destined for great things.

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Rightfully though, the show belongs to Frank. Indelibly printed on everyone’s mind is Tim Curry’s seminal performance in the movie, and as Frank n Furter, Oliver Thornton does a rare thing indeed, in bringing us a rather different Frank, never indulging in all out camp or over the the top hamming, rather managing to convey both a more tender side to the character and an ever more mercurial one at the same time. His attraction and menace are skilfully portrayed by Thornton. He also looks so utterly stunning that it’s impossible to tear your eyes away from him when he’s on stage. Every eyebrow raised or lick of the lips is met with roars of approval by the crowd. A sublime performance from Thornton, the definitive Frank for a new generation.

True to its low budget B-Movie roots the set is always a little ropey, but the clever lighting and staging all add to the fun. This is the best  night of escapism you are ever likely to find. The ear-splitting screams of approval from the audience at the end are enough to tell you that.

Due to demand the show will return in August. I urge you – get a ticket now!