Tag Archives: Sarah Soetaert

REVIEW: The Glenn Miller Story – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

There’s no denying the star quality and pulling power of Tommy Steele, the rousing ovation from the packed to the rafters auditorium as he merely steps on stage is proof of that, that coupled with the public’s enduring fascination with the music and mysterious disappearance of Glenn Miller and you have a show that promises to fill the house every night.

Seventy years since Miller vanished over the English Channel, Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright present a musical biographical journey through the all too short life of the legendary band leader.

BKL Glenn Miller Story_242 With a sixteen piece orchestra, a six-piece ensemble of fine-voiced singers and dancers and a top-notch central cast there is much to praise here, most of all the rousing band – at their best when blasting out glorious tunes such as: In The Mood and Pennsylvania 6-5000. Less successful though is the casting of Britain’s first rock ‘n’ roll star as Miller. Tommy Steele is a legendary song and dance man and has a raft of musical theatre experience behind him, the legendary twinkle in the eye is still there and much of his voice remains, however his advancing years (78) stretch the boundaries of believability playing a man who tragically died at the age of forty, especially when cast beside a very youthful actress as his wife.

BKL Glenn Miller Story_052

That said, this is an enjoyable, brisk gallop through the life and times of a man who changed the face of popular music and a chance to see a legendary British stage performer in the flesh, and there should be enough to entertain fans of both Steele and Miller alike.

Runs until Saturday 19th September 2015 at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tickets available at: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-glenn-miller-story/kings-theatre/

Dinner and ticket offers available at: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-glenn-miller-story-band-a-ticket-and-2-course-meal-at-teatro-only-55/kings-theatre/

REVIEW: The Sound of Music – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

This article was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-sound-of-music-kings-theatre-glasgow/

Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s, musical theatre classic The Sound of Music is still managing to delight audiences, almost 60 years on since its first appearance on stage.

On Gary McCann’s impressive set, complemented by Nick Richings’ perfectly judged lighting design, with an exquisite sounding orchestra led by David Steadman, and under Martin Connor’s sure-footed direction, this polished production is a quality piece of musical theatre.

Danielle Hope is a fresh-faced and youthful Maria (saddled however with a rather unfortunate wig) who has clearly been taking lessons at the Julie Andrews’ School of Musical Theatre Diction, her dialogue is razor sharp and her enunciation would make Miss Andrews proud. She is also in possession of an impressive vocal range which she uses to great effect in these much-loved classics. If criticism were to be made though, she does lack a little of the vitality and spark that the role requires.

Hope has in support, a strong ensemble cast: the troupe of von Trapp children are a beguiling bunch, delightfully un-precocious and singing like angels, they manage to bring a realism to roles which have, in other productions, tended to verge upon the saccharine sweet. Jan Hartley’s Mother Abbess rendition of the anthem “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” is also worthy of praise; quite literally a show-stopper, bringing as it does the curtain down on Act One and Steven Houghton is a solid, if at times a little stiff, Captain von Trapp, he does however deliver a well-judged, heart-felt “Edelweiss” as the show builds to its conclusion.

Where the 2015 tour deviates from previous productions is that it trims Maria’s “I Have Confidence” (possibly due to its already lengthy running time) and the Nazi threat that pervades the big screen version is somewhat missing here. However, when the swastika background drops down during the family’s appearance at the music festival, there is a tangible mood shift in the auditorium.

It remains a great story, with truly great songs and there is much to praise here in this deftly-handled production with its solid and highly accomplished cast. It is so well-loved, by so many, that to criticise it is like kicking a puppy. If a show can make the corners of your mouth turn up involuntarily into a smile on recognition of the first notes of a tune, then it has got to be a winner in anyone’s book.

Runs until Saturday 28 February 2015 then touring

Photo credit: Pamela Raith