Tag Archives: Theatre

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY: BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY VOICE comes to The Horsecross Theatre Perth on 3rd & 4th February

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone and featuring many of her most iconic songs performed live.

Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed play follows a successful jazz singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.

This extensive national tour follows sell-out seasons in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh, and in the West End of London.

Apphia Campbell is very excited and honoured to be the IASH playwrighting fellow for 2021. She is originally from United States and graduated from Florida International University with a BFA in theatre performance.

She wrote Black Is The Color Of My Voice in 2013. In 2017 her new show with Meredith Yarbrough, Woke, was presented as part of the Made In Scotland Showcase, where it won a Scotsman Fringe First, a Highly Commended from Amnesty International Award, and was shortlisted for The Filipa Bragança Award and Scottish Art Club Theatre Award.

In 2019, she made her West End debut with Black Is The Color Of My Voice at Trafalgar Studios and had a London premiere of Woke at Battersea Arts Centre.

Venue:    Horsecross Theatre PERTH

Dates               Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th February

Time:               8.00pm

Box Office:        01738 621 031

Online:             horsecross.co.uk

REVIEW: A Steady Rain – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Despite the predictability of the script, Robert Jack and Andy Clark’s powerhouse performances elevate Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain above and beyond the average police drama.

Inspired by a real-life event in the story of US serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, Denny (Clark) and Joey (Jack), two Chicago cops and life-long friends, have to deal with the fall-out, both personally and professionally from a catastrophic misjudgement while on duty.

There’s a danger that the well-worn subject matter could easily descend into cliche, and its portrayal of a certain type of masculinity, now largely unpalatable, is often predictable, but you can’t help admire the sheer volume and denseness of dialogue and the believability with which Clark and Jack deliver it. Gripping and satisfying thanks largely to the skill of two highly talented actors.

REVIEW: Frances and Ethel – Oran Mor, Glasgow

Performing from the age of two, popping pills supplied by her mother at ten, surviving the scandal of her father’s indiscretions by moving from Michigan to Hollywood where she was signed by MGM at just 13 years old, and a lifetime of criticism about her looks, the sad and sorry private life of screen legend Judy Garland has proven to be fertile theatrical fodder over the years.

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David Cosgrove’s Frances and Ethel takes place in a shabby rehearsal room in New York on the eve of Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. With her old pal, pianist Sal, she reminisces on the events that have steered her to this point, chiefly the dysfunctional relationship with the woman she dubbed “the real Wicked Witch of the West”, her steely, ultra-ambitious mother, Ethel.

While Cosgrove’s short, sweet play offers no new insight into Garland’s life, it does win big with the casting of Frances Thorburn as Judy, Thorburn’s voice is eerily evocative of the legendary singer. Dubbed a mini-musical, in Oran Mor’s summer season, the production is rather light on musical numbers, but those it does feature are glorious. An engaging addition to the legend of Judy Garland.

 

REVIEW: Pippin – C, Edinburgh

The tale of a fictitious medieval prince and his search for the meaning of life is unlikely source material for a musical. A favourite of US amateur and school theatre groups, Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson’sPippin had its last professional outing in the UK in 1973 and on Broadway in 2014, where it’s big-top staging was highly lauded by both audience and critic alike.

Often overlooked for its 70s pop/rock score and lacklustre book, the music has the same hippy-dippy, student production origins as Schwartz’s earlier work, Godspell. Here, in the hands of Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, it returns firmly to its roots. No big top, no acrobatics, with just three lidded, wooden boxes and a few drapes, this hugely talented ensemble manage to deliver a cohesive and entirely absorbing production of this seldom-seen work.

The direction at the hands of John King is tight and fluid, transitions are smoothly achieved and there are some nice touches peppered throughout to enliven the staging: shadow puppetry, inventive movement sequences and pseudo-Edwardian costumes that are easy on the eye.

Central to the production’s success is its cast. Universally fine-voiced, it seems churlish to single any out; however, mention must be made of Megan Henson (Charlemagne) who is stunningly gifted as both actress and singer and Oli MacFarlane whose Pippin is beautifully judged. Strong support comes too from Caroline Sautter (a brunette Kerry Ellis look-alike) as the charismatic narrator.

Given a bigger budget and a professional venue, this would give many touring musicals a run for their money. A triumph of strong direction, clear artistic vision and a stand-out cast has produced one of the must-see shows of the Fringe.

Runs until August 31, 2015

Image: Johannes Hjorth

This review was originally published at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/pippin-c-edinburgh/