Tag Archives: Town House

REVIEW: Giovanni Pernice, il ballo è vita – The Town House, Hamilton

giiovanni pernice luba mushtuk

Sicilian dance superstar and Strictly Come Dancing alumnus Giovanni Pernice is the latest TV dance pro to take his own personal show on the road and it is arguably, the best one yet.

What this stunning show, il ballo è vito (Dance is Life), demonstrates is that the TV dance behemoth Strictly suffocates the personality of its stars. As a regular viewer of the show, I would be hard pressed to express what I thought Pernice’s personality was – the tabloid gossip about a romance with his celebrity partner the only hint of the man behind the smile. In reality Pernice has a winning and highly charming personality and instead of show-boating in the limelight, he is so comfortable in his ability to shine that he creates a show in which all of his cast get a turn in the spotlight.

cast of dancers il ballo e vita dance is life gianni pernice

There is real artistry here, and under the direction and choreography of Strictly director of choreography Jason Gilkison, there’s so much that delights. The first act has a charming Italian theme, with innovative and beautifully staged classics such as: Volare, Mambo Italiano, That’s Amore and Tu Vuo Fa’ L’Americano. There’s also a funny interlude when a member of the audience joins Giovanni on stage to share some food, Lady and the Tramp style – much to the amusement of the audience. Unlike many of these contrived moments in other dance shows, Pernice’s ease with the audience and genuine charm allows him to pull it off with aplomb. The second act is a tale based on the love story of Pernice’s grandmother and grandfather set to a contemporary and classic soundtrack.

The choreography is simply stunning and the sheer speed and originality of the footwork on display is breath-taking. Pernice is truly a class apart. Mention must be made too of the excellent set and lighting (and shadow) design that enhances the choreography beautifully throughout.

Pernice shows he is a team player, more than ably supported by a team of professionals (including the highly talented Russian dancer Luba Mushtuk), he allows each their chance to shine.

There’s a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere throughout and the ease in the interactions with the audience make this show stand out. This is a classy affair, beautifully staged, and the best Stricty alumni show so far. Catch it if you can.

WHAT’S ON MAY: Buddy Holly & The Cricketers

Buddy Holly and the Cricketers

The Town House, Hamilton – Friday 12 May 2017

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £21.00 / £19.00 conc

25 Years of Rock ’n’ Rolling The World!

For quarter of a century, this breath-taking show has rock ’n’ rolled audiences across the globe from Cardiff to California, Barking to Bangkok and Swindon to Sweden and is guaranteed to have everyone singing along to the music and dancing in the aisles.

It stars some of the finest actor-musicians in the UK whose combined West End credits include Buddy, Lennon, Forbidden Planet and Jailhouse Rock and was endorsed as Britain’s most popular Buddy Holly act when the boys guested on BBC One’s Saturday night live programme, “The One and Only”, hosted by Graham Norton.

The show rarely pauses for breath and is, quite simply, the most compelling concert of its kind. The hits just keep on coming – That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Heartbeat, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Raining In My Heart, Oh Boy! – and much, much more.

Whatever the season, whatever the excuse to party, make your Heartbeat a little faster with the show that has thousands of fans the world over saying:  “I can’t believe it’s not Buddy!”

REVIEW: Mad About the Musicals – Town House, Hamilton

A mixture of musical theatre favourites and some lesser known and forgotten gems, teamed with a top-notch live band and a host of talented performers, elevates Mad About The Musicals to the premier league of musical theatre concerts.

Starring theatre veteran Michael Courtney and special star guest Gareth Gates, it begins with some surprising choices from Copacabana, City of Angels and recent Broadway flop Dr Zhivago, leaving the audience impressed with the vocals but slightly unsettled that this may be the theme for the evening. Thankfully, any misgivings are soon dispelled and the initially subdued audience come alive when we get to more familiar territory. A selection of songs from Miss Saigon, in particular, Bui Doi, is met with rousing applause and a medley of Queen favourites from We Will Rock You (deftly played by the band) sends the audience into the interval with a spring in its step.

The second act is built on more solid foundations; opening on a trio of favourites from Phantom of the Opera, the hits just keep coming: Courtney delivers a spine-tingling The Music of the Night and Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar and Gates unexpectedly impresses in both All I Ask of You and Heaven on Their Minds.

The whole evening is held together with good-humoured banter and complemented with an attractive set and lighting. This is a well thought out, at times unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

REVIEW: Blood Brothers – The Town House, Hamilton

32 years on since its first performance, there are few musicals whose flames still burn as bright nor are there many shows that continue to genuinely move, even on repeated viewing, as Willy Russell’s classic nature versus nurture tale, Blood Brothers.

Now well established on a national tour that takes it all around the UK until September, it arrives in Hamilton as fresh as a daisy and with a cast performing as if it were opening night.

In Blood Brothers the story has always been the thing, and the heartbreaking tale of the Johnnstone twins, separated at birth by circumstance only to be tragically reunited, has lost none of its allure: the packed house were moved, in equal measure, to tears and cheers throughout.

blood-brothers-2014-tour

Crucial to the success of any production of this work is its cast and the current line-up has firmly established itself as one of the best. It is hard to express the quality of Sean Jones’ performance as Mickey, a veteran in the role, he manages, not only a spot-on portrayal of the character from child to adulthood, but his desire to give his all to the role means he delivers 100% at every performance. Recent graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Joel Benedict delivers a rock-solid turn as middle class twin Edward as does Marti Pellow as the Narrator, and Maureen Nolan invests her all as the twins’ mother, she is in fine voice throughout and emotionally wrung-out by the end. The supporting cast are universally deserving of praise too, there isn’t a weak link anywhere.

marti-pellow-blood-brothers1

Mention must be made of the venue; this 700 seater Edwardian Baroque, town theatre provides an intimacy that is ideal for this show. The close-quarters drawing the audience in, making them part of the story. In previous venues (indeed Glasgow King’s Theatre in November) there were amplification issues; the ear-splitting volume at times jarring with the mood of the piece but in this venue, it was pitch perfect.

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A flawless production: both a work and a cast of infinite quality, its power remains undiminished down the years – still an absolute must-see.

Runs until Sat 21 Feb then touring until September.