We asked our reviewers to take a look at 2016 and to nominate some stand out productions for 2016. Alexa Terry replied with the following:- The Pianist of Willesden Lane Often, I find myself leaving the theatre with tear-streaked cheeks and puffy eyes. But, I was not prepared for the sobs that engulfed me, as I watched Mona Golabek’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane’ – a true story of how Lisa Jura, Golabek’s mother, was sent to Great Britain on the Kinderstransport and became a concert pianist. Overwhelming, powerful and hauntingly current, this is undoubtedly, one of the best and most moving pieces of theatre I have experienced. Vanities ‘Vanities’ completely provoked my emotions as I laughed out loud, had my heartstrings plucked and tried to cough away the lumps in my throat (I will get a reputation for being a cry-baby if I’m not careful!). With a satisfying score … Read more
It has to be said: Marianne Benedict as Grizabella gives the best rendition of the infamous show tune that I have ever heard; with the climactic crescendo, her pipes burst with such raw integrity and the uninterrupted audience applause (which will undoubtedly be repeated at each performance) is whole-heartedly deserved.
for me, ‘Murder Ballad’ is all about the exciting score which doesn’t depend on the screaming tenor, but on the sultry bass and an amalgamation of sexed up jazz/pop, with thirst-quenching rock belts (which are, of course, gratefully received). With their music and lyrics, Jordan and Nash blow the dust from the spine of a told tale.
The piece is told beautifully and simply, with no added spectacle or illusion: just one woman, her piano and a story – and I was holding on to every word and every note. I expected scattered sniffs and the rustling of tissues, but it was between Golabek’s performance of Beethoven’s Sonata ‘Moonlight’ and Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’ where I surrendered to the army of stomach knots and the choking lump in my throat and sobbed – the shoulder-bobbing kind.