REVIEW: Hey Old Friends, Theatre Royal Drury Lane ✭✭✭✭

Millicent Martin in Hey Old Friends

There was a charming mix of reverence and irreverence as well, making the audience feel specially entertained and complicit with the in-jokes. The warm up prelude, People Who Like Sondheim (performed with zing by Kit and McConnel) was good fun and the duo appeared throughout as a kind of Sondheim Statler and Waldorf with witty and barbed repartee. In the second Act though, one of the unarguable surprise sensations of the evening was a five minute romp through 33 Sondheim compositions, “Ladies and gentlemen may we have your attention please…” presented with real style and panache by Martin Milnes and Dominic Ferris. These cabaret contributions provided some much needed innovative content.

REVIEW: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre ✭✭✭

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

The utterly reliable Laura Pitt-Pulford brings strength, warmth and thoughtfulness to Milly – frankly, she outdoes Jane Powell by some distance. Her Milly is completely believable, a realistic contradiction of thoughts and deeds, and a woman unafraid to be driven (and bound) by her lust – for Adam and for life. Vocally, Pitt-Pulford is a dream. Her pure, golden voice masters the music and her delivery is sensuous, wry and whole-hearted, depending on the requirements of the particular tube. Her work in “One Day”, “Goin’ Courtin'” and “Love Never Goes Away” is outstanding; she makes more of the songs than might be reasonably expected.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Cast Announced

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Casting has been announced for the forthcoming production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers which will run at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 16 July – 29 August 2015. Led by Alex Gaumond as Adam and Laura Pitt-Pulford as Milly, the full cast of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers will include Rosanna Bates, David Burrows, Angela Caesar, Matthew Clark, Leon Cooke, Eammon Cox, Jacob Fisher, Charlene Ford, Steve Fortune, Trevor Michael Georges, Bob Harms, Bethany Huckle, Frankie Jenna, James Leece, Phillip Marriot, Dylan Mason, Natasha Mould, Peter Nash, Sam O’Rourke, Ryan Pidgen, Adam Rhys-Charles, Karli Vale, Annie Wensak, Ed White and Emma Woods. From the Golden Age of the movie musical, this much-loved score includes Bless Your Beautiful Hide, Goin’ Courtin’, Wonderful Wonderful Day, and the dance spectacular, Barn Dance. Based on the 1954 MGM film of the same name, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was adapted for … Read more

REVIEW: Jason Robert Brown In Concert, Royal Festival Hall ✭✭✭✭

Jason Robert Brown at the Royal Festival Hall

The unstoppable, extraordinary Cynthia Erivo proved, twice, what a potent combination Brown’s music and lyrics can be in the hands of a singer whose voice can electrify every note. Her rendition of Stars And The Moon was perfectly judged, poetical and gorgeous in every way, each word ablaze with intense feeling, each note true and rich. But her staggeringly powerful I Can Do Better Than That served as the 11 o’clock number here and, quite rightly, brought the house down.

REVIEW: Follies In Concert, Royal Albert Hall ✭✭✭

Follies In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

In the case of Betty Buckley as Carlotta, the casting was inspired. Her powerful and joyful rendition of I’m Still Here stopped the show. But it was Anita Dobson’s self-deprecating turn as Stella which finally galvanised the entire company into glorious cohesion: her attack in Who’s That Woman was splendid (a gutsy belt matched her tap-dancing prowess) and she and all of the other women acquitted themselves well in bringing Andrew Wright’s clever choreography to life. The younger versions of Sally, Phyllis, Ben and Buddy were spot-on, engaging and sublime. Christine Baranski’s Phyllis was brittle, regal and immaculately stylish.

REVIEW: A Little Night Music Concert, Palace Theatre ✭✭✭✭

A Little Night Music 40th Anniversary Concert at the Palace Theatre, London

Wheeler’s dialogue sparkled and fizzed, even in the mouths of those who were oddly or badly miscast. The sense of the quality of the literary glories of the book was most clear in the case of Joanna Riding’s faultless Countess. Every line was a winner. In the hands of Anna O’Byrne, Anne Ergerman was a complete triumph, the glittering centrepiece of Act One.

Cast announced for The Sound Of Music at The Curve

The Sound Of Music at The Curve Leicester

The Curve Theatre, Leicester announced casting for their forthcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound Of Music to be directed by Paul Kerryson. Casting will include Emma Clifford (Baroness Elsa Schraeder), Michael French (Captain Von Trapp), Emma Harrold (Liesl Von Trapp), Mark Inscoe (Max Dettweiler), Laura Pitt-Pulford (Maria Rainer), Lucy Schaufer (Mother Abbess), Annie Wensak (Frau Schmidt), and Jack Wilcox (Rolf Gruber). The production will open on 3rd December, with previews from 28 November and play until 17 January. Over the past five years Curve’s Christmas musicals have become increasingly popular, receiving widespread critical acclaim and attracting audiences from all over the UK. For more information visit The Curve Online

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