Eastenders actor Jamie Foreman will play Arthur in the West End transfer of Mrs Henderson Presents opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 9 February for a strictly limited season. Foreman joins the previously announced Tracie Bennett as Laura Henderson, Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams as Maureen. Foreman is best known for playing Derek Branning in EastEnders, but his other credits include Lenny in Birds of a Feather, Bill Sikes in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, Duke in Layer Cake, Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth, Elizabeth and Sleepy Hollow. Tracie Bennett is a double Olivier Award-winner for her performances in the musicals She Loves Me and Hairspray. She received huge acclaim all over the world for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End Of The Rainbow, and was Tony Award nominated for her lead role in the production, also directed by Terry Johnson. The cast also includes … Read more
BOOKING IS NOW OPEN FOR MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS Following a sell-out season at the Theatre Royal Bath, new musical Mrs Henderson Presents will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 9 February 2016. Mrs Henderson Presents will star Tracie Bennett and Ian Bartholemew playing Mrs Henderson and Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams playing Maureen. We believe that both Bennett and Williams will reprise their roles in the West End. Other casting will be announced shortly. It’s London, 1937, and recently-widowed eccentric, Laura Henderson, is looking for a way of spending her time and money when her attention falls on a run-down former cinema in Great Windmill Street. Hiring feisty impresario Vivian Van Damm to look after the newly renovated Windmill Theatre, the improbable duo present a bill of non-stop variety acts. But as war looms something more is required to boost morale and box office… When Mrs Henderson … Read more
The result here is that this is more the Comedy of Richard II than the Tragedy of Richard II. There is an unseemly pursuit of laughter – characterisations are extreme, language is tossed aside in favour of quick laughs and the deeper, darker side of text and situation is left largely unconsidered. This is not to say that production is not entertaining – it is – but it is not a production which seeks to achieve anything in particular or which attempts to enliven or illuminate. In rather the same way as an accomplished school performance can leave you satisfied, so too does this production. It’s a great introductory point; if this is your first taste of Shakespeare, you won’t be disappointed. But if you come looking for insight or new perspectives, you will find none.
American Buffalo Wyndham’s Theatre 2 May 2015 3 Stars Book Tickets His whole body is a snarl of anger, resentment, pain. His shaved head suggests an innate meanness, but it is just show. His character is weak, lost, desperate to be loved and to be considered part of “the action”. His eyes astonish: one moment, almost lifeless, as if he is elsewhere thanks to drugs in his system or perhaps because he is mentally deficient; the next, they flash into life, presenting tough bravado or lucid hope. His hands and arms seem almost disconnected, as he curves or twists them oddly, fascinatingly, a reflection of his confused, inarticulate demeanour. When, unexpectedly, he is assaulted, his jaw broken by the severity of the blow, you feel the pain as surely as if you had been yourself assaulted. As blood pours from his ears, and he expresses his fear about his state, … Read more
Mikey Jay-Heath is superb as Tom Thumb and his big number, Bigger Isn’t Better, is wonderful in every way. Landi Oshinowa displays great vocal chops, twice. Her Joyce Heth number, Thank God I’m Old, is vocally aglow and her second Act number, Black and White, is a solid jazz/blues number. There are some terrific cameos from Nick Butcher and Edward Wade, both of whom are accomplished triple-threats with bright futures. But this is not Barnum at its best.
Russell is the key to the trio, the ebullient, man-hungry, life-grabbing, and casually irritating Rose. Outhwaite is forthright and calming and when her world collapses, the pain is clear, bruising and sensitively conveyed. Her funeral oration in Act Two is especially good. Spiro imbues the most difficult character of the three with insight and understanding. Her final scene with Outhwaite is powerful indeed.