REVIEW: A Christmas Carol, Lyceum Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

London Musical Theatre Orchestra A Christmas Carol Lyceum Theatre

A Christmas Carol London Musical Theatre Orchestra Lyceum Theatre, 11th December 2017 5 Stars Book Tickets Seeing this sprawling, grand, majestic musical entertainment again in the once splendid surroundings of Bertie Crewe’s opulently spacious rococo interior (behind Beazley’s proudly neo-classical facade), with the full resources of the LMTO massed on stage, complete with a chorus and a line up of superb soloists, all in evening dress, flanked by a brace of sparkling Christmas trees, and beneath the trademark red banners of this specialist orchestra, in this melodramatic, sentimental story of vice and redemption, it is easy to think that there is rather more of nineteenth century French grande-opera about it than the conventional trappings and concerns of Broadway showbiz.  Hearing Alan Menken’s stunning score, given lush and vivid life in Michael Starobin’s gorgeous orchestrations, it is easy to imagine oneself back in the world of Meyerbeer, Gounod and Berlioz, where … Read more

New British Musical The Girls To Open in January 2017

Producers have announced that Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British Musical The Girls will begin performances at London’s Phoenix Theatre on 28 January 2017. Tickets are now on sale. The musical is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth Calendar Girls. The West End premiere follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016. See the great video with Gary and Tim below. Unlike most other West End musicals, Producers have made a commitment to there being no Premium Rated seats, no booking fees and reduced priced previews. The ‘Girls’ will be played by Debbie Chazen (Topsy Turvy, Psychoville) as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann (Bend It Like Beckham, Made In Dagenham) as Celia, Michele Dotrice (Some Mother’s Do Ave Em) as Jessie, Claire Machin (Mary Poppins, Titanic, Mary Poppins) as Cora, Claire Moore (Miss Saigon, The Phantom … Read more

Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer Of The Year and Stiles And Drewe Prize Winners Announced.

Courtney Bowman winner of the Stephen Sondheim Strudent Performer Of The Year Award

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performers Of The Year Award and the Stiles And Drewe Prize for Best New Song were held yesterday at London’s Novello Theatre. Clustered inside the theatre on a sunny London afternoon, the programme was hosted by Julian Ovenden and with performances from Ovenden, Sophie Louise Dann, Natasha Cottriall and former winners of the Performer Of The Year Award. Courtney Bowman won the Student Performer Of the Year Award (£1000 prize) with her performances of Me And My Town from Anyone Can Whistle and The Driving Lesson from the musical Heart Of Winter written by Tim O’Connor. Speaking to BritishTheatre.com after the event Courtney said: “I’m so surprised to have won, because everyone involved was so brilliant. There are no two people who are the same out of the twelve of us, and it’s so refreshing to watch and learn from other performers. Being thrown together … Read more

Bend It Like Beckham Trailer Released

Bend It Like Beckham musical

A great new trailer for Bend It Like Beckham The Musical is now online. Bend It Like Beckham The Musical is a celebratory fusion of culture, music, emotions and fun, bursting with warmth, humour and heart. Jess needs extra time. She is facing the most important decision of her life: live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenager is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of unexpected opportunities opens up before her. But as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, can she keep her family happy and still follow her dreams? The cast is led by Natalie Dew who plays football crazy Jess with Lauren Samuels as Jules, a player with the Harriers, a local women’s football team, and Jamie Campbell Bower as their coach Joe. Sophie-Louise Dann plays the role of Paula … Read more

REVIEW: Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre ✭✭✭✭

Bend It Like Beckham at London's Phoenix Theatre

Act Two is practically perfect. It starts with a fabulous number for the girls, Glorious, and it never looks back. It’s full of great music from Goodall and the range of styles he covers is significant. He uses Punjabi tunes effectively, there is a terrific solo for Jules’s mother, There She Goes, a melodious duet which is gentle and joyful, Bend It, then a stirring quintet and an overwhelmingly joyous piece which celebrates the wedding of Pinky and Teetu in contrapuntal tandem with the celebration of the football grand final win. By the time the second Act is over, the longeurs of the first have been brushed aside, and the infectious sense of harmony and happiness is irrepressible.

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