Posts Tagged ‘Bill Kenwright’

Review – The Sound of Music, New Wimbledon Theatre

Tuesday 31 March 2015

22695_fullIt must be a double-edged sword for actors landing the parts of Max Detweiler or Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music. On the one hand you’re no longer “resting”, on the other hand you’re saddled with the two songs that were cut when it became the classic 1965 film and you’re faced with an audience scratching their heads and muttering WTF?

Well, maybe that’s not quite true. The crowd at The New Wimbledon Theatre last night probably don’t know that expression. This elderly audience made Phil feel he was a mere slip of a lad. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium

Friday 25 February 2011

Featuring TV’s Danielle Hope as Dorothy and Bill Kenwright as the Harbinger of Doom.

We were astonished to read that co-producer Mister Bill Kenwright had been treading the Palladium boards as warm-up man for Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of The Wizard of Oz. Frankly, it seemed unlikely.

But it is true.

It was true on Tuesday evening, anyway. There he was, reminiscing about Sunday Night at the London Palladium, talking up the quality of the orchestra, the beauty of the sets and the “zillions” (which must mean TWOO has now outstripped Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the most expensive musical of all time) spent on the double stage revolve.

Stopping just short of slapping a thigh he encouraged the crowd to sing along, clap, cheer, scream and boo the wicked witch before casually dropping in the fact that Michael Crawford wouldn’t actually be giving his wonderful Wizard or his Professor Marvel. Or his Emerald City doorman, come to that. It’s times like this make you wish for the simple white slip poking out of your programme.

The cause? Not mere laryngitis but “blood on his nodules”, apparently – a medical detail that perhaps unsurprisingly failed to whip the crowd much further into the desired state of frenzy but which did cause the Whingers to kick themselves for not packing the WEW Patent Rectal Thermometer.

An economically monickered understudy called “Zeph” (usually “Munchkin Mayor/Ensemble”) would be stepping into Mister Crawford’s beret. Read the rest of this entry »

Clerihew fever

Monday 28 June 2010

No theatre today. Too hot.  No footballs.

Time to play theatrical clerihews instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Woman in Mind, Vaudeville Theatre

Monday 9 February 2009

woman-in-mindAndrew was very, very busy in his garden Saturday morning.* Trimming his vine, to be exact. Thank goodness he didn’t fall on his secateurs or – worse – knock himself out with the rake.

Imagine that he had awoken in some fantasy life of his own making:  sitting all day in a theatre watching his all-time favourite productions on some kind of bizarre cerebral loop: Hairspray, Entertaining Mr Sloane, La Cage aux Folles, things with Jasper Britton (excluding Fram, of course) or perhaps – and more appropriately – constant mental re-runs of The Chalk Garden.

Imagine his whole world viewed through a proscenium arch. Perhaps Maria Friedman would serve him tea at his imagined matinées and a Dame of the British Empire would hook him up to a Merlot drip each evening.

Imagine Andrew’s tailor-made world fashioned to exclude Caryl Churchill, Pinter, Joe Sutton and Polly Stenham. It would be a world without theatrical boredom, restlessness or frustration. A perfect world of complete and utter theatrical Judith Bliss.

Which brings us, and not before time, to Alan Ayckbourn‘s Woman in Mind. Read the rest of this entry »