Posts Tagged ‘Mark Henderson’

Review – Girl from the North Country, Old Vic

Wednesday 12 July 2017

For a musical it wasn’t looking good.

Now in early previews at The Vic, Girl from the North Country has a pretty nondescript title and it plunders Bob Dylan’s back catalogue (ooo err, missus), an artist Phil has never truly embraced. Rae Smith’s set is of the minimal, deconstructed variety (musical instruments scattered around an empty stage with only a handful of backdrops popping in and out) and Mark Henderson’s lighting suggests someone has forgotten to put a shilling in the meter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – The Bodyguard, Dominion Theatre

Friday 29 July 2016

BEVERLEY KNIGHT IN THE BODYGUARD”1338304834_Image1_bodyguard

Well, that’s what our only souvenir from the show, a flyer, claims (programmes are a whopping £8, which is more than a mug at a mere £7). But, long-sighted buyers beware, in ant-sized type on the back it states she’s “currently scheduled to appear at Tuesday to Friday evening performances and both performances on Saturday, subject to illness and holidays”.

We’ve been caught that way before. When we saw The Bodyguard in its first run at the Adelphi Theatre, headliner Heather Headley had better things to do and we saw her (albeit very good) stand in.

So second time lucky. Fortunately for us it wasn’t a Monday night or Wednesday matinee and Ms Knight wasn’t suffering croup or lying on a sun lounger with a pina colada somewhere but giving considerable wellie (welly?) on the Dominion stage. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday 8 December 2015

funny-girl200aYes, we were the luckiest people in the world. We got tickets!

This was the Menier‘s fastest-selling production (entire run sold out in a few hours) and an announcement of a transfer to the West End well before Funny Girl – the story of Broadway star Fanny Brice – had even started previews. People who need tickets needn’t panic.

Andrew was fastest finger first and nabbed some for the last preview (yes, we are a bit behind). So expectations were absurdly high. Would we be drooling over Sheridan Smith‘s Fanny? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2015
  • gypsyimeldaWe’ve been waiting so long for this production, indeed any production of Gypsy (The title: a bit old school, a bit UKIP. We of course call it Traveller), we feared it couldn’t possibly live up to our expectations. Would it light our lights and hit our heights?
  • We needn’t have worried. We’re still giddy and breathless and talking with random thoughts in bullet points, plus it saves time as we’re prone to indolence.
  • Although there have been 4 Broadway revivals, it was first and last seen in London in 1973 with Dame Angela. Now we have it practically on our doorstep (unless you live in the Savoy Hotel where it is on your doorstep) with Dame (it can only be a matter of time) Imelda Staunton. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Kate Bush, Before the Dawn, Hammersmith Thingy

Monday 29 September 2014

KatebushBit late in the day really, and not the sort of thing Phil would normally write about, but Kate Bush‘s return to the stage after three and a half decades in Before the Dawn has been described as theatre as much as a concert. Plus it’s directed by Adrian Noble and includes contributions from other theatre people like lighting designer Mark Henderson, illusionist Paul Kieve and video and projection design from Jon Driscoll. Sounds like theatre to us. And we just wanted to brag remind ourselves we were there. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Adelphi Theatre

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The last time we went to the Adelphi Theatre was to see Love Never Dies. Nice to see it again, this time for a check-up of the transferred Sweeney Todd which we saw in Chichester when a transfer seemed inevitable and well-deserved.

And pretty much everything is in place just as it should be although sadly there was no sign of Andrew Lloyd Webber in the little boy’s room on this occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chichester Festival Theatre

Thursday 13 October 2011

Notes for Andrew who is due to see this within a few weeks.

Boring travel details first: We put ourselves in an upbeat mood by eating pies (inappropriately cold) as we travelled to Chichester before being thrown unceremoniously off the train at Barnham. Jolly mood quickly dissipated. Allow plenty of time to get there.

No direct trains back to London. Swathes of grumpy Sondheim aficionados cluttering the platform. Return journey: 3 and a half hours.

Do the dream team of Messrs Ball and Staunton appreciate the lengths we go to?

Director Jonathan Kent has updated Sweeney Todd‘s melodrama to 1930s. Why? It’s a piece of Victorian Grand Guignol (Music and lyrics Stephen Sondheim, book Hugh Wheeler). Updating adds nothing. Fortunately it doesn’t detract too much. Doesn’t Kent realise “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” is from a different Sondheim show? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Rocket to the Moon, National Theatre

Tuesday 29 March 2011

It’s astonishing what you can pick up at the theatre. For instance: Phil, who sleeps on his face (insert your own gag here), had no idea it was bad for him.

Along with sucking pacifiers (insert second own gag here) it is apparently one of the “enemies of a beautiful mouth”. It’s far too late for the Whingers which could explain why they cover their faces for photo opportunities.

But if any of you younger people  turn up at Dr Stark’s (Joseph Millson) 1930s New York dental practice you should heed these and other warnings on the marvellous posters which adorn the walls of the waiting room.

Mind you, it’s unlikely that you will because it’s a play. And also because Dr Stark has very few patients: just one in the nigh-on-three-hours the Whingers spent there.

Yet Stark is always staying late “working”. What could he be doing? If you were his wife you might think he was having an affair. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Enron, Royal Court

Friday 16 October 2009

enron10Like Andrew on a weekend break, Enron comes with an absurd amount of baggage: it picked up suitcases full of rave reviews at The Chichester Festival Theatre and hat-boxes full of predictions that it will scoop Best Play in the awards season.

Its West End transfer was announced before the sold-out Royal Court season even opened. Everyone’s talking about it.

But sadly for the Whingers that pesky old Black Watch effect is back. How can anything possibly be as good as all those critics said it was? It just can’t. And so it proved to be with Enron, the story of the energy company that fooled everyone into thinking it was better than it was. Read the rest of this entry »