THEATRE

The Lion King (Fri 28 Jun – Sat 28 Sep)

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Last night, I saw one of Disney’s most-loved musicals brought to life on stage, and when I say brought to life, I mean brought to life. It was everything you could have hoped ‘The Lion King’ to be, and more.

The opening to the show, was the best I have ever seen, being immediately drawn into what was going on. It started with a visual explosion on stage, whilst listening to the most amazing vocals and harmonies that made my hairs stand on end! The much-loved ‘Circle of Life’ was soon belted out, during which, the house-lights raised leaving the audience turning around to see what was going on – the cast, in their animal costumes, were dancing down the aisles. It was an amazing opening and I really am not doing it justice, you have to go and see the show to see just how jaw-dropping it was. It left the audience completely eager and on the edge of their seats to watch what was going to happen next.

The architecture of the costumes were works of art, each and every outfit was so well thought-out and you could definitely tell how much hard work was put into the planning of them. The thing I loved most, was that the masks were raised above the actors’ heads, meaning you could still see their expressions and know where each voice was coming from. It was so clever how they managed to capture the identifying movements  through the use of puppets and models of the animals.

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The costumes for the gazelles were brilliant, not only were dancers portraying the movements of the animal, but they had models of the gazelles attached to them which reflected of the dancers movements as they leapt gracefully on stage (see below).

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One of the things that was different in this musical, which I had never seen done in other musicals before but I really loved, was in the balconies on each side of the theatre, you could actually see people playing the african drums and percussion; this made the show feel much more authentic and real. The music in the whole show was fantastic and the musical director Jon Ranger deserves a vast amount credit for making the show as big a hit as it is.

The set was really effective in portraying the scene where the wilder beasts are chasing Simba and it was genius  who this was achieved. A lot of the set was also people, whether they were meant to look like rocks or grass, I really loved that touch.

Onto the characters: young Nala and young Simba were played by Donica Elliston and Joshua Cameron who were the two cutest kids with so much sass! I thought they were amazing, especially for their age and played their roles so well – they were definitely made to be on stage! Adult Simba was played by Nicholas Nkuna and Nala played by Carole Stennett were all-round incredible. They both put so much emotion into their performances and their singing was flawless. I really think they gave the characters of Nala and Simba justice!

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Rafiki definitely had the most effortless and unique voice out of everyone and I loved the character she played. Gugwana Dlamini who played the part, is definitely a very talented actress. However, it has to be said, the most fun characters were  Zazu (Meilyr Sion), Timon (played by John Hasler) and Pumbaa (played by Mark Roper). They were hilarious and put so much energy into their roles. What made this even better is that you could tell they were really enjoying themselves. Zazu was everyone’s favourite talented, fun-loving guardian. The line dancing of Timon and Pumbaa was genuinely hysterical and I fell about laughing; this being a complete contrast of emotion to – the euphoria of the opening scene, later sorrow at various ‘tragedies’  and anger towards the show baddy, Uncle Scar (Stephen Carlile). Scar’s make up, posture and facial expressions truly conveyed a sinister character, we all rejoiced at his defeat.

Disney’s award-winning musical of course had a standing ovation, rightly so, as the atmosphere was just incredible, as was the acting, singing, dancing, costumes, set… the list could go on and on. I’ve never wanted to recommend a show as much as I recommend this one, out of every show I have ever seen in my life, this is by far my favourite. The passion, energy and effort that went into the show was out of this world. The show was a full emersion experience where sound, song and sight came together perfectly. It had everything a show should have and way way more, I liked the film but I adored it on stage.

For more information and to book tickets for the show click here.

Some of these photos shown were taken by me, to see more click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

Hairspray

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The much loved musical, Hairspray, has arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome for a two week period. Having read about the opening night standing ovation, I was even more excited to see it, especially as it is one of my favourite films.

The cast, well what can I say, they were amazing. Mark Benton, best known for playing “Daniel ‘Chalky’ Chalk” on BBC’s Waterloo Road, played the fantastic character of Edna Turnblad. He was joined by understudy Wendy Somerville as Velma Von Tussle, X Factor finalist Marcus Collins as the all-singing, all-dancing Seaweed Stubbs and Freya Sutton who played the famous Tracy Turnblad.

You would never have guessed that the same Mark Benton, who plays a nervous wreck on Waterloo Road, is the same glitzy drag artist. He really was fantastic and even when his character slipped, it was lovely to see his personality shine through amidst roaring laughter from the audience, who lapped it up. This was particularly evident in his duet with ‘his husband’ Wilbur Turnblad, played by Paul Rider, which left the audience in stitches. He looked like the stereotype of a comedy double act and couldn’t have played the part any better if the film version is anything to go by.

Before the show had even began, I was sure I’d love the character that Marcus Collins plays – Seaweed is one of my favourites in the film. I already knew he could sing but boy can he move! He was so flexible that he could have been made of elastic and you could tell he really was born to be on stage.

I thought Freya Sutton had tough competition as some of the other cast members were quite well known. However, she was the biggest stage personality, being so full of life and reveling in her role. Luke Striffler, who played Link Larkin was every bit the heart-throb, with his moves, grooves and tunes. His passion was evident in everything from  ‘the motion of the ocean’ to the ‘sun in the sky’. He really couldn’t stop the beat!

Corny Collins, played by Piers Bate, lived up to the characters name and was indeed, ‘corny’, nailing the part. However, I must say, an unforgettable character was Lauren Hood who played geeky Penny Pingleton. Her energy and stage presence had us transfixed, and her ability to stay in her gawky role throughout even all the dance moves, really shows just what a talent she is (and a real highlight of the show)!

Gemma Sutton (Amber Von Tussle) and her equally spoilt mother (Wendy Somerville) made a fearsome duo with their scheming plans and diva behaviour. However, the show really couldn’t have been in the ‘standing ovation on a Wednesday night category’ without being completed by the chorus: Lou-Anne, Brad, IQ, Shelly, Tammy, Brenda, Fender and Sketch who put on a fabulous show. I particularly loved the novelty and skill of the musical director’s solo spot. Peter White showed off his orchestra’s talents, whilst building the audience for the second half.

The set was bright and colourful, just how it should be and worked well with this stage adaption of this much-loved musical.

In case you can’t tell already, I absolutely adored Hairspray and would recommend it to absolutely anyone, of any age, who loves musical theatre. I just found it hard not being able to sing along at the top of my voice to some of my favourite tunes but that didn’t stop me from belting out renditions the whole way home… I just wish I could now be ‘welcomed to the 60’s’!

For more information or to book tickets click here.

Here’s what some of the audience members had to say during the interval!

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Me with Marcus Collins (and other X Factor contestants) in 2012!

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

Porgy and Bess (Wed 6 – Sat 9 Jun 2012)

The first night of ‘Porgy and Bess’ was one I will never forget; having never seen an Opera before, I didn’t know what to expect. Opera’s are stereotypically known to appeal to an older audience, and being only 16 I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it. However, as it started and throughout the whole show I was certainly captivated by how the story was portrayed and told through words and music.

The audience’s focus always seemed to be on the fullness of the vocals/dancing/acting of the cast, so the minimalistic stage with a two-storey set was always in balance and didn’t detract from the powerful story that unfolded. The audience were taken on a journey of high’s and low’s which all pieced together to create a mesmerising performance.

Throughout ‘Porgy and Bess’ themes of love, hate, culture and creed are discovered through the incidents that centre around each leading couple. The plot seemed to be many different scenarios of their everyday culture with the love that Porgy (Xolela Sixaba) a disabled beggar, had for Bess (Bongi Ngoma) underlaying every situation. Bess was originally a drug addict and with Crown, who had to use her womanly means to get money for drugs. Sportin’ Life was her ‘Happy Dust’ supplier who encouraged her to leave the quay-side Catfish Row to head to New York to earn them both money. Bess rejected both his offer and her relationship with Crown, turning a new leaf and moving in with Porgy to become a steady couple. Bess accepted and loved Porgy for who he was, despite the fact he was a ‘cripple’. Similarly, Porgy didn’t care about Bess’s past and loved her unconditionally. Catfish Row were shown to be a strong community with faith at their centre who supported each other in times of trouble, whether through rape, death, murder or natural disaster.

The choreography, when introduced added to the atmosphere and showed that the dancers had style, character and raw energy. The whole show was put together immensely well, and with the use of digital subtitles that appeared above the stage, it meant that it could be followed even if the dialect differed from our own. ‘Porgy and Bess’ is a true eye-opener and I feel encouraged to see more opera’s in the future.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

http://www.aemeliajess.com
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Hairspray

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The much loved musical, Hairspray, has arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome for a two week period. Having read about the opening night standing ovation, I was even more excited to see it, especially as it is one of my favourite films.

The cast, well what can I say, they were amazing. Mark Benton, best known for playing “Daniel ‘Chalky’ Chalk” on BBC’s Waterloo Road, played the fantastic character of Edna Turnblad. He was joined by understudy Wendy Somerville as Velma Von Tussle, X Factor finalist Marcus Collins as the all-singing, all-dancing Seaweed Stubbs and Freya Sutton who played the famous Tracy Turnblad.

You would never have guessed that the same Mark Benton, who plays a nervous wreck on Waterloo Road, is the same glitzy drag artist. He really was fantastic and even when his character slipped, it was lovely to see his personality shine through amidst roaring laughter from the audience, who lapped it up. This was particularly evident in his duet with ‘his husband’ Wilbur Turnblad, played by Paul Rider, which left the audience in stitches. He looked like the stereotype of a comedy double act and couldn’t have played the part any better if the film version is anything to go by.

Before the show had even began, I was sure I’d love the character that Marcus Collins plays – Seaweed is one of my favourites in the film. I already knew he could sing but boy can he move! He was so flexible that he could have been made of elastic and you could tell he really was born to be on stage.

I thought Freya Sutton had tough competition as some of the other cast members were quite well known. However, she was the biggest stage personality, being so full of life and reveling in her role. Luke Striffler, who played Link Larkin was every bit the heart-throb, with his moves, grooves and tunes. His passion was evident in everything from  ‘the motion of the ocean’ to the ‘sun in the sky’. He really couldn’t stop the beat!

Corny Collins, played by Piers Bate, lived up to the characters name and was indeed, ‘corny’, nailing the part. However, I must say, an unforgettable character was Lauren Hood who played geeky Penny Pingleton. Her energy and stage presence had us transfixed, and her ability to stay in her gawky role throughout even all the dance moves, really shows just what a talent she is (and a real highlight of the show)!

Gemma Sutton (Amber Von Tussle) and her equally spoilt mother (Wendy Somerville) made a fearsome duo with their scheming plans and diva behaviour. However, the show really couldn’t have been in the ‘standing ovation on a Wednesday night category’ without being completed by the chorus: Lou-Anne, Brad, IQ, Shelly, Tammy, Brenda, Fender and Sketch who put on a fabulous show. I particularly loved the novelty and skill of the musical director’s solo spot. Peter White showed off his orchestra’s talents, whilst building the audience for the second half.

The set was bright and colourful, just how it should be and worked well with this stage adaption of this much-loved musical.

In case you can’t tell already, I absolutely adored Hairspray and would recommend it to absolutely anyone, of any age, who loves musical theatre. I just found it hard not being able to sing along at the top of my voice to some of my favourite tunes but that didn’t stop me from belting out renditions the whole way home… I just wish I could now be ‘welcomed to the 60’s’!

Here’s what some of the audience members had to say during the interval!

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Me with Marcus Collins (and other X Factor contestants) in 2012!

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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High Society Review

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High Society arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome, for it’s anticipated leg of the tour on the 14th May. I hadn’t heard too much about what the show was like so I really had no expectations, though after watching it I would highly recommend it, I felt it was very different to anything I’d seen before!

The basic plot is about a young woman, Tracy Lord, who is preparing to marry again. Her younger sister Dinah, doesn’t want her to marry the guy and her Mother isn’t happy either, but everything changes when her first husband Dexter returns. Although the plot might not seem all that much, many surprising things happen throughout the show which keep you on the edge of your seat – I didn’t foresee the ending at all!

The cast were amazing, Sophie Bould played the main part of Tracy Lord and she really has incredible talent – especially vocally! However, my two favourite characters in the show were Dinah Lord and Dexter Haven. Katie Lee played the character of Dinah, and even at the young age of 17, you could tell she was born to be on stage; you could feel her energy and passion. Dexter was played by Michael Praed who’s credits include Georg Von Trapp in the national tour of ‘The Sound of Music’ and even ‘Robin of Loxley’ in ITV’s ‘Robin of Sherwood’. I feel they really brought the show to life, their roles were believable and the on-stage chemistry between them felt real.

Another character that has to be mentioned was Mike Connor, played by Matt Corner. Unfortunately, Daniel Boys, who normally plays the role, was ill the night I went to see High Society and therefore Matt was the understudy. However, if you didn’t know he was the understudy, you really wouldn’t have been able to tell! He has so much talent and did an amazing job playing the character.

The set of High Society, was pretty simple, consisting of minimal furniture but it really worked with the way the show had been put together – a lot of the set changes included turning around set to create a new ‘room’.

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Overall, I really enjoyed High Society, although at first I wasn’t too sure what I was going to make of it, I thought it had an interesting yet simple story-line and was certainly different to any other musical I’d seen before! It stays at the Hippodrome only until the 18th May so grab your tickets while you can or check out where the show is going next here.

If you need more convincing at the interval, we caught up with a member of the audience to hear what she thought of the show so far!

For more information or to book tickets click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Sutra Review

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Sutra hit the stage at Birmingham Hippodrome last night and it certainly was not one to be missed. I had no idea what to expect but after watching the show, I was so glad to have witnessed their acrobatic feats.

The dancers, who were aged between 10 and 26, were truly incredible. Their talent and the passion they put into the performance shone through out and their skills were unbelievable. The audience gasped the whole way through, failing to believe that what they were seeing before them, was real – an uncountable amount of flips and tricks.

All that was on the stage, was 21 wooden boxes and the dancers themselves, although it doesn’t sound much, I feel if there was a spectacular background, it would have detracted from the performance and would have given the show a whole new feel. Something that I loved, which you don’t often get to see, was the fact there was a simple sheer net as the back-drop, allowing you to see the musicians behind.

If everything else wasn’t enough to convince you to buy tickets, you can take my word that Sutra is definitely a mind-blowing show and you will be in awe of their martial art abilities. The strength and flexibility of the dancers, especially the 10 year old, will leave you with your jaw dropped and your eyes wide open.

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For more information or to book tickets click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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 The Phantom Of The Opera (Wed 13 Mar – Sat 4 May)

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The Phantom Of The Opera arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre on the 13th March as part of its new UK tour and it definitely did not fail to please the audience. The audience lost themselves in the story, captivated by Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of the musical.

Earl Carpenter, best known for being in Les Misérables and Phantom, did an incredible job of portraying ‘The Phantom.’ The emotion he put into the whole performance was astounding and really made it all so believable. However, you can’t forget his vocals, he sounded absolutely amazing and his duets with Christine were just incredible.

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Katie Hall played the role of ‘Christine Daaé’ and from the very moment she stepped on stage you could tell just how talented she is, an all-round amazing, singer, dancer and actress. To start, her vocals were absolutely breath-taking and I can not flaw her singing one bit! The way she interacted with the characters (mainly ‘The Phantom’ and ‘Raoul’) and the energy she put into every part of the musical really pulled the whole show together. Simon Bailey also did an amazing job of playing the role of ‘Raoul’ and his vocals could not be faulted either. He made everything so believable – especially the part where he almost gets hung to death.

A few of my other favourite characters in the show have to be ‘Carlotta’, played by Angela M Caesar and ‘Monsieur Firmin’, played by Andy Hockley. Angela’s voice could reach notes that I didn’t think were even humanly possible to hit and Andy’s acting demonstrated his wealth of experience.

Out of all the shows I’ve seen, the set, designed by Paul Brown particularly stood out for me. It was beautiful and so realistic that you forget that it actually is just a piece of set, as to a real room that you’re standing in. 

A moment that particularly stood out for me was when the giant chandelier (to anyone sitting in the stalls- it is actually above your head) smashed into pieces and parts of rubbery-jelly (made to look like glass) burst all over the audience.

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The Phantom Of The Opera was a show I certainly won’t ever forget and I don’t think I’ll ever stop being envious of their vocal talent! I’d heard so many great things about the show and getting to see it for myself was amazing. I would thoroughly recommend it and if I were you, I’d grab tickets while you still can!

For more information or to book tickets click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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 The Full Monty (Tue 26 Feb – Sat 2 Mar)

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As soon as I heard that ‘The Full Monty’ had been rated 5* by the Independent last week in Sheffield, it definitely made me excited to see it. I had heard so many good things about the show and couldn’t wait to see it for myself; it certainly did not fail to please! I, along with the audience, was laughing from start to finish.

Simon Beaufoy’s 1997 film was brought to life in the theatre world in the year of 2000. To sum up the story line – 6 unemployed workers, who have no money or plans, decide to become a strip act. It also includes the well-known songs from the movie: ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer and ‘Sexy Thing’ by Hot Chocolate – definitely crowd pleasers and got the audience singing along!

Lead ‘Gaz’, played by Kenny Doughty wowed the crowd with his humour (and body) as soon as he took to centre stage. The role he played was amazing, and very believable. Not forgetting, thirteen year old Jay Olpin who played the role of Nathan, and did an incredible job – you really do forget he is so young with the amount of talent he has. Craig Gazey was one of the most humorous characters, best known as Graeme Proctor in the ITV soap Coronation Street, he plays a role of an awkward security guard who attempts to commit suicide. The whole cast were amazing but these were just a few that definitely stood out and although the scripted language they used was not always so clean throughout the whole show, the humour behind it made the audience laugh along.

The set, designed by Robert Jones, of a ‘workhouse’ stayed pretty much the same throughout, with a few tables and chairs added here and there, however I personally thought it worked well and fitted with every scene.

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A standing ovation for The Full Monty says it all. I thought it was an absolute must-see (if you can handle the nudity and language). The show was put together brilliantly and there wasn’t one member of the audience who didn’t laugh the whole way through – which gave a great atmosphere. I definitely recommend it and think director Daniel Evans did an incredible job, not to mention the exact timing by the lighting engineer at a critical moment!

We grabbed some of the audience’s reaction in the interval and here’s what they had to say – 

Click here for more information on the tour and show of The Full Monty

For more information on ‘The Full Monty’ at Birmingham Hippodrome click here

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Fri 1 Feb – Sat 2 Feb)

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Before the dancers had even taken centre stage, I knew I was in for a treat. As the audience took their seats, and just minutes before the performance was about to begin there was a few minute long voice-over which left the audience in hysterics. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was certainly a show I will never forget.

The show began with a performance of ‘Les Sylphides’ which had the most amazing choreography and definitely stood out as being the best performance in my eyes. Each ballerina had their time to shine and it included some of the funniest slapstick and satire humour to be seen. The ‘Dying Swan’ act was also a very memorable one, with the audience laughing non-stop throughout the whole performance as masses of feathers floated out from the tutu’s ruffles for the majority of this effective solo dance. Other acts such as ‘Walpurgis Night’ and ‘La Vivandiere Pas De Six’ showed off the skill each individual had. Every performance during the show was amazing; the amount of talent everyone in the company has is incredible. During the Q+A session after the show, I learned that there are always 2 or 3 people in the dance company that know each other’s dances in case of any injuries or illness.

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The ballet company consists of 16 dancers so as you can imagine they work very hard, and it definitely shows. The effort and energy they put into each dance move and facial expression really pulls the whole show together. In the Q+A session after the show was finished, it was mentioned that one of the key elements they look for when casting the dancers, (obviously being an outstanding dancer was first and foremost) is to ensure they are a group player and have a good sense of humour.

By the end of the night, I was surrounded by people crying with laughter. It definitely broke the stereotypical ballet’s that I’d seen in the past and is a show not to be missed! To get even more of a taster of what the show is really like, you can view an open rehearsal here. More information about the show can be viewed here and to find out where they’re on tour in a city near you click here.

Tickets can be bought here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates (Sat 15 Dec – Sun 27 Jan)

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From the moment I sat down, I knew I was going to be in for a treat watching this season’s pantomime. Not only did the stage look incredible, but the atmosphere of excitement from the public made the experience so much better and with everyone buzzing from suspense the show began.

Theatre legend, Brian Conley took centre stage playing the character of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ while Lesley Joseph was ‘The Enchantress of the Ocean’ with both of them making the audience leave with jaw’s and belly’s hurting from laughter. They were joined by Kathryn Rooney as ‘Polly’ and Andrew Ryan as a very convincing ‘Mrs Crusoe’. They all put 110% into their character and the performance as a whole and it definitely showed. All actors seemed to have genuine chemistry with each other which gave rise to a natural rapport and humorous banter on stage. Indeed, it was very easy to imagine them having hysterics and a great friendship backstage, which reflected during the show.

The set, designed by Ian Westbrook, was a really key part of the performance and definitely helped the audience visualize the setting without detracting from the fact that it is pantomime. Similarly, the music, directed by Robert Willis, within the show definitely brought the whole thing to life and sounded incredible.

Michael Harrison, executive producer and director for the show, did an absolutely amazing job as the whole show pulled together so well and so smoothly. There was not a single part while watching the show that I was not entertained or without a smile on my face.

It included something for everyone, with a show-biz take on modern songs, audience participation, hysterical humour, a catchy story-line and of course, classic panto moments, there is nothing more to ask for.

I extremely recommend watching it before it disappears as you won’t want to miss what’s in store and I can honestly say it was the best panto I have ever seen and is a must-see for all ages (definitely family friendly.)

More information can be viewed here

Tickets can be bought here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Blood Brothers (Mon 22 Oct – Sat 3 Nov)

Marti Pellow joins Blood Brothers, written by Willy Russell, for two weeks at Birmingham Hippdrome and he definitely did not fail to please. The 14 actor cast shined as they poured their heart and soul into the performance, most playing numerous roles within the show. The marvellous and captivating story left the audience on their feet, with a full standing ovation.

Blood Brothers is an emotional story of twins, separated at birth, brought up with completely different lifestyles who meet in their childhood, becoming best friends and subsequently ‘blood brothers’ without knowing their true relation to one another.

Sean Jones played the character of Mickey, and took on the role incredibly, leaving the audience in stitches as his playful self took to centre stage, while Jorden Bird played the character of Eddie and similarly did an amazing job.

However for me, I would have to say that Niki Evans was the star of the show. She played an amazing believable role of Mrs. Johnstone, with a voice so effortlessly powerful that it left you with goosebumps. She put 110% into her character, showing complete natural talent.

After 24 years of being performed in the West-End, Blood Brothers will have its last show on the 10th November 2012 – just another reason to see it while it’s here in Birmingham. If you want to see an amazing show with an array of outstanding talent, humour and incredible vocals then Blood Brothers is definitely the one for you!

Tickets are available here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Sister Act (Tue 9 – Sat 20 Oct 2012)

After a jaw-dropping show and with a full standing ovation, I can truly say Sister Act was absolutely incredible. The stage production of ‘Sister Act’ directed by Jerry Zaks was a fun, family show, filled with talented acting, amazing vocals and humour which will leave you laughing for days!

Lead ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ played by Cynthia Erivo had the power to ‘wow’ the audience  with her renditions of ‘Fabulous, Baby’ and ‘Take Me to Heaven’ amongst others (which I found myself singing the rest of the week). Her charisma shone on stage and I was definitely mesmerized by her overall performance. However Denise Black, who played ‘Mother Superior’, and ‘Sister Mary Robert’ played by Julie Atherton, along with Jacqueline Clarke and Laurie Scarth (two other sisters) had a great on-stage relationship and their humour really bounced off each other.

The set, designed by Klara Zieglerova, was a huge focus in the performance and was by far the most outstanding set I have seen in a long time. A particular set which truly stood-out was the church interior which had stunning stained-glass windows and an amazing perspective.

The costumes, although most being habits, showed such a variety and especially in the finale where the outfits were dazzling due to an infinite amount of sparkles, reflecting off the disco-ball which just about sums up the whole show.

Sister Act is a definite must-see! It was an amazing show and I would recommend it to all (5*). For more information or to buy tickets click here or to listen to a podcast from the show itself click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Dirty Dancing (Wed 4 Jul – Sat 25 Aug 2012)

The production of ‘Dirty Dancing’ by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Sarah Tipple included everything you could want in a performance, with amazing vocals, incredible choreography and without a doubt; if you enjoy the film, you’ll love this!

The lead actors Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman played by Jill Winternitx and Paul-Michael Jones as Johnny Castle showed great natural talent as they sung and danced their way to the audience’s hearts with a deserved standing ovation. The choreographers, Kate Champion, Glenn Wilkinson and Craig Wilson certainly did an amazing job with tightly choreographed dance routines, spot-on accuracy and 110% energy given by all. The dancing was by far my highlight of the whole show, with jaw-dropping moves, style and lifts leaving me mesmorised!

The modern yet basic set designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis, didn’t detract from the colourful performance but gave enough away for you to know exactly what was going on, whether they were in a dance club, bedroom or swimming pool. The performance was completed with the extra use of visual effects created by digital technology which particularly made the show memorable, with scenes such as when ‘Baby’ and Johnny Castle were practicing dance moves in the sea which had been projected onto the set with added sound effects.

‘Dirty Dancing’ is a must-see for those who love an all-singing, all-dancing cast with lively numbers such as the infamous ‘Time Of Your Life’.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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5 thoughts on “THEATRE

  1. […] (@aemeliajess) – you can read Chris’s reviews HERE and keep up to date with Aemelia’s reports HERE. Best of luck to both of them and we look forward to sharing their reviews with you…happy theatre […]

  2. Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I can genuinely get useful information regarding my study and knowledge.

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