Sunday, January 29, 2017

It becomes her: Death Takes A Holiday @charingcrossthr


A terrific story and some fine singing from its sexy leads makes this encounter with death enjoyable. But you get the feeling that that this near death experience could be more enjoyable if the music was not so repetitive and loud. It's currently playing at Charing Cross Theatre.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cheap locker room talk: Promises Promises @swkplay

Songs by Burt Bacharach and a great cast can't conceal the paper-thin story and an awful lot of what probably is best described today as locker room talk in Promises Promises. It's currently playing at Southwark Playhouse.

It's based on Billy Wilder's film The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It's about a young man who sees a way of climbing the corporate ladder by lending out his apartment to executives for brief encounters.

But in the translation from screen to stage, it feels slow and repetitive. At three hours it draws out the drama and loses the comedy with the relentless locker room talk, superfluous songs and dialogue.

Hopes for 2017: The Doppel Gang @tristanbatestheatre



Things I am hopeful about for theatre this year after catching The Doppel Gang at the Tristan Bates Theatre:

More shows featuring the music, drama and comedy of music hall. 

The Mother Goose panto at Wilton's last year gave a few quick flashes of music hall style with a few numbers. Here this show is set in the pre-television era where an evening's entertainment is a night out at the theatre. It's a lost art that could do with being resurrected.

More borrowing of classic comedy sketches that don't involve Monty Python. 

There is a Faulty Towers Live show that is winding its way around Australia as part of John Cleese's pension plan. But there are is plenty of other comedy that could be recreated, borrowed, or repurposed. The Marx Brothers are a case in point.