Featured Post

Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Theatre: Blood Brothers

I mentioned earlier this year to Grant and a few others in the chorus, that I had not seen Willy Russell's musical, Blood Brothers. The reaction to this statement was like one of those scenes in a movie... You know like in a western, when a stranger walks into a bar and the music stops, people gasp, and everyone looks up and stares... I was committing musical heresy apparently, even if a show about two guys who turn out to be brothers and then die wasn't high on my list of things to see...

Well Grant was determined to rectify this oversight, so on Friday I found myself at the Phoenix Theatre where this show has been playing for a very long time... Blood Brothers tells the rather melodramatic story of two twins separated at birth. They grow up only knowing each other as friends and one goes to Oxbridge and becomes a Councillor, while the other goes mad (some may be confused about whether there is much of a contrast here). Eventually thanks to the love of a girl and shoes on a table (lucky it wasn't wire hangers), it all ends in tears.

I was told that I would be a hard man to not to be upset by the ending. Well throughout the show I was upset by loads of things such as the lack of characterisation, the entire role of the narrator and his dirty shoes (a downside of sitting too close to the stage) and the constant spelling out in big letters the class differences (which is done a lot better in Billy Elliot). But what saves this show is the central character of the mother Mrs Johnstone.

Grant was disappointed that one of the Nolan sisters wasn't performing as Mrs Johnstone, since over the years I think every single one of them has played this role. But we got something far better. We got last years X Factor finalist Niki Evans. Evans came fourth in the show last year. She seems so perfect for this role and gave this show the lift it needed. Evans own story as told on X-Factor last year was emotional enough. She was working as a dinner lady before going on the show last year. But it is not just her story and her pitch-perfect singing that makes her interesting. It was also her ability to deliver the most incredibly emotional performance, that had the audience on its feet cheering her at the end. Here's hoping that we see more of her on stage in the future, as she was nothing short of sensational.

It is always possible to get good discounts to the show, and the show is worth catching while Evans is in the run... Even the most jaded theatre-goer would be hard not to be impressed by this turn...Then again I am always a sucker for stunt casting...

Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Play ball: Damn Yankees @LandorTheatre