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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Theatre: Forbidden Broadway

Initial impressions of Forbidden Broadway which is currently in preview but opens later this week at the Menier Chocolate Factory


It has been a while since I have been to the theatre and blogged about it. Sure I could have written about Frances Ruffelle's cabaret show at Madame Jo Jos saying it was good but after a long day rehearsing with the London Gay Men's Chorus, I wanted something funnier. I could have also written about opening night of La Traviata with Renée Fleming which was also fantastic (overlooking the first act and the over-egged production). But it was the sheer cheap laughs and silliness of Forbidden Broadway that is worth a blog update.

While it was a little short side, there were enough fresh barbs at the London theatre scene including Elaine Paige, the West End Whingers, audience members, and even Susan Boyle, along with with material previously performed from the off-Broadway review to keep everyone entertained. Well maybe everyone who is a little in the know about the world of musicals... It is a bit of a worrying sign to be amused so much by in-jokes about musical theatre. The opening number about an argument between two homosexuals could have been a scene from any conversation in the Dress Circle shop in Covent Garden. Maybe I am just more theatrically inclined than I think I am. Well that is something to ponder over Pride I suppose...

Anyway the cast of Anna-Jane Casey, Sophie-Louise Dann, Alasdair Harvey and Steven Kynman were all pretty darn funny and worked hard for the evening's entertainment as well.

After the show the gathering of bloggers and hangers on suggested to the creative team including creator Gerard Alessandrini that the show could do with taking the piss out of Sister Act. For no other reason than it is a big, obvious, target. The bizarre show using Michael Jackson's music, was also suggested as another candidate. Then again the humour in Forbidden Broadway has always been incisive rather than just sending up any old mediocre show. It is too bad that Plague Over England wasn't still running as I would have enjoyed a comedy routine about how a play set in a urinal passes for drama in the West End...

Anyway the show is well worth catching and is a refreshing injection of life into the theatre scene in London. Actually the theatre scene over the summer has looked a bit lifeless of late. Maybe it is the heat. Or the fact that it is summer. Fortunately during this time of high temperatures the Chocolate Factory is air conditioned... Well at least the theatre. The bar and restaurant is another story altogether...

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