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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

Cabaret sisters doing it for themselves: Sibling Revelry @HippodromeLDN

It would be fair to say that Ann Hampton Callaway and her sister Liz Callaway raised the roof with their sensational cabaret show at the London Hippodrome. Smart and engaging with some terrific witty banter, it is hard to imagine a better show in London at the moment.

Both are stars of New York’s cabaret scene and have both been Tony Award-nominated for their performances in major Broadway musicals. Music is clearly in their bones having grown up in a musical family. They have had acclaimed careers in their own right but the show is is an opportunity to update the show they performed together back at the Donmar in 1996.

At first glance it is hard to believe they are siblings given their different appearance and style.

Ann Hampton Callaway has a smouldering voice (and sultry looks). But she can also blow the roof off when she sings a number such as Blues In The Night. Watching her perform this number was a cathartic experience.

Contrasting this is her younger sister Liz with her beautifully clear and unforced soprano. This was evident with her performances of the songs  Meadowlark and The Story Goes On. The latter being from the musical Baby in which she originated the role of Lizzie.

But when they appear together their harmonies and their ability to interpret a lyric are simply astounding. But there is a warmth and humour that comes across, even as they compare their respective careers, with a hint of sibling rivalry revelry.

The set list was a thoughtful collection of songs that played to their strengths as soloists and individuals along with marking key points of their respective careers (to date).

There is also an opportunity to point out that Ann is not just a terrific singer but a composer with a performance of the theme song from The Nanny.

Anyone interested in performance should go and see this masterclass in Cabaret.

Directed by Dan Foster, with Alex Rybeck as Music Director and on piano, Colin McCann on drums and Rob Hutchinson on bass.

Sibling Revelry runs only until Saturday at the London Hippodrome.


Photo credits: Darren Bell

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