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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

Streaming from a long way home: Side by Side

Ann Hampton Callaway and her sister Liz Callaway are reunited at Ann's home in Tucson to stream their concert Side By Side to our homes. Both are award-winning artists with a reputation for insightful interpretations of popular songs, broadway and jazz, along with their compositions. Last seen in London at the Hippodrome in 2015, the stream captures some of the magic of their live cabaret performances. 

Their last collaboration, Sibling Revelry, sent up the idea they were brutal competitors. The focus here is more on getting together and singing some songs. Microphones may not work (or get dropped), lyrics get messed up, but they carry on with the spirit of being together and making music.  

Songs include Melissa Manchester's Come In From the Rain, songs by Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. There's also a medley of songs they used to sing growing up from the back of the car to taunt their parents on long drives. You could imagine their parents weighing up whether to be annoyed by their questionable music choices or impressed by their musicality. And they also sing their biggest hit, the theme song to the show "The Nanny". 

Their reunion inspires the show after being apart from the pandemic. Reunited at Ann's brightly lit sunny home during the day, it seems less of a hideaway cabaret venue and more the sort of place Oprah would host an interview. Some of us like our jazz and cabaret looking darker and smokey. But the song choices and their interpretations make up for this.

Part of a semi-regular stream from Ann Hampton Callaway called Callaway's Hideaway, there are additional streams in July and August. Ann Hampton Callaway is also releasing several singles this year, the latest being her Robert Frost collaboration "Revelation," which has come out this month. Side By Side is available until the end of May. Check out the website for more details.

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