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Showing posts from January, 2023

La vie en rose: Dirty Dancing @DDonstage

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Just like you can't keep Baby in the corner, you also can't let the West End live without the musical Dirty Dancing for long. Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage is back in the West End at the Dominion Theatre . I'm assuming the classic story has been added to the title since more time has elapsed since the film came out and today than when the film came out and the period where the action takes place.  Dirty Dancing has been a regular feature on the West End since it first premiered here in 2006. But in the space of the Dominion Theatre, everything about it enhanced and enlarged. The theatre is big. The volume is cranked up, so you feel the bass. The dancing is full of high kicks. The mousy role of Baby, here played by Kira Malou, seems even mousier. And Michael O'Reilly playing the Patrick Swayze role, is so big that when he appears in his underwear in one scene you wonder where the show is going. But don’t worry this is a family show. The only thing dirty in t

Previews: The Elephant Song @ParkTheatre

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On Monday evening, I was to cover a mystery thriller, The Elephant Song. Instead, I was uncovering the mysteries of the London Underground, having found several lines out of action and an emergency evacuation. Only the London Underground would mess with my mind for the evening. But for those who manage to navigate the traffic and public transport (or better yet, can walk or cycle there), it’s currently playing at the Park Theatre.  The Elephant Song is a Canadian play by Nicolas Billon. It premiered in 2002 and has had performances around the world. There’s also a film adaptation which is available to stream. But this is the first time it has premiered in the UK.  Its premise is hospital director Dr Greenberg (Jon Osbaldeston) is questioning a disturbed patient Michael (Gwithian Evans), about a missing psychiatrist. Against the advice of colleagues, he continues the questioning to find out what happened to his colleague. The questioning leads to Michael’s accounts of elephants, opera a

Hostile environments: On The Ropes @ParkTheatre

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On the Ropes, currently playing at Park Theatre , tells the real-life story of Vernon Vanriel. The show tells his story over twelve rounds, using the boxing ring as a metaphor. It's a compelling and emotional story of a life interrupted by the Windrush scandal using narration, songs and drama. Perhaps a few trims and a cast in fit and fighting form (without colds, flu or covid) could be a knockout. Vernon Vanriel's story is about a man who, against all odds, never gives up. Despite the obstacles his way, including ones from his demons. From a trainee electrician to the number two lightweight boxing champion in the UK, he had to deal with crooked promoters and a rigged boxing competition. He never got the opportunity to claim the number one title, and soon, drugs and mental health meant he would lose everything. But he would next find himself up against an even more formidable opponent, the institutionally racist policies of the British government. These policies led to him beco

Salty romance: Salt-Water Moon @finborough

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Salt-Water Moon, currently playing at the Finborough Theatre , is like watching a feel-good romantic comedy. Albeit one set in Newfoundland in 1926. You may know where the piece is heading. After all, it is part of a series of plays with the same characters by playwright David French. But it’s the journey of getting there that matters. There’s a tenderness to the story brought to life by two charismatic performances that will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. And not just because of the necessity to sit five abreast on the Finborough’s bench seats.  It’s a clear night in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, a quiet and remote fishing village, in 1926. Mary Snow is stargazing, waiting for her fiancé to return. However, she is interrupted by the unexpected return of Jacob Mercer. He had left her to go to Toronto a year earlier without even a goodbye, and he seemed determined to win her back.  What then unfolds from small talk and idle chatter about the stars is