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Showing posts with the label Brendan Murphy

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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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

No small parts: Friend (The One With Gunther) @onewithgunther

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Suppose you have neither the time nor the intellect to sit through 236 episodes of Friends on Netflix. In that case, thankfully, writer and performer Brendan Murphy distils the ten seasons into his show, Friend (The One With Gunther), as told by Gunther, that guy who manages the coffee shop. The coffee shop is where much of the action of the show takes place. It's a strange location that looks like the show's creators couldn't work out whether it should be a bar, a diner or somebody's living room. But as acknowledged here, Gunther was there (albeit more prominently from season two), and so he is the best man to give his view on the goings on. And since the Friends characters always talked so loudly in the coffee shop, he could hear everything.It's part recap and part piss-take. The latter suits if you missed all ten series of the primarily white, often homophobic yet still curiously popular series.  Murphy takes us back to a different time and place. The nineties. B

Streaming Queens: The Crown Dual @KingsHeadthtr

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Even if you haven’t watched The Crown on Netflix, there’s much to be amused about in The Crown Dual. A meta-spoof on the public’s endless fascination for dramatisations about the lives of the royal family. And all things royal for that matter. It’s currently playing at the Kings Head Theatre . The premise is that Beth Buckingham (Rosie Holt) and her dubious agent and patio specialist Stanley (Brendan Murphy) are going to recreate Beth’s showreel audition for The Crown. And prove that she would have been far more talented than that Claire Foy in the role. And so beings a rather silly and at times hilarious recreation of the best and most preposterous bits of the first series of The Crown. With Holt or Murphy playing a range of cast members, sending up both the characters and their fictional television characterisations. Both have great comic timing and make a  somewhat regal pair. The lives of the Royal Family often seem like the subject matter for a farce. Here it’s an ente

Silly monkey: King Kong (A comedy) @thevaultsuk

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King Kong (A Comedy)   is currently at the Vaults at Waterloo. A show that needs to tell you it's a comedy (albeit in parenthesis) might give you reason to hesitate. If it's funny why does it need to tell you that it will be? But fortunately it is like a sketch show put together to tell the story of the beast that almost conquered New York.  King Kong is such a silly story that giving it a comic treatment actually doesn't change much of it. Struggling producer needs a leading lady for his next animal picture. No self-respecting actress would work with him and so he finds a lady off the street. Only this time she can speed read ancient texts and maps. There is enough silliness to appeal to children and enough adult themes to keep the rest of us tittering away. A cast of serious (and not so serious) actors; Ben Chamberlain, Rob Crouch, Sam Donnelly, Aix Dunmore and Brendan Murphy play a range of characters that featured in the film.