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Showing posts with the label Drew McOnie

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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

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In offering proof that Kafka is everything to everyone - writer-performer Jack Klaff plays various roles, including the man himself in what is a part tour, part immersion and part legend of Franz Kafka. He is a writer who achieved fame after his life was cut short due to succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of forty. He is probably better known for his reputation and the Kafkaesque style attributed to his writing than his life. But after this piece, you’re left curious to learn more about the man and his works. And that has to be the best theatrical tribute you could give a writer, even for a writer who stipulated that his works be destroyed upon his death. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre . Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. In 1901, he was admitted to a university and began studying law. While studying, he met Max Brod, who would become his best friend and eventual literary executor. Brod would posthumously publish many of his works and writings. Kafka’s life co

Life without art: Theatre Channel Episode Seven @thetheatrechannel

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Regents Park and the spaces around Regents Park Open Air Theatre transform into a magical world full of Rodgers and Hammerstein music in the latest episode of the Theatre Channel . Audition waiting rooms. Picnics in the park. Even the pond geese feature in this reinterpretation of the classic songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook. Theatres are still playing to half capacity since being an afterthought in the great unlock down. And so, the Theatre Channel’s episodes continue to serve as a reminder about what we’re missing. This time around, it’s singing and dancing in the park. Without the garbage or hordes of people mulling about.  Performances in and around the park taking a fresh look at the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook include Michael Xavier performing Climb Every Mountain/You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from The Sound of Music and Carousel on an empty stage. Josefina Gabrielle in an alfresco take on The Gentleman Is a Dope’ from Allegro. And Caroline Sheen turning Whistle A

The Will Young show: Strictly Ballroom @TeamPiccadilly

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Love is in the air in Strictly Ballroom, currently playing at The Piccadilly Theatre . It’s the musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 movie about a boy daring to dance his own steps in the cut-throat world of amateur ballroom dancing.  T h e movie was full of irony and light-heartedness with its corny follow your heart and ugly duckling storylines. Here the musicalisation hits this message over your head as if you’re watching the fall of communism. Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen in the lead roles as the unlikely dance couple give the show style and pizazz. He’s a rebel, she’s an ugly duckling. There is also a thrilling paso doble danc e sequence to close the first act. They even get to sing two lines and sound terriffic. But the show is superfluously narrated by Will Young. He’s also the band leader singing all the songs. While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, here it gives the impression you’re watching the Will Young musical. And often his light vocals are lost in the theatre. The

Life upon the wicked stage: The Wild Party @theotherpalace

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The St James Theatre gets a new name and a hot new show that never lets up with The Wild Party. They dance, they sing, they party as if it were 1928. Based on a notorious poem by Joseph Moncure March, Michael John LaChiusa with George C. Woolfe turn it into a sung through musical vaudeville.  Kander and Ebb did something similar with Chicago, but it always felt tongue in cheek. Here it's as if the tongue is planted in some other filthier crevice. It's darker. And dirtier. And sometimes horrific. Set over the course of a party hosted by two vaudville performers, it revels in sex and sleaze among their show-biz friends. People arrive. They drink. They do drugs. They fight. They have sex. And with director choreographer Drew McOnie's dance and movement, the piece feels provocative, relentless and breathtaking. Perhaps it isn't a party to suit all tastes. But its frenzied pace, complex score and terrific lineup of talent make it hard to ignore, even if you feel

Try to say no to this: In The Heights @Intheheightsldn

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It's been over a year since In The Heights stormed London. It is back at the Kings Cross Theatre sounding even better than before. This is a thrilling show directed by Luke Sheppard. It's full of terrific performances, spectacular choreography by Drew McOnie and a pulsating latin, pop and hip-hop-fused musical score by Lin-Manuel Miranda .