Posts

Showing posts with the label new shows

Featured Post

Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

Image
What if your teddy bear could talk? My ten-year-old self would think that to be excellent. My more recent self would think it was a high-concept buddy movie with Mark Wahlberg. But in Stictches, Jonathan Blakeley's monologue, which he has written and performed, traces the life of his beloved Chloe, from when she was first given to him by her grandmother, wrapped with a red ribbon. It becomes a story not just about a cute bear (or maybe that should be rough, shaggy-looking bear given the performer’s appearance) observing life but an exploration of life and all of its stages. It's currently playing at the Hope Theatre .  The bear is not warm and fuzzy; he is a bit of a character and tough-talking, but also a bit anxious about being accepted and then discarded as nothing. But he is there to bear witness as she navigates the complicated facets of growing up and having a life. Ultimately, the bear has to deal with being consigned to a box with her other memories until circumstances

Les seins et les culs: Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show @RoundhouseLDN

Image
Is it a fashion show? Is it a cabaret? Is it a celebration of Jean Paul Gaultier’s work? Does it matter? Well, it’s a little bit of all of the above. Music, fashion, video projections, and dance collide in this slick and sexy profile of the world of Jean Paul Gaultier over the past five decades. With over 400 costumes, acrobats, singers, dancers, projections and a throbbing soundtrack, it’s a world where beauty is everywhere. And excess, raunchiness and a little bit of breast and buttock are de rigueur.  It even smelled like him. His fragrances wafted throughout the Roundhouse on the gala press night earlier this week, with the various reviewers, influencers and fashionistas grabbing the free samples in the toilets and spritzing them about so that you were living and breathing Jean Paul Gaultier.  First presented at the Folies Bergère in Paris in 2019, it has made it to London with a few updates, such as a catwalk. Lights, music and digital projections overwhelm the senses that sometim

Jesus, It’s Christmas: An Act of God @thevaultsuk

Image
God is back, and she wants to correct the record in 90 minutes on a stage under Waterloo Station. If that seems like a fair enough premise for you, then An Act of God is currently playing through to the new year at The Vaults . It’s such a mild satirical piece that you’ll be smirking out loud rather than laughing out loud. However, as an alternative Christmas experience with a terrific bar and an enthusiastic cast, it’s mostly harmless. God has come to London to correct the record on a range of misinterpretations of her Ten Commandments. The Palladium was unavailable, but the damp space of The Vaults was free. This time around the tablets are different (an IPad of course) and so are the messages about leaving God out of the war, travelling or sex. New material has been added to keep it topical. But the comic timing seems off and attempts to introduce theological debate into the proceedings fall flat. This makes the reissuing of the 10 commandments feel a bit of a chore. Or lik

Read the: Labels @stratfordeast

Image
Joe Sellman-Leava's one man show is a fascinating look at how the use of words out of curiosity, fear and hostility have impacts. His power is in his ability as a storyteller to hook you in on his argument and walk in his shoes. In roughly sixty minutes he hooks you in on his story and the story of his family. Sellman-Leava was born in Gloucestershire but his family has connections to Uganda and India. This background leads to constant inquiries about where he was from. And saying Gloucestershire is not the response people expect. This leads to an exploration about why we seek to label people.

Inspired compilations: Pure Imagination @St_JamesTheatre @pureonstage

Image
As the lights go down suddenly the familiar tune from the film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory floats down from around the St James Theatre . And thus begins the journey into the world of the songs of Leslie Bricusse with the revue Pure Imagination. It could easily be called a journey through the last fifty years or so of music, as it does feel like it is a showcase of some of the most popular songs from stage and film. Part of the fun is realising so many of them were written or co-written by one man.

Sneak previews and gospel singing: The Amen Corner

Image
This week I was lucky enough to catch a rehearsal of the first act of The Amen Corner , which starts previewing at the National Theatre next week. Within forty five minutes it is fascinating to see even in rehearsal how all the elements of the story are laid out. The play is set in Harlem in the 1950s and tells the story of a fiery pastor Sister Margaret whose estranged husband unexpectedly returns. Combined with the antics of her son her congregation is soon in revolt against her hard line leadership.