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The Comedy About a Bank Robbery Review | Criterion Theatre

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l-r Holly Sumpton, Matt Hunt, Samuel Fogell. Photo credit Robert Workman Between 1950 and 1966 actor-manager Brian Rix ran a series of plays in the West End. Because of their location and the type of play they were, they soon became known as the ‘Whitehall Farces’. Now, since those days, the Whitehall Theatre has changed its name to the Trafalgar Studio and, whilst there are still many farces along the road in Whitehall, there hasn’t really been any play as successful as Brian’s five were. However, as Mark Twain once didn’t say, reports of the death of farce are grossly exaggerated and a stone’s throw from Whitehall, in the Criterion Theatre, farce is alive and extremely well in Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About a Bank Robbery. Set in 1958 Minneapolis City, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery tells the story of Mitch Ruscitti (Matt Hunt) and his accomplice Neil Cooper (Samson Ajewole) as they set out to rob the crookedest bank in the most crooked town in America of its prize – the price…

The Golden F**king Years by Adrian McLoughlin | Review

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Ever think about retirement? I must admit I am starting to and face the prospect with absolute dread. I know some people look forward to giving up work and spending the halcyon days of their lives in a relaxed and carefree way in the company of friends and loved ones. That was certainly the plan for the couple in Adrian McLoughlin’s play The Golden F**king Years currently being presented by Vital Signs Productions & Andrew Livingstone Productions at the Brockley Jack. On a sun-drenched balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, two people sit. Gordon (Adrian McLoughlin) and Helen (Deborah Maclaren) have been married for 18 years and are now retired. They spend their days relaxing in their apartment, drinking gin and reading – and their nights at the local bar. The couple don’t have a hectic life. After all, they aren’t as young as they once were – Gordon is nearly 70 – so obviously their pace of life has slowed down. In fact, Gordon seems happy to drink his way through the next few ye…

Tina the Musical 5 Star Review London Aldwych Theatre

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Front Adrienne Warren (Tina Turner), back Francesca Jackson (Rhonda Graam). Photo by Manuel Harlan On November 26, 1939, Anna Mae Bullock was born at Poindexter Farm on Highway 180 in the small town of Nutbush, in Haywood County, Tennessee. For those that don’t recognise the name, my advice is to get yourselves down to the Aldwych Theatre where the story of the girl who grew to be a megastar is being told in the world premiere of Tina. Tina is the story of how young Anna Mae (Claudia Elie/Serena Mukuna/Reya-Nyomi Brown), abandoned by her mother, Zelma (Madeline Appiah) and is brought up by her maternal grandmother GG (Lorna Gayle). As Anna Mae (Adrienne Warren) gets older, GG realises it is time for her to leave Nutbush and head for the lights of St Louis to be reunited with her mother and sister Alline (Aisha Jawando). There, Anna Mae went to the Club Manhattan and met a singer/songwriter/bandleader by the name of Ike Turner (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) who signs her up to his band, change…

Chicago is ‘highly entertaining and enjoyable’ | Review

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Ruthie Henshall as Mama Morton in CHICAGO – credit Tristram Kenton The Prohibition era was not necessarily the shiniest of moments in American history. Bootlegging, speakeasies and organised crime all increased during the nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that ran from 1920 to 1933. Stil, there is one bright spot, and that is that without prohibition, we would never have had the John Kander and Fred Ebb’s wonderful musicalChicago which has recently been revived at the Phoenix Theatre. Chicago is the story of the pursuit and fragility of fame as we follow the story of two notorious women accused of murder. Vaudeville performer Velma Kelly (Josefina Gabrielle) is charged with murdering her sister and husband and Roxie Hart (Sarah Soetaert) facing trial for the murder of her lover Fred Casely (Chris Warren Drake). Roxie is terrified but the matron of the jail “Mama” Morton (Ruthie Henshall) recommends she gets the…

Périclès, Prince de Tyr at Silk Street Theatre, Barbican

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Patrick Baldwin. Cécile Leterme, Christophe Grégoire, Camille Cayol I love the fact that theatre is so much more than just a proscenium arch and a stage. Immersive, site-specific, promenade, there are so many ways in which a play can be put on to entertain an audience. For example, at the Barbican, Cheek By Jowl productions have brought their version of Périclès, Prince de Tyr by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins. In a very blue hospital ward, a man (Christophe Grégoire) is lying in bed. Although a radio is playing, the man appears to be in a coma. He is being looked after by a Doctor (Cécile Leterme) and two nurses (Guillaume Pottier and Martin Nikonoff). As he lies there, the man’s family (Camille Cayol, Valentine Catzéflis and Xavier Boiffier) come in and sit with him. All though is not as it would seem, and in a series of switches between the reality of the hospital room, and the journey of Périclès he travels a world of pirates, magic and double-crossing to find himself, con…

Review of You Can’t Take It With You at the Bridewell Theatre

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You Can’t Take It With You – Photo Credit Sedos Photos As Harper Lee stated “You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family” I bet every one of us has thought/said that at some time in our lives. Your family always knows the best way to embarrass you – especially at the wrong time, and can always be relied on to do something when least expected that will remain seared into your friends’ brains forever. The bad news is that this is no new thing as a trip to the Bridewell Theatre to see George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You will prove. Alice Sycamore (Izzi Richardson) is nervous. She has met and fallen in love with Tony Kirby (Graeme Langford) a wonderful man at her office – well he is the son of the president of the company, Anthony W. Kirby (Craig Karpel) – and has decided that it’s time he met her family. For most people, this would be trauma enough but for Alice, it’s even worse as her family is, to put it mildly, a little eccentric. Her mot…

Review of immersive drama The White Plague at Landor Space

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The White Plague – Audience Immersive theatre is one of the most difficult to describe in a review. Probably more than any other type of theatrical production, immersive theatre is exceptionally personal to the person experiencing it. So it is with the latest immersive theatre show to hit London, but I will try my best to give you an idea of what it is like to live through The White Plague at the Landor Space. Things start off nice and gently when you arrive and are given a name tag which describes something about you – mine was ‘mauve jumper – and then go up the stairs to receive your opening briefing and whiteout goggles. Ah yes, this performance is experienced with the loss of your sight. The premise is that a mysterious and contagious virus which causes the population to go blind starts to spread. The government panics – as they often do – and takes immediate action by locking all the affected populace into an internment camp. And that’s really all I can tell you about the plot. W…