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Privates On Parade marches into Brighton

Privates On Parade, Peter Nichols and Denis King’s rip-roaring – yet dark – comedy with songs comes to the Theatre Royal, Brighton from 22–31 August. Set in 1948, the play features an entertainment troupe touring South East Asia to bring light relief to, and boost the morale of, the young soldiers still fighting the might of Chinese […]

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Karen Mason – Crazy Coqs

Karen Mason performed Right Here/Right Now at the Crazy Coqs, London. More and more regularly they are putting the ‘All Seats Sold’ sign outside the Crazy Coqs at the Brasserie Zedel and this is no small thanks to that doyenne of the cabaret circuit Ruth Leon. Keen to introduce new acts from the US to the […]

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Anything Goes – Kilworth House Theatre

Anything Goes continues at the Kilworth House Theatre, Lutterworth until 1 September. If you’ve never seen a musical at Kilworth House Theatre, my advice is to get down there pronto. Based in the grounds of a well-to-do country hotel scarcely five miles from the Lutterworth (south Leicestershire) junction off the M1, Kilworth has everything going […]

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Edinburgh Fringe musicals – more reviews 3

Director, performer and radio presenter Tim McArthur gives his view on more of the musicals showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. West End at the Fringe continues at theSpace @ Symposium Hall until 24 August. What a lovely sweet revue this is, performed by five young talented performers who glide through an interesting selection of songs […]

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Edinburgh Fringe musicals – more reviews 2

Director, performer and radio presenter Tim McArthur gives his view on more of the musicals showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. Le Gateau Chocolat – I Heart Chocolat continues at the Underbelly until 26 August. It’s a delight to see Le Gateau Chocolat return to the Fringe this year. His rich, gorgeous singing voice and energetic personality is a delight […]

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Kids Week 2013 boasts ‘incredible’ sales

More than 100,000 tickets have been sold in the first weeks of Kids Week 2103, London theatre’s annual initiative for children. Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) said: “The sales for Kids Week are incredible – and we would like to thank the many shows that have once again supported this […]

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The Last Ever Musical – White Bear Theatre

The Last Ever Musical continues at the White Bear Theatre, London until 7 September. Simon James Collier’s The Last Ever Musical intends to ‘hold a mirror up’ to the Fringe theatre world in a piece which aims to be satirical and thought-provoking, but is instead let down by a weak plot which, bizarrely, uses a tampon as […]

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Edinburgh Fringe musicals – more reviews

Director, performer and radio presenter Tim McArthur gives his view on some of the musicals showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013.   Julie Madly Deeply continues at the Gilded Balloon Teviot until 26 August. If we’re all honest we all have a secret crush on Julie Andrews, she has been a part of our lives […]

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Little Me – Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre

Little Me continues at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub, London until 31 August. Little Me has been the vehicle for many a comic turn over the years. The original 1962 production opened with Sid Caesar and the musical has featured Bruce Forsyth and Russ Abbot in the past. Perhaps the most accomplished all-rounder […]

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Maria Friedman in Concert – Cadogan Hall

Maria Friedman in Concert at the Cadogan Hall, London. Internationally acclaimed singer and actress Maria Friedman expanded upon her ‘Lenny & Steve’ show, first produced at the Matcham Room at The Hippodrôme last year, for the musical theatre concert series at the Cadogan Hall. Friedman has long been associated with Stephen Sondheim, the relationship starting […]

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The Other School – St James Theatre

The Other School, a National Youth Music Theatre production, was staged at the St James Theatre, London. The Other School is a psychological new musical by Dominic Marsh and Dougal Irvine, specially commissioned for the National Youth Music Theatre. Irvine wrote the brilliant musical Departure Lounge, so I was really looking forward to see what he […]

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Gotta Sing Gotta Dance – Eastbourne/Touring

Gotta Sing Gotta Dance continues at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne until 24 August and then tours the UK until 25 October. Where else do you get to see the whole West End in three minutes? Cleverly designed, that very funny sequence is one of many gems from the ever enjoyable revue Gotta Sing Gotta […]

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Soul Doctor – Circle in the Square NY

  Soul Doctor has opened in the Circle in the Square theatre, New York, for an open-ended run. Soul Doctor celebrates an unusual man in pretty familiar bio-musical terms. This new Broadway offering, which had a brief Off-Broadway run a year ago, tells the story of Shlomo Carlebach, a charismatic musician and sort-of-renegade rabbi who […]

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Music Show Wedding – C venues

Music Show Wedding continues at C venues, Edinburgh until 26 August. It may be unexpected to say that the future of musical theatre is safe in the hands of the Koreans, but it is a nation with a fantastic array of major theatres presenting great classics from the West End and Broadway. The people there love […]

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title of show – Landor Theatre

[title of show] continues at the Landor Theatre, London until 14 September. Originating at the first New York Musical Theatre Festival , [title of show] adds a whole new perspective to the backstage-musical genre. Performed in a single act, the narrative details the musical’s own creation by lead characters Hunter and Jeff, from tentative concept […]

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A Theory of Justice the Musical – C venues

A Theory of Justice the Musical continues at C venues, Edinburgh until 26 August. This is a wholly original work from a group of Oxford undergraduates and the packed house (me included) at C venues really enjoyed it. A romp through 2,500 years of philosophy with some cracking songs, a mass of our favourite characters and […]

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Between Empires – theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Between Empires continues at theSpace @ Symposium Hall, Edinburgh until 24 August. I declare an interest – I met with one of the writer/producers of Between Empires at a recent surgery I ran and we explored the joys, challenges, and opportunities of bringing a new show to the Fringe which will, in time, be much longer, […]

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Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare in the Park

Love’s Labour’s Lost has opened at Shakespeare in the Park, Delacorte Theatre, New York, to continue until 18 August. Back in 1971, the esteemed Off-Broadway producing company The Public Theater had a big hit at its Shakespeare in the Park season with a musical adaptation of Two Gentleman of Verona. The production transferred to Broadway, […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – Musicals Update Four

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 is up and running, here’s the fourth of a number of updates about musicals and cabarets being staged at the international event. Miles & Coltrane: Blue (.) 3–26 August, C Venues (Venue 34). United States-based artistic collective Concrete Generation has travelled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to present its production, Miles & […]

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The Bridge – C Nova

The Bridge continues at C Nova, Edinburgh until 26 August. A beautifully crafted one-man and three-guitar show, The Bridge is part life story and part love story. A love of life (surviving major illness), a love of music (from his first banjo), a love of family, and a love of his life. Benjamin Scheuer weaves […]

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Rent – Tabard Theatre

Rent continues at the Tabard Theatre, London until 31 August. Rent, a rock opera for the Generation X era loosely based on Puccini’s La Boheme, opened Off-Broadway on 25 January 1996, the day after its creator Jonathan Larson passed away from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm. It transferred to Broadway and became one of its longest-running […]

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Michael Ball on Live By the Lake

Olivier Award-winner, multi-platinum recording artist, TV host and radio presenter, and one of Britain’s leading musical theatre performers, that’s Michael Ball. On Sunday, 1 September he leads the cast of Summertime – An Evening of Gershwin as part of the Live By the Lake season at Kenwood House in Hamsptead, London. Also in the cast […]

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It’s Not What You Know – theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

It’s Not What You Know continues at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall until 17 August. blot THEATRE is a group of students/graduates from Hull University, in many cases off to drama school shortly, and in It’s Not What You Know they create a comedy, a cappella sketch revue exploring the world of Rose, a recent graduate from the […]

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Bryan Batt – Crazy Coqs

Bryan Batt performed his show Batt On a Hot Tin Roof at the Crazy Coqs, London. Bryan Batt is perhaps best known here for his portrayal of Salvatore Romano in the television series Mad Men. He has appeared on numerous stages in New York and his native New Orleans in shows such as Jeffrey, Beauty […]

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Adam and Eve – Gilded Balloon Teviot

Adam and Eve – The Musical continues at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh until 25 August (not 12). Adam and Eve is a new musical theatre piece written and composed by Ben Hales, with witty cutout designs by Kerry Frampton. They are both part of the company of six with Splendid Productions. The show presented […]

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Ruthie Henshall – Cadogan Hall

An Intimate Evening With Ruthie Henshall was performed at the Cadogan Hall, London. In the beautiful setting of the Cadogan Hall, more well-known for its classical and jazz performances than musical theatre work, multiple Olivier Award-nominated star of the West End and Broadway Ruthie Henshall presented a collection of songs from shows she had either appeared […]

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West Side Story – Sadler’s Wells

West Side Story continues at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London until 22 September and then tours. Simply stunning! There may have been productions of West Side Story as good as the current revival but it’s hard to imagine a better one since this iconic show was launched on Broadway in 1957. The combined genius of Leonard […]

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First Date – Longacre Theatre NY

First Date opened at the Longacre Theatre, New York, and continues until 5 January. The first new musical of the 2013-14 Broadway season is a slight diversion called First Date. The piece was originally produced in Seattle last year, and its assets include an agreeable pop/light rock score that’s more infectious than deafening, by Alan Zachary […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – Musicals Update Three

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 is up and running, here’s the third of a number of updates about musicals and cabarets being staged at the international event. The Bloody Ballad featuring Mary and The Missin’ Fingers 31 July–25 August (not 12 and 19), The Assembly Rooms, Roxy Upstairs (Venue 139) Following an acclaimed UK tour and London […]

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Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens – Leicester Square Theatre

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens continues at the Leicester Square Theatre Lounge, London until 15 September. There’s something about Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens which just begs to be enjoyed as the second show of a rather well-lubricated evening. Perhaps this is why the advertised 7.30pm start time is actually the beginning of a […]

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The Sound of Music – Regent’s Park Open Air

The Sound of Music continues at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London until 7 September. Do we need another The Sound of Music just yet? That question lingered in my mind while heading for the Open Air Theatre on a rainy Monday evening, but the answer turned out to be yes. True the last […]

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Pipe Dream – Union Theatre

Pipe Dream continues at the Union Theatre, London until 31 August. Pipe Dream was the seventh musical to be created by the legendary partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersmith II. Amongst their large canon of Broadway classics, such as Oklahoma!, Carousel and South Pacific, it was to be their biggest flop. John Steinbeck, the […]

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Rock of Ages closes in the West End

Following 15 months at the Shaftesbury Theatre and a year at the Garrick Theatre, the producers of Rock of Ages the Musical have announced it is to close on 2 November 2013, prior to embarking on a UK national tour.  Rock of Ages the Musical opened on 31 August 2011 at the Shaftesbury Theatre and went onto […]

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Maury Yeston and Titanic

  The 1997 musical version of the Titanic story has finally reached London in a new chamber staging at the Southwark Playhouse. Michael Darvell meets the show’s composer and lyricist Maury Yeston. It may be more than 100 years since the Titanic sank, losing some 1,500 lives, but the disaster still fascinates the general public, […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – Musicals Update Two

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 is up and running, here’s the second of a number of updates about musicals and cabarets being staged at the international event. Get Got 1–26 August (not 13), C too (Venue 4) Presented by Janski Productions, Get Got is an American satire that allows audiences to be immersed in a […]

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Dreamboats and Petticoats – Wimbledon Theatre

Dreamboats and Petticoats was reviewed at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London, before continuing touring until 30 November. Originally staged at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, Dreamboats and Petticoats has deservedly established a reputation – through its tours and West End productions – for being a rattling good night out. Written as may be by celebrated comedy writers Laurence […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – Musicals Update One

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 is up and running, here’s the first of a number of updates about musicals and cabarets being staged at the international event. The Road to Qatar! 1–26 August (not 13), C Too – Main House (Venue 4). Josh Rochford and James Robert-Moore lead a young cast in the European premiere of […]

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Titanic the Musical – Southwark Playhouse

Titanic the Musical continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 31 August. Director Thom Southerland has created a wonder again with this first-class European premiere of a new chamber version of the Tony Award-winning show Titanic the Musical. In an age of overblown musicals based on movies which are slavishly faithful to their Hollywood models, it is […]

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Kim Criswell

Kim Criswell – Cadogan Hall

Kim Criswell performed A Celebration of the Music of Cole Porter at the Cadogan Hall, London. With the temperature in my train reaching 34c, I was thinking it was ‘Too Darn Hot’ to spend the evening at the Cadogan Hall for the first of three From West End to Broadway’ diva concerts, even it was to hear […]

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Rauch is Phantom of the Opera in cast change

Major cast changes will take place in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End from 2 September this year. Fresh from his success as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, Geronimo Rauch will join the cast as the Phantom. At the same time, […]

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Siobhan Dillon joins Cabaret touring cast

Actress Siobhan Dillon will join the cast of the forthcoming UK tour of Cabaret as the iconic Sally Bowles, opposite singer/songwriter Will Young in his award-nominated performance as the Emcee. Siobhan Dillon was a popular finalist on the BBC’s hit show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Following Maria, she won a record deal with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and […]

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Sophie-Louise Dann – Crazy Coqs

Sophie-Louise Dann performed From Classic… to Coward… to Current at the Crazy Coqs, London. Sophie-Louise Dann was recently seen in Ivor Novello’s Gay’s the Word at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre and has just finished a run of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.  She is well known […]

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The Witches of Eastwick – Watermill, Bagnor

The Witches of Eastwick continues at the Watermill Theatre, Bagnor until 14 September. For those with expectations based on the acclaimed 1987 film of The Witches of Eastwick, there are strong parallels to be drawn with the three superb leading lady performances in this production at the Watermill. For those with mixed feelings who caught John Dempsey […]

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Stefan Bednarczyk – Crazy Coqs

Stefan Bednarczyk performed Bednarczyk Sings Noel Coward at the Crazy Coqs, London. Actor, musical director and cabaret performer Stefan Bednarczyk’s new show Bednarczyk Sings Noel Coward, wich premiered at the Crazy Coqs, included songs, verse and anecdotes from people who knew and worked with Coward, including Graham Payn and the late critic Sheridan Morley. Starting with the question ‘Why […]

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Barnum – Theatre in the Park, Chichester

Barnum is performed at Theatre in the Park, Oaklands Park, Chichester until 31 August. With the Chichester Festival Theatre out of action while redevelopment work is in progress, the need for a temporary auditorium has been solved by the erection of a huge tented structure in the park behind the theatre. And in what more appropriate structure […]

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Whistle Down the WInd – NYMT

Whistle Down the Wind, a National Youth Music Theatre production, is performed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, from 24–28 July. If the 80-plus National Youth Music Theatre cast of Whistle Down the Wind felt added pressure from the presence of their president, the Earl of Wessex, in the packed Rose Theatre audience, you would never have […]

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Lost Musicals – Noel Coward’s Words and Music

Lost Musicals – Noel Coward’s Words and Music was performed at the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells, with further dates on 28 July and 4 August. The reason why Coward’s revues such as London Calling!, On With the Dance, This Year of Grace, Sigh No More and Words and Music are never seen is […]

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Wag! The Musical – Charing Cross Theatre

Wag! The Musical continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until August 24. When you witness a show as repulsive as Wag! The Musical, you can’t primarily blame the actors, who are clearly doing their best – no matter how varied their attempts may be – with the material they have. The first culprit of creating […]

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Mark Carroll – Going Supernova

In addition to his career as an actor in West End musicals, straight plays and movies (his latest show has been Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre), Mark Carroll has written five musicals, the latest of which is entitled Supernova. Cameron Smith talks to him about what it takes to get a new musical produced […]

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Passport to Pimlico – South West Fest

Passport to Pimlico was performed as part of this year’s South West Fest, held in south west London. There’s a moment in the classic Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico when it looks as though the feisty Pimlico Burgundians might have to surrender their claim to interdependence. The reason? A freak heatwave, which leaves them powerless and […]

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