Archive | Feature RSS feed for this section

Interview – Michael Xavier on Richard Rodgers tribute, Some Enchanted Evening

This week West End leading man MICHAEL XAVIER will join Ruthie Henshall, Lesley Garrett and Gary Wilmot in Some Enchanted Evening, a series of concerts at Cadogan Hall celebrating the timeless music of Broadway legend Richard Rodgers. Presented by Garrett, the four performances running from 18 August until 20 August will feature the four vocalists […]

Continue Reading ·

The voice of them all? – a tribute to Marni Nixon

Michael Darvell pays tribute to Marni Nixon (22 February 1922 – 24 July 2016). In Hollywood’s heyday the film studios were always looking for perfection in every aspect of their cinematic output. For film stars good looks were paramount, whereas the acting generally came second. Dramatic talent could always be fixed with training and experience, but beauty […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – That’s Entertainment with Thelma Ruby – 91 not out

At the age of 91 actress THELMA RUBY is returning to the stage for her one-woman show That’s Entertainment, part of the Festival 46 events at the King’s Head, Islington. Here she talks about her long and very varied career… You presumably inherited your acting talents from your mother who was a music hall singer, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Noah Brody on bringing Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods to London

NOAH BRODY is co-artistic director with Ben Steinfeld of Fiasco Theater – a US-based actor-run ensemble that until recently specialised in workshopping and presenting small-scale productions of Shakespeare. That changed in 2013 when the group tackled their first full-scale musical: Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairytale mash-up Into the Woods. Fiasco’s much-reduced production ran for […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Emmanuel Kojo takes on the role of Joe in Show Boat

EMMANUEL KOJO was thrust into the spotlight, fresh from drama school, less that two years ago, in The Scottsboro Boys, and has been working almost continuously since. He joined Musical Theatre Review’s Aura Simon, breathless and exhilarated, from a matinee performance playing Joe in the Sheffield Crucible production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s timeless masterpiece Show Boat, now […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Cedric Neal plays Berry Gordy in Motown the Musical

CEDRIC NEAL is currently making his West End debut as Motown founder Berry Gordy in Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre. His theatre credits include: Rhythm of Life – A Cy Coleman Revue (St James Theatre), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/Broadway) and After Midnight (Broadway). As a company member at Dallas Theater Center, Cedric has also […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Ramin Karimloo plays the London Palladium

Broadway and West End star RAMIN KARIMLOO will be performing a one-off performance at the London Palladium with his band, Sheytoons, on Saturday 16 July. The concert will feature a mix of musical theatre classics and his own ‘Broadgrass’ (a hybrid style inspired by his love of mainstream country and traditional bluegrass music) songs. Karimloo, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – meet the talented actor-musicians of Through the Mill at the Southwark Playhouse

Through the Mill, the backstage dreamscape featuring pivotal moments in the life of legendary actress and singer Judy Garland, transfers from London Theatre Workshop to the Southwark Playhouse this July. Transferring with the production are the actor-musicians who originated their roles in the acclaimed premiere production last December. Between them, they play more than 20 separate […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Ross Leadbeater releases debut Great British Songbook EP and embarks on tour

The award-winning singer-pianist and musical director ROSS LEADBEATER releases his debut EP and begins a solo UK tour this week, to celebrate his musical favourites from the Great British Songbook. Here he tells his story so far… After graduating from the University of Warwick, you studied at Trinity College of Music. Did you have plans to […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Sweeney Todd writer Christopher Bond on his latest show, Romford Rose

CHRISTOPHER BOND is probably best known to theatregoers as the playwright of the 1970 version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street that pumped new blood into George Dibdin Pitt’s bloody melodrama (“It needed a heart transplant, not a facelift,” says Bond) and inspired Stephen Sondheim to create his musical magnum opus six […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Clare Burt on Flowers for Mrs Harris and creating new work

Actress CLARE BURT (This is My Family, London Road) has returned to Sheffield Theatres to take on the title role in the world premiere of Flowers for Mrs Harris, Daniel Evans’ final production as artistic director at the venue (opening tonight, 23 May). The new musical by Richard Taylor (The Go-Between, Tom’s Midnight Garden) and Rachel Wagstaff (Birdsong, Moonshadow), based […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Sarah Vezmar plays Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain

Actress and musician SARAH VEZMAR is appearing as Lina Lamont in a brand new stage production of Singin’ in the Rain at the Salisbury Playhouse (before moving on to the Octagon Theatre, Bolton and the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme). As part of a company of talented actor-musicians, Sarah plays the drums, flute and percussion. Sarah’s recent theatre credits include Tipping the Velvet (Lyric, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – George Stiles and Anthony Drewe on a Chichester double and nurturing new writers

Travels With My Aunt, which has just opened at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, is the latest in a string of acclaimed shows by one the UK’s most successful show-writing partnerships, GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE (George and Ants). The pair met 30-odd years ago at Exeter University and went on to compose award-winning shows across […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Jon Robyns is playing Emmett in Legally Blonde at Curve Leicester

JON ROBYNS is perhaps best known as Princeton/Rod from the original West End cast of Avenue Q, but his career to date boasts a varied and prolific journey through the West End and beyond, and is by no means slowing down. Musical Theatre Review’s Aura Simon caught up with him at the Curve Leicester, where he’s playing leading […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Richard Carson on his role in Closer Than Ever at The Pheasantry

Actor and singer RICHARD CARSON is soon to appear in Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire’s critically acclaimed revue Closer Than Ever (25–27 April) at The Pheasantry on London’s King’s Road. In this Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Off-Broadway Alliance Award winning companion to their hit revue Starting Here, Starting Now, Maltby and Shire […]

Continue Reading ·

The Wicker Husband – the inside story on bringing a new musical to life

The Wicker Husband is a musical theatre work-in-progress being brought to life by actor and book-writer Rhys Jennings and composer-lyricist Darren Clark. This nascent show takes its inspiration from a short story of the same name – a folksy fable in the style of a fairy tale – self-published online by Gloucester writer Ursula Wills-Jones. […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Julian Ovenden on new album Be My Love – and being struck by lightning

From Broadway to the West End, to the dappled light of Downton Abbey, JULIAN OVENDEN has been delighting audiences with acting and song since the age of seven (starting as a choir boy at St Paul’s Cathedral). Twenty years and a hugely varied career later, he releases his second solo album, Be My Love, a smooth […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Caroline Sheen stars in new British musical Only the Brave

CAROLINE SHEEN is soon to appear in Rachel Wagstaff, Matthew Brind and Steve Marmion’s new British musical Only the Brave, premiering at the Wales Millennium Centre from 28 March to 2 April. Based on the real lives of men and women caught up in the D-Day landings, the show tells the inspirational true story of […]

Continue Reading ·

In memory of Michael White – theatre impresario and film producer

Michael White – theatre impresario and film producer dies, aged 80. Famous for staging controversial shows such as Oh! Calcutta, The Rocky Horror Show and Y and producing Monty Python films and The Comic Strip Presents series for Channel 4, Michael White, an engagingly laid-back impresario who only staged shows he liked himself, was also […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – lyricist Don Black on Bar Mitzvah Boy and 2016 being a very good year

This year is looking to be a good one for lyricist DON BLACK. As well as a new West End musical, Mrs Henderson Presents, under his belt, the London Coliseum is to play host to a revival of Sunset Boulevard (for which he co-wrote the book and lyrics with Christopher Hampton and won two Tony […]

Continue Reading ·

In memory of Louise Plowright – star of Mamma Mia! and Wicked

Louise Plowright, star of Mamma Mia!, Wicked, Les Misérables and EastEnders, has died at the age of 59 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer… Louise Plowright was forced to leave Wicked in 2013 shortly after the diagnosis of her condition. She underwent major surgery but two years later the cancer returned and could only […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Hayley Tamaddon starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago on tour

Having worked on television for the past few years, HAYLEY TAMADDON is back on the boards in the touring production of Chicago. With Emmerdale and Coronation Street, not to mention Dancing On Ice, behind her, the actress now takes on Roxie Hart in the supremely successful musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with former EastEnders […]

Continue Reading ·

Remembering Frank Finlay – one of Britain’s great all-round actors

Frank Finlay was a celebrated actor who in his time worked for all the major UK theatre companies, the English Stage Company at the Royal Court, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre at Chichester and The Old Vic. He died on 30 January 2016. Michael Darvell recalls the working life of a great […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Oliver Tompsett in The World Goes Round – The Songs of Kander & Ebb

The World Goes Round, the compilation revue of songs by John Kander & Fred Ebb, had a great reception at Chelsea’s Pheasantry last year. It returns to the St James Studio from 2 to 7 February with a cast including OLIVER TOMPSETT, at only 34, a veteran of the musical stage. Tompsett is best known for playing […]

Continue Reading ·

End of the Rainbow UK tour – first look and exclusive interviews

There’s an unassuming little rehearsal space in East London – wood floor, parish notices, stacked chairs. A table at the back buzzes with laptops, low chatter and paperwork. A keyboard sits in anticipation on its stand, and a makeshift set has been constructed from an old sofa and the resident grand piano. You’d be forgiven for not […]

Continue Reading ·

In conversation with Andrew Lynford – director of Carnival Dreams the Musical

Andrew Lynford became a household name playing Simon Raymond in the popular soap opera EastEnders. Since leaving his career has diversified and he has also established himself as a director, television presenter, producer and choreographer. His next project is the world premiere production of Carnival Dreams the Musical which will be presented at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon […]

Continue Reading ·

Alan Rickman Remembered – an actor of great range on stage, in films and TV

Alan Rickman (21 February, 1946-14 January 2016) was an actor known for his villainous but sometimes comic roles. Here we look at his remarkable, eclectic career on stage, film and television. Although Alan Rickman was mainly known as both a dramatic and comedic actor, he was not without a good singing voice and actually sang on […]

Continue Reading ·

Broadway Preview 2016 – from Disaster! to Paramour

Broadway Preview – Ron Cohen reflects on the musical theatre openings during the first half of 2016. While nothing on the immediate horizon seems ready to challenge the primacy of Hamilton as the champion of the 2015/2016 Broadway season, musical theatre gourmands nevertheless can still look forward to a promising buffet of late winter-into-spring openings. […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – creators of Grey Gardens, Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Doug Wright

Grey Gardens received its European premiere at the Southwark Playhouse opened on 2 January and has quickly proved to be the first must-see show of 2016. This quirky musical takes its inspiration from the 1975 feature-length documentary of the same name – indeed, it’s the first Broadway musical based on a documentary – turning the […]

Continue Reading ·

In memory of Robert Stigwood – impresario extraordinaire

Robert Stigwood (16 April 1934–4 January 2016): Impresario Extraordinaire who promoted The Bee Gees, John Travolta and Lloyd Webber musicals. Impresario Robert Stigwood, who has died aged 81, was a unique example of a businessman with his own vision that saw him achieving success in many forms of public entertainment. Not one to stick to […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Roxanne Palmer shares the magic of Mr Popper’s Penguins

Having just enjoyed a Christmas season at the Lowry Salford, the world premiere of brand new family musical Mr Popper’s Penguins, directed by Emma Earle, completes its tour of the country with a run at Rose Theatre Kingston from Thursday 14 January to Sunday 17 January. Painter and decorator by day, Mr Popper dreams of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining on flying cars and telling stories

Since returning to his hometown of Leeds and becoming artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, James Brining has directed The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Crucible, Enjoy, Talking Heads and Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He recently re-created Sweeney Todd for Welsh National Opera at the Wales Millennium […]

Continue Reading ·

Musical Theatre 2016 Preview – all you need to know

You can’t get more comprehensive than this, here’s a preview of all the 2016 musical theatre openings we know about so far in the West End, on the London Fringe and across the UK. JANUARY: Guys and Dolls – Savoy Theatre, London. The highly acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and […]

Continue Reading ·
Yarico Liberty Buckland (Yarico) and Alex Spinney (Inkle) 2 Photo Honeybunn Photography

London Fringe – new musicals which made their mark in 2015

Paul Vale believes the London Fringe’s commitment to new musical theatre has reaped dividends in 2015. As 2015 draws to a close, it’s worth contemplating some of the new musicals which have made their mark on the Fringe over the year. Truth be told it’s been a bumper year, with projects that have occasionally proved […]

Continue Reading ·

Musical Theatre 2015 – a reflection – what was your favourite?

Musical Theatre Review reflects on an incredibly busy year of theatre – in the West End, on the London Fringe, across the UK and in New York – and pick four shows from each month that topped the FOUR and FIVE star ratings with our contributors. The results may surprise you… JANUARY Whistle Down the Wind continues […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Gina Beck embraces the sweeping melodies of Show Boat at the Crucible Sheffield

Show Boat, this year’s Christmas production at Sheffield Theatres, opens tonight (16 December). Spanning 40 pivotal years in American history, the epic musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II follows the lives and loves of three generations aboard a show boat as it plies the Mississippi River. Among those characters is Magnolia Hawks, played by actress and […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Gillian Bevan goes Into the Woods via Manchester

Officially opening this week at the Manchester Royal Exchange is a new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s dark fairytale mash-up, Into the Woods. In the central role of The Witch is local lass GILLIAN BEVAN, who was born just seven miles down the A6 in Stockport. As one of the UK’s most experienced Sondheim proponents, […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Marilyn Cutts on playing Mrs Brice in Funny Girl and why she still loves Doctor Theatre

This week has been all about the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Funny Girl which has not only broken box office records at its current London home, the Menier Chocolate Factory, but has extended its West End run at the Savoy Theatre where it will transfer in April 2016. Actress and singer MARILYN CUTTS is a crucial part of that very production, playing […]

Continue Reading ·

I Want My Hat Back at the National – writer Joel Horwood on hats, children, and why he is secretly a rabbit

JOEL HORWOOD made his mark as a writer back in 2005 with a madcap musical, Mikey the Pikey. Now an associate artist at the Lyric Hammersmith, his portfolio spans the Royal Court, Bristol Old Vic, the BBC, the Almeida, the Old Vic, and, most recently, the National Theatre. It is for the National that Horwood […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview from Austria – Sona MacDonald plays Billie Holiday in new play Blue Moon

Acclaimed Austrian-American actress and singer SONA MACDONALD is about portray the role of Billie Holiday in a Blue Moon, a brand new play by Torsten Fischer, who also directs, and Herbert Schäfer (who alongside Vasilis Triantafillopoulos is in charge of sets and costumes). The play will pay tribute to the famous jazz singer and will […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Cassie Compton makes her debut at Crazy Coqs

Actress and singer/songwriter CASSIE COMPTON came to our notice in the first series of The X Factor, since when she has gone from strength to strength on stage, in film and television and music tours. In the West End her many starring roles include Eponine in Les Misérables, Nessarose in Wicked, Jean in American Psycho opposite Matt Smith, and the […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Richard Fleeshman celebrates the Kings of Broadway

Singer, actor and songwriter RICHARD FLEESHMAN will be appearing in Kings of Broadway, a special concert celebrating legendary composers Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne, at London’s Palace Theatre on Sunday 29 November. The latest show from Alex Parker and Alastair Knights, the creative team behind the staging of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music which played the Palace […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Let’s Dance Again! choreographer Nick Winston celebrates Hollywood hoofers

Let’s Dance Again!, celebrating the golden years of Hollywood dance films, comes to the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 13 November. Choreographer NICK WINSTON sets the scene for the evening’s tribute to those iconic hoofers up on the screen… Although musical films are still being made, emphasis now is less on the dance element. Do you […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Millicent Martin returns to London for Sondheim Birthday Gala

MILLICENT MARTIN is making a rare visit to London this Sunday 25 October to appear on stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in Hey, Old Friends! An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Born in Romford, Essex, Martin first trod the boards in the children’s chorus at the Opera House in Covent Garden, and later turned up […]

Continue Reading ·

A Little Night Music at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre – we chat to Sarah Waddell and Jamie Birkett

Actresses SARAH WADDELL and JAMIE BIRKETT are currently appearing in All Star Productions’ staging of Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in Walthamstow, London until 31 October. The show reunites the creative team behind last year’s critically acclaimed staging of Into the Woods. Theatre credits for Sarah Waddell, who plays Desiree Armfeldt, include: Into the Woods (Ye Olde […]

Continue Reading ·

The Roar of the Greasepaint – Interview With Leslie Bricusse – Part Two

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been busy in recent weeks. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– The […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Sam Bailey – a passion for musical theatre leads to dream West End concert

SAM BAILEY, the 2013 winner of X Factor, is to perform a one-off concert of musical theatre songs, Sam Bailey – Live in the West End, at London’s Lyric Theatre on 12 October, with guest stars including Collabro, Michael Xavier and Scott Alan. She talked to Ollie Wilson about the show and her love of musical theatre. How did […]

Continue Reading ·

Triple threat writer Leslie Bricusse on what inspires his Pure Imagination. Interview – Part One

Prolific and well-loved British film and musical theatre songwriter LESLIE BRICUSSE has been in the news this week. Not only has the composer, lyricist and librettist revealed that he’s working on a major new musical about the life of his close friend, legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr, but he has been in London celebrating the world premiere of Pure Imagination– […]

Continue Reading ·

Interview – Jonathan Butterell on why See What I Wanna See has made him want to act again

JONATHAN BUTTERELL, who choreographed the original production of Michael John LaChiusa’s Off-Broadway hit See What I Wanna See at New York’s Public Theater, has joined the cast of its London premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre after a 22-year break from acting (in recent times he has been mainly concentrating on directing). Jonathan also directed the premieres of Michael John LaChiusa’s other works Giant and Tres Nińas. […]

Continue Reading ·

Dean Jones – original star of Company (1931 to 2015)

Dean Jones, original star of Company (1931-2015). Although he must have appeared in some musicals before his film career took off, DEAN JONES is remembered for one particular role in music theatre, for he created the role of Robert in Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company. Michael Darvell pays tribute to the actor-singer who died from […]

Continue Reading ·
Copyright: Musical Theatre Review Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.