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Interview – woman of a thousand voices Christina Bianco on loving UK audiences and plans for Little Voice on Broadway

YouTube sensation [23 million views worldwide] and woman of a thousand voices, CHRISTINA BIANCO is heading to Viva Blackpool for the final date of her UK tour. Despite being a solo performance, her unique vocal impression show fills the room with icons across every musical genre during An Intimate Evening With Christina Bianco. Christina has […]

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Interview – Scott Hunter on telling the ‘beautifully human’ story of Yank! at the Charing Cross Theatre

Off-Broadway musical Yank! will transfer to London’s Charing Cross Theatre this summer for a seven-week season from 3 July to 19 August, just months after its acclaimed UK premiere run at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. SCOTT HUNTER will reprise his role as Stu in this poignant love story based on the true, hidden history of gay […]

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Interview – Simon Lipkin gets Ratty in The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium

SIMON LIPKIN is playing the role of Ratty in the major new musical theatre adaptation of the family classic The Wind in the Willows which has its official opening at the London Palladium this week. Based on Kenneth Grahame’s timeless novel, The Wind in the Willows has been adapted for the stage by the team of Julian […]

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Exclusive interview and images – Michael Xavier is ready for his close-up on Broadway

Two-time Olivier Award nominee MICHAEL XAVIER has been enjoying his Broadway debut, playing the character of Joe Gillis opposite Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard at the Palace Theatre, New York for a limited season (the production closes this weekend). He previously took on the role at the London Coliseum in April 2016. Next he joins […]

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Interview – Liam Tamne chats about being challenged in Working at Southwark Playhouse

LIAM TAMNE is currently appearing in Stephen Schwartz’s genre-busting Broadway musical Working which is having its European premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse in June. Directed by Luke Sheppard, the new production of the show runs at the south London venue until 8 July. One of the first musicals from Schwartz, the composer of the multi award-winning […]

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Interview – Kerry Michael on bidding farewell to Theatre Royal Stratford East and pioneering new British musical theatre

Chris Grady writes… From early days working with the production of Ken Hill’s Invisible Man in the West End, and directing his first show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, KERRY MICHAEL went on to be the right hand creative of Philip Hedley at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, and for the last 12 years he has […]

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Interview – Audrey Brisson on La Strada, hedgehog costumes and being ‘slightly odd’

Actress, singer, and acrobat French-Canadian AUDREY BRISSON is currently playing the wide-eyed Gelsomina in the musical stage adaptation of Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada (‘The Road’). Having spent the early years of her career within the Cirque du Soleil’s embrace, she has carved out a career at the forefront of collaborative theatre, working with […]

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Interview – composer Stephen Flaherty on bringing Anastasia to Broadway – and other adventures

American composer STEPHEN FLAHERTY’s latest Broadway musical, written in collaboration with Lynn Ahrens and Terrence McNally (the same team that gave us Ragtime) is the musical retelling of Anastasia. The Tony-nominated show follows the oft-told Anastasia story about the woman who may have been – but probably wasn’t – the surviving daughter of the massacred […]

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Sondheim concert at Cadogan Hall – Lucy Schaufer on making a personal connection to the music

On Sunday 4 June, Grammy Award winner, mezzo soprano LUCY SCHAUFER, will be bringing both her operatic and musical theatre talents to London’s Cadogan Hall, where she will perform in Sondheim: Smiles of a Summer Night. The concert, with direction from Alastair Knights, celebrates the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The 33-piece Alex Parker […]

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Interview – singer Richard Shelton brings his show Sinatra and Me to Live At Zédel

Following his sell-out LA and Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances, RICHARD SHELTON returns to the UK to perform Sinatra and Me at Crazy Coqs, Live At Zédel, early next month. Shelton, who won ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for portraying Frank Sinatra in West End’s Rat Pack Confidential, will take audiences on a trip through […]

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West End Daddy Warbucks Alex Bourne on appearing in ‘dream musical’ Annie

ALEX BOURNE is playing Daddy Warbucks in the West End production of Annie which opens at the Piccadilly Theatre this week, with opening night on 5 June. Bourne knows the role of Warbucks well after touring with the show across the UK during 2015/16. His other theatre credits include: Mamma Mia! and The Rocky Horror Show on tour in the UK, Midsummer Songs at the New […]

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Interview – Dawn Sievewright reprises her role in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

DAWN SIEVEWRIGHT is excited to be reprising the role of Fionnula in the Olivier Award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour which begins its West End debut run at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 15 May (previews began on 9 May). The production started out at the National Theatre of Scotland, going on to the National Theatre in […]

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Paper Hearts at Upstairs at the Gatehouse – Liam O’Rafferty and Dan Jarvis chat about a new British musical

A new British musical, Paper Hearts, is receiving an extended London run at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate, following success at the Waterloo East Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, and then heads for Hamburg. Writer-composer LIAM O’RAFFERTY, who also runs a design company, and musical director DAN JARVIS, a pianist, vocal […]

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Claybourne Elder on covering Jake Gyllenhaal and his London cabaret, You and Me and Sondheim

CLAYBOURNE ELDER has just finished portraying the character of the soldier Napoleon in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway – the first Sondheim production to ever gross more than $1 million in a single week. The fact that its leading man is Jake Gyllenhaal […]

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Interview – Sharon D Clarke on a dream role in The Life and colour-blind casting

Revived at the Southwark Playhouse, The Life at is a revival of a Cy Coleman musical which has not been seen since its original Broadway production 20 years ago. Musical theatre star SHARON D. CLARKE, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list, plays Sonja, a prostitute in 1980s New York. Musical […]

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Interview – director Michael Blakemore revisits The Life at Southwark Playhouse

Opening this week, The Life at Southwark Playhouse is a revival of a musical which has not been seen since its original Broadway production 20 years ago. For this anniversary revival, the show’s original director Michael Blakemore has returned to the show. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman and a book by […]

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Interview – composer Stephen Warbeck on Headlong Theatre’s Junkyard and the thrill of being crazy with music

Multi award-winning British composer STEPHEN WARBECK is probably best known for his scores for major movies including Shakespeare in Love (for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Score), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Mrs Brown and Billy Elliot. His work on stage includes This House (National Theatre and Garrick) and The Plough and the Stars and Wolf Hall/Bring […]

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Interview – Chris Peluso on touring in Funny Girl and loving the UK

After making his West End debut as Chris in Miss Saigon and sailing through his role in Show Boat, New Yorker CHRIS PELUSO is bringing his talents to the UK stage once more, this time alongside Sheridan Smith in the national tour of Funny Girl. The next stop for Funny Girl is Bristol Hippodrome (21-25 March) and […]

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Interview – singer and satirist Melinda Hughes makes her mark on London cabaret

MELINDA HUGHES, daughter of film director Ken Hughes, is a classically trained singer who has appeared in many operas and concerts both in the UK and across Europe. Her album, Smoke and Noise, features tracks by Mischa Spoliansky and she also writes her own cabaret songs with Jeremy Limb on such topical subjects as opera divas, […]

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Interview – Frances Ruffelle invites you to a Wild Party at The Other Palace

FRANCES RUFFELLE has one of the most idiosyncratic voices of any singer in the West End or Broadway. Hers is a husky, sultry sound, with an unmistakeable rawness and vulnerability that is sure to make her the perfect fit for the role of Queenie in composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa’s version of The Wild Party, which opens […]

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Interview – Karis Jack on her role in The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

A nominee for the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Little Sally in Urinetown (Apollo Theatre), actress KARIS JACK has taken on another challenging role in the UK premiere of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Theatre Royal Stratford East. The actress, whose recent theatre credits include […]

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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Five Questions with actor Charles Dale

Many readers will be familiar with actor CHARLES DALE following his long tenure as Big Mac in BBC1’s Casualty and before that as Dennis Stringer in ITV1’s Coronation Street. Less well known may be his theatre work such as Blue Remembered Hills at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre , or even (for lovers of trivia) that he once fronted an R&B […]

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Singer-songwriter Anton Stephans on being Brave in new solo show

Coming to Live At Zédel on 8 February actor, singer-songwriter, poet and former X Factor contestant ANTON STEPHANS will present Brave, his own one-man show, drawing on his experience in musical theatre and his working with some of the best musicians in the business. Here is his story so far… You have been involved in musical theatre since […]

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Bounding around – comedy duo Bounder & Cad play The Pheasantry

BOUNDER & CAD, the comedy duo who write their own songs on topical matters as well as re-writing the lyrics of standard numbers, are appearing at The Pheasantry in London’s Chelsea on Wednesday 18 January. The funny pair, otherwise known as Guy Hayward and Adam Drew, explain what they get up to in their show called Warning: Implicit Content. You met […]

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Interview – Scott Alan tells his story in The Journey at Live at Zédel

Award-winning singer-songwriter SCOTT ALAN presents his one-man musical, The Journey, at London’s Live at Zédel from 27 December to 8 January. Told through more than a dozen new and established songs, The Journey charts the writer’s story through sexual awakening and battles with physical and mental health. The show also features music that has been a magnate for some of […]

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Interview – director Derek Bond brings Sweet Charity to the Royal Exchange Manchester

For its Christmas show the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is staging the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields musical Sweet Charity, with a book by Neil Simon based on the Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria. DEREK BOND has returned to the venue to direct the show. Musical Theatre Review’s Chris Bartlett wrote in his review: “And for a joyous 160 […]

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Interview – Sophie Evans on her role in The Night Before Christmas at Salisbury Playhouse

SOPHIE EVANS, the Welsh singer who first captivated national TV audiences as a 17-year-old in the star search show Over the Rainbow, has rapidly established herself as a stage and screen rising star. Although she just narrowly missed out on the top spot in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC TV talent search in 2010, the girl […]

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Interview – songwriters Daniel and Laura Curtis on latest album Overture

Award-winning composers and lyricists Daniel and Laura Curtis have assembled 25 leading artists from both the US and UK to record the largest-ever Broadway and West End collaboration album, Overture. Best-known for their debut album Love On 42nd Street, the duo’s work has been performed by leading musical theatre performers including Lea Salonga, Sierra Boggess and Ramin […]

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Interview – Bruce Guthrie directs anniversary staging of Rent

After a limited season at Theatr Clywd in Mold, the 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s innovative American musical Rent has embarked on a three-week tour prior to a Christmas season at London’s St James Theatre where it has already broken box office records. Below, Musical Theatre Review contributor Rebecca Gordon chats to director BRUCE GUTHRIE about his new production of the […]

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Catch Me – a new musical – premieres at Above the Arts Theatre

Rob Hartmann interviews writer/composers ARNOUD BREITBARTH and CHRISTIAN CZORNYJ who he met on the Mountview MA course in writing musicals. Now, just weeks after they’ve graduated, the writers’ new musical Catch Me will premiere at the Above the Arts Theatre. Catch Me tells the story of five friends coping with a young man’s suicide. How did the idea for the show come to you? […]

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Interview – Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom on being Divalicious at The Pheasantry

Two of the most inspirational songwriters and performers of the international cabaret scene, ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY and AMANDA McBROOM, will be appearing at The Pheasantry from 9-13 November. They will be accompanied by another wonderful songwriter and performer in her own right, Michele Brourman. Fiona-Jane Weston caught up with Ann and Amanda to discuss their work ahead of […]

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Interview – Fiona-Jane Weston on her latest one-woman show Heroines

Actress and singer FIONA-JANE WESTON’s one-woman tribute to remarkable women began in 2009 with the show 20th Century Woman – The Compact Cabaret. Since then she has produced a tribute to the heroic women of the First and Second World Wars, Wartime Women – The Khaki Cabaret; Looking For Lansbury, an homage to stage and screen veteran star Angela Lansbury; […]

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Interview – original Chris, Simon Bowman on Miss Saigon 25th anniversary film

The role of Chris in Miss Saigon made SIMON BOWMAN a West End star when the show debuted to rave reviews at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1989. After playing the American soldier whose doomed romance with Vietnamese bargirl Kim is the subject of the smash hit musical for around 1,000 performances, Bowman went […]

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Interview – Salena Jones – jazz doyenne who bridges gap with pop

SALENA JONES is one of the finest jazz singers around. Singing from childhood all over the world, she has performed with all the greats from Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan to Dudley Moore and Tom Jones, among many others. Salena has recorded more than 40 albums and more than 20 singles. She is appearing at The Pheasantry in the […]

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Wicked 10th anniversary – original London cast member Katie Rowley Jones on playing Nessarose

Today (Tuesday 27 September 2016) Wicked will celebrate an extraordinary 10 years in London. It is now the eighth longest-running show in the West End and already the 19th longest-running show in West End theatre history. As part of the celebrations, actress KATIE ROWLEY JONES will be continuing her role as Nessarose; the unique part she also created […]

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Interview – Maurice Lane celebrates 68 years in showbiz with Funny Girl

Having performed in the original 1966 London production of Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand at the Prince of Wales Theatre, MAURICE LANE is playing Mr Keeney in the current West End production. Now celebrating 68 years in showbusiness, Maurice started at the age of nine, touring in variety with his father, comedian Sandy Lane. Maurice’s mainstay of work has been […]

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This Little Life of Mine at the Park Theatre – meet the creative team

Michael Yale’s This Little Life of Mine, a contemporary musical about life in London will have its world premiere at the capital’s Park Theatre next month. Directed by Yale, who also wrote the book with music by Charlie Round-Turner, the show will run from 4-29 October. The small cast consists of Greg Barnett, who takes […]

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Interview – composer Tom Parkinson on his National Theatre debut with A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

For its next musical venture, the National Theatre is presenting A Pacifist’s Guide to the War On Cancer – a new work written by acclaimed performance artist Bryony Kimmings and put into song by her long-time music collaborator Tom Parkinson. Last year, Kimmings was the hit of the Edinburgh Festival Festival with her show Fake […]

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Interview – Douglas Rintoul brings Made in Dagenham back home to the Queen’s Hornchurch

DOUGLAS RINTOUL is the new artistic director at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch. Appointed in 2015, Rintoul – a Drama & Theatre Arts alumnus of the University of Birmingham – has chosen for his first major show the musical comedy Made in Dagenham (music by David Arnold, lyrics by Richard Thomas, book by Richard Bean), which […]

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Interview – Matthew Iliffe – up and coming director of The Burnt Part Boys

Up and coming director MATTHEW ILIFFE has taken charge of the European premiere of the Off-Broadway hit musical The Burnt Part Boys at London’s Park90 until 3 September. Matthew, whose directing credits include last year’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Landor Theatre and Precious Little Talent (Gobstoppers Festival, The Albany) is also the co-founder of new writing […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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