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Sister Mary’s Playtime – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Frankenstein Pub

Sister Mary’s Playtime continues at Frankenstein Pub until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Sister Mary McArthur, the alter ego of cabaret singer/actor/director Tim McArthur, blesses audiences at Frankenstein’s with a mix of cabaret, game show and chat show. A family-friendly affair, Playtime encourages audience participation, musical theatre singalongs and […]

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Old Stock – A Refugee Love Story – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – CanadaHub @ King’s Hall

Old Stock – A Refugee Love Story continues at CanadaHub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall until 27 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Playful, mysterious, brave and astonishingly captivating, Old Stock begins with a view of how we move stock across the world nowadays with a giant steel shipping […]

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Mental – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Roxy

Mental continues at Assembly Roxy until 27 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This piece, written by both Kim and Kane Power, depicts a mother and son relationship in which the mother, Kim, has bipolar disorder. Kane, the son, appears on stage singing his own songs and telling stories of his […]

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Salad Days – Union Theatre

Salad Days continues at the Union Theatre, London until 9 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The 1950s musical Salad Days is, let’s face it, an odd one. Ostensibly the story of two Oxbridge graduates who rebel against their parents in the most genteel of ways – by marrying and getting […]

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Stop – A New Musical – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C south

Stop – A New Musical continues at C south until 28 August (then visits The Cockpit, London from 30 August to 2 September). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This a gem of a show – written by Leo Munby (music) and Annabel Mutale Reed (book and lyrics), there is dazzling talent in this […]

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Into the Woods – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Hall

Into the Woods continues at the Assembly Hall until 28 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is never afraid of tackling the big shows – in musical theatre terms there are few bigger than Into the Woods. Being more widely-known since the film version, you can all […]

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Great Comet, Bandstand, Groundhog Day and On Your Feet set Broadway closings

The ranks of the past season’s new Broadway musicals are thinning considerably, with closing dates recently announced by four of them: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Bandstand, Groundhog Day and On Your Feet. Bandstand, which began previews on 31 March and had its official opening on 26 April, will wrap up on 17 […]

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Whose Line is it Anyway? – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Rooms

Whose Line is it Anyway? continues at the Assembly Rooms until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It may be 30 years since Whose Line is it Anyway? was broadcast on television, but it’s clearly well-remembered and adored. A packed Music Hall, now back under the ‘Assembly’ banner, responded rapturously to […]

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Andy Coxon joins cast of Hair at The Vaults

Yank! star Andy Coxon has been cast in the iconic role of Berger in the eagerly-anticipated London run of the new 50th anniversary production of the classic rock musical Hair. Opening at The Vaults in October, Hair is due to play the distinctive subterranean arts venue in London’s Waterloo until Sunday 14 January. Directed by […]

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13 The Musical – Ambassadors Theatre

13 The Musical continues at the Ambassadors Theatre until 23 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In Jason Robert Brown’s 13, young New Yorker Evan Goldman finds himself uprooted from home just weeks before his bar mitzvah, and after his parents’ divorce moves with his mother to a sleepy Indiana town. […]

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Remembering Barbara Cook (1927-2017) – ‘the world’s greatest and unbeatable voice’ 

The lights were dimmed on Broadway on 9 August, now that one of the greatest interpreters of the standard song repertoire has finally left us, just a few months after she announced her official retirement and a mere few weeks short of her 90th birthday.  This performer was indeed a legend in her own lifetime, […]

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Frigid – A Musical Worth Melting For – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Frigid – A Musical Worth Melting For continues at Greenside @ Infirmary Street until 28 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Grandpa Tam is visited by his granddaughter Peregrine/Perry and he relates a story to her, claiming to have shared time with Walt Disney on the golf course. Not only a […]

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The Iconoclasts – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C primo

The Iconoclasts continues at C primo until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Wow, what a storm of a show! The Iconoclasts are an Irish family who were the subject of a reality television series – a troubled and broken family who have come together to commemorate Estelle: a much-loved […]

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The Toxic Avenger – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Pleasance Courtyard

The Toxic Avenger continues at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August, then transfers to London’s Arts Theatre for a 10-week season from 28 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Sitting in amongst the usual Fringe scale shows, The Toxic Avenger stands out before it even begins in the scale and practicality […]

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Elvis – Young and Beautiful – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Frankenstein Pub

Elvis – Young and Beautiful continues at Frankenstein Pub until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This year marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, and to celebrate the life of The King, 24-year-old Oliver Harris brings him back to life in a month-long tribute at Frankenstein’s […]

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Rocky Horror Night – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Frankenstein Pub

Rocky Horror Night continues at Frankenstein Pub until 23 August, with performances on on 16, 21 and 23 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ If you’re looking for a nice sit-down production of Richard O’Brien’s camp midnight-movie staple (and why would you?!), then forget it – the Rocky Horror Show staged […]

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Creatives – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives continues at Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August (not 15, 22). Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Transferring from Chicago Theatre Workshop, this self-styled pop opera delivers with panache. The intimacy of the opening number where we see Luis Perez (Omar Baroud) composing with his guitar is immediately contrasted with a full production […]

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The Midnight Beast – All Killer – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Pleasance Dome

The Midnight Beast – All Killer continues at Pleasance Dome until 28 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ A multi-media production incorporating video and ‘scene setting’ projected onto a backcloth, we see video of a young woman who has clearly been attacked and is asked how it began. She replies: “The same as […]

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Interview – Adam Meggido on bringing Showstopper! The Improvised Musical home to the Edinburgh Fringe

The Olivier Award-winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical is celebrating its 10th year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this month, after a sell-out UK and international tour that also runs on into autumn this year. The premise behind Showstopper! is relatively simple, but unique. The writer of the show is told by the theatre owners that his play […]

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Tamar Broadbent – Get Ugly – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly Med Quad

Tamar Broadbent – Get Ugly continues at the Underbelly Med Quad until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Apparently, we are 25% more ugly after a break-up. Tamar Broadbent’s sister says so. Having recently broken up, Tamar’s logic calculates that without having someone to tell you that you’re awesome, the only […]

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SiX – A New Musical – Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Sweet Grassmarket

SiX continues at Sweet Grassmarket until 27 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Divorced, beheaded, live… SiX pulls Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives into the 21st century to create the ultimate regal girl group, embarking on a world tour. As the show unfolds, each Tudor Queen makes a case for being the […]

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George Rae to play Feinstein’s 54 Below in February

West End favourite George Rae will be taking his new cabaret show to the prestigious Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York early next year. Packed with anecdotes about his glittering career beginning as a young Scottish artist working in London, Life is a Caba-RAE: A Scot in New York will play the Broadway supper club on […]

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Evita at the Phoenix Theatre – exclusive production images

Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan has taken a selection of exclusive images of hit musical Evita which has returned to the West End. Presented by Bill Kenwright for a strictly limited 12-week season, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi award-winning musical continues at the Phoenix Theatre until 14 October. This year’s Eva is played […]

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Pageant – London Irish Centre

Pageant continues at the London Irish Centre until 26 August. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Back in 1991, when Pageant opened Off-Broadway, the concept of a beauty pageant populated by drag queens may have seemed novel. That novelty may also have sustained it into its 2000 run at the Vaudeville Theatre, […]

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Oklahoma! – BBC Proms – Royal Albert Hall

Oklahoma! at the BBC Proms was performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Few titles deserve their exclamation mark more than Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! The score sounds as fresh as it did when it was written in 1943 and at this semi-staged performance there might have been folk […]

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Robin Hood and the Arrow of Destiny – Theatre Royal, York

Robin Hood and the Arrow of Destiny continues at Theatre Royal, York until 2 September. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Richard Hurford’s mash-up of the Robin Hood legend using rap music, Avenue Q-style puppetry, American sports commentators and Chinese dragons left me increasingly bewildered about just what was going on. One […]

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The Other Palace to stage Starlight Express workshops

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit Starlight Express will steam into his newest theatre, The Other Palace, next month for three concert-style workshop performances. Members of the original creative team for the show, which opened in the West End in 1984, will work with a group of carefully chosen actors and musicians to explore the distinctive piece. […]

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Buried – A New Musical – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C too

Buried: A New Musical continues at C too until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ As in recent years, there is many a take on the dating game in Fringe 2017. This show, by Tom Williams and Cordelia O’Driscoll, is a whole other level of weird! We see an alluring brunette […]

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Cockadoodlemoo! – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C too

Cockadoodlemoo! continues at C too until 19 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ From the moment the brightly-coloured cockerel took to the stage, this young audience was spellbound. The toddler next to me had been bouncing around outside as “Spiderman”, yet was entranced all the way through this delightful show. The […]

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Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C too

Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story continues at C too until 27 August (the show transfers to London’s Arcola Theatre as part of the Grimeborn Festival from 29 August to 2 September). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This was such a hit at the -1 stage of C Chambers Street a […]

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A Spoonful of Sherman – Live At Zédel

A Spoonful of Sherman continues at Live At Zédel, London until 20 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The Sherman Brothers made their mark in film history with a repertoire including Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Jungle Book, just to name a few. A Spoonful of Sherman tells […]

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Curvy Widow – Westside Theatre/Upstairs, New York

Curvy Widow continues at Westside Theatre/Upstairs, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ “I’m making getting laid a medical directive,” the psychiatrist tells the recently widowed Bobby Goldman near the start of Curvy Widow. And his prescription pretty much establishes the sometimes engaging, sometimes irritating tone for this new Off-Broadway musical […]

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Iconic – A Brief History of Drag – Underbelly Festival

Iconic – A Brief History of Drag at the Underbelly Festival, Southbank, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ After a sell-out run at the St James Studio last year, Ian Stroughair’s Iconic – A Brief History of Drag returned for a one-night-only performance as part of the Underbelly Festival. Stroughair has appeared in […]

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Anna-Jane Casey – Live At Zédel

Anna-Jane Casey performed at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Anna-Jane Casey, back at Live At Zédel for two performances, opened her act with the Bette Midler ditty ‘Stuff Like That There’ and made it clear from the start this was going to be a swinging affair. This […]

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Cabaret show Musicals and Beyond stars Helena Blackman and Amanda Coutts

West End favourites Helena Blackman and Amanda Coutts are joining forces in a new cabaret show at Above the Arts in London’s West End. The latest from show from Paul Burton Productions, the company behind the popular Sunday at the Musicals concerts, Musicals and Beyond will feature the two stars performing a mixture of songs […]

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Welsh premiere of My Land’s Shore – concert to raise funds

Casting has been announced for a special fundraising concert to support the eagerly-anticipated homecoming of historical Welsh musical My Land’s Shore. Featuring songs by British composers and hosted by Tim McArthur, the concert on Sunday 3 September will play London’s Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, the venue where the show received its world premiere […]

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Theatre world mourns the loss of actress and singer Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook, whose nonpareil career stretched from dazzling portrayals in classic Broadway musicals to iconic performances in concert halls and cabarets, died on 8 August at the age of 89. The cause was reported to be respiratory failure. Cook made her Broadway debut in 1951 as the ingenue lead in the short-lived musical Flahooley, then […]

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Ordinary Days – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C royale

Ordinary Days (Streetlights, People! Productions) continues at C royale until 28 August (not 15). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In an unassuming basement space on George Street something special is happening. Ordinarily a chamber musical about four people in New York City would seem something apart, something distant. Ordinary Days makes the […]

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Brexit the Musical – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C Venues

Brexit the Musical (Strong and Stable Productions) continues at C Venues – C until 28 August (not 15). Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ There are moments in this show that are really, genuinely, funny.  Some of the impressions are very good indeed – particularly the David Cameron lookalike and the Michael Gove […]

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Douze – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C royale

Douze (X and Co in association with 21 theatre) continues at C royale until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Xnthony and The Penny Slots have a goal: sure-fire Eurovision success for Ireland. In a parody of a parody of a parody, this crazy hour is an hilarious sideswipe at every toe-curling attempt […]

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Atlantic – America and the Great War – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Mound, Rainy Hall

Atlantic – America and the Great War, performed by students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, continues at the Assembly Mound, Rainy Hall until 26 August (even dates only). Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ At its heart, this show tells the story of two black American sisters, separated by the Great […]

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Atlantic – A Scottish Story – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Mound, Rainy Hall

Atlantic – A Scottish Story, performed by students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, continues at the Assembly Mound, Rainy Hall until 27 August (odd dates only). Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Playing to a sold-out house, A Scottish Story offers an unusual take on the oft-repeated story of the diaspora of […]

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BEAM 2018 new musicals showcase – ‘pitch days’ to start in September

Writers with ideas for new musical projects are being offered the chance to pitch their work for inclusion in BEAM 2018, the biennial industry showcase organisd by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments. Presented in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East, and culminating in a two-day industry showcase at the London venue in March […]

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Piaf and Brel – The Impossible Concert – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert continues at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall until 26 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ I was so looking forward to this – as an admirer of both artists, I was keen to see how this would pan out. Sadly, the billing is somewhat deceptive as […]

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Miss Polly Rae: Between the Sheets – Underbelly Festival

Miss Polly Rae: Between the Sheets continues at the Underbelly Festival, Southbank, London on 18 and 25 August, 8 and 29 September. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ If you are around the Southbank between now and 30 September, it is worth exploring the Underbelly Festival. A cornucopia of entertainment – including circus, […]

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Lanza – Bridewell Theatre

Lanza was performed at the Bridewell Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ One sensational entry out of four instalments in the Opera in the City Festival, Lanza tells the incredible journey of the hugely popular singer and actor Mario Lanza who, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, rose to fame […]

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Exclusive – Pimlico Opera to stage Les Mis at Surrey prison

After missing out 2016 while it and sister company Grange Park Opera were building their own Theatre in the Woods at West Horsley Place, and moving to Surrey following a protracted dispute with the owners of its Hampshire HQ for 17 years, Pimlico Opera is once again going to prison with a musical – and […]

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West End’s School of Rock extends run until January 2019

School looks set to stay in session for at least two more years with the announcement of a fourth extension to the West End run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock – The Musical. Now booking until 13 January 2019 at the New London Theatre, the production team also confirmed the dates for the next […]

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Thrones! The Musical – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly George Square

Thrones! The Musical continues at the Assembly George Square Studios until 27 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ For the third year in a row, Thrones! returns to Edinburgh with updates promised as the series airs fresh episodes every Monday night during the run. Opening with a human version of the clockwork […]

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Baby Wants Candy – The Completely Improvised Big Band Musical – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly George Square

Baby Wants Candy – The Completely Improvised Big Band Musical continues at Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17) until 27 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ From the get-go, the audience are on-side with this challenge – it’s a team game for everyone involved. This one-of-a kind show literally opens and closes on […]

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