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tick, tick… BOOM! – Park Theatre

tick, tick… BOOM! continues at the Park Theatre, London until 27 May. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ That Jonathan Larson created the multi award-winning Broadway musical Rent would be enough to secure his place in musical theatre history. The tragedy of his death, on the last day of rehearsals for the […]

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Pacific Overtures – Classic Stage Company, New York

Pacific Overtures continues at Classic Stage Company, New York until 18 June. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ If there’s such a thing as minimalist grandeur, director John Doyle achieves it with his rendering of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures. Doyle is capping his first season as artistic director of […]

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Pinot! – The Musical – New Wimbledon Theatre Studio

Pinot! – The Musical at the New Wimbledon Theatre Studio, London. The show returns to the venue from 13-17 June. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The joy of Theatre In Education is that, in general, the rules of musical theatre can be put to one side. Dramatic structure, narrative musical numbers […]

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When Harry Met Barry – Above the Stag Theatre

When Harry Met Barry continues at Above the Stag Theatre, London until 11 June. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Paul Emelion Daly’s musical comedy romance first played at the Above the Stag Theatre in July 2011. In the intervening years, the venue has changed – from a room above a now-demolished […]

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Keepers of the Keys: Eric Yves Garcia – The Pheasantry

Keepers of the Keys: Eric Yves Garcia at The Pheasantry, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It was a great shame to find so many empty tables for the Pheasantry debut of one of Manhattan cabaret’’s most-admired singer-pianists, and with only a couple of dozen watching, it was difficult for Eric […]

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All Or Nothing – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Touring

All Or Nothing was reviewed at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. The show continues touring until 29 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This is a dazzling, electrifying, heart-warming show. With a beautifully crafted, sensitive book by Carol Harrison, it focuses on the rising young Mod foursome the Small Faces, who took […]

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Pete ‘n’ Keely – Tristan Bates Theatre

Pete ’n’ Keely continues at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London until 20 May. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ This bland little show is very simple and in places good fun. Keely Stevens (Katie Kerr) and Pete Bartel (David Bardsley) were a fabulously successful married double act in the early 1960s – […]

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Bandstand – Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, New York

Bandstand continues at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The tagline for Bandstand proudly declares it to be ‘The New American Musical’, and the programme bios for the writers are so disarming and heartfelt that I wish I could have embraced their show a bit […]

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Mamma Mia! – Milton Keynes Theatre and Touring

Mamma Mia! continues at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 20 May, and then tours until February 2018. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Eighteen years after its inception by producer Judy Craymer and director Phyllida Lloyd in 1998, a phenomenal 17-year (and counting) West End run, and equally impressive stints across the […]

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Lenny and Steve: Maria Friedman – Live At Zédel

Lenny and Steve: Maria Friedman continues at Live At Zédel, London until 20 May. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ British artists who truly understand the intimate art of cabaret are few and far between, but the wonderful Maria Friedman is one who stands alongside the very best and an evening in […]

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Boris The Musical – Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester and Touring

Boris The Musical was reviewed at the Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester. The show tours from June to August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Writer Laurence Peacock and director Kyle Williams tell us they formed Sheffield-based Blowfish Theatre after ‘getting miffed’ at Boris Johnson following the EU referendum. Their cathartic reaction to the […]

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Dillie Keane – Richmond Theatre

Dillie Keane performed at Richmond Theatre. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Life’s not fair, is it, and it’s almost a sin that someone with so many talents exists, but the wonderful Dillie Keane wore her genius lightly in two hours of pure bliss at Richmond at the end of a tour […]

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Hello, Dolly! – Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York

Hello, Dolly! continues at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Look at the old girl now, fellas,” the lady in sparkly red at the corner of the stage sings out to the audience. And you’d have to be a total idiot to not do just […]

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory continues at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Whatever changes were wrought in the recipe for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in its trip across the Atlantic, it remains a family-sized, mouth-watering mélange of eccentric perversity and tender-hearted […]

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CAT – (The Play!!!) – Ambassadors Theatre

CAT – (The Play!!!) at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Apart from having one of the silliest titles ever to hit the West End, CAT is a little theatrical treasure, a hilarious tribute to musical theatre, which had a full house laughing from start to finish. Hollyoaks […]

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Anastasia – Broadhurst Theatre, New York

Anastasia continues at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Daily headlines in US political news continue to ponder the Russian interference in last fall’s presidential election, but what about Russian influence over Broadway? Anastasia, the lavishly engaging new musical that has just opened on Broadway, is the […]

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London School of Musical Theatre – 9 to 5 The Musical

9 to 5 The Musical, performed by students from the London School of Musical Theatre, continues at the Bridewell Theatre, London, until 28 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is the second of the London School of Musical Theatre’s spring offerings following the almost forgotten King […]

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Groundhog Day – August Wilson Theatre, New York

Groundhog Day continues at the August Wilson Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Groundhog Day has ambled onto Broadway, sporting the triumphs of its world premiere in London, including Olivier Awards for Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical, Andy Karl. The show made more news when Karl […]

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Dirty Dancing – Milton Keynes Theatre and Touring

Dirty Dancing continues at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 29 April, then tours until 23 September. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Based on the hit 1987 movie of the same name and featuring music by Eric Carmen and The Ronettes, Dirty Dancing comes to the Milton Keynes Theatre as the 14th stop on its nationwide tour. […]

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The Braille Legacy – Charing Cross Theatre

The Braille Legacy continues at the Charing Cross Theatre, London until 24 June. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ A musical which tells the true story of the inventor of Braille initially seems worth a trip – it’s a story you expect to be inspiring and enlightening. But despite being staged by critically-acclaimed director […]

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Annie in the West End – cast joining Miranda Hart revealed

Rehearsals began today (24 April 2017) for the West End production of Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre. Joining the previously announced Miranda Hart who will play Miss Hannigan are Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily. The title role of Annie will be shared by Madeleine Haynes, 13 years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet; Lola Moxom, 12 years old […]

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London-Paris-Roam! – Tristan Bates Theatre

London-Paris-Roam! was reviewed at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. The show is currently on a spring tour. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ After spending 20 years living in Paris, Sarah Tullamore, a self-confessed woman of a certain age, is packing her bags, clearing her clutter and moving on. With one hand clasping […]

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War Paint – Nederlander Theatre, New York

War Paint continues at the Nederlander Theatre, New York. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ It has a great title, a great concept and two great female stars of Broadway theatre heading a talented company. There’s also a bounty of handsome costumes and sets, but beyond all this, things about War Paint […]

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The Wicker Husband – The Other Palace

A showcase performance of The Wicker Husband took place at The Other Palace, London. The Wicker Husband, with a book by Rhys Jennings and music and lyrics by Darren Clark, is based on a short story of the same name by Ursula Willis-Jones. It tells the story of The Ugly Girl, a hardworking fisher woman […]

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Ghost The Musical – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and Touring

Ghost The Musical continues at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury and then tours until 29 April. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Movie-to-stage adaptations work best when members of the creative team take the best qualities of the original and then have a very, very long think about how to bring the material […]

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Tommy – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Touring

Tommy was reviewed at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and now tours until 1 July. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I caught up with this rock musical delivered with immense skill by a company of 22 multi-abled artists in Ipswich prior to national tour. The New Wolsey Theatre audiences are used […]

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Whisper House – The Other Palace

Whisper House continues at The Other Palace, London until 27 May. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ For its second major staging in its new rebranded guise as the home for new musical writing, The Other Palace has chosen curiously. Whisper House is a 2009 piece with music and lyrics by Duncan […]

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After You – Live At Zédel

After You continues at Live At Zédel, London until 22 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The first musical commissioned by Piccadilly nightspot Zedel is a little gem of a two-hander, a love story with a sting in the tail, short and sweet at exactly an hour and site-specific too as […]

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At Last: The Etta James Story – Assembly Hall, Leamington Spa

At Last: The Etta James Story was reviewed at the Assembly Hall, Leamington Spa. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Leamington Spa shook the drizzle from its raincoat and stepped tentatively back into the 1950s, safe in the hands of Simon Myers and Moira Bennett’s latest musical revue, a tribute to the […]

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2 Become 1 – King’s Head Theatre

2 Become 1 continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It’s the 1990s, when playing snake on your Nokia mobile phone was a form of entertainment and there was (wait for it) no Twitter. No wonder at the start of Swipe Right Theatre’s […]

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I Capture the Castle – Watford Palace Theatre

I Capture the Castle continues at Watford Palace Theatre until 22 April before touring. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ I had fond but distant memories of Dodie Smith’s 1948 novel I Capture the Castle and was very much looking forward to this new musical adaptation at Watford Palace Theatre by composer Steven […]

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Les Choristes – Folies Bergère, Paris

Les Choristes continues at the Folies Bergère, Paris until 18 June, before touring. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ Julie Andrews herself wanted to buy the rights to the French movie 2004 Les Choristes (based itself on the 1945 movie La Cage aux rossignols) for a mere $10,000, but was denied.  So much the […]

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Audra McDonald – Leicester Square Theatre

Audra McDonald performed in concert at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald returns to London’s Leicester Square Theatre for a glorious but short, four show residency after two similar cabaret concerts here last summer. Wearing the same outfit she wore last summer […]

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Amélie – A New Musical – Walter Kerr Theatre, New York

Amélie – A New Musical continues at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Whimsy is an elusive quality to capture in the Broadway vernacular of today, with its abundance of ear-blasting power ballads, ironic gags and strenuous jaw-dropping dancing. Amélie, a New Musical is an adaptation of the […]

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Open Mic Night – 4th Birthday – Live At Zédel

Harold Sanditen’s Open Mic Night – 4th Birthday at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Open Mic Night in the Crazy Coqs cabaret bar at Live At Zédel is now celebrating its fourth year. Originally a weekly event, this now monthly gig has become a Mecca for […]

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Wilton’s Music Hall

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying continues at Wilton’s Music Hall, London until 22 April. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The self-help book may not seem like the likeliest of genres from which to birth a musical comedy. But Shepherd Mead’s 1952 book How to Succeed in Business Without […]

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Carousel – London Coliseum

Carousel continues at the London Coliseum until 13 May. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ When the Michaels Linnit and Grade collaborated with the ENO and brought Sweeney Todd (starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel) to the London Coliseum in 2015, they appeared to have come up with a pretty successful formula: pick […]

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This Joint is Jumpin’ – The Other Palace

This Joint is Jumpin’ continues at The Other Palace, London until 15 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Tap is definitely back on the London stage, with the glittering revival of 42nd Street opening at Drury Lane, and the world premiere of This Joint is Jumpin’ at The Other Palace – a […]

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42nd Street – Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

42nd Street continues at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It has been 33 years since 42nd Street had its first original London production at the Theatre Royal in 1984, when, in parallel to the production’s book, Catherine Zeta-Jones was plucked from the chorus and placed into the […]

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Bounder & Cad – Live At Zédel

Bounder & Cad performed at Live At Zédel, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ Their names recall the era of Rider Haggard, picturesque piano pieces by Billy Mayerl and bakelite lamps, but in reality this savvy pair of Cambridge-educated gentlemen [Guy Hayward and Adam Drew] are very much of our own time, poking […]

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Breaking Up is Hard to Do continues at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The real joy of 1960s music – and the secret of its lasting popularity – is that the melody almost always sits at the top of the texture, unlike so much of the […]

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Honk! – Union Theatre

Honk! continues at the Union Theatre, London until 22 April. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Having just left the Union Theatre and its revival of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s family-friendly Honk!, I’m not surprised that the show won the Olivier for Best Musical back in 2000, beating Spend Spend Spend […]

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Guildford School of Acting – Forbidden Broadway

Forbidden Broadway, performed by students from the Guildford School of Acting, continues at the Performing Arts Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford until 1 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Guildford School of Acting’s third-year graduates have themselves a ball with these hilarious spoofs on pillars of musical theatre society in a […]

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Sunny Afternoon – New Wimbledon Theatre and Touring

Sunny Afternoon continues at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London until 1 April, then continues on tour until 13 May. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ If you admire the quirky genius of Ray Davies, you can’t help but love Sunny Afternoon, but even if the music of the Kinks – one of […]

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The Life – Southwark Playhouse

The Life continues at the Southwark Playhouse, London until 29 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ There are many musicals that deal with society’s underclass, and its criminal element. The Life is one such piece: with music by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels) and lyrics by Ira Gasman (who […]

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Adam & Eve and Steve – King’s Head Theatre

Adam & Eve and Steve continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This frisky, oddly old-fashioned show (music by Wayne Moore; book and lyrics by Chandler Warren), did very well at Edinburgh last year and it’s easy to see why. A five-hander with jolly songs […]

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The New Yorkers – Encores! – New York City Center

The New Yorkers, an Encores! production, was performed at New York City Center. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “What kind of a show is this, I ask you?” Thus inquires a character in the midst of Act II of the Encores! re-creation of Cole Porter’s 1930 musical The New Yorkers. And […]

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Men Who March Away – St Anne’s Limehouse

Men Who March Away played for one night only at St Anne’s Limehouse, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ While he might be better known for his musical contribution to TV’s The Wombles – and his management of various pop acts since the 1970s – Mike Batt has a long if […]

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Up Front and Centre! – Lee Mead – The Pheasantry

Up Front and Centre! – Lee Mead appeared at The Pheasantry, London. The show continues to be performed on the last Sunday of every month until November. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The very likeable Lee Mead now has his first residency at The Pheasantry. He’s sung at the Chelsea cabaret room off and […]

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Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book – Royal Festival Hall

Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book was performed at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ The UK premiere of Disney in Concert – The Jungle Book, produced by Senbla Live, played on the big screen at the Royal Festival Hall for two special symphonic cinema concerts yesterday, […]

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