West End Sings Whitney Houston supporting Women’s Aid – REVIEW

West End Sings Whitney Houston supporting Women’s Aid – REVIEW

★★★★★

West End Sings Whitney Houston supporting Women’s Aid

The London Cabaret Club, London

 

Seen May 20th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

(All photos included in this post are all my own. Hence the amatuer feel!)

This was possibly the very best charity cabaret event I have ever seen.

The talent was to die for, the charity deserved every penny and the whole event was executed perfectly!

West End Sings is a new charity concept with very specific themes. There are the odd one or two events similar by they don’t have this unique quality. This debut event had a rather spectacular theme. One that fit the chosen charity like a glove! It was songs from the one and only, Queen Whitney Houston!!! To sing Whitney songs, you need some smashing vocals and the performers did not disappoint!

Our host for the night was Norman Pace. Along with everything else, he was perfect! The right amount the comedy, the right amount of cheese but also kept the show moving at a good pace.

In total we were treated to 15 performers display the stunning work of Whitney.

IMG_2017

Above we have Damien Winchester (currently in Aladdin as swing/cover Genie) singing I’m Every Woman/Million Dollar Bill.

IMG_2299

Here we have a picture of Sabrina Aloueche (Chess) killing I Will Always Love You. I bit song to sing but. she. nailed. it.

IMG_2302

Nathaniel Morrison (Founder of West End Gospel Choir) singing Greatest Love of All. Damn. Did he slay! This performance gave me life and Nathaniel worked it! He worked that stay, he worked the floor, he worked every part of The London Cabaret Club!

IMG_2305

This was a beautiful rendition of How Will I Know sung by Charlotte Riby (Recently in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)

IMG_2310 2

The attention drifted during the interval but the moment that first note left Liam Tamne’s lips, the room was under his spell! Liam performed I’m Your Baby Tonight/So Emotional.

IMG_2317 2

I’ve always loved Lucie Shorthouse’s voice ever since I saw her last year in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and her performance of It’s Not Right But It’s Okay melted my heart!

IMG_2326

This has to be my favourite Whitney song. That is the stunning Run To You. I take my hat off to Summer Strallen (currently paying Inga in Young Frankenstein). It was truly mesmerising!

The event itself was organised and at no point was the charity out of focus. As soon as you walked into The London Cabaret Club, you know what you were there for. Projections were found on the walls in the main concert hall. I have been to many ‘charity’ events where the show starts and the charity is pushed into the background and forgotten. Not with this one and it made me so happy! It was also a charity I hold so close to my heart!

As I mentioned, this is a new venture for West End Sing but I know for sure I will be there 100% of the way! I am very excited to see the next one scheduled in for later this year. They may or may not have revealed the next theme…BRUNO MARS!!!

This is an event crafted with love and passion by all people involved! I am sure we will see you at the next one!

Follow West End Sings on twitter so you now exactly when the tickets go on sale for West End Sings Bruno Mars!

P.S. if Mr. Producer man happens to read this, we so need a Taylor Swift one. This mega swiftie would be in her element! Thanks.

 

 

 

Fat Jewels – REVIEW

Fat Jewels

The Hope Theatre, London

 

Seen July 6th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

In the heart of a South Yorkshire council estate lies a lonely and dangerous newly evolving, manipulative friendship. Two repressed characters fighting their own demons. One night they start therapy. Therapy to help Pat (Hugh Train) as he is helplessly overcome by dark, violent thoughts. This therapy conveniently masks Danny’s (Robert Walters) own issues. This controlling piece will demand your attention.

The whole concept was great and it evoked many emotions. I started sympathising with the characters and then this feeling changed to disgust with something one of them said. This turned to laughter and then I found myself on the fence not knowing which side to take but in the end I was rooting for Pat whilst also feeling really sorry for Danny.

This is a very captivating show. I really enjoyed it. It was a rollercoaster but a very stable rollercoaster of emotions and intensity. It was spot on! I do love a dark comedy and some of the one liners were fab. A couple of the life analogies very nearly resulted in belly laughter! I did hope it would be funnier but I feel that was partly on the audience. There were not a lot of us there. When that happens, people get very worried about starting the laughter for fear of being the only person laughing. I’d love to see this with a full house. I image it’ll be a completely different show!

Robert Walter’s performance had me on the edge of my seat. From the onset, you could see the sexual predator in him. His glare towards Pat in those first scenes conveyed so many different aspects of his personality. My psychology brain was making an appearance and I could see the fatherly love towards Pat but also the sexual attraction and the controlling desire.

Hats off to Robert Walters and Hugh Train for delivering that performance. I saw it on a very quiet night with very few people in the audience but they kept the energy level consistent throughout and delivered an entrancing performance Both needing someone regardless of how they created the friendship.

For 70 minutes you are surrounded by the undeniable sense of loneliness and smell of battered sausage and chips. It is slightly overwhelming! You will be craving greasy sausage and chips on the way home.

I urge you to see this piece. Beautifully crafted with such a wonderful script. There is a lot more to be seen with this play. I would be really intrigued to to see other piece from the writer, Joseph Skelton.

Fat Jewels is at The Hope Theatre until July 21st. This isn’t one to miss. Tickets are £15 (£12 concession). More information and tickets can be found here.

Knights of the Rose – REVIEW

Knights of the Rose

The Arts Theatre, London

★★★

Knights of the Rose

The Arts Theatre, London

 

Seen July 5th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

I was really rooting for this show to be much more. Having seen this talented cast perform on numerous occasions and sounds epic each time, I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the music and vocals couldn’t carry the show alone.

Knights of the Rose is meant to be an epic Shakespearean tale of love, betrayal and sacrifice but a lot of this seemed under developed. The rock score was what made the show unique and exciting with music from Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler to name a few.

I do want to take a moment to appreciate the cast. Wow! These guys were great! Their voices were incredible! Pretty much every number sounded brilliant!

This biggest let down for me was the fact the show didn’t know what it was. It was right in the middle of being a serious Shakespearean play and a cliche rock playlist put to a story. The songs were used very literally throughout the show and several had the audience laughing within the first bar. A reaction along the line of “Oh my God, are they really using this song!”. I mean, with the literal use, the songs worked very well.

I felt that a lot fo the characters were under developed. One moment the princesses were madly in love, the next, not interested. And then through a drastic change in circumstance, about to marry a man you had know idea they were interested in!

The staging was rather nice. Two levels and sections which moved in order to show the scene changes from the castle, to the bar, to the battle field. One scene that really sticks in my mind was the battle scene in act 2 with the horses. I want to say it was the number “The War To Win”. This was a pretty spectacular scene! The horse head puppets were beautiful and the use of the mesh screen down stage was stunning. You really felt like you were in the heart of the battle with the pouring rain.

I have to say the writing really made you root for certain characters. At one point you wanted the so call ‘villain’ to be killed by the man he betrayed and just when you think it could happen, your hopes were crushed! It was nice to see that aspect wasn’t predictable.

I really need to take a moment to point out a flaw which I couldn’t stop noticing. The shoes. Oh, the shoes. The male shoes were fine but the female shoes were a no, no. They were modern high street shoes. It was as if they were going to get off stage, rip their historical dresses off and hit the town! They were definitely not in-keeping with the time period.

I think if it was developed more into a lighthearted Shakespeare rock musical it could enjoy great success. Or maybe it is there already? It is just needing some way to convey this to the audience.

Overall, this was an enjoyable show. I would recommend it but don’t go in there expecting anything flash. The music and vocal performance was really what made the show for me.

Knights of the Rose is playing at The Arts Theatre until Sunday 26th August.

Information on the show and tickets can be found at: http://knightsoftherose.co.uk

Also don’t forget to follow Knights of the Rose of twitter.

If you are still intrigued, we got to still down briefly with Katie Birtill and Rebekah Lowings at the press call. Check out the short interview here.

It’s Only Life – REVIEW

It’s Only Life – REVIEW

Union theatre, London 

★★★★

It’s Only Life

Union theatre, London 

 

Seen June 16th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince 

★★★★

It was a rather cute show and contains some great reminders for people wanting to live a fulfilling life. Although, putting these into practice isn’t always the easiest. ‘It’s Only Life’ covers every human need spanning the whole spectrum whilst delivering the message wisely.

The music is solely John Bucchino’s who, over the year, has wrote songs which have been  performed my theatre legends such as Audra McDonald, Liza Minnelli and Patti LuPone to name a few. He isn’t well know in the UK. In all honestly, I had never heard of him. I do have to say though, I love his writing style. All of his songs in this show are very heart warming and honest. He manages to capture true life in its rawest nature.

I can’t say I saw much of a story during this show (the story I did see was left till the end) which did detract from the enjoyment initially. I was very worried I was missing the point so I started really listening to the lyrics. And that is when the enjoyment came back.

You could not ask for a more talented bunch of performers! Including the MD, Nick Barstow. I do love seeing a show and every person on stage is at the same level. No weak link in this cast! The songs were just so well suited to their voices and each of them got to demonstrate their range at various points during the show.

This was a very basic production with no microphones and just one pianist. It was such a beautiful touch only having a piano accompanying the performance. It worked so well with the lyrics being sing. Where the venue was of an intimate size there was no need for the microphones but I do wish that certain cast members had a microphone. At certain points I was really struggling to hear and I was sat front row.

The set was so cute! The use of different levels was perfect! It was very minimalistic, colour-wise. All white washed with the odd burst of colour here and there. All pastel colours and I am a sucker of pastels! I really enjoyed looking around and seeing all of the everyday items (the majority painted white) hung on the walls in the various rooms of the house. I did spy a pastel blue Buzz Lightyear!

‘It’s Only Life’ is currently playing at the Union Theatre until July 7th. If you are looking for a cute, heartwarming, enjoyable show, this is the one!

Tickets and information can be found at: http://www.uniontheatre.biz/its-only-life.html

Francesco De Carlo: Comfort zone – REVIEW

Francesco De Carlo: Comfort Zone

Soho theatre, London 

★★★★

Francesco De Carlo: Comfort Zone

Soho theatre, London 

 

Seen May 19th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince 

★★★★

With a title like ‘comfort zone’ I was expecting to be thrown out of my own comfort zone however I was pleasantly surprised I wasn’t.

Instead, you learn about Francesco’s own experience in leaving his own comfort zone, Italy, his home country. He brought to the stage his move from Italy to Britain and the challenges/cultural differences he faced along the way but now he is facing his biggest challenge yet…Brexit.

Francesco started the show off by focusing on Brexit and his take on the situation. I have to say, his theory on why Brexit is happening was hilarious! But, yet, simple enough. He came into the country. He hadn’t been here long and then BOOM, England are going. I mean, I didn’t question it too much. Francesco even admitted himself that he has a track record of causing government upheaval. Ha!

It was a really enjoyable show. The audience, including myself, loved it and we were all howling with laughter.

Something I really did notice was that there was no awkwardness at the start of the show. I’ve seen a few comedians now and it is so typical for the audience to be reserved at the start. Gauging the other audience members, the performer and what a safe reaction level would be. However, in this scenarios, Francesco walked out and you knew exactly what you were going to get.

I wouldn’t say that his material was out of this world and 100% original but his delivery was what made it. He focused an awful lot on the stereotypes associated with Italians and the British which was perfectly fine. Once again, a lot of those points you were very much expecting but there were a few in there that caught everyone off guard. But it was so brutally honest.

Overall, I really enjoyed the night. It was easy laughter in response to light hearted humour. There was nothing too offensive or too outrageous thrown into the mix. I would definitely love to revisit Francesco on his next tour!

Follow Francesco on twitter!

He’s also got himself all fancy with a website and everything! It’s one with a mailing list. Just saying. For you to keep up to date with upcoming shows if you fancied it!

Editor’s note: I’m so sorry with that very last section. I’ve been watching far too much RuPaul’s Drag Race. I have no shame! 

Great British Mysteries? – REVIEW

Great British Mysteries?

Soho theatre, London 

★★★★ (so close to 5!)

Great British Mysteries?

Soho theatre, London 

 

Seen May 18th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince 

★★★★ (so close to 5!)

Where do I start with this one.

The best place is probably stating that I loved it!

I went in and the only thing I knew about the show was that it was a mockumentary. Now that could go either way.

The first 10 minutes, I found myself in the uncomfortable unknown. Olive Bacon (Rose Robinson) and Dr. Teddy Tyrell (Will Close) were setting the scene leaving the whole audience in limbo. A lot wanted to laugh at these early jokes but were still plucking up the courage. This probably wasn’t helped by the intimate venue (but this was actually the ideal setting)

It really didn’t take that long before Olive and Teddy had the audience in the palm of their hand. I have to admit, I can be a very tough nut to crack when it comes to shows like this and for me to sit there front row crying with laughter is a rarity!

I loved the whole set up with this being the final episode of their televised series, looking back at all the highlights which were voted for by fans. You get to see the pair’s less than serious approach to uncovering the truths about the greatest British mysteries known to man.

The chemistry between Rose and Will is really what kept the show going. They were able to bounce off each other so effortlessly. Their comedic timing was on point. This is something, as a performer you either have it or you don’t. If the script wasn’t funny enough the sudden corpsing  on stage really had the audience howling. But like true professional they were able to pick right up where they left off.

Joseph Hancock directed the show and although it was very basic and clearly on a budget, the use of the screen and the projector worked really well. It really helped break the scenes up and gave Rose and Will a bit of a breather. As an audience member I do find it nice to be able to draw my attention to something else and then go back to the laughter. It was all done in such a way that you didn’t miss anything.

Nothing about this show is serious which is why it was such a delight to watch. Harmless, silly comedy. Something I haven’t seen for a while. It is clear to see why it had a sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.

If you claim to need evidence to believe this show is good before you purchase tickets, I have one thing to say….”evidence?!…..Shmevidence!”

Just get your tickets and know you’ll be guaranteed a great night.

Great British Mysteries is currently touring a select number of venues in its preview stage. More information on the venues and dates can be found on their twitter page.

Sarah Kendall: One-Seventeen (UK tour) – REVIEW

Sarah Kendall – One-Seventeen (UK tour)

Soho theatre, London 

★★★★

Sarah Kendall – One-Seventeen 

Soho theatre, London 

 

Seen May 16th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince 

★★★★

Sarah Kendall spent a few nights of her UK tour down in the basement of Soho theatre, the perfect venue for a comedy act. The tour, one-seventeen, takes you on a turbulent retelling of Sarah’s life from the early years up to the present day. It tackles everything; the brilliant highs, some painful lows and everything called life in between. Luck, being a key theme, is able to connect everything at various points during the show. 

I have to say this wasn’t the best comedy act I have seen but it most certainly wasn’t the worst. It was a nice, acceptable middle level. 

I warmed to her straight away when she called the audience c*nts in under a minute of being on stage. It definitely got the laughs! A real ice breaker. I did appreciate how the word flowed so freely from her mouth. One thing I cannot stand is when comedians scripts that word in as an attempt to get more laughs and it does normally fails miserably. For Sarah, it just slipped out as if she was having a conversation with some friends. 

I have to hand it to her for the originality in her jokes. It was real life. Not necessarily real life that everyone could relate to. A few of these stories kind of left me feeling slightly awkward. Not that they were inappropriate just not relatable. I started getting that vibe from other audience members too. It was a rollercoaster of a show. Some highs which were so funny but then there were other parts where I didn’t know whether to laugh or not. It just seemed weird having such serious matters in a comedy show especially presented in that way. The subject matters were obviously life stories, I just felt they went on a little too long and started to bring a bit of a downer on the show. This feeling, however, was immediately removed when Sarah whipped out the next joke! 

Something I like about a good comedy show is when the comedian is able to link all the stories together and Sarah certainly did this. I loved the referencing of previous things she spoke about and doubling up the jokes. 

Despite the rollercoaster of funny to serious, it had such a great pace. There was never a point where I was urging it to end. Sarah is definitely a great story teller and had the audience in the palm of her hand. Something in comedians which is few and far between specially with the serious matters. 

There was another point which made me feel a bit ‘meh’ and that was the ending of the show. It had a rather abrupt ending which left you wanting more. I think it would have been great to see Sarah leave the stage on a real high with the audience roaring with laughter like they did during so much of the show. 

Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. One I would recommend. I’d be interested in seeing her again when she comes to my home town later in the tour.

Sarah is currently touring the UK with One-Seventeen. Click here for more information on her upcoming dates and tickets. 

Also be sure to follow Sarah on twitter for the latest updates in her travels. 

West End Live Lounge – REVIEW

West End Live Lounge – REVIEW

The Other Palace, London

★★★★★ for the overall concept 

★★★ for the show itself 

West End Live Lounge

The Other Palace, London

 

Seen May 13th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★ for the overall concept

★★★ for the show itself

Boy, did I really want to love this. Ever since the idea came about people have been raving about it and it has outgrown so many of its previous venues. The shows don’t happen very often and when they do they sell out fast. This time I thought I would see what all the hype is about. I have to say, in complete honestly, I left feeling incredibly let down.

The only points during the show where my eyes lit up and I found myself awestruck were when Jodie Jacobs, Liisi LaFontaine and Moya Angela performed their solos. Those ladies knocked my socks off! Jodie shook the theatre with her performance of ‘Great Balls of Fire‘. Oh my word! That woman’s voice. I am never prepared for that. Liisi did a stunning performance of ‘Grenade’. I hate her, her voice is so effortless. Can I please be blessed with a voice like hers. Okay, maybe only in my dreams. I don’t think anyone was prepared for Moya’s performance and I was very thankful it closed act 1 because I most certainly needed time to recover. She came out and SH-MASHED ‘I will always love you‘. I don’t know why I bothered shaving my legs that morning because I had goosebumps everywhere and then my legs were all prickly. It was a spiritual awakening.

The rest of the show was pretty meh. (It really hurts me to say that because I was hoping for so much more.)

The concepts of ‘West End Live Lounge’ is fabulous. Each one raising money for a different charity. All the money goes to charity and everyone who hosts and performs does it for zilch! Pretty remarkable. They donate so much of their time.

The chosen charity this time was Centrepoint who put all of their energy into helping those young and homeless through rehabilitation courses. I couldn’t help but feel this charity and the efforts of the show got undermined by an elaborate scheme to promote Divalution’s upcoming show. The charity was mentioned twice and those two times were incredibly brief. I feel for an event like this the focus should not be on self promotion but actually gathering people to help make a difference. Now, this is nothing against Divalution before people start saying that. Their vocals and harmonies were great! It wasn’t just Divalution who made me think this but they were the most predominant throughout the show.

I really found myself drifting off during a lot of the performances. I completely understand it is a chance for those performing to sing songs that they wouldn’t normally sing but some of the song choices were not great.

I have to give credit to Paul Taylor-Mills and Vikki Stone for hosting. At least they brought some life to it. Although I did start to think the red coats were going to make an appearance. I got that holiday club feel many times.

On a positive note, I really did appreciate hearing every single piece of the band. That is something I always look out for.

At the end of the show I had completely forgot it was for charity due to the lack of mentioning. It was only when I was startled by an usher violently shaking a charity bucket in my face that I remembered. It would have been nice for them to mention that they would be collection buckets on the way out before the show officially finished.

The majority of the show was enjoyable and it was nice hearing different renditions of songs from people you would never normally get the opportunity to hear sing, unless at one of these events.

I love to give everything a fair chance but I can’t say that I will be running to the next West End Live Lounge. It could have just been an off night. I guess the line up for the next one will determine whether I go or not.

Stay up to date with the latest news on West End Live Lounge by following them on twitter.

The Secret Letters of Gertie and Hen – REVIEW

The Secret Letters of Gertie and Hen – REVIEW

New Wimbledon Studios, London

★★★

The Secret Letters of Gertie and Hen

New Wimbledon Studios, London

 

Seen April 7th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

A very sweet yet harrowing tale of two ten year old girls. Two ten year old girls , very similar but worlds apart. All due to their country of origin. After years of friendship and hundreds of letters back and forth they are soon to learn this must cease. They are now considered enemies but association. World War 2 has broken out.

‘The Secret Letters of Gertie and Hen’ has finished workshopping and held two private previews ahead of their launch and short run in November 2018 at the New Wimbledon Studios.

If I am completely honest, the first act was enjoyable. I wouldn’t say that it completely wowed me but I do believe there is definitely potential. It is a rather unique story. A story which I actually really like. It is not one we hear very often. We finally get to hear from the female’s point of view. Those who were left behind. So frequently we only get to hear the male take on events. With the character list being rather extensive you do get to see a lot of other view points too.

It is also nice having such a range of topics covered in one play. It covers love, politics, loss and friendship to name a few. Yet despite the amount of topics covered it doesn’t feel crowded. There were a few scene which I felt didn’t add or detract from the story and actually dragged out the first act a little. Apart from this the other scenes were still really engaging. I was not expecting the drastic turn of events at the end of act 1. That is definitely something which I feel will bring the audience back after the interval. I personally was gutted I couldn’t stay to see act 2 and now have to wait until November to see the full thing! Once the ‘drastic change’ started it was easy to predict what would happen next. I just hope the rest of the show isn’t like that.

Script wise, it was very strong. I felt a few of the intense scenes seemed to escalate very quickly with no between group. One minute the character are just talking and the next an argument is taking place. There was no development on that showing the lead up to the that. I think in a few cases the script wasn’t the issue, it was more the direction given.

Seeing as the show will continue at the same venue in November, I feel that it is important to comment of the set up and direction. I really liked the fact that levels were used. It was nice to have each family in their own performance space. Very rarely they overlapped. It was a rather small cast considering the amount of characters and it was handled well. In November it would be nice to see a slightly larger cast so that the roles aren’t doubled up. But I can’t fault how it was handled in these previews.

It was a nice touch not having a restricted performance space and various routes were used to enter and exit the stage.

I personally felt that the scene changes were very brief. At some points it didn’t feel like there was any pause. It just went from one scene straight into the other. As an audience  member I don’t feel like in those moments I had a chance to process the previous scene.

I honestly do look forward to seeing this in full come November. It definitely does have potential. A unique take on events which I believe will draw the audience in. With a little tweaking and polishing, this could be great!

Be sure to follow The Key Theatre Company on twitter for more information on their upcoming dates.

 

Teddy – REVIEW

Teddy – REVIEW

The Vaults Theatre, London

★★★★★

Teddy

The Vaults Theatre, London

Seen April 7th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

Watch out Waterloo Station! If there are disruptions to the trains (and its not caused by South Western Railway for once) then it is because of the Rock ‘n’ Roll coming from below. It’s jolted the tracks! Its a swinging party down there!

This fast pace, on the edge of your seat show takes you back to a Saturday night in 1956. Two teens all glammed up and ready to hit the town. What could possibly go wrong? But it is important to remember ‘Desperate times call for Rock ‘n’ Roll’.

Such a unique show and unlike anything I have ever seen. It is safe to say that I absolutely adored it. Who doesn’t love 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll to start with? You are immediately thrown into a great mood when you take your seats. A trio on stage playing the finest music. This is even before the show began! What a treat we were in for!

The script was incredible. All I kept thinking was ‘this is Dr. Seuss for adults!’ Outstanding! It is poetic beauty and the music is a great addition to the script. It really aids the show and rounds it off in such a gorgeous way. For the majority of the show it really helped heighten the intensity.

It was so adorable seeing the young love fold out on stage. So picturesque! I loved the authenticity as well. Everything had been carefully thought out. Right down to the vintage glass bottles the band used. Little things like that really please me.

The set was stunning and completely at home in the Vaults. Completely stripped back and completely raw. I must admit I had the occasional difficulty in hearing the lines over the music. The acoustics in the vaults aren’t great so the music does have to be a lot louder which is to be expected.

Molly Chesworth (Josie) and George Parker (Teddy) play off each other so well. Such a delight to watch. I did find myself forgetting they are playing teenagers. Some scenes they are so grown up, street wise and ready to take on the world. So strong. Mature beyond their years. Yet, in other scenes they still believed in everything. Molly has the most entrancing eyes. So much naivety and child-like wonder. She had such an impact with her eyes regardless of the acting accompanying it which was great from both parts!

With each number I was wanting to dance. That want was turned into a need during ‘Dance off the blues’. Oh my goodness. That number was totally unexpected. I was not expecting the dance routine. My jaw was on the floor! Incredible moves.

Please, please, please get a ticket for this show. It is outstanding. If you want to be guaranteed a great show and a great time this is the only one you need!

More information about the show and tickets can be found at https://www.thevaults.london/teddy

Be sure to catch it before June 3rd!

Myth – REVIEW

Myth 

The Other Palace, London

★★★★ 

Myth

The Other Palace, London

 

Seen on March 16th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

Okay, so this will have two parts. Two separate posts. One being a review of the most recent production at The Other Palace and the other being comments on the development. I managed to see the show back in 2016 at the Cockpit theatre when it was ’27’. I loved the show back then and still do today.

I will try my hardest to make this review as if it was my first encounter with the show.

This was a workshop run at The Other Palace.

For those not aware of this story, it is heavily based on Ancient Greek mythology. More specifically Orpheus and his encounter with the underworld. As the rock score would imply it is a modern rendition of this historical tale.

This is most definitely a darker show in comparison to those in London currently. It touches on the very difficult topic of mental health. It perfectly represents how mental health is overlooked and how when it is identified, all attention goes to that one person drawing focus away from those also suffering. This is something that occurs so often.

Orpheus is the lead character struggling with a huge life change, being propelled to stardom. The audience are shown his ways of coping which are detrimental to his life, health, friends and family. An even darker turn is that all of this had been decided before hand. The fates knew exactly what they were doing.

The vocals were outstanding. Oh my goodness. That cast is so talented. The harmonies and power. They tore the roof off the theatre. Some standouts were definitely Eloise Davies (Clotho, a fate), Jodie Jacobs (Atropos, another fate), Joel Harper-Jackson (Orpheus) and Zoe Birkett (Miss. M) That’s not to say the rest of the cast weren’t on fire because they most certainly were. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a cast of that standard. Not a single weak link.

Although I really enjoyed the show there were a few things which I noted which could’ve been improved and with it being a workshop feedback is needed to develop it into the wonderful show it could be. I believe there is a lot of improvement to be had with the script. As previously stated, the whole concept of the show is very unique. I just felt parts of the script fell flat. One particular scene was about halfway through act 1 when Orpheus meets Hades in the underworld. That scene was very dragged out and I even found myself losing interest and willing the next number to come along.

I really struggled with the names. I know that they are all Ancient Greek mythology related which is very in keeping. I just really struggled remembering them and therefore making connections with the characters. Obviously having such an emotional show I feel it should be important to put memorable names to faces. I had no issues with some names such as Mel, Miss. M, Pandora, Orpheus (obviously!) and Hades. The main characters. But if you were to ask me what the other minor characters were called, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

One thing I like about The Other Palace is that the performance is not restricted to the stage. Throughout the show the stairs were uses (not too great if your back was facing said stairs) and characters actually sat in spare seats in the audience. There was a chat show scene where this worked so well.

Something which really got to me emotionally was the final number. The main stage was used but also the stairs of the theatre. One was a happy image and one was sad but you could choose which one you wanted to watch. I am not too sure why that blew my mind but it was a really nice touch. This also links to the chat show scene. It is nice to have the choice in what you watch although the whole story is still present. Easily missed behaviours and actions are noticed which add so much more to your understanding of the show.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Outstanding music with a great plot. I really need a cast recording ASAP!

I really do think that I have found my favourite new musical. The whole concept is incredible. I can really see it being mega when everything is where it needs to be. I am beyond excited to see how this show develops even further in the future and endeavour to be there every step of the way!

Part two of this post is linked here were you can see some of my thought on developmental changes which have been made since 2016.

Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Modern Iran (Script-in-hand performance)

Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Modern Iran 

A new play written and directed by Sarah Chew

The Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, London 

Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Modern Iran

A new play written and directed by Sarah Chew

 

The Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, London

Seen March 16th, 2018

Written by Jade Prince

— This will not be a review but more of an experience and a jot down of all my thoughts. I will not take into account the set or anything that will change from production to production. I will be mainly focusing on the script and its content. It seems unfair to publish a review on something which is so early on in its development. —

Beyond Boarders is a mini-season at The Omnibus Theatre which displays work from female theatre writers who all share the same focus of intercultural communication and collaboration. They all aim to raise awareness on the exclusions (both personal and political) faced by different cultures and ethnicities. The sole focus of this mini-season is Britain and the Middle East. Beyond Boarders is made up of five different shows, one of which we got to see.

Part of Beyond Boarders, the script-in-hand performances of ‘Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Modern Iran’ tells the story of Orla who ends up slap bang in the middle of the revolution in Iran. Raising so many questions about the things she witnessed and experienced. A unique new piece of theatre which is half theatre and half drag cabaret. It is also important to note that all of this was inspired by Sarah Chew’s own time in Iran back in 2010.

To say this is a work in progress and the team have been working on it for only two weeks it was pretty spectacular!

The whole concept was heartbreakingly beautiful. Orla, attempting to understand exactly what she saw during her 6 weeks in Iran. A completely different country with completely different laws and more importantly a completely different view on women. The perfect place for a feminist to witness and experience first hand. Witness and experience she sure did.

The script was initially slow and I found it a little uncomfortable how the audience were addressed to start with. Orla is actually telling you, the audience, the story but despite the initial uncomfort, it actually worked so well as the play progressed. If it had been a more intimate venue I would have felt like she was retelling the story in her living room. I would actually have cried then!

It really hit a tender nerve as is was brutal truth. We all know these awful things are happening in the world and more specifically the segregation between male and female in Iran however we as society are never given the full truth. It is always exaggerated or censored. One extreme to another. It was definitely something else hearing a first person encounter. It was wonderful but at the same time hard to swallow.

The music choice was so fitting. It really helped move the story along but at the same time the background music added that extra element of emotion which did actually cause me to tear up towards the end. The combination of the way the audience were addressed, the content being spoken and the music. It is incredible how a bit of music can have such a drastic impact on dialogue and the overall emotion.

One thing I wasn’t too sure about was the nudity. I don’t feel it was needed but then on the other hand it definitely shocked me. I had become so accustomed to seeing two beautiful women on stage that I had completely forgotten one was male. This was down to the fact the drag make-up was natural and not of the typical drag style. I did admire the way that this showed that gender was irrelevant and that we are all equal.

I did really like how Mark was utilised in helping to retell Orla’s story. Switching from character to character as they appeared and in my eyes providing that comic relief in such a hard hitting play.

This is a real political statement.

I will definitely be seeing this play again when it is next in London after further development. It is definitely a unique piece highlighting key issues faced in the world currently.

Treading Water – REVIEW

Treading Water

Vaults Festival, London

★★★★★

Treading Water

Vaults Festival, London

 

Seen on March 4th 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

Screw it! I’m going all out and giving this one five stars. A beautifully touching piece of theatre with great humour.

The simple life of two lifeguards. Sue and Carol follow the same routine day in and day out. Their job to watch the world go by, the same view everyday. Including one gentleman who appears each morning like clock work. In a job where nothing very interesting happens, can Sue and Carol change that?

This was honestly such a cute play. I very rarely whip the world ‘cute’ out in my reviews but this deserves it 110%. It was so relatable on so many leaves and I really didn’t believe that awkwardness could look so cute! We have all definitely been in that situation where we have no idea how to approach someone you’re interested in. Should we do it Carol’s way of throwing it straight out there or Sue’s way of taking your time and trying to really understand that person? I fell in love with the three characters straight away which is such a huge achievement for a short play. Within less than an hour I wanted to hug all three of them.

The start of the play seemed very slow. A lot of observing the characters and their little, quirky behaviours. I really did like this aspect especially as I went in not knowing very much about the show. It had me feeling a little on edge and wondering what was going to happen but then I fell into the ‘comfort zone’. The kind of zone you’d associate with routine and structure. It was a beautiful feeling being at the same pace as the characters.

I absolutely adored Carol. We all have a friend like her. So blunt and providing such a wonderfully honest observation on life. This really pulled at my heart strings a little but it was so well balanced with humorous lines.

I have to admit that I was a little confused on the ages of the characters. Carol seemed to be in a very stale marriage (something that I would link with a middle-aged woman) while Sue seems very young and naive. Yet, at the same time then seemed to be very much the same age. It wasn’t anything that troubled me loads. I just distinctly remember having that question come to mind half way through the show.

It was just such a lovely, calm play highlighting so many subtle things in everyday life. No huge drastic plot changes or controversial topics but it worked so, so well whilst keeping an engaging speed. I just felt so refreshed as I left.

I predict big things for this show and I cannot wait to see it again.

Be sure to follow SubtlePaws on twitter for the latest updates on ‘Treading Water’ and their other shows: https://twitter.com/SubtlePaws?lang=en

Also follow ‘Treading Water’ writer, Kathryn Gardner: https://twitter.com/KathrynEGardner?lang=en