Hair (UK tour) – REVIEW

Hair (UK tour) – REVIEW

New Theatre, Oxford


Hair (UK Tour)

New Theatre, Oxford


Reviewed by Jade Prince

Seen June 26th, 2019


Slap bang in the middle of the East Village of New York City in 1967, a tribe of hippies want to let the sun shine in despite the ongoing Vietnam War. Inquisitive minds seeking for a way to change the world and redefining authority by uniting the world with music.

The ‘tribe’ was interesting however joining is not something on the agenda here at Ginger in the Theatre. It is sad to say but love did not strike our heart.

I had big hopes for Hair after its sold-out run at The Vaults in London. Having now seen the show, I’m not really sure what people saw.

The music was great and it is definitely something I will be adding to my Spotify playlist however the whole package lacked the oomph a ‘wild, colourful, sexually liberated and free’ show should have possessed.

The only thing I will be raving about is the harmonies throughout. The cast sounded so dreamy on stage, giving me goosebumps many times. The highlight being towards the end of “Let the Sun Shine In”.

Even writing this now, I am so confused as to what happened in the show. Not due to the plot being complicated but simple because there was no plot. The tiniest bit of storyline I could grasp onto with the tips of my fingers was Claude (Paul Wilkins) being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Apart from that I am still at a loss as to what the plot was. And then to top it off, we had an abrupt ending! I can’t deal with abrupt endings! The whole audience was unsure on whether we were to expect more. There was a strong feeling of disappointment radiating around the auditorium.

From a technical point of view, the sound quality was not great and the music over powered the vocals. This made it really difficult to hear the lyrics resulting in the audience disconnecting from the plot (or what limited plot there was).

To put a positive spin on this review, the set was aesthetically pleasing. It was a lovely touch having the subtle colour change during the ‘trip’ scene at the beginning of act 2. The black light was able to pick up UV colours hidden within set. It was something I wasn’t expecting and also a very cleaver addition to ensure that the actual trip was distinguishable from the already psychedelic reality.

It was a somewhat enjoyable show however I found myself willing the next number on. The dialogue felt unnecessary and did nothing to aid the story. I think I would have preferred just the musical numbers, one after the other.

For more information on the show, tickets and remaining venues on the tour, click here.

Thriller LIVE – 10th Anniversary Performance – REVIEW

Thriller LIVE – 10th Anniversary Performance

Lyric Theatre, London


Thriller LIVE – 10th Anniversary Performance

Lyric Theatre, London


Reviewed by Katie Middlebrook

Seen January 22nd, 2019


On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, Thriller – Live celebrated a spectacular 10-year anniversary of the show being on the West End and Ginger in The Theatre was lucky enough to be invited to this fun filled event.

Thriller – Live is a two-and-a-half-hour concert show celebrating the music of The Jackson 5 and the solo work of Michael Jackson. The show had already been performed in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia before the Lyric Theatre opened its doors in London for the first time on 21st January 2009.

Adrian Grant is the writer and theatrical producer of Thriller – Live. He started a British fan club for Michael Jackson in 1988. Adrian worked closely alongside Michael during the time the ‘Dangerous’ album was being recorded. In 2006 Adrian developed the tribute show and it had its first preview at the Dominion Theatre in August that year. Later that year Adrian teamed Chris Brown up with the dancers of Thriller – Live to perform the show in front of Michael Jackson. The following year Thriller – Live became a touring show with raving success and reviews across the UK and Europe before opening at the Lyric Theatre in January 2009.

This was my first time seeing the show and I had such a fun evening. The performers interactions with the audience was amazing. They easily got everyone to dance and sing along and if you are on the front row you might be lucky enough to get a high five from a cast member or two!

There are four main singers in the show who are all very talented. I really enjoyed hearing their harmonies and renditions of popular Michael Jackson songs. One of my favourites was ‘She’s Out of My Life’ which was performed by David Julian who stood out throughout the show as a very gifted performer.

Florivaldo Mossi was a very convincing Michael with his looks and naturally flowing dance moves. I was a little confused for some of the numbers as it looked like he was lip syncing but, in the finale he could very clearly sing.

The show has a lot of content with lots of well-known Michael Jackson songs as well as Jackson 5 songs, but the show didn’t seem to be in any order or have a particular structure which sometimes was a little bit confusing. I found myself knowing and enjoying a lot more of the songs in Act Two, some of my favourites being ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Earth Song’ and of course ‘Thriller’.

There was obviously a lot of hard work put into the costumes and creative side of the show with the set design and lighting. It was all very colourful and bright and kept the show very exciting throughout the whole thing. Along with the audience interaction it was a very entertaining and enjoyable show.

If you are a fan of Michael Jackson and his music and want a fun filled evening of dancing and singing, then Thriller – Live is the place to go. It continues to play at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue Tuesday to Sunday every week with matinees on Saturday and Sundays.

More information and tickets can be found here.

West End Live 2017

West End Live
Trafalgar Square, London

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th June 2017


West End Live

Trafalgar Square, London


Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th June 2017

Written by Jade Prince

Another West End Live has come and so quickly gone. I always wish it was longer, but even at the end of two days in Trafalgar Square this ginger was screaming “OMG! ENOUGH!” This will be a longer post than usual, as the event took place over two days. Hope you still enjoy reading it!

Towards the end of June each year, one weekend transforms Trafalgar Square into the stagiest place in London. Thousands of theatre lovers flock to the square to see what the West End currently has to offer, with different shows performing throughout the day as well as special solo guest performers. Did I mention it is free? Yep! Entrance is free all weekend. Such a perfect way to introduce more people to theatre!  Saturday is the biggest and longest of the two days with many of the well-known musicals performing. Seven hours of stagey fun! The Sunday has a slightly shorter schedule with certain shows from Saturday doing repeat performances. Further into the Sunday schedule many musical theatre solo performers make special appearances.

Once again this year I was able to attend both days with friends and like always, had so much fun!

Saturday 24th June

I arrived late due to rehearsal (I snuck out early because Dreamgirls were performing at 13:20 and I HAD to be there for them!) I arrived half way through Phantom of the Opera and by that time I had missed acts from Wicked, 42nd Street, Kinky Boots, Aladdin to name a few however, I didn’t mind much as I have already seen those shows and all the performances from both days are recorded. They were slightly ahead of schedule which was surprising, but I soon realised why when the presenters where on stage. The presenters for the Saturday were from Heart radio and, therefore seemed to have limited knowledge on musical theatre and very much stuck to their given scripts. Normally those presented with a far bit of knowledge on musical theatre will pad out the script with their own opinions of the upcoming show such as: “I really need to see this one,” or “I have seen this one and it was…,” or they gage the audiences excitement for it.

Personally, I found Dreamgirls to be the stand out performance of the whole weekend. It was covers galore (not surprising considering it was a double show day and a vocally demanding show for the leads.) The cast members on stage really went for it as it was Dreamgirls first ever performance at WestEnd Live. It was nice to see that they threw in an unexpected song, which they never normally perform. Typically it is ‘And I am Telling You I’m Not Going’ which they did do, but started the set off with ‘One Night Only’ which to my knowledge they have not performed outside of the theatre before.

After Dreamgirls, I spent a bit of time looking around the stalls and being glittered up courtesy of the Oxford Street stall. This year you were able to get up close to some of the Disney costumes from Aladdin and the Lion King, as well as enter competitions with awesome prizes up for grabs. There is always something for everyone in the family, from the Forbidden Planet stall to the Everything’s Rosie marque with face painting and free candyfloss. These stalls do change each year, but they always seem to have a similar age range. TKTS always have their own marque with theatre merchandise where you can purchase tickets for that day or the upcoming week at great rates.

Many other shows performed throughout the day until 6pm and some of my favourites included Thriller LIVE, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Toxic Avenger, Jesus Christ Superstar, 13 The Musical and Hair.

Thriller LIVE perform every year at WestEnd Live and it is always great music that everyone knows and can enjoy. This year there performance seemed to be really long in comparison to other slots and it felt like they performed every song from the show. Although, this was nice it might have been nice to cut their slot slightly shorter as it’s a relatively well known show. This would have then created more time for those shows just about to open or that have had less ‘hype’.

Everybody is Talking About Jamie is soon to open at the Apollo theatre this November. The musical is inspired by a documentary, which was aired on BBC 3 back in 2011 titled ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’. I personally am very intrigued and will definitely be going to see this once it opens after hearing the numbers performed.

Toxic Avenger is a show, which is coming back to London due to popular demand after it’s run at the Southwark Playhouse last year. I had personally never heard anything about this show until this weekend and I absolutely loved the music. Unsure of the actual storyline and from the performance on Saturday I have to say that I was given a real ‘Urinetown’ vive (another brilliant show which I wish had stayed around longer than what it did).

Jesus Christ Superstar was wonderful, as always. They opened with King Herod’s Song and the costume was very bizarre! And then Tyrone Huntly came on to perform ‘Heaven on Their Mind’; I am now even more excited to see him back in it this summer at Regent’s Park. It was a fabulous performance.

Two shows which are coming over to London this summer are 13 the musical and hair. The kids in 13 sounded incredible performing ‘The Lamest Place in the World’ and ‘Getting Ready’. There was a slight cringe moment when one of the boys looked far too young (in comparison to the rest of the cast) to be singing about being a sex god. I don’t know if it was just me feeling that way, but it was a little uncomfortable. Hair is opening at the Vaults this October as another immersive theatre experience. It was very difficult to gage its full potential, as the performance was so different to what will actually be seen but the music seemed enjoyable. There song choice didn’t really captivate me, but I will definitely be going to see it when it eventually opens.

And with that Saturday was over. A few friends and I did leave early as the last couple of performers were also repeated on the Sunday, but we all left on a high from day one and were super excited for day two!

Sunday 25th June

Trafalgar square started rocking out at 12pm on Sunday with School of Rock kicking the day off. Wow! They were loud! So loud. Far too much talent to start the day off. Those kids are too much! Until around 14:30 more west end shows performed including the regulars that are there every year (Stomp, Matilda, Disney’s the Lion King) along with a few new shows (Five Guys Named Moe and The Wind in the Willows).

Sundays always tend to be slightly different as many solo west end performers take to the stage. There is always a great line-up of solo acts and this year did not disappoint! Kerry Ellis kicked the solo section off by singing “It’s gonna be alright”, Panic Attack and “Finding Wonderland” from her most recent show ‘Wonderland’

The talent did not dwindle. Everyone in and near Trafalgar Square were hit with some amazing vocals. Rachel Tucker was most certainly a stand out performer and this was made even clearer when she came out as Marisha Wallace’s special guest. They both sung “Take Me or Leave Me” and left the crowd very weak. I don’t think I will ever get over that, it was definitely a spiritual experience!

Trevor Dion Nicholas gave a much unexpected performance with his band, Neighborhood Goliath. It was a completely different music style to what I was expecting, but it actually worked really well and got the whole audience engaged. “The Current” got people dancing.

John Owen-Jones was a sweetheart. He had the awkward job of introducing himself as for some reason her had taken over as presenter earlier in the day. He did it in such a humble and funny way. His performance was simply stunning. I had goose bumps everywhere from the moment he started singing till the very end. He even made the joke about being part of many different shows, but the only two people actually care about are Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables!

The show ended in the most perfect way with Marisha Wallace, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Nathan Amzi joining John on stage to sing one final song, “You’re The Voice”. This really brought home just how special musical theatre is and vital it is for the community. Even through difficult times thousands of people were able to come together for the weekend and unite over their one same love, musical theatre.

“So, today, this weekend, WestEnd Live is all about love. You are here, we’re all here because we love theatre and we love this city. Yeah? This country and this city has been through some dark and difficult times recently but what shone through all that darkness has been love and humanity. We are all here today to celebrate that. We are a community, we are a family” – John Owen-Jones.

You felt so much love radiate around Trafalgar Square as they performed the final song of the day. This finished a fabulous weekend off in the best and most loving way possible.

Videos of all the performances mentioned in this blog have been linked under the relevant names.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the dates to the stagiest weekend in London next year. All information can be found as it’s posted here: