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.
Above we have Damien Winchester (currently in Aladdin as swing/cover Genie) singing I’m Every Woman/Million Dollar Bill.
Here we have a picture of Sabrina Aloueche (Chess) killing I Will Always Love You. I bit song to sing but. she. nailed. it.
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!
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)
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.
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!
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.
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!
“Each year it helps to raise money for the outstanding charity ‘Acting For Others’. This year alone, £9,500 was raised in those short hours. Isn’t that mad?!”
May 19th, 2018
This year I was delighted when I found out I was in London the weekend of West End Bake off. But to make it even better…I was free between 11am-1pm!!! Winning!
You all know I went.
West End Bake off has been a successful charity event which is held each year in the cosy grounds of The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden. Each year it helps to raise money for the outstanding charity ‘Acting For Others’. This year alone, £9,500 was raised in those short hours. Isn’t that mad?!
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The sun came out in all its glory to support the event. There was a real buzz as you entered with everyone eager to see the stagey creations. Roughly 20 west end shows turned up to displayed their baking skills and support. So much talent!
To say everything was rammed in there was an understatement. It won’t be long until they will need a bigger venue, it’s that popular!
Not only are there loads of cakes on sale for £1 but they also have a poster stand. Some are signed by the current west end cast which have a higher price tag. Others are slightly older. I noticed a single Kinky Boots poster signed by the one and only Cyndi Lauper. They range in prices but lets face it, us theatre lovers don’t care and we know the money is going to a fabulous cause. I made a bee-line for that and managed (by some miracle) to land my hands on the very last signed Hamilton poster. I died!
Some of the shows also sell merchandise on their cake stands which is another wonderful element. Hamilton did great by holding several auctions for signed t-shirts. From what I was hearing, each one went for about £60! In between all of these auctions I just HAD to make a donation and have a photo with the cast whilst showing of my beautiful poster! I’m trash! But, hey! It started a trend and they started taking photos with people for a small donation. All for the cause!
It wouldn’t be a bake off without having the cakes judged by some guest judges. Previous winners include 42nd Street, The Secret Garden and The Mousetrap. This year, the trio of judges were made up of Ruthie Henshall, Christopher Biggins and Wendi Peters. They had so many cakes to judge. After a difficult decision they crowned ‘Young Frankenstein’ the winner of 2018. They are now the proud owners of ‘Cuppy’! It’s such a cute trophy!
Trophy photo credit: West End Bake Off
It was such a great start to the weekend and I cannot wait until the next one!
Head over to West End Bake Off’s website and twitter for the latest information on this one of a kind event.
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!
A Spoonful of Sherman retells the story of the talented generations of the Sherman family. Starting with Al Sherman and his success in the 30s and 40s and then slowly moving on to Robert and Richard Sherman who followed in their father’s footsteps, most commonly known as the Sherman Brothers. We are taken on the journey through the highs and lows they faced and the incredible music they left behind to enrich the world. With music from Disney classics such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book to some good oldies, this show is perfect for every member of the family. There is something so wonderful about it which taps into the heart of so many different reasons.
I was blown away from the onset. Everything about this show is wonderful. I knew from the first note sung that we were in for a treat! I need to talk about the harmonies. Oh why word. They were impeccable. They were able to capture the decades so wonderfully. You were transported right back to the 30s and then slowly taken on the journey up to the present day. No gimmicks. Just pure talent. It was so refreshing to see such a raw show which was so polished. It has the west end wow factor with the set and talent yet doesn’t rely on a band or elaborate set pieces. Just two pianos, five narrators (two of which play the pianos), a few props here and there and the change in lighting to create such a beautiful piece of theatre.
When I first looked at the list of musical numbers before the house opened, I was slightly overwhelmed. I had a real worry that this show would go on for hours and hours considering 55 numbers are squeezed in. 55?! I have to say that they have crammed so much of the good stuff into this show. It didn’t feel long at all and had such a great flow. You really hear every thing from every milestone in the Sherman family’s history. The song medleys we phenomenal. They really helped to move the show along and gave it great pace. It all seamlessly blended together.
The first act was all very new to me. I don’t typically listen to music from that era but it was great to hear. It wasn’t until the end of act 1 where I started to get rather emotional and nostalgic. Those where the songs that I grew up with! To quote Robbie Sherman, the creator of the concept of the show:
“If you grew up with Mary Poppins then Mary Poppins was in your DVD player or VHS and you watched it over and over again. This was your baby sitter. A personal friend.” <— The full interview can be found here.
I could not agree more. This show will honestly touch everybody. Those from a young age who are only just being introduced to those Disney classics, to those young adults who grew up with Disney as their babysitter and to those middle-aged and older who might have heard the older Sherman songs but are also experts on the well known Disney numbers thanks to their own children and grandchildren. It is a beautiful family outing which connects every generation.
I also need to take a moment to appreciate the set. Wow! What a set that was! It was so aesthetically pleasing but yet so diverse for this show. It was a white box but without looking like a white box. When the tone of the number changed, so did the set with the help of the lighting. I clearly remember how drastic the change was from “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” to “Wind’s in the East”. It was able to go from a really jolly song to something a lot darker in mood. Gabriella Slade did such a wonderful job! It allowed the pianos to blend in so perfectly and allowed their movements to become part of the show.
Overall this show is stunning and I would urge everyone to see it. Take your family and have a great night out. I will definitely be racing to see it again when it stops in my home town at the end of April. Good, old fashioned entertainment that won’t break the bank.
It is such a stunning legacy to the Shermans and a beautiful was to learn the history of such an iconic family who have touched billions of lives.
All information of the ticket websites for various theatres, dates and stops on the tour can be found here. I have included the current upcoming dates and locations below.
–There is also a cheeky little link to a giveaway we are holding if you are quick and catch it in time! Continue down to the bottom of this post for the link–
Upcoming UK & Ireland tour dates:
5-7 April 2018 – Grand Theatre, Swansea
15-17 April 2018 – Queens Theatre, Hornchurch
18-20 April 2018 – Shanklin Theatre, Isle of Wight
24-26 April 2018 – Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
30 April – 1 May 2018 – Wyvern Theatre, Swindon <–My next dates planned!
7-9 May 2018 – Lincoln Theatre Royal, Lincoln
14-15 May 2018 – Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare
16-18 May 2018 – Northcott Theatre, Exeter
31 May – 1 June 2018 – Everyman Theatre, Cork
2-3 June 2018 – Pavilion Theatre, Dublin
We currently have a giveaway active on our twitter page. Click here to enter.
Robbie has definitely given ‘Ginger in the Theatre’ a very unique, all access insight into the creation of such a beautiful show which is currently touring the UK.
Amidst his very busy schedule, we were able to chat to Robbie Sherman before the UK tour of ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ gets into full swing. We had a lovely chat about his early life and his discovery of music as well as his family who have touched millions and millions of lives over the past decade. Robbie has definitely given ‘Ginger in the Theatre’ a very unique, all access insight into the creation of such a beautiful show which is currently touring the UK. You are in for a treat!
To start off with, coming from a musically gifted family, has music always been a part of your life?
Absolutely, it has. My earliest memories always seem to be connected to listening to my dad and uncles’s songs and they were really in the top of their careers in in those years so when I was first born and the first couple of years after that and so I always had music around and I always knew that I wanted to be a songwriter.
Was it something which you actively pursued at school considering you had it so present at home?
Its a funny thing but not so much in school. I pursued music in the high school marching band. I played the glockenspiel, the tuber and then became the drum major of the band. And then I was also in the ‘Magical Singers’ and I was the student conductor of that group. But my songwriting really was something that I did more extracurricularly.
Obviously your parents and family had a big influence on your career choice but were there any external factors or people who also inspired you over the years?
Certainly on a broader sense there were always external people because it wasn’t just the people in my family who were my favourites. I was a Beetles fan from very early on and they are still my favourite band. In the musical theatre realm everyone from Gilbert and Sullivan to Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim and even the modern songwriters of today, some of whom are younger than I am are influential to me and I think in order to be a writer you have to open to everything that is going on and not to just close yourself to one period of time. You have to know your history but also know where you are in the present.
So, a little one to put you on the spot, is there any particular piece that you are most proud of? Or is that like asking a parent who their favourite child is?
As far as a single song, I have the same answers that my father does that is, exactly what you just said, being a parent and you can’t just pick one. However, there are three projects that I am most proud of. I would say that the writing I did on a musical I did a few years ago at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, called LoveBirds. It’s a musical that I wrote the script and songs for. Thats the work I’m most proud of and I feel is my best work. Probably second and third would be this current script for ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ where I’ve done something kind of interesting where you get the story of the songwriters in my family and I’ve made the idea of the Sherman brothers, the idea of my dad and uncle into a protagonist. I am very proud because it wasn’t an idea that necessarily worked but from what the critics have said it seems to have. I am very pleased with that and the fact that they are getting that kind of recognition. And then there was another script that I wrote with my father, actually, for an animated project called ‘Inkas The Ramfriankas’ and this is a project that I have worked on the last 20 years. I was in my early 20s and my dad and I took a story of his and made it into a picture animated script about a flying dinosaur. And that script is one of the best things I’ve done. Those three are the ones that I’m most proud of.
Would you be able to divulge any methods in how you compose to our readers? Is there a standard method you use or does it vary?
For me, generally speaking, it is that first moment of inspiration and finding something inspiring. That could be a line, often times its the title of the song, it’s the idea of the song that comes first. Then it’s that idea even though its not fully formed and as the writer you can imagine what the whole thing will look like. And I’m sure you’re the same way when you write an article, you know what its going to look like. Now you have to roll up you sleeves and do the work and chisel away. As my father use to say, there are three parts to a song – there’s the music and the lyrics but there is also the third part which is the idea. I know that they [father and uncle] spent a tremendous amount of time just discussing ideas and thinking about what would be a fresh idea for a song. This remains true for a song or a show itself. Does the show lend itself to being told in a musical manner and not every story does. You wouldn’t necessarily want to do ‘death of a Salesman’ as a musical or ‘Angles in America’ as a musical. You could. I think they could both be very good musicals but it may be that the script or the poetry can stand alone. You have to ask yourself ‘does music aid the telling of this story or does it get in the way?’
On to the show now, back in 2014 ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ opened. How did the idea for this show come about?
It’s a good question because this show has evolved so much since 2014. When I originally conceived the show with my music director, Colin Villing, he and I said that what we wanted to do is tell three generations of songwriters in the same family. And my concept was that it would be a great musical family tribute to my father who suddenly passed away and year and a half earlier in 2012 and it fell on the heels of the movie ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ and most significantly on the heels of the release on my dad’s autobiography which is called ‘Moose: Chapters from my Life’. That was his nickname, Moose. But he wasn’t around, sadly, to see the release of his book which he worked on so hard. We were going to do a UK book launch and rather than having me signing the book as the book editor as my name is rather similar to my father’s, I am also Robert Sherman. People might have gotten the wrong idea and might have thought that I was passing myself off as my father. They might have been sadly surprised that my father had passed away and they didn’t know. We thought that we can’t just do a traditional book signing. We’ll do a musical tribute. So we created this piece that I was the narrator of and I wrote it. We had four singers, piano player and myself. And it was very different to what we have now. This show is like watching a west end show. It’s like looking at a musical. There’s dancing, there’s movement, there’s a lot of backstory and a lot of history but you don’t feel like you’re watching a cabaret. You feel like you are watching a proper musical and that’s how its evolved. It’s also not so much of a tribute to my father but both my father and uncle and my grandfather and a little bit about me. That’s what the story is and it builds up the myth of the Sherman Brothers. It gives you the story that a lot of people don’t know. These are the people who created the songbook of our childhoods. You construct that in the second act and realise that tremendous gift they gave us. We take human beings who had struggles and triumphs in life and the world is richer for it from the great musicals they created. Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie The Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, these are things that everybody knows the words to.
That is beautiful. They have truly given so much to the world. Looking back on my own childhood, there are song many songs that come to mind from those movies which your family have written and it is wonderful.
Thank you. I agree and its a funny thing for me because when I was young I would hear the songs and it was just me and I didn’t realise so many kids around the world were listening to these songs to. When creating the show we had to make the serious decision of whether it was possible to do this show without me as the narrator as its personal when I do it but the conclusion that we all came to was as long as we get actors and performers who love this music then its not just personal for me, its personal for everyone who loves this music. If you grew up with Mary Poppins then Mary Poppins was in your DVD player or VHS and you watched it over and over again. This was your baby sitter. A personal friend to you. Like so much of TV and music is. And for that reason we create this family on stage. It’s just as personal as it is to me as it is to you. Yes, its a little different but it doesn’t make it any less personal.
With your family having created so many wonderful songs, how did you create the set list for the show to showcase the best of the best?
I’ve got to compliments you, thats a great question. It really is because its the heart of why this show works. This show is an intimate show. It’s meant to be an intimate show. It was when it was a cabaret and it is now that its more of a musical stage show. The idea because it goes to the heart of us as children and the secret is that we don’t just do big hits. We don’t just do ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ‘The old Bamboo’. We also do songs that you maybe haven’t heard of. Songs from my grandfather. He was a hit songwriter in the 30s and 40s. We used songs that specifically accented points in the lives of the Sherman Brothers which is very much like the lives of everybody. Like I said, this is a universal story, not just my family’s. The 1960s happened to be a very optimistic time for Americans but it was a great time for my dad and uncle as well. So, that’s how we chose the songs. There’s a song called ‘A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow’ that my father and uncle wrote for The World’s Fair so we include that song because it accents that time and tells the audience the story of that moment in history. You have a grandparent and they remember that time very well and how positive that was and they say “you know, it was a great big beautiful tomorrow. We did most of that”. With this show we really suffer an embarrassment of riches with this show because there are so many really amazing songs that my dad and uncle wrote and my grandfather wrote, I would have loved to have more of mine in there but there just isn’t room. Ultimately you have to serve the story, you can’t have a five hour show. But that’s how we chose it. It was basically what helps us accent the story and make it come alive for people so its not just a little bit of narration and a song or why I love the song. No, this was how does this universally appeal to the world?
Do you feel any pressure keeping this legacy going?
Yes but its all self-imposed. Nobody ever said to me that I must keep this legacy going or you’ll bring shame to our family. My father was very happy that I wanted to follow in his footsteps but didn’t ever pressure me to do so. There are many things we do to keep the legacy going. One thing besides my writing aspirations is that I am also the trustee of my family’s archives. There is literally over a hundred years of songwriting that is being digitised as we speak and fifty thousands photographs that have been digitised already. That aspect of the legacy is also being maintained.There are odd arrangements of musicals that you have never heard of like this musical called ‘The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band’ that came out in 1968 and there are marching band arrangements for this. Somebody thought it was a worth while thing.The movie wasn’t a big success. If we don’t archive this, they’ll disappear. They’ll just go away. But you know for that one instance where someone might want to use that matching band arrangement it could be a fantastic thing. So, we’re preserving the legacy for the next generation. As far as my own work, if I could do even a fraction of what my father and uncle accomplished. If I could write a musical a year that makes people happy and puts a smile on their face and gives them a better way of looking at life. If I do ten or twenty of those I’ll feel great.
From your point of view, why should people come and see ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’?
I think people should see ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ because, although they don’t realise it until they see it, it’s the song book of their childhoods. And people have a deep emotional connection. I see this night after night. People will come up to me literally in tears saying ‘you don’t know what such and such song meant to me. I didn’t realise your father and uncle wrote that song’. Its a very heart warming and deep personal reaction. Children are riveted throughout the piece. Five year olds. Seven years olds sit there and they don’t fidget. They just watch and they are mesmerised because tis a very visual show. Our cabaret wasn’t as visual but this is very visual. But then you have 75 year olds and 80 year olds who know the music because like I said my grandfather wrote for all these famous singers: Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Al Jolson. He wrote for all of these people. You don’t realise that you know these songs. I think that that is really the reasons people should see it. It’s a lot of fun and its a lot of memories. Its very moving in a way that surprises people. I should also add that we have a tremendously talented cast. We have five performers. There is a certain rawness to this because we have two pianos and five singers and you can’t hide. You don’t have five tenors singing this one part. You have one tenor, one soprano, one alto and one base. If a note or a voice cracks you hear it but it make it very real. You get the real thing. You have these vocal harmonies that are so true to the times and we wanted to stay true to the decades these were written. So we are not just giving the feeling of the time but also giving the authenticity and its something that you just don’t hear in a west end scenario. Its heartfelt music.
And finally, have you got any new ventures planned for the future?
Oh lots! Too many. There are so many wonderful things. So, my biggest thing right now is to make sure that this tour seems to be successful and then to expand the tour to other places. We could play all over the world: Australia, Canada, even Germany and South Africa. Theres a lot of places the show could play and would have a tremendous appeal. But then my show ‘Love Birds’ which I was telling you was a big hit both critically and with the audience alike in the Edinburgh Fringe. I am way overdue to deliver a two act version of this. With fringe shows, it is alway a one hour piece which isn’t really a conventional way to introduce a musical to the west end. I would love nothing more than to see this make it to the west end and broadway. I have two or three other shows that I am very eager to begin. I have bits and pieces of songs, scenes but before I go any further on that I need to get the first things done. There is also all my dad’s stuff. There’s books, like I mentioned. There are books that have never seen the light of day. I would love to get those published. I personally recommend anyone who is a Sherman Brothers fan to read my dad’s autobiography ‘Moose: Chapters From My Life’. It really is tremendous. It is more than just, sort of, a Hollywood book. In fact, its almost not a Hollywood book in a way because it has the Hollywood stories but it doesn’t start with them. It starts with war stories. I also have my grandfathers autobiography that was never published and I’d loved to get that going. Theres a lot of things to keep me occupied over the next few years.
It’s great to hear we have plenty of wonderful things coming from Robbie Sherman and of his family legacy in the near future.
It was an absolute pleasure talking to Robbie and I urge you all to see ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ at some point on it’s UK tour. A truly stunning show suitable for all.
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.
With a limited run at Park theatre Tick, Tick…BOOM! Most certainly did not disappoint. From the Pulitzer Prize winner, Jonathan Larson, the story follows three friends (Jonathan, Susan and Michael) during the 1990s as they arrive and start their journey through their thirties. While Jonathan spends the eve of his thirtieth birthday contemplating his career choices, his girlfriend (Susan) dreams of being married and venturing out of the city and his best friend (Michael) is achieving huge success in business. This sweet and intimate show takes you on a journey of self-discovery with the strong reminder of never letting go of your dreams no matter what life throws at you.
All three cast members were strong performers, but Jordan Shaw really stood out. Naturally funny when delivering his lines and was super at switching between drastically different minor characters at various point during the show. Despite the fact that there were only three cast members, the hustle and bustle of New York was still so clear on stage. Small things like the stage transitions really helped: the three actors moving props whilst noticeably changing characters. Heading into “Sunday” I was really given the feeling of being sat in the middle of a café in SOHO! In total there were 7 other characters split wonderfully between Gillian Saker and Jordan Shaw alongside their main roles of Susan and Michael. Chris Jenkins gave the audience a real feeling of empathy towards Jonathan as he pursued his dream of becoming a composer.
Superb vocals from all cast members although it was difficult to hear during some songs, as the main keys were very loud and seemed to drown out the vocals. This was more prominent at the start of the show and did not really pose an issue when the three characters came together for certain numbers. The majority of the songs were very engaging (helped by the intimacy of the venue) even the solos had a real connection to them. Gillian Saker’s performance during “come to your senses” was mesmerising! The three came together so well during the larger numbers such as “30/90” and there was never a moment I questioned the friendship portrayed.
Park 90 is a very intimate theatre auditorium which initially caused me doubt, but worked well in the favour of the show. The set, designed by Nik Corrall, was a fabulous use of space with simple but brilliant transitions.
Initially I was slightly unsure as I walked in however, a few numbers in, my mind was put at ease and I came out loving the show and believing that my own personal dreams are not too far out of reach.