Bury the Hatchet – REVIEW

Bury the Hatchet – REVIEW

The Hope Theatre, London

★★★★

Bury the Hatchet

The Hope Theatre, London

 

Seen July 28th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

Outside of my theatre life, there is nothing I love more than watching crime documentaries (especially BuzzFeed Unsolved!). After all, I spent 5 years of my life studying Law and Psychology. Delving into criminal mysteries became the norm for me. So I was super excited when I saw the story line for Bury the Hatchet.

There is still an unsolved murder from 1892 which had the main suspect acquitted. The murder of Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby Borden, occurred 126 years ago to the date of writing this review, August 4th 1892. The main suspect was Andrew Borden’s younger daughter, Lizzie Andrew Borden. This case was unique in providing an insight into the flaws of forensic investigation at the time as this case was ultimately dropped as there was insufficient evidence in order to secure a conviction.

Bury the Hatchet has a very unique way in retelling this story with an injection of some folk music here and there. It was delivered as a documentary yet had a very raw appearance.

Let’s just jump straight in with the biggest down fall and in fact, my only real criticism of the show. I personally feel this raw appearance let the performance down. I couldn’t help but feel there was no real thought in the delivery or preparation. Throughout the show there was a lot of jumping around. The three characters continuously jumped into various different historical reenactment roles which made it rather tricky to stay up to speed with the story being played out in front of you. I occasionally found myself confused as to what time period we were viewing: was it still the historical reenactment or had we leaped forward back into the present day retelling of the story? Whilst watching the show I could see that this disorganised element could be easily rectified in a number of ways.

Taking this out of the equation, I did enjoy the show. It is very rarely you see a play of this nature. I certainly cannot fault the cast. They were incredible and worked wonders with what they had in that room. The harmonies definitely stood out for me. I loved how the addition of music was intricately woven into the story and that it was actually relevant and fitting. The use of the limited number of instruments really transported you back to 1890’s Massachusetts.

I am always intrigued when writers perform their written work. Sarah Wilson did this for Bury the Hatchet. Not only was the writing factual and interesting but the way Sarah delivered this was engaging. The addition of Joseph Prowen and David Leopold only added to this. Chemistry is something I always look for in a cast and the chemistry seen on stage was strong enough to build Andrew ad Abby Borden’s tomb! I really admire the comedy dotted throughout. Although the whole show was scripted, the comedy never seemed forced. This was helped by the fact that Sarah, Joseph and David were able to bounce off each other effortlessly.

I am very glad I managed to see this show and it will be great to see where this goes in the future. I can wholeheartedly say that there is potential and with a budget and larger venue, this will be reached.

Bury the Hatchet is at The Hope Theatre until August 11th. Tickets ind information can be found here.

Broken wings – REVIEW

Broken wings – REVIEW

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London 

★★★★★

Broken Wings

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

 

Seen August 1st, 2018

Reviewed by Mark Sykes

★★★★★

Having followed the development of the new musical Broken Wings for quite a while on social media, then obtained the concept album back in May and watched the YouTube recordings in awe of the talent on display, it was with much excitement that I visited the Theatre Royal Haymarket on Wednesday 1stAugust 2018 for its world premiere performance.  It was a stunning portrayal of a story about love, heartbreak and tragedy, and which leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

I’ll admit that until Broken Wings surfaced as a new musical in development, I had never heard of the poet Kahlil Gibran, the third best-selling poet of all time.  But having worked in Saudi Arabia for 6 months (in part wanting to learn more about their culture), Broken Wings once more sparked my interest in the Middle East and has provided an opportunity to learn a bit more about the culture of this region.

The show has a simple stage setting – the rear half has the orchestra sat either side of a raised element.  In the first act, the older Gibran (supremely played by co-writer Nadim Naaman) is positioned here with his writing table as he narrates his story and watches on as his younger self (played by Rob Houchen) enacts his early life in the front half of the stage.  The first act introduces all of the main characters and provides the setting for Gibran and Selma to meet and form a relationship that ultimately can never be consummated.  I have seen Rob Houchen a number of times this year and he always impresses with his dynamite vocals.  He has great chemistry with Selma, portrayed by the wonderful Nikita Johal.  Nikita deserves special praise as she stepped-up from the ensemble at short notice to take on the lead role, and she performed it with a great sense of assurance and poise.

Selma’s father, Farris (Adam Linstead) and the Bishop (Irvine Iqbal) also provide focal elements of the story.  Whilst Farris can see the blossoming relationship between his daughter and Gibran, he is persuaded by the Bishop to give her hand in marriage to another – and sets in motion a sequence of events that will lead to heartbreak and tragedy.  Whilst Selma is married off to a philandering man she doesn’t love, her friendship with Gibran is rekindled via a series of illicit meetings.  Ultimately though, Selma’s pregnancy and subsequent events (no spoilers here!) provide a devastating conclusion to this love story.

The second act has the staging partly reversed, with the older Gibran at the front of the stage providing narration for some of the scenes playing out on the raised element.  I found this actually worked quite well; the lack of endless scenery transitions kept the story front and centre and continued to flow seamlessly.  Having the orchestra on the stage was nice to see (and neatly dressed in appropriate attire) and was a positive enhancement.  The only negative of the staging was the use of smoke/dry ice.  I felt it didn’t add anything to the story or atmosphere; indeed there were occasions when events taking place in Farris’s garden were almost overwhelmed by the smoke (albeit this was less obtrusive in act 2).

The music, lyrics and orchestrations are really excellent and I would heartily recommend people buy the concept album if you don’t already have a copy.  The stand-out songs are Selma and Spirit Of The Earth.  This latter song (and it’s reprise as part of the Finale) is probably the highlight of the entire show.  It brings the entire cast front and centre in an electric-charged performance that brings a lump in the throat; it compares equally to any of the big numbers in the likes of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, etc.  Here though, I have to single out Soophia Foroughi who provides the lead vocals for this song and also plays Gibran’s mother.  I am in love with this voice!  If you watch the YouTube video of Spirit Of The Earth you’ll understand, but Soophia is one of those artists that sound even better live.  A simply supreme vocal performance.

The entire cast, including ensemble members, were excellent; there wasn’t a single weak link.  Joe Davison (Conductor) and the orchestra were also faultless; and again it was so nice to be able to see them in a West End show.

As for Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, they have created something special.  I so much hope that the four days at the Theatre Royal Haymarket is just the beginning for the stage show.  It deserves an opportunity to grow and mature, and to perhaps come back bigger and better.  Yes, I learned a bit more about Middle Eastern life, but people shouldn’t let it’s Lebanese origins put them off wanting to see this.  Miss Saigon has a love story at its heart, with Vietnam as its setting; Broken Wings has similar parallels (as do many other successful musicals).  Put any prejudices to one side and watch and listen to a genuine love story; you will be rewarded well.

Click here to see Hiba Elchikhe (Selma) and Rob Houchen (Younger Gibran) perform I know Now from the Broken Wings original concept album.

If you don’t already have the concept album, you can order it here.

Flashdance (UK tour) – REVIEW

Flashdance (UK tour) – REVIEW

★★

Flashdance (UK tour)

Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

 

Seen June 26th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★

My advice: If you want a fun night out with your girlfriends, a couple of drink, see a show with good music and some well known songs, this is the show for you. However, if you are like me; see theatre on a regular basis, know what you are looking for and want to see a perfectly executed show…then…this isn’t for you. At all.

We all know the film Flashdance. Yes, Fame’s nearly forgotten sister.

I hate to say this however I can’t help but feel this product is straying towards this same path.

I can see it has potential but what it really lacks is commitment.

The standard was not there. Everything was messy. The choreography was the biggest let down. For a show with such a heavy bulk of dance involved, I was expecting so much more. Instead we go horrendous spacing on stage and 20 different energy levels. From the audience I could feel no connection between the cast on stage. This was even more prominent in the dance numbers that required partner work and group work. A few cast members were going all out! High kicks so high, precise and extended there might be a chance of a hip dislocation. Whereas others gave minimal effort or even found themselves several beats behind racing to catch up. Unfortunately, being off beat was a regular occurrence.

This isn’t me saying the choreography was bad. It was simply the delivery. I can’t fault Matt Cole’s work. Matt has definitely created high energy movement on stage…when executed well.

The staging was nice. I did enjoy the set and its movement through the different scenes. The two levels worked well. It really came into play when there were two different locations in the same scene. I just wish some of the actors remained in character when walking from upstage centre, having exited from the back stairs of the raised platform, to the wings. Some were evidently out of character and this whole walk section was exposed. Wait until you’re in the wings!

Performance-wise the show was rather bland. The script and delivery was mediocre. The vocals were good. Some stand out performers included Joanne Clifton (Alex Owens) and Emily Kenwright (on as cover Gloria for this particular performance). For the majority of the show I found myself focusing on Emily. She has a great stage presence. Although there was one scene where I did not want her to demand my focus but she still continued doing so. I didn’t want to focus on her not because of her performance but because of the costume. The opening number of act two had these lovely gold, shimmery halter neck dressed. The back is exposed therefore you either wear no bra, a strapless flesh colour bra or a regular flesh colour bra. These are forgivable. But not a regular white bra. Straps on show and everything. Glaring out into the audience like a little gremlin! I had to demonstrate some breathing exercises during this number. How did this get through costume?!

In short, I felt like I was watching a high school production. The vocals were the best part. This show could be something incredible with the right budget and time to nurture it further. It fell into the stereotype that touring shows are trying to shake; limited budget, time, resources which was very sad to see.

It’s meant to be a feel good show about chasing your dreams except this feeling was lost as it traveled off stage into the audience.

Flashdance is still touring the UK if you have a girls night out planned!

Information on the show, tour stops and tickets can be found at http://www.flashdanceuktour.co.uk

 

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.

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

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

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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!

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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)

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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.

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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!

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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.

The Lion King

The Lion King

Lyceum Theatre, London 

Written by Jade Prince 

The Lion King

Lyceum Theatre, London 

 

Seen May 19th, 2018

Written by Jade Prince 

This will only be a quick one about Lion King simply because I feel this show doesn’t need another review. I simply want to document my thoughts because all of mu previous beliefs were totally wrong!

I always said I’d never see Lion King as it was overrated, over-priced and dated. Boy, do I retract those statements!

I was in London on a Saturday and had no matinee show so I decided to pop in to the box office to see what the day seat situation looked like. I wasn’t;t expecting anything as ti was 10:30am. Lo and behold they had one lonely seat left. For £20, how could I refuse. So I was seeing the show I had always labelled as overrated.

I tell you what, as soon as the opening number started, “The Circle of Life”, I had chills everywhere! It didn’t take much more to make me cry like a baby. As soon as the giraffes came out I was gone!

Regardless of how long its been in the west end, it still works that Disney magic. Its classic Disney magic.

The puppetry was stunning, Not just the animals but also the scenery. Those grass costumes were so creative!

With the incredible feeling that show gave me, I could so easily get addicted to it!

It was nothing high tech but it worked so well. I never expected that stage and my mind was blown by the way if was used to create those iconic scenes we all know and love.

I could go on but I’ll stop it here. I love it and have never has that kind of reaction with a show!

I’m going again!!!!!!

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.

West End Bake Off 2018

“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!

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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!

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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.

See you next year!

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.