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.

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe – REVIEW

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe 

Peacock Theatre, London

★★★

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe

Peacock Theatre, London

 

Seen on February 20th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

I wanted to love this show so much due to its unique collaboration of two drastically different dance styles.

Beats on Pointe is the creation of Masters of Choreography which has been very successful in Australia and now pirouetting its way over to London. This dance show brings street dance and ballet to the same stage to demonstrate how dance styles worlds apart can be brought into the same space.

I was very excited reading about this show and believed that it would have great potential. However these initial thoughts were soon put away once the show had begun.I didn’t hate the show. I thought that the majority of the dancing was beautiful and it was very nice to watch but I did want to see more ballet. I’m a sucker for a bit of ballet! Especially pointe work.

I didn’t like the comedy sketches thrown in between. I appreciate that the dancers need a break in between energetic numbers but there are ways to do it. A bit of well written comedy here and there is greatly welcomed however a lot of this was bordering on the type of material that you would see at a holiday village like Butlins. It was rather cringeworthy.

A lot of stories were presented through different numbers, some less obvious than others with some really in your face. There were a few which felt incredibly cheesy, the old couple, and I personally found that detracted from the enjoyment of the dancing.

The first act didn’t really seem to have a direction. There was no real story moving from dance to dance. Actually, the whole show didn’t really have an overall story. Well, not one that I could see. Act one consisted of a lot of the cheesy audience participation i. e. “How are you doing tonight, London?” and then there was this one section I wish I could have heard more of. The section, which I shall title the “stomp inspired section” was beautiful! I could hear all the beats they were making however I feel amplifying that sound would have really benefited and made it consistent with the rest of the music. Everything else was very loud and then all of the sudden it went very quiet. It would have been great to have those beats ripping through the theatre!

A few of the other elements thrown into act one seemed redundant. I can’t fault the talent from the drummer and singer but it didn’t fit in with the rest of the show. Evidently just a filler.

Something which was bugging me throughout the show was the timings. Timing is key in dance and there were a few of the female dancers who seemed to be a beat behind the others in a lot of the routines. Although in the much faster, street dance sections the timing was there and everything was so incredibly precise!

It was rather nice how they experimented with the use of lights within the costume. This produced a very nice effect on stage.

The second act got a lot better and lost all the unneeded comedy which was nice. My only criticism of the second act (along with the timing which occurred throughout the show) was how rushed it felt. There were no real pauses in between the dances or any scene/sound transitions. As soon as one group finished performing the next ran straight out.

The majority of it was great to watch and of which I really enjoyed. If they removed all the ‘cheese’ I would probably go back to see it. I really appreciate the amount of work those dancers put into that show every single night. Its just a shame that it hasn’t found the way to utilise all of its potential.

Beats on point is running until February 24th at the Peacock theatre.

For more information about the show and for tickets, head to: https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/masters-of-choreography-beats-on-pointe/