Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – REVIEW

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – REVIEW

Dominion Theatre, London


Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical – Gala Performance

Dominion Theatre, London


Reviewed by Mark Sykes

Seen November 25th, 2019


This reviewer, at the ripe old age of 55(!), has literally spent a lifetime watching the classic White Christmas movie, so having missed out on seeing this production when it premiered at the Curve, Leicester in December 2018, I was really looking forward to finally seeing this story come to life on-stage – and thankfully the evening lived up to my expectations.

Without getting too much into the details of a story that no doubt the majority of readers will be familiar with, it focuses on two WW2 army veterans (Wallace and Davis) who become a major song-and-dance act after their careers end. They bump into the Haynes sisters, who are also a popular song-and-dance act with a burgeoning career. They all end up at a winter lodge in Vermont that is sadly lacking any snow. Wallace and Davis bump into their former General, the owner of the lodge, who has bills piling up as the lack of snow means a dearth of paying customers. Wallace, Davis and the Haynes sisters concoct a plan to put on a Christmas concert at the lodge to help out the General. The parallel story is one of love between the army veterans and the two sisters – one relationship comes easy, the other needs some matchmaking to be done!

The staging at the Dominion Theatre focuses on the barn at the lodge where the Christmas concert is to be held. The simple wooden structure enables the various sets to seamlessly transition between scenes, whether it’s a New York ballroom, a train carriage, or the reception of the Vermont lodge. Interestingly, the band were situated on-stage to the left of the audience and split over two levels of the barn. For me this worked well (as it wasn’t a large orchestra) and enabled them to support some of the scenes more effectively than if they’d been hidden away elsewhere. I particularly loved the neon lighting that often featured in the set design created by Michael Taylor, and overall everything worked well whether it was simple or complex scene.

The highlights of the show for me happened on the big song-and-dance numbers. The vast expanse of the Dominion stage provided ample space for all of the cast to be involved in Stephen Mear’s wonderful choreography. On more than one occasion these big numbers had me thinking back to the recent hit production of 42nd Street which was impressively led by Clare Halse, and which is fitting seeing as that Clare is one of the Haynes sisters and is tremendous throughout. The other sister is Danielle Hope, she has the most wonderful voice and who I last saw demonstrating her vocal prowess in concert at The Other Palace back in the summer. Clare and Danielle work well together as sisters with excellent dynamics between the two of them.

Danny Mac as Wallace and Dan Burton as Phil Davis wouldn’t seem out of place in the original movie. They have the looks, can sing the American songbook, and have dancing skills that make it look so effortless. Following on in the footsteps of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye is an enormous undertaking, but they do the show justice – never more so than in the big energetic song-and-dance numbers previously mentioned. It’s on those occasions that the Dominion really comes alive and takes on a different dimension.

General Waverley is played by Michael Brandon. Again, showing my age here, Michael became particularly well-known in the UK as a result of the 80’s TV series Dempsey & Makepeace, of which I was a big fan. It was great to see him on stage, and this native New Yorker was perfect casting for the ageing (sorry Michael!) American General. Brenda Edwards was the crafty receptionist at the lodge charged with keeping both the lodge and the General under control. A former X Factor contestant from 2005, Brenda has a wonderful voice that when she lets rip, makes you immediately think of her standing up in church delivering a gospel classic. Which is ideal seeing as she’s appearing as Deloris in the Sister Act UK tour in 2020.

All of the cast were wonderful. Whether it was the singing, the dancing or the numerous comedic moments, there wasn’t one weak link. There is one other person that I would like to highlight though, and that is the General’s niece. This role is alternated across three children and for the Gala night it was Erin Rushidi. Erin was truly outstanding, particularly with the comic timing, and pretty much stole every scene that she was in. The audience loved her! She is a tremendous talent and definitely one to watch out for in the future.

As for the show itself, it gets off to a slightly slow start as the foundations of the story are built at the start of act one in the army days, but that quickly moves on and then the rest of the show pretty much flies by. Song after familiar song happens apace, and whilst you’re waiting in anticipation for ‘that’ final scene, you can’t help but revel in the visual feast in front of your eyes. There are some wonderful costumes, designed by Diego Pitarch.

This production follows the storyline very closely, and there were a number of times when I was getting quite emotional seeing elements of the movie come to life in front of my very eyes. Whilst the finale was always going to be a special moment, another highlight was when Bob Wallace and Betty Haynes sang ‘Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep’. Danny Mac and Danielle Hope performed this beautifully, and yes there may well have been a tear in my eye at the end of that song. So, to the finale itself, White Christmas. This was everything I wanted it to be. Yes, we all know what happens when the barn doors are opened, but it was fabulous to see this scene come to life and the snow begin to fall.

Director Nikolai Foster has done a brilliant job with this production. I suspect the majority of audience members will be familiar with the story and have seen the movie before (who hasn’t?!); well none of these should leave disappointed. Yes, some elements of the storyline and some of the jokes may seem dated in the 21st century, but if you walk into the theatre putting all that aside, you will find yourself with a definite smile on your face, a chuckle here and there (well actually, quite a few chuckles!), and a propensity to want to sing along! And on that latter point, everyone gets the opportunity to do that at the end.

Even the most hardened of hearts cannot fail to be softened by what they see and hear in this production. Everyone will be leaving the theatre with a smile on their face, maybe a few tears in their eyes, and no doubt looking forward to seeing the movie on TV again this Christmas. For me, I’m seeing the show again over the Christmas period, and I can’t give a better recommendation than that!

White Christmas will be continuing to provide cheer during this festive season. Be sure to catch this winter warmer. More information on the show and tickets can be found here.

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.


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)

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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!


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.




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!


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.

See you next year!

Eugenius! – REVIEW


The Other Palace, London



The Other Palace, London


Seen on January 31st, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince


Eugenius has returned to London after a stellar run last year at the London Palladium. This time it has taken up residence in the much smaller venue, The Other Palace. Complete 80s pop culture over-load, Eugene (Liam Forde) is a teenager. More importantly a geek ridiculed by the world. His world. High school. His safety being the creation of comic book superheroes. From a small hobby, Eugene is shot straight to Hollywood as his idea takes off but reveals struggles along the way maintaining the art and true friendships. Sometimes the fictional world can be a lot realer than it seems.

It was such a fun show to watch! Everything about it had energy. It’s not the best thing that I have seen but I can understand why so many people love it. The majority of the music is incredibly catchy with a variety of different music styles from 80s pop to the standard love ballads to more comical numbers. I have to be completely honest and say that the closing number has been stuck in my head since I left the theatre. “GO EUGENIUS!! Go Eugene!” The whole soundtrack was very upbeat and enjoyable but I don’t feel it would be a soundtrack that I would be able to listen to fully outside of the show. The odd feel-good songs have now been added to my ‘morning motivation’ playlist. The rest would be enjoyed if I saw the show again.

I rather enjoyed the choreography although I found that it lost its full potential due to the stage size. This production would suit a larger stage. It all just felt a tad crowded but they made what they had work.

The script for certain characters was great, especially for Ferris (Daniel Buckley). I did not expect half the things he said which made it so much funnier. The rest of it was rather mediocre and I did find myself willing the next number to start. None of it was irrelevant, just a little slow.

I don’t like doing this part simply because the whole cast were great, we have a standout performer – Laura Baldwin (Janey) was fabulous. He voice is so petite yet so very powerful and she really got to demonstrate that. I spent so long trying to work out what I’d seen her in before. It turns out it was ‘Little Beasts‘! She presented such a caring glow about Janey which was lovely to watch.

It was wonderful seeing all the characters so drastically different! A camp Hollywood talent scout (Theo, Scott Paige). A guy who has to be at the top of the food chain with everybody  kissing his ass (Lex, Cameron Blackely). Somebody born to flaunt her ‘assets’ (Carrie, Melissa James). With the exception of a chameleon of ensemble members (Alison Arnopp, Jacob Fisher, Alex Tranter, Luke Dowling, Frances Dee, Chloe chambers and Rosie Heath)

Overall, I really enjoyed the evening however I can’t help but feel something was missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It was missing its wow factor. Despite this, Eugenius is definitely a show to bring back nostalgia for people who grew up in that decade with hilarious references! However people not of that generation will also understand the vast majority of the references too! It will be enjoyed by all (12+)

You can find Eugenius at The Other Palace until March 3rd. For more information on the show and tickets please visit


Getting the better seats without breaking the bank

I’ve dared to reveal my deepest theatre ticket secrets!

The west end can be a wonderful and memorable night out however it can all add up becoming very expensive. A large amount of this cost will be the theatre tickets themselves. Many people do spend a lot of money on theatre seats and obviously that is how the west end thrives and continues. It is a business! However I believe everyone should be able to enjoy the theatre so this particular blog post will aim to arm you with the correct websites, apps and information for when you need to save the pennies but still want to see the arts.

I’m about to reveal my deepest secrets so pay attention!

Over my years of going to the theatre on a student budget I have become an awful lot savvier and very rarely spend over £40 on one seat unless it is something incredibly special. One of my main go-to apps is TodayTix. They do brilliant deals and never sell restricted seats. They have a fabulous selection of seats pretty much all of the time to suit every budget. Another great thing they do is daily lotteries for a few select shows and ‘rush’ tickets which range from £15-£25 in price.

Let’s start with the lotteries. Every day the lotteries are live from midnight. Currently the shows include Dreamgirls, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Young Frankenstein and Kinky Boots. Matinee lotteries close around 10:30am and lotteries for the evening shows close at 3:30pm. You enter for that day’s show and are notified 2 to 4 hours before the performance. This option is only great if you live in London or within an hour on the train but it is still a good way to get nice, affordable seats, normally front row!

The ‘rush’ tickets are a little different but still provide great seats at affordable prices. This ticket option gives you more notice as they become available to buy through the app at certain times of the day (typically 10am or 10:30am, depending on the show). It is a first come first serve system and seats vary depending on what is available on the day. There is a large variety of shows though which currently include: Mary Stuart, Girl From The North Country, The Birthday Party, 42nd Street, The Ferryman, Royal Shakespeare Company, Motown and The Woman in White.

Another great one in my arsenal of ticket sites is ATG. A bog standard site which is very helpful! The seat plans are fairly accurate and occasionally you find the odd last minute seat reduced in price. Also they have their theatre cards where payment for a years membership means that you get ticket discounts, early sales and much more. There are two types of theatre cards which both look great depending on your budget.

Day seats are also another great last minute option. They do take a fair bit of planning if you are determined to see a show that day! Only certain shows offer day seats and again this is down to availability. Some shows have a designated number which they have available everyday whereas other shows vary theirs depending on how well that show has sold for that day. From my experience, I recommend getting to the box office around 8:30am on a normal show day. If it is a special performance such as a cast change the hard core fans will get there super early, some will even camp out over night to get their hand on a ticket! Day seats are never guaranteed. There have been many a time where the person in front of me has got the last one and I’ve had to go back to the drawing board. A lot of these options mentioned in this blog are great for last minute deals so they always become by back-up plan if day seating isn’t a success. To see whether a certain show offers day seats just head to their official website and it will provide all of the details you need.

A website I use before I make any ticket transactions is SeatPlan. This is a fabulous website especially if you are not familiar with the theatre or seating plan. SeatPlan offers an interactive seat map for the majority of the big theatres in the west end and a handful nationwide. They rely on their members to upload seat reviews and many of them include photos of the view of the stage from that particular seat. These are completely honest reviews which are monitored. So far it has never failed me. They also provide an incentive for their members to review seats with credit which can add up to theatre tokens. Another great way to save money! Currently, you will receive 40p for each photo you upload once your review has been approved. You can start doing this now if you haven’t already! Just head to their website and sign up for free. They also offer great ticket deals through their website so that is also worth checking out.

The website Get Into London Theatre only comes around once a year and is always a good one to know about. I have to be completely honest and say their 2018 selection of shows wasn’t too great this year and I only purchased tickets for one show when normally I go crazy! Each December the website goes live with deals for a range of different shows with tickets for £10, £20, £30 and £40 (great for all budgets) The location of the seats are also normally really good and it tells you just how much you saved. Normally the £69 tickets are the ones reduced to £40, £49-£39 reduced to £30 and so on. Previous years I have been able to get ticket to big shows such as Phantom of the Opera in row D in the stalls for £40. Like I said before, this year wasn’t great but hopefully come December the 2019 selection will be a lot better.

That is about it when it comes to the best sites to use when looking for theatre tickets. I always recommend you stick to the main websites such at ATG, Love Theatre and  TodayTix as you won’t have to pay any commissions fees. Many of the other tickets sites sell legit tickets that comply with the ‘STAR’ standards however they do add an additional fee for using their service. Just be aware of that. Always look around on different websites as the prices will change dependant on the website.

I really hope this has helped you gain a further understanding on how to still see theatre on a limited budget. All of this works for me which is why I was able to see over 70 shows in 2017!

Disclaimer – things mentioned in this blog aren’t always guaranteed and are subject to change at the various company’s discretion. As of the time this blog was published, 16th January 2018, all show information was correct.

The Woman in White – REVIEW

The Woman in White

Charing Cross Theatre, London


The Woman in White

Charing Cross Theatre, London


Seen on December 14th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince


Another love story focusing on betrayal and greed and a secret that needs revealing. This eerily beautiful musical follows Walter Hartwright (Ashley Stillburn) as he endeavours to find out this mysterious secret after a strange encounter with the ‘woman in white’ on his travels. A simple work trip to become an in-house drawing master to half-sisters Laura Fairlie (Anna O’Bryne) and Marian Halcombe (Carolyn Maitland) turns into something more chilling.

Right off the bat this show was pretty slow to start with but thankfully the pace picked up halfway through act 1. I went into this show not knowing anything of the story. This is a Webber musical/Charlotte Jones book I have never delved into. At the interval I felt that it was very predictable both lyrically and with the story. Having seen the complete show now I still stand by what I said about the predictability of the lyrics but the story took a lovely turn.

It took a while for the show to captivate me however once it did it was beautiful. I have to be truly honest, the majority of the music didn’t do much for me. A small portion of the numbers were very nice especially when the three voices of Carolyn Maitland, Anna O’Bryne and Sophie Reeves (Anne Catherick) came together. Their voices alone were stunning.

The set was really nice and I loved the way the woman in white could just appear in the middle of the stage. This added even more to the uncertainty and chilling feel. For those who were not familiar with the story (me!) it raised the question, “is she really a ghost?”. Something my attention was drawn to (now this is me being very nit-picky) was the way the costumes were lacking in detail. For the time period they seemed very drab.

The whole cast were very strong regardless of age. The standout performer had to be Sophie Reeves (Anne Catherick). Her performance was stunning and she fit the character to a T. Vocally and visually she was mesmerising.

Overall, I did enjoy the show and I highly recommend it. The Woman in White has a very limited run at Charing Cross Theatre so be sure to grab tickets sooner rather than later! More information and tickets can be found at: 

The show is booking until February 10th, 2018.

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – REVIEW

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein

Garrick Theatre, London

Reviewed by Jade Prince


Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein

Garrick Theatre, London


Seen on November 15th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince


It’s safe to say that this show was not my cup of tea but I can see how people could enjoy it. It really didn’t wow me at any point which has surprised me because everyone I’ve spoken to has enjoyed the show. There were a few bits I liked but the majority was disappointing.

This comedy musical tells the classic Frankenstein story which is based on the popular 1974 movie. It is clear to see that this show pokes fun at itself and the typical horror films from the 30’s  however I’d don’t think it was carried out successfully. Some shows are very good at making fun of themselves, this one just didn’t cut it. As well as the parody aspect you could see that it was attempting to be bad to fit in with this horror genre but once again there is trying to be bad and then just plain being bad!

The script was filled with jokes which the rest of the audience loved! Everyone pretty much laughed through the entire show but I personally think the type of comedy isn’t for everyone. The type of jokes they used heavily relied on innuendos and a lot of them were straight up crude. This can be great if done well just look at shows like Book of Mormon and Avenue Q.  I much prefer more creative jokes with meaning as a pose to generic ones thrown in for now real reason. I have to admit one joke did make me laugh during the first act, Frederick Frankenstein referring to ‘one part of him’ pointing in that direction. That was probably the only time I laughed. All of the jokes became very repetitive. There are only so many exaggerated delays for ‘comical’ reasons you can take within one 2 hour 20 minute show. It held on to every element much longer than it needed to! For example the jokes, playing with words and their different meanings and bringing the fourth wall down to the audience.

The cast themselves were great and worked well with what they had. The timings between the jokes and reactions were fab! Very quick but natural looking. You could see there was chemistry between the cast. The acting itself would be great in a silent film! The stand-out performer was Ross Noble (Igor). He was brilliant at holding that character throughout the whole show. The mannerisms were on point.

The set was kept very basic which was in keeping with the 1930’s horror film genre with a couple of larger props moved onto the stage for certain scenes. I really enjoyed the horse and cart scene. The movement of the cart was really good and it was nice to see the attention to detail with the horse costumes. You could see a lot of choreography had gone into that to make all the movements as realistic as possible. When looking at the set on a whole, you can see that the majority of the budget went on pyrotechnics!

Overall, it’s an okay show. I really don’t rave about it, as you can see but I can understand why some people would enjoy it. If you like the ‘slap-stick’ comedy and parody shows then I would recommend this to you. If you like traditional musical theatre, then save your money.

Young Frankenstein is at the Garrick theatre and playing until February 10th, 2018. For more information and tickets visit:

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:

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – REVIEW

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Duke of York’s Theatre, London

Seen on May 27th, 2017


Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Duke of York’s Theatre, London


Seen on May 27th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince


After several sell-out runs at some very prestigious venues (National theatre and Edinburgh Festival Fringe) Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is back in the west end “smashing the f*cking system”. When a group of six catholic school choir girls venture out of their small home town of Oban to the city of Edinburgh for a one-day choir contest, all hell breaks loose. The story follows the six girls (Chell, Kay, Orla, Manda, Kayla and Fionnula) as they enjoy their school trip in a less than lady-like manner. Along with the hilarious script and brilliant songs from ELO, heartbreaking discoveries of the characters make the rude and crude ladies lovable.

The show itself was incredibly enjoyable throughout but felt slightly long as it had a run time of 1 hour 45 minutes with no interval. What made this more bearable was the quick and witty relationship between the 6 ladies. It was questionable as to whether they were following a script as it was so free flowing and natural. The way the cast bounced off each other was wonderful to watch from the audience. Despite the script having lots of laugh out loud moments, the quieter more intimate and emotional scenes were still very captivating and heart wrenching.

The cast were able to deal with different music types from rock to church hymns and their harmonies were the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in a very long time. Stand out voices were definitely Frances Mayli McCann (Kylah) and Kirsty MaLaren (Manda). I absolutely loved Karen Fishwick (Kay) portraying the dark horse of the group and the completely honest drunk whilst tugging at the heart strings. It honestly felt like I was watching the shenanigans witnessed from my secondary school days a few years back unfold on stage!

The set was kept very plain throughout the show which worked well during some scenes however led to confusion during others, it was difficult to establish when they were still at the choir contest in Edinburgh or whether they had travelled home to Oban. The stripped back set worked very well for scenes in clubs and bars however not so well in other scenes but everyone worked well with what they had. The messiness and less than precise placement of props added to the whole story of wild chaos.

The who show oozed feminine power with an all female cast and small band.

A refreshing show which is much needed currently and is unlike anything else on the west end with humour for everyone. Something for everyone whether that is some crude humour, emotional storylines or a moment to reminisce in some wild school days. It is a real must see!

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is at The Duke of York’s theatre for a very limited run until September 2nd, 2017. Ticket available at