Hockadooooooooo (It’s not rude is it?)

I quite often let my blog lapse these days, sometimes it is due to lack of time, sometimes my reviews are professional and get posted elsewhere and then I forget to link them to here and sometimes I simply can’t be bothered. But yesterday I headed to London for one of my faves – a two show day, or a ‘Snooky’ as it is sometimes known – and I saw a show which completely blew me away.

memphis

I have seen a fair few good shows lately, not as many as I was seeing at one time but quite a few nonetheless. And there has recently been quite a few closures and therefore new shows arriving in the West End, so plenty of choice and a lot of interesting and enjoyable productions. One of the new ones I was curious to see however was Memphis. I knew very little about this show – I watched the trailer for it and saw them on Sunday Night at the Palladium but that’s as much as I knew – but as a lot of you may know, I thoroughly enjoy watching Killian Donnelly on stage and as he is originating this role in London (Ok so he’s not the original Huey but he is the first on the West End), I wanted to go along to support him. Turns out this was the best decision I have made in quite a while.

I had of course been hearing excellent things written about it, but I avoided actually reading any reviews in order to make up my own mind about it. It started off well with managing to get front row seats. These were super and I personally love to see facial expressions so enjoy being that close. I was chatting to a couple sitting next to myself and my friend, they had seen Memphis before on Broadway and therefore had high expectations, so I asked them to report at the end what they thought – more on that later.

Well from the second the show began I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Right from the first few minutes there were some fantastic vocals accompanied by first rate choreography and very accomplished dancers. Set in the 1950’s, this was a time when racial segregation still occurred (and indeed even today not everyone is accepted or given the same rights as others) and Memphis tells the story of Huey Callhoun (played by Killian Donnelly), a local white boy, who has heard the R and B sound and fallen in love with it. He wanders into the ‘wrong side of town’ into one of their clubs and from there onwards continues to create a stir.

Donnelly is funny, as ever his comedy timing and expressions are spot on. He plays Huey as an annoying yet likeable, not particularly bright, not much good at anything chap but what comes across most strongly of all is how human and real he is. Huey is such an honest character – to him there is no difference between ‘them’ and the white folk. He vows to bring their music to the people and to get Felicia (Beverley Knight) heard.

Felicia is the sister of nightclub owner Del Ray and they are shocked at the way Huey tries to “steal” their music. However, Huey eventually wins Felicia over and they begin a romance and Huey keeps his promise of getting her songs played on the radio. Their relationship has to be kept secret and they have to deal with a lot of prejudice, particularly when they are caught together. There is some lovely chemistry between Huey and Felicia but I also enjoyed the relationships between Huey and Bobby, Gator and DelRay. Although this production is centered around some very serious issues (and they are by no means glossed over despite most of the songs being very upbeat) it is also extremely funny.

When Knight opens her mouth it is as if everything stops. She has got a cracking pair of lungs and some serious voice control on her. It was almost as though the audience held their collective breaths as she sang. And when she was joined by Donnelly I got goose bumps. Their voices work beautifully together, the tones of each complementing the other and rivalling one another in strength. There are not enough adjectives to describe how incredible they are.

I was captivated not only by the vocal capabilities of the leads but also by the wonderful choreography and slick moves. The dancers were so athletic and it was also nice to see Killian having a bit of a boogie too – albeit rather in Huey’s somewhat unique style. I genuinely cannot fault any of the cast vocally or performance wise. Another good thing about the production is that it keeps moving. Even the slow parts are kept short and quite intense so your attention never starts to wander, something that I have found happening in several shows, and they all have a purpose rather than feeling as though they have been added and dragged out to extend the show.

I don’t want to ruin anything else for those who haven’t been but I truly loved everything from the costumes to the sets to the score. I can see why this has been getting four and five star reviews. I spoke to the couple next to us again afterwards and they were full of praise. They had enjoyed the Broadway version of Huey but thought Killian was even better. And it seems the rest of the audience were in agreement. I heard compliment after compliment for Beverly and her incredible voice. There was cheering and whooping after every song. The standing ovation at the end was an absolutely spontaneous, genuine one. And it could not have been any more deserved.

I laughed, I (nearly) cried, I wanted to get up and dance. I heard it and I felt it. So if you only buy one ticket this year, make it a trip to see Memphis. I will be going back without a doubt, and it will be sooner rather than later. Everyone should see this phenomenal production and hear just how outstanding Donnelly and Knight are.

What are you waiting for!? Hockadoo!

Keep dreaming,

Naomi xx

Advertisements

Challenges

Well its been a year since I wrote a post like this one and it’s been just over a year since I started blogging. I must say (from a blog point of view) it’s been amazing. I have been lucky enough to interview some wonderful people and to see some fantastic productions.

I have flipped and flopped and ummed and aahed countless times. I’ve pondered and wondered and I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. I’ve questioned everything and worried even more. But I am eternally grateful to all those who have taken the time out to answer my questions and to all of those who have read my posts.  It has made everything worthwhile.

I have been extremely thankful for the number of reviews which have come my way this year, including those which, for whatever reason I have not been able to make. A shout out must therefore be made here to The Public Reviews, London Theatre and Official Theatre, all of whom have offered me the chance to review productions and therefore represent them. I thank them so much, hope I did them all proud and I also hope they will think of me again through 2014.

Sadly, the main reason for turning down numerous reviews in the last fee months has been because on October 6th my horse and I were out for a ride and we had a nasty accident. Many of you already know this, but the outcome was 2 dislocated and shattered wrists and therefore the inability to do anything for myself.

As it stands, I am thoroughly miserable, not to mention bored,  and I am awaiting a second operation on both wrists. My surgeon, a wrist specialist, did not exactly comfort me when he said they were the worst injuries he’s ever seen. I am guessing from this that you can see why I have been unable to go to the theatre or review anything since. Even typing is painful and an extremely slow process, every day I am able to do a little more but this second surgery will delay my progress for another short while.

All most frustrating.  I think it will be hard for 2014 to be worse than 2013, as also this year we have had my Godmother who is suffering from breast cancer, an aunt in hospital for months (she’s still there, she weighs 5 1/2 stone) who is very poorly and an uncle with a heart attack (he already has diabetes and recently started epilepsy). I think it is about time for some good news so I am trying to be optimistic as 2014 rapidly approaches.

I go through regular phases where I feel I should stop blogging. Although I do this for myself, I love for others to read my posts, mainly because, if they are interviews,  folk have taken time out of their busy schedules to answer my questions.  Not something they have to do, so I feel that when people read the interviews it makes it worth the while of my interviewees. I always enjoy feedback and I’d also be interested to know if there is anyone YOU would like to see interviewed.

I have one more interview to write up – Jersey Boys fans watch this space – which I’ll attempt to do before the year is out. Next year I already have five or six plans which I desperately hope my arms won’t prevent me going to so I can blog those as well.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed my posts through 2014. If you have any suggestions so I can improve my blog then please let me know, also posts/interviews or anything else you would like to see.  This blog is as much for you as it is for me. Please do feel free to follow me on Twitter too: @JustSamssister.

I’d like to end by thanking the following:

Killian Donnelly
Niall Sheehy
Nadim Naaman
Steph Parry
Kit Orton and Robert Gould
Simon Bailey
Craig Mather
David Muscat
Scott Alan
Geronimo Rauch

Rebecca at Official Theatre
Neil at London Theatre
Jacqui and Marina at The Public Reviews

YOU. For reading, for supporting and for sharing.  I never thought my little blog would be read so far across the globe. I can’t thank you all individually but each and every one of you visiting here and sharing my posts means so much to me.

Thanks again to all of you and I wish you a very happy, prosperous and above all healthy new year. May 2014 be good for us all.

Keep dreaming,
Naomi xx
 

Geronimo Rauch answers…

Today’s interview comes from someone who has, over the last few years, really made a name for himself in the world of UK theatre. Having played some of the most iconic roles in musicals, he is currently appearing every night at Her Majesty’s Theatre playing the eponymous role in The Phantom of the Opera. I’d love for you all to learn more about the fabulous Geronimo Rauch.

With Geronimo outside HMT

With Geronimo outside HMT

 1. You have an impressive career so far. When did you decide that performing was something you wanted to do?

I was studying advertising and at the same time I had my singing lessons with a private teacher. Once we did a concert and when I sang ¨sueña¨(dream) something very special changed in me and my way of singing and since then I decided to do this the rest of my life.

2. If you weren’t performing what do you think you would be doing instead?

Advertising or involved in producing musical theatre or directing movies. Hahahaha who knows?
3. You’re from Argentina – what is the theatre scene like out there? You have also performed in Spain, how do they both compare to London?
Argentina´s theatre scene is very impressive and creative. Full of talent and amazing performers. The only problem is that musicals and plays don’t stay 60 years as the Mouse trap or 28 as Les Miserables have done.
I think that the main difference is that Musical Theatre industry in the UK is massive and there is a lot of work. And also the way you study here is amazing. You can have a Degree on Performing Arts! That doesn’t exist in my country. All that I learnt was with private lessons. Thank god I found the best teachers.
4. Was performing on the West End something you always wanted to do? How does it feel to be on stage there, as the lead role, every night?
When I was young I couldn’t imagine myself in the west end because it was something impossible to dream. But since I moved to Spain I felt that the West End was closer and that I could dream on performing here.
Every day when I arrive to Her Majesty´s Theatre I realise where I am and sometimes I don’t believe it is happening.
5. Do you do much preparation for each role? If so, how? Research? Watching the show, reading the book etc?
For Les Miserables I read the book, I saw movies and also I had all the information that I learnt when I was playing Feuilly in Buenos Aires.
For the Phantom I decided to become a blank paper and started filling it with all the information that I got from the creative team.
6. Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions that you have to do before each performance?
Not superstitions! Yes to the rituals but I think I´ll keep them as a secret haha!
7. You’re currently playing the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera. How are you finding this? What is your favourite part?
I love the Point of No Return. I always say this because it reminds me of Buenos Aires and the Tango.
8. You have played three of the most iconic roles in musical theatre – Phantom, Jean Valjean and Jesus (JCS). Do you have a favourite and why?
The three of them are very important in my career. All of them changed me in a good way and I will play them again if I have the chance. But now the Phantom is my new challenge and I’m really enjoying this journey.
9. Which is the most challenging – Bring Him Home, Gethsemane or Music Of The Night? Again, why?
Three master pieces, three intense and brilliant songs. All of them are challenging in different ways but I think that the hardest to sing is Gethsemane.
10. You went through a reality TV show, Pop Stars. Can you talk us through this? What was it like and would you ever do anything like it again?
It was a very intense experience mainly because we became famous instantly and I couldn’t cope with it very easily. But the artistic experience was good and we toured all around Latin America.
I don’t think I would get into a reality show again but I definitely want to became a recording artist again.
11. If you could choose any other role to play now, what would you choose? 
Billy Elliot! Hahahahaah! But I don´t have the age nor the dancing talent.
12. If you could offer any advice to people wanting to perform as you do, what would you say to them?
I would say to prepare and train a lot. And to always follow your dreams because if you believe they will come true. But it is hard work to make them true.
13. What would you say are your career highlights so far?
You named them before Jesus, Valjean and Phantom.
14. Is there anything career-wise that you have not yet done, that you would like to achieve? Any ambitions?
My Goal for next year is to record my solo album and I hope I could make my dream come true.
And here are a few more fun ones, so we get to know you a little better:
1. How do you like to spend your free time?
I love to spend my time with my wife and my son and now I’m discovering that there is a whole new world for me to discover as a father. I also have very good friends here in London.
2. If you could invite three people round for dinner (alive or dead) who would you have?
Freddie Mercury, John Lennon and Bob Marley.
3. Is there anything you can tell us about you that not a lot of people know?
No! hahahah lets keep the mystery!
4. Has anything embarrassing ever happened to you on stage? Can you tell us about it?
It wasn’t on stage but I remember it as the worst moment in my artistic life. I was 8 years old and I sang in front of my classmates. They all started laughing and I think that I had to wait 10 years to sing again in front of an audience haha!
5. If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
A Bear because many friends call me like that in Argentina.
Massive thanks to Geronimo for taking time out to answer these questions, and for giving us a lovely insight into his career. If you haven’t been to see him perform yet then you really need to put this on your to do list – I was blown away by his Phantom and cannot wait to go back to see it again. It is no surprise that he was the favourite Valjean of many and I know that he has a massive career ahead (as if it wasn’t already!). Now to watch this space for his album – I for one will be excited for news.
Keep dreaming,
Naomi xx
PS: Apologies for the formatting once again. I really need to get this sorted!

Killian Donnelly Answers… some more…

I hope that this time my interviewee will need no introduction. After he most kindly agreed to answer some questions for me whilst still in Billy Elliot, he once again allowed me to ask some more following his move to The Commitments, a brand-new show which has recently opened on the West End. I was curious about the production and Killian agreed to enlighten me. Please read on to find out more…

1. So, The Commitments. What is the show about?

K: The Commitments is about a group of kids living in Dublin, who in order to escape their working class lives become part of a soul band. The show reflects the bickering and self-destruction of the band. Nothing life changing but incredibly entertaining.

2. You play Deco. Who is he? Can you tell us more?

K: Declan Cuffe (Deco ‘The Soulman’) is a stubborn prick. He’s hated by everyone, but he doesn’t care because he has a gift. His voice. As the lead singer [of The Commitments] he becomes very cocky and big-headed and diva-like. I’ve just based him on people I’ve worked with (winks).

3. Did you have to do any special research to get into the role?

K: Not really. I’d read the book and seen the film numerous times.

4. Are there any similarities between you and Deco?

K: He’s a much better singer! (N: For anyone who has witnessed Killian, particularly as Deco, you will know that this could not be further from the truth)

5. As mentioned, the Commitments started as a book (by Roddy Doyle who wrote this production) and later became a film. How does the stage production compare?

K: The stage production is a combination of the book and the movie. We take the best of both. We always wanted to be our own entity, never a tribute act.

6. Was this a role you have always liked/wanted?

K: Definitely!

7. Which is your favourite track to perform and why?

K: Midnight Mover. It’s the first track we perform where The Commitments actually start to sound good. We’ve the craic on stage.

8. How were rehearsals?

K: Rehearsals were eight weeks in a hall in Kensington. Basically spent making the band sound brilliant when they needed to be and bloody awful when they should.

9. Do you have a favourite scene?

K: The audition sequence. It’s so quick and snappy with a great medley of songs. (N: It’s also very funny)

10. Why should everyone come to see it?

K: It’s a great play with great songs. You’ve honestly never seen anything like it. Plus we all love singing these songs.

And to finish – a few of my usual quick fire questions:

What is your favourite (non-Commitments) song? K: The Luckiest – Ben Folds

Where is your favourite place? K: Family home

If you were an animal which would you be and why? K: A sloth. I love to sleep.

Is there a little known fact about yourself that you’re able to reveal? K: I love apples.

What’s your favourite joke? Too rude to say.

What’s your favourite way to spend the day? In bed, relaxing with a cup of tea and a good flick. Bliss.

Thank you again to Killian for taking more time out, I am always so grateful to those who have. I hope that answering the questions wasn’t to much of a chore and I also hope that you all enjoy reading the interview. In case you missed it, you can read my original interview with him here: https://ignitedbyadream.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/killian-donnelly-answers/

Anyone wishing to find out my thoughts on, and more about The Commitments can read my review here (In short – amazing): https://ignitedbyadream.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/the-commitments-is-definitely-bringing-soul-to-the-people/

Official Theatre also conducted a recent interview with both Killian and his co-star Denis Grindel (who plays Jimmy Rabbite) which you can view here: www.youtube.com/embed/BPPqentk8H8 . Alternatively you can visit the officialtheatre.com website ( http://www.officialtheatre.com ) and book yourself some tickets – you won’t regret it.

The whole cast are simply brilliant and I think I laughed my way through the whole show. I cannot wait to get back there. I feel privileged to be able to have interviewed the man being hailed as “the star of the show” by many different reviews and I sincerely hope this show has a long run.

Keep Dreaming,

Naomi xx

The Commitments is DEFINITELY bringing soul to the people

image

Last night I had the absolute honour of going to one of the first previews in the world of The Commitments musical. Directed by Jamie Lloyd (and already a film), the Roddy Doyle novel has been brought to life in London’s Palace Theatre.

It was my first time being witness to a brand new show with an original cast but I am so pleased that I managed to get tickets. I have to confess to not having read the book (my copy didn’t arrive in time) but I knew the sort of thing I was expecting and I was not disappointed. The story is set in Barrytown (a fictional town) in Ireland, in the mid 1980’s in a time of social upheaval due to high taxes and unemployment. Many people found themselves in the grasp of Heroin. The Commitments is a group formed from people who want to bring soul back to Ireland, to their lives and who are passionate about the music because it’s all they have.

Friends- Outspan, a guitarist, (Matthew Wycliffe) and Derek, a bassist, (Mark Dugdale) – are looking to progress in the music industry, so they end up looking for advice in Jimmy Rabbite, played by Denis Grindel. The Commitments is Grindel’s West End debut, but there is no hint that this is the case as he gives a confident and professional performance as the young hopeful. He has grand ideas for the group and begins auditioning for members. He remembers seeing a drunken performance from a young man and goes to ask him to join the group. This chap becomes The Commitments’ (who are as yet to be named) front man, Deco, played by Killian Donnelly.

After getting together, more members are added – these include The Commitmentettes (the backing singers) – Imelda, Natalie and Bernie (played by Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi respectively), James the pianist, played by Barnaby Southgate, Joey the trumpeter (Ben Fox), Billy the drummer (Brian Gilligan) and Dean the saxophonist (Andrew Linnie).

An extremely mismatched group, with very little musical talent between them, Rabbite sends them away to learn various soulful tunes, from the likes of The Supremes and Marvin Gaye. They struggle to play their instruments, the singing is pretty terrible, as is the saxophone, and Deco is extremely difficult.The actors playing the Commitments all play their own instruments (initially very badly) but as they begin to perform in public, they begin to improve, gradually playing bigger venues and they eventually start to get press attention and the chance for a recording deal.

Donnelly plays the crude, arrogant and moody Deco with such conviction. He is very temperamental, inclined to walk out at the slightest thing and really only looking out for himself, and most of the other band members really don’t like him. They are told to tolerate him, however, for his vocal ability. And I have to say that Donnelly is incredible. Vocally he is extremely strong, powering out the soul. His energy on stage is infectious and despite the fact that he is difficult, obnoxious and a law unto himself he is hysterically funny (as is the entire production) and you cannot fail to be mesmerised by him. He also throws quite a few shapes, however, he also seems to like eating and getting his kit off!

Each of The Commitmentettes are strong characters, using their female charms to impress Joey the trumpeter, the only member of the group with any real musical experience. This leads to tensions and jealousy between the other members of the group (who all rather like Imelda, including Rabitte), so when she is seen kissing Joey, punches are thrown, fighting ensues and the band, which is barely holding it together anyway, falls apart. The girls throughout all hold their own, each one with a great voice and on occasions get their chances to sing, which they do most impressively.

One of my favourite performances came from Joe Woolmer, who plays the bouncer Mickah. He was absolutely superb as the ‘no messing’ character and literally every time he was on stage I was in stitches. For me, he was the icing on a rather delicious cake.

There are quite a few elements to the set and although much of it is set on one level there are scenes taking place upstairs and also ensemble scattered around in balconies and higher up positions. This potentially creates a problem for those faced with an overhang from upper theatre tiers, but I think probably not a lot is missed. I thought the set design was great though – some of it (the Rabbite house, for example) done using trucks which could be easily and quickly wheeled on and off.

At times there was an element of audience participation and there was a real sense of being part of it -on occasion the cast are in the auditorium – and with classic music – songs such as I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Knock On Wood, Mustang Sally and Reach Out I’ll Be There – it is nearly impossible not to join in. What I did enjoy is that although these are all classic hits, the performers in this production very much make them their own. It was hard to stay seated throughout, as my toes (and I could feel others too) were tapping along, so when the opportunity to get up and dance came about at the end, not one person remained in their seat.

Without giving too much more away, every single cast member has clearly worked hard to make this production really impressive. During the interval and at the end I heard only positive comments from the audience. Certainly there was hilarity all the way through, I don’t think I stopped smiling once. If bad language offends I would advise staying away, as it is rife throughout but it really doesn’t bother me in the slightest and apparently didn’t seem to be concerning anyone else either. I can’t find a bad word to say about any of the cast – if I haven’t given them an individual mention here it is simply because I don’t want to go on too much, but they are all super talented and a joy to watch, many of them making their West End debuts. I defy anyone not to be smiling and singing when they leave the theatre.

I absolutely can’t wait for a return visit, and there WILL be one. And another, and more after that…this is a watchable show which I would happily see again and again. And I very much intend to. Do go if you can, it really is great fun and this cast deserve to be seen. I hope this will be sticking around for some time.

Keep Dreaming,
Naomi xx

Les Miserables still as strong as ever

So, as you all know, and as per my last post, I went to see Les Miserables last night. Last weekend doesn’t really count as tonight’s was the one I had been waiting for. The only minor downside was that we had no Tam Mutu, so Javert was played by James Gant who actually made a perfectly decent policeman.

I had booked front row seats for myself and my friend Jessica, I personally love the front row and I wanted her to be blown away the first time she saw the show live. This was my fifth time seeing this musical, but it still never fails to give me goosebumps. I dont think I’ll ever tire of the orchesta sounding out those first few bars.

Each role is so famous that it is quite difficult to go in without any expectations but to give credit to the cast they each make the roles their own and all offer excellent vocals. I enjoyed Dan Koek’s singing immensely, his Bring Him Home was beautiful and his upper register seemed to come fairly easily to him. Jean Valjean has a huge range to cover and the expected big notes – “Fliiiiiigghht”, “2-4-6-0-waaaaaann” etc – did not disappoint.

Gant was a good replacement for Mutu. There is something about Mutu’s Javert, a presence perhaps, that was slightly lacking for Gant, however I cannot really criticize his performance. Vocally he was strong, wavering a little at opposide ends of the range, but both his suicide and Stars were sung pretty much spot on. He certainly got a huge cheer for both. I am quite happy to watch understudies performing,  it often offers you a different interpretation of a part as well as the chance to see new/less well known but often equally (and occasionally more) talented folk.  

I still rather like the use of the revolve, which is used throughout,  it definitely maximises space and it is ideal for those ‘2-sided’ scenes such as the barricade or the courtyard. Both slow motion and smoke are used to cleverly create effects (I personally enjoyed Niall Sheehy’s slow-motion forward roll). The barricade is cleverly put together,  the runaway cart is effective and although a majority of the show is dark (dark streets, dark set, not exactly cheerful content) it would be wrong to add more colour than just the costumes, and of course the red flags. It also adds more of a contrast for the scenes involving the Thenardiers, the only comic relief of the piece and a most welcome one.  

Cameron Blakely has been playing the grotty innkeeper for many years and as expected his portrayal is hilarious. Wendy Ferguson (Madame Thenardier) is much newer to her role but you would never guess. Both are vulgar and conniving but deliver the comedy aspect flawlessly,  very important in these characters and they make a most enjoyable partnership to watch.  

Anton Zetterholm plays a strong Enjolras, his voice has the strength that the role requires. I feel that sometimes Enjolras, or rather his voice (I do not mean Zetterholm here, rather a general comment) can be a little weak and is therefore a bit lost, which as the leader of the students is not ideal, particularly when he burats in during One Day More. Occasionally Zetterholm’s accent comes through, but on the whole I was impressed by him. I do also really want to see his cover, Niall (one of my interviewees) in the role so fingers crossed another trip will be on the cards soon.  

There has been much speculation over Carrie Fletcher playing Eponine – why was she cast, will she be any good, etc, you name it, it’s all been asked. But I can definitely say that she makes a likeable, passionate and strong Eponine, her voice is powerful and her death is heartbreaking. It was great to finally see her play the role she has wanted for so long, and two fingers to all doubters because Miss Fletcher is brilliant as the tragic (at least, I always think she’s a tragic character) Eponine.

The ensemble are all – as you would expect – very together, well rehearsed and they make the most fabulous sound.  one Day More has always been a favourite of mine and I literally had shivers down my spine during this. The students were excellent,  most notably Grantaire (played by Adam Linstead) as he plays the most convincing drunkard and several times really made me chuckle. Of course I enjoyed also seeing ‘the many faces of Niall’ too, and Gavroche was, as always, a confident young lad. Les Miserables always has remarkably talented children, the Cosette seemed particularly tiny but still very competent.

I’ve never been a fan of Cosette, Marius or Fantine really, (though Michael Ball set an exceptionally high standard for Marius), so I dont have a huge deal to say about them, they all sang well enough (and I way preferred Samantha’s voice to Amanda Seyfried’s in the movie).  

It is really no surprise that this show has been running for so many years. The score still sounds as fresh as ever, the story in many ways still relevant. I guess I am a bit predictable but it truly is one of my favourite shows for so many reasons. Everybody should see this show (and I don’t mean the film) at least once. It is fair to say that the film has raised more interest, and to some extent I think Carrie being in it has also heightened the show’s profile again. Tonight’s audience seemed to consist of a lot of foreigners,  but in all honesty, the wider the audience the longer the production will run. My next visit wont be after such a long gap, that’s for sure. In fact, I am already planning it….

Keep Dreaming,
Naomi xx

Apologies for the formatting, this was done on my phone.

Just checking in…

I realise it has been a while since I posted anything. Truth be told I have been feeling rather flat and disheartened lately. Partly because I have no money and don’t live in London and haven’t been able to get to see half the things I wanted to (such as Title Of Show and The Colour Purple). This doesn’t however mean that my theatre trips have stopped – far from it. I have actually seen the following:

Top Hat – to write about it here would not do it justice so I shall try to do a full review post of it, but I thought this was brilliant and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Les Miserables (I will blog this properly on Thursday as I am seeing this again then)

A Chorus Line – I just don’t know about this one. I knew what the show was about and I knew some of the music. But if I’m honest, I really didn’t enjoy it, in fact I actually got quite bored at one point, and I never get bored watching musicals! I don’t know if the cast were having a slow day, whether I wasn’t in the mood (although I had been really looking forward to it for months and was delighted to be getting to see it before it closed) or whether it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought I was going to be blown away – maybe that was the problem – but I heard so many good things about it and as I said, I had some knowledge of the show so didn’t go in completely blind. I don’t like to say I didn’t enjoy it but I certainly won’t be in a hurry to see it again should it ever be on anywhere and I left feeling thoroughly disappointed. It had good moments of course, but in my opinion not enough to stop me looking around the auditorium, checking the time and wondering how much longer the two hours was going to be. I hate leaving shows I didn’t like – I feel bad for not enjoying them.

Billy Elliot (for the third time) – I won’t write this up as I have done a recent post on this show. Seeing as the two previous times I saw it though it had Killian Donnelly in it, it was a little strange to have a different Tony. There were a few new cast members but all were very good, the MIchael had only been in it for a week but he acted as though he’d been performing the role for years. I had seen Harrison’s Billy previously.

The Three Musketeers by Barbershopera at Salisbury Playhouse, this was a review and can be seen in its original format here: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-three-musketeers-the-salberg-salisbury-playhouse-salisbury/

A Little Hotel on the Side at Bath Theatre Royal, also a review and the original of this can be found here: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/a-little-hotel-on-the-side-theatre-royal-bath/

I think that is the list. Though after seeing Les Miserables on Thurs I will be seeing the new Phantom cast on the following Tuesday and then the Commitments on the Sunday after that. Phew! These will all be written up of course so watch this space for those. I am really excited to see the Commitments, I am also hoping to catch some shows at Bristol Hippodrome, I know they have Cabaret there this week and Evita there soon. I need to find out if there is any way I can get to see those. If anyone wishes to accompany me then I would love to see you.

Although I will be writing about Les Miserables when I see it next, I must say that Tam Mutu will not be on as Javert. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to see him on Saturday, something I have been trying to do since he started in the role, and it was absolutely worth the wait. The guy is stunning as the law abiding, criminal hating policeman. He has such a strong voice, I literally cannot fault anything about his performance. I was sadly too far away to see facial expressions and things so can not really comment on those but from where I was sitting his acting looked as strong as his voice. Adam Linstead and Nicky Swift were also on in place of Cameron Blakely and Wendy Ferguson as the Thenardiers. I personally prefer Cameron’s Thenardier, though Adam was still very good, and I am yet to see Wendy undertake the role of Madam.

I do also have a couple more interviews coming up soon so I shall publish those as soon as they have been sorted. I am also thinking of writing a review for Nadim Namaan’s album, We All Want The Same. I think I shall try to do that this week, but I have been so busy. It is rather marvellous though and I would recommend it.

I have been wondering guys if you could please help me out? I am looking to make this blog better in any way I can so if there is anyone you would like to see me interview, something you would like me to write about or some other way to improve this then please let me know. I will then do what I can to sort it. Also if you could share my blog wherever you can, be that Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook etc (if you enjoy what you read) then please do, I will be extremely grateful. I believe that if folk are good enough to take their time out to answer my questions, then the least I can do is give them plenty of exposure to make it worth their while. Of course, if you don’t like what I write then I would also be interested to know why so I can hopefully improve this blog for everyone.

I would finally like to add that I had a singing lesson with Craig Mather this weekend. I loved my lessons with Fra but I have found it hard to pin him down lately so Craig offered to teach me. He is fab and I would definitely recommend him to anyone. I was a blithering, self conscious, nervous wreck, but Craig was great and after about 15 minutes I was able to at least attempt what he was asking. So if you’re looking for lessons, then look him up.

Apologies that this is not particularly exciting but I thought I should check in with you all and let you know where I’ve been and what will be coming up, but please do watch this space as there should be some exciting things coming soon. As always thank you for reading, thank you for your feedback and most of all thank you for your support. I appreciate every single one of you who contributes (by reading, sharing, answering questions or even by performing in the shows I’m reviewing).

Keep Dreaming,

Naomi xx