I must have seen the movie Grease a dozen times or more, the first at the tender age of seventeen. And I certainly wasn't alone: as the show started with the live band playing all the familiar numbers, there were instant ripples amongst the audience as people sang along happily to the likes of Summer Loving and Hopelessly Devoted to You.
Reviewed by Tig Land on Friday 15 December |
A Judgement in Stone is a classic detective story: the mystery of who killed the Coverdales, based on Ruth Rendell’s 1970s novel. Simon Brett and Antony Lampard's adaptation makes a compelling psychological drama, brought to life here by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company. I think it’s a great new avenue for the company to explore which will broaden both their scope, reach and appeal.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Friday 1 December |
How The Other Half Loves is a comic period piece by Alan Ayckbourn, both written and set in the 1960s. It charts three days in the life of three couples, exploring themes of marriage, infidelity and class – as well as motherhood, sadly as an aside.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 23 November |
Khaled Hosseini wrote a book about Afghanistan, which is already a feature film and is now a touring play at Brighton’s Theatre Royal. It’s a story set in 1974, about children losing their innocence and a struggle between good and evil. It’s about power, wealth, hierarchies, saints, villains and illegitimate children. And it’s a heart-breaking, delicate tale – a tale of love, loss, betrayal and brutalisation.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Friday 17 November |
Set in Philadelphia in July 1960, at one of the national political conventions, this is a play about power, corruption and morality. It’s a race between two men who seek their party’s nomination for the American presidency. Both men are flawed; William Russell is promiscuous and his marriage is in trouble, while Jo Cantwell is ruthlessly pragmatic, believing his ends justify the dirtiest of means. Human nature is such that no one is beyond reproach, but as presidential candidates, their private lives become public property – and the outgoing President needs to decide who to support.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Wednesday 27 September |
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a stellar performance, which left me buzzing and thankful to be alive, as we follow a group of young would-be actresses set out on a life of adventure in New York – propelled into their new lives at high speed, with the optimism and exuberance of youth. Set in the 1920s, it tracks the period just after the 18th Amendment was passed, declaring Prohibition and banning alcohol in the United States.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Friday 7 April |
Invincible is a play about a clash of cultures, when a middle-class couple from London move up north and try to forge a friendship with their very different working-class neighbours. Tensions within each couple are evident from the outset, as is the gap between them, a combination which provides a lot of light entertainment.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 30 March |
Set in 1660s London during the reign of Charles II, and starring Laura Pitt-Pulford in the title role, Nell Gwynn tells the story of a vivacious and bawdy woman with a love of life and a tendency to get her own way. A lowly orange-seller and former prostitute, Nell interjects during a play, thereby becoming the first woman to appear on stage. A series of jokes ensues about the physical merits of women in theatre; Nell dazzles actors and audience alike, and eventually catches the eye of the King.
Reviewed by Roz Scott on Thursday 9 March |
When I first saw Blood Brothers – nearly twenty years ago now – I loved everything about it. And as this current production shows, the storyline, acting and music still have the power to move me. On a deprived Liverpudlian council estate, single mother Mrs Johnstone is trying to scrape together an existence for herself and her seven children; living from hand to mouth and unable even to pay the milk bill, she is persuaded – or pressured – into giving away one of her new-born twins. The recipient is the middle-class Mrs Lyons, and as though they’ve struck a deal with the Devil, the decision returns to haunt the women as the two boys grow to adulthood.
Reviewed by Tig Land on Tuesday 29 November |
This new adaptation of D H Lawrence’s notorious 1928 novel is convincingly acted, engagingly presented – and in its own way, quite thought-provoking, too. Simply staged, throwing focus on the characters and the knot of secret passions they share between them, it’s a worthy homily on the need for human connections in an increasingly dehumanised age.
Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Wednesday 16 November |