Category Archives: Reviews

The Commitments leaves the audience smiling and wanting more

By | October 25, 2014

Despite its subject matter, the trials and tribulations of a group of youngsters endeavouring to put together a soul band, Roddy Doyle’s 1987 best-selling novel The Commitments is not an obvious choice for a musical adaptation. The main reason for this is that the book is extremely dialogue heavy; most of it in Dublin patois and heavily peppered with swearing. It is also gritty, rain-swept and inherently working class; hardly… Read More »

Review of Memphis The Musical London West End

By | October 23, 2014

I knew nothing about Blues music, knew even less about its origins, and less than that about the New York production of Memphis which has just transferred to London. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I arrived at the theatre a breath before the first note of music sounded, with just time to throw my coat over the face of the enormous man next to me, and murmur ‘excuse me’ before I… Read More »

5 Stars for The Scottsboro Boys: London West End Review

By | October 22, 2014

For those who like their reviews concise; let me just say that The Scottsboro Boys is a stunning piece of theatre. However, this latest musical collaboration by the veteran duo Kander and Ebb deserves a bit more background. The story deals with one of the most infamous episodes of American legal history. Nine African-American teenagers were arrested after being falsely accused of raping two white women on a train to… Read More »

Review of Ghost Stories at Arts Theatre

By | October 3, 2014

Ghost Stories has been one of those shows on my ‘to see’ list for quite a while, and frankly, up until now, I had just chickened out. But this week I found myself voluntarily walking past the London Dungeons-esque blood-splattered walls into the Arts Theatre’s auditorium. Ghost Stories was written by Andy Nyman (co-creator of many of Derren Brown’s mind-bending shows) and Jeremy Dyson (creator of the League of Gentlemen).… Read More »

Review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory June 2014

By | June 18, 2014

I guess it’s hard for anyone to get themselves to Charlie, or that chocolate factory, in a condition of naivity. Ignorance cannot survive in a national bloodstream so awash with Roald Dahl’s most popular confection. Let me get the special pleading out of the way first. It’s a standing joke among my children that I am a dead ringer for Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie. At… Read More »

Review of Billy Elliot The Musical June 2014

By | June 5, 2014

Billy Elliot the musical has been dancing and singing in London’s West End since 2005, entertaining millions of audience members. Due to its huge popularity it can now be seen all over the world, entertaining even more people. Based on the highly popular film of the same name released in 2000, the musical follows the story of one talented young boy’s dream of being a dancer, that young boy is… Read More »

Miss Saigon opens in London at the Prince Edward Theatre

By | May 21, 2014

It’s the revival we’ve been waiting to see, for those of us who were too young to catch the original production at Drury Lane which opened in 1989, or those who simply want to re-live that first memory. The heat is finally back on in Saigon as Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Miss Saigon takes to the stage at the Prince Edward Theatre. Mackintosh has teamed up yet again with Laurence… Read More »