Wednesday, 9 August 2017

La Cage Aux Folles




A classic, OTT musical with something for everyone - a thoroughly enjoyable show about family, friendships, love and being true to who you are.

The story is about Georges and Albin, a flamboyant gay couple running the celebrated nightclub ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ in St Tropez with Albin as the show’s star Za Za. When their son, Jean-Michele, reveals he wishes to marry the girl of his dreams, Anne – the daughter of a right-wing homophobic politician – we then follow this extraordinary family as they hide their identities for a comical meeting with Anne’s parents.

In terms of the stage set, lighting and costumes this was spot on – transporting the audience to a real-life French Cabaret. We got exactly what we’ve come to expect from extravagant drag attire – with feathers, wings, glitter, sequins, high heels and wigs galore. The orchestra were as much a part of the show as well, with Za Za’s cheeky flirting with ‘Sandra’ the conductor.

The leads are played by Adrian Zmed as Georges and John Partridge as Albin, both of whom play their parts fantastically. John channelled his inner diva and entertained us greatly with his performance as both Albin and Za Za, he had the audience involved from the start and cracked some fantastically rude one liners amongst his superb singing. Not to forget the rest of the cast, ‘Les Cagelles’ dazzled us with their dance routines and a shout out to critically acclaimed Marti Webb as Jacqueline, who impressed us as their dear friend and owner of a trendy restaurant. Lastly a stand out performance from Samson Ajewole as Jacob, Albin’s butler/maid who was as camp as can be and funny in every way.


Don’t miss La Cage Aux Folles, on until Saturday 12th August at Milton Keynes Theatre, visit www.atgtickets.com for tickets.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Judgement in Stone



This play is from one of Ruth Rendell`s best novels and if you like a traditional who dunnit then you won`t be disappointed. The story is very much of its time being set in the 1970s however it feels more set in the 1940`s with themes that just wouldn`t wash today. It certainly harks back to a time of inequality and class division. 
That aside it was a competent portrayal. The setting is a country house with a well to do family, the Coverdales who are all suddenly murdered. Who did it and why. There are of course the usual array of suspects who all could have some sort of motive and when the end came it was quite fast and almost unbelievable. As senseless murders go then this was top of the list. 
The cast were, as to be expected from this set of esteemed actors, word perfect and competent. There were many flashes of humour particularly from the rather bizarre character Joan Smith the post lady played by Deborah Grant. 
The set is a simple one with all the action set in the one scene. The story is mostly told in flashback with the detectives acting as the cohesive element explaining and bringing the story together. There was a good attention to detail in the set with various technology and items from the 1970s which some of us can vaguely remember such as the cassette recorder, the old dial telephone and the traditional hoover. The audience seemed positively charmed by these memories.
If you want to sit back and be entertained by a traditional whodunnit then Judgement in Stone is on at MK Theatre until the 29th July.
Tickets from www.atgtickets.com or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wonderland at Milton Keynes Theatre – A whole new adventure for the Alice in us all.




A superb modern day retelling of the children’s classic Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It’s absolutely bonkers, as you should expect from this story by now.

Hailed by critics as ‘nothing short of spine-tingling’, I must agree! The essence of the original story is there, from Alice bored of her normal real-life dreaming of the desired make-believe world to the White Rabbit and friends, this musical brings everything to life beautifully. The powerful vocals of the leading ladies enchanted the audience and carried us through the plot. The cast was outstanding and I especially enjoyed Natalie McQueen as the Mad Hatter – my what a set of lungs she has!!

The story is modernised with Alice, single mum and her daughter living in a towerblock, disillusioned, not knowing what to do or how to change. The musical takes us on an adventurous exploration of who we are, with a few hilarious transformations through the looking glass and a few topical jokes as well.

Look out for a groooovy caterpillar, flares and all and a curiouser and curiouser stage as we’re tumbling through the rabbit hole, the visuals were stunningly executed and captured the wonder of this tale perfectly.

I have finished my jam tart!

For tickets, go to www.atgtickets.com

The show is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 22nd July

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

REVIEW: Jane Eyre at Milton Keynes Theatre


Jane Eyre at MK Theatre

10th July 2017


It’s been a long time since I read the story of Jane Eyre so was delighted to see this modern re-enactment of the story under the theatrical direction of Sally Cookson.
The whole play was outstanding. I particularly liked its use of drama conventions for example the voices in the head of Jane telling us her diverse thoughts on any given situation.
For those who may have forgotten the story the tale tells of a poor Jane Eyre, an orphan who was a feisty child and given little love. Eventually she becomes the governess for the child of a strange but powerful man that is Rochester. They soon fall for each other but as in all romances on stage It’s not going to go smoothly as he hides a terrible secret.
The ten actors played multiple parts which were seamless in their enactment although Nadia Clifford who played Jane Eyre only played her own character effortlessly from child to adult. What an amazing feat.
The stage set was minimal as the skill really rested with the music, lighting, sound and of course the actors. The audience could use their own imagination to fill in the rest. The team of actors was exceptional and the story was held together by the strong vocals of Bertha Mason with her haunting melodies.
I'm not sure if we were supposed to laugh at the actor who played the dog but he certainly got my attention. I think it was a delightful distraction from the grim storyline.
If you want to see theatre at its very best then do go to see this production.
Jane Eyre is on at MK Theatre till the 15th July.
Tickets from www.atgtickets.com/Miltonkeynes or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Dreamboats and Petticoats



Hey baby won’t you take a chance? Say that you’ll let me have this dance…well let’s dance! Dreamboats and Petticoats is here at Milton Keynes Theatre until 8th July.

A new musical, inspired by the million selling album with hits such as Let’s Twist Again, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Let’s Dance, this shows brings to life the wonderful era of Rock & Roll. Set in 1961, primarily at the Youth Club, we follow a group of teenagers as they deal with life’s troubles, love, ambition and writing their own music. They’re truly inspired by the pop music explosion over the last decade with dreams to become the next big pop sensation themselves.

The set was nice and simple showcasing the Youth Club with a few tweaks, turns and signs to take you into different scenes. Bright lighting and loud music will pull you along with the characters as they compete to win the song writing contest.

Excellent hairstyles, costumes and make up and the whole cast had brilliant voices and dance moves – our favourites were definitely the leads, Bobby and Laura, played by Alistair Higgins and Elizabeth Carter, they were cast perfectly. The show is also really quite funny and was very enjoyable to watch! Suitable for all ages and anybody that appreciates swishy petticoats as they spin and shiny, neatly greased hair that would make Elvis proud.



To grab some tickets, head to www.atgtickets.com