Monday, 8 August 2016

REVIEW: Stage Experience: Fame the Musical at MK Theatre


 Stage Experience: Fame the Musical – Review



Milton Keynes Theatre’s popular youth musical theatre project, Stage Experience, has returned in the form of Fame the Musical! This brilliant production follows the story of students at New York City’s famous High School for the Performing Arts, and the 100-strong young cast gave a fantastic, confident performance.

With well-known, feel-good classic tracks, such as ‘Fame’, the audience really enjoyed the performance.

One part that really stood out for me was when Serena Katz played by Mille Burlace sung her solo. She came across as confident and accomplished.

The costumes were also brilliant, with the theatre group looking very enthusiastic and happy to be performing. The set was relatively simple but this worked well as it didn’t overshadow the fantastic acting and singing from the youth theatre cast.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

REVIEW: Rocky Horror Show at MK Theatre


The Rocky Horror Show at MK Theatre

Any production that ends with a full audience standing ovation – clapping, cheering and dancing – is not to be missed! Since June ‘73, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock N’ Roll musical. It has now been performed worldwide for over 40 years in over 30 countries, and translated into more than 20 languages with a huge cult following.

The cast is a fantastic mix with the likes of X Factor finalist, Diana Vickers, in the role of Janet Weiss; S Club 7 star, Paul Cattermole, playing the role of Eddie and Dr. Scott; The Voice star Liam Tamne in the iconic role of Frank N Furter; and TV’s Norman Pace as the narrator. Also, following his huge success in over 900 performances of the 40th Anniversary Global Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Kristian Lavercombe returns as Riff Raff!

This musical extravaganza features all the famous tracks, including Dammit Janet and The Time-Warp and the production still continues to break box office records worldwide.

The audience engagement is like no other you will experience Рmen and women dressed in brilliant costumes of corsets, fishnets and feather boas. With witty jeers from the audience, dancing and even some with props, you feel part of the show. The musical is a tale of two college kids, Brad and Janet, who meet Dr Frank N Furter when their car breaks down. They go on to have a very extravagant and risqu̩ adventure full to the brim with timeless songs, over the top costumes, hilarious moments and amazing singing! The stage design and costumes are fantastic bringing the timeless classic to life with modern twists. Great work from the orchestra which you can see situated above the stage Рthis was a nice touch to bring them into the show and a big shout out to MK Theatre staff Рthey dressed the part and made the evening an unforgettable experience.

Be warned… There are some rude parts too!

Running from: Monday 25th – Saturday 30th July
Box office: 0844 871 7652
Website: atgtickets.com

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

REVIEW: Guys and Dolls at MK Theatre

Guys and Dolls at Milton Keynes Theatre

 


 
Guys and Dolls first premiered on Broadway in 1950 and captured the optimism and energy of post-WWII America.This show set in the 1950’s will appeal mostly to an older audience. 

Featuring some of Broadway’s greatest songs including Luck Be A Lady and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, it’s a fun, feel-good show with an all-star cast including Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders and Call the Midwife), Maxwell Caulfield (Emmerdale, Casualty and Grease 2), Louise Dearman (Wicked) and Anna O’Bryne (Love Never Dies), this was a fantastic production.



 
The costumes were realistic and reflected the era well, as did the dancing, which was very well choreographed. The set was sumptuous and atmospheric particularly during the Havana scene where the rhumba was the order of the day.



The show has a large cast of talented dancers and singers with the most amazing buzzing energy to be seen on stage. It's a dazzling show that it would be a shame to miss.

Tickets still available.
Running from: Tue 14th – Sat 18th June
Tickets: visit atgtickets.com or call 0844 871 7652.


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

REVIEW: Annie at MK Theatre

Annie at Milton Keynes Theatre




Set in 1930s New York, Annie and the other orphans are forced to live under Miss Hannigan’s rule; much to their dismay, they spend all day working, cleaning and sewing. Suddenly, when the opportunity arises for an orphan to spend two weeks at Oliver Warbucks’ mansion, Annie can’t believe her luck when she is chosen! With several obstacles along the way and several hundred couples claiming to be Annie’s biological parents, the performance ends just the way the audience hopes.

A tale of good fortune, love and family, this is such a fantastic production. With brilliant singers, dancers and actors, it was very believable, and the audience were really routing for Annie to find a happy home. What’s more, with its award-winning score, the orchestra really stood out and played very memorable songs such as Easy Street and Tomorrow. 

Best known for playing Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather, Lesley Joseph, played such a brilliant role as Miss Hannigan. She was witty, very funny, and everything I hoped Miss Hannigan would be!

And one cuddly cast member I can’t forget to mention is adorable Amber the Labradoodle, who played Annie’s dog, Sandy. She was so cute, obedient, and had the audience captured by her constantly wagging tail! At just two years old, she definitely has big things ahead of her.

Running from: 30th May – 4th June
Tickets: visit atgtickets.com or call 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

REVIEW: Save The Last Dance For Me at MK Theatre

Review: Save the Last Dance for Me




Written by two of TV’s most talented writers, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, Save The Last Dance is full of early 60s hits and chart-toppers such as Sweets For My Sweet and Viva Las Vegas. Put this in the mix with fantastic singers and a young, energetic cast and you’ve found yourself a very memorable, enjoyable production. And for those members of the audience who were old enough to remember those songs in the charts, this was a nostalgic trip down memory lane (and many were singing along!).

As the audience is taken along a journey with two teenage sisters on a holiday without their parents, they are in high spirits and soon meet a handsome young American who invites them to dance at a US Air Force base; this performance is full of young love, dancing and fun.

The cast features Antony Costa from chart-topping boyband, Blue, and 2014 X Factor finalist, Lola Saunders. Both were fantastic, each with unique voices and a great enthusiasm for the performance. Another actor who really stood out was Sackie Osakonor whose strong voice was a pleasure to listen to. The main character Marie played by Elizabeth Carter had the sweetest voice ever.

The costume design was very true to life, replicating dresses and Air Force uniform accurately and in great detail. The live band were also fantastic, and clearly well-rehearsed. The stage set was a music venue on a American air base in Suffolk that really captured the atmosphere of the early 60s dance halls showcasing the music of that era.

Running at Milton Keynes Theatre from: Tues 24th - Sat 28th June

Tickets available from: http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre/

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

REVIEW: Avenue Q at MK Theatre

Avenue Q at Milton Keynes Theatre



A smash hit on Broadway and in the West End, this award-winning musical was absolutely hilarious! Featuring puppets brought to life by an ensemble cast of 11 performers, this musical is all about dreams, growing up and finding your purpose. A relatable coming-of-age show coupled with awesome puppetry and humour that is not over-the-top.

The lead puppet, Princeton, is a graduate who has come to New York and he soon realises the only place he can afford to live in the busy city is Avenue Q… And he finds himself moving in with some very quirky, funny characters!

The comedy skills of the 11 cast members were fantastic, and you could tell they enjoyed doing what they do! The lead puppeteers, Sarah Harlington and Richard Lowe were outstanding with laugh-out-loud comedy and silly facial expressions to match the thoughts and feelings of their puppets. I couldn’t help but watch them as well as their puppets. The puppeteers voices and singing, along with animating the puppets, lip-synching and dancing was so fun to watch and the audience was roaring. The stage set was simple yet effective, based on an apartment block with doors and windows that open up onto different scenes and characters lives and there was the odd bit of humour directed at the audience which brought us all onto Avenue Q with them. 


Avenue Q is the definition of an R-rated performance with truly relatable themes about life’s everyday problems, bad language and rude behaviour. This is most definitely not for the little ones, it’s best they stick to Sesame Street rather than this Sesame Street/South Park hybrid. A highly recommended comedy-musical for those of us that love great humour and the odd inappropriate joke.

Running from: Mon 16th - Sat 21st May
Tickets: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7652


Friday, 6 May 2016

REVIEW: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at MK Theatre

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review




What a spectacular show! With Lee Mead, Shaun Williamson and Michelle Collins taking the lead roles, the production is full of life, laughter, song and dance.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, written by Ian Fleming,  surprisingly, took 30 years to reach the stage. Originally produced as a film in the late 1960s, this adaptation has definitely done the film justice. Interestingly, Roald Dahl wrote the original film script and this production definitely gave us glimpses of his writing style and sometimes dark humour along with his fantastic imagination which is just irresistible to both children and adults! 


Having won the BBC series ‘Any Dream Will Do’, I was expecting big things from Lee Mead, and he definitely rose to my expectations. With fantastic vocals and a spot-on performance from start to finish, he was very memorable. Starring alongside Shaun and Michelle of EastEnders fame, the trio worked well together. Lee Mead also partnered Carrie Hope Fletcher who was so aptly named Truly Scrumptious for indeed she was! They were all not only enthusiastic, but really seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout the performance. A special mention for all the children who were so endearing as the sewer children. The lead children Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman played Jeremy and Jemima Potts looked to be having a great time singing, dancing to some of the best songs to be had in a musical. 

There were so many other routines and double acts from an extremely talented cast that this is a show that you won`t want to miss. The sets were beautifully designed and decorated, but still left some parts of the production open to the imagination. And, of course, we can’t not talk about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang itself. With the ability to fly, the audience were in awe of this fantastic car!

Running from: 4th – 14th May
Tickets available from: atgtickets.com or 0844 871 7652