Categories
stage tv

Review: Seussical (Arts Theatre)

December can be a stressful time. There’s Christmas shopping to be done, diets go out the window and the prospect of spending money on relatives we only see once a year can become all a bit too much. Step forward Seussical, a shining beacon of musical light amongst the dark wintry nights.

The musical, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is based on the books of Dr. Seuss and made its début on Broadway in 2000. The story is an amalgamation of many of Seuss’s most famous books including, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who! 

We begin by being introduced to The Cat in The Hat (Joe Morrow), who is telling young explorer Jojo (Clark Devlin) how he can think almost anything- the more imagination he uses, the more exciting life can become. Suddenly a whole plethora of colourful characters enter Jojo’s world, including the showgirl diva Mayzie La Bird (Jessica Parker), the shy and awkward Gertrude McFuzz (Kirsty Marie Ayers), and our adorable hero Horton The Elephant (David Hunter).

Horton hears a strange noise coming from a speck of dust, and makes it his mission to save the people of Whoville trapped on top. Although the other animals, lead by the Sour Kangaroo (Natalie Green), mock Horton, he’s spurred on by his special bond with Jojo, who has now transferred into the story – and onto the speck – as the son of the Mayor of Whoville (Philip Scutt). Sprinkle in some additional tales, including babysitting an over-zealous egg, feather jealousy and a delightfully charming love story, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect afternoon of escapism.

From the start the entire cast has sackfuls of energy. Joe Morrow looks like he’s having the time of his life clowning around as the Cat in The Hat. His constant switching between accents and characters had the audience enthralled, and often in stitches, and it’s easy to see how this fun feline will become the new best friend of every child in the audience. Kirsty Marie Ayers is simply delightful as the bird with a one feathered tail. Her sweet, but gorgeous singing voice lends itself perfectly to all of her captivating numbers, and her continuing quest for Horton to notice her will have even the hardest of hearts melting by the end of the show.

Clark Devlin is scarily realistic as a child, and has the mannerisms, spirit and cutesy voice of Jojo down to a fine art, whilst Jessica Parker goes to town with all of her showgirl numbers, oozing pazazz and sparkle. A special mention must also go to the three Bird Girls (Tanya Shields, Jennifer Low and Amy Punter) who produced some classy, tight harmonies throughout.

However, the real star of the show is David Hunter, who brings such an endearing quality to Horton that it’s hard not to push Gertrude out of the way to gain his affections first. His natural connection to the audience takes everybody along for the ride with him, and you can’t help but be on his side. Hunter’s singing voice is as strong as ever, and his seamless ability to act throughout every song makes us question why he didn’t reach the final of ITV1′s Superstar. Although Lord Webber’s loss is Seussical’s huge gain.

Phillip Rowntree’s direction makes the most of the high octane score and captures the silliness beautifully, whilst the choreography by Cressida Carré is sharp and clean, suiting the several different musical styles with ease, as well as adding another exciting dimension to the rainbow-coloured set and costumes. Although this is supposedly a children’s show, you’ll be begging your daughter/nephew/local Primary School to get a ticket just so you can accompany them without feeling guilty. However, there’s no shame to be found here. Amongst all the fun and occasional back-flipping, there’s a strong moral at the heart of the story, and Horton’s continuing mantra – ‘a person’s a person, no matter how small’ – left us feeling renewed and slightly empowered, although that may have been helped by the pre-show mulled wine.

This is feel-good family fun at its very best, and we defy anyone to find anything else in the West End this Christmas so wholesome, without the faintest whiff of anything patronising. Leave your bags of stress and shopping at the door, and enjoy 80 minutes of unadulterated fantasy.

Seussical presented by the Sell A Door Theatre Company runs at the Arts Theatre, Leicester Square until 6 January 2013. Tickets are available online, or by calling 020 7836 8463. All images by Darren Bell Photography.

Categories
stage tv

Review: Peta Pam (Karamel Club)

It wouldn’t be the festive period if you didn’t have a good old-fashioned pantomime in the diary. Except, of course, there isn’t anything old-fashioned about a lesbian rewriting of the childhood classic Peter Pan.

Peta Pam is a production by Outhouse London and their lesbian Theatre Troupe, The Darlings. It presents the adventures of Peta Pam, Tink, the Lost Lesbians and the Darling children as they explore Well I Never Land in search of fun and excitement. Polished, the production is not. However, the writing is witty and the cast have bundles of energy which more than make up for the occasional forgotten line. In fact, in a production which continues to poke fun at lesbian culture, and therefore at itself, the odd slip up here and there adds to the relaxed atmosphere.

The production is showing  in the Karamel Club in Wood Green, a bar come restaurant come venue space for live music and theatre productions. A warm and cosy atmosphere awaits, with affordable, decent food (I recommend the fish and chips – basic but satisfying) and friendly staff. The performance takes place in the restaurant area, so you are immediately greeted by the set when you arrive. It would certainly not be described as understated, has about as much festive sparkle as the space can handle and offers an indication of the performance to come; unsubtle, loud and full of fun.

After a brief intro from our narrators, we meet the Darling family as the kids get ready for bed, and Mrs Darling decides to head out for an all-female evening of red wine and vegetarian terrine – one of many references to lesbian stereotypes in the production which they manage to get away with. In Mrs Darling’s absence, Peta Pam makes her grand entrance along with the sparkly Tink. The scenes do blur together somewhat and at times it feels like there more people on stage than in the audience, but the general plot of the original Peter Pan is stuck to and the Darling children end up in Well I Never Land, followed by their panic stricken mother upon returning from the party.

What follows is a slight mish-mash of structure and plot, which may have been overlooked in favour of set, costume, and witty one-liners, but the cast are excellent at engaging with the audience. There are a couple of interesting hybrid accents and perhaps some projection issues, but somehow it all works. Pantomimes are certainly not supposed to be faultless pieces of ground-breaking theatre;  but funny, colourful, even silly performances which leave you with that feel-good factor. Peta Pam most certainly delivers on that front.

It’s not every day you get to see a production by an all-lesbian cast, and even less often that such a production is a pantomime. Grab a couple of friends (all welcome and all will enjoy, not just lesbians), buy a ticket before they sell out, and settle in for a fun evening of decent food and wine, a few giggles and bags of festive spirit.

Categories
stage tv

Preview: Aladdin: A Wish Come True

Panto season is in full swing but it seems that this year it has just got bigger!

Described as a ‘truly unique event’, the story of Aladdin is to be told in one of the world’s most famous arenas, London’s O2. The pantomime will take place in a specifically built, 1,900 seat theatre under the canopy of the world class arena and stars a true UK legend, Lily Savage. Paul O’Grady’s alter ego will take on the famous role of Widow Twanky and Aladdin: A Wish Come True also sees Jersey Boy’s favourite, Jon Lee, appear in the show’s title role.

Running from Friday 7 December 2012 until Saturday 5 January 2013, the pantomime also stars Issy Van Randwyck as the Slave of the Ring, Darren Bennett as Abanazar, Marissa Dunlop as Princess Jasmin and Nigel Garton as the Emperor. The production has been lovingly produced by Michael Rose and Chris Moreno, and is directed and choreographed by David Morgan, a panto alumnus who had previously worked on Cinderella on the stage of the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.

Paul O’Grady has been a household name for many years now, as has Lily Savage, and he shows no signs of slowing down this Christmas. With promoting his book Still Standing: The Savage Years and other TV and Radio commitments, O’Grady cannot wait to be on stage this festive season, taking on arguably the most famous pantomime dame! Paul is not also not phased by the surroundings, saying “The Arena’s no place for panto, it’s too big, so they’re building us a theatre… I expect we’ll all be in porta cabins round the back, hovering over a fan heater, but no doubt but it will look lovely out front.”

The O2 does seem the perfect setting for this festive treat, along with the theatre, the array of bars, restaurants and entertainment spots, audience’s can really make a day of it, which is what the theatre is all about!

Lily Savage as Widow twankey and Jon Lee as Aladdin. Credit Alastair Muir.

Paul O’Grady is no stranger to the campness of the panto, “I love the insanity of it all! You’re in this family for four weeks and if you have the three ‘Gs’ – a great company, great audiences and a great production – then you’re laughing. I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend Christmas”. And pantomimes aren’t just for the children! O’Grady states that it is the story that will keep Aladdin’s audiences hooked, ““You’ve got to keep the story going. Don’t just wander out and tell a few gags. It’s really important to tell the story. Ours opens with a funeral – the kids’ love that, with all the thunder lightening and the dry ice – and they’re burying Widow Twanky’s husband. It’s a prologue so you find out how Widow Twanky ended up in Peking running a laundrette; you get the back story. And when you have a really good script like ours it enables you to stray off for a bit. I chat to the audience and tell them me woes, but, you don’t want to be going overboard; you’ve got a crew there who want their lunch and people who want to get the bus!”

With Christmas very fast approaching, we can only imagine that for the performers there isn’t much time to be at home celebrating. But at O’Grady towers he will says he will be celebrating in style! “I have all the friends round and I cook a big Christmas dinner. Honestly, if you walked into my house you’d think ooh! Someone in this house absolutely adores Christmas; a lovely tree, holly, ivy and mistletoe around the banisters – you’d think Kirsty Allsop had been in working overtime!” O’Grady also reveals that his own back garden looks a lot like the famous nativity scene too… “I’ve got nine pigs, ten sheep, four barn owls – it’ll be like Hogwarts here soon – two goats, four dogs and loads of chickens and ducks. It’s ridiculous!” Blimey.

Famously, the story of Aladdin includes a magical Genie, who grants the young lad three wishes. So what would Paul O’Grady wish for? “A good blast of sunshine, just for a week, to give us all a treat before Christmas… I’d ask for a big pot of money to give away to mates and charities that really deserve it.”  Well, two aren’t bad… And we all know the famous scene where the Cave of Wonders appears and nearly traps the hero. Would O’Grady banish anyone there though? ““It would be a very busy cave,” he cackles. “And not only would I shut ‘em in but I’d fill it full of ice cold water, just waist level, and then I’d break the sewer pipe. Then and I’d go in and cheer myself up watching them all being miserable!” (Remind us not to get on the wrong side of him!)

We have to say, the prospect of seeing Paul O’Grady in a pantomime is one that fills us both excitement and joy, and we simply cannot wait! Be sure to catch our review of the spectacle later this week.

Aladdin: A Wish Comes True runs at The Theatre at The O2 from Friday 7 December 2012 until Saturday 5 January 2013. Tickets:  £19.50 – £49.50. To find more information on the show click here.

Categories
stage tv

Spotlight On: David Bates (Actor)

It’s always good to have the opportunity talk to young up-and-coming stars about bold and exciting new projects that are set to hit the stage scene. We were thrilled to sit down with the amazing David Bates and talk about his new show Anyway, which is set to make its mark for a three evening run at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London. In a refreshingly candid interview, we got to grips with David and the wonderful character of Jamie, who he is bringing to life in a show he lovingly wrote and brought to the stage.

If you met someone who didn’t know about your show, how would you describe it to them?

The play’s called Anyway and it’s a one act, one man show written by myself. It concerns one night in the life of an 18-year old gay man called Jamie from Manchester. He is currently on a date, which he does a lot, and he is at that point a lot of young gay men reach where they begin to tire of the faded glamour of the gay scene. In this play, he is beginning to realise that he might be ready for something more than a quick fumble, or a one night stand, but he isn’t sure. It is this quandary that he reflects on throughout the show. Jamie’s date is in the bathroom calling his mother, and while he is gone Jamie observes the restaurant and the guests with the odd wry comment, (and a little bitchiness), and all the kind of gay humour you would expect. However, he begins to ask himself if these other people are really happy and, by extension, is he? There is a lot of comedy and thoughtful observation, but as the wine begins to go down we begin to see Jamie’s guard slip and see the real vulnerable lonely person he is underneath.

You have hinted about Jamie, the character you are bringing to life. Can you tell us more about him?

Basically, when I started to write the play I drew some of Jamie’s character from myself when I was his age, and the situations he finds himself in during the play are loosely based on my own experience, but heightened a bit to translate better on stage. Jamie is an only child and likes to think of himself as cultured. He is also quite attractive, and he knows, it so he can be very sure of himself; and he is also quite selfish and self-centred. He has a tendency to get his ‘trophy’ for the evening, as it were, so when he goes out on a date, he is looking to get something from it; he is looking for sexual gratification. However, underneath all of that he is actually a very genuine and warm person.

Do you think Jamie is a character we can all recognise and relate to?

I’d like to think so because I think there are a lot of single men who are out on the gay scene who can feel quite lonely, and are just looking for someone to go home to at the end of the day, which in some respects could be what Jamie is looking for. But there is still this other side to him which, much like the gay scene itself, is incredibly bitchy, and incredibly ageist and shallow. So, I think Jamie will be relatable because you see people who are like him all the time. He is a young, attractive and sweet man, but also a little bit desperate for attention. He goes out to get attention from men, which is obviously very sexual in nature, but actually what he really craves is something more simplistic and sweet. I do think there are a lot of people who will see this character and relate to who he is, definitely.

What drew you to acting in the first place and, subsequently, to writing your own show?

I’m from a little town called Swinton in Manchester and from a young age I found that I had a talent for all things artistic. I then went on to do a two year acting course in college in Manchester and won a place on the acting course at the Italia Conti Academy. As long as I can remember, this has always been something I loved and wanted to do. In regards to writing, this is actually the first play I have ever written, but I have always enjoyed creative writing and been fascinated by words, and the power they have to transport people to new and exciting places.

If you had your pick of any role past or present, what would be your ‘dream role’?

That’s a really good question. I would quite love to be a part of a production of Martin Sherman’s Bent. I actually played the part of Rudy as part of my showcase and I think it’s an amazing part. I don’t want to market myself as a purely gay actor but it so happens that I just love this part. A lot of the parts I get cast in are for quite vulnerable characters, and Rudy is very much like that. I would also love to play Iago in Othello, just to be an absolute bastard! Really, there are thousands of roles I would love to play and it really is hard to pin down just a few, but really right now I am glad of the work, and happy to have these opportunities. In any character you play, I think you need to find something that excites you about them.

Do you have dating dramas now?

No, not anymore. I am very happy, and a lot more mature about those sort of things now. I look back and I think maybe I was slightly on self-destruct. Rather than just going out and being myself, I would just put on a front, a bit like Jamie does in my show. When I was younger, I used to be quite camp, but not as much these days.

Do you have any plans for the future?

To be honest with you, my big thing right now is this play and, depending on the success of it, I might decide to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe next year or maybe elsewhere, maybe Manchester. Meanwhile, I am continuing to audition for things through my agent. With an acting career, you have no idea what might come up. This show is something I had planned to do for a long while, so that is all that’s on the agenda right now.  There are lots of different things which are open to me in the new year so I am just hoping that I can start 2013 on a positive note and see what happens.

Anyway is coming to the Tristan Bates Theatre in London for a three day engagement from 17 to 19 January 2013. Tickets are £9.50 and can be purchased from the theatre website here.

Categories
stage tv

Review: Aladdin: A Wish Come True (O2 Arena)

When you take a trip to London’s famous O2 Arena, it is not every day you would see a mechanical baby Elephant, a flamboyant Christmas dame and a rather impressive flying carpet. But that has all changed this festive season with it being the home to the pantomime Aladdin: A Wish Come True in a pop-up 1900 seat theatre.

We wish we could say that the experience at the O2 is a pleasant one, but the seating is extremely cramped and the heating is certainly lacking, but with all that being said the show does allow you to forget about all that, just about.

The show opens with a funeral, how very unfestive I hear you say. But the newly Widowed Lily Twanky and son Aladdin are banished to Old Peking, where she sets up a delightful appearing laundrette. The set is something to be admired, as is the large orchestra in the far right corner. The same can’t really be said for the poor plot and the musical numbers. Although there are some classic showstoppers, Chicago’s ‘When Your Good To Mama’ and P!nk’s ‘Get The Party Started’ are both enthused with energy and Christmas cheer. Yet, original numbers are far too cringeworthy and lacklustre, even for a pantomime. The standard audience participation is present for the children and families, even if Twanky mentions “slapping it out” of the chilly audience. The show isn’t just for families either. The jokes do have innuendos that only the dirty minded would appreciate, particularly one towards the end involving ‘acute angina’! However the closing number, Take That’s ‘Shine’, really disappoints as a finale with it simply not working and failing to create any energy or excitement.

Lily Savage as Widow Twankey and Jon Lee as Aladdin. Credit – Alastair Muir.

The cast as a whole is quite strong. The choreography is on the majority extremely remarkable and the ensemble vocals fill the pop up theatre. Issy Van Randwyck is a comical Slave Of The Ring with a powerful voice, and Jon Lee, of S Club 7 fame, surprises with an extremely impressive, if quite musical theatre vocal performance, although with the script his acting fails to light up. Matthew Rixon and, in particular, Andy Spiegel as PC Ping and Pong make a delightful comical pairing, bringing energy and hilarity to every scene, look out for the ‘laundry delivery’ scene – hilarious! Sadly, Marissa Dunlop is a disappointing Princess Jasmine, with a dull and un-magical performance.

But the real scene stealer is, of course, the headline act, Miss Lily Savage. Everything about Widow Lily Twanky is perfection from the big, flamboyant numbers to the sharp, confident and comic attitude. There are many times in which she also interacts with the audience, to which a poor audience member named Pauline received the most abuse, in particular her “cheap looking neck tattoo”. The laughs come thick and fast when Savage is on stage, to which even the other cast members can’t quite contain themselves with her quick wit.

The show has enough there to make it watchable and enjoyable, besides the lacking script, bad songs and occasional limiting character depth. The festive spirit is certainly raised at Aladdin, and the whole experience is one that should be carried out. It may not be the best panto around but to see Miss Lily Savage in action should be just about enough incentive to take the trip to the O2.

Categories
stage tv

Review: Viva Forever! (Piccadilly Theatre)

I’ve adored The Spice Girls ever since they first popped onto the scene. I can remember being thrilled when one of my friends had a Spicey 8th birthday party, and I was naturally the only boy on the guestlist. I even travelled all the way to Paris with my Mum and Nan to see them in concert- although I missed the first 15 minutes because I had my head over the toilet bowl, vomiting due to being so excited. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and a bubbly tummy that I headed to see the jukebox musical based on their biggest hits. This time I had my head firmly away from any lavatories, although I could still detect a faint whiff of nausea in the auditorium.

Now, I love musicals, I will watch ANYTHING, but I’m struggling to express exactly how disappointed I was. With more shoehorning of songs than a Barratt’s sale on summer wedges, the show felt incomplete, rushed and completely confused about who’s story this was meant to be. Our leading lady, Viva (Hannah John-Kamen) was distinctly unlikeable, and her three friends who were meant to be representing the rest of the Spice brand were basically irrelevant to the entire show. In fact, when they made a ‘triumphant’ return at the end I couldn’t even remember who they were.

Set in the world of reality television, the story follows Viva and her three mates on their quest for stardom. However, there was nothing to root for – the love subplot for Viva herself was frankly embarrassing – and there was no dramatic tension or real heart. It was more superficial than Helen Flanagan’s fake tan.

We all know The Spice Girls for their energetic music and their endless energy. We loved them because each of their uptempo hits were a real party starter, but in Viva Forever! there’s only a measly two big dance production numbers. It’s like they spent all the money on the set and suddenly remembered to hire a choreographer two weeks before it hit the stage. And don’t even get me started on those numbers- ‘Spice Up Your Life’ might as well be renamed to Nando’s Mango and Lime because it certainly failed to ignite a fire in the genuinely baffled audience.

The potential here was fantastic, but the show is too dialogue heavy. It’s like Jennifer Saunders has written it predominantly for the television. It’s clunky and not actually that funny, something which I expected having such a national institution at the helm. The saving grace came from the cast, who did give it everything they had. Sally Ann Triplett as Viva’s adoptive mother Lauren, made the most of what she was given, and she deserves a medal for driving ’2 Become 1′ away from the cringe worthy number I feared it could be. Sally Dexter as Viva’s talent show mentor Simone, is a mix between Sharon Osbourne and Stephanie Beacham, but is nevertheless very entertaining. The real stand out in my opinion comes in the form of the hilariously funny cameo from Simone’s assistant Minty played by Hatty Preston. This hashtagging, Made In Chelsea wannabe is played with perfect comic timing by Preston, and generates the majority of the laughter.

It’s with a heavy heart that I write so many bad things about one show, and I feel sorry for the cast and crew who can’t fail to be upset with all the negative reviews I’ve seen pouring in, but sadly it’s the truth.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want; Those two and a half hours of my life back.

No wonder Posh turned up late to the premiere performance, somebody must have warned her.

Viva Forever! is running at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Tickets can be purchased through their official website or by calling 08448 713055.

Categories
stage tv

Pam Ann set to begin new UK tour

The Queen of the skies is all set to return to the UK’s shores to bring the British public a first class evening of wit, charm and brilliant observations on the realities of air travel.

Pam Ann, who has been lovingly brought to life by Australian comedienne Caroline Reid, has become well known for her own unique brand of comedy. She became an instant smash with the air crew and LGBT communities, and even went on tour with fellow LGBT icon Cher. Not one to shy away from controversy, she deftly navigates the flying taboos, stereotypes, and cultural differences that even the boldest of today’s comedians would rarely want to broach. Pam Ann’s ability to both rile and charm her audience is what keeps her flying high. Keeping things lively and nail-bitingly unpredictable, her shows are fast paced and takes no hostages, being both hilarious and frequently shocking. Likewise, her newest show is not for the easily offended.

Pam Ann Around The World jets in from sell-out tours in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel and sell-out shows at The Bloomsbury Theatre. Now the world’s favorite international airhostess touches down at London Heathrow before embarking on a UK leg of her latest and greatest tour. If you are currently waiting on standby and long to know when you could be off to take in this brilliant attraction we have included a handy list of the icon’s UK engagements.

2013 TOUR DATES:

6th February: Southend – Cliffs Pavilion (01702 351 135)

7th February: Croydon – Fairfield Halls (0208 688 9291)

9th February: Cambridge – Corn Exchange (01223 357 851)

10th February: Oxford – New Theatre (0844 871 3020)

12th February: Hayes – Beck Theatre (020 8561 8371)

13th February: Hayes – Beck Theatre (020 8561 8371)

16th February: Bournemouth – Pavilion (0844 576 3000)

17th February: Brighton – Theatre Royal (0844 871 7650)

20th February: Nottingham – Playhouse (0115 941 9419)

22nd February: Jersey – Opera House (01534 511 115)

23rd February: Jersey – Opera House (01534 511 115)

25th February: Woking – New Theatre (0844 871 7645)

26th February: Baskingstoke – Anvil (01256 844 244)

1st March: Manchester – Opera House (0844 871 3018)

2nd March: Manchester – Opera House (0844 871 3018)

5th March: St Albans – Alban Arena (01727 844 488)

6th March: St Albans – Alban Arena (01727 844 488)

8th March: Reading – Hexagon (0118 960 6060)

10th March: Birmingham – Alexandra Theatre (0844 847 2302)

 

If your idea of fun involves a night of comedy with a lady of class, elegance and delightful charm… you had best give this one a wide berth. If on the other hand you want to be rolling in the aisles and crying with joy then we urge you to call now and book your tickets while you still can. You can find more information about Pam Ann and her latest tour on her website.

Categories
tv

Review: Get Aladdin (Landor Theatre)

The Stag pub in Victoria may be no more, but like any pantomime hero, it takes more than demolition and homelessness to keep the Above The Stag panto down.  After last years sell out Sleeping Beauty: One Little Prick the team are back together with Get Aladdin, hosted by the lovely Landor Theatre in Clapham.

The usual components have survived the move. Theatre above a pub? Check. More innuendo than you can shake a massive stick at? Check. Gratuitous partial nudity? Check. So Above The Stag fans will not be disappointed, even if the pub downstairs doesn’t quite have the seedy civil servant feel of the old Victoria stalwart.

Our hero, a street thief, Aladdin (Greg Airey), has fled with his widowed mum from their Chinese laundry in Clapham and ended up in the Chinese province of Hao Hung (you were warned about the innuendo). Aladdin stumbles upon a magic lamp (and somehow loses his clothes in the ensuing landslide) and attempts to win the heart of the gay geek prince of Hao Hung (George Bull) whilst defeating the evil Abanazer (Matthew Baldwin channelling Lord Sugar).

To be honest – that’s all the plot you really know – no one’s come for a line by line retelling of Sherazade’s bed time story. You get all the elements you want from a panto, songs, audience participation, a fantastic dame (Josh Rochford), and love stories both gay and straight – and all very much not for kids.

There are some fun performances, Matthew Baldwin is clearly loving the role of pantomime villain and Josh Rochford has an excellent endless supply of facial expressions as a larger than life pantomime dame. We even get a wonderful magic carpet ride to enjoy – and ridiculous tenuous excuse to sing Gangnam Style. And although the plot is less tight than last years Sleeping Beauty/Twilight parody there’s plenty of satire and clever lines to keep the audience smiling.

The show is over long – at 3 hours it could do with a little trimming around the edges, particularly the first act (acknowledged as much in a line from the Genie [Sarah Dearlove], just after Aladdin finally gets his kit off). The ticket price could perhaps do with a trim too, which at £18 feels a little steep.

But these complaints aside – Get Aladdin makes the most of it’s temporary home and brings a bit of the Stag to south London.  All in all, a not unenjoyable evening helped along by complimentary mulled wine on arrival.

**Get Aladdin runs at the Landor Theatre until 13 January. Tickets cost £18 and are available from the Landor Theatre box office or by calling 020 7737 7276. 

Categories
stage tv

Special Offer: Cheaper tickets to Loserville

‘Welcome to Loserville’, a mantra now familiar to the theatre-going public in the West End this season thanks to this original musical based at the Garrick Theatre. Now, So So Gay, in cooperation with milktwosugars is able to bring our readers yet another special offer in the form of cheaper tickets for this amazing show before it closes its doors in January.

To qualify for this great new discount, all our readers need to do is call 0844 412 4662 and quote ’1971′ or visit the Nimax Theatre website and enter the 1971 promo code when prompted.

The discounted price of £22.50 is valid on top price between 22 November and 22 December 2012, £32.50 between 24 December 2012 and 19 December 2012 and £39.50 between 31 December 2012 and 3 January 2013, when this amazing offer closes. If you only manage to see one show this festive season, make sure it is Loserville, and give this original show a proper send-off when it leaves the West End in January.

Go get yourself an early Christmas present during the season of goodwill and don’t forget to read our review of this show.

Categories
tv

‘From Page To Stage’: a season of new musical theatre writing at The Landor Theatre

London’s The Landor Theatre has announced a season of new musical theatre writing, planned for February/March in 2013.

Entitled ‘From Page To Stage’, the aim is to curate a season of new musical theatre, comprising of showcases, workshops and products of new International musical theatre writing. The idea has been formulated by Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, who has teamed up with the Artistic Director of the Landor Theatre, Robert McWhir.

The Landor released a statement saying, ‘People have been asking, ‘Why isn’t there a venue dedicated to the presentation of new musical writing?’ Well now we have just that! Work will be presented by a wide range of writers and producers, including a showcase of songs from The New Musical Songbook (a website recently created with rights-holders and publishers Stagescripts Ltd, A STAGE KINDLY and The New Musical Network), which promotes the online sale and exposure of original musical theatre songs.’

Contributing writers, producers and performers will be announced shortly, and we’ll be on hand to update you with the latest exciting news.