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Slyghtly Hystorical

Slyghtly Hystorical presented by Charmed Life at the Fisher Theatre, Bungay Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 28 September 2016 ‘Slyghtly Hystorical’ was the clever comedic, theatrical, fun nonsense staged by Charmed Life Productions to mark 10 years of Bungay’s reborn Fisher Theatre. It’s an achievement well celebrated in play that raised a host of historical people with connections to this ‘fine town of renown’ who left their footprints on Bungay. Tim Hall played David Fisher, the impresario out of his depth trying to stage ‘Hamlet’. Dawn Briggs was an earthy Boudicca, Josh Gould portrayed martyred King Edmund and a lofty Ethel Mann while Sarah Curtis was Eliza Bonhote and the Buttercross’s justice statue. Lawrie Hammond was a swashbuckling H Rider Haggard and painter Munnings, Mark Burridge the hilarious love-sick French Vicomte Chateaubriand with … Read entire article »

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Spamalot

Spamalot by the Lowestoft Players at the Bethel Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 12 September 2016 and The Lowestoft Journal, 16 September 2016 Spamalot, ‘lovingly ripped off’ from the ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ movie, is a joyful feast of fun, surreal madness, random allusions from history, politics, literature, in a knock-out panto-cum-musical. Lowestoft Players, in the run-up to their 50th anniversary, create a stunning evening out with brilliant costumes, terrific music, exquisite choreography, quality singing, professional standard direction/production and outstanding performances. It seems unfair in such an ensemble of monks, minstrels, guards and girls of the lake to single out individuals, but Chris Darnell as King Arthur perfectly catches the buffoonery while Beth Lewis shines as the diva in a part she was born for – she is just … Read entire article »

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Sister Act

Sister Act at the Lowestoft Players at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 9 June 2016 and the Lowestoft Journal, 17 June 2016 Sister Act, the hit film-inspired musical, is the perfect vehicle for the Lowestoft Players’ summer show with its high energy, implausible story line that lends itself to daft comedy antics, rocky music and unadulterated fun. It’s a team triumph for the multi-award winning Players who grab its opportunities with both hands from directors and principals to chorus/ensemble, from musicians and stage crew to the terrific dance routines, some based on Motown. Lauren Nevill beats the challenge of the gangster’s moll who, while seeking sanctuary in a nunnery, sets the church on fire with her singing and racy ways. Judi Mars is the perfect straitlaced Mother … Read entire article »

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The Analogues

The Analogues in Magical Mystery Tour at the Norwich Theatre Royal, as part of the Norwich and Norfolk Festival 2016 Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 May 2016 The Analogues are a musical wonder from Holland on a mission to bring the actuality of Beatles’ songs alive. The Norwich debut on their UK visit fairly rocked the Theatre Royal. To hear the Beatles’ studio songs starting with the 1967 ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ that they themselves never performed on stage played live and authentically was a truly magical experience. To have the multiple layers and arrangements of a variety of songs presented after painstaking research and acquisition of amazing vintage instruments was to discover a whole new dimension of the Beatles’ music and to appreciate in full just how innovative they were. And they … Read entire article »

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Wild Life

Wild Life at the Norwich Playhpouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016 Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 21 May 2016 Wild Life is both a company and the apt title of a piece that takes the breath away – genre-defying, boundary-busting and the most innovative work I have seen so far this year. The performers should be named as these young local singer-songwriters and actors are going places – Megan Blair, Anna Carter, Lucy Grubb, Noah Horne-Morris, Kate Maguire Buck, Sophie Mahon, Aphra McSherry-Birley, Elliouse Marie Moss, Poppy Rae Read and Hannah Websdale. In a refreshing, amusing and fun concert like no other they present a narrative about making a show about themselves and in so doing perform their reflective, angry, joyful and original songs about their young … Read entire article »

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Nikolai Galen

Nikolai Galen at The Norwich Playhouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 19 May 2016 When one time frontman for The Shrubs Nikolai Galen (then, Nick Hobbs) became smitten by the songs of the Belgian singer, songwriter and actor Jacques Brel, he looked about for a style and a forum for translating and interpreting some of the huge catalogue. And he found it. Acapella, spoken-sung poetry, free-improvisation, recitation, performance – all in a one-man show alone on stage with a microphone and a commanding presence that touched the heart, that puzzled and reflected life in equal measure. Songs such as ‘If You Go Away’, ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Seasons in the Sun’ may be familiar to British audiences, but Brel’s influence on artists as diverse as David Bowie, Marc Almond, Scott Walker, Dusty Springfield … Read entire article »

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Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones

Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones at Norwich Playhouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 18 May 2016 When two outstandingly talented, versatile and personable singer-songwriters join forces, the result is spectacular. In Englishman Teddy Thompson, with his folk, country, rock-grounded voice and American Kelly Jones with her unique vocals of many shades, we have a formidable pairing. In that same top league occupied by the Alison Krauss and Robert Plant partnership, this pair presented mainly their own songs in perfect, all-encompassing harmonies affording us an intimate sharing of relationships, heartbreaks and life. Sometimes dueting together, occasionally solo and sometimes backed by a four-piece band of rich musical giftings, Thompson and Jones’ mix of country, folk, rock, alt-country and pleasant personal musings between songs made a rivetting night out. Support came from Sunny Ozell who added yet … Read entire article »

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Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus by the Open Space Theatre Company at the Seagull Theatre Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 9 May 2016 Habeas Corpus – a legal term meaning ‘have the body’ – is a classic farce from the pen of master writer Alan Bennett with a dash of absurdism, clever and witty word plays and some social comment on the 1960s thrown in. Norfolk/Suffolk touring ensemble Open Space bring the formula to life and laughs as the randy, aging doctor (Peter Sowerbutts in fine world-weary, cynical form) attempts to seduce an attractive young patient (Samantha McAtear) while keeping it from his frustrated wife (Yves Green), no slouch herself in the hanky-panky stakes. There is a stage full of absurdist characters – hypochondriac son (Jake Kubala), a pompous, sex obsessed rival doctor (Simon … Read entire article »

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Forgotten

Forgotten by Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company at the Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 23 April 2016 and The Lowestoft Journal, 29 April 2016 Forgotten is a play about Suffolk poet and ‘self-improver’ George Crabbe, who told tales of the East Anglian coast and its people but who’s been neglected by history. His major poem Peter Grimes which runs through Crabbe’s creative mind and the play was reworked by Benjamin Britten in his more famous opera, yet it stands as his legacy of fine story-in-verse of the turbulent 1750s to early 1800s in England and beyond. Stuff of Dreams are a Norfolk-Suffolk based ensemble who offer platforms for new stage writing. Ray Rumsby’s study is a complex, tightly drawn reflection of Crabbe’s style of keenly observing poor people, capturing … Read entire article »

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Love Changes Everything

Review of Love Changes Everything, performed at Lowestoft Community Church, 16 April 2016 and written for LCC members’ newsletter. Published in the Lowestoft Journal, 29 April 2016 The title of this special outreach event was not just a clever use of a great musical theatre number from Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, but an apt description of how the love of God working through people changes things for the better. West End stage star Tabitha Webb performed a range of musical theatre classics from several shows and some Christian songs along with a couple she wrote herself. Her outstandingly pure voice and professionalism shone through – she is a woman at ease using her God-given talents for the pleasure and benefit of others. The choir from East Point Academy joined with a beautiful … Read entire article »

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